The sales funnel is a practical, powerful marketing tool that every coach needs!
You may have noticed the term “funnel” cropping up a lot on social media.
Although it’s often used by “high ticket closers” and sales professionals in a way that feels pushy and inauthentic, it’s actually a very useful tool for coaches to grow their business and focus their offerings.
The Sales Funnel Overview
In the marketing world, the funnel is simply a model that’s useful to help us think through our marketing and sales strategy. The sales funnel is a tool that visually helps us consider what we’re offering, and to whom. It lets us see how we’re engaging with our clients or customers in different ways and at different price points. And the funnel is not only about marketing sales—it’s also about building relationships.
To understand the basic concept, picture a funnel: wide at the top, narrow at the bottom. Now imagine your prospective clients moving from the top of the funnel down through the different stages of your marketing and relationship goals: 1) Attract, 2) Convert, 3) Engage and 4) Connect.
The Sales Funnel Explained in 4 Steps
This is the widest part of the funnel, geared to attract the most people. It’s also the place where you want to build brand awareness around your products and services.
Here you’ll offer items that are free or no-fee. The goal is to attract new people and expose them to what you offer.
At the 1) “Attract” level you might include things like:
- A downloadable template to support your clients – often in exchange for signing up for your newsletter.
- A daily challenge (5 days or 7 days) to support clients in taking action towards their goals
- Blog posts
- Facebook Live Community Calls where you discuss some of the more common questions, opportunities, challenges and resources for your focus of work
- A webinar for a larger association or group
- What do you have at the widest part of the funnel—for free or a very low fee—geared to attract people to what you offer?
- If you don’t have anything yet, what’s possible? Take a few minutes to outline a few ideas.
At the next level of the funnel, your purpose may be to strengthen relationships and generate money.
Here, you’ll have low-priced offerings to help people consider your services and start the conversation with you. They will get more than a taster and probably get an experience of what your services can provide for them.
This second level is geared to get people to convert to a higher-level or next product.
At the 2) “Convert” level your offerings might include things like:
- A short e-book bringing together some of your blog posts in a compendium
- A short video-based course highlighting some of the tips or latest research around the topic
At the engage level, you’ll offer your mid-priced programming. This is perhaps where your “live” or in person offerings of retreats or group coaching might reside.
At this point, people are making an investment in your offerings, and they’re likely to become a fan of what you offer. These are the people who are likely to move on to bigger-ticket items.
Here, too, people may use your mainstream offerings on an ongoing basis. For some coaches, this is where your regular one-on-one coaching will be located, or a retreat day with a team.
At the 3) “Engage” level your offerings might include your core offerings like:
- A retreat day with a team
- Regular one-on-one coaching
- Regular group coaching programs
Finally, at the bottom (small) end of the funnel, your purpose is to connect with the people who are likely to become the advocates of your work. These are your “raving fans,” who will buy everything you have to offer.
Here’s where you likely offer products and services that command the highest rate, and involve the most intensive (or highest-touch) work.
At the 4) “Connect” level you might include things like:
- A “VIP Day” in person with you and just 5 other people
- A “high end” 6 month coaching program
- A special weekend program
- A luxury week-long retreat
Your homework is to consider these 5 questions for each stage of your sales funnel:
- What mix of products and services do you currently offer at each level of the funnel?
- What are you doing at each level to build relationships?
- What are you doing at each level to bring people into different orbits of involvement and purchase? How are you transitioning people from one level of your funnel to the next?
- As you consider your programming for the work you do, what could you put in each of these levels?
- Which of your existing programs could benefit from some attention or need to be developed?
So what’s going on in your sales funnel?
Contributing author: A thought leader in the area of group coaching, Jennifer Britton is the author of five books, including Effective Group Coaching (the world’s first book on group coaching, celebrating its 10th year in print) and Coaching Business Builder Workbook and Planner (you’ll find the funnel in section 1). Some of her earliest work as a group coach, back in 2004 and 2005, was in the area of coaching entrepreneurs and small business owners. She returns to these roots in her offering of the 60-Day Coaching Business Builder Accelerator, which is grounded in her coaching philosophy of Daily Steps + Consistent Action = Momentum™. Learn more about this program and others at GroupCoachingEssentials.ca.
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