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This Hourglass Sales Funnel Will Keep Your Customers Coming Back for More

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Coming to you on a gorgeous Tuesday morning to talk about NYC real estate, customer satisfaction, and how to implement the hourglass sales funnel in your business!

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This Hourglass Sales Funnel Will Keep Your Customers Coming Back for More SHOW NOTES

What’s up, everybody? Anton Kraly here, and welcome to another episode of the eCommerce Lifestyle Podcast. I’m coming to you today from the apartment that I got here for the summer in Manhattan in New York City on a gorgeous Tuesday morning.

It’s 72 degrees out, so I’m about to go take my baby for a nice, long walk, get a bagel or something, enjoy this morning, but I wanted to get this podcast, I guess, recorded quickly before I head out just to share some thoughts and to share hopefully a lesson that could really help you to grow your business.

New York, I’ve been here for, it’s insane how fast time flies, but I think it’s been like three weeks already. The reason that I’m here with my wife and my baby is not just because I love New York in the summer, I mean, I’m here, I’m from New York, but we are trying to find that we could buy so we can have a home base in New York City as well as in Austin, Texas.

long term planning

We don’t just want to rent a place in New York like we’re subletting for the summer, we want to buy a place so we can have our place here, have our place in Austin, and be able to bounce around.

We’ve been looking … It’s crazy. Just to give you an idea of what we’re looking for, because I have a son now and because I work a lot, I like to have a private office space at home.

We’re basically, at this point, looking for three bedrooms where one bedroom would be ours, one would be for the baby, and then one would be my office for now until we have another kid, and that would be their room and figure out the office situation at that point.

We basically been spending a lot of the time on weekends going to different houses looking in Zillow, seeing what’s available, and what you can get for your money is just insane out here, and not in a good way, but we’ve been going around looking at a lot of open houses. It’s crazy just having different experiences with all these different realtors, all these different companies, and I guess all these different properties.

Basically, we’re looking, I’m not going to give any numbers, but it’s expensive. We’re going to be spending a lot of money. It’s a big investment.

It’s expensive to have a three bedroom, three bathroom apartment in Manhattan, but we’ve going around, we’ve been looking at these places, and just all the work that these people are doing, these retailers are doing to get me and my family, I guess, in the door, some of them are doing a great job once we get there, even if the place isn’t for us.

Not just recommending other places but giving us a good experience so we would recommend maybe someone else go see the place or that we contact that broker to see more of their properties.

Then we’ve went to some places where literally we’re about to possibly invest all this money, that’s why we’re there, and the experience with the realtors or the buildings has been to terrible, we’ve walked out before even seeing the apartments.

Breaking Down My Favorite, and Original Sales Funnel

sales funnels

The reason that I think that that relates to the message I want to share with you today is because basically it’s something that applies to any eCommerce business or, really, any business at all. It’s what you do when you get a customer coming through the door.

What you do, even when someone does business with you, that’s the way that I want to explain it, but it’s so much work. If you think about what you have to do right, like find the right person at the right time, for us being in eCommerce businesses, that’s usually on Google ads or Bing or Facebook.

Then we get them to our store, and then if we get them to trust us enough to make a purchase with us, well, do they want to do business with us again? Do they want to tell people about our business? A lot of people don’t think about that. They just think about what one quick win.

That’s what I wanted to talk about with you today. I think the best way I guess I can explain it is through a training video that I just put together. It was part of a massive update that we pushed to my eCommerce training course Drop Ship Lifestyle. I pushed it to the members’ area there last week, but it’s called the hourglass sales funnel.

Obviously, this isn’t a video podcast, so you’ll have to work with me, I guess, as I describe this to you, but basically picture a normal eCommerce funnel, like a sales funnel starting at the top and working to the bottom where it gets narrower as it goes down.

At the top, you have all of these sources of traffic. For these realtors that were getting me there, that was putting up open house signs, that was taking out ads online, that was listing on Zillow that they have an open house that day, that was retargeting me on Facebook.

For us, as eCommerce store owners, the way we fill that sales funnel, the way that we get people to our websites at the top, that’s things, again, like running Facebook ads, YouTube ads, running Google ads, running Bing ads. That’s things like retargeting people. That’s things like working with affiliate marketing. That’s things like running social media posts, and everyone is coming in at the top of the marketing sales funnel.

Now, the goal is to move them down, give them a great experience, and have them get to that bottom of the sales funnel, which is when they become customers. That’s when, for us, they take out their credit card, and they buy. What happens after that?

Well, the reason that this new training that I created that’s now, again, part of Drop Ship Lifestyle, which, by the way, if you have access to Drop Ship Lifestyle, go to courses.dropshiplifestyle.com, log in, click on the DropShip Blueprint, go to module six because it’s just massive updates all around there.

But what we want to do is turn that normal-looking marketing sales funnel into an hourglass, which basically means the inverse, I think that’s the right word, becomes on the bottom of it, so it’s flipped. Instead of just stopping at the bottom, it opens back up.

The way that we get that to happen is by turning those people that are coming through our doors, that are going to our website, that are moving through our eCommerce sales funnel, when they get to the bottom, the goal is to turn them into people that love our brand, that become ambassadors, if you want to call it that, but that actually start recommending us.

Just like the real estate example, that would be giving me a great experience, and then having me recommend someone else to go to see that property or to having now a relationship with that broker or that building where I want to see more properties in that building or I want to be notified when something bigger becomes available or I want the broker to show me some of their other properties.

