My favorite part of the entire journey in relationship marketing is creating and redefining the process to make it better. The process is the one thing that is vital to making sure your organization has and continues to experience growth. The time we spend on the process can mean the difference between success and failure, so it is important you see it through to the end.
This is where most people throw in the towel and give up. Creating the process requires thought and planning. It requires you see the big picture and understand how you are going to move your prospects through that structure.
The purchase funnel, or purchasing funnel, is a consumer focused marketing model which illustrates the theoretical customer journey towards the purchase of a good or service.Wikipedia
In 1898, E. St. Elmo Lewis developed a model which mapped a theoretical customer journey from the moment a brand or product attracted consumer attention to the point of action or purchase. St. Elmo Lewis’ idea is often referred to as the AIDA-model, an acronym which stands for Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action. This staged process is summarized below:
Awareness – the customer is aware of the existence of a product or service
Interest – actively expressing an interest in a product group
Desire – aspiring to a particular brand or product
Action – taking the next step towards purchasing the chosen product
The Purchase Funnel is also often referred to as the “customer funnel”, “marketing funnel”, “sales funnel” or “conversion funnel”. The association of the funnel model with the AIDA concept was first proposed in Bond Salesmanship by William W. Townsend in 1924.
This early model has been modified by marketing consultants and academics to cater to the modern customer and is now referred to in marketing as the purchase funnel or buying funnel. Many different business-to-consumer purchase models exist in marketing today, but it is generally accepted that the modern business-to-business purchase funnel has more stages, considers repurchase intent and takes into account new technologies and changes in consumer purchase behavior. As a model, the buying funnel has been validated in a variety of domains, including searching, keyword advertising, and lead generation but also modified to include previously unconsidered steps and metrics such as outbound sales and internet impressions. and Sales Funnel Stages
The purchase funnel concept is used in marketing to guide promotional campaigns targeting different stages of the customer journey, and also as a basis for customer relationship management and lead management campaigns.
What is the process for a successful relationship marketing business?
Discover your product…
The product is the driving force behind your business.
When you promote the product thru the exchange of information with people, you are building a relationship of trust. Why would you be telling them to purchase something that you yourself know nothing about?
This is one of the most vital steps in developing a process.
Here what I recommend.
Because you are developing a process for your team, write down all of the information you think is important when educating yourself. Think about how the product can help people by providing them with what they want. Think about all of the different part of the product, or pieces of the puzzle. Do you understand how all of those pieces fit together?
Do you know how to align those pieces in a conversation so that when you are educating your relationship prospect in the exchange of ideas, you can make it natural and unforced? This kind of confidence is a must if you want to build your relationship of trust.
When people trust you, they are more willing to try what you have to offer.
The things your write down are important because you are designing a process, not only for yourself, but for the people who end up joining your team. The successful process you are developing for you, is something you can teach your team to build upon.
Don’t reinvent the wheel
It is important when determining a process not to steer away from the process that has been put in place by the company. The company is going to provide you with a process that educates your prospects, customers and team. Part of your process needs to be plugging your people into the process of the company. The more resources and training you provide your team with, and the simpler the process is to learn, the better your results will be.
When learning about your products and picking out the important points, these are things you are going to be able to use in team training. They are points that you are going to raise about the advantages of the product from your perspective. You should be so educated about your product that you can’t help but be passionate about it. The more we know about something, the more confident we are when it comes to explaining our experience to other people. The more you know, the more of an expert you are.
What are some topics related to the product or service that you are selling?
This is an important question because it helps define your script. Yes, you should have a script or a pre-planned way to tell someone about what you are offering, but make it natural. Don’t jump right into it. Be genuine, and interested in what your friend is saying. We are building relationships through marketing, and that is not just about the end result. The more you listen, the more you will understand what they want. When you understand what they want, you can present the product in such a way that will fulfill that want.
You can also use what someone wants to drive the conversation forward.
Learning the topics related to your product will make it easy to steer a conversation in that direction. If your friend is talking about someone in their family being sick, and you have a health product, you are in the midst of an opportunity. If you sell an herbal supplement, ask them a question, like “have you ever heard of something called elderberry”? Then you can completely educate your customer about it before you even let them know you have access to a product containing it. By the time you are finished fulfilling the need, you have them wanting what you have.
It doesn’t matter what product you are selling, part of the process needs to be understanding the topics related to the product or service. The more lines you can connect from general conversation to what you have makes it seem as though you are jumping in fulfilling a wish for exactly what they are looking for.
Have a simple process to deliver what they want ASAP
Once someone determines they want what you have, you need to get them what they want as quickly as possible. Always have your phone or tablet handy. Again, you want to make it natural. Say “Hold on, you know what, I can actually order that right now” or you could just have the product on hand. Always have paper applications handy if that is something your company allows, but always have a way for them to order the product right away.
If they say no, not right now, you need to have a card to hand them. If you don’t have business cards, you aren’t serious about growing your business. If the website is where they go to sign up, make that the most visible part of the card. Make it a haste. What I mean by that is dwell on the importance of you being able to help them get what they have already said they wanted. You must have enough knowledge to know that not giving them every opportunity to get what they want is doing them a disservice.
If they don’t buy, continue to listen, but don’t be pushy
Part of your process needs to be following up. You don’t follow up by continuing to remind them about that product. Just follow up to see how they are doing. They will bring the product up. Tell them you are concerned and just wanted to know how everything way. Remember, we are giving the example of a sick family member. Follow up based on the original context of the exchange of information that brought up the need and later desire for what you have. Remind them of why they wanted it in the first place. Don’t say it that way, but follow up. The follow up will remind them of everything they need to know.
If you learn to be natural throughout the process, you will be a lot more successful.
Patience must be a part of the process
Always be patient and don’t be in too much of a hurry. We are on a long term journey of building relationships while we grow our business. This is something that takes time. Being in a hurry will inhibit the process. Think about the break down of the process and look at where it works against itself. Always be paying attention to the details of the process that can be changed or made better.
Replicate the process
Once you have a process in place that works, you want to take all of that information and structure it in such a way that you can pass it on to your team members. If you have figured out a good process to get people excited about the product, getting them excited about the business requires educating them in the same way you educated yourself.
This is also a vital part of the overall process.
The key is having a method that people can follow. Companies are great at compiling information, but it is the consultants responsibility to structure that education and follow up in such a way that results in sales and the growth of the business.
Today I want to invite you to join a team that already has a proven process in place. You follow the simple process that we have laid out, and teach your team to do the same thing. This is a simple business with a unique and innovative model.