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Archive of ‘Leads’ category

Customer Loyalty: Determining Flight Risk

After two years of class in B-school, one thing you learn is how much Academia likes to use 2×2 models (or similar models). Most of the time, these models are more of a way to give a simple representation to help with retention of a complicated or abstract concept, but sometimes they are actually helpful.

One I was recently shown looks at the idea of Customer Loyalty. While customer loyalty is one of the most studied and discussed topics, in day-to-day business we often neglect it. Most agree that customer retention is critical to business survival (and prosperity), but then we turn around and spend more time and investment in generating new leads and potential customers. To a fault, we tend to lump the world into past customers and people have not purchased. We take our past customers for granted and expect their business to just continue. Look at the cable industry for one. Anyone who has ever had cable will tell you that the industry rewards new customers and does whatever they can to hold their current customers hostage. But yet, while we scream and yell about this tactic, we too neglect our current customers in favor of winning new business. We devote entire departments and budgets to new businesses, but do we do the same for our current customers?

With that said, my challenge to you (the reader) is to take another look at your current customers? Who are the truly loyal? Who are you holding hostage? Who is about to escape?

Flight Risk of Your Customers

This post is not intended to make you better at customer retention. The goal here is to get you to reevaluate how you look at your customers to determine who is really loyal and what relationship you need to cultivate.

Below is a two-by-two model that I think presents an interestingly simple way to look at why and how some customers are loyal. It uses Customer Behavior and Attitude to get a deeper understanding of their Loyalty.


Loyals (blue): These are the simplest to understand. These people are your evangelists. They are extremely loyal in both their behavior and their attitude. They act as referrers and offer testimonials. You goal is to push more and more people into this box, but the question to ask yourself is, ‘How many of your customers really fall into this box?

Non-Loyals (yellow): These people are not disloyal. All people are loyal. They just aren’t loyal to you, hence the name non-loyal. They do not buy from you, so their loyalty behavior is low. They do not speak highly of you or refer others because their loyalties lie in other places. Your goal here should be to understand why these people don’t choose you? ‘Do your products not align with their needs? Does your core competency not align with what they want? Or are you neglecting a part of the market?’

Spurious Loyals (green): These are your highest flight risk. They are loyal in their behavior (repeatedly buy), but their attitude towards you is  low. An extreme example of this is your cable provider. You renew your contract, but if there was a better option you could easily be lured away. Another example of this might be a fast food restaurant close to your office or home. ‘Do you go there as often as you do because you are loyal? Or do you go because of proximity/convenience?‘ The question to ask yourself is, ‘Is your customer doing business with you because they want to, or are they doing it begrudgingly?‘ The goal here is to understand why their attitude towards you is low because if a competitor identifies that first, you will quickly lose these customers that you probably currently count on. My guess is, you probably have a much larger percentage of your portfolio in this box then you think.

Latent Loyals (pink): These people have a very positive attitude towards you, but their behavior does not match. A prime example of this would be your luxury goods. There are people in this world who are extremely loyal to Porsche though they have never owned one. People believe in your product, but do they buy it? Price is not the only factor here though. They might believe your product is high-quality and great for others, but have a misalignment with their own particular needs. Understanding why these people have a positive attitude can help you better understand some of your issues with your other loyalty boxes, but the question you must ask yourself is, ‘Why are these people not buying? Do I really understand their needs?

So where do your customers lie?

What percentage of your past customers make up these different boxes?

What are you doing to understand their behavior?

What are you doing to understand their attitude?

Acquiring New Business

The Differences Between a Lead and a Referral

I often hear the terms lead and referral used in the same context when, in fact, they are two very different things. Both are used to acquire new business. Yet one far outweighs the other in its effectiveness in getting closer to a sale. Entire marketing campaigns are built around finding new business using leads. Likewise, sales processes build in methods for finding new business using referrals. One method, leads, works off volume while the other, referrals, works off quality.

