Branding Matters

By Tanya Salcido

Branding Matters

The Seven Stages of Client Engagement, Part 2

Here we are in the last post of my blog series on creating the ultimate client experience in 2012, and I think you’re going to find it especially enlightening and helpful for building your business. Before reading on, if you happened to miss the other posts and you’d like to get caught up on my exploration with  marketing strategist Kelly Weppler Hernandez of Weppler, Hernandez & Associates of the Marketing Hourglass™ and the seven stages of the buying cycle, just click here and here.

Now that we’ve talked about the first four stages of the sales cycle, we’re ready to take a look at the last three.

  1. Know
  2. Like
  3. Trust
  4. Try
  5. Buy
  6. Repeat
  7. Refer

Congratulations! You’ve moved someone into the Buy phase of the sales cycle; a prospect has become a client. To continue to build on that ultimate client experience when they first come on board, Kelly recommends wowing new clients with a new client kit that sets the expectations of what’s going to happen in this new-found relationship of yours. Convey to them:

- What they need to deliver to you
– What and when you’re going to deliver to them
– When payments are due
– A list of any alternate contacts within your company

Most importantly, make them feel wanted and valuable and thank them for coming on board and entering your world.

Once a client buys from you, you want them to Repeat that purchase. But, we’ve all been in that dreaded situation where you do a project for someone or sell them something and then they just go away. You end up feeling like someone who went on an amazing first date and never hears from that potential suitor ever again. “What went wrong?” you ask. Kelly explains that you have to look for opportunities to up-sell or cross-sell your clients while they’re still engaged. Don’t wait until the project is over to let your clients know that this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Finally, you reach the seventh stage of the buying cycle – Refer. Kelly points out that this is one part of the cycle that businesses often forget about and, although it’s the last stage in the cycle, the seeds for it should be planted long before you reach project completion. She suggests making referrals part of your sales process and telling clients upfront, ‘If you’re happy with me, part of doing business with me is telling other people about me.’ So, when is the best time to ask for that referral? Kelly recommends asking for the referral just after you’ve delivered to the client and they’re happy with your work, and she points out that most people are happy to give referrals, they just never get asked for one. So, start asking!

And there you have it – the ultimate client experience is complete. So, get out there and start creating memorable experiences for your prospects and clients!

What have you done or what are you planning to do to create the ultimate client experience? Please leave your comments below and connect with me for further conversation on LinkedIn. You can also catch more marketing and branding updates on my blog.

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