Did you know that you can be aware of something without being aware of it?
The Home Improvement Buyers Journey Stage One: Issue Awareness
This conundrum forms the basis of today's discussion about the first of the home improvement buyers journey stages: issue awareness. The pilgrimage that a homeowner goes on that leads to buying new replacement windows begins right here. The question is when is awareness, awareness?
Dictionary.com's thesaurus has several contexts for the word "aware." The two we are most interested in today are "conscious" and "attentive.
Some of the synonyms for "conscious" were "able to recognize," "acquainted", and "noticing." For "attentive" there were words like "alert," "enthralled," and "fascinated.
So, you CAN be aware, but NOT be aware…the first context for awareness was passive, the second more active.
Right now, how many things at your home need fixing? Those things you just thought about are things that you are aware of by being conscious of them (how else would you have been able to name them?).
Here's the real question…how many of those things are you actively (either yourself or having gotten someone else to do them) involved in taking care of? It's at that point where you have moved from passive to active, or, for our purposes, from outside the buyers journey funnel to the inside of it.
Back in the "old days," this conversation was one I had with salespeople all the time about urgency. Those of you who have been around for awhile remember the days before the “Do Not Call” list (although I get as many calls today as I used to even though I’m on the list—a rant for another day). The vast majority of leads that my company issued were generated by a large phone room...cold call telemarketing.
The way the phone room worked at the dealer I worked for was the telemarketer would say almost anything to get the lead (so they could make more money). One of the old standards was “I’ll have a guy in your area tomorrow and he’ll give you an estimate that’s good for a year.”
Salespeople that ran a lead where a customer told them that the telemarketer said that would get so mad because they (lazily) felt that it gave the homeowner an excuse not to move forward.
My response was that it was the salespersons responsibility to move the homeowner from being “passively” aware (why they said yes) to “actively” aware (making a decision that it’s time to do something about it).
Today The Homeowner Decides When It's Time
That move from being passive to active still has to happen today, only the customer is the one that is in control of when the move is made. You see, as we’ve discussed on several occasions, today’s potential home improvement customer can be more than 60% through their research process BEFORE they reach out to set up a meeting with a salesperson.
How can you help to move a potential customer from conscious awareness (passive) to attentive awareness (active)?
The key is the internet. Where do you go when you are doing research? According to Adweek, 81% of shoppers begin their research online.
Great information, Joe, but what do I do with it? Here are a couple of ideas…
- Do you have a blog on your website? What about a couple of high quality posts about common problems that might cause a homeowner to consider replacing their windows (or even better, information as to common problems that might indicate that their own windows are the cause of the issue).
- How about creating an ebook that focuses on the three main reasons why a consumer might replace their windows; they don’t look good, they don’t work right, and/or they’re not very efficient? Then explain how they can fix them.
Educate, Don't Sell
The key thing to remember, especially in this stage of the buyers journey, is that this information cannot be about selling them your products or services. This is only about educating them about potential solutions that could make sense to them.
Trust me, if they find your information and it’s high quality, timely and educational they’ll remember where it came from. Think about how you turn off your attention from “salesy” messages because you’re bombarded with them all day long.
The fact that you are educating them rather than trying to sell them may be just the push that they need to go from passive to active awareness and place themselves into your marketing funnel.
Next time, we'll delve into the next stage of the home improvement buyers journey. The educational research stage is the stage that they spend the most time in, so it's importance can't be overstated.
Think this makes a lot of sense, but don’t have time to do this yourself? Click below to see how we can help you get more customers into your sales funnel .