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No matter what your product or service, your sales funnels have the same basic shape and characteristics – wide at the entrance and becoming narrower as the prospect moves through it. Each sales funnel is similar, but no two are exactly the same. You have many options when it comes to working out the specifics of your sales funnel.

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Researching Ideas For Your Sales Funnel

Before you start thinking about the specifics of your sales funnel, there is some important research that you need to do. Failing to do the initial research is the difference between a high-converting sales funnel and one that fails to start and leaves you wondering why you even wanted to start a business in the first place!

First, start with your product idea and making sure there’s a market for it. No matter how enticing your offers or how well-crafted your funnel, you won’t succeed if there isn’t a hungry crowd salivating over your offers.

You should begin by doing keyword research to see if people are searching for what you’re planning to offer. You can conduct more detailed research by looking at products in your niche and niches that are similar to yours. This can be done through product marketplaces such as ClickBank.com or Amazon.com. On these sites, you can see if people are actually buying products related to your niche. You can also find out about the potential of your market by looking at similar products offered by your competitors.

Your Competitors’ Sales Funnels

It’s always good to investigate the sales funnels of your competition. The point of this investigation isn’t so much to get ideas (stealing ideas is plain bad karma) as it is to find weaknesses within their sales process. You need to offer your prospects something unique that your competitors do not offer, and it needs to be robust.

The best way to do this is to sign up to your competitors’ mailing list and see how they market from the point of view of a prospective customer. You should also take advantage of some of their offers to see what you’re up against. You’ll be able to assess not only their sales funnels, but also the quality of their products and service. This helps you differentiate in the marketplace.

Brainstorming for Your  Sales Funnel

Once you discover your market and the approach of your competition, start brainstorming what you’ll do with your own sales funnel. First of all, brainstorm potential offers. Knowing what your competition is offering will help you target what the market could really use. What kinds of products would help you qualify these potential buyers? You might consider freebies, expansion pack offers for the front-end, medium and large-ticket offers for the back-end, and one-time offers.

You’ll also need to identify your traffic sources. Traffic sources include things such as search engines, social media, forums, blog posts,  press releases, information products, and anything else that will drive traffic to your landing page.

What Does Your Sales Funnel Look Like?

After your brainstorming lay out your sales funnel in a visual way that enables you to see the whole picture. You can do this by using tools such as mind maps, spreadsheets, timetables, and/or diagrams. I prefer pen and paper.

A good sales funnel is solid, well-planned, and detailed, but it should also be flexible. Once you put it into action, be sure to carefully track your conversions to identify the strongest and weakest spots in your funnel. Troubleshooting your sales funnel is something you should do on a regular basic.  Find ways to strengthen the weak points while replicating the strongest ones in order to improve your sales funnel.

Sarah

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