Moving your prospects along the buyer's journey

I want to start today's episode of the podcast with a bit of a rant: why is it that many businesses think that they can do a little ad-hoc marketing to generate some leads and then get frustrated when they don't get enough leads or convert those leads into customers!

So, in today's episode, I want to talk all about understanding and plotting your buyer’s journey and consequently being able to connect your sales & marketing functions together more effectively and convert more leads.

Time Stamp

[0:57] This episode is sponsored by my new email marketing masterclass that outlines 7 strategies to build, nurture and convert leads into loyal customers. You can save your seat here
[1:41] ‘Jane’ is frustrated that her agency’s website isn’t converting more leads
[2:06] The typical mistakes most websites make
[2:55] The importance of providing value to your audience
[3:35] Connecting your marketing to your sales
[4:00] The 7 steps in the buyer’s journey
[4:40] ‘Contact us’ buttons and forms on websites don’t work!
[5:35] The importance of building KNOW, LIKE & TRUST before prospects will buy
[6:15] Nurturing your leads with more value-added content (e.g., this podcast)
[7:29] How might you change your website to support the buyer’s journey?
[8:44] Plotting out your audience’s buyer’s journey – esp. steps 2,3 & 4
[9:32] The importance of getting your audience to make micro-commitments
[10:40] Avoid jumping into sales to quickly!

Quotations

“The middle of the funnel is where you do your education-based marketing.” - Rob Da Costa
“This podcast is a good example of education-based marketing.” - Rob Da Costa
“It’s crucial to give your audience some quick wins.” - - Rob Da Costa

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 Full Episode Transcription

I want to start today's episode of the podcast with a bit of a rant. Why is it that so few agencies, and to be honest businesses in general, I think that can do a bit of marketing to generate some leads and then get frustrated when they don't convert those leads into customers fairly quickly? So in today's episode of The Agency Accelerator Podcast, I want to talk all about understanding your buyer's journey. Also, consequently being able to more effectively connect your sales and your marketing functions together.

I'm Rob Da Costa and this is The Agency Accelerator Podcast. As someone who has stood in your shoes, having started, grown and sold my own agency. I know just how it feels during the ups and the downs of agency life. This podcast aims to ease your journey just a little by sharing my own and my guest experiences and advice as you navigate your way to growing a profitable, sustainable and enjoyable business.

Now, this episode is sponsored by my brand new free master class, “How to Build, Nurture and Convert an engaged email list.” In this 45-minute value pack training, you're going to learn the seven simple strategies to attract new email subscribers. Grow your list and convert them into loyal customers. Growing your email list should be a crucial part of your marketing strategy. You can learn how to sign up for this free 45-minute masterclass by checking out the links or the notes below. 

So, on with today's show. Recently I was talking to a prospect who runs an SEO agency. Let's call her Jane. She told me that no matter what they change on their website, they still don't get that many leads from it, which I know is ironic, given that they are an SEO agency.

She said that most of their business still comes from word of mouth and referrals, so she wasn't really sure what her website was for or what she could do to change it. Then, I checked out their website. It has some decent information on it but it only has two ways for the reader to take the next steps. Once they've landed on the website and read a bit, they either sign up for their newsletter or fill in one of those contact forms that are kind of vague about why you would fill it in. Obviously, you realise you're gonna get a phone call from the client.

Also, the thing about that is both of those actions are not the next step along the buyer's journey, but rather a massive leap and one that very few people are going to take unless you're super lucky. Either landed on your website because they've got a specific problem they need solving now or they've looked at your content and you can solve it now. Then, they are happy for you to contact them. But that's probably only one in a hundred. 

What's she doing about the rest? Of course, she's super disappointed that she's not getting more leads but she's not really doing anything to provide value to those other 99 people who have landed on our website that day. It's kind of like walking into a show home, and immediately the representative pounces on you and says, “Come on, let's buy the house.”

We are not going to be ready to buy the house because there are some things that you need to do. First of all, you need to have a look around the house. You need to understand the local area. You need to understand the quality of the building. You need to learn more about the builder and so on. 

It's only when you've done your due diligence that you're going to be ready to buy and it's kind of the same with the buyer's journey for people who are getting to know you to the point when they are ready to buy. Then, this SEO agency is really similar to many agencies that I come in contact with. They seem to be not very good at connecting their marketing to their sales function. In other words, making sure that marketing is generating and nurturing leads up until the point that they become really warm prospects. That's the point when the sales process kicks in. 

Then, she definitely needs my help. Let's examine what I believe her and many other agencies are getting wrong. To do this, we need to take a step back to basics and discuss the concept of the buyer's journey. When someone visits your website or when they first engage with you there on step one of their buyer's journey, in other words, the journey towards buying from you. 

To keep things simple, let's just imagine that there are seven steps, with seven being the point that the prospect is ready to buy from you. Issue number one is that most websites try to get the buyer to leap from step one, I've just discovered who you are, to step five, which would be something like filling out the Contact us form. Now, without being a mind reader, I reckon that if you've got that form on your website or even a sign up to our newsletter, I bet you get very few inquiries from it.

