In dance, a choreographer's job is to plan and arrange the dance steps, movements, and patterns so that everyone is in sync. The opposite of choreography would be freestyling.
Most businesses approach their marketing and sales process in a "freestyle" manner. They pay for ads (without tracking), get "professional" websites designed without emphasis on sales/lead generation/conversion/metrics... answer phones without scripts, "next-steps," or conversion goals in mind. If they're fortunate to get a constant flow of leads, "follow up" is a foreign word. Heck, I've consulted with businesses where a lead literally comes out of a printer and the first sales rep to it, wins. No management of leads, follow up procedures, tracking, etc. Just a lot of freestyling.
In times past where the barriers to entry for technology and such management systems were high, I would have probably been more tolerant. But today, with Customer Relationship Management and automation platforms like Infusionsoft, there are absolutely no excuses.
Here's how to put what I call "Sales Choreography" to work for you:
1) Figure out the path you want prospects and customers to follow.
You'll have a separate path for prospects. Once they become a customer, you'll put them on the customer path. I call this the "Ideal Purchase Path."
At my primary business, Hearandplay.com, the first thing I want a prospect to do after opting in for "4 free piano video lessons" is request a free 2-disc cd. This not only allows them to "raise their hand" and tell me they're more serious than the average prospect but it gives me another move to add to my choreography.
Imagine dance choreography with only a few, limited moves? Wouldn't impress you. The idea is having several moves to work with and getting a physical address is one that totally changes the playing field. While other online-only competitors are fighting for attention in the "war zone" (where you've only got 10 seconds to grab and keep someone's attention), we've got the ability to reach them offline where we'll likely have little or no direct competition.
(By the way, we upsell "rush shipping" just to see who are uber-serious prospects are. With Infusionsoft's tag based system, these prospects are labeled "serious," which will result in me allocating to them more resources for other modes of communication. This is just one of the many benefits of a powerful CRM system).
After the free cd, we want to offer them either monthly or annual membership to our "Cd Of The Month" program, "Monthly Music Mentor." After that, it's our 300pg home study program, "The Secrets To Playing Piano By Ear." Then on to the next program in the lineup. But my point is --- there is an organized path I want prospects to take.
Is it possible for someone to get off path or even ahead? Sure. There are ways to go buy the 300pg course right away if you want it. That's fine because if our system shows they already own the "300pg" tag, they won't even see the offer. If your current system doesn't allow you to tag a client's record (or create descriptive, actionable labels) and base future actions (e-mails, sequences, etc) on them, you're missing out on a whole new era of marketing personalization and segmentation.
2) Hit them from different angles at the same time
This is where the choreography really comes to play.
E-mail is just one part of the equation. But, as mentioned above, you'll want to get their postal address as soon as possible. You'll even want to go after their mobile phone number. I do this by offering what I call "Monday Music Minutes." It's an "Sms Text Message Of The Week" program that sends a "tweet-sized" text message to them every Monday morning. It gives me yet another reason to be in front of them weekly and, of course, I seize other opportunities to contact them via sms outside of the weekly text.
So they've opted in via e-mail to get my 4 free videos. They've submitted address to receive my cd in the mail (and 25% have raised their hands a bit higher by paying for rush shipping). Then they've submitted phone number for weekly text. This is my "Triangle Stack" (e-mail, snail mail, phone) and once I have it in place, let the dancing begin.
Having a 4-day sale? Send a direct mail letter or post card about a week before so that they get it a few days before the sale starts. Or do it a few days before the sale to time its arrival right during your promotion. After your weekly text, send a separate text reminding them about the sale and to check their e-mail.
Each channel talks to each other. The post card or letter is acknowledging the e-mail. The e-mail can acknowledge the post card and text message. The text message drives them back to their e-mail. Everything is in sync just like a perfectly-choreographed dance routine.
Now imagine this type of synchronicity set up 365 days into the future and fully automated?
I'm talking about fully, planned out promotions and even excitement-building launches all automated inside a sales funnel that not only includes e-mail but direct mail, phone, live events (automated teleseminars and webinars), expiring offers, and more. If they don't take action right then and there, the data is stored (either by tags applied or the lack thereof) and follow-up promotions or recycled steps are reused months down the road. A smart, interactive and responsive system incorporating multiple modalities of communication, all working together to push your prospect down an organized, pre-determined path.
No freestlying here.
That's the power of marketing automation and sales choreography.
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