Businesses want to make sales.
No doubt about that. However, they often end up spamming random people with their sales copy. Often even people who have nothing to do with their products or services.
It feels spammy and it is. It doesn’t make sales.
Businesses should follow a structure when sending out content and making sales pitches. They should use a sales funnel, and I’m going to go into this article as to how to structure one.
The main idea is that companies shouldn’t target every single person they can reach. They should instead assert their prospect’s position within their sales funnel and deliver content accordingly.
The funnel is made of 4 levels, which are separated in the middle by the “wall of trust”. The levels are the following:
- Strangers: These are the people who aren’t aware of your products and/or services.
It’s very unlikely that they will pay loads of money to your brand just because you have something to sell to them. They don’t know anything about your brand or what makes you a better choice than your competitors. What you should do with them is pique their interest. Use attention-grabbing headlines and relatable images or some sales copy that pinpoints their exact situations and feelings. The key word here is relatable.
Just like when you meet someone new and what keeps you two engaged are your common interests and/or passions. …or even common problems. If they get the idea that you are knowledgeable of their business (their issues, roadblocks, questions and desires) then they will hear you out. Afterwards, they aren’t strangers anymore. They become your audience.
- Audience: They are the people whose eyes and ears you managed to win over. What now? NOW… you need to win over their trust. And when you do, you will have them on your side, believing in your message and in your vision. Believing in your brand. How do you do that? By giving them as much value as possible. Yes, give them free stuff! Be it blog posts, tips, tutorials, PDF guides… anything that may be useful to them. The result of this is that they will start seeing you as being resourceful and as being a guide. Once they make they make the decision to trust you, they become your subscribers.
- Subscribers: Finally, you can pitch your products to them. Bear in mind that trust can be lost far easier that it has been won. So keep giving out gifts (aka free stuff) just like you normally would, if they weren’t subscribed; make sure your products are polished and presentable, and please don’t be too pushy and overwhelming with your sales pitches. Instead, keep sales pitches related to their needs/interests. Otherwise you could come off as spammy (and lose their trust).
- Clients: The people who went all the way through the funnel and bought your product.
These are actually the most important people from your sales funnel and should be treated accordingly. Nurture them with exclusive content and offers. Make them feel special. Make it worthwhile to be your client. Word of mouth and referral programs are most of the time more effective than sales pitches.
A lot of salespeople make the mistake of putting strangers first and seek to make gathering attention a first priority.
It should be the other way around!
Clients are your most important assets because they trust you and they will stick to your brand. You already won them over. Now make them stay and offer them more!
Using a sales funnel just like the one described above can prove useful when segmenting sales copy, posts, ads, promotional material, sales pitches, etc. Personalisation is a term in marketing, which means using information about prospects to target their needs and desires in their own context, so that they understand that you have a grip on their own situations and you know what you are talking about. You are proving this to them, and they choose you and your services because of your competency.
Bear this diagram in mind, and use it whenever you get the chance so that you don’t put in too much effort in strangers who don’t want it and run out of energy/time/resources to nurture your clients who are counting on you.
Also published here.
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