The marketing sales funnel idea (getting consumers into a funnel, only to push some through) has always seemed a little icky to me. Consumers don’t fall perfectly down a funnel, they often weave back and forth, making their unique way to a purchase decision. When asked to address the sales funnel in a speech, I immediately had tunnel vision. All I could envision was the dark, ick, bleh, stale old funnel. How on earth was I going to teach sales with a model I didn’t believe in? I began my speech prep by asking for was visual therapy time. I asked Wil, WMT’s design lead to create sales funnels of the past. Below is the traditional one and one that shows a funnel with multiple paths which looked even more crappy…can you say small intestine?

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I do not believe in a “get ’em in and push ’em out” sales approach, but I do respect the sales process. Hell or high water, I was going to give sales value in my talk. In today’s web world, people engage with brands in so many ways, coming in through multiple channels, connecting, buying and staying loyal to a brand and repeatedly buying!

I simply don’t believe in the traditional sales model because it’s crappy and heartless….sales has heart!

Thank goodness I work with a designer (thank you Wil!) who I can pontificate to, who gets my analogies (and in this case, analogy…pardon the pun!) and can then turn my rants into beautiful concepts. To overcome sales funnel tunnel vision, you have to think about marketing with a heart-centric approach. You have to show you care! I’m talking LOVE!

If you want to overcome sales funnel tunnel vision, you have to rethink the model.

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No matter what you do, social media, SEO, blog posts, ads, emails…you have to do it from a place of heart – to connect with your target customer. When we accept that our consumers hold the power of who they choose, the stress of “how to market” to them goes away and leaves us with a healthy “how can I serve them?” mindset that can transform the way you work. Our best customers are our current customers. Instead of trying to squeeze that sale, think instead about how you can serve them and also use web marketing to stay in touch with them and keep the love alive.

When I gave my talk and walked my session attendees through these slides, phone cameras went off taking pictures of the heart model. I actually had to hold before moving to my next slide to appease photo snappers! I guess I wasn’t the only one tired of the icky, old model.

When you approach your marketing from a place of heart, you are far more likely to connect and convert customers.

Here’s to marketing that matters!

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