Do not make this catastrophic mistake…

Don’t make the catastrophic mistake of imagining that the online sales funnel consists only of a single step.

A single step would look like this… the prospect lands on your site, then they sign-up, buy or otherwise rush towards the purchase. That is not how it works.

There are five important steps in every successful online marketing workflow;

  • Intake
  • Handshake
  • Cultivate
  • Uptake
  • Escalate

Generating new business online is a multi-step process.

Intake is everything you do to attract quality prospects… e.g. ‘Advertising’. This is the ‘traffic’ portion, mentioned in item #1 above.

Handshake is where the prospect reaches out and identifies themselves. This might be a phone call to ask a question or to book an appointment. Or it might be your prospect filling out  form to request more information. It is essential you are very intentional about collecting contact information for the cultivation process, below.

Cultivation is the process of fostering the relationship until they are ready to buy. Studies have shown that 96% of our site visitors are not ready to buy. Rather, they are just exploring and doing research. If you are collecting contact information from your site visitors, you are are then in a position to follow-up, educate, build trust and give your prospects good reasons to do business with you.

Uptake is where you make your first sale… this that sale is dependent upon you doing a good job with the above steps… Intake, Handshake, and Cultivate.

Three Indispensable Ingredients of your Online Sales Funnel

You need a profitable, repeatable and scalable system for driving traffic to your website. The importance of scalability in this equation cannot be overstated because your rate of growth will be in direct proportion to how much quality traffic you generate. You should have at least three sources of reliable traffic in order to sustain growth in turbulent times. See my recommended traffic sources below.

You need a system for motivating a higher percentage of first-time site visitors to reach out to you and identify themselves. If they leave your site without reaching out to you, your marketing has been a waste of money. Do not rely on your phone number and contact-us form alone to do this job. (That’s what your competitors do.) You need to be more strategic. See my ‘Secret Handshake’ for ideas.

You need a system for automatically nurturing your site visitors until they are ready to make a decision. Most first-time site visitors are only exploring, and are not ready to put their money down. Without consistent follow-up, you’ll lose business. But once you have their contact info (see #2 above), you’ll be able to automate much of the relationship marketing. See below how automation can be used with very minimal staff time.