Last week, I discussed My Current 7 Step Marketing Outline which lays out the outline for what I would call The Funnel of Opportunity. As I said in that post:
In most sales and marketing schemes we like to build what we call a Sales Funnel or Marketing Funnel. In the service world, we have learned to create customer journey maps. Both serve the purpose of trying to manipulate a customer through this selective path to arrive at the ultimate goal that WE DESIRE FOR OUR CUSTOMER. I have discussed this before, but the biggest problem I see in this train of thought, outside of thinking that we can manipulate the customer, is that we narrow our customer base.
I went on to say in the post:
Why create funnels that narrow the opportunity to create a customer? Why would we market too many to find a few? I just struggle with that line of thinking. When we market this way, we reach beyond our capabilities to find prospects so that we can have that select few that buy. Not only is this expensive, but it does not always assure that we get the right prospects/customers buying. Why don’t we create Funnels of Opportunity for us as suppliers versus Funnels of Exclusion for buyers?
My podcast guest tomorrow, Craig Elias, author of Shift!: Harness The Trigger Events That Turn Prospects Into Customers, expressed a similar thought and how seldom it is used.
An Excerpt from the podcast:
Joe Dager: I think that’s a great lesson to be learned. It’s a great way to take a look and it’s like you’ve started marketing towards an opportunity versus trying to market towards problems.
Craig Elias: That is a big piece and here’s what I find interesting. I had really 3 big epiphanies in that summer of 2002. The first epiphany was I just got to find people that are unhappy and thinking of changing. When you call someone like that, they’ll say, “You know what, I’m thinking about changing. Why don’t you phone me back in December.” You phone him back in December, and it drives you crazy because they’ve already made a decision. When the next time someone hears “I’m thinking of changing” you need to know those are the perfect prospects. Right, if there’s a fit.
My first epiphany, the window of dissatisfaction, my second epiphany, these triggers or events, I call them trigger events that shift people from one buying mode to the next, but my third big epiphany was the fact the for the first time in 20 years, what I had done, instead of analyzing my losses like my bosses always said, “If you lose the business, you never lose the lesson”. You would conduct a lost sales analysis.
For the first time in 20 years, I did a WON sales analysis, W-O-N, analyzed the business I had won and then out of curiosity, I actually went to the internet to learn more about this process of analyzing your wins and I started with a generic search of sales analyses. Go to Google, type between quotes the two words “sales analysis.” The importance of the quotes is that’s a phrase, so the search results have to contain those two words together in that order. I found about a million pages on the internet. I said to myself, “Well, I’m not going to read a million pages.” So, how do I go, like how do I refine the search? I added the word lost to this phrase, “lost sales analysis.” I found 50,000 pages on the internet, and I said to myself, “I’m not going to read 50,000 pages. Why don’t I just replace the word Lost and add the word Won? So, now I’m looking for a phrase, Won Sales Analysis.” In the summer of 2002, I did that search. Do you want to guess how many pages on the internet talked about how to analyze your Wins, so you can repeat them?
Joe Dager: I would say under 10.
Craig Elias: Good answer. The answer was 2. I’m totally flabbergasted about it all the time and energy people spend analyzing sales. They talk about, look at all the stuff they lose, and they lose more than they win and try to guess or hope they can figure out how to win next time around. My epiphany was “Hey, forget the lost sales analysis. Let’s outsource that to somebody else. But as an entrepreneur, salesperson, whatever, I need to do my own Won sales analysis because that analysis turns on that selective perception and has you seeing that car, or all the customers are prospects that just had a similar event.
Joe Dager: People that listen to this podcast, will know you’re singing my tune. We’ve talked a lot on this podcast about appreciative inquiry, what we call SOAR. We are looking at strengths, opportunities, aspirations and results. It’s the way I frame sales. So, you’re beating to the right drum on this podcast, Craig.
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