Capital & Business Modeling: The Sales Funnel 1 of 2

Sales-funnelA sales funnel is the process from first contact, relationship development, opt-in, upsell, sale, appreciation, follow-up, and repeat business. An effective sales funnel addresses each of the steps in an intentional way.

First Contact. Today, first contact is typically achieved through a free offer that requires the potential customer to sign-up with an email or mobile phone number. If not email or mobile, firms capitalize on Likes from Facebook and opt-ins from other social media engagements. As a business owner, you want immediate access to your customers through any number of portals. This allows you to nurture the relationship over time.

Relationship Development. Once the first contact is made, you’re going to want a continuous interaction with your customers. Rather than worrying about when your customers are available or what they want to hear, focus first on establishing your voice, schedule of posting, and contribution. We have a few different options when determining your voice. You can be the voice of their conscience. You could be a wise teacher. or you could just be a good friend who inspires. Whatever your voice, consistent posting and interaction is key to maintaining relationships.

Create a schedule that works for you and responds the habits of the platform. Even within platforms, you have some quirks to consider. For example, a Facebook page operates differently from a Facebook group. Pages may have multiple posts per day to make themselves accessible even to those who have liked the page. A group, however, notifies every member of every post. Daily posts in your voice will engage your members.

relationship developmentYour contribution seeks to provide what your customers are looking for. The great thing about this in our current age is that your customers are looking specifically to solve the problem that they have. This means that you don’t have to worry about attempting to solve every problem in the creation of your market. Just do what you do well.

Opt-In. The opt-in is when the potential customer actively chooses to be a part of your network. In this action, the customer states that they are not only interested in the free offer, but they are open to other offerings that you may have. It doesn’t have to be a purchase, but it can include that. What is more important is the opening to continue in relationship development. Often, it is the selection of a certain newsletter, or social group, or mailing list that identifies the interest of the customer more precisely. You will want to develop and promote these opportunities with a knowledge of the psychology behind them.

Customers typically look for specific information or exclusive belonging. Specific information refers to insider or digested knowledge that is not accessible to others in the general pool. This could be information that you teased in free offerings or information that is formatted in more convenient ways or information that is more instructive as compared with that providing descriptive or definitions. Exclusive belonging refers to your creation of subgroups based on interests, status, or other stratifying characteristics. These groups often involve specific information, but the focus is on the group identity emphasizing the group’s exclusivity.