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.
This is one of my favorite topics and it’s one of the easiest things that you can do as a business owner to immediately have an impact in your business. In fact, you’ll see an increase in sales in your business even if this is the only thing you implement from your entire book.
As I’ve mentioned in previous chapters, most people enter your sales funnel when they first become aware of a problem or need they have. In fact, they might not even perceive it to be a big problem at all and they might not be looking for a solution just yet. Over time, as they interact with you, they start to understand the importance of the problem, and then the “cost” (or impact) of their problem in their life, and then the opportunity to solve the problem, and then the reasons why you are the best business to provide a solution. Eventually you want them thinking “I have an acute problem that needs to be solved urgently. This company has the product that can solve my problem so I’m willing to hand over my hard-earned money right now because the value I derive by solving the problem with this company’s product is far greater than the work I put into earning that money.”
Eventually you want them thinking that but it’s not always an easy or fast journey to get them to that mindset. The evolution of their mindsets can take time and it’s not a frictionless slide down your sales funnel. There is resistance. There’s conflicting emotions and desires and attitudes. There’s a battle waging in your prospective customer’s mind all along your sales funnel. They might resist thinking that they even have a problem or need! They might look around at all the solutions out there and think that the options to resolve their problem or need are infinite. They might resist handing over their personal information to you so you can market to them. (I’ve written a whole chapter on that). And they will almost definitely resist handing over their hard-earned money to you.
This happens in almost every single sales funnel – for almost every single product and for almost every single prospective buyer.
Now some of you might disagree with what I’ve just written. You might say: “If someone wants a burger at McDonalds then they are going to run out to McDonalds to get a burger. There is very little hesitation. Why are people eager in those situations to hand over their money with little hesitation and seemingly no objection at all?” However, I would point out that, chances are, that burger-buyer has already been a customer of McDonalds in the past. As a previous customer, they have already gone through McDonalds’ sales funnel so it takes much less encouragement when they are ready to buy again. And even if the burger-buyer wasn’t a previous customer, they have been part of McDonalds’ sales funnel for a long, long time, so running over to their restaurant for a burger is sort of the last step in a long-ish sales funnel.
So, most sales funnels (I would even be willing to say ALL sales funnels) will encounter some resistance from the prospective buyer. That resistance will come out as objections.
We often think of objections as reasons that people give for not making a purchase, and that is a frequent definition of objections. However, I think that’s only part of it. Objections aren’t just reasons for not buying; they are reasons that people have for not moving forward in the sales funnel. The purchase is a big part of the resistance but sometimes people also resist discovering the cost of their problem or they resist the work involved in finding a solution.
Have you ever delayed investigating an important purchase because it was too time-consuming or depressing to think about? I’ve been that way with buying health and dental insurance! I’m in reasonably good health and not really interested in thinking about all the bad things that might happen to me so I wasn’t the fastest at getting insurance. When I did finally start the process of applying for insurance, I was pretty slow at filling everything out. It wasn’t the purchase itself I was afraid of; it was the somewhat depressing thoughts about what could happen in my life that made me move through the process at a painfully slow pace.
Fortunately, if you can do something about it. You can use your sales funnel to zap objections before they kill the sale. Do this by writing down all of the objections that your prospective customers have. The more often they’re mentioned and the more often they kill the sale, the more important they are. (You’ll have to do some guessing if you are just starting your business but pay attention to all objections and write them down once you start running your business!)
Once you have a big list of objections (the bigger the better) then create objection-killing answers that address each objection.
Got that big list of objections and answers? Now embed those objections and answers into your content at each step of your sales funnel. The most important objections and answers should be woven into your content throughout several of the steps, repeatedly addressing the top concerns your prospective buyers have. Some of the less important objections and answers need only be mentioned once or twice, prior to the step where they are asked.
You should also gather your objections and answers together and create a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page on your website or a print brochure (or whatever your prospective customers would be most likely to read).
And update it frequently! Collect objections obsessively and make sure they are always addressed in your marketing and sales activities. It won’t eliminate the objections you are asked but it will reduce them and it will increase the percentage of people who move through your sales funnel.
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.