Imagine I’m standing on the opposite bank of a fast-flowing, crocodile-infested river, and I’m shouting over to you that I’ve got something that will dramatically improve your life. All you have to do is swim across this crocodile-infested river to get to me.
What about over here where I’ve helpfully laid some stepping stones?
If your product or service is a considered purchase then your customers will take their time making their decision, taking pauses as they go through this process. If your marketing doesn’t enable your prospects to take those moments of pause, then you’re expecting your customers to swim across crocodile-infested water to get to you.
I’ve talked about the sales funnel before so I won’t go over it again, suffice to say that it isn’t a funnel, it’s a colander: people leak out all the way down.
Even though it’s been around for decades, the reason why the sales funnel is still as relevant today as when it was first written is that the way people buy fundamentally doesn’t change. Especially if your product or service is a considered purchase, your customers will need to pause at intervals and consider whether they want to continue down this route with your company.
The role of marketing is to lay down stepping stones for your customers so that they can comfortably take those pauses, and to give them all the information they need to continue onto the next stepping stone.
So how do you do this?
Generating awareness is what most people think of as “marketing”. You need to be in the right place at the right time with the right messages to show up on your prospect’s radar and spark their interest to find out more.
At interest, people just want to get a taster for what you’re about so let them do that. Have interesting and relevant content available in different formats so that they can get to know you and trust you.
At evaluation people want to be able to weigh up all the pro’s and con’s, so make it easy for your customers to find the facts and figures they need to do this. Give them case studies and testimonials of happy customers to reassure them that you’ll deliver on your promises.
And if there are likely to be a number of people involved in the decision, provide content and tools that will enable your customer to sell your solution internally.
Give your customers a way of testing you out before they buy by creating a tiered path to purchase. Here’s an example:
When they finally choose to buy from you, do everything you can to make sure they feel great about that purchase. Make sure they’re the happiest customer alive so that they’ll buy more and tell their friends.
And once they consider themselves to be a loyal customer, don’t neglect them! Keep in touch with your customers, regularly checking everything is going well and maintaining the relationship you have built up.
Bryony Thomas describes this process in much more detail in her award-winning book and methodology, Watertight Marketing. As an Accredited Watertight Marketing Consultant, I am trained and licensed to use this brilliant methodology with my clients.
So if you want to increase sales by implementing this powerful framework in your business, the best place to start is to download part 1 of the book for free.
You can also buy a copy from Amazon here:
And if you get stuck, drop me an email or contact me on Twitter, LinkedIN or Facebook.
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