sales funnel

People talk about sales funnels – and how they will effortlessly fill up to generate leads.  But it’s never as simple as it looks!

A good sales funnel needs planning.  You need to consider every step with a goal for each step – and then build a robust process to achieve that goal.

A typical sales funnel has four levels – some have more and some have fewer.  Most look something like this:

  • Top level – a free offering to get potential clients to self-identify
  • Level 2 – a low cost item that’s a no-brainer for your target audience to purchase
  • Level 3 – your bread and butter service, where your core business is.
  • Level 4 – a premium service, usually 1-2-1 with a client giving them high level advice or coaching.

A good sales funnel moves people from the top to at least level 3 – and a few to level 4 – virtually without you having to be hands on much at all.

Your lead magnet

Getting people into the top of your funnel is mostly achieved by offering them something of value – for which the cost is their contact details.

When you sit down to decide how to set this up you’ll need a clear vision of your ideal client (for level 3 and 4), because that will dictate what that item of value will be.

For instance: If you’re aiming to reach owners of small businesses who have a small team and are aiming to grow their business turnover, giving them a ‘how to start a business’ document, won’t get you the right audience.

However, if you offer a Business growth checklist, that’s likely to attract more of the kind of client you want.

You’re trying to get them to put their hand up and say ‘I’m your ideal client and I need this kind of help’, not ‘this looked quite interesting and I might get round to reading it sometime.’

The missing steps

For most people that’s where their lead generation stops.  Their list grows, they send the occasional newsletter to them and nothing happens.

As part of the lead magnet process you need some more pieces to complete the puzzle.

Firstly, a good download page – one that is upbeat, lets them download the document easily, tells them what they’ll get now they’re in your community – and offers them your low cost item.  This is called an upsell.

When you’ve just given someone something free of charge, it’s the perfect time to offer them the next level option.

Also – don’t let them ‘go cold’.  If they don’t take your upsell option, it may just be they’re not ready, not in the right state-of-mind, or distracted by something else.  That’s not a ‘no’.  You need a series of autoresponders (automated emails) that follow up your sign ups, remind them to read and use the document they’ve downloaded and educate them about other things you can help them with.

Once you’ve created these they will be automatically triggered by the entry of their contact details on your list.  So it’s a do once, then forget (or at least review in 3-6 months), activity.

By all means send them your high-value newsletter and other offers, but keeping your services visible in the period after they’ve signed up is when they’re most receptive.

This same process now needs to be constructed for your low-cost item – to bring people into level 3.

There’s more to a good sales funnel than just a lead magnet.