Funnels and Mr Brogan

One of the interesting things about co-writing a book is that you look into someone else’s experiences, as well as your own. So I’ve been thinking about Chris Brogan a lot. (It’s weird, I know.)

Anyway, remember the funnel?

A long time ago, Seth Godin figured out that turning strangers into friends, then into customers, and then into salespeople– this was a method that worked.

Anyway, I think Chris exemplifies this formula. Except he changed it a bit.

Chris turned strangers into friends, that’s for sure. He knows everyone at conferences and they all want to buy him lunch. And they all feel like they know him personally, and that he knows them. That’s pretty rare for someone who’s read by 7,500 people.

But what’s interesting is that he skipped the friends > customers part. Chris just turned friends into salespeople. People talk him up all the time, but they’ve never bought anything from him… neither has he really tried to sell them anything.

Is there any way to turn strangers into friends, into salespeople, and then into customers? What do you think? Can it be done?






4 responses to “Funnels and Mr Brogan”

  1. Tiffany Monhollon Avatar

    I guess first, you have to ask the question of whether or not your sales people should be your customers. Depends on what you have to sell, I think.

    Another important question: does it interfere with the authentic relationship if he DOES try to sell something to them? Sort of depends on the releationships, I’d think.

    I’d favor relationships with sales people over just customers if it meant risking losing sales people by pitching them to buy, any day.

    But I can see the argument that to be a better sales person, you should be a customer first. So it’s an interesting question you pose.

  2. Tim Street Avatar

    I think it is possible. I also think it is possible to turn strangers into fans, then into salespeople or strangers into fans, into costumers, into salespeople.

    The music business has worked that way for years.

    Will it continue to work that way? Check back in five years.

  3. Ryne Nelson Avatar

    I’m along the same line of thought as Tiffany. A lot of this has to be personally considered. There’s no one right way or wrong way. In most cases, I think your salespeople will think of buying from you first when they’re in the market to buy. However, they remain sales people because they believe in your product, but don’t have the means or need for it.

  4. Gab Goldenberg Avatar

    Personally, I’ve referred leads to folks whom I’ve never bought anything from. It’s because either
    a) Their blogs or other work have impressed me
    b) I’m good friends with them and as the saying goes “everyone’s gotta eat.” Of course, I wouldn’t make the referral if they were an incompetent friend, but that’s never been an issue.

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