The Sales Funnel Is Dead
I hope this finds you well. So, did the subject of this issue of the Residential Metal Roofing Executive Report catch your eye? We all hear about the “Sales Funnel” and we build our businesses to take advantage of this funnel – even though experts agree that the funnel died years ago! We’re going to talk about how to respond to this somber news in a bit but, first, below is a special free opportunity we are offering to home improvement contractors.
On Thursday, September 26, starting at 11 am Eastern, we will continue our series of “Let’s Be Frank” webinars / conference calls. We have another great topic this week as we talk to Frank Farmer, president of the industry-leading American Metal Roofs in Michigan.
All salespeople have gained a bad rap from the liars in the industry. They will say anything to get a paycheck. Your customers are more guarded than ever. Everywhere they look they find shady marketers waiting to “juke” them and take their hard-earned money.
You can be the beneficiary of their lies if you know how to position yourself. While everybody else is weaving a web of deceit, imagine how refreshing it is for your customers to meet someone they trust and relate to. You will be able to step in and close the sale with 100% truth!
Join us on this 45-minute call as we explore how to build a presentation that takes advantage of your competitors’ lies! Following are the details for how to attend this free call / webinar.
So, on to the demise of the Marketing Funnel!
Back in 2013, Huffington Post made the assertion that the 100+ year old Sales Funnel was dead – digital had killed it. Advertising Age declared it dead a couple of years later. While I still teach Sales Funnel (“sales pipeline,” actually, using David Sandler’s term) to sales teams because I think it’s fine for salespeople to think along that path, digital has really changed lead generation and how we all need to market our products and services.
There is no longer a funnel that prospects enter at the top, travel through a variety of things you “do” to them, and pop out at the end as a buying customer. Instead, folks take more of a circuitous “in and out” route while making decisions. Ours is an “information age” offering “immediate satisfaction,” so your company will pop in and out of a consumer’s consideration set based upon their desires, their thought process, their google searches much more so than based upon the messages you’re trying to send to them. In fact, they are just about as likely to come back and look at your company because of a message they received from your competitor as from a message they received from you. And, likewise, they will travel from you to your competition on a whipstitch!
The benefits they are seeking are likely to change at any given point. They may consider you at one point when a bad spring storm tears a few shingles off their roof. And then they may drift away and come back to your website when they see their first air conditioning bill of the season. Then they may drift away again and come back later as winter approaches and they then realize they really have to do something about their roof.
A combination of the “Information Age” and the “Amazon Effect” (where consumers expect anything they want, even customized, within two days with free shipping) has created an environment where consumers will visit your website and consider your company perhaps even countless times before they finally come to you and say “Let’s talk!” (or “As long as you don’t mess things up, I’m ready to do business with you!)”
Because of digital and the way we think and communicate today, each consumer’s path is different. Marketing needs to be able to bring them in at anyplace along that circuitous path, and hopefully keep them on that path so they travel right through to being a customer but, more than likely, they will drift in and out until they reach a point where their needs of the moment have led them back to you enough times that they do say “well, we need to talk – all of the things we have been thinking and seeing keep bringing us back to you as our best option.”
It really comes down to being what that person needs you to be at the exact moment that you are in front of them. Your website needs to be content-rich and serve as their guide to their roofing research. Make them the “hero” for discovering the product that meets their needs! Virtually all of your website visitors are there to gain information first, not to say “Please sell me something!” If you do not provide them the content they are seeking, guess what? They will find someone else who does and you will have lost your shot at a relationship with them.
So, forget about the Sales Funnel. Direct your marketing to provide the information that consumers are seeking when they find you – not the “information du jour” that you choose to throw at them at any given moment.
Please join us for “Let’s Be Frank” on September 26, and please contact me anytime.
Todd Miller has spent his entire career in the metal building products manufacturing industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, an organization recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers. Todd is currently Vice President of the MRA (Metal Roofing Association) and a Past Chair of MCA (Metal Construction Association). Through his website, he strives to raise the bar on standards and practices to provide property owners with the best possible products for successful roofing projects.
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