Effective Website Sales Funnels – Prospect Qualification – Are Your Visitors Potential Buyers?

Does the website you are using as one of the tools to earn a living do a good job of qualifying visitors as potential buyers of what you are offering? Does it do this at all? Many websites that are put into existence for the purpose of selling make no effort to qualify buyers. They expend the same level of effort (usually very little to none) and the same level of resources on every visitor. In the case of websites that are catalogs or otherwise passive in their sales approach this is probably not a big deal (other than the fact that they are also unlikely to be effective). The resources used in such a site to close a deal are minuscule in most cases (as are the results). However, as soon as the sales process becomes more active and interactive, more targeted and generally more resource intensive it becomes ever more important to ensure those resources are being expended on people who really have a decent potential to become a buyer.

Many internet marketers are investing less than $100 a month in their website…many of those less than $20 per month. In that case there appears to be little motivation to qualify visitors before giving them access to the good stuff. On these sites the good stuff is cheap, open to all and largely ineffective. On the other hand, the successful internet marketers invest a great deal of time, effort and other resources in producing highly targeted and effective internet marketing campaigns and then spend $500 or $1000 or more per month to keep their sales funnel optimized and current. There are also often components on these active sales sites that generate additional “per visitor” expenses such as PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising, live chat features, video streaming (which can result in extra bandwidth charges when played heavily by visitors) and call center activities. Done correctly these features are highly effective and beat out passive websites and campaigns hands down…even with their much greater expense and effort factored into the profit equation. However, those superior results evaporate right away if the sales funnel does not do a good job of filtering out the people who are not really potential buyers. Regardless of whether your internet tools are active or passive the bottom line equation is the same. You must keep your average cost of acquisition of a paying customer below the average profit that paying customer generates. Since I build and write about sales funnels operating under the active model that is the perspective the rest of this article will focus on clickfunnels pricing 2018.

If you are still reading you probably are willing to at least entertain the idea that a targeted active sales site is the way to go. You probably also accept that they are more expensive and time consuming to create and operate and that this means it is much more important to filter out the tire kickers. So, how and where do you accomplish that? The answer is that it is accomplished (hopefully) at every layer of your marketing and sales process. The more effort and resources that are going to be expended in the next layer helps determine how strong the filtering is going to be in the layer you are developing or examining for revision. For discussion purposes the normal sales funnel is divided into four layers. These are the marketing activity, the landing page, the qualifier and the close. Each may, in your reality, have multiple layers depending on what you are offering and how you are presenting it but this simplified treatment will do its job admirably…to spur your thinking as you examine your sales funnel for appropriate and strong filtering.

The marketing activity needs to be your strongest filter. Out there in the wild are hundreds of millions, maybe billions, of potential visitors out of which your marketing activity is striving to grab the attention of the interested people and get them to your website. Do you want just anybody to click through to your website’s landing page? You most certainly do not want this if your marketing activity requires any effort or expense. What marketing activity requires both no effort and no expense? I am not aware of any. Make your valuable resources count! You are not looking for website visitors. You are looking for people to buy what you are offering.

Your landing page is not where you will have much tied up in the way of resources other than in developing an effective one. The landing page is the front door to your sales process and the first gatekeeper available to test real interest. Make it count. Beyond this door is where the big bandwidth eaters are going to reside. Beyond this door is the bulk of the sales message you have worked so hard on (or paid someone to work so hard on). Beyond this door is where you move from being intriguing enough to get some simple action to creating enough need and momentum in truly interested people that you can then test them for real buying potential.

The qualifier is the layer that really separates out the tire kickers from the truly interested. This is the gatekeeper for the part of your sales process where you reveal your secrets that should only be heard by the interested. This is the gatekeeper for the really expensive and effort filled activities like live chat and call center activities. This is the gatekeeper before enticing offers you may make for trying out your main offering are made. These offers are often not free for you to make. Use this gatekeeper well. It needs to require some effort on the part of the visitor, some level of payment or both to demonstrate their sincere interest in this offering. Not only does this protect the resources you are about to expend to close the deal but it also raises the value of your offering in the mind of the prospective buyer. Now they have some direct investment in this process in addition to the time they have spent to get this far. From this point forward you want them to be deciding between additional investment in your primary offering or walking away from something they are already somewhat invested in and have come to believe in to some extent. This is a much better position for you to be in than to make it easy to walk away because they have no investment when they reach the attempt to close the deal.

The last layer of your sales process is where you pull out all the stops and try to close the deal. If all your filters are working effectively you can work hard at this stage and expend resources to close this deal because this is someone who wants to and can become your customer or client. Your only job now is to overcome resistance but you can maximize your work with each potential customer because you know they really are interested. You could never put this kind of effort into random unqualified visitors. You either have to waste too much time and money on people who are not going to buy anyway or you have to keep your efforts much easier and much less resource intensive (and thus much less effective). The same people get all the way through each process but in the passive approach there is not much new effort to close the deal so many sales will be lost even though there were many more visitors. The resources available to close deals were just plain spread too thin. With the far more effective active approach you will close some and lose some but you are stacking the odds far more in your favor. Go for it!

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