If you want to have a long-term relationship with your clients, you will need to understand the journey they take from the moment they come into contact with your business. Brace yourself, this journey might not be as straightforward as you had imagined so you should keep an open mind and get a handle on the process your leads go through when they encounter your business.
Whether a lead found out about you through your marketing, referrals, a search or social media, it is helpful to be prepared beforehand for the journey they will take so you can take control of the process.
Your clients’ problem led them to you, so you really need to learn as much as you can about this problem if you want them to take the next step with you. First, put yourself in their shoes so you can meet them where they are.
Analyzing the Process
Your client should be at the center of everything you do. You might be tempted to be focused on your priorities and you might make assumptions about how to get clients to help meet your business objectives. Resist that temptation.
Think carefully about every experience or interaction with you they will have during their journey. Are you using every opportunity to show them you can solve their problem?
Take some time to reflect on any roadblocks you encountered with clients in the past. You need to look back to decide how you will move forward with improvements to your process. Look at your process through your client’s eyes and you’ll be surprised what you’ll discover.
Visualize every step in the process, write or draw it out if you need to. When you stop to define each step you will be able to identify points where the process doesn’t advance smoothly or you’ve missed some additional steps that would be helpful. You might even find ways to make the process more efficient.
A Real-Life Example of Solving the Problem
One example of the importance of understanding your client journey comes from my business. I work mainly with coaches and consultants. Their biggest problem is getting leads. However, my expertise is in the implementation of automation in their business.
Normally, they’re not ready to automate their business until they start having leads and clients. Clearly, the first step in my buyers’ journey is helping them get leads using social media, mainly LinkedIn.
Once I help them solve that problem and they get some leads, they trust me and I can help them with implementing automation in their business.
The Benefits of Perfecting the Process
The last thing you want is to alienate prospects and clients at any stage. Thinking through their journey helps you to identify what’s needed to motivate them to complete a purchase. You gain valuable insight into what is, and isn’t, working well for them. When you improve the process, you give your clients the best possible chance of achieving their goals. And who doesn’t want their clients to succeed?
You need a seamless process that addresses clients’ needs at different stages in the buying funnel, a process that is based on an efficient and effective sales cycle. When you fully understand your clients’ journey, you can position yourself to deliver on their expectations. Remember, satisfied clients are likely to make other purchases and become loyal customers.