Most of our clients have a basic grasp of what a sales funnel is already by the time they hire us. But often they don’t know for sure what their own specific sales funnel is, or they know what it is but don’t know how it’s working or how to fix it.
I like to start our Strategy work together by just making sure I understand what your sales funnel is, and that process often reveals gaps in your funnel, or bottlenecks that could be easily addressed. But let’s just start at the beginning to be sure we’re talking about the same thing.
What Is A Sales Funnel?
It’s called a “funnel” because it’s shaped like an upside-down pyramid. At the top are a whole lot of people, and at the bottom are relatively few people. Here is one way of conceptualizing a sales funnel:
So you can see at the top is all the people who have never heard of you, which is probably a lot of people! This is great news, because all of those people are already in your funnel! Now we just need to get them to flow into the next phase of the funnel, where they have heard of you.
What If The Sales Funnel Doesn’t, You Know, Funnel?
Our clients come to us with bottlenecks in all different phases of this funnel, but for people who are just getting started this first step can feel like a doozy. If no one has ever heard of you, how do you get in front of them? We can help with this, but there’s no magic trick here. You show up, you provide stellar content, and you make it easy for people to find you. You can write guest posts for people with an existing audience, get interviewed on other people’s podcasts, get your SEO dialed in so that people searching for information on Google will see you, and many more options.
Once they’ve heard of you, they still might not be ready to becoming a paying client, or a superfan, or whatever the bottom point of your funnel is. They need to not just hear of you, but know, like, and trust you. Sometimes this can happen really fast, like if you get a referral from someone that is already trusted, then this person might hop right down into the bottom of this funnel. But more likely, they need to have some ways to engage with your content to get to know who you are and what your brand stands for. This can be blog posts, your own podcast, an email newsletter, a compelling youtube video channel, or so many other things that can be used to let people know who you are. And it doesn’t have to be all of these things! Pick one or two that you are really good at, and do that to its fullest.
The step from this one to the next step of “paying customer” is another common bottleneck. It’s fairly common for our clients to have significant visitors to their website, many people signed up on the email list, etc but they don’t buy. There’s a lot of possible solutions here, and we’ll talk through what your specific situation is. Sometimes it’s that people need to be given an easier first step like a simple $10 product. Every once in a while we get a client whose only product is a $10k masterclass, and they aren’t getting people to opt in to that. (Although, don’t limit yourself either! We definitely have clients who run waiting lists for their completely booked $10k masterclasses without any other product.) But offering stepped products can help people test the waters and make sure that you are offering a quality product.
Or sometimes the problem is that people have gained a large audience that just isn’t the right audience – they just aren’t interested in your product or service. There’s lots of ways to fix that problem, don’t worry! I’ll get into that in a future post, but for now I just wanted to give you the info about what we’re even talking about when we talk about a sales funnel. It’s not some scary mythical creature – it’s just the awesome process where people get to know who you are and what you have to offer.