Three Degrees of Separation for Creating Customers for Life


The most valuable type of customer your business can have is a lifelong customer. This type of customer provides more value than just money. A lifelong customer becomes a sphere of influence for your company and introduces your products to a whole new group of buyers.

But how do you create customers for life? For years, countless companies have wrestled with that question, and if answered correctly they will become both a profitable and powerful brand.

I don’t know the answer to that question, but I would like to share some clues that I have discovered that may help shed additional light into the darkness.

I believe there are six degrees of separation in keeping a customer for life. Yes, my six degrees of separation is modeled after the Six Degrees theory popularized by Kevin Bacon a number of years ago.

My definition for the six degrees of separation are the steps your company takes to gain a customer for life. As in the Kevin Bacon theory, you are just six degrees from Kevin Bacon, your company is just six degrees away from turning a non-customer into a customer for life. Here are the three I will include in this article.

Degree #1: First impressions – the first 30 seconds:

The old saying in sales says you have about 30 seconds to make a good first impression. Another popular sales saying is you never get a second chance to make a good impression. This is more important today than ever before. The reason is, your company now has over a billion competitors and that number increases everyday.

The billion and counting is the number of websites that your customer can chose to visit. We both know that all of these other sites are not direct competitors, however they can distract your customer away from your website and a distracted customer doesn’t buy.

So how can you make a good impression online? Although I am not going to get into website design tips in this article, your customers need to know exactly what you are offering at-a-glance. If a first time visitor doesn’t understand exactly what you are offering, they will quickly vanish into the vast sea of the Internet.

Action Tip:

Tomorrow morning, the minute you sit down at your desk, quickly glance at the home page of your website for 10 seconds. Then turn off your screen. Sit back and write down three things that jumped out at you from your quick review. Do these three items match the first impression you thought your site gives?

Degree #2: The final 30 seconds:

If you are lucky enough to get past the first 30 seconds and the first time visitor surfs around your site, the final 30 seconds is when you actually make the sale. This is when the visitor becomes a true customer. Is the path to your merchant account easy to follow? Is your merchant account easy to view, add and remove items, etc?

Action Tip:

Place a timer on your desk. Set the time to 30 seconds and make a purchase from your website. Can you get it done within this amount of time? Remember, people are time crunched today, and if they can’t make a purchase within a very short amount of time, again they will leave your shop never to return.

Degree #3: Consistency of your presentation:

How consistent is your sales pitch? Does your copy slowly but surely walk your buyers through the decision-making process blending logic with emotion?

Action Tip:

Reread every sales page on your site at least once a month to determine the ideal blend between emotion and logic.

If you have any comments or additional insights on how your company is building customers for life, I would love to read your comments.
Good Luck.


  1. Andy, your advice is very sound. In terms of content, I think using a conversational tone really draws customers in. The traditional third-person approach can easily come off cold and stuffy. To arouse the emotion that is so important, talk to customers, not at them.

  2. Hi Brad,

    Thanks for your comments. I agree the with the conversational tone, as this creates the personal touch with the reader and customer.

  3. Not only do you need to ensure your message is succinct and makes an emotional connection to your buyer, but as a business you need to keep in front of customers. Building loyalty means you have taken the time to determine why they trusted you to begin with and why they will return to you. As marketers, it is our goal to keep them coming back for very good reasons. If we accomplish that objective, we are surely on the right path to developing lifetime customers.

  4. Now if only I could get to the gym for some action tips there. I’ll need more than 30 seconds though.