Marketing is not your problem… Your Sales Funnel is the problem
Traditional marketing strategies do not achieve the results they used to. Companies that pump out thousands of dollars of ads per month are not seeing the results they have in the past. This comes from the customer changing the way they learn about business products and services. This is especially true for the marine industry. If marinas, boat builders, and dealers have not figured out how to improve their sales funnel, they will lose business to those who have adjusted.
The luxury goods customer- someone purchasing a vessel, accessories, or services- does homework and researches before they purchase. The customer in some cases knows the product better than the sales person (it’s not the sales person’s fault). This is because the customer knows how to do research, how to find out information, and how to educate themselves before purchasing.
Customers Have Evolved
Marketing has changed, and will continue to evolve with the customer. Boat dealer, manufactures, and marinas need to understand that customers have changed, even if their products and services have not.
The same quality product and service that has been built and delivered for years, will soon be a faint memory if they are not keeping in-touch with their changing customers.
Staying in-touch with customers includes knowing where to find prospects, how to capture (and maintain) their attention, and how to build trust- to eventually turn that prospect into a customer. All of these touching points are a key aspects of the sales funnel.
Advertising will do no good if the customer can not learn more about the company on their own. The way they learn is gathering information online, being informed about the company via their website.
A Great Sales Funnel Starts On The Website
The magic starts on the website- to feed the prospect through the top of the sales funnel. Gathering their information and holding their hand as they are walked to the final sale. Many businesses do not do this correctly and loose the customer before they even have them. They pay enormous amounts of money for ads, SEO, and social media campaigns to drive the customer to their website. When the customer hits their site, they leave empty handed. To only spend more money to bring them back to their website once again.
This hamster wheel is not the way to properly run a sales funnel. There needs to be lead capture followed by communication with the customer. Multiple touching points through the funnel will effectively lead to a sale.
The structure of the sales funnel is important, it will do the heavy lifting for the business. Fine tuning your sales funnel takes a little trial and error, but it will help you understand your audience better by gauging what they like and what they don’t. You will be able to talk to them directly and build trust, to turn them into a customer. Think of a sales funnel as a good meal, cooking it slow will have a better result than a fast food restaurant.