Turning a cold prospect into a paying customer is one of the biggest challenges for any business. Customers these days are a lot more savvy about what they want and can more easily source information online about products before they buy. Small businesses can particularly feel they lack the marketing resources to reach out to customers in the ways larger content generating competitors can.
But while larger businesses can target many customers at once, small businesses can also do well by focusing on a select group and providing information that specifically talks to their pain points. Most people that choose small business providers don’t want a generic solution, they want something that is going to suit their particular situation.
Here are 3 things you need to focus on to ensure you’re covering all your bases:
- Know Your Customers
By focusing on a particular niche you’re better able to speak directly to your customers about what bothers them. But many small business owners worry that by focusing on a particular group of customers that they will miss out on business.
However, just because you are focusing on a particular group of customers, it doesn’t mean you will only deal with customers that fit that mold. If you address specific concerns in your marketing collateral, then you will still attract customers that aren’t necessarily your target market.
For example, let’s say you are an avid runner with a half marathon coming up and you’ve recently injured your foot. You’ve tried the local physio before but felt they didn’t get how important running is to you. Then you hear about a physio that has worked with many elite athletes (AFL, rugby and soccer players are among her clientele). It’s going to cost more to get into see this physio but her website confirms that she understands how important competition is, gets that you just want to be back running as soon as possible and has access to the latest techniques in injury prevention so you make a booking.
- Sales Funnel
A common marketing technique is to create a ‘sales funnel’. This is the journey that guides prospects to become leads, to then becoming customers and then hopefully repeat buyers. It’s called a funnel because prospects will come in at the top and as they move through each step those that aren’t serious or ready will drop away. The number of prospects you’ll be left with is smaller but they are far more likely to buy.
How do you go about creating a sales funnel? The answer relates to the previous point about knowing your customers. What information does a prospect need from you to feel comfortable enough to buy?
Let’s take the physio example above and break down the process to see how it works.
- Firstly, she could have a PDF on her website that explains the five mistakes that runners make that cause injuries.
- After reading that prospects are encouraged to answer a checklist to determine their particular issues.
- Once that’s completed you’re asked to enter your email address to get sent your results.
- A few days later, you receive an email invitation to attend an injury prevention workshop for marathon runners.
- After going to the workshop, you’re then offered a series of five physio sessions and five massages that will keep everything working well up to your race.
So the steps in the sales funnel are:
- 5 running mistakes PDF
- Online injury checklist & report
- Injury prevention workshop
The aim is to get sign ups for the block of 10 sessions (five physio and five massages). Although this type of setup can be time consuming at the outset, once it’s up and running this can be working for you at all hours to deliver qualified leads to your business.
- Track Your Results
By monitoring the flow of prospects through your sales funnel you’ll be able to see what’s working and what isn’t and take action to reduce the drop off at each stage. Are you able to get a lot of people to download your initial step but then few progress to the next level? That indicates that either the first step is not connecting with your customers or the next step is unclear or unappealing.
By knowing your prospect’s pain points, and addressing these as you guide them through a sales funnel, you can turn them from cold to sold. As the example above shows, you don’t have to fork out big money on advertising for delivering the solutions your customers need. Simply using a PDF, an email and a workshop can be effective methods of reaching out to prospects and turn them into paying customers.