Focus Your Marketing Efforts On These Customers
Sales reps know it's not how hard you sell; it's who you sell to. Many reps have probably received the advice to re-focus their efforts toward the customers most likely to buy. However, a fair amount of salespeople don't know how to prioritize sales leads or lead generation efforts. Instead, they focus on acquiring new customers, which is often expensive and time-consuming.
While there's plentiful research on why people buy and when, author and speaker Geoffrey James has ranked potential customers from most likely to buy to least likely to buy. We highlight James' guidance on where to focus your efforts in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.
1. Customer evangelists. This group considers your brand or product an essential part of who they are. Think about Apple or Tesla. Customers buy from you because not buying from you would be a denial of who they have declared themselves to be.
2. Satisfied customers. These individuals are generally happy with your product and find it useful. However, they're not nearly as committed to your company as evangelists. They trust you, which is why they'll buy from you in the future.
3. Former (but satisfied) customers. James says this group buys from you because they don't see a good reason to buy from somebody else. They remember your brand or product in a positive light but for one reason or another, they're no longer part of your customer base.
4. Your evangelists' peers. When others hear your evangelists singing your praises or see them wearing your logo, they can tell how happy evangelists are with your product or brand. Unless they think your evangelists are off the wall, they'll view you as a solid choice should they want something similar.
5. Unhappy customers. James says it's easy to think that unhappy customers are more difficult to sell than raw sales leaders, but this isn't the case. Of course, you must diagnose and fix the problem to their liking, but you receive a huge benefit. When you turn an unhappy customer into a happy customer, they often become an evangelist.
6. Your customers' peers. Although this type of customer is a big leap from the five types above, James says it's important because now you're in the realm of new customer acquisition. A CIO is more likely to consider buying from you if she knows other CIOs she respects have also purchased from you. Make sure you get testimonials to demonstrate what you offer.
7. Brand new customers. These individuals have potentially heard of your company or brand but don't know anybody who has purchased from you before. James says that to develop this type of customer, your marketing and sales materials must carry the entire burden of creating trust and the perception of value. This can be challenging, which is why it's often difficult to bootstrap a new business in a completely new industry.
To successfully land new clients, make sure you're focusing on the right groups. Use the guidance above when approaching your potential customers.
Source: Geoffrey James, a contributing editor for Inc.com, is an author and a professional speaker whose award-winning blog, Sales Source, appears daily on Inc.com.