Imagine you’ve set up a business in a well-frequented location. You’ve got beautiful things in your space that you know your target market will love. But to get to you, your potential customer has to decipher complicated problems, unlock secret codes and traverse over some perilous bridges you personally assembled to get to your door.
That will definitely reduce the success of your business!
While these scenarios are obviously over the top, we do often slip into making the path to our business doors way more complicated than it needs to be.
With huge advances in technology meaning the world is now at our fingertips (smartphones, ultrafast broadband, that little thing called Google) giving your potential clients the smoothest pathway to engaging in business, and cutting through the noise everyone else is making, is pivotal to the sustainability and growth of your business.
Creating the simplest pathway possible is the first step in building a strong sales and marketing plan. Identifying the path and keeping it clear and functional is not just good for your customers – it’s a great business tool for you too. You can never know too much about your own business and the way it functions best. Your job is to remove as many barriers between you and a potential client as possible. Identifying each point of contact and making it more simple for potential clients to navigate to your business will ensure a smoother flow from the client’s first point of contact to your front door, so to speak, and this translates to your end goal – sales.
Mastering these key steps is so much more important than investing in expensive programmes and software – if there’s no clear way for your customers to travel to you and you’re not sure exactly how they’re travelling to you, no amount of analytics can help.
Streamlining your processes to remove any unnecessary or overcomplicated steps will be a worthwhile investment of your time – time which you can expect to be repaid in sales and new
Get down to details
But it’s not just about identifying the basic steps – you need to look into the details surrounding each step too. You need to understand the intricacies involved with every point of contact along your path. By asking yourself the right questions at each point, you’ll get a much better idea of which steps are adding value to both your business and your client’s experience, and which can be simplified.
For example, if you know Google ads are going to be a part of the path (perfect for the small percentage of your target market that is ready to buy) there are so many questions you need to be asking yourself. Where are they going when they click on the advert? What will convert them on the page they land on? What can you do to capture any who aren’t ready to buy? How can you reconnect with them again if they leave? Once they do contact you, what happens then? How will you complete the sale? What will the customer’s experience be? How will you ensure no lead is wasted?
Start by writing down every single step your clients take to get to your door – and to becoming a client. Even if your main point of growth is through word of mouth, there may be steps you are not perfecting to make this more effective. Every path can be weeded and straightened a little.
Finding a balance
The path for every business is different – it’s finding the balance between what you sell, why you are selling it, your point of difference, your company culture, and much more.
It’s complex, it’s delicate and it’s exciting. This is not a one-off exercise – it requires constant consideration and reworking to grow and evolve with you as your business expands.
Rachel Klaver is managing director of Identify, the marketing agency that illuminates the best of your business, and she is a passionate path simplifier. Visit www.identifymarketing.co.nz