Know your Market
How well do you know your market? Do all your customers just walk in off the street? Or do you carefully build up relationships over time so your customers know the full range of what you can offer them?
If it’s the latter, how do you first come to know them?
There are lots of answers to this but they mostly boil down to: do you contact them or do they seek you out? And, once contact is made, how will you engage them?
In marketing-speak, the world is full of ‘prospects’ and ‘leads’ whom every business hopes to turn into ‘sales’. Confusingly, different marketing gurus define prospects and leads in different ways. And what’s really confusing is that some marketers talk about how important it is to turn leads into prospects while others are equally enthusiastic about turning prospects into leads.
It’s easier to understand why there might be a little fuzziness around this because, whether they believe their goal is to convert leads to prospects or prospects to leads, the ultimate goal of marketers is to convert leads and prospects into buyers.
Without buying into the argument, think about a prospect as someone who might potentially be interested in buying your product or using your services. But until you know who they are, it’s not much help.
When you have their contact details, they’re a lead. You can then begin to nurture the relationship and interest them in what you have to offer. When you start to do this, they’re said to be moving through the ‘marketing cycle’ or in the ‘sales pipeline’.