Thank you Jan, Thank you for Before we get started I like you to think about this question.How would that make you feel?Would you be ok with that?Would you feel panic? Sick to your stomach?If you knew that to be true, what would you start doing differently?How would your internal meetings be different?What would your next customer meeting be like?
I hope you’ll give that some thought.The reason I want you to give that question some thought is that I think it is very easy to get caught up in all of the tools and technology that is available to us. In fact we have so many choices available we can get bogged down trying to find the perfect tool. And one of the main ideas I want to propose today is that the best way to generate leads is not through email marketing, or social media marketing, or content marketing some other tool or marketing buzzword.
But rather The Best Tool for generating leads and referrals is a happy customerNow I know that may sound a little bit more like a successory poster than a marketing strategy and some of you may be wondering how we can put that into practice in our marketing, and that’s what I want to talk about with you today. How can we start with Referral in Mind and build a systematic process for turning strangers into customers and customers into raving fans.And the tool or the framework we are going to use to accomplish this is something we call the marketing hourglass.
I’m sure you are all familiar with the marketing funnel.The idea here is to get as many “target” customers into the top of the funnel and hopefully, over time, some paying customers drip out of the bottomThis model obviously has worked, but it has a number of challenges, particularly for business without large sales and marketing budgets.
First, it focuses on the chase. We are always in hunting mode - struggling to get our phone calls returned, to get past the gate keeper, or to get invited in.We end up doing all or a lot of the things that make people hate salespeople
The funnel also tends to focus on the most expensive forms of marketing, such as advertising, list buying, going to trade shows, etc. And probably the biggest drawback of the funnel for our purposes today is that it ends with the sale. We’ve all heard the statistics about how much cheaper it is to market people who know us vs strangers, but the funnel doesn’t really address that.
So the hourglass is an evolution of the funnel that is going to help us focus on the experience and the relationship by making sure we continue to market to after the sale.
And we want to do that so they will try our products and services, buy them, buy more than once, and refer us to their friends
So here is a sample of what the marketing hourglass for a particular business might look like. You see the different stages listed down the left, and on the right we have some of the touch points, content, and tactics that a business might use in each stage.We also want to create processes and systems to help systematically move someone from one stage to the next.I realize that this slide may be difficult to read in your handouts, but don’t worry I’m going to tell you how you can get the full slides along with some other resources in just a few minutes.
One of the keys to creating an effective hourglass, is understanding the process your buyers use when making a purchase.We all have a process or a pattern that we follow when make purchases. As a marketer, the more you understand about your customers process and align your marketing with that process, the more successful you will be.Now most people don’t just wake up and decide today they need your service. Most people have a long list of things that they need to get to eventually. As things become more urgent, they get move from the back burner to the urgent, “I’ve got to get this done” list. Something triggers them to begin actively looking for a solution.What triggers your customers may be one of the items listed on the slide or something completely different. Whenever I work someone on their marketing one of the first things we do is conduct customer interviews and this is one of the things we want to learn from those interviews – what triggered them to look for a solution.
Once we done the hard work of creating a happy customer, we want to continue to market to them so we can do more business with them in the future.In this stage it’s not only important to continue to stay in touch and nurture the relationship, but we also want to continue to educate. Sometimes when we solve a problem or fill a need for a customer they may think that is all that we do, so we need to continue to educate them about the different ways we can help them.We can remind people about expiring warranties and what options they have.
Last, but not least, we need to make it easy for people to refer us.Referrals can come from both customers and strategic partners. Most people that I talk to are comfortable talking to the strategic partners about referrals, but they are not as comfortable talking to the customers about referrals – so they don’t ask as consistently as we’d like and may be missing out on opportunities because of that.I want to share one easy way get more referrals and make sure you are creating happy customers at the same time is to use something called the net promoter score.You can learn more about the net promoter score in the booked shown on the slide, but basically, it works something like this. After every job, you would the customer, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to refer us to your family, friends, colleagues”. Then you respond based on their answer. So if someone answers, for example, with a 7 or above, you would follow up with a request for a testimonial or case study.If they responded with a 6 or lower, then you want to have someone in management contact them ASAP to learn what went wrong and what can be done to correct the situation.This process is something that can be automated fairly easily to make sure it gets done for every job and in a timely manner.
So, in terms of next steps, I’d invite you to take a look at what you are doing now for marketing and see where you may have some gaps in your marketing hourglass.What we see is people spending a lot of effort on the Know, but then skip straight to the Buy so they have gapsRepeat a gap for many business. After we’ve worked with someone there may be a tendency to think they know everything we do and certainly they will buy from us – but that might not be the case.And for refer, if you don’t have a systematic process in place for generating referrals, take a look at using the Net Promoter Score in the way I just talked about
As you are going through your hourglass, answer these questions.They may not all apply but most of them should.
I’d also encourage you to spend some time talking to your existing customers as well as prospects and really work at understanding their buying process.Spend some time on that “What if” all of your business has to come from existing relationships. Discuss it with your staff And if you would like someone to go over your hourglass with you, then take me up on the Free Signature Brand Audit that you see there.
How to Build a Remarkable Business by
Focusing on the Total Customer Experience
Prepared by Bill Brelsford
January 23, 2014
2. What If…
In 2014, all of your sales
will come from existing
customers or referrals from
How Would You Feel?
3. What’s Best Tool?
Pay Per Click Advertising
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
4. “When it comes to lead and
referral generation, a happy
customer is the best tool.”
5. The Old Model – Marketing Funnel
6. The Funnel Focuses on the Chase
7. The Funnel Focuses on the Most
Expensive Types of Marketing
8. The Hourglass Shifts Focus to the
Experience & Relationship
21. 7 Questions to Get You Started
What is your free or trial offering?
What is your starter offering?
What is your “make it easy to switch” offering?
What is your core offering?
What are your add-ons to increase value?
What is your “members only” offering?
What are your strategic partner pairings?
22. Action Steps
• Understand your customers’ timing triggers
– Conduct surveys and customer interviews
• Identify gaps in your marketing hourglass
– What do you need to fill the gaps?
• Spend time on the “What If” exercise
• Free Signature Brand Audit