How to move your customers down the sales funnel


Picture this....

Scenario 1

It's a typical Sunday afternoon. You’re relaxing reading the latest copy of The Water Cooler marketing newsletter when there’s a knock on the door.

A young woman is standing outside with a clipboard. She smiles and introduces herself as Claire and that she’s a volunteer for a local environmental group. She asks if you would mind making a donation.


Scenario 2

It's a typical Sunday afternoon. You’re relaxing reading the latest copy of The Water Cooler marketing newsletter when there’s a knock on the door.

A young woman is standing outside with a clipboard. She smiles and introduces herself as Claire and that she’s a volunteer for a local environmental group. She asks if you would mind

helping her by answering a simple survey.

You agree.

She starts with the first question...

“Do you disagree, agree or strongly agree with the following statement It's important for us to protect the environment”

“Strongly Agree,” you say confidently.

She continues: “Do you disagree, agree or strongly agree with the following statement - We should be actively trying to find a solution to combat climate change?”

“Strongly Agree,” you reply.

"Last question do you disagree, agree or strongly agree with the following statement - I am committed to doing my part to help against climate change?”

You pause for a moment to think, “I recycle and I try to use less energy." You say out loud, "I guess I’d say agree but I could do more.”

She jots down your responses with a smile and then says, “Thank you so much for your time. As one final ask - we’re raising money for a local climate change initiative. Given your survey responses, would you like to make a donation?”


Who would you make a donation to?


More than 95% of your visitors won’t buy anything on their first visit. They’re either just browsing, still in the research phase, or not entirely sure whether your offer is what they need. Selling is about trust and relationship building and it takes time to build that trust and instil confidence.



In a 1966 study, Jonathan Freedman and Scott Fraser experimented to test whether people were more likely to comply with a fairly intrusive request if they have first agreed to a much smaller request. They went to homeowners in Palo Alto and asked them if they would be willing to put up a large, ugly sign in their front yard that said “Drive Carefully.” Only 17% were willing to put up the sign.




A second group of homeowners were asked to place a 3 inch sign in their windows saying "Be a safe driver.”, nearly all of them agreed.


Two weeks later, those same homeowners were asked if they would be willing to put up the large, ugly sign. This time, 76% of homeowners agreed to put it up.


The foot-in-the-door technique caused an increase in compliance of over 400%!


The Foot in the Door method theorises that if you want a person to do a large favour for you then start by asking them to do a small favour first because once a person agrees to a small request they find it harder to refuse a larger one.

Although the Foot-in-the-door might sound rude or even manipulative it's a popular compliance tactic used by politicians and frustrated parents alike.

- If you’ve ever had to convince your defiant toddler to go to bed by asking them if they want a warm drink or a bedtime story then you’ve used the foot in the door technique.


Freedman and Fraser, explained, that the FITD is a method of “compliance without pressure.” a gentle persuasion that is non-intrusive. In fact, from a psychological perspective, the best FITD tactics have the customer actually persuading themselves.


And this technique is used everywhere — You may not necessarily know that you are doing it or even being persuaded by it. A shop owner may offer you a sample of their ice cream which leads you to buy a whole tub. A work colleague asks for your help to proofread their presentation and then asks you to rewrite it.


In Sherman (1980) residents in Indiana, USA, were called and asked hypothetically, if they would volunteer to spend 3 hours collecting for the American Cancer Society. Three days later, a second experimenter called the same people and this time requested help on behalf of the American Cancer Society for volunteers. Of those who responded earlier to the request, 31% agreed to help. This was much higher than the 4% of a similar group of people who volunteered to help when approached directly.


Inside Your Client's Mind

The foot-in-the-door technique works due to our human tendency to feel involved or indebted to someone or something after we've had some level of interaction with that person or entity. Most buyers aim to be consistent with their past behaviour and prefer not to contradict themselves in both actions and beliefs. This means that as long as the request is consistent with or similar in nature to the original small request, this technique will work.


What you can do:

1. Get Your Potential Client To Self-Identify - You can increase your chances of getting a sale by targeting people who already self-identify or perceive to share the same values as you.

For example, Your target clients are those who are considering changing to a healthier diet, you ask your audience to subscribe to your newsletter for daily recipes. You then send an email to your subscribers challenging them to become vegetarian for a week and later, you ask them to purchase your new vegetarian cookbook.


2. Break Each Task Into Small Steps -

In order to use FITD in your marketing, it helps to first have a solid content marketing plan in place. Determine what your appropriate “small request" or steps will be. This small request should be something that a large percentage of your visitors are willing and capable of doing. For example, most people wouldn't mind giving their email addresses or liking a post on social media.


By Breaking up your tasks into smaller steps you will increase the chances that those tasks will be completed.


3. Escalate Your Offer

For the FITD method to be successful the scale of each request must be proportionate. The first request should be significant enough for a person to develop a self-perception that they are helping the other person, but not so large that they would refuse. Each of these small requests should escalate in commitment or request that will encourage them to say “yes” to your large offer. However, the bigger the final commitment the more steps you may need to get your buyers to that finish line.


For instance, if your end goal is to sell an annual subscription to your paid newsletter, you can start by getting your audience to first read the latest edition for free. Next, they can subscribe for just $1 to unlock a month's trial, and then finally after 1 month you can ask them to commit to the full annual subscription.


How you can apply this:

Your Salespeople can capitalise on the FITD method to cultivate a relationship rather than asking for a direct sale upfront. If you're still sending cold calling emails try a simple Call To Action that leads your customer to start engaging with you. Ask them a series of questions that gets them to qualify themselves, and commit them to small requests such as a prompt to click or download something of value.


For example, Your Potential Client can choose to agree to something small and painless—like giving their email in exchange for a free guide—before they agree to a larger, bigger commitment —like booking a sales demo.


An email drip campaign is a series of messages that are sent, or “dripped,” in a predefined order at a predefined interval. Essentially you are creating the right message for the right people at the right time and place. For example, when someone joins your email list, they receive Email #1 upon signup and sent to a welcome landing page, Email #2 three days later, Email #3 five days after they join, and so on.


Each email is strategically planned and sequenced to encourage a specific action by the recipient with each email standing on its own but also building on the emails that came before it.


Try these small steps that lead to a larger commitment

"Do you deal with large client information?"

"Do your clients expect their data to be secure?"

"How well are your current security protocols working?"

"Download our cybersecurity checklist to see how well you protect your clients' data."

"Fill in the form to Ask for a quote"

"Book a discovery call with one of our experts"


Want to grow your email list? Read 15 Irresistible Opt-in Ideas That Your Custo