If you haven't figured it out, I like coining my own terms --- unorthodox ways of thinking about business and marketing that really resonate with people. "Scaling Personal Attention," "The Orbit," "Triangle Stack," and "Follow-Up Pyramid," are a few.
"Ideal Purchase Path" (I.P.P.) is another one. Sure, there are many other labels for it: sales funnel, sales process, backends, etc... but including the word "ideal" implies a dynamic system aimed at a primary goal, with secondary "non-ideal," but sufficient goals also in place when the prospect says "No."
Having sequential product names is one of the easiest ways to develop and communicate your Ideal Purchase Path (IPP). You can create this by "numbering" your products (e.g. - Jazz Piano 101, Jazz Piano 201, Jazz Piano 301). This encourages customers to follow a predetermined path.
Sure, depending on skill level, some customers will start at "201" or "301" instead of "101." Your IPP is not so much about where they start (although most folks will start with your lead product), but knowing what the NEXT ACTION for each customer is, all the way up to an ULTIMATE ACTION (long-term continuity, high-end product, consulting, event, etc).
If sequential product names don't work for your business or you're outside the information marketing or consulting world, the "NEXT ACTION" technique still works. Say you have a storefront with 100 products and your customers have the opportunity to buy any given product in any order or quantity and in any combination thereof. Even in this scenario, every product purchased should beget another recommended or subsequent product. Period.
If they buy "Toe Massager 5000," there ought to be a single product or package (multiple products bundled) they can be offered to further enhance their experience. Maybe it's a silky-feeling, smooth liquid formula they pour into the water to increase the effectiveness and enjoyment of their massage. And if they buy 3 bottles at once, they get 3 free.
If they buy the liquid formula, what's next? Maybe some specially-designed slippers. Maybe nail polish. Maybe a nail clipping kit. If you've exhausted your toe-related options, move over to other body parts that could benefit from "massage technology." If you think creatively, you can always find a "NEXT ACTION."
I find starting with higher-priced, bundled options or packages as the "NEXT ACTION" works best because if they don't accept it in a reasonable amount of time, you can always take away items and downsell them to a smaller version of what you're offering. This may not be moving at your ideal speed but still moving down your path. Besides, any "profitable" activity trumps dormancy any day.
It is also important to note that while you may not make the same margins on every subsequent purchase, keeping your customers "active" will do wonders for your average lifetime customer value. Newton said it best: “Objects at rest tend to stay at rest unless acted upon by an outside force. Objects in motion tend to stay in motion unless something stops their momentum.”
Finally, at the end, there should be an ULTIMATE ACTION your most dedicated, serious customers will arrive at. This could be a monthly maintenance or continuity program, a mastermind (if you're in the info-marketing business), an annual conference or event, a distributorship (transforming them from a customer into a sales consultant), and more. All actions should eventually lead to your ULTIMATE ACTION.
Put this Ideal Purchase Path strategy into place and watch your lifetime value and retention soar!
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