The explosion of online shopping in the early 2000s turned traditional marketing on its ear, giving rise to the new world of Internet marketing and to a whole new type of consumer — one who is tech-savvy, knows what he or she wants, and is willing to do the research to find it. No longer is brand recognition powerful enough to ensure your market share — you have to fight for every customer and every sale.
Online marketing itself is no longer just about social media and Facebook ads. New software platforms like sales funnels and chatbots give business owners a myriad of options for marketing their product or service and for communicating with their customers.
I turned to James Dhillon, owner of FAB Agency, who has helped his clients generate over $21,000,000 million, in documented revenue, using sales funnels and chatbots.
“To market your product successfully through a sales funnel or chatbot, you have to make the paradigm shift from brand-based to customer-based marketing. It’s not about what your company can do — it’s about the problem or pain your customer is experiencing and how your product can solve it,” explains Dhillon.
A sales funnel, at a basic level, follows the steps that your customer takes on his or her journey from experiencing a problem to purchasing your product. As a marketer, you recognize their need, educate them on the product, help them understand how it will benefit them, and give them the chance to make a purchase. It’s all about a customized experience based on the customer’s particular need and your perfect solution.
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Chatbots — The Future is Upon Us
Many of us have experienced chatbots already, as they’re becoming more and more common in the online customer service arena. In their own way, chatbots also escort the customer along their journey — they just do so in a series of questions. By automating this experience, your company can provide excellent customer service without having to pay a customer service rep to be available 24/7. The key to a successful chatbot is to clearly anticipate the need your customer may have and then build a process to help answer that question.
But with a little creativity, you can take that simple question-and-answer pattern and automate other processes too. Dhillon recalls a chatbot he built that allows a client to generate leads directly from her YouTube channel. “The chatbot itself was simple,” he says. “But here’s the awesome part — by asking the user a series of questions before providing the link to her scheduler, we’re pre-qualifying them to make sure they will benefit from her service and program. This simple tweak allows her to focus on qualified clients and saves her from sitting on calls that don’t result in revenue. She’s also able to program in reminders and follow-ups with those same clients through her chatbot, increasing the quality of their customer experience with her.”
“I Was Hooked”
In his career, Dhillon had tried everything to break into the world of internet marketing — Amazon FBA, Dropshipping, Shopify, Affiliate Marketing, MLM, Network Marketing, Crypto, High Ticket Dropshipping, Surveys, Paid Search, Forex — all to no avail.
All that changed, however, when he discovered the power of the sales funnel and became infatuated, particularly after seeing amazing returns for his clients. It was with his discovery of chatbots, though, that everything clicked: “I was hooked. I knew that by combining these two technologies, we could really drive it home for the client and establish an opportunity in the marketplace to make a substantial increase in revenue for them.”
And while funnels and bots are powerful individually, it’s when they’re used together that the magic really happens. Dhillon says, “At FAB, or Funnels + Bots Agency, we combine these two extremely ambitious technologies together in a way that completely transforms online marketing and how it has been implemented over the last 10+ years. By utilizing a funnel with a bot, we allow the customer’s journey to immediately focus on building an amazing ROI for the business owner.” And because both funnels and bots usher customers along a specific path, tracking the ROI is pretty straightforward.
It is surprising, then, just how few companies are taking advantage of these tools right now — according to Dhillon, fewer than 1% of companies are using funnels and bots currently. “There is a massive market just ripe for the picking. And when you consider the kind of ROI we’re seeing on both, it’s unbelievable. Some of my clients are turning over a 500% ROI within hours of implementation. Not days or weeks — hours!”
So why aren’t more companies implementing funnels and bots as a part of their online marketing strategy? For most of them, it’s a lack of awareness, both of the existence of these tools and of the massive impact they can have. For the ones who actually know about funnels and bots, they assume that these tools are out of reach because they’re too expensive, or too hard to learn, or would require a team of developers to put together and manage. But technology is changing so quickly — we now have online, cloud-based technologies that allow the most basic computer users to build successful sales funnels and bots using drag-and-drop software applications. You don’t have to be a coder, and you don’t have to be a designer.
“I’ll give you a good example,” says Dhillon. “One of our clients was stuck at a net income of about 7% with his Shopify site. He struggled to grow because he was paying for expensive developers and costly plugins to run his shop. When he approached our agency, we quickly recommended he convert to the ClickFunnels software. Now Frank himself can make changes whenever he wants to — without hiring a developer — thanks to ClickFunnels’ easy-to-use, drag-and-drop visual builder. He doesn’t need additional costly plug-ins thanks to the available functionality included with ClickFunnels’ basic monthly fee. And because the sales funnel model allows him to demonstrate his product’s value and benefits and address the customer’s concerns and questions up front, his net income has grown from that meager 7% to an amazing 29%. That’s a 400% growth in net income!“
A Perfect Pairing
So why do chatbots and funnels work so well in tandem? “As we are warming up the client on their journey at the front end (funnel), we are also warming them up on their journey through the back end (bot). This allows them to be put into a space that is controlled by the business owner and continuously feeds the customer what they were initially searching for.”
And it keeps the customer’s experience as the primary focus of the interaction — a win for both the customer and the business owner.
Keep in mind that closing a customer on the first try, particularly if they are new to your business, is a pretty big challenge — a 1–2% conversion rate is not uncommon. In the end, the customer has to be comfortable with a company before handing over their credit card, particularly for high-ticket items. And that’s where the technology of funnels and bots can help — the more touchpoints you have with the customer, the more they begin to know, like, and trust you — and are willing to do business with you. The automation of a chatbot allows you to set up that nurture sequence just once and continue to build those relationships with your potential customers over time. With reminder flows, follow-up flows, and sales flows through your bot, your conversion rate can skyrocket. Dhillon says that a simple bot sequence often increases his clients’ conversion rates to 10%+, right out of the gate.
It doesn’t take a Harvard grad to see the appeal of that kind of return, and it doesn’t take a computer whiz to implement the tools used to reach those numbers. Don’t let the fear of the unknown cause you to lose out on sales opportunities that your competitors will be more than happy to snap up. With the right software and the right guidance, funnels and chatbots can be the differentiator between your business getting by and breaking big.
Posted by James Dhillon (https://jamesdhillon.com)
This article was initially written for Forbes feature. Due to unforeseen circumstances with the Council Member, we decided to pull the plug and post it out with our Medium family.