SMALL BUSINESS STRATEGIES

4 Ways to Shorten the Buyer’s Journey and Create a New Customer

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By Jamie Davidson · August 30, 2016

The sooner a prospect becomes a customer, the better. And the longer that customer stays with your company, the better. What can you do to shorten the buyer’s journey, increase customer satisfaction, extend retention and ultimately boost revenue?

The buyer’s journey typically consists of the Awareness, Consideration, and Decision stages. Marketing, sales, and customer service each have a role in these three stages, but they share the same goal: increase conversion and retention.

Being There For the Buyer Along Their Journey

To boost sales and long-term satisfaction, consider these 4 tips for sealing the deal, and satisfying customers better and for longer than your competitors.

Email isn’t enough

Even if we know this fact to be true, it’s hard to break out of our reliance on email for instant communication. When you go out of your way to use a phone call, an online meeting or schedule an in-person get together your prospect will notice and appreciate the effort. Offering to come by their office or buy them a coffee can go a long way.

Schedule regular conference calls, video chats, screen sharing demos and training. And take the initiative plan in-person meetings. This shows your prospects that you’re willing to put in the time to get to know them and help solve their problems.

Educate your customer

If you’re a content marketer you know that the more information a prospect has, the more likely they will be to inquire or try your product.

Don’t let your content creation slide. Develop and share success stories, case studies, video tutorials, sales outreach and more if it can help a potential customer understand how your product or service solves their problem.

Customize material for each of your target audience. And highlight sections that will be useful to them specifically. That way, they have the answers in their inbox or bookmarked in their browser ready to be perused at their leisure.

Keep them posted on new content in a helpful, education-focused way. Call or send content that they could be interested in. And ask for any feedback, or follow up on the material. This way you encourage a two-way conversation. Suggest they opt-in for a newsletter to keep up on product announcements and webinars.

Respect your prospect

A key element in a positive sales relationship is respect. To foster a mutually-beneficial relationship remember to:

  • Follow their lead
  • Listen to what they say
  • Believe them

Every conversation should feel authentic and two-sided. When they say they need a month to decide, listen and believe your customer. Send genuine follow-ups. Remind them of their timeline. Don’t overdo it at the risk of losing the sale completely. Practice empathy. Put yourself in their shoes and do what you can assuage their concerns in a reasonable way.

A customer’s behaviors and comments can reveal a great deal about his or her needs. However, it takes strong customer empathy and engagement in order to capture and act on that intelligence.” -Ambalika Sudan, Salesforce IQ

Give them what they need when they need it

Timing is everything. Each communication should be thoughtful and well-timed based on where the prospect is in the buyer’s journey. Different buyers have a different motivation for seeking out your business. Therefore, they need specific messaging targeted to their needs.

Maybe one buyer needs a comprehensive product guide two weeks into their buying decision. However, another could really use an online sales demo to close the deal. Again, listen to their needs and build a custom program. Anticipate their journey based on past customers’ actions and feedback.

Don’t forget analytics and measurement to prove out your marketing efforts. As Jennifer Polk explains on LinkedIn, “Customer journey analytics can reveal patterns in audience behavior that show which channels and tactics are most likely to drive the desired outcome. Marketers can combine this insight with testing to determine which sequence is most effective for a given customer segment, buyer persona or scenario.”

Are you ready to fine-tune your marketing mix based on your buyer’s journeys? When you provide extra care, attention, and a personal touch, your customers will respond, refer, and return to you again. Educate and support your prospects in thoughtful ways and you’ll be building more business in no time!

Let us know how you’ve developed marketing materials based on buyer’s journeys at Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

SMALL BUSINESS STRATEGIES

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