The Three Pillars to Creating Top of Mind Awareness

In our Total Market Domination course, we identified Three Pillars to Creating Top of Mind Awareness with the very best prospects for the products and services you offer.  Today, we’ll give you an overview of the three pillars so you can determine how well you’re implementing them in your own business.

David:                   Hi and welcome to the podcast today co-host Chris Templeton and I will be discussing the Three Pillars to Creating Top of Mind Awareness. Welcome Chris.

Chris:                     Hi David. You know in previous episodes we’ve talked about the importance of top of mind awareness and today we’re going to talk about three major steps that’ll help achieve it. So what are the three pillars?

David:                   Okay, well, when we look at three pillars of creating top of mind awareness, it starts with positive, memorable, first contact. What’s going to be that first impression they get of us? From there it moves to lightning fast follow-up, having interactions with people that actually move, that allows you to create a little bit of momentum and be able to accelerate things; and then the third pillar is intelligent repetition of contact. Something we’ve certainly talked about before, but it is critical when you’re looking to create that level of top of mind awareness.

Chris:                     Let’s start with memorable first contact. What percentage of businesses do you think do this effectively?

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David:                   Not a large percentage, at least in my experience. I think it's something that is often overlooked. People don't normally think about it. A lot of people don't even think of it in those terms. Many people think in terms of cold calling or prospecting or whatever. The reason that I use the term first contact is because I really like to make the point that whatever it is that you're doing first in your interaction with a new prospect is really going to set the tone and so when you're thinking about it in terms of what is the first contact going to be, you can be a little more fussy about it. You can really think through, okay, what would be the ideal scenario of a meeting with someone?  Let's say you realized you're somehow going to end up meeting Bill Gates or somebody who has a lot of money and perhaps, an ability to spend money with you.  You would want that interaction to be good. And the reality of the situation is that if you're smart, you want that kind of thing to happen with every prospect you meet; so that they're impressed enough to want to do business with you, regardless of whether or not you end up wanting to do business with them.  You realize they're under-qualified, it's better if you get to say no than if they're saying no to you.

Chris:                     Boy no kidding. And one of the things that I think that's important to talk about in regards to this positive, memorable first contact, is I don't think that a lot of businesses really think this through.  Like, what can I say? What can I do that's gonna make that memorable? And so, talk a little bit about what it is in your mind that businesses can do to be more memorable, especially on that first contact; which matters so much, doesn't it?

David:                   It does. And when I say positive and memorable and one of the analogies used in the past, a note wrapped around a rock thrown through a window is first contact, but it's not positive and it is memorable. So you want to make sure that you're accomplishing both. It needs to be positive and it needs to be memorable. And so when we decide what that's going to be, you initially think of something like a cold call and just the words by itself almost tells you, okay, is this really going to be seen as positive and memorable? And generally speaking, the answer is going to be no, but if you think through it and you say, okay, well what would that cold call have to be like if I wanted it to be positive and memorable? What would have to be said on that phone? And maybe there's no good answer to that, but the good news is that it doesn't have to be a cold call. There are lots of other ways of initiating first contact. It could be a direct mail piece, could be lumpy mail. You're sending them a gift in the mail in advance of contacting them some other way. It could be a video or some sort of post on social media. There are lots of different ways of initiating first contact. It could be a connection request on LinkedIn or a friend request on Facebook. So lots of different ways to do it that are going to each create a different impression. So when you think through the options and you recognize that there are really lots of different ways to do it, it just sort of opens things up for you. It allows you to realize that there's not just one way to accomplish this. And in most cases there's probably a better way than whatever it is that you're doing now.

Chris:                     At some level, I almost wonder if the place to start, whether you plan on doing it or not, is the cold call approach from the standpoint of if I can come up with some way to make it positive; right?  Which is the toughest part and memorable. Then figuring out any other piece may even be simpler. I mean, if I can figure out a way that I can get comfortable with saying something in a cold call that is positive about me and helps that person to let their barriers down, I probably really have a good first start on anything else that I do.

David:                   Yeah. The challenge though is if I want to say something positive and memorable about myself to you, what's the likelihood that you're going to find that interesting?

Chris:                     Right, right.

David:                   It needs to be positive from their standpoint and memorable from their standpoint and that's why it's such a challenge and that's why I feel like there are so many other ways that in effect, it's easier to create something positive and memorable if it's not a cold call. Now that said, there are people who are great at cold calls and they're able to accomplish exactly that, and if a listener who is listening to this podcast is one of them, I'm certainly not going to discourage you from doing that. I'm just saying if you look at all the options, you can ask yourself, okay, is there something better?