So am I right? I suspect I probably am, and I'm not trying to be smart here. It's just I've seen this time and time again. That is because few people are going to go from step one of the buyer's journey to step five before they've gone through steps two, three and four. 

This is where the disconnect between marketing and sales happens. For example, marketing's responsibility is steps one, two, three and four and then sales takeover at step five. Then, step five might be the fact find. Step six might be the prospect meeting.

Lastly, step seven is the proposal and closing the deal. 

Then the question is, what do steps two, three and four looks like in my example of a seven-step buyer’s journey? This is the Million dollar question and this is the piece that so many get wrong because they just don't think about this. So, these are the steps where your contact is getting to know, like and trust you. You can map over in the buyer's journey; I get to know myself in the middle piece, get to like me, towards the end piece is get to trust me and that only then will people buy.

You've initially built awareness, which drives people to your website for example. Now you need to show empathy that you understand your contacts or the reader's challenges and pains. Then build credibility that you've done it before and that you can help them. Only at that stage should they be handed over to the sales function to close the deal. 

Steps two, three and four look like nurturing your leads with more value-added content and it is the very important part there. I call this middle status of the sales funnel, education-based marketing. This is where you demonstrate your credibility. You show that you understand your clients while imparting some genuine value and some quick wins for your clients.

If you think about this podcast or this video, however, you're watching it. That's exactly what I am trying to do when I'm building a relationship with you, my reader or my listener. To impart some value so that I'm building no like and trust with you, and that you begin to think Rob knows what he's talking about, and he could probably help me.

Now, once you get them to take that initial action, that step two, you've now got them into your email list. Because you're going to offer them, for example, a guide or a template or a video lesson, or even a quiz. Then, you're going to get them to give you their email address in exchange. That's a transaction in exchange for that. Once you've got them on your email list, you can continue nurturing them along the buyer's journey. 

Now don't forget if you want some help with this, then make sure you sign up for my free brand new email marketing class. As I said, the links are in the show notes. Then, let's just discuss for a moment some of the things that you could put on your website that would move people along that buyer’s journey; it might be a guide that they can download, might be a free video lesson, might be a quiz or might be a template that they can use. 

Your key goal with this is to demonstrate what you're talking about. Demonstrate you understand them and their challenges. Most importantly, give them some quick wins so that they think that if this is what I'm giving away for free, imagine what it'll be like working with Rob.

Then you're going to deliver this guide, for example, through your email system. The following emails that come after that will be the ones that can encourage them to move down the buyer's journey to the point in time where they've got to step five where you can say, “Hey, why don't we jump on a call?” That would be Step six.

If Jane, the owner of that SEO agency, wants to convert more visitors from her website, then she really needs to think about what step two looks like and not what step five looks like. Step two is a chance to start building a relationship with the website visitor. As I said, she's going to do that by offering some kind of freebie that genuinely impart some value; a lesson, quiz and so on. 

What I'd encourage you to do is really think about your prospects buyer’s journey. As with my Jane example, step one might be that they've come to your website, might be that you've met them at a networking event or they come into your world some other way. That's the very first step. 

What is Step two? In my world, it would invite them to download something. Step three would be nurturing them through the email list. Step four would be getting them to make the next micro-commitment to the next thing that they can emit or commit to you. Rather than reading a three-page template, it might be simply that I want you to watch a 10-minute video now. Also, I might invite you to a 50-minute workshop, and finally, I'm gonna invite you onto a strategy call.

Each of these steps along the buyer's journey is like micro-commitments that you're getting your buyer to make. That shows that they're interested and it moves them through the buyer's journey. Don't make the mistake that so many make of trying to go from step one to step five by putting a Contact us form on your website. 

I'm not saying don't have one. I'm saying, don't make that the major way that someone is going to contact you once they first visit your website. Because, as I said, without being a mind reader, I'm sure that you get very few contacts that way. Indeed, as I don't get many contacts that way, you probably get a lot of spam, but not a lot of genuine prospects.

You need to find some other ways. The stuff that I'm teaching you today and the whole concept of the buyer's journey are very important. I can tell you how well that works for me and my private clients as well, so I know that what I'm teaching you today will work for you.

If you can just stop and say, let me just map out the buyer's journey. Let me map out which parts of our marketing responsibility and which parts ourselves. Now you may not have a separate sales and marketing function, but you still need to think about which part of this is marketing and which part is sales. Because when we jump into sales too quickly, you haven't built like and trust and people will quickly leave. 

So I hope you found that useful today. A quick episode and lots of food for thought. As I say, make sure you jump into my free email marketing masterclass because that is majorly about moving people along the middle of this buyer's journey to get them to the point where you can start engaging them directly. Building a one to one relationship and hopefully converting them into clients.

As ever, if you found today's episode useful, please do consider leaving a review, leaving a comment, hitting Subscribe button and hitting the thumbs up if you watch on YouTube. If you're listening on the podcast, please do think about leaving a review, especially if you listen on Apple, because it really helps the algorithm. It gets the podcast and the YouTube videos out to more people just like you, so I can help more people. But other than that, I hope you have a fantastic rest of the week.

Go and map out your buyer's journey. I will see you next week on the next episode of The Agency Accelerator Podcast.

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