To us we talk about the sales funnel in terms of what products or services are you selling to each customer at different points in their journey with you.
When do you try and close the deal on selling something, how to you do it and how comfortable are you with this process are all skills to be learnt and processes to be developed so you are converting more, more often.
Let's face it attracting the right people for your business is hard enough so why throw all that hard work away by stuffing up your sales game.
Gauging people's interest, understanding where they are at in their buying cycle and being able to direct them in the most helpful way for you and them is critical but it all requires forethought.
If we think about a website and the flow of an ecommerce store it becomes pretty simple to understand - we don't just land and get served up one product because the user may not know what's on offer, so we also don't worry about all the details for each product until the user finds themselves all the way down at the product page. This is the point we are ready to seal the deal. From there we can focus on retargeting that person for that product in the future, we can engage them in advertising, emails, and even call them if we have enough data on them at the time of visitng that product.
Now sure this might be considered marketing but to me the mindset is really about sales at this point not what most people consider to be marketing.
So how does this apply to service based businesses well in that case it's probably more about ensuring that every step is a winner - for example if you hold workshops to meet new clients, then don't just try and catch the clients and sell to them at the end of the workshop because they'll all disappear - get on the front foot and tell them at the conclusion to your presentation that you'll call each of them in the next week... obviously making sure that you have their phone numbers. A similar thing applies to how you package up your service - make sure you are comfortable - almost happy in fact to sell them the product and if you're not then perhaps there is some work to do.