Over the last few weeks, we’ve been talking about the Client Journey. To wrap up, I want to put everything we’ve learned together in one place–and make sure you have a tool to help you remember long-term. Because forgetting that working with clients is a journey, and that they’re all in different places in their relationship with your business, isn’t the way to create Lifelong Clients.
Because each of those steps along the way requires a different approach.
To secure the kind of client you want–the Lifelong Client–there are five steps on the path: Suspect, Prospect, Customer, Client and, finally, Lifelong Client. If you take stock of your most successful clients, you’ll probably see when and how they moved through this progression with you–even if it was accidental. Just think how much more successful you could be if you actually set out to build this relationship with each and every buyer.
Step One: The Suspect
This is the first stage of the client relationship. The Suspect is a shopper who may be able to use your products and services.
Step Two: The Prospect
A Prospect is simply a Suspect who wants more information from you. They are interested in what you have to share, and they want to hear from you.
Step Three: The Customer
The Prospect makes the all-important shift to Customer only when he or she has actually purchased from you.
Step Four: The Client
A Customer becomes a Client when they buy from you more than once.
Step Five: The Lifelong Client
Finally, when a client has consistently done business with you and also refers new business, they become that most valuable of relationships, the Lifelong Client.
This is The Client Journey. Seems simple enough, right? But if you don’t know how–or why–people go through the process from Suspect to Lifelong Client, you’re missing out on opportunity. So right now, stop and think about how you interact with your target audience. Are you forming a base relationship when you’re first approached and building step-by-step from there? And, yes, how you initially interact with someone who wants to buy from you is very similar to dating! You have to nurture the relationship and move at the right pace if you are to be successful.
Recognizing when and why these relationship shifts happen gives you a much deeper and better understanding of your buyers. Since I want you to remember the Client Journey, and act on it, I’ve created a handy infographic that outlines the steps. Download it here, and good luck on your Client Journey!
Get off your duff!
image credit: Bigstock/orcearo