So what’s the difference between a lead and a referral and how should a company and, more importantly, a sales person take advantage of each? Additionally, why is it important to distinguish between the two? To begin with, a lead and a referral should be treated with different priorities since a referral is at least one step closer to the prospect than a lead. In other words, leads are strangers, referrals could be prospective customers. If a sales rep receives a lead, he shouldn’t treat it like a referral. And more importantly, if he receives a referral, he shouldn’t treat it like a lead because referrals have a higher priority than leads. Knowing the difference between the two is vital to knowing how each should be handled by a salesperson. (more…)

CRM Strategy: The Bridge from Marketing to Sales Leads

In the business to business sales and marketing world, a customer relationship management (CRM) system is a critical tool. A CRM tool allows sales to manage leads and customers through the entire sales funnel, allowing them to scale their business. It enables marketing to track leads from acquisition through the sales process to conversion. In the end marketers can see conversion percentage and speed to conversion for multiple lead sources. (more…)

Web Seminar Recap: The Fundamentals of Sales

On Wednesday, September 19, 2012 Clay Pernell (ASPE – Vice President of Sales) presented the free web seminar “The Fundamentals of Sales.” This web seminar focused on the fundamentals of the selling process covered in our own internal sales training including:

  • Five Attributes of Highly Successful Sales Professionals
  • Opening Statements
  • Negotiating
  • Managing Price Expectations/Price Objections
  • Understanding Your Potential Buyers (and their roles)

Selling is a wonderful profession when approached ethically, constructively and helpfully. It can be frustrating and complicated, or it can be very simple. It is not an accident that the top producers in the world of selling are at the top. It is also true that there are no born sales champions. Yes, some people have more talent than others. But, success in selling comes down to some basic fundamentals. Fundamentals, if taken action on consistently, will lead to success.

Listen to a recording of this web seminar in its entirety by clicking View Event Recordings (at the top right).

Why Training Budgets Go Further When It's Hot


Are you currently making your summer plans? Maybe a drive down the coast with Jimmy Buffet blasting is in your future? Or will you be found sipping a Corona on the beach this Fourth of July? Whatever your summer plans, ASPE wants to be included. Come take advantage of our July and August specials and train with us this summer!

Believe it or not, the summer months offer a great opportunity to get the most out of your training dollars. Because the business world slows down during the summer, several opportunities open up for anyone who needs training. While the slowdown can present a challenge, savvy folks can actually take advantage of it. Here’s how:

  • Your competition is sluggish during the summer slowdown.
    Gain an edge going into the fall.

    Training builds enthusiasm and gives your people fresh new skills. By the time business begins to pick back up, those skills have really been mastered and integrated into the organization. You’ll enter the fall market with an edge, while your competitors are busy trying to shake off the lull of the summer blues.
  • With a slow in business, employees often have time to pick up some new skills.
    With a decade of experience training all sectors of the corporate world, we’ve found that employee flexibility is at its peak during the summer months. If your people experience a lag in their schedule, backfilling with new skills or certification training is a good move.
  • Training doesn’t just improve your people; it can upgrade your business processes.
    A potential slowdown can offer an opportunity to upgrade processes, as well as employees. Your busy time of year isn’t the best time to adopt a new methodology or deploy new software. If you have a bit of summer flexibility, you can afford to upgrade without disrupting your flow of business.
  • Virtual training allows you to train at any location.
    Many times the date or location of training conflicts with schedules. With virtual training you can keep your summer schedule and fit in training. Our virtual training goes anywhere you go. So take ASPE to the beach with you this summer!
You can currently save 24% on July and August sessions or 20% on other sessions if you book your upcoming training this summer.
Sessions include:
Learn more about how Training Budgets Go Further When It’s Hot!


Web Seminar Recap: 7 Immediate Steps to Increase Online Lead Generation

Increasing your online lead generation is the number one goal for online marketers these days.  Many marketing professionals are just now realizing that getting users to click on your site is only half the battle.  Getting them to purchase, register and fill out forms, or call, are the true goals and are what moves our revenue needles. Having a good conversion rate of your online leads is key in today’s online marketing departments. On Tuesday, April 3rd ASPE instructor Jeremy Smith presented the free web seminar “7 Immediate Steps to Increase Online Lead Generation.” In this web seminar, he discussed the 7 fastest ways to increase your online leads.  You will learn how to optimize specific campaigns for immediate results. He also explained the basic elements of online lead generation for any campaign and 5 simple techniques to breaking down and analyzing your landing pages.

Listen to a recording of this web seminar in its entirety by clicking View Event Recordings (at the top right).

Do you have a question for Jeremy? Leave your comments or tweet us! Follow @ASPE_ROI and use hashtag #ASPEEvents.