The Value in a "Slow Action" Audience 🐢


Hello Reader,

In business spaces, there's a lot of talk about urgency, speed, and getting people to take fast action.

And of course, there's value in being able to prompt folks to make a move (assuming we're not talking manipulation and false urgency here). However, we don't talk enough about the value in ALSO speaking to people who are inclined—either by nature or the system they're working within—to take a slower path to decision-making.

Let's dive into some of the reasons that leads may not take immediate action:

  1. They're planners (I fall into this bucket). These folks will intentionally plan far in advance for what they need and spend time in information gathering mode, and are usually okay if the cost goes up in the interim.
  2. They are working within a complex system, which requires buy-in from others. Perhaps it's their team, a board, a silent partner, a grant-maker, or an investor. Sometimes it isn't super obvious from the outside that this is the situation, for a variety of reasons. Consultants will know exactly what I'm talking about here!
  3. They are of the "measure twice, cut once" school of thought. These are people who will research and make sure they fully understand their problem and potential solutions prior to making a decision. They also tend to be more inclined to purchase an entry-level "test" experience or product before committing to something larger.

Unfortunately, many small businesses aren't set up to support a pipeline of these kinds of people. (I blame a lot of it on the technology we use to manage our businesses: leads are binary warm or cold etc. The other piece of the blame likely lies in hustle culture nonsense, but I won't get on my soapbox today.)

I love slow action takers—which feels like an increasingly controversial opinion these days. Here's why:

  1. They typically are really, really certain when they make a decision. There's a confidence in the move they're making that's unique.
  2. They are often a bit more knowledgeable not only in the general subject area, but on my specific methods and thinking (because they've been in my ecosystem awhile)—it feels like we have a head start when we work together.
  3. They rarely are coming to the table from a place of stress. While this sounds like a small thing, I always notice that there's a distinct "this is the right time" element of the working relationship.

It's also useful having slower movers in your pipeline because it smoothes out the ups and downs of the seasons.

I personally have countless stories of folks who've been in my marketing ecosystem for months or even years who reach out to work with me completely out of the blue. It happens so often that I can count on it to be a significant percentage of my client base. This gives you breathing room when the pace of marketing and life don't sync up.

It's also useful to build relationships with these folks because they may love what you have to say, but they aren't a fit for what you currently offer. But, in the future they may grow into it—or you may. (I have a whole story about the second scenario from this year!)

Wouldn't it be great to have someone say, "I've been waiting for you to offer something like this for two years"?

The challenge here is in committing to building a relationship with that audience—it's a different technique than the traditional "nurture" concept, which is still a relatively short process.

This is what mine looks like:

My evergreen sequence (which takes the form of my Tuesday emails) is now 27 emails/weeks long—over half a year (all repurposed content, by the way). It's important, foundational information and I frequently get replies to them with notes like "How did you know this is what I needed to hear?" And that's absolutely by design. I know that audience well enough (from listening to them) that I know what they need to know to make good decisions.

I also know, thanks to being committed to meaningful data collection, that more so than my lovely fast action takers, they tend to want a "bridge" offer to ensure the marketing and the delivery are syncing up. In my case, most will book an hour long consulting session or even purchase a course. They may have had a poor experience previously or are careful in guarding their time and want to know they're not going to waste weeks or months on a poor fit. I see this pattern play out in loads of other businesses as well: attorneys, financial planners, consultants—you get the picture.

As I often say, we're meeting people where they're at, not where we want them to be.

Does this mean that I'm saying you have to include slower movers in your marketing strategy?

Absolutely not.

You do what's right for you in the season you're in.

However, if you find you have a lot of them in your audience AND you decide that you want to build a relationship with them, there's a path to do just that.

Until next time,

Sarah

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Hi! I'm Sarah Moon!

The status quo of modern marketing isn't designed for you and me.The hard truth is that most marketing strategies are designed for massive corporations, while small businesses, consultants, coaches, and other experts are left feeling that the advice they’re given just doesn’t fit—and they’re right. We have two choices: we can struggle to force our businesses into an ill-fitting mold, or we can reinvent a system that works for us and allows us to thrive. I don’t know about you, I prefer door number two. 💌 Reach our team at hello@smco.studio. 🌟 Ready to work together? https://sarahmoon.net/get-started

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