In this episode of Straight Talk About Sales, I have a question for business owners. We often focus on the client experience, but what about the journey to becoming a client? In this episode, I talk about the importance of giving attention to every touchpoint a prospect has with your brand and how it can impact their decision-making process.
By being intentional in every stage of the client journey, you not only attract the right-fit clients, but you also help them make informed decisions about working with your business.
Here’s the transcript:
So I know that a lot of times as we’re looking at building a business, we’re looking at the marketing that we’re doing, we’re looking at our sales process and our systems. We sometimes overlook certain pieces of that. And in a recent conversation with a client, one of the questions that I asked her was, how do you want your prospects to feel on their way to becoming clients? So we focus a lot on the client experience, and don’t get me wrong, that is very important, and how they receive exceptional client care and all the things that we do during their time as our client.
But do we give the same time and attention to the journey they take on their way to becoming a client? And many times that’s not always the case. Trust me. Guilty. Totally, 100% guilty.
And so even as my team and I have looked at our own process, I’ve noticed those areas where if I take a step back and I look at the entire client journey in its totality, one of the things that you notice is that there are a lot of times in that beginning or on the way to becoming a client and on the way to even as a prospect or a lead, there are those pieces or areas where it’s kind of to be honest, it’s not the same level of interaction or high touch that I would want it to have. Now, obviously there are some caveats in that, right? Like there are just certain things that, especially maybe in the early stages, you can or cannot do as people are aware of your brand. But I do want you to pause and just think, as people are becoming aware of my company or my organization, the things that we do, the impact that we make, the clients that we serve, how do I want them to feel when they see our brand? How do I want them to feel when they interact with our marketing?
Whatever your marketing strategy may look like, how do I want those touch points to go on their way to becoming a client? Because we don’t really ever know most times how long someone has been following us, researching us, looking at our company, whatever we’re on social media may have seen someone speak at an event, any of the other marketing or advertising that you’re doing. We don’t always know how long. There are things that once they take certain actions and they’re like a part of our world, then we can start tracking certain data, but we don’t have control over some of those really early pieces in terms of being able to know how long, what’s engaging, what’s working, until they take a certain action. So given that as you’re thinking about your entire client journey and the client journey includes a big chunk of that is, what happens on their way to having that initial sales conversation, what happens on their way to making that first purchase.
What are you doing in that? Are you being intentional or are you just taking some social media stuff and just slapping it up there and spray and pray, spraying it all over social media, praying someone buys, right? Or are you taking the time to be very strategic, very intentional, as you’re thinking about, how do I want my clients to feel so that when we get to the actual sales conversation, they’ve already had a taste of what it’s going to be like to work with our organization. And in their minds, they’re like, if this is what it’s like to just be on this journey on my way to becoming a client, then, oh my gosh, I cannot imagine the level of service that I’m going to receive as a client. So what are some of the things that you should do or even at least consider as you’re doing this type of work?
So the first thing is to just take a step back. Sometimes we’re head down, we’re too close to it to really be able to see what’s going on in our client journey. And frankly, most of the times after we have certain things set up, we don’t ever go back and look and like, okay, what’s really happening from a really, like, 50,000 foot view to really see what’s going on as the different touch points, whether it’s lead magnets, your website, social media, any advertising or sponsorships that you have out there where you’re speaking. All of that stuff impacts how people view and how they view your company and how they feel about possibly working with you. So I invite you to just schedule some time to say, you know, what, team, let’s take a step back.
Let’s look at what’s going on. Are there things that we just need to clean up? Like really, like doing an audit? Like, okay, these links are broken, this doesn’t work. We don’t do this anymore.
There should be time, even if it’s once a year, take the time to go clean things up, but also to really audit what’s happening on their way to becoming clients. So a lot of times what will happen is we only think about that one step that they take prior to talking to us in a sales conversation, and we often will negate everything that we’ve done to get them to that point and really thinking about what might I change? How might I change this, if anything, to make sure that everything is in alignment as a prospect or a lead is moving through the client journey. Now, the way I define lead prospect clients is a lead is someone that’s just kind of following you. They may not have taken any action, or they may have taken action and they’re on maybe your email list, so they downloaded a resource, they attended a training or webinar or whatever, but they haven’t yet taken a buying action.
