How To Warm Up Your Customers And Boost Your Sales?
If You Want To Make The Most Of Your Business, Leverage THE POWER OF A SALES FUNNEL !
By Anam Tahir
Imagine a Sunday morning and yourself sipping that morning cup of coffee. All of a sudden your mobile beeps.
You just got mail.
You open it up and to your utter pleasure Mary just signed up for the $2500/year membership plan!
Mary, who lives in Sydney, was a Basic member paying $25/month and she had fallen in love with your product so much so that she decided to buy a much higher priced product on that very day, in that very moment, before going to bed.
The moment she hit that Upgrade button, the very moment you got the money in your account.
That’s the magic of having a passive income stream set up.
But that wouldn’t have happened if you didn’t have a higher priced, much more valuable membership plan in line for her.
That’s the power of a sales funnel.
Sales funnel is the place where your dream of earning passive income turns into a reality.
WHAT IS A SALES FUNNEL And HOW CAN WE USE IT TO BOOST OUR SALES?
Going Inside The Customer’s Head
STEP 3A – Sales Funnel
Sales funnel is a marketing model designed to convert strangers into your raving fans.
As Seth Godin beautifully defines,
“Sales funnel turns strangers into friends, friends into customers, and customers into sales people.”
THE 3 LEVELS IN A SALES FUNNEL
Neil Patel in his guide to growth hacking divides a sales funnel into three levels. (Click the image to enlarge)
Level 1: Attract people and Turn Them Into Visitors
At this level your sales funnel’s primary goal is to attract your target audience to your website. You attract them by creating valuable content for them.
At this level you’re basically introducing them to your brand and making them visit your website for the first time.
At this level your audience is called visitors because they just visit your website and go through your content.
At this level you don’t have any relationship with them as yet.
Level 2: Warming Up Visitors And Turning Them Into Customers
At this level your visitors get comfortable with you and start consuming your content regularly. And a time comes when they decide to buy from you and become your customer.
Level 3: Retaining Customers
In the last end of the funnel your job is to retain those customers by nurturing your relationship with them and turning it into a long-term relationship where both of you take care of each other.
It’s a win-win phase. You keep giving them additional value and they keep buying from you.
At this level they have become your strong advocates and they market you by word of mouth, convincing their friends and family to buy from you too.
THE 5 STAGES IN A SALES FUNNEL
In the three levels of sales funnel, basically you walk your customer through five basic stages of readiness, aka consumer psychology. (Click on the image to enlarge).
Stage 1: Awareness
This is the stage when your buyer gets to know about you. Here you’re creating awareness about your brand and introduce it to your target audience.
You don’t sell to them at all in this stage.
Here you extend a virtual shake hand to a stranger to become friends with you. This is the time when you take the first move to build relationship with your potential customers.
Right now you’re just educating your customers about how their problems can be solved.
You educate them through your content. Your content can be in any form you want. Blog posts, videos or anything you can nail at.
This is the time when you ‘create’ the need in your customers.
You make them realize that your brand is the answer to their problem and create the need for your product in them.
Now this takes time.
The first stage is the one that takes the longest.
And it is the hardest among all stages as it is the most difficult thing to compel a stranger to go through your content and get to know about your brand.
At this stage, your audience is definitely not in a state of mind to buy from you. They have just started getting to know your brand.
Stage 2: Engagement
As your potential customer gets comfortable with you he or she moves on to the next stage. The Engagement Stage.
They now have already gotten comfortable with you and your brand and want to learn more.
Your potential customers now begin to engage with your brand. Basically you.
They talk about your brand on social media. They will start sharing your content. Which platform they will share on depends on where they hang out most of the time.
This engagement takes place on any platform where your brand exists. For example, engagement can be in the form of people commenting on your blog posts or posts on your social media accounts.
The only core reason behind engagement is to build relationship with your potential customers. Period.
Don’t even try to make a sale at this stage.
Your prospects are very vulnerable at this point. They have fears and apprehensions regarding your product.
So as the creator of your brand, as The Person behind your brand, your only job at this point is to build relationship with them, make them comfortable and win their trust.
The purpose behind this part of the sales funnel is to win people’s trust
Now, this is the time when your entrepreneurial DNA will be tested. You have to have layers of skin before diving into it.
Keeping people engaged with your brand is The Hardest thing to do for the rest of your entrepreneurial journey! Not just the sales funnel.
