“There are the people who stay stuck and the people that leap.”

Deirdre Walsh, one of the brilliant business owners in a group I’m currently running, knows this about the people who come to her for integrative health coaching.

My challenge to her and the rest of the group? Construct your business in a way that caters to “leapers.”

What’s the difference between a stucker and a leaper?

Stuckers are the customers who buy from your business and show up for the jam session but rarely act on the ideas, they keep the jewelry in the box, or they add your book to their overflowing shelf of unread books.

They’re genuinely interested in what your business has to offer. They buy into your vision. But that’s where it stops.

For whatever reason, they’re not really ready for the bigger picture. They like to look but they’re not interested in the follow through.

And you know what? That’s just fine!

Here’s the thing: Stuckers aren’t good for business. Not because they’re bad customers or because they take up your time, but because they don’t give back. They don’t create the ripple effects that allow your business to grow and evolve.

On the other hand, leapers are the people who bring energy and enthusiasm to the consumer-producer relationship and create a return on their investment. They are quick to make changes, they update their wardrobe to match the jewelry, they tear into your book and take notes. They get results. Their investment is as much in themselves as it is in your product.

What’s more, they tell their friends. Their lives become an example of the good your business creates. They stick around for the long haul. They’re repeat buyers and repeat referrers.

Leapers renew your entrepreneurial energy. Stuckers drain it.

We’re all a little stuck.

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The best way to get in touch with who the stuckers are in your potential clientele is to get in touch with your own inner stuck.

OctopusIs there some aspect of your life on which you just haven’t taken action past lip service? I’m betting there is. Maybe you bought that juicer but you never use it. Maybe you bought that killer dress but you haven’t made an opportunity to wear it. Maybe you bought that gym membership but you just don’t make time to go.

What holds you back? Keeps you stuck? Bottom line: it’s almost always about priorities. And secondly, it’s about support.

Leapers put a priority on the work they’re doing with your business or the product they’ve buying. They have an emotional connection to it long before they buy. They have envisioned the outcome of the purchase and have already begun making changes or adapting to their post-purchase lives.

Stuckers have other priorities. Plain and simple. Their desire is spread thin and something else in their lives is receiving top priority.

Leapers also have support. Whether it’s self-support or an accountability network or just a pat on the back from a friend, they know their decision is made in relation to a greater (supportive) context.

Stuckers are going it on their own. They’re not necessarily functioning in a hostile context but they don’t have the inner or outer care that makes change a reality. They put more responsibility on the product or service than they do on themselves.

Of course, what the leapers and stuckers look like and how they present themselves varies for every business. While you may not always be able to distinguish one from another, you can study former clients and customers to see what they have in common.

Identify 5-10 customers who have leapt–taken the advice, changed their habits, achieved personal success, etc…–then identify 5-10 customers who have stuck. Consider the differences in:

  • how they contacted you to buy
  • why they bought
  • how quickly they bought
  • how they expressed their needs/desires
  • what their reaction was to the product
  • what their outcomes/results have been

Notice any patterns?

I don’t have all the answers. It’s different for every business. But if you’re interested in really understanding the social dynamic of your business–and, I believe, you absolutely should be–it’s important to bring attention to the subtle differences between your leapers and your stuckers.

What does this have to do with actually selling products?

Stuckers can drain the life-force out of a relationship-driven business.

You–as a business owner, maker, thinker, designer, coach–genuinely care about the outcomes your customers realize through your products. If you, or your team, are regularly coming into contact with customers who aren’t getting the results you envision, you’ll begin to question your product. And rightly so.

However, if you notice that those not achieving your shared vision are stuckers, you can go on fulfilling the needs of your leapers.

It’s not that you need to turn every stucker away. Instead, your business can create leveraged offers that allow stuckers to get what they want without taking up a disproportional amount of your resources. Leapers can have access to higher level, deeper relationship offers.

Your business model–and the way it is marketed–should be built to satisfy stuckers at the lower end and direct leapers toward the higher end. It’s better for your revenue, it’s better for your Most Valued Customers, and it’s better for the people your MVCs will come into contact with.

Triple win.

Tell me about your own experience with leapers, stuckers, or leaping/sticking yourself: tweet me.