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09 Sep, 2008

How Full Is Your Marketing Funnel?

Posted by: The Coaching Academy In: Coaching Client Acquisition Articles|Small Business Coaching Articles

The Marketing Funnel is a basic marketing concept that can have a huge impact on your profitability and the success of your business.

A basic marketing concept that can have a huge impact on your profitability and the success of your business is ‘The Marketing Funnel’.

It makes it easier for prospects to make the decision to buy so your business becomes more profitable and you don’t have to work so hard to make sales.

Many service professionals struggle with converting prospects directly into high paying clients. They make the mistake of trying to sell their high-end services without first developing a relationship with potential clients. The second mistake they make is to offer only a high priced service without any lower priced options.

Marketing experts suggest that we provide an opportunity for people to experience our services and expertise at different price points. The theory behind the marketing and sales funnel – sometimes called a ‘pipeline’ – is that we offer something free at the top end of the Marketing Funnel, then a mid-priced option, and finally your highest priced services and products at the bottom of the funnel.

Here’s what you do to implement this Marketing Funnel strategy:

First, get lots of prospects in the funnel.

If you picture your funnel with the wide end at the top and the narrow end at the bottom, you want lots of prospects at the top of your funnel.

You need to first ‘cast a wide net’ by spreading your message to as many people in your target audience as possible. This would include prospects, current clients and former clients. You want to target your message so that mostly ideal prospects enter the top end of the funnel.

A great way to do this is by offering something free or at an extremely low cost, such as an article, an ezine, special report, e-course, audio download, a talk or a teleclass. The purpose is to entice them to allow you to add them to your database and contact them again. This introduces you to prospects and provides an opportunity for you to demonstrate your expertise.

Then, guide them through the funnel.

Once prospects have experienced your expertise and start to know, like, and trust you, they are more likely to open their wallets and spend more money on your services and products. Each level of the funnel as you guide prospects through represents increased familiarity and the potential for increased profits.

You offer your higher priced services and products only after they have sampled the lower priced option. As you provide several opportunities for prospects to sample your skills and knowledge at lower price points, the middle of your funnel starts to fill.

You can make money while earning the trust of clients and prospects by providing low to medium priced options for them to try your services. Examples of mid-priced options would be an e-book, information booklet, workbook, audio programme, group coaching programme, subscription e-course, teleclass or in-person group training, or assessments. Only then do you promote your higher end services, for example, your 1-1 services, weekend workshops, or home study programme packaged with audio recordings.

What’s in your marketing funnel?

Take out a sheet of paper, draw a funnel shape, and list the products and services you currently offer. Do you see any gaps in your offerings from free to high priced? Determine how to plug the holes by adding more product and service offerings and a range of pricing options.

Make it easy for prospects to make the decision to buy so your business becomes more profitable and you don’t have to work so hard to make sales.

You absolutely want to put this strategy of The Marketing Funnel into action in your professional service business!

Jan Marie Dore, MCC is ‘The Professional Women’s Success Coach’ and the founder of  Femalepreneurs. She is known internationally as a Small Business Coaching expert, speaker, and author.

4 Responses to "How Full Is Your Marketing Funnel?"

1 | Malcolm

September 12th, 2008 at 12:22 pm

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Great Article!
With your advice I hope to fill my funnel to the MAX.

It’s hard to decide who the target audience is though…obviously people who want the most comfortable shoes at great prices with free shipping but what age and what background are they?
I guess the first thing to do is draw my funnel diagram and see what happens!

2 | steve

September 17th, 2008 at 5:08 pm

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The article is interesting and very useful.

Perhaps to help the likes of Malcolm who left the last comment there needs to be a follow on article for SME’s and coaches in this arena.

Drawing out the funnel without defining your target market is a waste of time. Sorry, but that’s true. You need to know what will attract people into your funnel in the first place. What are the benefits of doing business with you? What does your product or service deliver that people want? Not just need, but want!

Too many people bash on about their own company and products in their literature and their web site, when what’s needed are benefit statements – how will you cure their problem and provide what they want. The funnel provides a system for prospects to test your products and become customers, then… repeat customers.

3 | Trevor Aird

July 23rd, 2009 at 2:58 pm

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The thing I find frustrating is that I am great coach and trainer but I never signed up to being some marketing guru.

I wish there were someone who can do all this for me.
Just set it up and let me get on with what I do best!

I love working with people and writing creative stuff and training but quite honestly I am happier off the PC and doing stuff. As a coach I encourage people to do what they enjoy. Well I don’t enjoy marketing or autoresponders or newletters or any of that stuff. So I guess I am stuffed:)

I hope I can find a done in a box marketing service for my website.

4 | Jon Daniels

January 4th, 2010 at 1:37 pm

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Hey Trevor,

Hope you are well!

Its not quite an out of the box service I offer but its the step by step guide to what you must do…

…its not really something you can outsource because your personality and your message needs to shine through in all your marketing efforts.

All the best

Jon

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