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Weekly Message From Margo - Engage Until They Are Groupies!

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Taking a stranger and turning them into a friend in the world of business is actually what it takes to create a customer.

No one will become a customer from one Facebook post or from a singleTweet or fabulous blog post. Neither will they do business with you because you have beautifully colored marketing materials or a fancy website.

The process of creating a custom from scratch (who then becomes a great referral source for you) is a multi-step one, and it is really a cycle. I call it The Prospect Engagement Cycle.

This process—this cycle—is one you can manage and benefit from by helping to create it, so that it fully engages the prospect and builds greater trust all along the way, while helping the prospect to first feel free to test the waters and finally jump right in to doing business with you. You help them to make the choice by what you put out there for them to gravitate towards.

Marketing is building awareness. Good marketing is building awareness that leads to sales. Great marketing is building awareness that leads to sales and then to referrals. That’s what The Prospect Engagement Cycle is all about.

If you want to get your hands on that Prospect Engagement Cycle, you’re in luck. I’m giving it to you now in short form.

The Prospect Engagement Cycle

Discovery: The prospect finds out about you.
 (The “Know” in Know, Like, Trust)

What You Must Do:

Make a great first impression with a crystal clear and easy to “get” statement of who you are, what you do, how you do it, and how it makes all the difference in the world for them—to attract your IDEAL DREAM CLIENT (you must know EXACTLY what that ideal dream client looks like first).  Then tell them where they can go next to find out even more.

Window Shopping: The prospect—of their own accord—takes a little closer look at what’s behind your image.
 (The “Like” in Know, Like, Trust)

What You Must Do:

You MUST have a SYSTEM for them to connect with you beyond just discovery or awareness. This stage brings them another step towards you, so it is a little more intimate than just knowing about you. In order for them to keep walking your way, they MUST like what they see. So be likeable. Your website, your blog posts, your social media communications, your store appearance, your phone message, the attitudes of your team, your educational content, your articles, and even your company car have to look good enough and speak to them directly enough to make more happen. Everything you do to must move them closer to you.

Soft Commitment: The prospect makes her first commitment towards the idea of actually doing business with you, and she wants know if it is wise to go further.
(The beginning of “Trust” in Know, Like, Trust)

What You Must Do:

Have a way to solidify trust and reiterate your clear message and brand. This is when your prospect will take you up on your AMAZING FREE OFFER, agree to a “Let’s get to know each other” meeting, or sign up for your regular newsletter, so have them. At this point, it is crucial that everyone in your company and everything you use to communicate repeats your crystal clear, core message. This includes your marketing materials, your educational materials, your newsletter, and your presentations.

Try It On: The prospect deepens her trust of you and makes the transition towards working with you.
(More of “Trust” in Know, Like, Trust)

What You Must Do:

Allow opportunities for the prospect to try it before they buy it, with a trial offer or trial subscription, a money-back no risk guarantee, or a smaller or less costly version of your offer. This is where the prospects get to experience a free seminar, a lower-priced version of the offer, or a tickler through technology such as a webinar. It’s where they come to your “taste-test” evening, your seminar, or your trunk show. This stage of the process removes the potential for buyer’s remorse, and allows them to sample your offering and experience if it feels right to them. They can “try it on” before they buy it. They get to actually see you in action and experience how your product or service can work for them with little or no risk. This transition is crucial to help them decide, and to weed out those who are not ideal clients. This works for you too, since all those who decide to buy will be pleased and will refer you gladly to others. This stage build enormous trust if they like what they get, and if the “outfit” fits well they will invest the bigger dollars to buy the whole thing, accessories and all!

Buy the Outfit: The prospect is now a full-fledged customer. They purchase your big offer.
(Definite “Trust” in Know, Like, Trust, and more “Know)

What You Must Do:

How you deliver is everything! Help them after the sale. Give the customer a “Helpful Info” sheet or booklet, with everything they will need after the sale, such as who to contact for what, how the process continues, what to do if…, how to use the service going forward, and how to care for an item. Do not disappoint on what you promised, and more importantly on what you know they expect. Be timely, keep delivery dates, stay in communication, let them know who will be communicating with them on what, follow through on ordering on your end and on order fulfillment on their end. Meet and exceed expectations. If you said they get a rebate in one week, deliver. If you said you would always be available by email or phone after the sale, deliver. If they expect an invoice on a certain date, deliver. Make it easy for them to tell the world about you (more “Know”), and make it natural for them to be a strong referral source going forward.

Add to the Wardrobe: The prospect is now a repeat customer, and a source of valuable referrals.
(More “Trust” and more “Know” in Know, Like, Trust)

What You Must Do:

Continue to communicate with and educate the client. Teach them how to continue to use and/or care for the product or service, and offer additional services and products that will improve their quality of life. Periodically send them tips on how to be more successful, special gifts, and items of interest—not just coupons! Present them with distinctive offers or special products, memberships, and services only for valued clients. Motivate them to add more “accessories” to the wardrobe. Establish a long-term relationships of connection and education through regular VIP contact. Point them to advanced products and services through educational and inspiring communications that are of high interest to them. Invite their input and feedback.

Designer-Line Groupies: The prospect and their points of contact who have also worked with you are your powerful and unpaid sales staff!
(More Know, Like, Trust)

What You Must Do:

Make it your goal for every customer to be a groupie, who loves your “line”, is proud to “wear” your line, and who gladly tells others to “wear” it too. Start thinking tribal, and find ways (which become systems in your business) that happy customers can communicate with new prospects. These include networking events, social media pages that are regularly managed, VIP events and seminars (with attractive invitations sent directly to them), and lunch and learns. Give your happy and “styling” customers ample opportunity to speak and interact with your prospects.

Have a Wild Week of Engaging Until They are Groupies!



Margarett (Margo) DeGange, M.Ed. is a Business and Design Coach in the Home Fashions Industry. She creates and delivers custom training programs for managed businesses and their sales consultants to help them communicate better with customers and increase sales and profits. Margarett is a Writer and Professional Speaker, and the President of The DeGangi Group and The DeGangi School of Interior Decoration, with both on sight and on-line courses in Interior Decorating, Marketing, and Redesign. For almost 20 years she has helped individuals and managed business owners in the interior fashions and decorating industries to earn more while fully enjoying the process.

Two of Margo’s popular products for furniture store owners and their sales professionals are The Decorating School Crash Course Power-Ed Pack (9 design lessons on video/audio with 12 hours of content), and the matching Decorating School Crash Course Learner Files to measure learning, provide added interactivity, and motivate sales consultants to own their opportunities for growth.

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