The Funnel vs. Variety; Which Will Net You More?

The controversy over a functional sales model has been raging for years. Well before the online information age, and probably well after those who read this have retired from marketing.

There are two basic situations and some variations. Some people have been able to merge these models to some degree but you’ll find customers get confused when the merger is complete. You’ll lose more customers if you try to maintain both models with the same list.

In the first situation you have what has been referred to as a sales funnel. In this model the marketer entices people to his list by giving away some information. After a time the marketer makes a product offer at a low price point. At this time the list is segmented into those who purchase and those who didn’t. The same offer might be made again and the segmentation happens again.

The second offer made is for a slightly higher price point. The marketer will find that the list that originally purchased from him has a higher likelihood of purchasing the second product at the higher price point than the first list who have never purchased. At this time the marketer may or may not segment the list into those who have purchased the higher priced item.

This same pattern continues with the marketer offering several items always higher than the last. This method of marketing offers the client the best of the marketer and offers the marketer a list of clients who might like to purchase into a higher priced coaching program. The marketer is also able to segment out those customers who will purchase the lower or middle price point products and consistently offer their choice of price point.

The opposite of this model is much like an affiliate sales pitch. The marketer finds a customer and offers him high quality information to sign up for his list. The marketer then sells the only product he has to offer at a higher price point. He might then find affiliate products to offer but the offers are haphazard and the newest products on the market that week.

Either model will net sales. The first model will net a business empire where the marketer can offer affiliate products when they fit very well with the needs of his client base. The second model will net a continual flow of customers in and customers out who may unsubscribe after purchasing any product that feel meets their needs. In both models the marketer must continue to add customers to their list to continue to make money.

The second model may not be the most efficient but it takes less work to set up and run. The first model may take more effort up front but will net a long-term relationship with their customers. It is really the difference between having clients and customers.

A definition emerged recently by a ‘guru’ who said it this way: “I offer various products because my list is not all interested in the same thing. I want to offer everyone something that satisfies them.” Again, this is the difference between having a specific targeted list of clients and customers.

The more important process is to iron out which concept works best for your particular business model and then stick with it. Switching models mid-stream is almost next to impossible. You’ll lose more business than you anticipate gaining by switching camps. If you are committed to trying another sales model then start another niche and test it there.

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