It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for: the high-profile customer you’ve been in constant communication along the sales funnel has finally decided to make that big purchase. The big day is here, and while you’re happy to be done with all the anticipation and anxiety that has gone into making this sale happen, you can’t help but feel a little dread about what might come next. Welcome to the Action Stage of the sales funnel!
What Happens at the Action Stage of the Sales Funnel?
What happens now will be a whirlwind of activities and opportunities, all of which you must juggle delicately to ensure your efforts have not been in vain. So what should you do? What’s next? And how do you make sure the sale “sticks?”.
The Action Stage is exactly what you’ve wanted, but… now what?
As the name implies, this is where all the action happens. This is where you and the customer-to-be make the deal, sign all the dotted lines, and your product or service officially belongs to them.
Depending on your business, this may have been an opportunity long in the making, or it may happen without you even knowing the customer existed.
If you’re selling cars, for example, you may have been discussing this potential sale for several days or even weeks with your customer. On the other hand, if you have an online retail business, a customer may click on your ad and decide to make a purchase in under ten minutes.
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Either way, you can’t minimize the amount of work you put into this sale. In both instances, the customer had to be convinced that the product you were selling was the best value, at the best price, and that you and your business would provide the best experience overall for the money.
Whether that process involved several test drives and late-night back-and-forth phone calls, or a catchy advertisement placed on just the right website, with an absolutely ideal product description, and an informative FAQ section carefully placed where users can easily access it at all points of an online sale, you still had to put in a significant amount of effort to create the level of trust someone needs to hand you their money. Your efforts have paid off, literally.
So… Now What? Is “Action” the End?
Not so fast! Just because the transaction is happening just as you and the customer desire, doesn’t mean everything’s said and done.
Customers want to feel good about their purchase. Whether they’re dropping several thousand dollars on a new vehicle or just a few dollars for an anonymous online gadget, they want to know that they’re going to get what they paid for.
You’ve already inspired their confidence in your business and product. Now you need to keep that good feeling going.
The best way to do this is with information. Reiterate the terms of the purchase. Confirm the value they are receiving. For example, if a customer is using a discount, make sure the price savings are displayed several times through the checkout and confirmation purchase.
People love to feel like they got a really good deal, and every time they see that 40% savings, they’ll feel more and more confident about the really good deal they got.
Be abundantly clear about what the next steps are, too. Confirmation emails are a fantastic way to keep the hype going between the purchase and receipt of the item.
Not only will it keep them excited about the product that’s on its way, but it serves as a reminder of the fantastic deal they got, as well as give them all the details they need to know about what’s happening next, such as delivery method and turnaround time.
The Adrenaline Boost
The exact moment when the client just made a purchase, is also a good time to keep selling.
At first, you may think this is overkill, but tapping into that adrenaline rush and good decision-making vibe that many people experience after a purchase is actually a great idea.
People are most focused on their purchase at that moment, so thinking of a protective case, or a matching accessory, or an upgraded warranty continues the natural progression of where their minds are.
Unless you have a truly stand-alone product, people will always be willing to entertain the idea of accessorizing: if not now, sometime in the very near future.
If you want to learn more about this subject, read How to Profit from Upsells.
Retaining the Customer
Enticing customers to return with a full range of accessories, add-ons, and additional opportunities is a great way to keep them coming back to your business, but there are far more things you can do to make a customer a return customer.
The first is obvious: Give them an incredible experience. Even in the case of the one-click wonder, every purchase is an experience. Your product has to get from your website to their hands in a reasonable amount of time. It has to arrive in working condition, ready to do the job it’s supposed to do.
While you can’t account for things like mail delays, or damage during shipping, or the customer ordering the wrong thing, you can absolutely control your business’s reaction. Be sure to handle the customer’s actual needs, rather than rushing off to replace or reimburse.
Ask what can your business do to accommodate the error, instead of simply handing them a coupon off their next order. Can something be expedited? Is there a digital or online resource you can provide them with immediately?
If what they ordered doesn’t live up to their expectations, discuss what kind of solution they’re actually looking for.
Even if they didn’t find the product valuable, you can make the customer feel valued by treating them like a human being and honoring their needs in a way that makes sense for your business. Nothing lasts in the memory longer than a truly “above-and-beyond” customer service experience.
Encourage them to stick around by providing meaningful information to them, either via a blog, an email newsletter, a YouTube channel, or simply by following your business on social media.
This will give you the chance to provide them with things they might find interesting, while keeping your business name at the forefront of their mind.
The Action stage of the sales funnel may take months or moments, but it is a key position for creating a favorable impression of your business. They may forget the other businesses with whom they worked during the early stages of the sales funnel, but they will remember – and share- the experiences they had during the purchase and receipt of your product or services.
By making it smooth, enjoyable, and easy, you can ensure they’ll remember and share this experience for all the right reasons.
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