The Marketing Tip I’ve Taken To Heart

As a business owner/marketer, I’ve done some things right. I’ve also fallen flat on my face in some areas. One of those areas is my sales funnel. I’ve taken a poor approach in prospecting, and I’d like to share my insights to spare you the trouble of making the same mistakes I’ve made.

If you’re in marketing or sales, you’re familiar with sales funnels: The process of taking prospects from a contact through closing the sale. When I started my business, I had to build the structure of my funnel from scratch. Once it was built, it became my primary job to get prospects through the small end of the funnel.

However, I’ve screwed up over the last several months by not spending enough time filling the top end. Instead, I’ve been spending most of my time simply trying to squeeze a few select people through the little hole at the bottom end. And although my prospects toward the end of the cycle get plenty of my time and attention, the obvious problem lies in what happens when they don’t come through. If one or two of my prospects would drop off, or have to postpone us working together, or offer up one of those pesky “no’s”, it goofed up my whole process (or as they’d say down south, “put a hitch in mu giddyup”).

It’s like pouring water through a real funnel (with some holes in the sides to represent lost sales): if there’s only four ounces of water poured in at the top, there may only be two ounces that actually make it into the container. If two ounces isn’t enough, you either have to a) pour in more ounces or b) plug some holes.

As client work has grown and improved and I’ve been able to get some history behind me, I’ve been able to plug some of the holes in the sides of my funnel by better understanding what my prospects actually need. Now it’s time to pour in more ounces. To increase the sheer volume of prospects. To focus on impacting more people.

If you’re needing more work, better clients, or are growing your business, I suggest you take a good look at your funnel and ask:

  1. How many prospects do I need to meet my sales goals (ounces of water into the container)?
  2. How many prospects do I have (total ounces of water)?
  3. How many prospects do I typically turn into customers (how big are the holes in your funnel)?
  4. What’s one thing I can do to a) increase the number of prospects I have and b) plug a hole in the side of my funnel?

One more thing: don’t be afraid of getting ‘too much work.’ You can cross that bridge when you get to it. You can hire people or book out a little further or work more hours.

Right now, the operative work is action.

Does this make sense as it relates to your business and increasing your sales? Let me know in the comments!

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