So a prospect is someone who takes a buying action to indicate, hey, I’m interested in buying. So for many of my clients, that is, they schedule some type of conversation, whatever that is, and they fill out some form and they get on a call with someone, whether it’s the client or someone on their sales team, and they have that conversation. And that’s when in our tracking, they go from lead to prospect and then they’re in your pipeline as you track that journey through the pipeline and hopefully we close the sale and then they’re a client for life, right. They live happily ever after. So as you’re going through those different interactions and you’re looking at how people are engaging with your company or your organization, then you definitely want to audit to make sure that everything is in alignment leading up to that sales conversation and then obviously them becoming an actual client.
So again, as I mentioned, as you’re looking at different pieces confirming that it’s in alignment and then what are any of the areas that need improvement? So there are areas that we’ve decided that, oh, we want to shift this, we want to update some of our sequences for automations because it’s like, I want a different type of feel. I felt like our initial for our brand was just too blah. It wasn’t bad, it was just blah. So I wanted to add some Nadia personality to it.
Right. And it could be the same for you. There are just things that I want people to know about our agency, about our brand, and things that we do that were not being communicated earlier on in that journey. People had to kind of get in and I’m like, I don’t know if they want to stick around based on some of the stuff that we had set up. Right.
So it was just like there was just some cleanup that needed to be done and also, opportunity, again, for us to audit, make sure it’s in alignment and then refresh it to make sure that people are getting that sense of who we really are. And also that feeling that we will want them to have as they’re moving through their own personal decision making process of whether or not we want to work with them. Right. Can they solve our problem? Are they people that we can see ourselves having a long term relationship with?
Those are questions that your prospects or leads are thinking about and are you really doing a great job even before getting them to the sales conversation to really help them feel a sense of confidence in answering those questions? So I want you to also just think about and take a moment to imagine, imagine the various interactions. And particularly if you have a pretty simplified process of how people engage with your brand, I want you to imagine those interactions and again, think about how do I want them to feel? So for example, I’ll just use our brand because we are literally, at the time of this recording, going through this process ourselves and cleaning some things up, shifting some things. And I’m having these conversations with my team and myself, like, Nadia, okay, how do you want them to feel?
What’s going on here? What the what? And so one of the areas that we identified that we wanted to spruce up, if you will, was when people go to our website. So they go to our website, and we are like, hey, if you want to know more, let’s have a conversation. And when they fill out the form to have a conversation again, it’s working.
But there was no personality. So I went back, and I was like, there’s just some things that we want to talk about. There are things that I would want to share more about our philosophy, our process, our values. Things that years ago, when we first set a lot of this stuff up, my brain wasn’t even there. My brain was in the space of, we just need to have this in place because we just need to have this in place.
Now we’re at a different point in our business and in our level of growth and maturity, to be honest. And it’s like, okay, no, let’s go clean this up. So that when people go to our website and they say, yes, I want to learn more, or yes, I want to receive updates when we send out newsletters or whatever, they’re saying yes to that. There is more of an introduction. There’s more of this is how we do things here.
This is how we do sales, this is our philosophy, et cetera, et cetera. And this serves, actually, multipurposes one. I obviously want my ideal clients, my prospects, that we are perfect fit for working with us here at the agency to feel that. And they go like, oh, my gosh, they get me. They understand me.
Our values are in alignment. This is fabulous. I also want people who aren’t a good fit to see that, right? And they hear our philosophy around sales or our values or whatever, and they’re like, I don’t agree. I don’t think that’s a good fit because they get to opt out way sooner in the journey, and chances are, if we do our job pretty well, that they won’t get to our pipeline, right, that we won’t have that conversation.
Now, some people will. They want to have a conversation to ensure that what they saw, what they heard or what they felt or whatever was true. But it definitely works both ways. It’s not just for those people that we want to attract, which we definitely do, but we can also leverage our marketing. That’s a great opportunity to do so, to also repel people that just don’t fit.
