Today, we are living in times of many options. Plenty of similar looking offers are available in our online world. There are more product and service options for customers today than at any point in history.
For businesses that understand today’s business reality of customer options creating a good customer experience is crucial. However today this is predominantly not the case and becoming a client and remaining a happy customer is made very often difficult.
You might know that I am living in Marbella/ Spain and that I had a scuba diving center here for many years. One of the benefits in southern Spain is that most activities are outdoor activities due to the all year around nice temperatures and sunshine.
Some time ago I had the idea that I needed a sporty compensation to my physical hard job as a diving instructor and I was thinking about starting to play tennis. I began to speak to some tennis clubs in the area and got different offers. Some of them told me that I needed to become a club member for a one-time fee of 1500 – 1800 € and then I could go ahead and book trainer classes and tennis courts separately for a reduced premium fee. The candy was that I could join the weekly mixing free of charge.
Oops I thought, that sounds a little expensive. I just wanted to give tennis a try. I don’t even know if I like it and want to continue.
Then I found a tennis club where I didn’t have to become a member first to be able to try it out. Their offer was a monthly fee of 90 € for one trainer class per week, 15 € for renting a court and 9 € to join the tennis mixings. That deal caught me straight away and I joined the club immediately. After some weeks I was bitten by the tennis bug and I am still playing in this club today, being an active member there and playing regularly.
Of course I became a member later on and have paid my membership fee at the end. But it was made easy for me to just give tennis a try without any obligations and a lot of cost involved.
I want to show you with this example that to Make it Easy to Become a Client pays back in many ways. It creates more easily long term satisfied customers when the entry level is low. Let’s transfer this new knowledge now to the online world.
Make it Easy to Become a Client - How to Find Clients Online
In previous blog posts we have talked about how to get visitors to our website or blog, make them come back to it frequently and how to build and nurture relationships with them online so that they build trust and confidence in your capabilities.
How do we make our potential customers become paying clients?
Our nurturing activities described in previous blog post have built our relationship to a certain degree to the point where we are the first person our potential customers’ think of when they have a specific need and they are sure that we can help them and they are ready to buy.
One of the barriers to potential clients buying an online product is that there often isn’t any easy, low cost, entry level service available for them. This applies to both offline and online products, but it’s particularly important for online products.
The more costly and complex our products are the initial business engagement with us might be perceived as risky and creating hesitance.
Very often potential customers have to spend 1000 € or more for our products like online courses. Having such a high initial entry fee might turn the perceived risk into a huge one.
What if your potential client had a low cost way of starting to do business with you or using your services? I am not talking here about heavy discounting your products or services to get an easier entry point. I am talking more about having a small, but highly valuable service available that can be crafted at little cost to yourself but gives the client a more firsthand experience of working with you.
Who is more likely to buy your high end online courses and services?
- Someone who has never worked with or bought anything from you before or
- Someone who joined your online training site, signing up for one of your Introductory Courses and then wants to upgrade to a group online program or Signature Course?
Creating a “product ladder” – a series of ascending value online products and services – does three things for you:
- It allows a broader range of people to experience working with you and along the way they qualify themselves for buying one of your more complex and expensive services.
- It essentially turns your marketing into a paid activity. You are marketing your higher level courses or services primarily through your lower level services. All you have to focus on is getting people to make the easier first step of getting into your pipeline or rung of the ladder and from there on to the next step your high end products or services.
- Now that you have a steady flow of qualified prospects for your higher level services flowing through your “pipeline or system”, you can create more costly high end programs.
Creating this ladder of products and services is not necessarily easy. There are some professions where the range of services you can offer is restricted. But with a little creativity I am sure you can create a series of escalating value products in most professions.
It’s also worth thinking about how you can introduce services which overcome geographic and time restrictions.
Offering telephone, Skype or Zoom coaching sessions, private and closed Facebook groups, frees you up from having to be physically near to your clients all the time. Online products like EBooks, video courses, private membership sites free you up from a direct exchange of your time for money.
Once you’ve defined the steps in your product ladder, you then focus your online efforts on selling the service at the bottom rung. Since it’s an introductory and low cost product it rarely needs a huge sell. Then focus on delighting your customers with your service and market your higher level services to them.