We are all standing on the shoulders of a giant…
I’ve talked about Eugene Schwartz many times before. And his book, Breakthrough Advertising. (A good starting point would be my One Big Idea video.)
This book, beyond all others, truly gets at the core principle of selling.
It’s in the market sophistication or awareness model.
It applied in the days of print ads and direct mail, where Schwartz first established the model.
And it applies up to this very minute, in things like Facebook ads and other online advertising.
That’s because it gets to the very heart of the sales process, to the very heart of the buyer decision-making process.
It gives us a model, and it gives us direction for how to apply it.
A quick recap of market awareness model…
I like the version that Keith Krance teaches.
Uses the acronym UPSYD.
Unaware: your prospect is completely unaware of the problem that needs to be solved, much less any solution they may need.
Problem-aware: your prospect becomes aware that they have a problem, a challenge, and unmet need, but is not yet aware of the potential solutions available.
Solution-aware: your prospect has started to research solutions, including products, services, and do-it-yourself options.
You-aware: your prospect is now aware of you and your solution as one of their options to solve their problem.
Deal-ready: your prospect has identified your solution as ideal, and is simply ready for the right offer.
The world’s greatest copywriters and marketers are able to take a prospect through that entire journey in a single sales message. These are often the 10,000 word sales letters or video scripts used by the very best direct marketers.
But not every sales or marketing message needs to walk this entire path on its own.
The key is in helping your prospect take the next relevant step for them…
This can be done through a series of interactions. It can be done through multiple pieces of follow-up content. It can be done over the course of hours, days, weeks, or even months.
It can also be done in a responsive way, with one series of content triggering the next as the prospect expresses their progress along this path through the behavior of clicking or interacting with your messages.
You also don’t have to start at the beginning. A new business, in an established market, can often get early adopters by differentiating themselves as a better solution to people who are shopping for solutions. Or even a better deal compared to similar solutions in the market.
These are not market leadership positions. But they can be among the easier positions to take in starting a business. And then you work backwards through the path. Getting better at helping prospects who are one step further away from your offer.
If you can present yourself and your deal well, perhaps you can get better at helping the prospects establish buying criteria among the solutions available in the market. And of course that buying criteria will favor your solution.
With that in place, perhaps you can get better at communicating about the problem, such that prospects who aren’t even yet looking for solutions will still resonate with the problem as you present it. And of course, be interested to learn about solutions.
And once you get really good at that, you can zoom all the way out to the symptoms of the problem at the point where the prospect doesn’t really even understand what ails them.
As you go, you open up your potential for reaching a broader and broader market. Catching prospects earlier in their buying process. And establishing a relationship that will make you there preferential choice.
This may seem thick and even complicated, but this is your job…
The more you deal with this complicated process of defining the problem, comparing solutions, presenting your solution as ideal, and making an irresistible offer, the simpler you will make it for your prospects to choose you.
This is your job as a copywriter. This is your job as a marketer. This is your job as a persuader.
Your job is to help your prospects overcome problems, even when they are not fully aware of what those problems are yet.
You become an expert in walking them through this process to help them reach that ultimate goal of their problem, solved.
The more you are willing to deal with the complications, and create a simplified experience, the more you stand to benefit.
Here is your ideal scenario…
Let’s condense this into a single sales video.
I, your prospect, feel like something is just not right. It could be in my career, in my relationships, in my health, or in some other aspect of my life.
You have an ad that speaks to this experience, and captures my attention because of its relevance to me. I click on the ad, and start to watch your sales video.
You help me understand what this experience means. You help me identify the problem at the root of this dark cloud of discomfort or uncertainty. You give me clarity by pointing to a problem that I feel represents my experience, and that can be solved.
Once you establish the problem, you set the stage for solutions. You help me define what a solution needs to do to be successful. You help me understand that there are other solutions out there, including products or services offered by competitors, doing it myself, or doing nothing and hoping the problem goes away.
As part of this definition of solutions, you help me create buying criteria for what an ideal solution needs to be. You may even do this before making it clear that you have something to sell. You help me create this buying criteria, and label it the perfect solution.
Then, you introduce your product or service. You explain how it was built from the ground up to fit that definition of the perfect solution, checking off all the boxes in the buying criteria checklist.
Make it abundantly clear that your offer is exactly what I need to solve this problem. And you make me an irresistible offer. Make it clear how I will get so much more in value from having this problem solved than my investment in the solution. You reverse the risk, making it easy for me to say yes. And you give me the opportunity to solve my problem by buying your product or service today.
At this point, I’m still with you, it is very hard for me to say no.
You have offered me a miracle.
You have offered me exactly what I need.
You’ve given me a way to solve my problem, to relieve myself of my symptoms, to meet my unmet need, to overcome my challenges.
And you’ve made it easier for me to say yes than to say no.
At this point, if I am a viable prospect, I buy.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
PS: You may also like my article on What Eugene Schwartz’s market awareness model missed completely.
PPS: My friend for life, Brian Kurtz, publishes Breakthrough Advertising in a partnership with Schwartz’s widow. It’s expensive when you think of it as a book, but it’s a screaming bargain compared to the value it offers. Get Breakthrough Advertising here.
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