How a Customer Journey Helps You to Convert More Leads

customer journey

Some business owners believe that one or two strategies will bring them all the customers they need. They think if they advertise in the right places, post in the right social media sites, or have a good enough website, the clients will come and stay.

What they often don’t realize is that this mindset is likely costing them thousands or even millions of dollars each year!

Your customers’ path from being oblivious to your business to becoming repeat clients who refer other clients to you is a journey, and if part of that journey is missing, neglected or interrupted, you could lose them forever.

Today, I’m going to reveal the stages of your customer journey, and explain how you can implement them in your business. George touched on this in an earlier blog on the customer sales process at the beginning of this year when he talked about how to get more business from your existing customers.  This entry focuses more on how the entire concept of the customer journey works and how you can use it for new clients.

Here’s the 7-stage customer journey that turns strangers into loyal clients and referral sources.  As a certified Duct Tape Marketing Consultant, I have adopted the customer journey concept from their methodology to use with BNI members.

Stage 1: Know

In this phase, you and your referral partners should communicate:

  1. Who your ideal client is.
  2. Who you are, and why potential clients should trust you.
  3. What problems you solve for your ideal client.
  4. What solutions you offer for their problems.

This is the time to show your potential client that you understand their challenges.

Posting educational materials online is a good way to show people that you know about their problems and can offer solutions, and it also gives your affiliates and referral partners something to share with their community, so they can recommend you in a way that’s valuable to their audience.

Stage 2: Like

In the second stage of the customer journey, you show people how you implement a uniquely valuable solution to your customers’ problems.

In this stage, you tell them about the “special sauce”, or unique way of doing things, that makes you different from your competition, and give them examples of how they’ll benefit from your specific approach.

Your referral partners should be equipped to tell potential referrals what makes you different, so they don’t find themselves fumbling when asked why their clients, friends or audience should choose you.

Stage 3: Trust

Now that your potential clients know you exist and are starting to like you, it’s time to show them that they can trust you with their hard-earned money.

Tools you can use to accomplish this include:

  • Testimonials from clients who have gotten great results with you.
  • Your referral partners’ personal experience with you.
  • Online reviews from satisfied customers on review sites. If you aren’t sure how to get reviews, read this article to get four useful review-gathering strategies.
  • Written and video reviews on your website.

Stage 4: Try

In the first three stages, you nurtured your relationship with your lead until they became ready to take a chance on you. Now, in the “try” stage of the customer journey, it’s time to take your relationship to the next level by getting them to purchase or sign up for your trial offer.

This “trial offer” is a one-time offer that’s small, simple, and easy to say “yes” to. In this offer, you demonstrate your ability to deliver on your promises, and you show how you welcome a new customer.

This offer should give tangible value to the customer, no matter how small it is, so they’ll be motivated to come back for more.

If you’re doing an affiliate launch, then after your affiliates have told their audience about the educational materials that make up your first few steps, they should include a final email or two about your “try” offer, in case there’s anyone in their audience who wasn’t interested in the educational items, but is ready to buy.

Stage 5: Buy

Now that they’ve stuck their toe in the water with your trial offer, it’s time to present your “cream offer”.

This is their first real, substantial purchase with you, and it’s the offer that leads to sustainable revenue for you.

Your “buy” offer should be a natural progression from your “try” offer. For example, if your first offer was shooting a single short video for your client’s home page, your second offer could be a video series or a longer video sales letter for their product launch.

Every stage of your customer journey should help your customers to understand why they need the stage after it, so be sure to always let your clients know what more is available to them and why they need it.

Stage 6: Repeat

Now that you’ve built a solid relationship with your clients, it’s time to make your “dream” offer. This is an upsell from your “cream” offer, and requires a much larger investment than the first two offers.

This is where you offer them the best product, package or service you have. To build on the earlier example, if your “try” and “buy” offers were a single homepage video and a video series for a launch, the “repeat” offer could be a full video launch, complete with strategy and implementation.

