Slow Down! 8 Ways to Improve the Customer Journey and Boost Sales

Marketing tactics that seem to “always be closing” could be bad for business. Here are eight ways you can make sure that your marketing isn’t short-changing the customer journey, and costing you sales in the process.

8 ways to improve the buying journey

Image credit: Tom Fishburne at

At first glance, it may seem obvious that the sales process consists of three major parts: capturing the buyer’s attention, persuading them to buy, and closing the sale. All too often, however, it seems like marketing and sales focus on closing tactics, without having captured the attention and trust of buyers, first.

It may go without saying that you must capture the buyer’s attention in order to make the sale — but isn’t it easier said than done? Much of today’s marketing focuses on benefits and features, but neglects to touch on the most powerful attention-getter of them all: The customer’s pain point.

Talking features and benefits is important; however, it’s not the best way to get the buyer’s attention. Talking features and benefits puts the responsibility on the buyer when it comes to interpreting how those features and benefits will solve a problem for them or improve their life in some way.

The fastest way to get the attention of prospects is to talk not about your business or its products and services, but to talk about them (the prospect). Specifically, you must know what is important to your customers in terms of the problems, needs and desires they have that your business can solve. Here are eight ways to make sure you don’t short-change the customer journey, so you can get more sales.

close more sales by improving the buying journey

8 Ways to Ensure You Won’t Short-Change the Customer Journey and Lose Sales

To get the attention of members of your target markets, use these four tactics to identify the customer pain points (that your products or services can fix):

1. Identify broad target markets and niche — or “ideal” — buyer types.

Without an idea of who would most benefit from doing business with you, your marketing efforts are likely to be both cost and time-ineffective. Generalities can help you develop broad target markets which you then refine into ideal buyer types or buyer personas by dialing in to more specific lifestyle, geographic and other characteristics shared by people who really need – and will benefit from – your products or services.

2. Do your research.

Customer and geographic demographics and tools such as Nielsen’s Prizm tool give you insight into the neighborhoods and lifestyles of your customers and members of your target markets. This can help you better target your market and possibly even discover new niche markets for your products or services.

3. Analyze past buying behavior.

Reviewing past sales – and even interviewing current or former clients – can provide you with important information about not only shared customer wants and needs but buying triggers that led to sales.

4. Take every opportunity to get more information.

We are often so busy dispensing marketing messages that we don’t take time to listen. Take every opportunity to get information from your customers and prospects that could help you refine not only your marketing messages but your customer experience, products and services as well.

Once you have the attention of members of your target markets, communicate with prospects about these four topics in order to educate them why they should choose to do business with you, choose your products or services over those of competitors, and recommend your business to their family, friends and colleagues:

1. How – specifically – it solves the point of customer pain that got their attention

2. How – specifically – it solves customer pain points better than competing goods or services

3. How their lives are made better (through the customer experience as well as products or services) as a result of doing business with you

4. How the world is made a better place as a result of your business’ existence – impacts to the local community, economy, charities, etc.

Gaining the attention of consumers and communicating the benefits of not only your goods or services but also the good that is produced in the lives of your customers and the community as a whole takes people way past the sale.

Give people reasons to feel confident about doing business with you and make them feel better about themselves for having done so – and you reap the benefits in increased sales, customer loyalty, word of mouth marketing and referrals.


My 2015 Small Business Marketing Calendar is available on, and it’s packed with marketing inspiration and a working calendar that you can use to attract – engage – retain and motivate your customers in the coming year.

2015 small business marketing calendar template

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