By Shane Michael Singh, Editorial Intern, REALTOR® Magazine
Instant gratification. That’s the solution to winning customers in a marketplace saturated with competition, says Robert Bloom in his book The New Experts (Greenleaf Book Group Press, 2010; $18.95 hardcover). In a time when wireless Internet and mobile apps make it quicker and easier for consumers to compare options and make informed purchasing decisions, Bloom says the key to standing out in the marketplace (and the webosphere) is satisfying the needs of these “new experts” at four stages, giving them what they want, when they want it.
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- First impressions matter. Dubbed the “Now-or-Never Moment” by Bloom, this stage encompasses the first interaction between your company, your product, and the consumer. Albeit brief—such as the amount of time it takes someone to look at your website—this stage is critical in positioning your product as a viable option.
- Follow through. Sales fall through far too often during the intensive periods of consideration, negotiation, and closing. Bloom advises smart engagement with customers throughout the grey zones of pending purchases, or the “Make-or-Break” moments, and making sure their needs are met.
- Post-purchase power. Your work doesn’t stop once you’ve closed the deal. The “Keep-or-Lose Moment” is when customers actually use your product or service—a time when “customers must feel just as ‘loved’ as they did during the selling process.” Keep your company top-of-mind and in good mental standing.
- Repeat business. Of course, the best customers are those who buy again or refer your company to friends, family, and coworkers. “The Multiplier Moment” is the opportunity to convert a one-time client into a repeat visitor. Highly profitable, it marks the successful conclusion of your customer’s purchase progression and pins your company as a preferred option amongst competitors.
About the Author
Robert Bloom is the former U.S. chairman and CEO of Publicis Worldwide and author of The Inside Advantage: The Strategy that Unlocks the Hidden Growth in Your Business (McGraw-Hill, 2007). He advises firms of every type and size on their growth strategy. While at Publicis Worldwide, Bloom helped craft and implement the growth strategies of such companies as BMW, L’Oreal, Nestle, T-Mobile, and Southwest Airlines. As an entrepreneur, he grew an advertising agency into a successful national business. Bloom lives in New York City and Italy.