Chris:                     Right. Absolutely. Finding whatever your method is. I think you've really hit it from the standpoint of it being positive, especially in this day and age where there is such an almost predisposition to have a negative reaction. I mean I think about the days of spam and there's been a sea change in how we react to a lot of marketing pieces out there. Wouldn't you say?

David:                   Yes, and if you think also in terms of advertising that's actually gotten your attention that you've viewed in a positive light, it can be done. It's not as if advertising is a terrible thing and it's all going to be viewed as people just trying to take over your brain. I mean there is some of that, but if you can create any sort of ad that actually engages people, attracts their attention and gets them to click through, watch a video and engage with you, that can absolutely be positive and memorable, but you really want to try to orchestrate that experience as much as possible. You don't want to just leave it to chance.

Chris:                     Do you think that having it be a little bit light or even a little bit funny is helpful?

David:                   It can be. I mean there's some people who are too funny for their own good. They're too cute for their own good. Right? And if you've ever seen an ad where you said, “Oh, I saw this great ad, it was really funny and this happened and that happened…” and they say, “Who's the ad for?” And you say, “I have no idea.” If that's ever happened to you. That's an example of people being too cute for their own good. But when people are able to create an ad that not only allows you to remember what happened so that you can talk about it and if it's entertaining, you can relay it to friends. But if it ties to the message of what it is that they're selling, then you actually get the benefit of the best of both worlds. You get the entertainment value, but you also get the content value.

Chris:                     So, let's talk about the second pillar. Lightning fast follow up.  It seems so obvious to me and in a lot of ways it's easier than ever, but is it that necessary?

David:                   Well, yeah.  These days, lightning fast follow-up is absolutely necessary because if you don't, someone else will and you'll lose the business. Communication has never been easier in a sense and more overwhelming in another sense. 10 years ago, 15 years ago, people primarily communicated in person and on the phone. Now you've got all these different methods of communication including texting and social media and messaging and all kinds of different ways to communicate. So people are more available, they're more accessible, but in a lot of cases they're also more guarded. And so when it comes to them actually wanting something from you, if you're not going to be responding quickly, you're at a distinct disadvantage because there will always be someone who is going to want the business more and as a result perhaps be more responsive. So it's something we really all need to focus on. I think probably anyone who is decent at business and who likes doing business with other people recognizes that they need to be responsive to people. And sometimes we get frustrated because we feel like we can't, we're just so busy doing other things that we feel like we can't follow up as well as we could and at that point we really need to address, okay, well how can I make this happen? Do I need to hire a virtual assistant? Do I need to better allocate my own time? Do I need to prioritize better so that I can make that happen?

Chris:                     But when you think about it from the standpoint of a sales process, in my mind it's almost one of the most important pieces of the equation because if I've got that first memorable contact, that's great, but now I've got this back and forth going where if I get any kind of response from a prospect to that; if I'm not quick and there's not this back and forth exchange where trust is built.  It seems to me the longer I go in terms of how long it takes me to respond; then what I'm doing is I'm breaking down the potential for the trust that I would have had if I had responded quickly and effectively.

David:                   No question, no question about it. And it's really funny because people will spend enormous amounts of money on advertising and marketing to try to get a response from people. And then when the people respond, if they're not all over that response, if they're not then responding to the person who initiated that contact, they're essentially blowing everything that they did before it. So the whole idea of the lightning fast follow up, it's like a tennis match or ping pong or a chess match or a checkers match. I move, you move, I move, you move. And so if I move, if I initiate an ad and you respond in some way and then I just let it sit there, that's just not going to work. And my view has always been that a hot lead is like a hot cup of coffee. It doesn't get any hotter as a result of neglect. So the quicker we can respond, the better likelihood we're going to have to be successful.

Chris:                     You know, you just can't overstate from my standpoint how important it is. And now there are so many different vehicles that are available to let you have that quick follow-up, whether it's an online card or a quick video or just a phone call. All of them work really well. I would think that also from your standpoint, you'd say at some level, the more personal it is, the more it's authentic you, the better too, wouldn't you think?

