Imagine this scenario: You are a car salesperson, and you’ve been working with a couple looking to buy a new vehicle. You’ve greeted them and established a great rapport. They’re excited to drive home in something new that day, and you’re excited to make the sale. You’ve worked with them and narrowed down their options to one vehicle — their future vehicle. The time has come to do the paperwork and complete the deal….
…and, without another word, you walk away.
The couple, still eager to close the deal, is confused. They have no idea what the next step should be. They wait for you, but you don’t come back. Angry and confused, they leave.
This might sound ridiculous in this particular situation, but many dealerships and companies do that exact thing when it comes to marketing. The importance of the call to action — the suggested next step — cannot be overestimated. It doesn’t matter if you’re using traditional marketing, digital marketing, a combination or are just having a face-to-face conversation with someone. If you would like that person to take another step after you’ve finished your presentation, the odds of them doing so increase dramatically if you suggest what that next step should be.
It doesn’t take much. Give them a phone number to call, a Website to go to with more information, an email address to get a personal response… whatever makes it easier for them to continue the process with you. Make it compelling — give them something of value, if only more information — and you’ll increase your chances of opening the lines of communication.
It’s easy to get bogged down in the details of what kind of call to action works best, and there are plenty of companies available to assist you in determining what will work best in your market for your situation. Just don’t lose sight of the fact that you need something in every communication you have with a customer.
Think of how you would speak with a friend. It’s the difference between saying, “We should have dinner sometime” and, “Let’s meet for dinner at Georgio’s next Thursday at 7.” One is a notion while the other is a plan.
You’ve worked on your message, you’ve paid to have that message delivered and the consumer has spent their time taking it in. To make that effort pay off, to move that discussion forward, clue them in on the next step and be there when they show up.