Sales. Oh, that dirty word, it’s a necessary evil to running a business. Or is it? Every business owner will tell you that it is needed but no one likes to talk about it. The term has two definitions in running a business, the first and foremost, it’s how business owners can ideally make ends meet and second, the act of sales which leaves many with a gross taste in their mouths. As sales should be related to your marketing, this week we’re going to talk all about that nasty, gross feeling thing and I hope you come out on the other end feeling a little better about that necessary business process.
Marketing should be closely tied to your sales funnel. A sales funnel is where your audience lies in their awareness of what you offer. To keep it simple, a sales funnel typically associates your audience along a pipeline of cold to hot. This means if someone is in your sales funnel and they are cold, they are just learning about what you do. They are not ready to buy. The more interested they are in what you offer, they move along the sales funnel to warm. These individuals may be interested in what you offer but need more information to be able to take the leap or are unable to afford your goods or services yet. As individuals progress along the funnel, they move to hot or ready to buy.
Now while that’s a bit oversimplified, it’s important to understand where your clients fall within this funnel and to know that while some will move through your sales funnel, some will not. There are times when an individual may not ever make a purchase from you but want to support you in your venture. By being aware of your audience and where they fall within your sales funnel, you are better able to refine your marketing to target those who are more likely to purchase your goods or services.
I like to think of running a business like a football game. Your goods or services, the financials, all the stuff that you do every day that relates to your business are the players in the game. The goal is to get points through a touchdown primarily (although a field goal or safety will work too). The main part of the game is trying to get those points, or in the world of running a business, make sales. Sometimes it’s easy, other times you get sacked, but keep getting back up and playing the game. Whether it’s fourth down and ten or you’re on the line of scrimmage ready to make the play, keep going. You won’t always make the point, but if you are learning while you go that is what’s important. And those that may not buy your goods or services but want to support you, those are your fans, so show them why they should cheer for you and keep coming back to watch you play.