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How to Convert Prospects to New Customers: A Step-by-Step Guide

Finding new prospects and converting them into customers is the primary reason most businesses engage a marketing agency. However, many of the businesses you want to attract are not actively in the market to buy, meaning they are not looking for your products or services. So how do you attract new prospects when they are not looking for you?

The Marketing Process

Marketing is a process—a statement you’ll hear us say over and over again. Patience is key because it truly is a process. You may often hear marketers talk about the funnel, which is not a new phenomenon but a well-established process that describes the customer journey or decision process. This process is best described by the acronym AIDA: Awareness, Interest, Decision, and Action. Let’s break it down.


This is the first stage, where the goal is to grab the buyer’s attention. This can be achieved through compelling advertising, eye-catching visuals, or intriguing messages that make the consumer aware of the product or service.


Once attention is captured, the next step is to build interest in the product or service. This involves providing information that resonates with the consumer’s needs or desires, often through engaging content, informative articles, or detailed product descriptions that highlight the benefits and features.


After interest is established, the focus shifts to creating a desire for the product or service. This is done by appealing to emotions and demonstrating how the product can solve a problem or improve the consumer’s life. Testimonials, case studies, and persuasive messages play a key role here.


The final stage is to prompt the consumer to take action, such as making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or contacting the company for more information. Clear calls to action, easy navigation on websites, and limited-time offers can be effective in this stage.

The Sales Process Analogy

As business owners, we all want to get to the sale. However, the process takes time. Some describe this process another way: it’s a bit like going on a date. Before you even go on the date, you have to ask someone out. Before you ask someone out, they need to be aware of you and interested in you. Skipping the steps is just weird or creepy. We’re not here to give dating advice, but you can see how the analogy is quite helpful, right? You can’t skip the steps.

Timing Each Step

So how long do each of the steps take? This depends on various factors, including whether the prospect is in the market to buy. According to research, only 5% of B2B buyers are in the market for a new purchase at any given time. This is known as the 95-5 rule. Remaining top-of-mind is essential if you’re to be considered when the buyer is ready to make a purchase.

Awareness Stage: Top-of-Funnel (TOF)

In the awareness stage, the goal is to grab the buyer’s attention. As mentioned, this can be achieved through compelling advertising, eye-catching visuals, or intriguing messages. The trap you may fall into is thinking that compelling advertising or eye-catching visuals should be sales or product messages. However, if the buyer is not yet in the “buy” mindset, is this strategy going to work? Most likely not.

For businesses to succeed in creating awareness, you must ask what value you can provide now that makes the audience aware of you so that when they move into the “buy” mindset, they are already aware of you. This is where brand building and value-driven tactics come into play. Giving value creates awareness and builds trust. Trust is the currency you must have to trade and move along the process (or down the funnel).


In conclusion, converting prospects to new customers requires a strategic approach that respects the stages of the marketing funnel. If you’re stressing about not seeing more wins, remember not to skip the steps. By providing value, building trust, and guiding prospects through the AIDA process, you position your business to be top-of-mind when they are ready to buy. Patience and a strategic focus on each stage of the funnel will lead to more sustainable and successful customer conversions.

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