Every business knows the pain of losing a customer, it is one of the necessary part of running a business.

The truth is that customers do not cease to exist, there is no vacuum, customers only move from one brand to another.

Knowing that there are always customers, how do you get your own share of the customers? How do you convert your prospects into customers?

Converting a prospect into a customer is an art and a science at the same time. It is an art because it requires creativity, it is a science because the process is replicable and will yield the same result in similar environments.

Essentially, converting a prospect into a customer is via the use of a sales funnel. That way, prospects are moved from one phase to the other until they become customers.

A sales funnel is a marketing concept that maps out the journey a customer goes through when making any kind of purchase. The model uses a funnel as an analogy because a large number of potential customers may begin at the top-end of the sales process. But only a fraction of these people actually end up making a purchase. You can design your sales funnel with as many stages as possible, but then there are four major stages.

These are the stages we will concentrate on. There are other sub-stages within the funnel and you can move your prospects through the loop until they become stable customers. The stages are essentially, Awareness, Interest, Decision and Action. It will be instructive to go into each of these stages in details and expatiate on each of the stages.

 Awareness

The first step in the journey of any prospects is getting aware of the brand.

This is represented by coming in contact with your business. This can be via advertising, word of mouth or any other means possible. It is when prospects get on your website for the first time and they are aware of the services you offer. Awareness, though the first stage in the funnel is very important. It is simply the reason why businesses spend a fortune on advertising and placing themselves in strategic places.

Interest

Moving a step away from the awareness stage, we have the interest stage up next.

Once a prospect becomes aware of the brand, their interest will be piqued if the services you offer can solve a problem they have.

It is at the interest stage that proactive action begins from the customers end. He/she gets interested and will most likely follow the business on social media and subscribe to the mailing list.

Decision

The interest stage of the funnel is a very important stage. It is at this point that a lot of business start to lose prospects. The prospects begin to seriously consider the offerings of the business.

That is why it is essential that businesses understand their target audience and tailor content to meet their needs.

At this point, those are the things that matters. The prospects is seriously considering your different packages and how your services can be beneficial to them. With sustained guidance, the prospects will make the right decision.

Action

This is the end of the funnel; it is where the prospect takes the decision to buy from you.

As an online store, this is where the prospect clicks on the checkout button. As a brick and mortar store, it is the moment when the prospect walks through the front door not only for window-shopping but to actually shop. While the action stage might look abrupt and unplanned, it is not that detached. Walking through that door was as a result of the period of time spent in the sales funnel. Anyone who will walk into any store must have first heard about the store somewhere, then they have made that decision to shop. All of that time spent in the funnel and then the action is seen.

 

However long or short the funnel may be, the end point is to have the prospect make the right buying decision. To ensure that this is the case, it is important to pay attention to the content that the business puts out.

These are the lighthouses that will guide the prospects towards the shoreline of the right buying action. It is instructive to note that retention is a necessity if you intend to last in business. It is not enough to have your prospect buy just once, they have to become regular customers

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