The anatomy of a sales funnel
Earning customers today is harder than it has ever been. Customers are, on average, exposed to more than ten times the ads they would have seen in the ‘70s. Make no mistake about it, customers are sick of being sold and they feel overwhelmed. This resentment has fueled a new way of advertising. Companies are expected to give first and then sell second. In this article, you will find how to earn new customers and unlock the formula of advertising for maximum profitability in the 21st century.
Provide free value, content and entertainment
This is the original part of your relationship with a potential customer. People on the internet are there because they are seeking something, it could be entertainment, knowledge, or connection. It is our job, as content creators, to give it to them. Provide high-quality free content, and you will earn the trust of your customers. By satisfying their initial search you have placed yourself above your competitors as their trusted source of knowledge. This combination earns loyal customers that will help to build your business.
Bring THem onto your website
All of your focus on social media should work to bring your ideal customer back to your website, where you are in charge. On your social media profiles, you are at the mercy of the social media platform. At any time the social giants could change everything and cause you to lose what you have worked so hard to earn. Don’t make the mistake of making a social media platform your home on the internet or else you may find yourself homeless one day. Bring the potential customers to your website by linking as much of your content to it as possible. All of your best content should be posted to your website first and then shared on your social media pages.
Ethical Bribe and Email Acquisition
Once you have provided value and then lead your customer back to your website you have accomplished the hardest half of this whole equation. You have already broken the ice and at least partially gained the trust of your ideal customer. They can see that you are not just someone looking to trick them. They trust you and now it is time to start really building a relationship with them. On your website have prepared an irresistible offer for them. This entire time you have been providing great value to them and now show them an opportunity to learn more. Give away the knowledge that they are looking for at no cost, just require an email. If you have crafted your package well enough and provided enough information and value to the customer then they will have no second thought to hand over a simple email. This is one of the most critical parts of the sales funnel and is called an ethical bribe. It is an exchange of an email address for something of value to the customer. Always assume that when a customer leaves your website they are gone forever. Getting their email is the best way to continue to build a relationship with them on your terms. It is our job to make sure that your ethical bribe over-delivers on its promise. Prove to your customer that you will not let them down.
At this stage, you know that the customer is very interested in what you have to offer. They like you and are thankful for the information and value that you have given them. Still, throughout this whole process, this customer has not yet spent a dime. This is the stage where you can start to ask them for money. At any earlier stage, you will never get consistent payments because customers do not yet trust you enough. Now at this stage you can just start to offer paid options. Never start with something that is far too high for your ideal demographic. The first offer should be equal to 10 – 20 percent of your average product price. If your first offer is too high then you will scare off potential customers. Likewise, depending on the business, if your offer is too low you will make your customer nervous that it is even worth buying. Give a great deal at a great value. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Once they have bought
Now the customer trusts you, they have confidence that you will deliver on your word. They have given you their contact information in exchange for your resource, they have paid you in exchange for a product or service. The next step is to now make the sale that you have been wanting to make form the very beginning. Let them know about something that you are offering and how it could help them. Show that you are glad for their interest in your content and that you made this product or package just to help people like them. Once you and the customer have been able to walk this path together it will be a natural progression for them to further their commitment and take it to the next level. You just have to be there to show them that the best way to do that is through you. Find customers earn their trust by providing consistent value, build a strong relationship with them, and then make the sale.
If you do all of these steps you should not lose too many customers throughout the process. If you notice at any time that you are losing too many find the step that if scaring them away and modify it to make your sales funnel more inviting. I like to think of a sales funnel like a waterside, the more fun you make it and the smoother that you slide the better. If there are abrupt jumps or drop-offs you will always lose customers. At the end of the day, these “steps” should not feel like steps to customers. They should feel like a natural progression and a pleasing journey lead by you, the expert. Give first to customers and you will always meet your sales numbers and be able to reach your goals. I would like to leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Zig Ziglar. “You can get anything that you want in life if you can just help enough other people get what they want.”