It takes a lot of patience, persistence and hard work to keep your potential customers engaged and win their trust.
The moment you stop interacting with people, the very moment people will start leaving you. Turning them into customers is not even a wild dream.
The Key to quality interaction with people is to make them feel important. And the only way to do that is by putting your heart into it.
Empathize with them. Understand their problems and genuinely try to help them out.
Don’t treat your interaction as another hook to catch the fish.
I promise you, if you have this intention people will get to know that. You must be familiar with the ‘sixth sense slash gut feeling’ in us human beings, right?
And another key point is to never ever leave the conversation left out.
Always reply to each and every person’s each and every comment personally! Until you have hundreds of people commenting and it gets unmanageable for you.
Be prepared to get grinded.
Stage 3: Consideration
This is the stage where the ‘cold’ strangers start warming up. After some exposure to your content and brand, people now have developed some interest in your brand.
They visit your website regularly and show interest in your brand.
At this point they want to learn more about you, your brand, how it works and other people’s reviews about your products.
This is the stage when you offer them a “lead magnet”.
As explained in my previous post, lead magnet is something attractive, something valuable that you offer to your website visitors free of cost in order to ask them for their email address in exchange.
After all nobody wants to give anything without getting anything in return, right?
The person who gives you your email address is termed as “lead” in pure marketing terminology.
Hence, the name “lead magnet”.
They are still not sure if your product is the one for them. They’re still confused as to whether your product is the right solution for their problem or not.
This is the reason why you have to offer a worthy piece of content to them for free to gain their trust, reduce their apprehension regarding your company and to increase their knowledge about your company’s products.
Your lead magnet can take many forms. The most common types are, free reports, guides, case studies, templates, e-books, checklists, cheat sheets, educational emails (newsletters) and video tutorials.
In the marketing world, these people are called the “hot leads”.
These people are the ones who like your work and frequently visit your website.
They are the ones who have given you the permission to enter their inbox. Now that’s a big win.
It means they are interested in listening to you.
They like going through your content that you send out to them via emails as they are interested in it and have personally allowed you to send them emails.
Without a doubt at this stage you’re educating them through your value loaded emails. But it eventually results in them learning more about your products.
These people are ‘qualified’ leads.
You must take care of them by constantly staying in touch with them and providing them value through your content.
And trust me these people are your asset that you want to keep for the rest of your life. It’s so damn important to nurture your relationship with them.
Step 4: Conversion
Now that you have successfully earned their confidence by providing them value driven content consistently for free, it’s time to ask them to buy from you.
The best part is yet to come.
They would love to buy from you. They won’t feel being pushed into buying at all.
They won’t think of you as another salesy person trying to make money off them because you’ve earned their trust by giving them value without asking anything in return for a long period of time.
The Guru, Gary Vaynerchuk, says
“Give so much value that you guilt people into buying from you.”
Your audience is now ready to buy from you.
Finally your prospects will start converting into your customers!
Not all of them but a certain percentage of them will happily buy from you because they’re so sure that your brand is The answer to their problem.
Now is the time when you start getting results. When your efforts are finally paying you off.
Stage 5: Retention
The moment your prospects become your customers, you take them into the next and the final stage of the sales funnel.
You now want to keep them for their life time!
At this stage of the conversion funnel you retain your existing customers by upselling them your other products in line that will provide them additional value than the previous product in solving their problem.
Retaining old customers is the easiest part of the funnel.
It is much easier to ask an existing customer to buy another product from you as compared to asking a stranger to just allow you to introduce your brand to them.
Once you’ve made a sale, it gets much easier to upsell other products to the same person because they know you’ll never take advantage of them.
Now you have successfully converted your customers into your loyal-repeat-customers.
They buy over and over again from you.
And not just that they become your raving fans and do the marketing for you.
They talk about your brand with their friends and family. They share your content as a loyal fan on their social media and take your side against other players in the industry and bring in more and more customers for you.
You Have Now Won The Customer!
If you have any questions, don’t forget to ask me. If you want to add something to the topic, jump into the comment section below.
And if you liked it don’t forget to share it with you loved ones. It would mean a lot to me ! 🙂
Coming Up Next
Tomorrow you’ll learn about:
– How a sales funnel is designed
– Some real life examples from the online business industry.
Stay tuned. Until then, take care. 🙂