The Sales Funnel
Your Message→Traffic→Lead Magnet→Core Offer→Self-Liquidating Offer(s)→Up-sell(s)→Other Service(s)↵Return Path
When I discussed how to grow a life coaching business, I said you should have a sales funnel of products, defined by your value ladder, which allows your coaching business’s revenue to grow.
A sales funnel allows you to increase your number of clients.
It allows you to increase the average dollars per sale from each of those clients.
And it allows you to increase the repurchase frequency of each client.
Increasing all of these simultaneously allows you to generate more revenue in your coaching business, which you can then use to reinvest into acquiring new clients with the same or less effort that you’re using now.
A sales funnel allows for a repeatable, scalable process, and a way to easily track, measure, and adjust, as necessary, once you determine what does and doesn’t work.
Allow me to use a famous example that you’re probably familiar with to show you how this is done—McDonald’s.
How McDonald’s Can Turn $1 into a $95 Profit
McDonald’s is a multi-billion-dollar business that has the reach to pay for an unlimited amount of traffic. But, even if they had $1 trillion to purchase all the traffic they wanted, if no one became a customer, McDonald’s would soon go broke.
This happens to a lot of people who try to implement the dreaded “one offer” approach in their business, many of whom max out their credit cards thinking that clients will come to them on demand.
But let’s think about how McDonald’s continues to “feed” their growth—how they continue to purchase new traffic every day.
McDonald’s feeds their growth by having traffic that turns its visitors into paying customers by using a sales funnel every day and in every way.
If you’ve driven past a McDonald’s lately, you would have noticed a giant sign in their window that entices clients to come in to get either a $1 coke, a $1 coffee, or some other low-ticket item on their value menu.
It’s something their customer wants. It has desire.
But it’s desirable and it provides value!
We’ll call this McDonald’s “lead magnet.” Once their customer takes the bait, comes into the store and buys something, McDonald’s has acquired a customer.
But, maybe the client only buys the $1 coke?
Does McDonald’s lose out?
Maybe, but maybe McDonald’s only paid $1 to get that customer in the door. This means that even if the customer only purchases a $1 coke, the cost to bait that customer has paid for itself.
What does the traditional business model teach about recovering your cost when prospective clients don’t convert into paying clients?
Your money is just gone.
Gone to Facebook’s ether.
However, McDonald’s has what we’ll call a “self-liquidating offer”. The $1 sale neither increased their profits nor made them a profit.
But, it’s not going to make them go broke. This “self-liquidating offer” has another purpose.
The customer is now in McDonald’s funnel. He is now aware of all the other things McDonald’s has to offer.
He’s looking at all their other goodies when he’s at the register waiting to pay for his $1 coke. But, at this point the relationship has changed. This customer is now a buyer and McDonald’s know this.
So, as the customer continues to look around at the enticing pictures, he decides to buy a $3 Big Mac—one of McDonald’s “core offers.”
Suddenly, the customer’s $1 has turned into $4 for McDonald’s—the first step to increase McDonald’s average dollar amount generated per sale. But, it doesn’t stop there.
What are McDonald’s cashiers trained to ask?
“Do you want fries with that?”
Many times, the customer will say, “Yes, I’ll take the fries for an extra $1.” And soon, the customer’s $1 has turned into $5.
Offering fries to the customer was a simple ask, but what we’ll call McDonald’s “added transaction value.”
And now, the customer is hooked. All the while, McDonald’s has earned $5 from a customer who intended on paying only $1, the cost that it took McDonald’s to pay for this customer.
This means that McDonald’s has now covered the cost to pay for this customer, and can now afford to reinvest the $4 to acquire 4 more customers for $1.
If each of those next 4 customers turns into $5 customers, McDonald’s will then have $20 to “buy” 19 more customers.
And, if each of those 19 new customers turn into $5 customers, McDonald’s will have turned a $1 customer into a $95 profit.
And so on, and so on.
But, it still doesn’t stop there.
The customer will may now be hooked. McDonald’s has become the number one source for this customer’s fast fix of burgers and fries. So, he’ll return, again and again.
Something will stimulate the idea—maybe a commercial, smell, or those “golden arches—and thereby will increase the repurchase frequency of this customer.
Each of these steps in McDonald’s sales funnel allowed for the exponential growth and success it has achieved and continues to achieve as it dominates the fast food industry.
