The Seven Phases Of Sales Funnels
Creating effective sales funnels is all about people and about understanding the rules of selling. I would suggest the more important rules include concentrating on the people, not the product and also understanding that people don’t like to be sold to, but they do love to buy. Understanding that we are all different and recognising that in a sales funnel can make all the difference in the world. I would say the key to this is to make sure that the moment your prospect meets you that your mission is to ensure they are looked after and have the best time, regardless of the outcome. The more comfortable you make your prospect feel when they are in your funnel, the more likely they are to remain there and move up the value ladder. Here then are the accepted seven phases of the typical sales funnel:
The real difference between a website and the online sales funnel (or landing page) is the understanding that when people are confused, they tend not to proceed with whatever it is they are doing. So when we look at the sales funnels, we only ask the prospect to do one thing at each stage, and that way, there is no confusion and no mixed messages. Typically each step will have its own hook, story and call to action or, if you prefer, the offer. If you ask them to do more than one thing at each step, you will simply be building obstacles that will stop them in their tracks. Our mission should be to make the journey through the seven stages of the funnels as smooth as possible. So you need to be thinking about the goal of each step and then craft your hook, story and offer for that one stage.
In essence, what I am referring to here is what you say or show that will place the recipient into a frame of mind that is conducive to the desired outcome. Let me explain; if you were sitting in the audience ready for a presentation from someone you did not know, and the introduction informed you that this person, although an expert in their field, was not very approachable, and some might even say cold. How would you feel before they have even started? Now consider the same situation, but this time the same person is introduced as an expert in their field with a keen sense of humour and a desire to help. Would you feel differently?
How about if I introduced you to a product and said this product will do what you want it to do, but it is a little expensive; compared to; this product will do all you ask, and while not the cheapest, it is built to last and is the perfect solution. This is a pre-frame.
Before we explore the seven phases of a sales funnel in more detail, I just wanted to make the point that every step of any funnel is the pre-frame for the next. It is not just about monetisation but also building a relationship, and you forget this point at your peril. It is all about getting people to buy from people they know, like and trust. The pre-frame is simply the suggested feeling you influence someone to adopt as they enter the next phase of the funnel. Changing this can have a significant outcome on what and when the customer makes a purchase, and in many cases, multiple purchases.
You can always tell a good funnel because they create a pre-frame that makes you more likely to progress and say yes in the next step, and ultimately that is what we should all want for our businesses.
The first phase of the sales funnel is to gauge the temperature of people we are directing our communication toward. This is instead of what most people that I have witnessed will naturally do and focus on the landing page. I believe that judging the temperature is a far more important start for the process. We can identify the traffic that you are going to attract as being one of the following, they will either be cold, warm or hot. Depending on their temperature, you will construct for them different content that will take their current position into account. Each group will need to be treated in a particular way. Each will need to enter your landing page content from a different bridge. You will see from this that this means you are also going to need different landing pages for the different temperatures. I want to clarify that it is worth every second you invest in getting this right.
Hot: I hope that the illustration above gives you the information you need to understand the different stages of the relationship. To be clear, your Hot Traffic comprises those who have already purchased from you; they know who you are. They know what their problems are and the possible solutions and the products you offer that will solve them. They are on your email list and subscribe to your podcast, read your blog and your video channel. There is a relationship between you, and therefore, the communications are between friends because that is what you both want them to be.
Warm: This group may have heard about you but are not currently connected. So they do not really know you yet. They will, however, be aware of the issues that they face and will be aware of some of the other solutions open to them. So your role is to make them aware of your solutions to the problems they are facing. These will often be the fans and subscribers of other people already in your space.
Cold: This group comprises those that have a problem but are not even aware of the potential solutions. Traditionally these will be the hardest to find and convert because they have not heard of you and may not yet be congregating where your more aware target market can be found. Most of your effort will be in the area of warm traffic, but as you grow and budgets become available, you will be able to venture more into this area for lead generation.
Set Up The Pre-Frame Bridge
This is the pre-landing page content that will drive the individual to the landing page to explore your content for relevance to their needs and desires. This could be an advert on a social media platform, or it could be a video, an article, or an email. You will already begin to understand that different traffic will require different bridges.
With your Hot traffic, you will need to do the least work as they are already well known to you and familiar, and therefore you need to do little or no credibility building; often, all these people need is a short email with a link to the landing page. Perhaps it will be in the form of a blog or video encouraging the target to look at the offer. These people will listen to you and do as you suggest simply because they already know, like and trust you.
Your Warm traffic will need to be treated slightly differently, and the bridge will need to be a little longer. Probably the most popular area to target is the various social media platforms; video is often the preferred tool for this type of bridge to encourage the individual to go from where they are to where you want them to be.
The Cold traffic is the longest of the bridges. With warm, you simply show them the solution to the problem they are facing; with cold, you may well have to identify the problem too. Here you are not moving the customer from one place to another but effectively creating a brand new client. In many cases because of this we need an entire page to pre-frame and educate them. THis is where you get the chance ot teach them something new and at the same time demonstrate your expertise.
Your objective at this stage could not be more simple, regardless of the temperature you want to find out who is willing to give you their email and subscribe sothat you can provide them with information. As a rule of thumb, if people are not willing to give you their email it is very unlikely they are going to give you their money. The method for doing this is relatively simple, we either use an opt-in or Squeeze page. Typically these types of page will offer something of value in return for the email address.
As soon as you have found out how your subscribers are you want to find out who amongst them is going to be willing to buy. I think the point I really want to emphasis at this stage is the importance of making sure you find about immediately after the subscription who is willing to buy. Do not wait, because the moment will pass and you will need to work harder later.
So with that in mind I would say that as soon as someone agrees to subscribe you should be directing them to a page that is going to make them a really attractive offer, typically this can be relatively low cost at this point, for example a book.
Identify Hyperactive Buyers
Once you have identified your buyers you can go to the next level and see who your hyperactive buyers might be. These are the ones that I would say are your dream customers. They are the ones who are willing to pay more money to solve their problems right now. For those that know me the best you will recognise this is where I sit personally.
I think it is vitally important to give people the chance ot buy form you when they want to buy, which is why the upsell is such an important feature, or at least it should be, in your sales funnels. Look at it this way, if you are not satisfying their urge to buy, then they will simply go somewhere else where they can.
Build The Relationship
This is where the magnetic character really comes onto its own, this is where post initial sale you are going to work on developing the relationship. this is where you take the client buy the hand and take them further up the value ladder, this is where we use a tool commonly known as the follow-up fiunnel.
Now we are in the world of personal contact where the high end products and services are sold to those who are at the top of the value ladder. It is difficult to sell these high end products online and so the personal touch is essential. Using either video call, phone or even live events. Either way it is the perosnal touch that wil work the bst with htese high value, high cost products and services.
When it comes to sales in your business, if you are a bit stuck and not making the progress you feel you deserve it is likely that the problem will be either in the content or in the phases mentioned above. Making suree you deal with the right temperatiure in the right way is a big part of this as is the actual content within the funnels and of courae making sure they are linked so you are making it as easy as possible for your ideal cusoter to buy from you. Next we are goingot take a look at the next type of funnel you should be using…