This is the first blog post in a blog post series, discussing the mindset necessary for a successful sales and marketing funnel.
Funnels fail, all the time. But why? Like business, it’s all starts in the head. Failure occurs when we are not 100% committed to ourselves, to our business and to our customers. In this first post I will explore the first rule of funnels.
Always adopt a customer focused attitude.
Having the customer at the centre of everything you do in business sounds obvious. However it might not be totally obvious to you if you are not focusing on your customers needs. I will help you identify if this is you in a moment but first I want to explain why being customer focused is essential for success.
It’s all the fault of this flippin’ thing we call the internet…
The growth of the internet as a market place has given customers more information and more power. It has transformed the way business is done. People research their options before they make contact with businesses. If there is only thing you learn today, let it be that! When people contact you to do business, they have almost made up their mind it is you they want to do business with.
Here are some more in-depth articles about the zero moment of truth concept, I encourage you to have a poke around – it’s enlightening stuff. https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/collections/zero-moment-truth.html
What the zero momonet of truth means is your business needs to be visible when people are searching for information. They are looking for help with a problem, looking to compare solutions, looking for reviews… If you are not there when they search, they will find your competitors.
Now, here’s another interesting fact…
When people are searching, they MIGHT NOT BE READY TO BUY. Not every visitor to your website wants to buy. In fact, about 2 or 3% of visitors are at the purchase stage. The rest are just looking, gathering information, comparing…
You need to take a marketing approach that is focused on your customer, their buying habits, their problems, their needs. Like I said, if it wasn’t for the internet you could do what the heck you wanted, consumers had little choice. But we’ve moved on. Business has moved on.
So now, let’s identify whether you have the right mindset for online success.
1. Do you refuse to niche down? Do you want to market your business to ANYONE and EVERYONE?
If so you need to quickly face facts…
EVERYONE IS NOT YOUR TARGET MARKET
In business as it is in life, you cannot please everyone. So stop trying. Your products are not for everyone. Your style is not to everyones taste. Your message won’t be liked by everyone. So stop trying to market to everyone. It is not possible. Even if you try, your marketing messages will be so bland and watered down that your offers will appear weak and bleugh.… no one pays attention to weak marketing.
Defining a target market, or an ideal customer persona means you can strengthen your marketing so it makes more impact. Consider the two adverts below for business coaches. You can clearly see the second ad has attempted to identify a market sector “entrepreneurs who are looking for growth strategies” the first has nothing to make the reader identify with it. Which advert stands out for you?
When you know who your market is you will craft messages that resonate with them. They will feel connected to your brand and be more likely to buy from you.
When you have products and a market that loves them business will be easier. You will know how your market ticks. You will know how to talk to them. You will be able to connect emotionally. You will be able to create more products and sell them quicker and easier.
Action. Answer the following question.
- Do you have a niche?
- Are your marketing messages targeting specific people?
- Have you created ideal customer personas?
If you answered no, then it’s time to define an ideal customer persona for your product. You may have multiple personas for multiple products. If you have multiple you need multiple marketing messages to reach them. Then things can quickly get overwhelming. For this action, just focus on nailing one persona. Now, are your marketing message specifically for that person? How can you change your marketing for that product to appeal to that person? If you are unclear about how to create a customer persona stay tuned – this will appear in a later post.
2. Did you create a product / service without first researching the market need?
With all the best marekting in the world, if no one wants or needs your product or services IT WILL FAIL.
Reality check ahead..
GIVE YOUR CUSTOMERS WHAT THEY WANT AND NEED
I’ve watched Dragons Den enough times to see entrepreneurs who have poured their heart and soul .. and life savings … into a product they thought would be a winner. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. They are taking a massive gamble. Quite often, their market research has been based on a chat with their friends or their gut instinct. That’s really no way to start or run a business.
Its important to test out your idea on your target market, find out if there is a need and a want. If there is then BINGO – you are in business! Each time you have an idea, test it out first. Better still, ask your market what they want. If your market is people in 9-5 jobs wanting to start their own business, would you offer them a 4 week intense coaching program? Probably not, most of them wouldn’t have the time. Would they prefer something they could do at their own pace? Maybe. Understanding what they want could mean the difference between success and failure. Find out and always make it a priority to ask your market what they want and give it to them.
I signed up to a marketing course a while back. The content was drip fed. This caused a huge problem for a lot of people who went on to demand their money back. It wasn’t mentioned when you signed up, that the course was drip fed (very slowly). Also, the skill level of the students was higher than the course makers anticipated. There was no need to drip feed to avoid overwhelm – like the course provider believed. The market was shouting out for an intense course. I imagine the course provider lost a lot of students because of that oversight.
All is not lost though. They could change the delivery method of the course or target a different group of people who will find the slow drip fed pace ideal.
Action. Answer the following questions.
- How have you decided on your offers / packages? Gut or research?
- How much research did you do? Who did you ask?
If you answered no or realise you should do more research, can you find people to ask for feedback about your product / service? Can you improve or tweak your offers to make them perfect for your market?
Watch this space… I will be creating a blog post about offers, how to create them and how to research if there is a need! Coming soon…
3. When you talk to clients and customers, are you guilty of talking about yourself and your business all the time?
It’s hard not to let our excitement and passion for own business spill all over people we meet. But, it’s off-putting. No one really likes it and you will come over as self-centred. Another home truth coming up…
It’s not about you, its about your customers.
I have already talked about the importance of having products and services that are needed. Now, lets look at the language and behaviour of a business. It can attract your ideal customer or make them run!
A business not focused on their customers will say “I do this, I do that, we do this, we do that” . It quickly becomes obvious the customer has not been researched, (probably because they have not developed an ideal customer avatar). A business centred on the customer will talk to the customer about their problems and provide them with solutions. They will try to create relationships and make the customer feel understood and valued.
Look at the differences between these two home pages. One focused on the man, one is more focused on the customer. Which one do you feel more drawn towards, which one would you continue reading?
Action. Look at how you communicate with customers, are you focused on our customer or yourself? What do you already and what can you improve on to make sure your customers feels like they are important and are at the heart of your business?