Now, image that your life coaching business had a sales funnel with very similar steps.
With just this idea alone, can you see how the right sales funnel can exponentially grow your coaching business?
Can you see how you can redefine what it means to have a coaching business that exchanges multiple products for an ever-increasing, incremental value from your clients?
Let’s formalize what the perfect sales funnel may look like for in your life coaching business.
What a Sales Funnel Looks Like in a Constant Revenue Generating Business
Deconstructing the Sales Funnel
Your Message→Traffic→Lead Magnet→Core Offer→Self-Liquidating Offer(s)→Up-sell(s)→Other Service(s)↵Return Path
First, each and every last element along the path in your funnel must have an absolutely congruent and relatable offer to the prospective client whom you are trying to reach. This is very important. For example, if you’re trying to appeal to people who are trying to save their marriages, you probably shouldn’t offer a product about dating as a self-liquidating offer, or a product about divorce advice as an up-sell.
Traffic is one of the most important elements that your business should focus on, once you’ve optimized your sales funnel.
You can have millions of people coming to your website, but if they are people who are not interested in what you’re selling, you’ll never make a sale. Traffic is about getting the right message to the right people so you can attract them to your sales funnel.
Assuming you have your target marketing honed in, and are getting the right message in front of them, traffic will never be a problem.
Ryan Diess, the CEO of Digital Marketer is attributed to saying, “He who can spend the most money to acquire a client wins.”
Your sales funnel and optimization should always focus on increasing the number of prospects who become your clients, and set up to increase the average dollar amount per sale and repurchase frequency of each of your clients.
When you do this, and understand the math behind your customer’s lifetime value, you’ll have the ability to buy unlimited targeted traffic. That said, if want to quickly fill your funnel, you must learn how to dominate one source of traffic where you can undoubtedly reach your target market.
Once you master your one traffic source and have a working, highly optimized sales funnel, you’ll rapidly increase the number of prospects you convert into buyers.
And after your master one traffic source, you must master another, and then another, until you’ve added multiple channels of traffic that continues to accelerates your business’s revenue.
Now, the actual first element of your sales funnel is your lead magnet.
Your lead magnet should have one purpose and one purpose only.
It exists to gather information like an email address, phone number, or a physical address from highly targeted clients who have visited your website, so you can market to them over and over again until they become clients who’ve purchased from you and who will continue to purchase from you.
This is the first step towards increasing the number of clients in your coaching business. This element is so important that you have to be willing to offer something of extreme value—something you know your highly targeted client wants.
If you know your clients, this should be super easy. If you don’t know your clients, you’ll have to research, test, and adjust until you find out exactly what that one thing is. For example, you can offer your sales video or webinar of a case study that shows the tactics you used to get someone the results your visitors want. You’ll have to dig deep.
Whatever it is, make it a tease that relates to your core offer and keep in mind that the people who are going to opt in to what you’re providing as a lead magnet has a problem they eventually want solved. Your lead magnet should be a specific subset towards solving that problem!
Your Core Offer
Your core offer is the one product in your funnel that you’re ultimately trying to sell.
It doesn’t mean that you only have one product, however. Your core product is what you want your clients to buy so you can accelerate your business’s profits.
But, you don’t necessarily need to make a profit on this offer. Both the paying and non-paying prospect at this stage in your funnel can be marketed to again and again—allowing him to eventually buy your core offer, with the right nurturing of the relationship, as long as you have something else of value to sell—something that allows you to recoup your cost of advertising.
Whether your core offer comes before or after your self-liquidating offer depends on the relationship you have built with your audience. Don’t be surprised if your core offer doesn’t immediately convert, if you are trying to capture prospective clients who’ve never heard of you. Your prospective clients need to be “warmed up” to you, so in the beginning you may only want to focus on giving as much value as possible.
The Self-Liquidating Offer
Even though you’ve captured your prospective client’s information and given something of high value, you still have to turn him or her into a buyer. If the prospective client watches your webinar or video sales letter but doesn’t book a call, you still want them to make some sort of a purchase—you have to pay for your ad spend and also try to identify your buyers.
You can easily tag your buyers and watch their entire marketing journey with software like Ontraport.
You want to put more of your marketing efforts towards your buyers, as opposed to your non-buyers. It may sound counter intuitive, but just remember Pareto’s principle—roughly 80% of effects comes from 20% of the causes.
