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In my continuous quest to improve my knowledge, I have started to read The Referal Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself from John Jantsch. I must say it is a very good book; I have not finished yet (when writing this article, I have just finished chapter 4). I want to share you some new knowledge about the new marketing.

Jantsch states that every customer (about referral stuff), has a life cycle divided into seven stages: know, like, trust, try, buy repeat and refer. He says that the Ideal Customer Lifecycle it is a tool to demonstrate the way a prospect becomes a customer, and how that customer becomes a referral source. I will talk a little about this.

Know

Know stage is the initial introduction to your company. The "You only get one chance to make a good impression" applies here. To archive this, it is essential that you have narrowly defined what is an ideal customer for your business; this way you can define a good speech.

In my opinion, the SEO applies here; Nowadays it is more than a nice-to-have to be correctly indexed in Google and other crawling  machines. Google WebMaster tool will allow you to be indexed in Google and it will let you know how are you found and under what keywords your website is indexed.

Like

Once a lead is aware of your company, they can and should lead to dig a little deeper. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Your logo, store design, uniform, trucks, do they invite prospects to move forward?
  • What message does your Web site send?
  • What happens when a prospect in this phase Googles you?
  • Are you sending educational messages and contacts via tools such as an online newsletter?

The tricky thing here is to be liked. Google defines this as a bounce-rate; it is a metric of percentage of visitors that click on your site and the go away in the next click (only one click inside your website). Tools like Google Analytics will allow you to understand the behaviour of your web visitor.

Trust

When a prospect is ready to learn more (this may be by agreeing to a face-to-face meeting or signing up to receive your bi-weekly newsletter) you are approaching the trust hurdle. Your marketing materials and sales presentation must be designed to communicate your core message of differentiation with complete clarity.

Ask yourself What kinds of educational opportunities, such as free reports, "how-to" checklist, and information-rich seminars can you offer?

Try

One of the bests ways to ensure that every customer relationship evolves into a referral relationship is to create a way for your customers to sample your business and, in turn, give your business the opportunity to sample the customer.

The use of trial offers, seminars, evaluations, guarantee, and any type of activity that provides a prospect with the ability to sample your products and services effectively before making what may be a costly purchase can make a customer much more comfortable and allow you to demonstrate how you work.

Buy

We get to sell the primary products and services! Check the following topics on your process:

  • how you fulfill the order,
  • how you deliver the order,
  • how you communicate throughout the process,
  • how you communicate after the project, and
  • how you ask to be paid for the work.

All these are all elements that determine whether you are referral-worthy or not in the eyes of your customer.

Repeat

The key factor in creating repeat sales, expanded products sales, and long-term loyalty is to make certain that your customers are getting the most value possible from your products and services.

When someone buys your product or services, commit to teaching them the proper way to get the most from it. I know this can be sometimes very exhausting, but there are ways to make a one-time effort such as videos written documentation.

Ask yourself:

  • Do you have a results review process?
  • Do you have a continuing education routine to point out advanced features or cross-sell other products and services?

Refer

Your customers are operating as a form of uncompensated sales staff! Even if referrals are flowing freely into your lead system now, find a way to recompensate and stimulate it.

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