While this strategy works well ... there's now a "smarter" version I recommend you checkout by clicking here.
I’ll start this post with an if / then statement ~
If sales funnels are what convert leads into customers ...
Then, sales pipelines are what multiply the lifetime value of those customers.
Sales Pipelines Are For Paying Customers
It’s been said, time and time again, that it’s much easier to sell to your current customers than it is to acquire a whole new customer.
Think about that for a moment. When you have a paying customer - you know that person is not afraid to open their wallet, and, unless you under-delivered the first time - they should be more than happy to open it for your business again.
Sales pipelines aim to keep that wallet open by automatically sending communications to your customers based on the products they purchased and/or their demographics.
Sales pipelines are where money is made.
2 Goals Of A Sales Pipeline
There are two primary goals of a sales pipeline:
- Retain trust
- Generate action
Here’s the deal, unless you really under-delivered on the initial sale to the customer, your customer already trusts you and your business.
Having said that, it will be much easier to sell a second, third, fourth, fifth, ..., time - however, if you continually send offer after offer, you may alienate your customers.
They’ll start to see you as a money hungry person or business who’s not looking out for their best interests.
Obviously, no one wants that - you need to retain the trust you initially built.
This is done by continuing to send content that is helpful, entertaining, and/or informative.
The second goal of a sales pipeline, and the one that’s directly responsible for more money generated per customer, is the communications you send that drives action.
An action is something you want the customer to do. These actions can include things like:
Having the customer...
- go to your online store and make a purchase
- go to your physical store and make a purchase
- go to an affiliate offer to make a purchase where you earn a commission
- refer a friend
- leave a review on Amazon.com
- record a video testimonial about your product/service/business
There are a lot of actions a satisfied customer will perform, if you simply ask.
And, if the plain ask doesn't work, you can spice it up a little bit - for example: You can send out a “loyal customer coupon”. Since they've been a great customer, you’ll give them 10% off their next order.
A Sales Pipeline In Action
I used to offer a personal training service where I created fitness and nutrition plans for clients online.
In this business I had several sales pipelines setup, one of which targeted males that wanted to build muscle.
In that pipeline, I sent an email that linked to a YouTube video of a killer bicep workout. I did not even own that video. It was just very informative, entertaining, and I felt any one of my male clients, wanting to build muscle, would enjoy watching it.
In that video, the instructor mentioned a few supplements he recommended for building muscle.
Can you guess the content of my next email?
Affiliate links to those supplements!
This way, when one of my clients followed the link and made a purchase - I earned a commission.
Hopefully that example clarifies how a sales pipeline can be used to maximize your customers’ lifetime value.
I want you to remember two things:
- Sales pipelines are where the money is made.
- And, do not abuse your paying customers’ trust.