Just like product trends come and go, customers have life cycles too. Website visitors opt-in to your list to get your whitepaper or free video and somewhere along the line convert to paying customers. When you stop providing them with what they need or their needs change to require services you don’t offer, the customer goes elsewhere thereby ending their customer life cycle with you.
The customer life cycle can be as short as 10 minutes (buying bad food at a restaurant and vowing never to return, for example) or you could earn loyal customers over time, devoted to buying from you for the next ten years or more (my favorite ski resort).
Now let’s take an honest look at the other side of the coin.
People are nervous again, if they ever stopped. Enemies are racing each other to take over the world. Ebola threatens to beat them to it. The middle class is seeing lower earnings than ever. Unemployment hasn’t decreased and neither has our national debt. You and I as business owners, speakers and authors are not about to bring on a single full-time salaried employee with paid benefits. That would be just crazy talk!
Those of us who conduct business are in a serious quandry: How do we enhance our lifestyles (or at least maintain them) in a world that seemingly is doing everything it can to prevent us from succeeding?
What could possibly be the great savior to the business world when the “real world” reality is full of unsurety and depleted of financial resources?
One solution to start with involves automation of your entire customer life cycle.
Stay with me here because this is important!
If you have an opt-in area on your website where you’re giving something away to build your list, you are probably using Constant Contact, MailChimp, iContact, aWeber or something similar. Why? Because they’re relatively cheap (even free to get started with for some), well known, and easy for YOU or your assistant to send out an email without needing a programmer or a designer.
These email systems are good for you because you know how they work. You choose a list, craft an email, send it, and look at your Open Rates report. Done deal.
How Does All of This Impact the Sales Process?
If you use any of those above, you are already partly established in the ways of the web. You may even have a mechanism in place to accept online orders for your book, events, services or products. Maybe you’re using PayPal’s shopping cart or a WordPress plugin that takes the orders and pushes the sale through Authorize.net or PayPal.
I’ll even go out on a limb by suggesting the possibility that you’re using something like the way old 1ShoppingCart or the overpriced and under-delivering InfusionSoft or the way WAY overkill NetwSuite system.
Oh, and then there’s Zen Cart, OSCommerce and whatever open source shopping cart scripts you might have been talked into giving a try that have some of the highest abandoned cart rates in the business…not to mention how they put you at risk for PCI Compliance.
Getting off my rant and back on to topic now…
I need to ask you this
very important question:
What happens to the other 95% of your list that doesn’t buy anything from you?
They LEAVE the customer life cycle prematurely, before they’re even given a chance to be born.
So, what’s the key to gaining more of those 95% as paying customers?
I’ll say it again:
Automating Your Customer Life Cycle
Every business has a database of some kind. Shoe string start-ups use whatever is available to them for free to keep initial costs low. Excel files are popular. Paper files in filing cabinets are still used. The forward-thinkers purchase Goldmine or Act! to load it on their computers or subscribe to Salesforce.
Still, none of these reputable systems “talk” to, or are seemlessly connected with, the pieces and parts that allow customers to buy stuff from you!
Only once you have these two pieces working together can you put to use the OTHER things you’re only able to do when an automated customer life cycle is present. Just some of these include:
- Moving Your New Customers from a Non-Buyer List to a Customer List – After all, you want to use different techniques to sell to existing customers than you use for those who have not yet bought from you right?
- Engaging with Subscribers Instead of Just Spewing Out Content to Them – Have you wondered why your outbound emails have only been getting 10-15% open rates?
- Getting the Sale Sooner! – The days of making 7 “touches” before getting the sale are long gone when you automate the process of segmenting your lists!
- Doubling Your Per-Sale Value – When are people most willing to spend? When their credit card is in their hand. Make upselling, cross-selling and back-end selling, part of your automated sequence throughout the customer life cycle.
- Accessing Detailed Customer History – Once you have all these automated things happening in the background, you will be amazed at the ammunition you’ll have when talking on the phone with a prospect or customer. This alone has DOUBLED my own close rate when talking to people by phone about what I can offer them. DOUBLED!
- Eliminating Website Costs – Website hosting, design, programming…all of that disappears when you have the entire customer life cycle completely automated. I know this doesn’t make a lot of sense right now, but it will shortly!
- “Combined” Canned Reports! – With all those other systems working individually, it’s nearly impossible to get motivated to create reports that mean anything. You wind up making multiple custom reports and then fanagling Excel to produce a final report. When everything is integrated, even complex reporting is made simple.
Does it make sense why this list I just went through cannot even be discussed until you have solved the problem of integrating your
Are you starting to see the potential? Good!
If you know me, I’m not one to waste a lot of time.
I’m not one to beat around the bush either.
I’m not a trickster or someone to talk in riddles.
My objective here is to inspire you to come with me on a wild ride of adventure! Let’s automate your customer life cycle together!
Put aside the way you do business right now and consider a new way.
Let me demonstrate it right now by giving you access to a private demonstration video and you can decide for yourself.
At the end of the video, I’m going to give you a special recommendation for which I’m going to GIVE to you something that is worth what I normally charge my clients $200 to get. So, be sure to watch the whole thing.
Here’s the opt-in to get to the video:
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Marty Dickinson is the Here Next Year Web Marketing Club manager and author of Lions Always Win: How to Spot What You Want in Business and Life…and Get it Too!. Without knowing what you truly want, and the tools to get you there, your business is guaranteed to fail.