The focus at Stage I of the Sales Funnel; the Top End, is to attract and qualify people who might be interested in purchasing your products further down the sales funnel. At this stage you begin the process of refining your target customer, establishing your expertise and educating the prospect of the possibilities you and your products present.
In most cases the qualification occurs when a person opts-in to receive something from you. It’s this opt-in step that transforms your everyday visitor into a prospect, since they have just taken an action that indicates they have are interested in what you have to offer, at least on a limited basis.
Simply put, if someone enters Stage I of your Sales Funnel by opting-in, they have essentially raised their hand up and said – “I am a lead”. From that point forward, you feed these prospects value in the form of interesting and valuable content. Ideally you share content that your prospects can ‘OWN’, as if they found the missing piece of a puzzle, and now they ‘OWN’ that piece of the puzzle.
Stage I of the Sales Funnel, the top end is not where profits are made. Think of sales funnel process as a courtship. Once the prospect has shown interest, you have to court that interest, giving the prospect a reason to want to invest more time learning about your expertise and benefits of what you have to offer. You have to build trust.
In my own personal experience as a prospect, you have to believe that the Marketer has information or expertise that they can’t get anywhere else. In order for a sales funnel to be effective, you have to build long-term relationships. You have to honor the people that have trusted you with their emails by providing top notch, compelling, killer content in whatever form that takes; blogs, eBooks, webinars, newsletter, videos, etc.
Creating and Leveraging Stage I of the Sales Funnel; the Top End
First you have to drive traffic to your website through various means; blogging, video marketing, pay-per-click advertising, article marketing, press releases, social networking, etc.
Next you have to create FREE content that appeals to your prospects, then you give them an option to opt-in in order to get access to the free offers. There are many types of content that will accomplish this goal; blog subscriptions, newsletter subscriptions, reports, guides, training webinars, consultations, eBooks, white paper, audio download, video file, etc.
Again, this content has to be so good that your visitor benefits in some way when they opt-in to your email capture system.
Remember, your visitor is asking “What’s in it for me?”
Consider an appeal to their emotions, what you are offering may be – humorous, shocking, breaking news, controversial topics, educational, David & Goliath type stories, etc.
How to leverage your internet presence to accomplish this task;
- First and foremost, you should write a blog about your free offer.
- Add a subscriber button in the upper right hand corner.
- Create a widget in your sidebar offering access to your offer.
- Build a ‘micro-community’ at different social networking sites; pages, groups, lists, etc.
- Get involved answering questions at forums & answering social media questions
Remember to make sure that in order to leverage your internet presence, you have to link back to your website and your free offers.
NOTE: During Stage I of the Sales Funnel, you are also disqualifying those prospects who are not ideally suited for what you have to offer. If they are not interested they will either ignore you, or Unsubscribe.