For many years, much of the web content we see has been rather sales-focused. We were all informed as businesses, to think of our websites as ‘our shop window’ and our prospects were put into a ‘sales funnel’.
Maybe nowadays we should look at our websites as more like ‘consulting rooms’ and our sales funnel as the route to our surgery.
By this I am suggesting our website should be a place where people can come to ask questions and look for ways to understand their worries.
We must do this before our prospects are ready to actually buy anything, as many of them don’t actually know what they yet want…
We all go to a doctor when we have a problem or maybe feel something is wrong; but we go there for advice from someone who we believe, knows how best to fix us.
But in business, not everyone knows they have a problem. This is where we need to behave like a consultant and build up trust with our prospects first.
They will then turn to us as the experts as soon as they need help.
What do we mean by: ‘Filling your Funnel’?
Nowadays we need to bring our ‘prospects’ into our own ‘area of influence’ in order to start engaging with them.
Many people refer to this as ‘filling the sales funnel’.
Rather than ‘sales funnel’, I prefer to use my own term: ‘Customer Corridor’ which I explain in my talks at the regular M3 Connections events for directors and business leaders, held across the North West.
By using well-written and engaging content, we can ‘encourage’ our prospects to come along our corridor.
This has a secondary benefit as this is also the type of content that gets shared by others, using social media. It is therefore very valuable to your website ranking.
We do this by drawing the customers into conversations around subjects relevant to their general business environment. People are attracted to places where they can learn – and discover things that will enable them to improve their business.
Engaging with your Prospects
The key to engagement is allowing your prospects to get comfortable in ‘your’ space.
Ideally, you want to get people to engage with you as early as possible – by encouraging them to talk about themselves, their business and other topical issues around their sector.
More importantly, if you do this engagement correctly, it will help with ‘building trust’ between you and the prospects you are wishing to attract.
If you just go for the ‘sales pitch’, which is just a ‘one-way’ message about your products or services, then you are missing out on the chance to properly engage with your audience.