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Core Concept: 3/10

The Transition Model

from lead to raving fan

Concept: A model to make it easy for customers to transition from leads to highly profitable repeat customers. 

There are only two ways to grow your business, number one is get more customers and number two is get your customers to spend more money. The smart way is to build your business around a model that does both of these things by design. Done correctly the results are profound as not only will you get more profit from each customer you will be able to provide more value and a better service. This means they are more likely to refer you more customers and this in turn means you can afford to spend more to acquire even more customers giving you a profit machine that your competition cannot contend with. Here’s how and why it works…

So this all comes into play once you have attracted attention from your target audience and then sent them to your funnel, this could be your social media profile, your website or even your physical store. You have done the leg work and they are interested in what you have to offer so the last thing you want to do is put up an obstacle which is exactly what most businesses do.


Imagine in the physical world you stand on a street corner and approach a load of strangers and ask them to visit your shop down the road and you manage to convince several to go to your store but when they show up the door is locked, this is exactly what most business do with their marketing. They get the customer to take interest and then they put up a bick brick wall by either asking them to spend a lot of money straight away or not making it clear what action they should take as a first step.

The aim is to make a smooth transition for your new customers by giving them an easy, low commitment first step not simply asking them to buy. I explain more about this in the previous concept The Customer Interest Spectrum so if you haven’t already go and read that before reading on. Once you get the customer to make that transition from lead to first time customer you want to get them to ascend the transition into your core products and services and onto your premium and higher ticket products.

You need to design a product range to suit this framework making it easy for customers to spend more money and to make repeat purchasers. The value is in this network of products and services and the holly grail is to ascend the customers through this model and then turn them into advocates of your brand so they then bring you more customers. Below I outline the different sections of the transition model and give examples for each.

Lead Magnet

This is top of the funnel fishing for leads. You cast out a hook to your ideal audience and get them make an exchange with your business. Typically this is an exchange of their time and contact details for some kind of value. This should actually be good and worthy of someones time so it should exceed their expectations and you need to put a lot of effort into this step. Ideally, you want it to be digital with automatic delivery but this isn’t always possible depending on what you sell.

Example: I will use a real example I have used to create this model for a client. My client is a an online fitness program in the functional fitness space, they give their members different fitness programmes to follow and send them their workouts each day via an app.

To onboard new customers I build a lead magnet to obtain their contact details but unlike a typical boring PDF download I created something that was individually tailored to them. Let me explain how I did this and why it is so powerful. I created a ‘Athlete Performance Score’ which was an online quiz that once you answered a few questions gave the participant a fitness score across different categories such as diet, training, goals and obstacles. The results page was dynamic depending on how they answered the question so for example on a question about their motivations to train they answered they wanted to build muscle for self confidence showed them content around this. We asked questions about their age, gender and how long they they had worked out and this allowed us to tailor the result page even further using appropriate images and content. We also got their head coach to give real actionalbe advice and tips for each bucket someone landed in. In short we gave away some genuince good fitness and health advice highly tailored to the participant all within a few minutes and all automatically. Now here is where it gets even better, by collected details about their preferred training and goals we could dynamically recommend them a fitness program and offer them a free trial. This basically served as the perfect lead magnet and sales process all in one. Not only did this lead to them getting nearly 1000 leads in a few days it also onboarding them loads of new customers on a free trial. In additon we sent the key data points to their CRM and segmented them into different categories so we can then put them into an automated email flow that was tailored to them. Clever ay? How can you do this yourself? I wrote an article about the software used to do this along with an example here.

Easy purchase

The next level is to transition them from lead to customer with a small one off transaction. This should be easy to do and low risk / hassle for them. In the example above I blended the lead magnet with the first step by offering the free trial this made sense as by offering them a recommended programme it made sense to just give them the option to try out the programme at zero cost and minimal hassle to set up. I know that not all business have a product or service that can support this. In the example I could have offered a one month fitness starter programme for something like £9.99. If you are a service business like a web agency you could offer a website audit for under £50 and this could be a follow on from your lead magnet which was a free automated speed or SEO test. This is exactly what I used to do.

Pro Tip. Whatever this transaction is the aim to to provide more value than what you charge so that you make a great first impression. You sell them the dream outcome and once they have completed the process it should reveal the next problem which leads to the next step, your core range. In the fitness example, they try the 30-day free trial and if it’s right for them and they had a good experience then it make sense for them to simply let their membership continue.

Core Range

Your core range is your main product or service, if you are a car dealer then this would be car sales if you are website design agency this is a new website build. In our example the core product range was the monthly subscription programmes. Your core range is your bread and butter and you should be known for this and be good at it. All the other parts of the transition model rely on this part being good so focus on making this good first.

