One of the biggest challenges of any business is getting a client or customer, one who actually spends. Some businesses assume that just because they created a good advertising material in print or online, customers would come knocking on their doors immediately. The process of turning a prospect into a client is actually harder than it looks and requires a great deal of sacrifice. It is important to understand the sales funnel first, which is how prospective clients become leads and how leads become clients.
How a Sales Funnel Works
In a nutshell, the sales funnel works by: 1) telling people what you offer, 2) enticing them with something of value at no cost, 3) offering them something of high value at a minimal cost, and finally 4) offering your main product of high value at actual cost. At this stage, your prospect-turned-lead should now be convinced of your product’s value and is ready to spend for it.
Before you can convince prospects that you are worth their money, they must know how your product could benefit them. This is the easiest part. The hardest part is convincing them to spend to acquire your high-value product. This, however, is the critical part because once you have made a sale of your core product, you have a chance of nurturing that business relationship and keeping that client forever.
When to Offer the Main Product
Online marketing experts, like 5 Star Brand, emphasize that you need to spend a lot of time and money on the first three steps of the sales funnel for the fourth step to be successful. Steps 2 and 3 will allow your transactions with the prospect/lead to build up, establishing trust. Offering your main product to cold prospects (potential markets that have very little awareness of your company) is a recipe for failure.
Don’t expect to make a profit during these stages, too. Even making a sale of your main product does not guarantee profit. In fact, marketing professionals say a business may not earn back until the last two stages of the funnel: profiting from value-added and increasing customer transactions. For a company seeking to earn, this may sound like a terrible idea, but think of it this way. By offering samples of your main product or service, you allow them to enjoy it without cost on their part. If you manage to impress them, your leads will want to repeat the transaction, this time at a full rate.
Understanding the marketing sales funnel will enable you to create a fool-proof plan to generate loyal customers/clients. It may cost more at the start, but the returns are no doubt better than a shot in the dark.
(Marketing Sales Funnel, 5starbrand.com)
(Customer Value Optimization: How to Build an Unstoppable Business, digitalmarketer.com)