Let's begin with the basics: What is a sales funnel? And how does it fit into and support your online expert business?
In marketing and selling your products or services online, you need to take your customer on a journey -- one that begins with their first awareness of you, and continues through to the point where they have not just bought from you, but continue to do so as a loyal customer.
There are 6 basic stages a buyer goes through. This is the model devised by Dr Philip Kotler and used really effectively by Bryony Thomas in her WaterTight Marketing book and programme.
Awareness -- through a social post or ad -- of you, your offerings, and how you may be able to help them.
Interest -- where they begin to show interest in what you do, perhaps by reading a blog post
Evaluation -- where they begin to suss you out and see if you really can deliver what you say you can.
Trial -- where they try out your products or services on a trial basis, via a training webinar, etc
Adoption -- when they actually buy that first product
Loyalty -- when you treat them so well, they keep coming back for more.
Your sales funnel maps the Evaluation, Trial and Adoption stages of the buyers journey.
And because your customer comes on a journey with you, it's important to meet them where they're at -- with an offering that matches the stage of their journey.
I call this FLIRT.
Free content at the awareness and interest stages.
Your Lead Magnet as interest grows and your potential customer begins to evaluate your offers
An Impulse Buy when they're ready to try your products or services to see what it's like to be your customer
Revenue products for the adoption phase and your Top End services for those loyal customers who love what you do.
Your Sales Funnels
Yes, you'll have more than one.
There are many different kinds of sales funnels, each one suited to a different type of product or service offering.
Here's my take on them.
- Free Plus Shipping for a physical product you're using as a Lead Magnet. A book, CD, DVD that offers great value. Either the postage covers your costs, or you offer an additional product to do so.
- Self-Liquidating Offer as the name implies, is one where you cover all your costs, not from the sale of your offer, but from an 'upsell' to a related, higher priced offering.
- Continuity a special funnel where you offer the first month's subscription to your members' club or continuity programme at low or no cost, then immediately offer the full subscription. Enough people will take up this second offer to make this profitable.
These three funnels are ones you will use for low priced, high perceived value items -- your Impulse Buys.
When it comes to higher priced products and services, you'll need a different approach:
- Sales Webinar where you conduct a live (or evergreen) webinar to sell a higher priced Revenue product or service.
- Product Launch a special series of free live trainings which work really well to launch a Revenue product or service.
- High Ticket Application for your Top End services. This begins online with a funnel that culminates in an online application. Thereafter, you take the sales conversation off line.