TSS #013: Mastering Market Awareness: A Guide for New L&D Consultants

Sep 30, 2023

Read time: 3 minutes

Navigating the realm of Learning and Development (L&D) consulting is an art of alignment – aligning your services precisely with the unspoken needs of your clients.

However, a fundamental challenge arises:

How can you meet these needs if your potential clients aren't even aware of the issues they face?

This is where the art of mastering market awareness takes center stage.

Grasping the depth of your audience's awareness is the linchpin to presenting your offerings in a way that truly connects.

Today, we're about to unravel the profound concept of market awareness, originally introduced by Eugene Schwartz.

Let's unravel its mysteries and discover how it can illuminate your path:

The Five Stages of Market Awareness

Market awareness can be broken down into five distinct stages, each representing your potential client's level of awareness about their problem and potential solutions.

Understanding these stages is pivotal to tailoring your approach effectively:

1. Unaware

At this stage, your prospective clients are blissfully unaware of any problems or needs they might have. They may not even acknowledge the existence of an issue. Selling to them here is akin to trying to sell snow to Eskimos – an exercise in futility.

2. Problem Aware

In this stage, your clients have identified a problem or need but are not yet aware of specific solutions. They recognize the pain point but haven't ventured into seeking remedies.

3. Solution Aware

Clients here acknowledge that a solution exists for their problem, but they are not familiar with the specific products or services that could address it.

4. Product/Service Aware

Now, your clients are aware of your services's existence, but they lack a deep understanding of what it does or how effectively it solves their problem.

5. Most Aware

These clients are at the zenith of awareness. They know what your service does but have not made the purchase decision yet.

Tailoring Your Approach

The key to success as an L&D consultant is matching your marketing and sales strategies to your target audience's awareness level.

Here are two strategies to consider:

Strategy 1: Lead with the Ultimate Result

Begin your outreach by presenting the ultimate benefit of your service.

For example, "We'll reduce churn for your Healthcare SaaS by 50% in the next 12 months or less."

This way, even if your clients are unaware of their problem, they'll be intrigued.

Follow up with an educational approach during your conversation, highlighting the potential they're missing out on by not optimizing their processes and showcasing why you're the best solution.

Strategy 2: The Educational Approach

Open with a statement that grabs their attention, such as, "Hey John, if you're not streamlining customer education processes, you're probably missing out on $100,000-$300,000 in extra profit you could be generating. Would you be interested in seeing how?"

Here, your initial focus is on logically proving your claim.

Once you've established this, proceed to sell your service.

Adapting to Market Specifics

Remember that market awareness levels can vary, even within the same industry.

Your success hinges on understanding your niche.

In our case, selling e-learning scenarios to organizations, it's crucial to gauge their awareness of the potential and whether they measure e-learning engagement or effectiveness.

Consider the market's background, location, and familiarity with current e-learning practices.

Tailor your outreach messages and offers accordingly. What works in one location may not be effective in another.

The Power of Positive Feedback Loops

(Screenshot above showcases an oversimplified version of the feedback loop)

Harness the concept of positive feedback loops in your consultancy.

Engage with your market, seek feedback, and use it to refine your services.

When your offer aligns with your niche's awareness level, it resonates better and offers more value.

By following these principles of Market Awareness and using positive feedback loops, you'll no longer be seen as a commodity.

You'll command higher prices, find sales calls easier, work with better clients, and ultimately, have a more rewarding experience running your consulting service.

Embrace it, adapt to your audience, and watch your consultancy flourish.

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