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The sales journey

Customers go through a journey with you, before they buy:

1. Suspect
An individual or enterprise that you want to do business with. They will fit your marketing criteria and they will probably belong to a target market segment. A reasonable number of them should be stored in your database. How do you figure out who your suspects are?

By doing a market segmentation exercise. This involves thinking about groups of people who have similar needs, for whom you have solutions. You should have specific solutions for specific needs.

2. Unqualified prospect
An unqualified prospect is someone who has uttered the three magic words: “Tell me more.” However, before we proceed we need to qualify them, by considering whether we can  satisfy their needs.

3. Prospect
Someone who has gone through the qualification process.

4. Customer
Someone who has bought from you once. Money has changed hands on a single occasion, therefore, customers are ‘transactionally based’.

5. Client

The next stage is to turn customers into clients (through repeat business).

6. Advocate
A handful of customers and, hopefully, a larger percentage of clients, will become advocates. These are the people who recommend you to other people. Cherish your advocates and encourage them to keep recommending you.

Written by marketing and sales consultant and trainer Nigel Temple.

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