Using Self-Assessments to Prime Your Prospects
by Adele Sommers
Are you wondering how to grab your prospects’ attention in this incredibly distracting world of round-the-clock, instant status updating? If so, you’re in good company! Nearly every marketer I encounter admits facing the same challenge.
While video messaging bombards us from all sides, social media platforms are busy “training” us to respond to ever-evolving inducements to improve our online ranking, visibility, and popularity; post more this or that; and tweak something else. So what that means is everyone ends up doing fairly similar things. We see masses of people using trendy techniques and cookie-cutter tactics, without ever stopping to consider what would make their offers stand out more effectively in their online environment.
I started thinking, Why should our prospects ever pay close attention to us?
It seems their natural curiosity and normal attention spans are being increasingly co-opted by influences beyond our control. Yet we can’t stop or reverse this trend simply by layering on more e-marketing tricks.
It’s caused me to wonder: Just what can we do to regain that essential engagement with our customers, prospects, and clients? Is there a way to break through their relentless distractions, and entice them to focus again on what we create?
I think the answer is yes, by holding up a mirror.
A mirror helps your prospects pause, reflect, and see themselves in a new light. If you can offer this gift in a novel and surprising way, you’ve won half the battle!
That battle entails gaining your audience’s awareness and shifting it to something you explain, teach, or sell. Ideally, what you produce empowers people to either fulfill a goal or aspiration or solve a painful problem. Whenever you can help prospects in this way, you’re achieving exactly what the ideal marketing process is designed to do!
For that reason, you’ll want to consider how...
Self-Assessments Help Your Prospects Focus on Themselves
Who among us isn’t curious about something that caters to our own self interests? That’s why it’s so attention-grabbing to invite a prospect to learn more about herself. Whatever causes a person to reflect on her own situation has an intrinsic advantage over the many bright, shiny objects that don’t.
A self-assessment questionnaire is an ideal tool for this purpose. In its simplest format, it’s straightforward to create. And once it’s complete, you can link it to any relevant section of your e-book, blog, Facebook page, or training program.
Please understand that I’m not referring to marketing or opinion surveys that probe our views on various topics as they collect data for anonymous statistical purposes.
In contrast, self-assessments are much more personal. They help people look inward and introspect about themselves or perhaps their organizations. They also provide feedback, such as by explaining how to interpret the survey’s final score. When you design your assessments, you’ll likewise want to give your respondents a way to decode their results.
Remember the self-improvement polls that used to appear in print magazines (and probably still do)? They intrigued us with headlines like, “Do You Get Enough Sleep at Night? Answer These 12 Questions to Find Out!”
At the end, you tallied your score and then deciphered your results by following the basic instructions (for example, “If you answered ‘yes’ to at least 7 questions, it means...” ).
The headline, the implied promise, and the simple, accessible format were what made self-improvement polls so enticing. They offered instant insight into burning issues — even if we weren’t aware of having those issues before we encountered the poll!
Self-assessments not only serve to hold up a mirror to your prospects...
Assessments Open the Door to “Next Steps” Your Prospects Can Take
For example, your prospect’s survey results could include advice and links to one or more of your related resources, such as tips, articles, publications, webinars, or tutorials. Your goal is to help your prospects advance to the next level compared to where they are today, based on their responses.
The image below illustrates a few examples of the next steps and learning tools you can create over time to continue building the relationship with your prospects. You might consider this process a way to develop a lifelong learning curriculum for your audiences to consume.
[Click the image to open a more complete version.]
Below are just two of many approaches you could take...
Assessment Idea #1: Create a Simple Web-based Survey
You can create your own online questionnaire using a no-cost (or low-cost) survey program such as SurveyMonkey or eSurveysPro (both have *free* account options).
Benefits: It’s an inexpensive way to produce a thought-provoking poll and link it to a publication, blog, or other online platform.
Caveats: Most low-end survey tools don’t calculate and display scores to individual survey-takers, or have a way to present instant, customized feedback. So, the ability to personalize the survey itself doesn’t apply. But you could provide some basic self-scoring instructions that tell your prospects which next steps to take based on their responses.
Assessment Idea #2: Use a Multimedia-Based Quiz Engine
You can design (or have another party design and/or develop for you) a distinctive, interactive questionnaire using an advanced, multimedia-based quiz engine. A quiz engine is the type of program used to develop online-learning “knowledge checks.” But rather than generating a traditional test, it’s the basis for your self-assessment.
Benefits: A quiz engine makes it possible to immediately calculate and display total scores, and also provide customized feedback. With the ability to include multimedia, the possibilities are endless for producing an imaginative and highly engaging experience with the potential to go viral.
Plus, the advice your assessment generates can easily link to your next steps and related offers. (Here’s a whimsical space-themed example. Flash is required to view the video and report.)
Caveats: You’ll want to request an estimate and allocate a budget for this approach, based on its potential benefits to your marketing campaigns.
With a little imagination, you can design innovative self-assessments paired with next steps and
follow-up resources to dramatically capture your audience’s attention. Based on their survey results, you’d invite them to sample your related courseware, publications, products, services, or whatever else you produce!
Copyright 2020 Adele Sommers