What Does a Marketing Sales Funnel Look Like?

ecommerce sales funnel

With eCommerce, it’s the same thing. When someone buys from us when they get to that stage of a sales funnel, we want them to have such a good experience that now they’re telling their friends that they should buy from us, that they’re recommending our store to people in Facebook groups that they’re part of that are shipping for the same type of items, that they’re literally just telling people, “Wow. I just ordered this thing, and by the way, I ordered it from thissite.com, and my experience was amazing.”

Now, that doesn’t happen by default. This has to be engineered. This is very important because normally when people buy, if they have a great experience, they expect it, which is totally fine. People should expect to have good experiences when they’re spending money with our companies.

That’s why we should be in business, to serve our customers. If they have that great experience, then all is well, and they’re going to move on their way, they’re going to enjoy their product, and that’s it. They’re not just going to become an ambassador.

Now, on the other hand, as you know, if someone has a bad experience, they’ll tell everybody, but we want to focus on getting people those great experiences and then having them become these ambassadors to our brand.

Now, what we’ve realized in our eCommerce businesses is that there’s certain actions that we need to kind of get those people to take, those happy customers, those customers that reach the bottom of our eCommerce sales funnel, in order to have them become ambassadors and really become vocal advocates of our brand. Advocate’s another word you can use instead of ambassador.

The way that we realize we can get them to do that is by actually doing something for us, by almost doing us a favor. That might sound crazy like, “Wait, are you saying get someone to do something for you, and they’ll be more likely to basically to do more for you?”

The answer is yes. It’s crazy. I think I originally learned that in the book Influence by Robert Cialdini. I don’t know how you say his name, but I’m pretty sure where I learned that concept of, but the … Maybe it wasn’t that book, but basically, if someone does something for you, then they’re more likely to do more and more and more for you, and not like in.

I’m not talking about in a negative sense or anything, but they feel like they owe you more if they do something for you than if you do something for them. Very weird psychological thing, but hey, that’s how it works.

How to Create an eCommerce Sales Funnel

DSL Retreat

What do we try to get our customers to do? What do we try to get the people that reach the bottom of the sales funnel to do so that, again, they’ll be more vocal about our brand and get us more customers to fill our sales funnel back up top?

Well, we realized that if we can get our customers to send in photos or videos with their products once they receive them, then they’re much more likely to, again, become an advocate. What we do, again, this could be automated, is put into our email automation sequence after a product gets delivered in automated email that simply asks the customer to send in a photo of them with their product.

If we were selling something like a high-end chandelier, we would say, “We would love to see how it looks in your home once it’s installed. Can you please send us some photos of it?”

If we were selling something like surf boards, we would email them and say, “Hey, hope you’re enjoying your new surf board. If you get any good photos, can you post them on Instagram and use #antonsurfboardstore.com,” whatever it is.

Now, not everyone’s going to do this and not every industry or niche or thing you sell is going to lend itself well to having people send photos in, but if it does at all, then ask. It’s not going to hurt to ask, but if it doesn’t, then you could also just ask them to send in a review. Again, in automated email that gets sent out after the product is delivered, and then ask them to send in their feedback.

That not only gets you a review to put on your website, more information, more content to increase your conversion rate, but because that person, because that customer of yours that reached the bottom of your sales funnel took that one action, whether it be sending a photo or a video or a review, they’re now instantly more connected to your brand, and it’s simply because you asked.

Don’t think everyone’s going to start sending you photos and you’re going to have this flood of images to use because not everyone’s going to want to do it or be comfortable doing it, but you know what, plenty of people will, and every single person that does is that much more likely to now become basically a vocal advocate of your brand to do business with you again in the future, to tell their friends, their family, their networks about your store and their experience.

What’s going to happen from that, from that new hourglass sales funnel as it branches back out, what’s happening is more people are being exposed to your business. If you could picture a line going from, or not a line, maybe a little curved arrow going from the bottom of that hourglass back into the top, guess what, that’s now a new traffic source to feed your marketing sales funnel, and it just keeps expanding from there.

It really is all about experience. I’ve said this from day one, but the main thing that’s going to keep a business in business is how you treat your customers. The main thing that’s going to allow you to last and to thrive and to grow and to be around in one year, five year, ten years is really how happy your customers are.

Step one is obviously making sure that as many of your customers as possible have great experiences when doing business with you, and even when before they do business with you, that’s just giving them a great buying experience all around, but then again.

Once they reach the bottom of that sales funnel, make sure you enable that one thing in your business that’s going to turn that customer into an ambassador or advocate, whatever you want to call it.

If you’re running your traditional type of eCommerce store like we are, we found the best way to turn them from customer to advocate is by having them send either a photo or a video, also having them post it on their social media.

Again, if that’s not an option, having them send in a text review so we can use that on our website. Again, just by them doing it, it just makes them instantly more likely to do more with us and for us.

That’s it, guys. I’m going to go walk around Manhattan and look at some more insanely expensive apartments. Maybe I’ll find something, maybe I won’t. I don’t care. I’m not a … No commitments. If I leave without an apartment, I’m not going to be crying over it, but I’m going to go enjoy the day, enjoy the morning a little bit before I get to work.

I hope you all have great days and do amazing things this week. That being said, I think I’ll be back maybe this afternoon or tomorrow for another episode. I got a bunch of ideas, a list of things I want to talk about, so I’ll be back soon. If you’re not subscribed to the ecommercelifestylepodcast.com yet, go to ecommercelifestyle.com, click on episodes.

That’s also where you can engage and ask any questions, leave any comments, and where you can see the subscribe buttons for like 10 different platforms at this point. We’re everywhere. Talk to you guys soon. Have a great day, and I’ll see you later. Bye.

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