Do you think you know your customer? If so, and you’re so sure… Do you know his customer lifecycle?
Before you decide on selling anything to anyone, first, you need to get to know your customers well and specifically the stage in their cycle so you don’t waste time and effort in someone who are not willing to buy yet and to provide to them the best quality service you can achieve.
It is important to determine also what they often purchase and why they are purchasing. The understanding of the customer it is also known as customer comprehension. The better you understand their needs and the stage they are in, the easier it will be to sell them your products or services.
This is because the ultimate goal of your, and any business, is to sell something, create a profit and repeat. It is very easy to waste your money and your efforts on marketing if you don’t have fully understanding of your audience. The greatest mistake I’ve seen is supposing and guessing what they want instead of really knowing what they are looking for.
So, to help you in this quest, let’s check what the customer lifecycle is.
What Is The Customer Lifecycle ?
It is a process, a series of steps your customer takes between the time they learn of a product or service and the time they actually make the purchase.
Why do the customer take those steps? Basically for these reasons:
- They rarely buy on their first contact to a product.
- They usually takes 7 times (as an average) before they actually buy (visit the product, ask for referrals, look for information on Internet, look for prices on Amazon or other well known stores, etc.)
- They don’t but from people they don’t trust.
- They expect something that will improve their actual situation in exchange of money.
- With Internet, they have access to lots of informations of the product and their competition.
You will like to catch people later in the buying process instead of walking them through all points of contact.
There are some theories and lifecycles you can find on Internet, but the simplest one you can find is this one:
Basically, there are three steps we are about to explain and you need to be aware of. These define how close are prospects to be your customers.
People are changing and now, they love to learn everything they can before they buy. But be careful! they may not be aware of a particular product yet, they are just hungry for information on a topic. The most popular way they learn now is Internet but they also consider very seriously, recommendations and referrals from friends and people they trust.
If you are willing to help (and you should) people at this stage, provide them with detail and honest information about your services, do not try to close but help them and guide them. If you are driving an online business, try subscribe them to your mailing list or get them following you via your social channels.
At this point, some people have already made up their mind about the product they are going to buy and they start to feel anxious and they want it now! Most of them will go through this fase researching specific products or services.
Here at this point, you can help them with reviews or personalized opinions about some products. These could be reviews of good or bad products, be honest, and you will gain their trust.
This is the best phase to capture your future customers. They now everything they have to know about the product and they made a decision. This is the profitable phase to us. Remember you will not earn anything unless you sell, unless your customer take action.
Don’t try to detour them from their actual decision or you will lose them.
You should point people in the direction of your product and you will close many sales.