Sometimes it’s healthy to go outside and reconnect with nature. I find it helps center a person in the present so you can focus on what’s important today and in the future.
As sales professionals, it’s likewise helpful from time to time to reconnect with the basics of customer marketing. To rediscover the customer point of view that’s so important to what aged leads choose to buy and when they choose to buy it.
For this Sales 101 post, I want to focus on the six stages that define the customer’s buying funnel — which is not the same thing as your selling funnel! If you’re unsure where to focus your current marketing efforts, read on for a refresher on how to capture the attention of prospects wherever they are in the process.
Stage 1. Origin Trigger
Every customer has an origin trigger, that initial moment of need that sets them on the buying journey. While these triggers are highly individual, there are some general origin trigger categories that groups of insurance buyers can be lumped into — new homeowners, new parents, new employees, newlyweds, and so on. Use your sales and customer marketing efforts to target a specific group. An insurance offer “for couples who just bought a new home” is effective at this stage because it speaks to that group’s origin trigger.
Stage 2. Info Gathering
After the origin trigger, customers seek out information about products and services. Know how and where your preferred customer will gather information to make their buying decision, and you can put your products and services in front of them. Whether your prospects look for insurance coverage advice online, via testimonials, PR and news coverage, or from local and regional organizations, make it a goal to put your business information in front of them.
Stage 3. Category Choice
Most businesses can’t (and shouldn’t) be all things to all people. That’s why we specialize. Your preferred customer is looking for a specific type of product and service. Tailor your marketing at this stage to suit the types of products and services your customer needs. Customers seeking term life coverage are likely to be a different set than those interested in whole life and annuities. Set yourself up for success with a sales offer that speaks directly to this market category.
Stage 4. Brand Choice
Sell your brand to prospects as much as you do your products and services. Identify your primary market competitors and do a deep-dive into what they offer. How can your sales and marketing message speak to insurance shoppers who’ve just looked at your competitor’s website and are now giving you a look? Identify what you can say to differentiate your brand from those other guys out there and sell hard on it.
Stage 5. Product Usage
At stage five, you’ll take a closer look at your current customer metrics. How long do they stay with you for repeat annual purchases, such as car insurance? How are your cross-sales numbers — do your life insurance customers come to you when they need auto or homeowners coverage? Identify how you can tailor sales and marketing materials to increase such sales numbers for current customers.
Stage 6. Retention/Referral
Retention and referral sales are the lifeblood of an agent’s book of business. Sales and marketing messaging for this stage of the customer cycle should focus on not only keeping repeat purchase customers for the long term but on winning new business through referrals.
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