Six Steps To Making More Money With A Killer Sales Funnel

First off, a big welcome to readers from Smart Passive Income!

A few weeks ago, I got a call from a good friend. He had recently started a marketing agency and was struggling to get clients. "I don't really understand," he said. "I'm having a lot of trouble getting leads, and when I do get them I always ask for the sale but I never end up closing. What am I doing wrong?"

When you're selling a high-end good, you can't just ask for a sale right away. Instead, you need to lure the customer in, bring them in slowly and steadily, using a marketing technique called a "sales funnel." Here are the six major steps to increasing your sales through a killer sales funnel:

Step 1: Create Awareness

We are constantly flooded with information. Somehow, you need to break through the noise and get people to know about your product. No one’s going to buy anything if they don’t know it exists. Here are a few ways that people generate product awareness.

-  Conventional Advertising: This isn’t a bad place to start. Buy up ads in a newspaper, run an adwords campaign, or even getting on TV or radio can help generate a lot of buzz for the right product. But be careful: this is an expensive way to generate awareness and will really cut into your profit margins. Monitor your ad campaigns carefully to make sure they are actually yielding legitimate results.

Viral Marketing: It's awesome to get free advertising, and this is what viral marketing is all about. Get people to talk about your product and your margins will go through the roof. There are many good ways to do this, but what it all boils down to is killer content.

- Affiliate Marketing: The idea here is to get a bunch of “affiliates” to sell your product by paying them commissions. There’s a lot of work upfront, but it can be really profitable if you do it right. I'll be writing more about this in a future post.

Step 2: Generate Inquiries

Simply put, this means that getting people to give you their contact information, along with some indication of interest. The best way to do this is by giving away something of value in return for this information. Here are some ideas of services you can provide:

E-Newsletter: This is pretty common and it works pretty well. Always remember that you need to structure your newsletters in a way that builds trust. Don’t try to sell your prospects something right off the bat. Instead, provide them with value, day after day, week after week, until they view you as an authority figure. Then, you can literally name your price.

Webinars: Webinars are a good tool for explaining the more sophisticated features for your product while giving potential customers a chance to get their questions answered. Make sure to publicize your webinar to maximize attendance, and also keep a recording as a potential sales tool down the road.

Videos: Videos are a powerful way of communicating complex information in a short, concise medium. They don’t have to be complicated, but make sure to have a high quality microphone and video camera so that you come across professional. Also make sure to keep your videos short; research shows that most people’s attention span is less than 3 minutes long.

Step 3: Follow Up On Your Leads

You’ve put in all this time and money into generating high quality leads, but it means nothing if you don’t fall up. Make sure to stay organized and on top of all calls and meetings with a potential client. This sounds obvious, but it’s amazing how many people lose out by not following this simple rule.

The other goal here is to get a sense of whether this is a serious opportunity. Are they just looking for information, or could they actually be a paying customer? When are they looking to make a purchase? Don’t waste a lot of time if you are fairly certain that a prospect isn’t going to end up buying something.

Step 4: Cultivate The Leads

This is where many deals often fall apart.

People always rush to close sales. But buyers are rarely as eager as you are. They need to be lured in, slowly and steadily, until they are truly convinced of your value.

The key here is regular communication. Over time, they’ll grow to trust you and feel more comfortable about shelling out money to keep you around.

Here are a few steps you can take to cultivate your leads:

-  Send them news or information that’s relevant to your discussions with them

-  Make introductions on their behalf to partners or individuals who might be of value

-  Ask them for advice. This is always flattering and could lead to some great insights.

There are many ways to nurture leads. You can send news or information they might be interested in, make additional offers for low-cost or introductory services, connect with them socially, and even seek their advice from time to time.

Step 5: Close The Deal

At this point, you’re down to negotiations on price. It’s important to understand your BATNA whenever you’re negotiating something. You want to get the deal done without leaving too much on the table.

Closing the deal is what you’ve been working for all this time. The best part is that if you’ve done everything right up till now, this will actually be the easiest step of all.

Step 6: Upsell the Customer

I’m always astonished at the number of people who close a sale and then never talk to a customer again.

A purchase is an indication of trust. Once a customer has bought something from you, they are far more likely to buy something else in the future. So keep the relationship alive and be on the lookout for products and services that they could use. Otherwise, you’re just leaving money on the table.

What are some ways that you’ve succeeded in improving your sales funnel? Please share in the comments

10 Responses to “Six Steps To Making More Money With A Killer Sales Funnel”

  1. Hey Vik.. this is great post. Anyone who follows these 6 steps will surely make more money from their markerinf funnel. Cultivating the leads and providing value before closing the deal is crucial.
    thanks for sharing this with me and getting in contact with me
    talk soon
    All the best
    Hector

  2. Rob says:

    Vik,
    Thanks for article. I'm going to try vids. Also, since I haven't made any sales yet I can keep in mind the upselling.  

  3. Nick says:

    I like this post. Well constructed. I can almost see some Pat Flynn in this. Keep up the great work. I love the overall look and feel of this website as well. Very nice job Vik.
    -Nick Purcell, SimplyLearnBusiness.com

  4. Steven says:

    I agree with the advice to follow up on all sales leads. Too many companies quote a potential customer and then just sit back waiting for the sale, all the while their competition is following up their quotes and closing the deal.

  5. Christopher says:

    Thanks for the reminder of the sales process. Getting info out there, responding to leads, etc. It is easy to forget about that working online since so often visitors don't want to interact.

  6. Seth Frank says:

    Vik,
    Enjoyed the post. Found it from Pat's List on his site but also remember you being a case study for him about your site design. I have to say the site looks great. Keep at it.
    We always have to bring value to our someday/maybe someday customers. If provide great content over an extended period of time we build a foundation for future trust and investing in us.
    The key to me is to not treat them like they are the next sale. To write with an open mind and give them the goods to foster value and a relationship.
    Thanks Vik and if you ever need anything don't hesitate to shoot me a message.

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