Hey Kids, I hope you had a great Labor Day weekend if you’re in the United States. If you live elsewhere in the world, I hope your weekend was good as well. Today we will conclude our series on the 5 Steps to a Perfect Sales Funnel.
In the last article, we discussed your Main Offer and your More Offer. I showed you how they work together to comprise the Consideration Phase of Buyer’s Psychology. Today I’ll show you how they also accomplish the Commitment Phase and what happens after that. So let’s get started.
The Commitment Phase
If you remember from post the entitled People Are 76% More Likely To Buy When You Do This, your obstacle in this phase is Risk. You’ve brought them to the very edge of a deal and now you have to convince them to step into it. There are a number of things to keep in mind when dealing with the commitment phase. Here are some effective ways to reduce your customer’s risk:
- Craft a Great Offer – I can’t stress this enough. The success of your transaction depends on your ability to craft a great offer. A great offer is the combination of what you customer needs when your customer needs it at a price your customer can afford. This means that, before you craft an offer, you must know your customer, your product, and your market. You know how I love equations, so here it is: Actual Need + Appropriate Timing + Affordable Price = A Great Offer.
- Include Generous Bonuses – The idea behind including bonuses is to get your customer to think, “Even if I return the product, don’t actually use it, or have less success with it than other people; the free bonuses are worth the risk.” This is why offers on TV usually include a free bonus. Does this sound familiar? “Act now and receive a (insert free bonus item here) absolutely free. If you’re not completely satisfied for any reason, simply return the (main product) and keep your (bonus item) as our gift to you.” See what I mean? The goal is to provide the customer with a “can’t lose” situation.
- Offer a “No Questions Asked” Money-Back Guarantee – This is the ultimate risk-killer. “If you’re not happy, we’ll give your money back.” This presents a true no-risk situation, right? Not always. Remember that every person has three resources and only one of them is money. While you may not be asking people to spend talent on your offer, you are asking for time. And, even if they don’t consciously realize it, they are factoring that into their buying decision. This means that giving their money back only repairs part of the problem if they are unsatisfied, because you cannot refund time. The answer is a guarantee with no questions asked. This tells your customer that, even though time has been lost in the unsuccessful transaction, claiming your guarantee won’t cost them any more. And, let’s be honest, trying to reconvert angry, dissatisfied customers only makes them angrier and more dissatisfied.
These suggestions should help you overcome most risk in the Commitment Phase of Buyer Psychology for most offers. There are, however, some customers who require more Consideration and take longer to agree to Commitment. These folks may enter several of your sales funnels and drop out at various stages along the way. This is the reason for the last of our 5 Steps – The Recycle System.
The Recycle System
Asking a customer for a commitment over and over without building the relationship each time is a lot like the toddlers ask for permission.
Can I have a cookie?
Not right now.
Can I have a cookie now?
How ’bout now?
Hopefully you see the unproductive nature of this interaction. To avoid this, you need a Recycle System – not to simply throw offers at your customers, but to build the relationship a little bit each time increasing the likelihood that you’ll secure a commitment eventually.
People will fall out of your funnel at all stages and you need to do two things when they do: 1) Find out why, so you can fix your funnel and 2) Maintain your relationship, so you can make another offer later on.
Here are the reasons why people fall out of your funnel:
- Wrong Need – Your product may not be targeting the right need or a need at all. You can target a want instead of a need, but you’ll deal with more finicky customers, more returns, more refunds, and more after-the-sale-hassles. Plus offers based on wants are streaky and usually follow trends and fads. Offers based on needs are generally good for the long term. Look at your customers. Does your product fill their need?
- Wrong Time – You can have a great product that fills your customer’s need, but if you offer it at the wrong time, they won’t buy. This is why warranties are sold when right when you purchase something expensive. You just parted with a wad of money and this is the moment when you’re most concerned about something going wrong with your new item. Timing is essential and it’s often the most forgotten part of this process.
- Wrong Price – Take another look at your customer. How much cash can he afford to spend? What does he drive? Where does he like to eat? What does he wear? What are his hobbies? What does he do for a living? These are all get-to-know-you type questions that sales people ask, because the answers to them paint a picture of what kind of person you are. From this, a good sales person can deduce what your spending habits and tastes are. It’s OK to sell expensive items as long as you match the person with the price.
NOTE: Notice I didn’t say, “Wrong Person,” above. That’s because you’ll go crazy trying to find the right person. This is a trick that marketing people (especially those selling advertising media) use to spin you in circles while you throw money in all directions looking for the perfect customer. As Roy H. Williams says, “People don’t live, work, and make decisions in a vacuum.” Just because I don’t need your product doesn’t mean that I don’t know someone who does.
Trust me, if you concentrate on meeting the right need at the right time for the right price, you’ll find the right people and you’re likely to be surprised at who they are.
So how does the Recycle System work? You collect people as they fall out of the funnel by removing them from your main mailing list placing their email addresses on a separate recycle list. Then you send them 1 email each week that’s loaded with helpful stuff. After you’ve given your customers enough time to cool off from the last offer (and everyone’s customers are different) you make another offer and try to get them into another funnel.
The cooling off period is different for everyone. I use recycle periods of different lengths ranging from 1 month to 3 months depending on the people and the product. You’ll need to find the right length for each recycle period you use – and the only way to do that is to experiment. Just make sure that each stage of your funnel has a provision for collecting the contact information of people who fall out. Then, when you offer is over, run your Recycle System.
There are ways to automate your Recycle System so that, while your customers are cooling off, you can focus on the next offer.
If you would like help with your Sales Funnel including your Recycle System, feel free to contact me at Two Creative Design Group. I only have a few client openings at the moment, but I will help you any way I can.
How do you collect and recycle customer contacts in your sales process. Share a comment and let’s talk about it.