Sales funnels have been around for a long time, probably since humans first arrived on Earth. When early man wanted to get a person or animal to do something, a basic sales funnel was used (OK, OK, it wasn’t exactly the same! By stick with it…) Sales funnels are used to get your business from unsuccessful and unprofitable to profitable success. When your caveman ancestors needed to eat, they used the precursor to today’s modern sales funnel to attract animals.
After several days of having nothing to eat but plants, a tribe of early humans would be desperate for some meat. This is because meat carries a lot more protein than plant-based foods. Protein is needed by the human body for optimal health and well-being. So after “No Meat Monday” stretched into “Nothing but Plants All Week”, your plant-munching ancestors that longed for a saber-toothed tiger steak knew they had to do something.
Basically, they had to attract the type of animal they wanted to eat.
They did this by piquing the animal’s interest. In the case of the long-toothed tiger in the example above, they might bait a trap with a smaller animal like a rabbit. When a saber-toothed tiger wandered by it might become interested. If the tiger had eaten recently, it may ignore the bait and move away. Eventually though, a hungry tiger walked by, took the bait, and was caught in the trap.
This meant tiger stakes for everyone in the clan.
Although you don’t want to think about “trapping” your prospects to turn them into customers, this primitive hunting technique simply explains exactly what a sales funnel is.
A sales funnel is, at its core, a defined series of steps you design to guide and inform potential customers as they become familiar with your products or services, and then decide whether or not to make a purchase.
That is really all there is to a sales funnel. Men and women still use the sales funnel approach in the hopes that they will attract a mate. Just as in the early-man hunting example, a potential suitor must first let potential mates know they exist, then they need to get them interested, with the hopes that the man or woman of their dreams will take the action that is desired, join the suitor in a relationship.
Let’s look at the basics of the sales funnel, so you can cater one that effectively builds your blog and your business, and develops a steady stream of prospects, customers and profits.
The human brain craves order and process. It operates in a structured way, and understands step-by-step systems. When you logically talk to the brain in a way it can understand, you have a good chance of getting your business message across. This is why sales funnels work so well for building your business, no matter what niche or market you are in.
Think about the last time you wanted to go out to eat Italian food. Let’s say you decided to try a new place. You either talked to your friends for suggestions, typed “my city” Italian restaurants in your favorite search engine, or drove around aimlessly in hopes of finding a place.
You would eventually choose a specific Italian restaurant because you became interested in some way. All of your friends raved about the place, you saw they served all your favorite foods, the price was exceptionally attractive or there was some other reason you became interested enough to choose this restaurant over others. So you took action. You ate there. If the service was good, the price was right, you didn’t have to drive very far and a lot of other variables were positive, you would probably look forward to going back to that restaurant in the future.
If that restaurant owner attracted you by advertising, they were attempting to get your business by starting at the top of a sales funnel. Sales funnels like the one that worked so well for your Italian restaurant owner have begun by doing one thing … attracting your attention. That is the first step in the following proven 4 step sales funnel model which has been used by salespeople and marketers for centuries, shortened to AIDA.
- Attention – Attract the attention of your prospects
- Interest – Once you have their attention, get them interested
- Desire – Turn interest into desire, make them want your product or service
- Action – If you have done a good job in the first 3 steps of this process, your prospect takes action, and buys your product or service
If you have ever been fishing, you have been employing a classic sales funnel approach to getting fish into your boat, maybe without even knowing it. You want to attract the attention of fish, get them interested in your bait, hopefully entice them with your lure and fishing tactics in such a way that you build their desire to eat. In the perfect world scenario, this desire leads to the action you are hoping for, the fish bites your hook, and you have just landed dinner.
The process works the same for landing plenty of prospects who will hopefully become customers through the sales funnel process.
A Few More Reasons Sales Funnels Are A Smart Choice to Build Your Business for a Blogger or Online Entrepreneur
If a process is difficult and expensive, it doesn’t matter how effective it is, some business owners simply can’t understand or afford to implement it. This is the beauty of the simple sales cycle.
Even a beginning blogger or web-based businessperson can set up an effective sales cycle, for little or no money, and in just a few hours.
The process is easily done, easy to understand and replicate, and you can set up multiple sales processes in a very short amount of time and for little money, or no cost at all. Then you test and refine, until you create one that builds your business while producing profits as well. There are software suites, proven sales funnel tools and Internet resources that make this time-tested business builder work for any blogger, whether on a budget or with unlimited resources.