There is a process customers go through when buying your product. It is built on need and desire. The greater the investment on the part of your customer, the more you must build confidence, trust, and credibility in their mind. If you are selling $10 widgets, that’s one thing. If, on the other hand, you are seeking to build long-term relationships with your customers and be viewed as the “go-to” expert, you need a systematic approach. While widgets are sometimes part of my clients’ product offerings, they usually want to go beyond the widget and make a difference in the lives of their customers. They want to provide long-term solutions and create ongoing relationships with their customers. They want to build their business based on trust, value, and integrity.

No matter how great your product, most people will not buy a high-ticket product or a $1,000, $5,000, $10,000-plus mentoring course or consulting contract without first being introduced to you by way of a free or $20-$50 offering. This is what is referred to as “funnel marketing.”

Customers enter your funnel by way of something that is very low risk such as a free or very inexpensive item. Based on their experience with that first contact with you, they decide what their next course of action will be.

What you do every step of the way, including someone’s initial introduction to you and your way of doing business, determines how likely it is that someone will become a loyal customer. Never discount the power of a free offering or a low-ticket item to be the catalyst for someone’s becoming a premier client. A great majority of the clients who pay me tens of thousands of dollars a year started by way of something free or very low cost.

I positioned my expertise, gained their trust, delivered above and beyond expectations, and the rest, as they say, is history. But – and this is a big but – I had a way to get them into my sales funnel.

One of my favorite TV shows is Shark Tank. The premise of the show is a budding entrepreneur pitches an idea to four extremely successful entrepreneurs who make millions upon millions in their own businesses. There is a long, arduous process that contestants go through to be on Shark Tank.

In addition to possibly getting funding for their idea, contestants are seen by millions of viewers. Imagine the opportunity to gain market reach if you and your business were seen by millions of prospective customers and clients.

What blows me away is how unprepared most contestants are with their online presence. Out of all the people who appear on Shark Tank, only a handful have their websites optimized for new traffic. Most do not have a way for visitors to opt in for features on their websites, whether it be a coupon, a report, or a training video as it relates to their products and market need. Oy vey.

These people are seen by millions, yet they are not doing all they can to make their sites completely visitor-ready. Wake up, folks. If you’ve made it to Shark Tank, wouldn’t it be a good idea to prepare your site for it?

You can bet lots of viewers are checking out contestants’ websites on their iPads, iPhones, and laptops while watching the show. Imagine how many opportunities are missed if there isn’t a way for someone to opt in. Ouch!

Just like the Shark Tank contestants, if you’re not capturing contact information, visitors will likely never come back to your site and will soon forget about you – a harsh reality. Here’s a simple rule: Have an opt-in opportunity with something of extremely high value for site visitors.When you have someone’s email address, you can let them know about specials, discounts, and product bundles while continuing to create massive value for your subscribers.

Once someone opts in, continue to create high value as well as offer products they would benefit from. If you’ve been looking for a simple solution for how to increase revenues you generate from your site, I just gave it to you.

Author's Bio: 

Discover success insights from experts around the globe who are out there making a difference and making a great living in the process. Kathleen Gage interviews the best of the best with Power Up for Profits Podcast.