Do you spend a lot of time, energy and money generating interest in your business and are not always happy with the return you are getting for the all that effort?
Have you ever asked yourself any of the following questions?
- Why aren’t more people interested in my business?
- Why aren’t they buying from me?
- Why don’t my customers buy from me again or tell their friends?
If you find yourself asking any of the above questions, it’s probably because your sales process is broken, creating holes in your business that leads to:
- Lost traffic
- Lost leads; and
- Lost customers
The majority of the people that come to your website are not ready to purchase.
Therefore, you need to have some mechanism in place that allows you to capture their details so that you can communicate with them over time until they are ready to purchase.
If you don’t capture the details of your website visitors, then they become lost traffic.
Quite often when businesses capture leads they label leads as either hot leads (those that are ready to buy today) or bad leads (those that are not). What this doesn’t take into account is that on average it takes at least seven contacts (but in a lot of cases much more) with a business before people feel ready to do business with you.
Even if your sales cycle is usually quite quick, for some people their personal circumstances may dictate that they are unable to purchase within the “usual” timeframe. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they will never purchase.
However, most businesses give up after a couple of contacts, rather than nurturing those leads until they are ready to purchase.
Labelling those leads that don’t purchase initially as “bad leads” and throwing them out by ceasing contact with them results in lost leads.
Most customers that leave your business do so as a result of indifference. This is usually because you have not done a good enough job in wowing that customer.
In addition to that, most businesses are also losing customers because they are not doing a good job with upsells or gaining referrals.
It is so much cheaper to sell to an existing customer or gain a referral than it is to go back and try to find a brand new prospect that has no awareness of your business at all.
Not having systems in place that allows you to upsell and gain referrals results in lost customers.
If people aren’t interested in your business, they aren’t buying from you or they aren’t telling their friends about you, then you need to start using lifecycle marketing in your business.
Lifecycle marketing is a high level framework for the way that you think about marketing in your business and it consists of the following three phases:
- Collect Leads
- Convert Clients
- Create Fans
Within each of the three phases are three stages.
You must have a strategy in place that allows your business to get noticed in a noisy world.
The three stages of the “Collect Leads” phase are:
- Target – It is important that you narrow down your focus and target your customers because if you try to sell to everyone, you will sell to no one.
- Attract – Find out where your customers are, be there and then start engaging with them in an authentic, helpful and personable way. Get noticed and spark their interest by being truly useful and providing value to them. You need to create content and opt-ins that attract the interest of your ideal customers and compel them to follow you online and/or provide you with contact details so that you can engage with over time, moving them closer to the point of purchasing.
- Capture – Offer valuable information, insights or tips in exchange for contact information and capture those details in a single database that allows you to follow up.
You must have a strategy in place that makes your products and/or services the obvious choice when they’re ready to buy.
The three stages of the “Convert Clients” phase are:
- Engage – Connect with your potential customers and provide value by engaging with them in a meaningful way, including educating them on topics they care about that helps move them closer to the point of purchase, without being an obvious sales pitch. You can do this by creating and sharing educational content via your website, blog, social media platforms and email marketing.
- Offer – Once you have educated your leads and you have determined that they are ready to buy, it’s time to out the most appropriate offer in front of them. You want to present the right offers to the right people at the right time. To determine when to provide an offer you have to understand your target customer’s buying process. The best way to do this is to observe past customers actions and create a buying process map using past customer purchase behaviours. Then, match your sales process to their buying process.
- Close – Closing the sale isn’t just an exchange of money. It’s about excellence in delivery, great communication and establishing a lasting relationship. The close of the deal is really the ‘start’ of the client/customer relationship.
If you are not differentiating your business on prices (which is never a great longterm approach), then you must have a strategy in place that differentiates your business based on value. The best way to do this is by delivering a consistent ‘wow’ experience to your customers each time you interact with them.
The three stages of the “Create Fans” phase are:
- Deliver – To ensure you deliver on expectations, you need to design a systematic process that ensures that you deliver your product/service to a consistent high standard to all your clients.
- Impress – It’s super important that you don’t just deliver. You need to design ways to intentionally deliver unexpected and delightful experiences to customers that make them go ‘WOW’! Go above and beyond your customer’s expectation to differentiate your business from your competitors and earn customer loyalty. This doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Get creative!
- Multiply – Once you’ve delivered an exceptional customer experience, your customers become your best method for multiplying future income. You can achieve this by getting them to buy more, buy again, or tell others. Happy customers are more receptive to an upsell, cross sell or the offer of new products. But best of all, they can become advocates for your business, doing your marketing for you by providing testimonials, ratings, reviews and referrals. The best way to achieve this is to ask! You need to create deliberate ways to invite, capture, and promote advocacy, testimonials, and referrals (check out A complete guide to Customer Video Testimonials). Consider establishing a referral program that is simple for your customers to participate in that offers rewards. You can also be strategic in who you approach for referrals. Using tools like Net Promoter Score (NPS) can assist you in ensuring that you only ask for referrals from those that are likely to promote you business.
Lifecycle Marketing In Action
Creating a sales and marketing strategy for your small business can be daunting.
The Lifecycle Marketing model provides a simple framework you can use to attract customers, grow sales and deliver a wowing customer experience. I explain in more details the concept of Lifecycle Marketing and how it can help improve the profitability of your business in the Lifecycle Marketing Automation episode of Business Addicts The Podcast.
The beauty of Lifecycle Marketing is the simplicity of the model, which can be applied any small business regardless of industry or business model. When put into action in conjunction with automation tools like Keap, Lifecycle Marketing will help you grow your business AND give you more time to focus on the things you love.
Lifecycle marketing is a SYSTEMATIC APPROACH to sales and marketing that new or established businesses can use to ORGANISE, DESIGN & MEASURE your marketing and sales pipeline and the customer journeys within it, so that you can CREATE PREDICTABLE RESULTS and growth for your business
We use the Lifecycle Marketing framework as a tool to audit the effectiveness of your digital marketing. As part of the Click Engage Convert Academy we step you through this process, providing even more detail and support so that you can easily identify any potential leaks and opportunities for your business so that you can increase your return on investment for your digital marketing efforts.