Five Stages of Prospect Awareness

prospect awareness in business suit looking at giant business man

If you don’t understand your prospect well enough based on both their needs and awareness, then you will struggle to both target and communicate an effective message towards them. Below are the five stages of prospect awareness.

What stage is most of your prospects at?

Stage 5 - Prospect Awareness: Completely Unaware

This prospect type has no knowledge of anything except their own identity and opinion. This prospect type is completely unaware of you, of any solution or that the problem exists. “They do not know what they do not know” and are frankly blissfully ignorant. If you have never seen anything like shoes, or know what shoes are, then you might mistake it for a funny shaped hat. You are unaware of you barefoot problem. You would think being barefoot is natural and how things will always be. You would be oblivious to the problems that come with being barefoot. It would be very hard for you to be aware of anything outside of your existing mental bubble.

Stage 4 - Prospect Awareness: Problem-Aware

This prospect type is aware  that there is a problem but they do not know of any solution. A real world example would be HIV, we are aware of the problem but we are not sure of any viable solution. All products go through this phase including shoes. People surely had some major feet issues to the point of severe, unavoidable, undeniable, “can not be unnoticed” pain, (Problem awareness). This led to people acknowledging the problem but they remained unaware of any solution. In the end, many people continue living their lives in painful acceptance of how things are as no true solution presents itself.

A completely different kind of example:

A lack of competition in the marketplace could lead to poor customer service, creating many problems for many people. As long as “no competition” remains constant then customers will be aware of their dissatisfaction but not have any real world alternative to solve their problems or make their lives better. This was seen in the case of nationalised economies where one company provided all the electricity and one company provided all the telecommunications for the entire country, eventually leading to a deteriorated service with no viable alternative.

Stage 3: - Prospect Awareness: Solution Aware

At this stage the customer is aware and understand the problem. Additionally they know that a solution exists, just not your solution. They do not know you or the product or service you provide.This could be because you a new business in an established market or because you targeting a new market with your established product.

Sorry, not sorry: Alternatively, you could simply be bad at marketing and prospecting.

Stage 2 - Prospect Awareness: Product Aware

Your prospects know what you sell, but aren't sure if it’s right for them. This means they know they have a problem, they know you have the solution but they not sure the solution you offer is the right solution for them.You need to ask yourself if your messaging is on point. Are you communicating your value proposition effectively, are you making it clear how your product is different in a good way and are you communicating your benefits over the features and dimensions? If the prospect has already tried a competitor's product that promised the same thing your product does and it worked. It is less likely they will try your product, they will be unsure your product is right for them even if you claim slightly better things or offer better prices. They may know your product works but so does all the other products on the shelf. This is usually the result of a poor value proposition.

Stage 1 - Prospect Awareness: Most Aware

This is the result of having a great product or service and great branding. It is also the result of having enough time in the market to execute on a high level consistently. This customer awareness level requires no education, sales message or persuasive argument. All these people need is to know is the price because they are already sold. They know your product is right for them, they just need to know the deal.

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