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How to Create a Sales Funnel that Builds Trust

How to Create a Sales Funnel that Builds Trust

In a highly competitive and commoditised marketplace, and a world where trust in business is declining, building a sales funnel is one way business owners can build trust with prospects by nurturing a mutually-valuable relationship over time.

A sales funnel takes your customer on a journey by offering a series of products / services that increasingly meets their needs at a more intense level and have a correspondingly higher price for each level.

Imagine the shape of a funnel with the widest opening at the top. This is the entry point of the sales funnel, the place where prospects get to know you by downloading a free piece of information, usually in exchange for their basic online contact details (eg, first name and email address).

Each new level of the funnel introduces a value offering at a higher price point. The pinnacle of the sales funnel is your most expensive product that generates the highest amount of income. If you are a service business, your most expensive product could, in fact, be you!

The table below provides an example of a five-level sales funnel.

Sales funnel structure

Value hierarchy

Value offer examples


Entry of funnel

Free offer

·       Free downloadable PDF (eg, checklist or quiz), a how-to video, or podcast

·      Free phone strategy session

·      Free webinar


Low point of funnel

Lower cost offer

·      Ebook on a specific topic of interest and value to your target


Mid point of funnel

Medium cost offer

·      Set of 6 podcasts


High point of funnel

Higher cost offer

·      Online course


Top of funnel

Most exclusive offer

·       One-on-one mentoring

·      Two-day face-to-face course

$per month

$per course

The following five steps provide a guide to creating a basic sales funnel that builds trust:

  1. Identify your target market

A market is a congregation of people/organisations who need to find a solution to their problem. Markets can be broken down into segments and defined by their various characteristics. For example, the target market for a new Pilates class at the local gym could be women aged 30 – 50 years.

You need to understand your target market intimately in order to build a highly valuable sales funnel. Get to know them through research and by talking with them. Write down their specific attributes, including their likes and dislikes, gender, age, hobbies, income level, leisure time availability and the like. What are their fears, challenges and core needs? What keeps them awake at night?

Importantly, understand what their problem is so you can offer products in your sales funnel that take them from where they are now to where they want to be.

  1. Create an attractive landing page with a free giveaway

Create an attractive landing page for the sole purpose of visitors opting in for a free valuable giveaway in exchange for providing their contact details to sign up to your list. Landing pages vary in presentation but often include an attention-grabbing headline, a few dot points outlining rational and emotional benefits, social proof in the form of testimonials, perhaps a video of someone speaking about the product or showing the product in action, plus a call to action.

Once someone opts in by clicking on a button, this action usually triggers a sign-up form, then a welcome or thank you message page. Sometimes a series of automated emails are delivered to the prospect over the next week or so to build their interest and curiosity to find out more.

In order to get to your landing page, people may have clicked on a link from an ad or post on social media, your blog, a media article, a referral or organic search, for example.

Alternatively, you can simply have an opt in / subscribe button on the home page of your website.

  1. Make higher value offerings available

When constructing your sales funnel, design products that offer greater perceived value focused on solving the prospect’s current problem and, their higher quality future problems. As prospects get to know you, get educated about you and learn to trust you, they may take up an opportunity to purchase a low risk product such as an ebook or procure a service, then work their way through the funnel until they reach a higher end product.

  1. Nurture the relationship

Depending on what the prospect has subscribed into, you can nurture the relationship by providing additional and ongoing high quality free information. This could be in the form of a weekly blog or monthly newsletter straight to their inbox, or it could be inviting them to be a member of a closed group on a social media platform where they can share and engage with other like-minded individuals.

  1. Follow up

When people buy from you, seek feedback from them to ensure they are happy with their purchase and check in to see if they have any questions or need assistance. This could be via an email or a phone call which provides an opportunity for human conversation and learning more about your new customer. Letting them know that you care enough to follow up further builds a trusting relationship.

©Ros Weadman 2017  Ros Weadman is the creator of the Reputation Equation™, founder of Melbourne PR & Marketing Group and author of BRANDcode®, a marketing guide for small business. Connect with Ros on LinkedIn or via www.rosweadman.com


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