Sales Funnels Made Simple

Too many marketing experts out there are explaining sales funnels in ways that over complicate everything. You walk away from the conversation feeling like you “get it,” but when you go to implement some of the techniques you heard you realize you actually don’t have the slightest clue as to what they were going on about!

This doesn’t help anyone, especially not small business owners who may just be starting out with selling online. I want to take a different approach and explain how sales funnels work for most businesses in the clearest way possible.

Online Sales Can Be Like Real Life Dating

I use an analogy that compares your sales funnel to your dating life. It’s a bit cheeky, I know. But think of it this way, if you are single and looking for a partner you’re not going to meet them while sitting at home all alone. You have to go out and get some attention, aka eyeballs, on yourself in order to have that potential interaction with the special someone you’re interested in.

The next step once you attract “eyeballs” is introducing yourself. This is the beginning of the interaction, and possibly, the entire relationship so you want to get started off on the right foot.

This is where your “hand raising” offer comes into play. It’s the dating world equivalent of saying, “Hello, I’m Carl. Nice to meet you.” Of course you’re doing this as the most dashing version of yourself!

Let me break it down and explain what I mean by your “hand raising offer.”

When you put your offer out there you want it to be a “quick win” for your customer. One of the ways to ensure this is what you are delivering is to keep it free, fast and specific.

Some common mistakes beginning entrepreneurs make online is to go for the “big close” way too quickly. This is the equivalent of asking someone to marry you before you’ve gone on a first date. (Might work after 6-7 beers but you’ll be regretting it the next day!)
What you want to do instead is give them a low stakes offer that keeps the ball in their court so to speak. By keeping your hand raising offer free it allows them to “check you out” without risking anything themselves.

You want your offer to be “fast” as in that it will instantly provide value to them or their business. This is all about making it easy for them to engage with you. Imagine you meet someone you click with but then they tell you they’re going to be on holiday in Antarctica for a year. They’re not going to be easy to date! In other words you want an offer that they can spend time with right away.
Being specific is all about filtering and qualifying who you are trying to build the relationship with. It’s often helpful to be clear about who you are looking for and who you are not. Like you may only be looking to date another cat lover or a fellow yogi practitioner. You should say so as soon as possible to avoid wasting anyone’s time. It’s just as important to be clear about who’s not qualified as it is to be clear about who’s your best fit.

This step is key to getting your online relationship (and romantic ones!) moving forward swimmingly. As you build your relationships and trust you can begin to offer even more value to your potential matches.

Action Steps

  1. Brainstorm 5 – 10 ideas for “Hand Raising Offers”
  2. Filter your ideas down by the following criteria: are they, free, fast, and specific?
  3. Cross out or modify the offers that will require you to put a price tag on them.
  4. Cross out or modify the offers that don’t add immediate value to the prospect or their business.
  5. Cross out or modify offers that aren’t clear who they are for and who they are not for.

Bonus 1: Have multiple offers for the various customer segments your business serves.
Bonus 2: Make sure your offer is a complete product not a snippet of another larger product. Give a sense of completion.

Result You Will Achieve

A “Hand Raising Offer” to bring the right customers closer to a profitable long-term relationship with your business.

Mentor: Carl Taylor

Founder & CEO of Automation Agency, built businesses that generate income and deliver products completely hands off.

This article is based on an EHQ interview with the mentor.