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CopyBlogger recently posted an incisive blog about The Desperate Three Percent.

The core concept is relatively simple. Taking data from Chet Holmes’ The Ultimate Sales Machine, author Sonia Simone states that the reason SEO and PPC marketing continues to ratchet up in competitiveness is because we’re all fighting for the “The Desperate Three Percent”—the top-tier potential clients that are ready to buy now.

I don’t want to summarize the entire article (just go read it instead), but the crux of Sonia’s argument is that the vast majority of any business’s future sales are more than likely people not in the Desperate Three.

” . . . about 7 percent of any given market is receptive to the idea of buying, even if they aren’t actively looking. Given the right offer, they could be talked into it. We could call these our Not-So-Desperate buyers . . .

Another 30-ish percent will buy one of these days, but it’s not on their radar right now. Call them the Not Yets.”

So what does this mean for B2B sales and marketing teams?

For one (shameless plug), it seems to indicate what we’ve been espousing at InsideSales.com for a long time, which is that an innovative lead management solution and a drip marketing workflow suite are pretty much mandatory equipment for companies that are serious about their Internet marketing. Maximizing the potential of every inquiry is simply good business.

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But more than that, this article re-emphasized to me the challenge of identifying the Not-So-Desperate, or the Not Yets in the first place.

The Desperate Three Percent are usually easy to identify—they’re the ones standing in the street shouting, “I’m not going to take it anymore!”

But how do we identify and target the Not-So-Desperate, and how do we “start the fire” that pushes them to buy?

Compelling SEO and social media content, word-of-mouth, and mass media marketing are the obvious answers, but what else has worked for you?

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I’m curious to hear what our readers think.

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