David:                   Yes, and also you can automate some of this. I mean there's technology we can use like auto-responder technology.  Where somebody expresses interest in an ad, they click on something or they hit a button or something like that. They opt in on a form and it generates an automatic response. It sends them an email with the information they requested and then perhaps a series of follow-up emails. All of that can be orchestrated in advance. It can be planned out in advance. You get it set up and then if it's three o'clock in the morning and you're sound asleep, someone else can be filling out your form, getting a response and things are moving forward even when you're not there to do it yourself.

Chris:                     And really at some level, what we've been talking about for the last minute or two is intelligent repetition of contact. Why do you think that should be one of the pillars?

David:                   Well, intelligent repetition of contact is what's going to ultimately make the sale. It's not going to be the initial contact that you have with them very likely. It's not likely they're going to buy on that very first contact. Sometimes it happens, but rarely. It's not necessarily going to be found in that first round of lightning-fast follow up. It's going to ultimately come from the relationship that's built from those follow-ups and from that back and forth, that volley that we described earlier, and so intelligent repetition of contact is what allows you to sustain that. It allows you to keep the conversation interesting, keep the conversation flowing, keep them engaged in it. And when you're able to do that, that's what ultimately will lead to the sales.

Chris:                     You know, the other thing that strikes me about that is that just like with positive, memorable contact, if you take the time to really map out five follow-ups and take a weekend to play with it and get it where you want it, think about how much easier it becomes to do that process and not have to think about it. And that's huge, wouldn't you say?

David:                   Yes, and one of the things that we encourage our clients to do is thinking in terms of those steps, but also how they relate to the first contact. So if you meet someone for the first time at a networking event, and that's the first contact you have with them, the series of steps that you take after that might be different than it would be if their first contact with you is on social media. So if we say, okay, I meet someone at a networking function, that's the first contact. The second contact is that the next day I send them an email saying, “Hey, it was great meeting you at this networking function. Here's my information below.” And maybe you ask them a question or two about themselves or about their business or whatever it is to get them engaged in conversation. That can be the second step.  Whereas if it's on social media, the first step might be that they see a post or they like a post that you put up there or they reply to a post. And your response to that might be that you then ask them a question online, you know, through the same social media that they approached you with, right? So you look at the different forms of first contact and you say, what would be a good follow up from this? What makes logical sense? And then you can program them out. So if you're going to put together a list of five different things as you described, you could have five different things for five different methods of first contact. It sort of gives you a matrix of 25 different things.

Chris:                     Got it. Okay, so let's talk about the action steps once again for the three pillars.

Implementing the Three Pillars to Top of Mind Awareness

  1. Determine what your positive, memorable first contact will be. Initiate that with each new prospect you target.
  2. Evaluate how quickly and effectively you are following up with prospects and clients. Track your results and work to continuously improve your speed of response.
  3. Focus on intelligent repetition of contact. How can you start sequencing your communication so you can be in touch with people on an ongoing basis without driving them crazy?

David:                   Okay, so basically if you want to be able to engage in this and focus on the Three Pillars to Creating Top of Mind Awareness, the first thing you need to do is to decide what is my positive, memorable, first contact is going to be. And then we need to work to initiate that with each new prospect that we target, deciding what we'd like it to be. Now, there are some circumstances where that doesn't necessarily happen. You might run into someone on the street, you weren't expecting that to happen, and that's your first contact. You're going to have to react to that. However, in most cases, if you say, okay, this is going to be my primary form of first contact online, this is going to be my primary form of first contact in networking situations. And you identify those different areas. You can plan a lot of it in advance.  Second thing is to evaluate how quickly and effectively you're currently following up with your prospects and clients. So when we talk about lightning fast follow-up, we have to look at it first. Track your results. Work to continuously improve the speed with which you and your team respond to clients. It's important to keep in mind the word team, right? Even if it's a virtual assistant, it doesn't mean you have to do all of it yourself. You just want to make sure that you're constantly improving the speed and the quality of those interactions. And then the third thing, the intelligent repetition of contact. You want to think in terms of exactly that, intelligent repetition of contact. How can you start sequencing your communication so that you can be in touch with people on an ongoing basis without being repetitive or annoying?

Chris:                     Or annoying! Definitely a good one. Okay, let's wrap up with what's coming in our next podcast.

David:                   Okay, Chris in our next podcast, we will talk about the subject of why a website will not fix your business problems.

If you're tired of flat or declining sales and losing business to your competitors, be sure to check out my latest web presentation entitled Programming Clients to Choose You. Who are your very best prospects currently programmed to buy from? Is it you or someone else? If you want it to be, you, visit topsecrets.com/choose and register for the free presentation now. That's topsecrets.com/choose.

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