Did you know that making a sale is just the beginning of your relationship with a client or customer? This comes as a surprise to many business owners as they believe making the sale means the successful conclusion of a marketing plan and customer service experience. Unfortunately, if you stop providing service and value after you make a sale, you’ll lose out on repeat business and the most valuable thing you can turn a customer into: an advocate of your company. To do this, you need to first create avatars for your ideal customers or clients and then lead them along the customer journey. Here’s what that looks like.
Stage 1: Generate awareness
To attract new customers, you need to get in front of them and introduce them to your business and what you can do for them. This is where a good marketing plan comes into play. If you’ve created avatars, you’ll know where your prospects hang out (either on line or in person) and can get in front of them physically or with online ads or content. This is your chance to show off your brand and establish how your services or products can address the pain points of your target market.
Stage 2: Drive engagement
Now that you’ve attracted the attention of your target market, you need to give them valuable content they want to engage with. Usually, driving engagement means writing (non salesy) blog posts, creating podcasts, or posting online videos your target market will find useful or educational. Remember, use the concepts of Engagement Equity to EARN THE RIGHT to ask your prospects for their business down the road. Now is NOT the time to sell to them.
Stage 3: Build followers
Once you’ve gotten your target market to engage with you (either in person or online), it’s time to get them to take the next step and follow or subscribe to your content. This could mean asking for an email address or encouraging them to follow your social media profiles. In a sense, they are giving you permission to start a conversation with them. That conversation at this point should not be about them buying from you. It should continue to focus on giving them value.
Stage 4: Increase conversions
At this point, you’ve earned the right to ask for something from your prospects. More than likely, this will not be a big ask, but something entry-level. It might not even involve payment. A small ask would be to give you a few minutes to tell them more about your products or services (in person or via a video or other piece of content) or to purchase something relatively inexpensive (a trial or a sample of a product, for example). The goal in this stage is to elevate the level of connection between your prospect and your company.
Stage 5: Build excitement
In stage five, you need to encourage your prospect to use whatever it is they bought from you (or the time they invested with you) in stage 4. Maybe this means using the trial software or filling out a questionnaire you gave them during your meeting. The goal is to ensure they have received value from you so they’re excited to take the next step.
Stage 6: Make the core offer
If you’ve successfully taken a prospect to stage six, they have already received value from you and demonstrated their willingness to work with you by making a small commitment of time or money. Now it’s time to sell them a more complex or expensive product or service. In some cases, this might be your main product or service (if it’s not too expensive). In other cases, you may have to ramp up to the big sale by offering them increasingly larger (or more expensive) products or services in a ladder-like fashion. In this stage, also known as ‘ascend’, your prospects have become repeat customers or clients, are loyal to your company, and are on their way to becoming brand advocates.
Step 7: Develop brand advocates
Once your clients or customers have experienced success with your product or service, they will give testimonials and reviews about how happy they are. This is vital for your ongoing marketing and prospecting as it will reassure others that they will also experience success if they hire or buy from you. To encourage your advocates, continue to give them value by delivering on the promises you made them and by continuing to educate them and being available as a resource.
Step 8: Grow brand promoters
You may think that brand advocates are at the pinnacle of your best customers…but you’d be wrong! The holy grail of customers (and the apex of the customer journey) is brand promoters. These are basically customers who are selling your products or services for you or recruiting new customers. The best part? They’re doing it without getting paid and solely because they believe in what you do. If you’ve done all of the previous seven steps correctly, you’re well on your way to creating a group of brand promoters who will take your business to the next level.
Do you need help creating avatars or developing a customer journey for your target market? The team at Pixel Fire would love to help you. Reach out today for a free consultation.