And so being really honest and clear about your values, your philosophy, the way you do things, how you engage with your clients, all of that stuff earlier on saves you from, then, having conversations with me. Like, I don’t know why I’m having all these conversations with people that are not a good fit, right? Then that’s when we have to go back and say, okay, you’re getting leads, you’re bringing people in, but are they the most qualified? And if not, where are those gaps and where do those gaps exist and thus go fix them? So as we’re in this process of really shifting our offerings, et cetera, et cetera, it’s like, okay, now is a perfect time to make sure that we’re not bringing in old clients or our old I should say our former ideal clients, right.
For our former service offerings. Not bad. But we’re shifting and so we need to shift everything to be in alignment with it. But even if you’re not in the midst of a pivot as we are, doesn’t mean it won’t do you some good or really provide value to you and your team to take the time out, to go out and look at your systems, how people are engaging, what needs to be adjusted, so that, again, you’re attracting. You’re bringing in those amazing right fit clients that cannot wait to work with you and the team and they’re eager and ready to move forward.
Also in that some things to add, like what questions can you answer ahead of time and not save all of that conversation for the actual sales conversation. So there are things that you can be doing and leveraging your automation and your engagement even before you get to that to be able to start to answer some of those questions, to be able to really help them be most prepared for having a sales conversation with you. So even add into your list of what are some of those frequently asked questions or what are some of the things that you know your ideal clients should be asking. They may not even know what to ask, but to really help them get into that frame of mind of what and how they can best prepare to have this sales conversation with you, but then also to be best prepared to really engage with you and your team to get the best results right. Because a lot of times our engagements are not just all us doing everything in a vacuum.
A lot of times there is some engagement depending on your company. There’s a lot more than others, but your client has a responsibility as well. So what is their responsibility? How can they best be prepared? How do they know they are ready?
And what are the ways that they can engage with your organization? So there are lots of things that you can also answer as you are preparing and equipping them to come to that conversation, well equipped, well prepared and ready to determine are we truly the best fit and let’s move forward, or yes, I already know we’re a great fit. That would be all great. But now which is the best way, right? Because a lot of times, we serve our clients in multiple ways.
What’s the best way for us to work together? Now, that’s a fun conversation to have. Not a matter of if, it’s just a matter of how. And we can definitely figure that out, right? So I want you to then just take a moment, go through, set aside time to do your audit, make sure things are in alignment.
You may even have to take a step back and say, what are the things that I want to share? What are the things that I feel are missing at this stage in our business and based on where it is that we’re going in the future? And then how do we implement these changes? It doesn’t have to be all at once, right? But taking that moment to really, how do I want my leads and my prospects to feel on their way to becoming clients?
And when you start to make these shifts, trust me, your sales conversations will be so different because people will come prepared. They will know what questions to ask. They will repeat back to you a lot of the things that you’ve already shared. You may start to hear things like, oh, my gosh, right? I was in love, and I started to binge watch your entire YouTube channel.
Like, I’ve had these conversations. It worked. But you also have to put in the work to make it happen. So put together your own project schedule in terms of if it’s a big overhaul, maybe some minor tweaks, and it’s super easy. But to make it a priority over this next year to make those tweaks and then pay attention to the results, trust me, this is a total game changer.
So, again, as we close, how do you want your prospects to feel? Because their feelings and their emotions definitely influence their buying decision. It’s not just all the facts and the data. Trust me. I love research.
I love facts. I love data, I love numbers. And I also feel some kind of way, too, even as I’m the buyer. So I know that our buyers, our prospects feel some kind of way as well. And we want to make sure that those feelings are positive and are supporting us and helping us in the sales conversation versus working against and making it that much more challenging in order to really move our right fit clients into that next step so that we have the opportunity to serve them at a higher level.
This is Dr. Nadia. Thank you so much for joining us for another episode of Straight Talk about Sales. I’ll see you again soon. Bye.