Craig Elias' Afford Matrix

This blog post is about three things:

  1. The #5 ZMOT Selling strategy
  2. Where the Decision Makers are
  3. How to facilitate a decision makers purchase

When I started this blog I promised myself I would not be one of those people who blogged several times a week just to create content that would ‘hopefully drive traffic’ to a website.

As Guy Kawasaki often says “Hope is not a strategy”.

I believe that quality trumps quantity every time. So while it’s taken me longer than planned to write this blog post I trust the quality of this blog post makes up for the extra time it took to bring all its components together.

P.S. There is a name for the disease that drives people to blog several times a week – It’s called Content Creation Madness and Lisa Nirell has cure for it here.

#5 ZMOT Selling Strategy

In my last blog post I shared the #6 ZMOT Selling Strategy – How to have  best follow-up with those who recently experienced a Zero Moment Of Truth and are thinking of changing suppliers.

Having the best follow-up allows you to engage with decision makes when they are most likely to see value in spending time with you.

Now you need the #5 ZMOT Selling Strategy – Having the Best Offers – to convert more of these decision makers into customers.

Having the best offers starts a prospect down the path of becoming your customer and minimizes the likelihood they will call your competition. See the video below that talks about recent research by Scott Santucci of Forrester that proves this.

What you want to do is create multiple offerings so you convert the greatest percentage of potential customers.

I’m a big fan of the good, better, best model to do this. The idea is to create three different versions of your offering so:

  1. 25% of prospects to purchase the good version of your good offering
  2. 50% or prospects to purchase the better version of your offering
  3. 25% of prospects to purchase the best version of your product

Basically it comes down to does a decision maker have the time and the money needed to become your customer. See the Afford Matrix as the top of this blog post.

For a couple of years now I have talked about the Afford Matrix™ (aka Affordability Matrix) that will be featured in my next sales book “SHOVE! How to Create the Events That PUSH ASIDE YOUR COMPETITION”. This is the first time I am blogging about the Afford Matrix or my next book.

In the image at the top of this blog post you see three different sales strategies. Each one relevant to a different set of prospects based up on the availability of time and money.

  1. Friend Making: The intent is to use the good product to convert prospects who have time but not a lot of money.
  2. Fund Making: The intent is to use the better product to either convert into customers those who have time and money, or convert those prospects who originally purchased your good product and now have more money into users of your better product
  3. Hay Making: These are the best offerings to convert those prospects who have the most money but the least amount of time or those prospects that originally purchased your better product and now have more money and less time

The idea is to start prospects down the path of becoming your customer knowing that once they have invested time (and maybe money) in learning how to do things your way you are highly likely to win future business. This is because decision makers are very busy and when they are satisfied by your offerings they see limited value in giving your competition the same amount of time or attention they gave you.

Where Are The Decision Makers?

David Skok of the Venture Capital (VC) firm Matrix Partners covers this in an excellent blog post titled “Understanding the Customer Buying Cycle & Triggers”.

David points out four big things:

1) You need to understand where decision makers are in their buying cycle because using the wrong sales approach leads to frustrated buyers and lost sales.

David Skok's Buying Cycle

David Skok’s Buying Cycle

2) You need to have different offers based upon where the decision maker is in the buying cycle

3) Different lead sources deliver prospects that are in different stages of the buying cycle. He says:

  • People that are later in the buying cycle are most likely to be using tools like Google, and review sites to search for vendors and products to solve a problem.
  • Many other lead sources (e.g. social referrals, Twitter, Facebook ads, banner ads, pr stories, educational presentations at conferences, etc.) produce buyers that are earlier in their cycle

4) You need to reach decision makers sooner

“…the ideal situation is to make sure you get to know customers earlier in the process and become the player that helps shape and define their shopping list (RFP). “

Research by Forrester’s Scott Santucci proves David’s point.

Forrester’s research  shows  you win the business at least 65% of the time  when you get in early and set a decision maker’s buying vision.

Only 35% of the time does the decision maker send the opportunity out for quote to other vendors.

See the 27:00 minute mark of the video below where Tim Riesterer – CMO Of Corporate Visions  – talks about the research.

How to Facilitate a Decision Maker’s Purchase

BJ Fogg's - Fogg Behavior Model

The bottom of David Skok’s blog post mentions some work on Triggers by BJ Fogg.

After reading David’s blog post I checked out the work by BJ Fogg – who runs the Persuasive Technology Lab @ Stanford.

I was then fortunate enough to spend 20 minutes with BJ on the phone.

His focus is not on how you motivate someone to buy but rather how to help facilitate their purchase.

Here are the three BJ Fogg resources I think are most relevant to facilitating a decision maker to choose you over your competition.

The FBM model
BJ’s 2009 Paper on the FBM model which says behavior is the product of three factors: motivation, ability, and triggers. Be sure to check out the image that is on the top ½ of page 5.

How To Make It Easier To Become Your Customer
BJ’s video on simplicity talks about the Ability to pay and having Time and Money which funnily enough lines up very well with my Afford Matrix.

The video below shares six things that can get in the way of a decision maker becoming your customer.

By the time you finish watching BJ’s video I think you will have come up with several ways you can make it easier to become your customer.

I’m taking BJ’s simplicity to heart by embedding videos in this blog post instead of just providing a link to them on YouTube, Vimeo, etc.

Motivation Waves
BJ’s video on Motivation Waves should give you some ideas on what you can do to make it more likely that someone takes the small action that starts them down the path of becoming your customer.

Get someone as a customer now and when they have more time or more money in the future they move to the next level.

As I have mentioned before the faster you respond the more likely you are to win the business.

3 Actions You Can Take

BJ’s content has been a trigger for me personally. After reading his paper and watching his videos on motivation waves and the power of simplicity I have decided to add this a section to the end of this and future blog posts.

Based on the content above I strongly suggest you do the following three things:
1. Download my Won Sales Analysis template and a video that explains how to use it
2. Watch the recording of my latest webinar “Win the Race to the Ideal Customer” that talks about content that attracts the attention of those who recently experienced a want event and are now thinking of changing suppliers
3. Call my cell phone (+1.403.874.2998) or Skype me (Craig.Elias) to schedule a 10 – 15 minute, no-charge, call about how you can apply all the above to your own demand/lead generation and sales efforts.

Have an eventful month!

Craig