Sales Funnel? No Thanks, You Don’t Need One
What the Heck is a Sales Funnel, Anyway?
In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that having some semblance of an optin and an email list is the most basic of sales funnels. For any business owner, a sales funnel is probably the most important marketing tool you have. Yet many entrepreneurs – both new and established – have no clear understanding of what their sales funnel is or how it works.
A sales funnel is simply the sales process in virtual form. As you can imagine, failing to fully understand this critical part of your business means fewer sales, lower profits, and ultimately, a business that’s really a hobby and not something that gives you the lifestyle that you want!
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Your Simple Sales Funnel
At its most basic, a sales funnel consists of free content, which typically requires nothing from your readers. Many sales funnels begin with blog posts, YouTube videos, Facebook and Linkedin content, and other information readers can access at zero cost. This is top of funnel content, and leads people to the second stage of your sales funnel.
Next, you’ll have an attractive offer that requires a very small transaction – typically an email address. You’ve seen this type of offer on websites all over the internet, and probably even signed up for some. This is the free ebook or guide, video series, checklist, workbook, or other valuable content that is available in exchange for “opting in” to an email list.
Once on your mailing list, you’ll then present your readers with a series of low-cost offers. Perhaps you have a low-priced ebook or a trial membership. This is known as a “trip-wire”, here at Leads / Launch / Leverage we call them expansion packs.
Customers who purchase your expansion pack move further down the funnel, and are presented with more, higher priced products. As they continue to buy, they move closer and closer to your VIP offers, which make up the bottom of your funnel.
How Your Sales Funnel Works
If you imagine your funnel as looking like, well, a funnel, it’s easy to see that your free content—at the top—is consumed by the largest number of readers. It is the widest part of the funnel after all! Below that, your extreme low-cost item (available only for the cost of an email address) attracts a smaller subset of the true freebie seekers. Next, your low-priced products bring in yet a smaller audience of people.
Finally, as you near the narrow spout of the funnel, only the most loyal fans and customers will purchase your highest priced offers.
Now, just to confuse matters slightly, you’ll find that people move through your funnel in a most unfunnel like way… Some will buy an expansion pack and never make another purchase. Some will skip the expansion pack and move straight to the high-end offer. Others will skip the funnel as described entirely and go straight to the sale!
Most business sales funnels aren’t funnels at all, but a two-way street where you can go from one location to the next and back again!
Your job, as the business owner, is to ensure that your prospects move through your sale funnel with as little friction as possible. The more buyers you can keep in your funnel, the more profitable your business will be.
Most new—and even established—business owners can easily envision the top of the funnel, but if you truly want your business to grow, you must think about the entire process, and that starts with understanding what a funnel really is and how it works.
Content And Your Sales Funnel
Content fills your sales funnel every single step of the way. It’s the fuel of your sales funnel. Knowing what content goes where is something that initially, you’ll guess. Then as you become closer to your clients you’ll find that your content depends on where they are in the sales process, and there relationship with you.
You’ll notice in the image above that your blog and website appear multiple times. From awareness to expansion and back again, you’ll find that content will help fill your sales funnel, unblock it and grow your business.
If you’re told you don’t need one, the next thing you should ask is “What are they selling me that replaces all of the aspects of the sales funnel?” you might just be getting a sales funnel in disguise!
Leave a comment and tell me about your sales funnels, I’d love to know what you think