It’s time we rethink the traditional sales funnel. Since the 1920’s, sales funnels have had the same basic construction. We try to get as many prospects as possible into our sales process and then close as many of them as possible. The problem is that everyone is treated the same. But, we instinctively know every prospect is different. No two prospects are exactly the same. So, why do we treat everyone the same? Because it’s just easier. And, because we are lazy.
For years, a sales funnel has been constructed of a solid material. The large opening at the top gathers all the potential prospects and ‘funnels’ them down to a small exit. What comes out the bottom is supposed to be our ideal client. But, there’s a huge bottleneck in the middle.
If you’ve built sales funnels for any length of time, you know one-size marketing does not work. In real life, we are shown we should talk to different people, differently. You wouldn’t talk to the gas station attendant the same way you talk to your lover, for example. So, why do we talk to all of our prospects the same way?
Each ‘conversation’ needs to have a different funnel. Ryan Levesque attempted to address this issue by developing The Ask Method. The response to his program was overwhelming because, as marketers, we know the way in which we talk to prospects needs to change. In fact, the response was so huge, the credit card processing servers crashed within a few minutes of launch. That’s right, Ryan broke the Internet.
However, I believe more needs to be done. Sorting people into buckets at the beginning stages of the prospects’ life cycle does not address the middle, nor the end of the sales process.
So, how do we talk to our prospects, the way they want, throughout the sales process? It’s easy. Create a sales funnel for each prospects’ psychological profile.
Luckily, there are only 4 major buyer profiles: 1. Early Adopters. 2. Mid-Early Adopters. 3. Mid-Late Adopters. 4. Late Adopters.
Early Adopters (EA) will purchase just about anything, for no reason. Mid-Early Adopters (MEA) need a few more ‘touches’ during the sales process. Mid-Late Adopters (MLA) need even more ‘touches’ before they are inclined to purchase. And, Late Adopters (LA) will never purchase anything from you. A ‘touch’ is considered an email, an ad, a phone call or other correspondence.
So, what are the numbers? EA’s are 2% of your total audience. MEA’s and MLA’s hold 48% (each) of the audience, while LA’s comprise 2%.
According to my research, EA’s only need about 1-3 touches before they purchase. MEA’s require 4-12 touches and MLA’s require 12-20 touches. In 2005, the average number of touches that produced a sale was 6-8. Today the average is 10-12. As time goes on and the consumers gets overwhelmed with sales messages, that number is expected to reach 20 touches for each purchase.
So, what’s the major takeaway? Sales are not created by having a bigger, more complex funnel or a larger audience. Sales are created through relationships. Understand your prospects’ needs, wants and desires, and they will reward you, handsomely.