Businesses and self-employed individuals often have some combination of customers (one time buyers) and clients (repeat buyers) that compose their revenue. The percentage of customers to clients varies depending on the business model and the way the business is designed to work. Businesses that mostly go after or attract one time buyers have the challenge of constantly having to find new people to buy from them. This is like hunting where you can only reap the rewards once per kill. It can be stressful if the there is not an adequate marketing and sales system to consistently find enough new people and bring them in. It is also more work to market to new people and build enough trust for them to buy. Having a business designed to attract or go after repeat buyers is less work and provides more stable revenue. Here is how to set up your business to have repeat buyers.
People buy products and services that meet a need or want that they have. In other words, they are looking for a solution to something in their life or business. Ideally, the product or service that they buy actually delivers on its promise and their challenge or issue or frustration is solved. To have them buy again, your business needs to either offer a product or service that they will need repeatedly, like groceries, or offer products and services that satisfy their next set of needs and wants. When your business understands its target market really well, it will know what people want next. To find out what they want next may require doing market research or simply asking to your former customers. It is important not to make assumptions or guess the needs of your market because you might waste time and money going in the wrong direction. Find out the truth.
When your business understands the final destination that your target market wants to get to and understands the challenges they will have on their way to getting there, you can see pathways that they will follow. Your business can then find or develop products and services to meet the needs and wants of your target market at each step along that pathway. In other words, your business can have solutions to all of the challenges that your target market will encounter on their way to their desired destination.
When your business provides a complete pathway of solutions, your customers will move from buying one solution to the next, to the next. They are more likely to be loyal because you are helping them along their journey and you are saving them time from having to find the next solution somewhere else. Life becomes easier for them.
To build a pathway of products and services that help your target market find out:
- Who is the target market?
- What does the target market ultimately want to where is their final destination that they want to get to?
- How much of the journey are we willing to help the target market with?
- What does the target market want or need initially?
- What product or service do we currently provide or can develop that would meet those initial wants or needs?
- Once our customers have the previous solution, what will they want or need next?
- What product or service do we currently provide or can develop that would meet those wants or needs?
- Repeat the process of answering questions 6 and 7 for each step along the pathway to what your target market ultimately wants.
- What do we need to do to have as many customers as possible see the value in the next product or service and buy it?
What do we need to do to keep in touch with our customers and clients throughout their journey so that we can offer them the next solution at the right time for them?
Following these questions will allow your business to develop a pathway of solutions to take your customers from where they are, to where they want to go. For some markets, there may be multiple pathways and so your business can develop multiple products and services depending on the varying preferences of the target market. When making calculations or financial projections, account for not every customer buying the next product or service.