Pro Tip: Focus on meeting and exceeding your customers expectations and ensuring every stage of the customer journey is delivered well. Everything from the onboarding experience through to hand over or sign off should be outlined upfront and delivered as promised. When this is done well it makes the next stages much easier and this is where you make your big profits.

Obvious Choice

The next stage is what I call the obvious choice because you provide bolt on and suplementary products or services that are an obvious choice. If someone has commited to buying something they often need other things to go with it once they have signed up to your core thing now is the perfect time to sell the extras. If you sell cars then a warranty or service plan is the obvious choice, it should be something they will need once they have the core thing that you sell. If you sell websites then the next thing they need is hosting and the obvious choice is to use you as the provider as you are making the website and understand the hosting environment it requires. In the fitness example once someone decides to sign up for a fitness programme then it’s likely they will need or want other things. For this client we set up a nutrition plan for a one fee of £19 and set up deals with partners for supplement and equipment such as resistant bands and support tape.

When this stage is done right not only will these be easy to sell your customers will also be grateful and it shows how well you understand their needs. Another great reason for this stage is that it can often offset your cost of acquisition (CAC) meaning the cost to advertise and convert the customer has been offset which is a big win.

Pro Tip: Think about what a customer will need to implement or get the most out of your main product. It might be something they will need straight away or might be something down the line. In the website design example it might be clear that the clients image assets suck, and someone who did this service for years then this is highly likely. So rather than giving them shiny new website and using their existing terrible photos it’s a perfect time to sell them on a photo and video shoot so they have great imagery to go on their website. The same can be said for providing a copyrighting service.


This final stage is where you can make some serious profit and not by ripping people off but by providing enormous value. It’s amazing to me how many businesses and clients I have worked with over the years overlook this element. Remember a certain percentage of your customer base have the budget and will want to spend more so you need to give them the option. The reason customers don’t pay you £25,000 for a special thing is because you don’t have a special thing for £25,000 to offer them.

Once a customer has locked into your core product has gained value from it and also made use of your obvious choices they may hit a road block or want more. An example of this is a VIP upgrade to a festival ticket, they are already commiting to attending the event by buying a standard ticket so it makes sense to offer an upgrade for double the price that allows them acccess to things like a VIP bar, posh toilets, wifi or even a back stage tour. A certain percentage have the money and are happy to pay for this enhanced version. A similar thing for a glamping pod where they would rather spend an extra £500 for a little prebuilt hut with power than the hassle of pitching a tent in the rain. In the fitness client example we decided looked at ways we can could enourmous value and settled on to help people reach a new level in their fitness in person group sessions would be the best. We put together meet ups exclusive to members where they could come to gym and take part in a seminar with leading instructors and coaches. They also did retreats in places like Bali and it allowed them to charge £150 – £3000 per member significantly increasing their turnover and bottom line.

Pro Tip:
A good way to think of ideas for this phase is to ask yourself what could provide if the customer gave you 10x more than your core product. So if your core product cost £1,000 what could you offer for £10,000 what could you do to really help your customer get to where they want to go faster or what could really enhance their experience. Check out the Customer Persona Concept to help with understanding their needs and emotional drivers.


Hopefully you can see the value of creating a network of products and services that compliment eachother and lead customers naturally up the transition model. Sometimes you just have one missing piece of the puzzle and that’s all you need to transform your business other times people need to completely rethink their business model entirely.

If you just have a single product or service you create a big leap for your first time customers it’s a jump most people wont take. On the other side if you don’t provide obvious choices or upsells it’s harder to provide extra value and extract more profit. This leads to higher costs, lower profit and less customer satisfaction making the business and uphill battle. Whereas if you get this model right not only do your cost to acquire customers come down you make dramatically more profit from each customer. This allows you to provide a top notch service which leads to your customers naturally referring you to people they know.

Bonus Level

If you have nailed this model you’ll find your customers a pretty stoked with the results and your products. This is the time to not only ask for reviews and referrals but also to turn them into a brand ambassador so they are incentivised to promote you to their audience or network. I will go into these kind of programmes in another article but in essence you want arm them with the material they need to promote your products and services where they are rewarded in some way. The rewards can be financial like a commission or loyalty points but they can also be a way of public appreciation like exclusive clothing or a special mention.

The results of this are two fold and genius. Not only will your customers feel appreciated they also become a form of internal leverage selling on your behalf. The byproduct of customers who feel happy to promote you is that it can be turned into content like video testimonials and case studies etc. This takes your marketing to a new level as instead of banging on about yourself all the time you can simply shine a light on your customers and turn them into the stars of the show. This will resontate more with your audience and build trust like nothing else. Sell the dream outcome but showing proof you can get people to the outcome they want.

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