In your coaching business, this means that roughly 80% of your sales will often come from only 20% of your clients. In other words, it’s easier to persuade a previously satisfied client to buy again than it is to persuade a new client to buy once.
Your self-liquidating offer should be just as great as your highly valuable irresistible lead magnet, if not better. It should be priced low enough to entice your prospect to buy and high enough to cover the price it took to acquire the lead, if possible.
A great example of this is the McDonald’s $1 coke that I talked about earlier. Maybe you’ve created a valuable course or written a book to solve the problem that your client has.
As long as it solves a problem that your client has and is seen as an irresistible, “no-brainer” offer, you should have no problem converting your prospects into buyers with your self-liquidating offer.
If you don’t have an up-sell that follows the purchase of your core product, make it happen now! It can easily add 10% or more to your business’s revenue.
Up-sells happen during the checkout process of the existing service that your client has purchased.
As we described earlier, McDonald’s does this extremely well by asking its customers if they want fries with their hamburger order. They did this exceptionally well when they used to ask their customers if they wanted to “Super-Size” their meals. This was a simple increase of about $0.24 per customer, but when multiplied by 1,000,000 clients per month it yielded an extra $240,000 every month.
You can create this up-sell immediately in your funnel. They happen all the time and you see them all the time in brick and mortar stores. You’re being up-sold when asked if you want to apply for a credit card to save an additional 10%. You’re being up-sold when asked if you want to purchase warranty coverage for a product.
And you’re being up-sold when you see a “buy 1 for $2.00 or 2 for $3.00” deal in the shopping aisles at grocery stores. Your coaching business, if not brick and mortar or eCommerce, can add one-time discovery calls, a membership site, a course, or any other thing that adds more value for your client.
Again, if you have a life coaching business but have not yet figured out a way to offer more value to your clients when they are already at the register and have committed to making a purchase, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to provide more value to them, which in turn increases your business’s revenue.
Your up-sell is one of the most powerful things you can implement in your business’s sales funnel to increase the average transaction value per sale per client. This metric alone helps to exponentially grow your coaching business, especially when you reinvest the proceeds to acquire more clients.
You should always have something to sell to your clients. If you don’t provide it, someone else will. But, you must first put a base sales funnel and place. You owe it to your clients to only purchase from you.
These products could exist within your funnel as additional up-sells or be complimentary products that you think would be of value to your clients who are interest in the one core problem you solve.
Always think about offers you can provide. They don’t even have to be your own offers. You can offer other people’s products if it provides value for your clients and your coaching business.
The Return Path
You’ve taken your client through your entire sales funnel when you close the sale.
When you do it correctly, you provide more value for your clients and increase the amount of revenue your business wouldn’t have gotten, had it only been thinking one-dimensionally and not had a sales funnel in place. Still, your job is not yet complete.
Not every person who visits your website or your store will opt into your lead magnet. And not everyone who opts-in to your lead magnet will buy your core offer. And, even if someone does purchase from you, you need to be able to consistently offer them more value via other offers. Your return path is all about how you “remarket” to your prospective and actual clients.
You can set up Facebook or Google “remarketing pixels” on your website, in an attempt to remarket to those who didn’t opt into your lead magnet. This pixels help create a return path by “following” your visitors all around the internet to other websites they visit.
As long as the prospective clients who visited your website lands on another website that serves ads from Facebook or Google’s extended ad network you’ll be able to retarget prior visitors with different ads.
For those who opted into your lead-magnet or purchased your core offer, you can create a return path by sending sequences of different email messages using software like Otraport—one sequence to the buyers and one sequence to the non-buyers.
If you received mailing addresses (as well as email addresses), you can create a return path by sending coupons or reminders to those who opted in.
For satisfied clients you can create a return path by setting up a referral system or an affiliate program.
There are no fewer than 30 different ways you can create a return path in your business—paths that set you up for a future where you’re not even spending money on ads. The list of return paths goes on and on and is only limited by your creativity and imagination.
If you want to truly redefine what it means to have an ever-increase revenue generating coaching business, you must map out your business’s value ladder and wrap each and every last product into a highly optimized sales funnel—one that you must track, measure, test, and adjust.
All of these elements are absolutely necessary to grow a highly successful coaching business, and all of these elements can be implemented and automated with ease, with tools such as Ontraport and other online software systems.
Question(s): Do you have a sales funnel in place for your life coaching business? What does it look like? What products are in it?