Aaron Hoos is a business writer and strategist who helps small business achieve profitable growth through sales funnels, sales funnel strategy, and the Sales Funnel Strategy Matrix(TM). For more information, visit http://aaronhoos.com
This is the earliest stage of your sales funnel.
Your target market enters your sales funnel as an audience member.
At this point, they are only becoming aware that they have a problem or need., Tip: Remember that people will only buy to solve a problem or fulfill a need. Your entire business needs to be focused on solving a problem or fulfilling a need and your sales funnel needs to explain to your contact that YOU are the best person to solve their problem or fulfill a need.
Who is your target market?
What problems or needs do they have?
On what sites do they spend their time?
Create a detailed description of your target market (including their problems or needs).
Choose a few sites where they spend their time and communicate with them there. (Note: Don't sell them anything at this point! Capture their attention and invite them to discuss their problem or need in general terms).
Some of your Audience members have become aware that you might be able to help them with their problem or need.
They have transitioned from Audience to Lead by indicating that they are going to listen a little more closely to what you have to say.
What action does your Audience member take to indicate to you that they are interested in learning more?, Typical Audience-to-Lead triggers include subscribing to blogs and ezines.
What information do your Leads want to know more about?
What will convince your Leads to want to know even more?
What will convince your Leads that you are a credible service-provider?
Identify the "trigger" that your Audience member takes to become a Lead
Outline the information your Leads want to know and put it into a step-by-step format (where one piece of information will prompt them to want to know the next piece of information).
Provide free, high-quality information and ideas to establish your value to your Leads.
Some of your Leads have become aware that you have valuable information to share that will help them with their problem or need.
They have transitioned from Lead to Prospect by indicating that they want to hear from you about a specific, personalized solution for their problem or need.
What action does your Lead member take to indicate to you that they want you to tell them about a personalized solution for their problem or need?
What objections will they have when you present this solution to them?
How can they buy from you easily, painlessly, and with assurance that your solution will work?
Identify the "trigger" that your Lead takes to become a Prospect.
List what information needs to be covered in a sales presentation (whatever that means for your situation).
List the objections that your Prospects will have and embed answers to those objections throughout your marketing.
Some of your Prospects have become Customers.
They have transitioned from Prospect to Customer by purchasing something from you.
The placement of the payment and the delivery of the product or service doesn't really matter. What matters is their selection of you as the business that can solve their problem or fulfill their need.
What constitutes as "sale" in your business?
Where do you put the paygates?
How do you get Customers to buy more after buying the first time?
Identify the "trigger" that your Prospect takes to become a Customer., Often, it's a handshake, signing a contract, clicking "Buy Now", or bringing a product to the checkout.
Brainstorm ways to make this step as easy and fast as possible for your Customer.
Some of your Customers have become Evangelists.
They have transitioned from Customer to Evangelist by telling someone else about your business.
This "evangelism" could be implicit (by wearing a shirt with your business' logo) or it could be explicit (by actually telling someone about your business)., The more explicit, the better.
This is a very difficult stage to measure.
What are the situations in which your Evangelists are talking to their peers about the problem you solved or need you fulfilled?, How can you empower/enable your Evangelists to share more often?
What tools can you use to track how your Evangelists are telling others about you?
Deliver great service consistently and wow your Customers will value... that is the best way to make sure that they turn into Evangelists!
Use social tools (like Twitter) to monitor how other people are talking about your brand.
Follow the numbered order, 1. Audience, 2. Leads, 3. Prospects, 4. Customers, 5. Evangelists
Review the description
Answer the questions
Schedule time to work on your sales funnel daily
Visit my site, http://aaronhoos.com
Download the Sales Funnel Quick Reference (PDF), http://aaronhoos.com/aaronhoos_media/Sales_Funnel_Quick_Reference_-_The_Definitive_Guide_To_Sales_Funnels_-_By_Aaron_Hoos.pdf
Read: 99 Ways to Optimize Your Sales Funnel and Grow Your Business, http://aaronhoos.com/2011/03/16/99-ways-to-optimize-your-sales-funnel-and-grow-your-business/