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Sale Cycles...NOT Funnels

Lesson 28 from: Value Pricing & Business Models for Creative Entrepreneurs

Tara McMullin

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Lesson Info

28. Sale Cycles...NOT Funnels

Lesson Info

Sale Cycles...NOT Funnels

We are going to start setting this business model in motion. We are going to bring it to life. We've been using the analogy of having a healthy business model, being about the same as having a healthy body. And so, it's time to bring it to life. It's time to set it in motion. It's time to get exercising. And the first way we're gonna talk about that is talking about cycles, not funnels. Sales cycles, as opposed to sales funnels. So, I'm gonna tell you more about that in just a moment. But first, I want to describe a very, very common problem that we've eluded to previously. The only thing worse than living paycheck to paycheck, just might be living launch to launch. The only thing worse than living paycheck to paycheck, is living launch to launch. Why? Well, 'cause when you're living paycheck to paycheck, at least you know, every two weeks, or every month, there's a pretty set amount of money coming your way. Right? When you're workin' for somebody else, you know every so often, you're...

getting that check. You know what date it is. You know how much it's going to be. And when you're living paycheck to paycheck, you can make that money, you can stretch that money out. Right? The thing about living launch to launch, is that it's unknown. How do you know how much is coming in every time you launch? How do you know how much is gonna come in every time you make an offer? I've been doing this for a pretty long time now, and I feel pretty confident about what's gonna happen when I launch, when I make an offer, or when I send out an E-mail, and say, "Hey, if you're interested, you can buy this now." But I never know for sure. And I still get surprised. And sometimes not in the good way (laughs). It does happen, it happens to all of us. And so how do you figure out, how to run your business in a way that's continually bringing in revenue in a way that you can actually plan to earn more? In a way that is continual, and cyclical instead of finite? Launch by launch by launch. So that's what we're gonna talk about today. But first I wanna talk about what traditional marketing and sales strategy tells us. Which is that you need a sales funnel, that you need a sales funnel. It looks like this, right? We know what a funnel looks like. And this is in your workbook on page 39, that's the free workbook when you hit the RSVP button. At the top of the funnel, which is super wide, right? And the idea here is that you cast the net wide, you get as many new prospects as possible. Anyone who's willing to listen to something remotely close to what you want to say, they enter the funnel right here. It's wide, because you're not so concerned about the target market. This is what we've been told in the past. Then, as you work through the funnel, you narrow the focus based on the needs of the customers you've got, or based on what you really wanna be talking about. And I have to say, you know, this strategy, it's not that it's bad, it's just that there's a better way, which I'm getting to in just a moment. So if this sounds familiar, and if it's been working for you, it's not because it's bad, but what I want to do is show you something new. Something different. Something awesome. Then as you go, you can make sales to a select few. Sometimes people go down many different steps within a sale funnel, 'til you get to the big money. The big money. And the whole idea here is that you're working your customers down through this funnel. And some people get stuck at the top, or they pop out of the funnel, but a select few gets through eventually making the cut, and giving me opportunity to buy from you, essentially. Alright? There's a different way to do this. There's a different way to do this. And especially in today's social era, which is this commercial marketplace that we've been talking about all weekend long, or all workshop long, which is that we're all talking to each other. We're all sharing information. We're all sharing our opinions. We're all influencing other people. In the social era, we have an opportunity to do things differently. We have an opportunity to turn this funnel on it's head. And I've eluded to this, again, earlier in the last couple days. But I really want to lay this out for you now. At the top, of this inverted sales funnel, is our focus on a few individuals. Focus on a few individuals. It's the focus group we mentioned in the last segment, or the first segment today. All the times that I've asked you to think about that one person that's been an ideal client for you. Where did she go this weekend? What did he eat for dinner? What kind of questions are they asking about your industry, their problems their desires? When you focus on a few individuals, you get to start cultivating relationships. You get to start cultivating relationships. These are the relationships that start to take place just even in the marketing and sales process. These are the relationships that lead to trust, that get people primed to buy, primed to even be aware of their need for a solution to a problem that they have. And once you've got great relationships, and even in the process of building great relationships, you can start to listen for needs, for desires, and for the meaning that people are looking for in their lives. Meaning on a big scale, meaning on a little scale. When you know who exactly it is that you're serving, and you have a trust relationship with them, listening's pretty easy, listening's pretty easy, all you have to do is be a human being. (laughs) Open your ears. And this doesn't even have to happen face to face. I love when it happens face to face. I mentioned that I love going to conferences for this very reason, because at a conference, I can focus on a few individuals, I can cultivate a relationship very quickly, and then I can listen, listen, listen, preferably with a beer in my hand. So I love that, but sometimes it happens online too. This is also why I love Twitter. Because Twitter becomes a place for me to listen. People respond to me, and I listen. They tweet their own stuff, their own problems, their own questions, their own desires, and I can listen. I tune in to those few individuals that I've built relationships with, and listen. Again, I'm sorry if I sound like a broken record, but this is so important to me, listening, listening, listening, and that's why it's in this inverted funnel. And that's the point, that's the point when you start identifying what value it is that you can create. What value it is that you can deliver to those select, few customers. Again, it happens so far down in the process. And it does so very purposefully. Because without knowing exactly who you're building a product for, without knowing exactly the kind of trust that they have in you, without listening for their real needs, not the stuff we think they should need, without that stuff, we don't know what kind of value we want to create. And we certainly don't know how we want to deliver it. All of this let's us create things that sell easily. And, if scale is important to you, if going to the masses is important to you, if attracting a bigger and bigger community of people who are going to be your customers is important to you, it also allows you to scale with ease. Because these few people, their needs are shared by a big, big group. Yesterday I asked you if in your business model you wanna go wide, if you wanna serve lots of people, or if you wanna go deep and serve a few people really profoundly. You don't have to scale, but if you want to scale, the key is still listening to just a few individuals. Creating those relationships. You know, the hosts have been saying how people in the chat rooms have said, I'm psychic. I'm not, I wish I was (laughs). I wish I was Diana Troy, who is not actually psychic, she's empathic, but whatever. (laughs) I'm not. I listen. And by listening, I determine what your needs and your desires and your meanings are. And then I can make, with confidence, statements about where you are right now, what your problems are, what's going on for you, why things aren't working, and it feels like I've read your mind. You can do exactly the same thing with your customers if you follow this kind of funnel, as opposed to the old kind of funnel. Alright? Now, this inverted funnel lends itself to what I'm calling a sales cycle. This is the beginning of our sales cycle. Just like our business model had six questions that we examined, to pull together the different systems that we're going to create our overall business system, our sales cycle, has six different things to consider. Alright? It has six different parts that will help us guide our customers toward making the right buying decision for them. You remember back to the first segment, I talked about how marketing is separate than sales, marketing is telling the right story to the right people for the right reasons, to make them aware of what you have to offer. Sales, is actually guiding people toward that buying decision. It's putting the offer out there, and explaining why this is the right thing for you. That's what this sales cycle is all about. Alright? Market, and then sales. Absolutely they play off of one another, they play nicely together, but do make sure you're intentionally considering them separately. So what goes on in the sales cycle? First, you start the conversation. Then, you share a vision. What is it that you want to help your customers achieve? Next, you need to connect a problem to that vision. Connect a problem to that vision, a problem that your customers are dealing with right now. Then you present a solution. Don't worry, we're gonna go over this like a gazillion times, then you're gonna make an offer, and then you're gonna strengthen the relationship. Start a conversation, share a vision, connect a problem to that vision, present a solution, make an offer, strengthen the relationship. Those are the six things we're gonna consider, and we're gonna do them step, by step, by step.

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