‘Prospect Journey’ and ‘Customer Journey’ are hardly new terms.
In fact, they’re so commonplace that if you have been in business or on LinkedIn for any amount of time, you very likely skim past any chatter about them.
So, let’s try some different terms that may catch your attention:
- Lost opportunities
- ‘Abandoned cart’
- Appointment no-show
- “1 participant” on ZOOM
- ‘Money left on the table’
- ‘Cringe marketing’
Every one of these terms relates to your Prospect Journey and a glitch along the way that means you are, in effect, starting the lonely trumpeting of your brand, all over again.
“Improving the beginning of a journey almost always profitably reduces error and rework further down the journey.” – Customer Journey Consultancy
Some would say that, second to defining your ‘ideal client avatar’, your prospect journey is the next step in improving your sales, network and marketing.
However, in our experience, this is how that usually plays out…
You begin with a successful few months. Your brand is new; you know where you’re looking and all your effort is focused on bringing in those all-important first clients. Happy days.
Now, you have those clients. Enough to keep you busy and busy building in the services and experiences that keep them loyal and coming back for more. You may even have fantastic word-of-mouth newcomers into the fold.
If you intend on staying small, this may work well for you.
Perhaps you realise that your attentions are now focused on the day-to-day and decide to outsource your marketing – paid Ads, content creators, social media managers.
More and more you find that the quality and quantity of leads is not what it was. Leads come in and fall away. Appointments made are missed. Absolutely random people from far away lands ask if you offer discounts for online services or if they can help you improve your reach…
We believe that a Prospect Journey with longevity should always be an extension of the beautifully crafted experience your actual customers will receive within your organisation. It should flow seamlessly into your established Customer Journey.
By ‘established customer journey’, we mean established. Attempting to create a functioning and successful prospect journey whilst your internal practices are a shambles is how we end up with generic, uninspiring marketing, bad reviews and lost opportunities.
To draw in those you know would benefit from an experience with your company, it is vital that the road they would travel with you is well designed and ‘calling their name’ in a non-sleazy, welcoming way, guaranteeing the solution they seek – because you already know how you will bring it about.
The Prospect Journey should be, for them, a ‘sneak peak’ into a world or experience they genuinely can’t do without.
Conversely, choosing to completely neglect developing a functional prospect journey would also be a mistake. Remember those word-of-mouth referrals. For many of them, the first thing they will do is go looking for other evidence of your company online. If what your customers have communicated does not align with what they find or the way they are introduced to your brand, you may not leverage that chance again.
Mapping out, personalising and implementing a clear Prospect Journey is not optional if you have any intention of drawing customers, clients or investors. It also defines how the mindset with which they begin their business relationship with you.
Make it realistic.
We live in an age of slick marketing and con-artists in every shape and form. This has made us a very suspicious generation. It’s vital that anyone viewing any aspect of your offer or services sees – not only your unique selling points and the wonderful experience that awaits them – but also the practical, believable steps involved in working with you, to set their minds at ease – In effect, seeing their questions answered before the concerns have a chance to even build.
Align Your Team
Ensuring that all of your team are on the same page is probably one of the most important aspects of a successful business. According to many of the great businesspeople and coaches of our time, if your team changes often and your lost leads are high…it’s your fault.
It is highly unlikely that anyone has a complete team of fully competent, emotionally engaged, business-trained, user-experience experts positioned at every prospect touchpoint. For many managers, directors and CEOs, this is a constant concern as it often results in high staff turnover, dissatisfied teams and anxious clients – no one is ever sure of what they will get in an encounter with the business and its people! However, this is utterly avoidable!
Make it Simple and TEACH empathy.
You certainly cannot inspire everyone that joins your team to know how it feels to walk in the shoes of another. Conversely, overly empathetic individuals could actually cause significant delay and disruption to your processes.
The answer? Clarity
Even the most advanced experts in the world will falter when approached with an unknown situation.
Make the whole Prospect Journey as simple as possible. By making each step of the journey standardised and accessible to all involved, there is never a doubt as to what is expected and what to do next, in any given situation. This allows room for those not naturally empathetic to learn how to show understanding, using set standards and values. It also allows more caring people the boundaries to know how far to be of service and how to redirect issues beyond their defined scope.
What problem you solve. If you sell hotdogs, don’t try to counsel. If you’re an IT company, don’t send sweets to your prospects in the post (true story.).
How your prospects currently feel with the problem unsolved.
How you solve the problem and what the outcome/deliverables will be.
How they will feel once they have the outcome.
Internally, what each touchpoint entails – in detail – and, where necessary, a script of responsibilities. Be as detailed as you’d need to be so anyone, no matter who, has their questions about their role answered.
Create a Buzz
Allow the people in your team to be excited about what your brand stands for. Your business is only ever a reflection of the people in it. Starting with you, and working down, your vision and values need to feed into everything and everyone. Your Prospect Journey should simply reflect all that you would want to experience if YOU were one of your valued customers meeting your team for the first time.
Check out Prospect to Profit – Maximising Client Conversion – our product to help you achieve the best Prospect Journey, Customer Journey and deliver that service to your prospects. Leaving no money on the table!
Also in this series:
The 5 Key Steps to a Brilliant Prospect Journey
Harnessing the Power of Your Prospect Journey
The Long-Term Reward of Perfecting your Prospect Journey