Sound familiar? In today’s business world, these six words are the kiss of death. It’s so important that countless articles have been written on “Creating Top of Mind Awareness” and the “Visibility Credibility Profitability (VCP) Process” over the past few years. Here’s an integration of these two subjects, together with an “essential to do list” for your business that may help you create a greater quality customer bases to build your business.
What is the ‘Visibility, Credibility, Profitability (VCP)Process’?
To create success in business, advertising, or your networking activities, there are three phases you need to travel through.
First, you need to keep your business or product at the forefront of your clients and prospect’s mind maintaining a high Visibility (also referred to as “Top of Mind” Awareness).
Second, you need to ensure your business or product has established Credibility to attract a prospect to move their business over to you, or keep an existing customer continuing to purchase from you (this establishes the critical “Trust” factor). Thirdly, with those first two steps solidly achieved, you can move to the Profitability stage.
Third, Visibility and ‘Top of Mind’ Awareness? A well-defined brand with a clear point of difference will set you or your product apart from the competition. However, the success of any branding strategy hinges on the ability to establish high brand Visibility in the marketplace. Your product or business must be known and recognised and have a good reputation. If that is achieved, then customers will be then willing to buy your product.
‘Top of mind’ awareness is owning the space that your product or service occupies in your prospects mind. That way, when they’re ready to buy they think of you first. To do this you need to maintain high brand Visibility in the marketplace, and do that regularly and consistently over the long term. Short- term, irregular or non-consistent visibility won’t build a business, so you need to be smart in your approach. Statistics are seldom interesting, but here’s some facts you should factor into your marketing strategy.
Major Purchase buying cycle…
When consumers begin planning a major purchase, when would you guess they finally sign on the dotted line? Here’s the numbers according to Chilton research:
15% – Bought within the first three months.
24% – Bought within four to six months.
34% – Bought within seven to twelve months.
27% – Bought more than twelve months later.
Now Buyers: Only 2-5% of people are “NOW” buyers. Your goal then must be to find a way to consistently and regularly be seen in the marketplace, and when your prospect finally decides to buy, they immediately think of you.
Buyers have to be exposed to your name at least 21 times during a six month period for you to be “Top of Mind”. Take a look at your prospecting history. Have your top prospects seen your name 21 times in the past 6 months? How can you create “retina burn” in your prospects minds affordably? Ideally, you also want to stand out from your competitors.
One of the best ways to do this is to research your local marketplace to find affordable mediums (advertising/networking etc) where you can enjoy “exclusivity” of categories, ie: once you secure that category your competitors cannot be included (you get to lock them out). You then get the edge over your competitors.
Many mediums that offer exclusivity will have a ‘wait list’ in case your business category does come up, so make sure you’re on that list also. Ok, so you may have received an inquiry from a prospect, or even made an initial sale – but you still need to stay in the forefront of their minds, through advertising, the mail, phone and email. Consistently and regularly! If you don’t keep in touch and “top of mind” with your prospects and your existing clients, your competitor can move in.
There is a lot of competition out there for today’s buyer. No matter what your line of business, your customer has changed. Here’s what we know about today’s consumers. They’re skeptical. Dishonesty has become part of a lot of industries. Consumers are searching to find somebody they can trust.
- They’re cautious. They don’t want to make a commitment or move their business over to you until they feel they can trust you. Will you be around in 6 months to honour your warranty or guarantee?
- They’re busy. So busy, in fact, that they often don’t take time to solve a problem until it becomes a priority, and then want a quick and easy solution.
- They’re confused. Never before have consumers had so many choices. And when they think about solving a problem, they need to know they are dealing with someone who is credible and trustworthy.
Notice how trust comes up quite a bit in their considerations to buy. Having consistent high Visibility with your prospects and customers, together with a consistent market presence and a consistent message helps you to establish Credibility and trust.