Stage 7: Refer

In the final stage of the customer journey, your clients refer their friends, family members, business partners and other contacts to your business.

When someone refers another person to you, it effectively compresses the first six steps into one. Because you were recommended by someone they trust, and that person educated them about you, clients who were referred will often skip the “know, like and trust” stages, and go straight to trying and buying.

In most cases, trial offer clients deliver trial offer referrals, “cream offer” clients deliver cream offer referrals, and “dream offer” clients deliver dream offer referrals.

This is one of the reasons why it’s important NOT to neglect your clients. Many companies work hard to get the client, and then once they have them, they squander all the “know, like and trust” they’ve built up by failing to deliver an experience that makes the client want to come back.

New clients are great, but the people who are the most likely to buy your high-end products are the ones who have already had great experiences with your company, so their satisfaction should be a high priority.

Once they’re satisfied with your product, make sure they have ways to refer people to you easily. This could include sample scripts and swipe copy they can use when discussing your business, and reviewing their progress with them so they have a clear “before and after” story they can share.

What do you need to know before you map your customer journey?

Now you know the seven stages your clients go through while they’re building a relationship with your business.

Before you start to map out how you’ll apply this knowledge to your business, there are a few things you need to know:

  1. Who your ideal client is. – For a detailed blog on how to do this see my blog entry on onCOREventures.
  2. What problems they have, KNOW they have, and care about deeply. Think in terms of the symptoms they’re aware of, not the root causes they don’t know about.
  3. What they know they desire. You know what your clients need, but they might not know that they need it, so phrase your marketing and sales conversations in terms of the things they know they desire. Sell them what they want, give them what they need.
  4. Why you’re in business. Is it to help people solve a problem or achieve a result? Because you love the work you do? For the money? To own your schedule and create your dream lifestyle? Whatever your goal is, make sure you shape your business plans around that.
  5. What kinds of obstacles could lead them to leave your business. If your site is hard to navigate, your landing page is uninteresting, or your sales staff is poorly trained, any one of those interactions could drive a potential customer away, so it’s important to identify places where you could lose leads.

The customer journey is complex and full of variables, but when yours is well crafted and fully optimized, your conversion rates and profit will in crease dramatically.

Want to get more referral partners, hot leads, and long-term clients?

Now you know how to convert more leads into clients, and why referrals are one of the best ways to get new customers.

Your next steps are to map out your customer journey, and to get more people to refer clients to your business.

If you want to get more referrals and leads, and to turn more of those leads into high-paying repeat clients, I invite you to join us in our next BNI meeting.

There, you’ll meet people who are eager to form referral relationships, and who are already connected to the clients who need you.  To find a BNI chapter to visit please visit this page.

Editors’s Note – This blog entry was created by – Frederick Geiger  BNI Area Director and owner of onCOREventures – a Pittsburgh based marketing coaching and consulting firm. Frederick has been using the customer journey and ideal client profiles in his work with his five BNI chapters in our region and we are using this material in our upcoming blog series on how small business owners can grow their businesses in our area using the BNI system and other compatible marketing techniques. – George Zacherl 

Image Credit – Adobe Stock

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  1. […] The customer journey is an intricate process that can sometimes be hard to predict, and most marketing strategies depend on you knowing how that customer journey works and how to optimize it. […]

  2. […] the previous two methods are important steps in the customers’ journey from being strangers to becoming loyal repeat clients who refer people to y…, they aren’t the whole […]

  3. […] important to know how to guide people through that journey to becoming loyal clients, and to devote time to learning about client attraction from people who have already created the […]

  4. […] when you’re recommended to them by someone they trust, you effectively skip the first several steps of the customer journey, and can go straight to making a […]

  5. […] important to understand the stages that your clients go through in the course of their customer journey, and to make it easy and tempting for them to move from each stage to the next. Every step in your […]

  6. […] Read this article to learn more about how to create a customer journey that attracts more leads, turns more of those leads into clients, and helps those clients to become high-paying repeat customers who send more business to you. […]

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