What Small Business Owners Need to Know About Sales Funnels

Most small business owners feel that they have to find people who are ready to buy. What they don’t realize is that the majority of people don’t understand that there’s even something out there that can help them, so they’re simply not looking.

One of the critical steps in a sales funnel is at the top level: Awareness.

You have to help your client discover their pain point and come to the realization that there’s something that can ease that pain.

For example, a friend of mine was recently an executor on an estate. She didn’t know that an estate lawyer could help her do all of the work necessary and provide advice in the process. She spent hours stressing and Googling trying to figure it all out. Had she been aware that someone could help her, she would have saved herself a lot of time and anxiety by Googling estate lawyers rather than trying to figure out how to close out financial assets, file tax returns, and sell the estate home.

Once you’ve made someone aware, they move into the Interest stage (often referred to as Education).

Small business owners need to remember that this idea is new to this prospect. They just became aware that this opportunity exists. Your goal during this phase should be to keep them coming back to your platforms for information.

To do this, you can use an opt-in to an email sequence that answers the most frequently asked questions and provides some quick wins. Or use a series of re-targeting ads to follow the prospect around the internet.

Staying top-of-mind as they walk through this education process is key. Some will take far longer than others depending on whether they are a quick-starter or a fact-finder. When the prospect gets to the Desire phase, they are ready to start looking at options and connecting themselves to a brand, person or product. You need to be ready and waiting when this happens.

So how can YOU determine YOUR best sales funnel?

Get into your client’s head. Browse forums, Amazon reviews on similar products and services, and twitter feeds to discover what your potential clients are struggling with, what they think they need to do, and what they are looking to achieve.

At the top of your funnel, you want to produce content that will help guide your client to discover their problem or pain points. Use the language they use when describing their problems. Speak their language. Avoid industry jargon.

During the education phase, you’ll want to construct your funnel to accommodate the different ways people make decisions.

For those who need little information and move through the funnel quickly, you should provide only the basic most necessary information. Too much information will lose them. Quick-starters such as these will often buy trip-wire (no-brainer) offers that are presented immediately after they move through the Awareness phase.

Others need to feel that the information is complete in order to move forward. These are often clients who need to feel a sense of urgency and will buy on the last day of a promotion. You want to create your system in a way that funnels these fact collectors more information more frequently. Fact Collectors can be identified as those who click on every link and visit your blog often without making a decision.

A third group of decision-makers need to be able to see the start-to-finish of their problem being solved. They will be ones who respond to ads with phrases like “5 Simple Steps to…” or “The complete system”

Remember, Client Creation through the funnel process is a whole lot easier then finding ready-to-buy clients. Creating a solid funnel will help you reduce your advertising costs, decrease time spend cold-calling, and bring a steady stream of leads into your business.

Originally published at www.heatherprestanskicoaching.com on April 13, 2016.