Sales funnels are the most important part of your business. Get an early glimpse into how they can help your business by reading this early draft excerpted from my Sales Funnel Bible book.
Businesses serve target markets – niches and specifically defined “categories” of customers who share similar qualities. Once a marketer has identified what their target market is, they often skip right to the marketing and selling but they miss a step in between.
In the last chapter, I revealed the missing step – the need to first consider the target market’s mindsets – the sequence of thinking that prospective customers have when they first realize they have a problem or need, all the way through to the point where they are buying from the business.
When a business understands those mindsets, they can help their target market move through the sales funnel more effectively. They use various marketing and sales activities (I’ll just refer to them as “Activities” from here on out) to communicate into their target market’s mindset and move them forward in the sales funnel toward the next mindset – a baby step from one mindset to the next instead of a giant leap from an early mindset to a buying mindset.
If you did your homework from the last chapter, you hopefully have a list of mindsets that your target market thinks and feels – starting with the “oblivious mindset” of not even realizing they have a problem or solution, all the way to the buying mindset where they are just about to hand over their money.
Now that you have this list, the next thing you need to do is identify the various activities you can do to move your target market’s mindset forward to the next target market.
Some of the types of typical Activities you’ll do include:
- Capturing attention
- Education (i.e. highlighting the problem or explaining value)
- Reminding/Staying in touch
- Handling objections
- Offering Deals/Coupons/Incentives
- Presenting the offer
Just start with some rough guessing and then refine the process as you gain experience and measurable information from your market. In the early stages, you might need to educate your target market on the problem so that you can make them aware of it. Later, you might have some kind of enticing offer that pulls them into your store or onto your website. In between you might have a constant drip of reminders and various ways that you promote your brand to them.
Let’s say you sell cars. The mindsets you’ve listed might include:
- I’m happy walking or taking the bus.
- I could really use my own car for the convenience and speed they offer.
- I would like a red car.
- I can afford an economy car.
- There are many auto manufacturers but my favorite are X, Y, and Z.
- Of my choices, I would like this specific car.
- I’m ready to buy!
(I’ve simplified things here a bit – you might find that your target market has many more mindset evolutions they go through).
So you would take your list of mindsets and then consider what activities you can take to help your prospective customer advance their mindset from one mindset to the next.
- I’m happy walking or taking the bus. You could highlight the hassle and slowness of this option in order to lead them to the following mindset…
- I could really use my own car for the convenience and speed they offer. You could show them a number of cars that they might be interested in, which would lead them to the following mindset…
- I would like a red car. You can talk about financing and down payments, which would lead them to the following mindset…
- I can afford an economy car. You can provide a comparison of economy cars by manufacturer types, which would lead them to the following mindset….
- There are many auto manufacturers but my favorite are X, Y, and Z. You can outline the advantages of your particular car, which would lead them to the following mindset….
- Of my choices, I would like this specific car. You can handle other objections and provide a deal-closing enticement that would lead them to the following mindset…
- I’m ready to buy!
(Again, I’ve simplified things a bit here, so don’t try to copy and paste this and then reverse engineer it to work in your industry. It’s just an example).
All you’re doing here is trying to figure out what you need to do to move your target market from one mindset to the next. How you actually do those things will come in the next chapter. You just want to first figure out what you need to do – what information you need to communicate – to move your target market one step forward in their mindset.
This chapter is excerpted from an early draft of my book. Comments and constructive criticisms are welcome. Please be aware that the chapter content and chapter order may change by publication.