Have you got a marketing funnel in your business?
As part of my Killer Marketer session I’ve been talking to people about what it means to ‘think like a marketer’. After all it sounds like a cool thing to be doing but what does it actually mean? As I was preparing the content for the session, I felt I needed to give some insights as to what I meant by this.
I gave this question some considerable thought and, from my experience, it struck me that what most business owners think of as ‘marketing’ is what I think of as ‘selling’. Everyone wants more customers -the lifeblood of any business. Hearing the till go ‘kerching’ is a wonderful thing after all! But the concept of taking completely unknown people – people out there in the ether that fit your target customer – and converting them to a paying customer with no steps in-between is largely unrealistic.
For the customer this feels like someone bearing down on them and asking for their cash before they even properly know what you do – too much too soon! And for you it’s a ‘butt clencher‘ moment – we all largely hate talking about money and you soon feel a bad case of ‘sleazy salesman syndrome’ coming on. Most of us aren’t professional salesmen and you don’t know how to do this slickly but, even if you could, you’ve risked sacrificing a life-long customer for the sake of the quick and immediate buck.
Marketing however is about building your database of prospects and leads; taking those ‘unknowns’ and getting them into your marketing funnel meaning you can start a conversation with them. Building trust. Developing a relationship. And giving value. After all, most business owners LOVE what they do and are on home territory when they get to share ideas and help people – it’s meat and drink to them. Customers don’t feel pressured to buy and everyone is much more comfortable. The relationship develops and the prospect moves a step closer to becoming a customer.
The process by which you get customers into the funnel is via your marketing pillars – lots of them – all of which tip the balance to get people into a conversation with you. Not enough pillars equals not enough leads equals not enough customers. Facebook advertising. Running events. Networking. And so on. I say you need at least 12 – we had 21 for our Killer Marketer Tour!
Your database grows and soon you have a whole universe of prospects that fit your target customer profile. And, provided you stay in contact, give value and make offers they find hard to resist, you’ll get them spending money (kerching!!) but only when they are ready to buy – and NOT when you are ready to sell. Building your list of customers in small steps – one at a time.