The term sales funnel is a funny one, because it’s now thought to mean something that only applies to smaller or online businesses who sell digital products and services. However, the concept of a sales funnel has been around pretty much since business itself has been around – so, it’s safe to say, far longer than any digital or online business could ever have dreamed of being.
Every successful business, like the ones mentioned by Bob Bratt – regardless of their size has a sales funnel – they may not refer to it as such, but that’s what they have, because without it, there would be no sales. Even your local supermarket has one.
A sales funnel at its core is basically the process that your ideal buyer goes through from the first time they ever have contact with you or your brand and keep going until they become a paying customer, and then hopefully a repeat buyer.
If you think about it this way, then even relationships we have are like sales funnels. Just like you wouldn’t ask someone to marry you on the first date and expect them to say yes, it’s unlikely that you would ask someone who’s just come across your business to buy from you right away.
It takes time to build that relationship, to get to know each other and build trust. When done right, it’s something that can last a lifetime.
So, if you’re thinking that a sales funnel doesn’t apply to your business, then you should know that just because you don’t refer to your relationship building process this way doesn’t make it any less true, and in this post, we’re going to share with you just how to set yours up so that you can start nurturing those relationships and getting some longterm customers.
Determine the end goal:
Whenever you’re planning anything, the best way is to start with the end goal in mind and then reverse engineer since this makes it so much easier to get a clear look at the bigger picture and see what actually needs to be done in better and clearer way than you would be able to if you were starting at the beginning. The same applies when creating your sales funnel. You need to know what the goal of that funnel is. Is it to make sales for a specific product? Is to grow a list for an event? Is it for something else that you want to offer? It doesn’t really matter what it is because you can have multiple types of funnels, but it’s just important to know what the end goal is so that you have something to work with.
List the steps needed to achieve that goal:
Now that you know what your goal is, it’s time to put those steps in place that you need to work back from. So, for example is the goal of your funnel to lead into an information product that shows the clear benefits of it cost reduction within that product? Then, now that you know this goal, you need to start at the top and work your way back through the steps you would need someone to take before it would make sense for them to sign up for this information product. If you start at the beginning, you’re simply having to guess what steps they need to be taking, but if you start at the end in front of the end goal, you already know because it’s right there in front of you.
Create the offer that aligns with that goal:
Now you know what your goal is and what you’re going to be offering people as the thing that will achieve that goal, it’s now time to create the offer. The reason why it’s a good idea to create the product already – or at least have the outline created for it, is because sales funnels are typically going be automated and you can only automate things you already have, so doing this should be easy if you’ve already validated your product through market research and/or a beta test.
Design your campaign to lead into the offer:
The campaign is basically the dating stage of your funnel in which you’re getting to know each other and building that trust that’s going to lead to the next step of making that bigger commitement, so this shouldn’t be something that’s not well thought out or has any effort put into it. The campaign side of things will greatly depend on your business – for an online business it can be emails or videos, for offline, it can be other forms of marketing or advertising designed to address the pain points and desires your ideal customer is dealing with to lead them in and get them more interested in what you’re able to offer them as what they perceive as a problem in their lives.
Create your hook:
Your hook is the possibly the most important part of your funnel because it’s what grabs that initial interest, and since you have very little time to do it, then you better hope you’re good at it. Imagine it as being at a bar and trying to get the attention of the attractive person standing across from you – this is what your hook is like.
Again, your hook is always going to depend on the kind of business you have, how you market to people normally, and the kinds of problems you solve and also what kind of people they are. So, in an online business, a hook could be a blog post, it could be a video posted online via social media, and for an offline business, it could be something like a promotional ad, it could be a voucher, or some kind of gimmick that grabs attention.
Creating hooks for your sales funnel is something that takes practice, and if you don’t feel comfortable in your ability to create the right messaging with these needed to get attention, then you should consider hiring a sales and marketing copywriter since this is what they’ll be able to help you with.