Who Are Your Followers, Prospects, Clients and Unclients? | Travel Research Online


Who Are Your Followers, Prospects, Clients and Unclients?


“Having the right four bucket lists will grow your business exponentially!”


A CLIENT is someone who has just purchased from you. A CLIENT is someone who has purchased from you in the past. A CLIENT is someone who is ‘in the funnel’ and about to buy. What if I told you that only the first statement is true?



Too often, we call a consumer a CLIENT when they are not. It is for this reason that we get complacent and lose them to competitors. We mistakenly assume that a person who has just purchased has also agreed to be forever loyal. Truth is, all they have agreed to make is that singular purchase and nothing more.

This incorrect theory leads to incorrect marketing practices. We put more effort into making new sales. This diversion is a distraction from where we truly need to be focused. While we market to bring in the new, the ‘old’ slip out the back door.

Perhaps they were hooked by good advertising or referred by a friend to purchase elsewhere. Or, maybe they left because they felt abandoned. Loyalty is not earned by giving good customer service one time only. People buy elsewhere when they have no good reason stay.

When a consumer leaves your bucket list, they get on someone else’s. Winning them back may be hard.

Allow me to introduce the four business development buckets, as I see them. Understanding where people are on the transactional time line will illustrate a truer relational fine line.

Only call them CLIENTS if they have JUST purchased.

Shower them with gratitude. Validate they have made the right choice (to eliminate buyer’s remorse). Ask for referrals. Some think of this as the victorious end of sale. It is just the beginning. Pretty soon they’ll leave this bucket and become an UNCLIENT.

Once some time has passed, and they have consumed your product or service, they drop into the UNCLIENT bucket.

They may be ready to purchase again soon. Unless they are contractually obligated to buy from you again, they are free to go. It’s your opportunity to move them into the PROSPECT bucket.

In the PROSPECT bucket are all the people who are ‘in the funnel’ and likely to buy (but never guaranteed).

If they are coming from the UNCLIENT bucket, then you’ve got a great shot at procuring the sale… if they still love you. (They will love you, if you never stopped loving them). Here’s your chance to move them back into the CLIENT bucket.

However, if this PROSPECT has never purchased from you, they have come from the FOLLOWERS bucket.

If they were referred, you have the edge. Perhaps they have been following you and are impressed by your positive influence which gives you the edge. Or, they somehow found you, know nothing about you, and now is your golden opportunity to grow your sales.

The fourth bucket contains the FOLLOWERS.

They are not in your PROSPECT, CLIENT or UNCLIENT bucket yet but are on a list or in social media group you manage. You can move them into the PROSPECT bucket when they are ready to buy, or when you make a compelling offer convincing them that now is the time.

Understanding these four buckets, and the need to constantly and consistently flow consumers from bucket to bucket, will grow your business exponentially. I hope you need no convincing that somebody who has purchased from you in the past is your businesses greatest asset – but only when you have them on the right bucket lists!


Stuart Cohen, Chief Motivation Officer at StuartLloydCohen.com

If you can think big, Stuart will help you do big! An accomplished 28-year travel industry executive turned serial solopreneur, Stuart is a creator of brands and an energizing motivational speaker. He motivates & maximizes personal performance in leadership, entrepreneurship, salesmanship & wellness.

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