The Educational Spectrum is Simple – But Chances are you Aren’t Using it To Capture the
75% Or More of Customers you Could be Selling to RIGHT NOW!
The Educational Spectrum. Say it with me. THE EDUCATIONAL SPECTRUM. This three-letter phrase is the root of why you generate 100 or more leads a month (or in some cases 10 or even 1000) and close just a small percentage. About 90% of the companies we talk to complain about needing more leads. They all say the same thing – “we need more and better qualified leads!” They whinny and whoosh about how the leads they talk to are price shoppers, undereducated and tire kickers. They moan and complain that the leads won’t call them back, are no-show appointments or waffle.
In nearly every single case, when we do a little digging we find out 3 very important things.
1. Each of these companies has MORE than enough leads. In fact they have too many. They have so many that leads are literally dying on the vine so to speak because they are not being properly nurtured and educated down the buying spectrum. Simply closing more of the leads they already have would in fact make MORE money than generating new leads because they can save money on advertising expenses and therefore make a higher profit.
2. Almost all of the marketing and advertising these companies are doing is some sort of “why you want to buy from us vs. why you want to buy from them.” This attracts what we call “Now Buyers” or prospects who are already educated to the point that they are trying to decide WHO to buy from, rather than what, how much, what type or option, will it work, is it too expensive for my budget and so on. Unfortunately because there are always a few now buyers everywhere, this type of messaging will generate opportunities to sell – therefore creating a false sense of success. In truth, all they did was cast an empty hook in a barrel of hungry fish. (Even a dead fish can float downstream)
3. Even After We Explain Why And How To Fix It – They Don’t. Sounds pretty simple right? Your sick, you go to the doctor. He tells you to buy this certain medicine, eat this certain diet and in a few months your illness goes away. Yet, how many people never finish their full prescription of medication? How many people never follow the diet and exercise suggestions of their doctors? How many people never listen to the promptings of experts in all kinds of fields who have a proven track record of success in fixing problems JUST LIKE THEIRS and then continue to whine and complain when they find themselves stuck in the same rut a year later?’
Here Is The Educational Spectrum – Read About It – Learn It And Study It Like Your Business Depends On It – Because It Does!
Think of the Educational Spectrum as a big horizontal line with POINT A on the left-hand side and POINT Z on the right-hand side and all the other letters in between. When a person first gets the inkling of an idea that they might want to buy what you sell – not necessarily from you – but just the product or service in general… when they first entertain the idea… which often occurs when they first become aware that a product exists , they are way over on the left-hand side of the spectrum, at POINT A. As people learn more and more about the product or service they progress down the spectrum past the letters to the point where they eventually arrive at Z where they make a purchase. With me so far? Good.
Okay, now here is the really important part – when prospects are sitting at points A-G on the spectrum they are in what we call the “Benefits Of Ownership” stage. Meaning, they are thinking about the benefits the product or service has to offer. They are investigating ways that a minivan could help carry more kids to soccer or how a teeth whitening toothpaste could actually whiten teeth.
As they move further down the Educational Spectrum say into letters H-P, they start to encounter the “Objections To Ownership” portion of the spectrum. During this phase they are overcoming the internal objections or learned roadblocks to purchasing what you sell. If you offer Lasik Eye Surgery one of these might be a fear of the pain involved, if you’re selling home remodeling it might be “what we have is good enough”, if you’re selling teeth whitening toothpaste it might be “I bet it doesn’t really work” and if your selling minivans it might be “but they are so ugly!” Whatever the set of objections are, during this phase the prospects are searching for information to help them overcome them.
Finally, after the prospect passes through Benefits of Ownership and Objections to Ownership they arrive smack dab in the middle of “Vendor Selection.” On the Educational Spectrum this would be letters Q-Z and is fairly easy to understand. Prospects here are trying to decide who to buy from. They are searching for vender or reseller distinctions to entice them to choose Bob or Tom to buy the minivan from. Or in another example why Crest whitening toothpaste over brand X? Too often the biggest issue companies pound on here is PRICE. Let’s be very clear – price is an issue, no doubt – but it often isn’t the most important issue and rarely is even top 3. Prospects simply aren’t usually given anything else to make a decision on whom to buy from at this point other than price and so that’s what they default to.
Okay, so now we understand the basics of the Educational Spectrum, so … what? Well, grab some of your recent marketing and try to decide where it falls on the Spectrum. If you are like most companies (yes, you are like most companies) then the vast majority of your marketing is going to be aimed at “Now Buyers” and therefore targeted for the last few letters of the Educational Spectrum. Naturally, this causes one to ask…. “What About The Other 75% Of The Spectrum – Are They Not Buyers As Well?” The short answer is of course they are. They are on the Spectrum because they are interested in what you sell, but when you talk about who to buy your product from and why they should buy from you (Vendor Selection) when they are trying to determine if the product you sell will solve their problem or fit their need (Benefits of Ownership) your message falls on deaf ears.
Here is a simple analogy. No matter how much a mortgage company tries to offer you their services, if you haven’t found a home you love, one you have walked through a couple of times, decorated in your mind and researched thoroughly – you are simply not going to respond to a message of “We Have The Lowest Rates.” You don’t care about rates yet. Rates are meaningless to you at this point. You don’t even have a freaking house to make an offer on and these guys are talking to you about rates and points and terms….PLEASE!
Now, once you find your dream home, have spent some time researching the area, walked through it and around it and in some cases over it (Benefits Of Ownership), had it properly approved by all decision makers as an option, made sure the asking price is within your price range, determined how close the kids schools will be, your work will be and other places you travel frequently (Objections To Ownership)will be… well then, and only then, will you entertain messages about a mortgage that discuss rates.
See what we mean? When you have the right message, and the right prospect, but say and deliver it at the wrong time, it just doesn’t work. We see that all the time and now that you have read this, you will see it to.
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