So, you want to get some customers? Don’t we all! If you’re serious about getting runs on the board and sales for your business, you need to start by understanding one of the simplest sales terms of all -“What’s in it for me?” also known as WIFM.
WIFM clearly outlines what your product, service or experience provides for your customers and why they should love you. If you can’t offer this to them in one or two sentences, then you have some work to do.
There are a few steps that could help in getting your first hundred customers through your virtual doors — all which are outlined below.
The sales funnel – learn it, love it and understand it!
The sales funnel is an age-old tool that works. It is a combination of sales and marketing activities that in the end, gets you results. Steve Patrizi wrote a great article explaining how the funnel works, with a cool infographic explaining why it’s so important – it’s well worth taking a look.
Understanding the sales funnel process is critical. As people enter your sales funnel through the top — “awareness” — they are communicated to in a clear, concise way. As they move through the five different stages, your tone, communication methods, and platforms that you use to communicate, begin to change.
For example, if someone has visited your website and sent you an email requesting some information and pricing on your product, they are in Stage 3 — the consideration of your product/service. They need to be communicated to, followed up on, and even spoken to personally to move their consideration to potential intent, evaluation, or purchase.
Having people throughout every stage of your funnel fills your sales ‘pipeline’ allowing you to ensure that once a customer has moved on and purchased your product, you have ten more behind them evaluating the options and considering a purchase.
So, how do people know you exist?
You tell them of course!
A website, social media, local and digital advertising, are all inexpensive ways to build awareness of your brand. Firstly, you need to build a ‘proper website’ that allows SEO and can be worked on by anyone – preferably through Word Press so you can update it without needing to understand too much about HTML.
With a website in place, you need a digital strategy with social media pages connecting to people – both paid & unpaid – as well as automated EDMs (e-direct mail) speaking directly to customers as they move through the sales funnel.
Setting up an SEO optimised website, social media, and automated EDM messages are a great start to having customers learn about your products. As people visit your website, they can sign up for your eNewsletter to receive a free ‘white-paper’ or ‘gift’ online, by providing their details. Remember, it's essential to provide some sort of value.
Evolve and streamline
You have built a platform, spoken to your stakeholders, set your sales funnel in place and even thought like a customer – but what have you learned? What ‘pain points’ are your potential customers experiencing from their current use or purchase of goods or services from the market? How can you solve them?
Whole industries have been created by solving the issues customers have had. Your product, service or experience is no different, so it is important to take what you have learned, build it into your offering and all your marketing materials, and then capitalise upon it!
Once you have established your ‘competitive advantage’ or how you can do things better than everyone else in the market, it is time to communicate it to your audience — and most importantly, community it clearly.
Create a red-hot offer
Use the platforms you have created to create offers that add value and get people interested at ‘no risk’.
For example, referral offers (“refer a friend, you and they receive a $50 voucher off their next purchase”) are gold in marketing land. They have worked extremely well for subscription services as they offer and provide value to both the referee and referrer.
Furthermore, referrals not only provide greater brand awareness through word of mouth (hopefully making your business go viral), but they also provide customers with actual value. Be careful though, companies like PayPal have made us aware of referral programs that have become way too popular. If you're willing to give away free money, make sure that your business can handle such demands on a larger scale.
Get your processes in good shape
One of the most important sales tools to build your pipeline, create value, relieve pain points and create a WIFM, is setting up your processes. Your website, social media activity and EDM automation will build your brand, communicate information and begin to provide you with a baseline — but what's the next step?
You need a CRM to manage your customers and leads as they come in. These cloud-based platforms integrate with social media and EDM platforms and can be accessed from anywhere. Best of all – they allow you to keep track of your customers, by identifying their progress through your sales funnel and conversion opportunities. Check out programs such as Insightly to get up to speed with the advantages of a CRM for your sales processes and business growth.
In order to build one hundred customers, you need to firstly understand who they are, what they want, and how you can provide it to them – this is the key to success.
Uber, Airbnb, Apple and other great disruptive innovators didn’t reinvent the wheel; they taught us that it was completely possible to throw that wheel away and focus on customer wants and pain points instead. It was through their marketing efforts — which were in turn shared amongst digital platforms and networks around the world — that their brand and services became ingrained into our lives as we know it today.
Does your product have the potential of making its first 100, 1000 or even 1,000,000 sales? By following the above strategies, you would be providing yourself with the best chances of success.