When people buy from you, they go through 5 stages which you can think of as the customer journey.
Awareness building is a central aspect of marketing activity. What are you doing to raise brand awareness?
Someone who is going through the sales qualification process. As all Sales Managers know, enterprises must have a pipeline of potential customers that they have identified, talked to and qualified.
Someone who has bought from you once. Money has changed hands on a single occasion. Therefore, this is transactionally based. This means that there isn’t a deep relationship. If you have been in business for some time, you may well have a significant number of dormant customers. Go back and start communicating with them again. It is typically five times less expensive to sell to a customer, as it is to a stranger.
The next stage is to turn customers into clients, through repeat business. This may include up-selling (i.e. increasing the size of the sale) and cross-selling (i.e. selling them something else).
A handful of customers, a larger percentage of clients and some of your (non-client) friends will become Advocates. These are the people who recommend you. Everyone loves referrals. The question is: do you have a referral system in place?