Top of Mind

In our last couple of episodes, we’ve been talking about different levels of awareness, starting with the entry-level awareness necessary to let people know we exist, then the comfort-level awareness we need to create so new prospects can feel comfortable enough with us to place that first order. But if you want to create the kind of awareness that gets you known with all the very best prospects in your market, that requires a different level of awareness altogether.

Last week we discussed the fact that it’s not who you know that really benefits you or your business. It’s who knows you.

And for every business, there is one specific group of prospects who need to know you if you want to dominate your market. That group is composed of the very best prospects for your products and services.

For a financial planner, it might be those in your market with the most assets to invest.

For a realtor, it might be high-end home owners in a particular geographic area.

For a print or promotional products business, it might be businesses of a certain size, with a certain number of employees, who market themselves aggressively.

The book Marketing Metrics describes top of mind awareness as “The first brand that comes to mind when a customer is asked an unprompted question about a category.”

But if you’re like me, you don’t want to have to wait for someone to ask your best prospects an unprompted question, because that doesn’t usually happen. Instead, you want to be the person or company who immediately leaps to mind, unprompted, the moment your best prospect thinks in terms of needing what you have to offer.

But top of mind awareness is not created by accident. It doesn’t just happen.

When you’re doing it proactively, it starts with identifying exactly the people or prospects in whose minds you would like to create that level of awareness. And the sooner and more accurately you can identify those people, the sooner you can get started.

In my live training sessions, I’ll often show a map of the world with a caption that says, “This is a map of the world. It is not your prospecting list.”

Because the truth of the matter is that very few businesses can afford to market to everyone. We have to more selective. And the more selective we are, the better we become at creating top of mind awareness with exactly the people we need to reach.

Some people want to create top of mind awareness in their city. But it’s likely that many people in their city aren’t good prospects. Some people want to create top of mind awareness in a particular industry — selling to manufacturing companies or banks, schools or government. Same thing. Some in each market will be very receptive, and good prospects. Others will be a total waste of time. So the better we get at clearly identifying the very best prospects in our target market, the easier it will be to create that awareness and start dominating.

For those who don’t know us at all, it begins with that entry-level awareness we were talking about. The type that says, “Here I am. I exist.” It continues with comfort-level awareness, the type that leads to liking, trusting and a first order. But it doesn’t flourish, spread or lead to market domination until you succeed in creating top of mind awareness with the very best prospects for your products and services. And that requires the type of contact that we’ll be talking about in our next episode. Talk to you then.

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