Characteristics of Suspects, Prospects, and Customers

You want to have a relationship with your suspects, your prospects, and your customers. But what are the specific differences between each group, and how should you modify your tactics to reach each segment the best?


Suspects typically have no pre-existing relationship with you or your company. Most likely, they haven’t even heard of you. More than any other segment of your audience, your tactics need to focus on educating them about your product/service, building rapport, and demonstrating credibility. Remember: suspects don't know you, so they have no reason to believe that you can help them until you show them that you can.


Prospects are “raised hands” – they’ve demonstrated in some way that they might be interested in becoming your customer. They might be in the information gathering stage or the evaluation stage. Prospects want tools to help them in their decision-making process, so your tactics should focus on educating them in-depth on how your product/service works, and how you are different from your competitors.


Customers want, simply, to be treated like customers. They want information that helps them do their jobs, and information that validates their investments (they want to feel like they made a good decision to become your customer.) Make sure you give them support mapped to their products and their processes – not your own.

David's blog

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