Guiding Prospects Through the Funnels
Marketing and sales funnels have variations, but the main point is: They’re large at the top, small at the bottom. For contractors, these are pathways to profitability.
In the marketing funnel, customer journeys begin with the widely cast net of broad marketing at the entry point – through print ads, radio and television commercials, billboards and search engine optimization, for example. A message is pushed far and wide.
The funnel grows narrower through Direct Mail to a targeted list, for instance, and lead-nurturing email campaigns to prospects. Then it moves toward the tightly focused Customer Retention outreach through newsletters and other regular contact that keeps the customer for future purchases and referrals.
Similarly, the sales or purchase funnel follows a set of stages, from broad to narrow, that begins with “awareness.” Broad marketing helps here by getting your name in front of lots of people. Then the customer moves toward “consideration.” Your image, unique selling proposition and benefit-rich offers are evaluated. This leads to “preference.” They’ve become aware of you and have considered you, and based on your image, benefits, word-of-mouth, you end up on the winning side of their decision-making.
So they take “action,” the next stage of the funnel. You deliver with excellent service and quality product installation, and they’re satisfied with your work and happy with their choice. What you do next influences whether they reach the next two stages – “loyalty,” then “advocacy.”
Your continued commitment through regular contact helps keep them as customers. Upselling them into a Maintenance Agreement provides an organized system for “loyalty.” Engaging with them and continuing to deliver at a high level, while reminding them of your need and desire for referrals, helps your customers make a shift into “advocacy.” And that’s the true gold of your customer relationships.