Do you need a sales funnel?

“Are you here to buy a car, sir?”

What if you went into a car showroom and the salesman met you at the door with that question?

It’s probably not the best sales opener, as it’s pretty unlikely you’re there for any other reason. But… what if you said yes and then he immediately took you to the office and started filling out forms?

A little weirder now?

“Erm, could I see some of the cars you have?”

“Oh they are all all excellent cars, are you paying with card or finance?”

“I was hoping to get one with a large boot for my dogs?”

“No problem, I’ve the perfect car. Just sign here and it’s yours!”

Getting weirder?

At what stage would you have left the showroom?

It’s a pretty ridiculous story isn’t it? But weirdly that’s what many people do when they post on their social media. Almost every post is a sales post, and it can be quite off putting when you are just trying to browse and learn more about a company, their values, and their products.

80% of online buyers check out a businesses Facebook Page before committing to buy!

I groom dogs – pm to book. I sell leads – buy online now. I do photography – email to book.

When every post sounds like this we switch off. Instead, we need a selection of posts to scroll through when we check out a new business that talk about how they can help us.

How might a sales funnel help?

A sales funnel describes your buying process and will show you what to say and at what stage of the conversation.

If this salesman had used a sales funnel, he would have started the conversation very differently. He would have known that the customer was coming to buy a car, otherwise why was he here? And instead, he would have started talking about the benefits of the cars he offers, and the value added by the business.

He would have told the customer that he had one with great boot space, or low mileage, that it had only one retired owner, and that was blue (or whatever). And he would have mentioned that the showroom offered a money back guarantee, or a fully serviced car, or home delivery, car bows for gifts etc, etc!

He might have spent a good half an hour with the customer talking through their challenges and the cars that were available before he even offered a test drive. After all this work, he might then ask the customer if he was ready to buy the car?

If not, he would try to save the customer by offering to call him if a suitable car became available. This would keep him in the funnel until he was ready. Or, the customer might agree to buy the car, and the deal is done.

If this was a Facebook newsfeed it would be spread over a series of posts, over days or even weeks. A new post each day talking about a different benefit or value that is available to the buyer by the business. The salesman didn’t say “the car is economical – wanna buy it?” He spent time explaining all the many different benefits before he popped the big question. And he had a plan to save the customer until they were ready.

Understanding sales funnels will help you understand where your customers are coming from, how to talk to them, how to answer their questions, and when to say “buy now”. It will clarify what your customers needs and thoughts are as they spend time getting to know you and your company. Most of all, it will give you the outline of a marketing plan that is perfect for you and your customers.

Many potential clients research a few options when they are interested in making a purchase. This means they will also be in your competitors sales funnels. This process is happening, with or without your knowledge. Understanding it means you’ll know what is working for you, and where you can add the value your clients are looking for, and ultimately get ahead of the competition.

Want to know how a sales funnel could work for your business?

Join one of our FREE workshops to find out.