The Big Picture – How To Think About Marketing
Marketing and getting clients can often seem overwhelming, even for veteran business owners.
Totally understandable. There’s 1,001 options, a blur of marketing-speak, and all the new-fangled internet stuff sure seems complicated.
And…. my-oh-my is it ever easy to blow a wad of cash on advertising!
But keep this in mind: the marketing monster is nothing more than a little black box. A little black box that has two sides: “in” and “out”.
Time, money, and energy go in one side, and customers and money come out of the other side.
Your job in marketing is to wire this magical marketing box so that you make enough money on the “out” side…
How Diagnose Your Marketing Situation
I strongly recommend grabbing a simple piece of paper and pen.
Using a mind-map or flow-chart style drawing (whatever floats your boat), draw the pathways that your current and past clients have followed to find you.
Was it a newspaper article that brought them in? Or maybe your website? An ad that you purchased? Maybe the referral of a friend.
That’s called a “Traffic Source”. It’s the place that strangers first heard about you. That’s also the first of our three ingredients above.
Next, draw what happened next for each Traffic Source. Did the prospect watch a promo video? Do a free trial? Some kind of consultation? Then what happened… did they do some kind of free consultation / sales call? Then what? Was it time to buy?
Here’s an example (click to make bigger)….
These are all steps in your “Sales Funnel”. And each of these steps has a certain degree of effectiveness. Some might convert 1/100 people to move forward. Others might be 1/2.
To find out, just make a ballpark estimate of how many people proceed from each stage to the next. Use a specific time period, such as one month.
Check whatever stats you’ve got available. Add them to your diagram.
Here’s an example (click to make bigger):
Now it’s time to draw a table that summarizes your sales funnel.
Here’s an example of what this should look like (click to make bigger)…
Now that we have a clear idea of what’s going on, we can start picking things apart, really drill down into what’s working and what isn’t. Some questions to consider…
- When you make a total of all buyers, are you getting enough clients?
- The money that you make from successful buyers… is it enough to meet your sales goals?
- Where do people seem to be falling through the cracks… at what stage?
- What could you do to your ads to get more repsonse?
- What could you do to your marketing materials to get more response?
- What could you do to your sales process to get more prospects converting into sales?
- Do you need to add more marketing channels?
- Do you need to get rid of some?
- Is there a learning resource (book, DVD, website) that could teach you how to improve any of the stages?
- Is there a person you could get coaching / consulting from?
- What does each lead channel cost you? Which should you invest more heavily into? Which should you axe immediately?
- …to name a few.
A great, complimentary article I wrote would be very helpful to read. Check out “3 Ingredients to More Clients”
If you’re short on ideas of how to analyze or improve any aspect of your marketing, there are lots of solid learning materials out there.
You could also join my 1,000% Marketing Club.
Why Constantly Tweaking Your Funnel Is a Top Priority in Your Business
Let’s consider the following example:
Imagine you’re getting 500 people to your website, which leads to 10 phone consultations, which leads to 3 sales meetings, and one sale, then your sales funnel is looking like this:
500 > 10 > 3 > 1
And now it’s just a game of trying to improve each part of the funnel. Again, see “3 Ingredients to More Clients“.
How do we get more traffic? Do we spend more on current traffic sources? Do we add more traffic sources?
At each stage, how do we get better conversions?
- Can we convert 500 website visitors into 20 phone consultations instead of just 10? (double conversion from 2% to 4%)
- Turn 10 consultations into 6 sales meetings instead of 3? (double conversion from 30% to 60%)
- Turn 3 consultations into 2 sales instead of 1? (double from 33% to 66%)
The Magic of Sales Funnel Compounding
The fascinating thing is every step in this model compounds. It’s not adding results, it’s multiplying them.
Use the above analogy where we doubled how much each step converts. Is the end-result that we’ll simply doubling sales? That – in our above example, we would have 2 sales instead of 1?
Doubling sales would be GREAT… don’t get me wrong!
But it actually works out evern better than that…
When the website converts at 4% instead of 2%, we get 20 phone consultations.
When the phone consultations convert at 60% instead of 30%, we get 12 sales meetings.
When the sales meetings convert at 66% instead of 33%, we get 8 sales.
That’s actually an 8x improvement in sales, or an 8,000% improvement.
Now that is the power of tracking and working on your sales funnel. That is the power of both traffic and conversion.
Hope that helps,