Selling to Customers vs Prospects: Key Differences Unmasked

Dec 20, 2023

Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out, understanding the dynamics between selling to customers vs prospects is crucial in the sales journey. 

In this video, we'll discuss ways to align your talk tracks and messaging to effectively engage both customers and prospects. So, let's start with the fundamentals of the customer journey and explore the key differences in your approach.

The customer journey, from awareness to loyalty, is similar to guiding someone from cradle to grave. Let's break it down into stages:

  1. Awareness:

    • The initial phase where customers become aware of a problem they might not yet fully recognize.
  2. Consideration:

    • Active evaluation of solutions as customers realize the need to address their problems.
  3. Purchase:

    • The leap of faith where customers make the initial purchase, expecting value delivery.
  4. Retention:

    • Value begins to be delivered, showcasing trustworthiness and laying the foundation for a lasting relationship.
  5. Loyalty:

    • The pinnacle, where customers become raving fans, endorsing your brand and consistently expecting and receiving exceptional value.

Now that we've outlined the customer journey, let's explore the key differences in selling to a prospect vs. a customer.

  1. Selling to Customers:

    • Assess where they are in the customer journey—purchase, retention, or loyalty.
    • Connect with them to understand if value has been delivered and gauge their satisfaction.
    • Avoid the pitfall of upselling too early, especially during the leap of faith stage.
    • Focus on building credibility and trust before attempting additional sales.
  2. Selling to Prospects:

    • Begin with the assumption that everyone is at the awareness stage.
    • Recognize the common mistake of pushing for evaluation before prospects have a confirmed problem.
    • Guide prospects through the awareness and consideration phases at an appropriate pace.
    • Don't rush the process; building a solid foundation pays off in the long run.

In the world of sales, nailing the art of selling to both customers and prospects requires a deep understanding of the customer journey. Customize your approach based on where individuals are in this journey, and remember, rushing the process can lead to missed opportunities and strained relationships.

By navigating the customer journey effectively, you'll not only retain customers but also turn them into loyal advocates, ultimately fostering long-term success.

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