Sales Funnel

So, in most Delhi bars, stag boys and dogs are not allowed. At the time of independence, Britishers left these bouncers behind as Indian men shouldn’t forget what discrimination feels like, as everywhere else women are anyways discriminated against; Feminism 101. But logically speaking if I have a girl for company, why would I come out to pain my ears with unbearable music and shout to even say a word? I would prefer to stay indoors, preferably in private settings, and just chill.

Or I have been banned as people here don’t understand the difference between conversation and molestation when someone approaches them. I mean if you have to talk to the same four people you came with, why are you even stepping out and paying ten times the price for the experience economy? Chill at someone’s place or if the landing page is an issue, then rent a Bnb or even a swanky hotel room for the night. At a much cheaper cost, you’ll be able to have a much better time with candid conversations, privacy, and music of your choice. But if you are going out, especially if single, cribbing to your friends about not finding anyone and not wanting to die alone, then ditch the apps and actually interact with people in an offline space instead of going and complaining to those bulky bouncers, just for temporary validation in front of friends. And the majority of them are not even your friends, they bitch about you behind your back all the time. The one decent guy who had the courage to come and genuinely compliment you, you shun him away and even go and press sexual harassment complaints in the bar to those steroid-infused bouncers who were anyway looking for any excuse to exert superficial power on some guy as Dalbeer missed today’s workout and also got scolded by wife at home for earning in pennies and then wasting it all on cheap liquor, prostitutes, and gambling the rest. Thus getting the guy thrown out/ banned/ beaten up and ruining his whole evening. I mean God sent you an angel and you framed him as Satan at that bar. I am no God (conflicting views on that), but if karma is actually a thing then with such bad karma, you deserve to die alone.

Thus for ‘research purposes’ (things I do for my readers should get me a Booker prize at the very least), I have been testing a new technique, all thanks to technology. For social media publicity, most of these bars repost Instagram stories, mostly of good-looking girls who visited the previous night. So, I messaged those girls that it was great meeting them. I tested a number of different techniques for doing this, and the response rate is highest when you send: “Hey, it was great meeting you last night. Hope you got home safely. :)”.

Your profile should be preferably locked with a catchy bio (in case of good pedigree, that should be mentioned), and a long-shot profile picture with the face not clearly visible (you can refer to mine for inputs, Instagram- Sidhants139). This actually establishes credibility while at the same time building up an enigma (the profile is locked). The ‘got home safely’ part entices the girl’s oxytocin and since biologically girls are nurturers and preservers it gets you some brownie points and a higher response rate. Also, the profile should be up to date with numerous photos doing fun activities, as in case of a reply, your profile will play as your elevator pitch.

After countless non-replies, replies from bored married housewives, college girls looking for quick money, bots, et al; I finally hit the royal flush (highest card combination in poker). It was a girl who met all my pre-filters. The girls meeting my pre-filters are dime a dozen in cities like Delhi and Bombay where I have spent the majority of my life, but she is a lot more than just that.

Firstly, she was interested in me, while most girls who meet my pre-filters don’t know that I exist (don’t even want to know, trust me I tried all my life). But, in our initial conversations when I shared this website link with her, she asked me: “You have a good pedigree, are working in the corporate space, and are fun too! How are you still single?!?”

The correct answer is that I overwhelm girls, even if they are initially interested, I chase so hard that they back off, stop replying, and finally block me. They feel that this guy hardly knows me, and I have done nothing for him, why is he so much into me and available for me 24X7? Is he not worthy enough? There must be something innately wrong with him and it is best not to engage with him. Such a chase mentality for me comes because of three reasons: sheer impatience, scarcity mindset (I would never find someone like her again), and lack of self-worth.

Secondly, she has achieved something that most people can’t even dream of achieving. She lost almost half her body weight, from 175 lbs to becoming an influencer on Instagram who brands pay to get clicked with their products. Such a transformational journey in less than a few years is something that I relate quite closely with, not just because of the accident (transformation is basically in my blood), or because my work is all about transformation. But also because once for a girl, even I lost 35 kgs in two months, went down from 100 kilos to being underweight (I am 6 feet tall so 64.5 kilos was underweight) as she was into lean guys. And what happened then? Did we live happily ever after? Well, she dumped me for my best friend who she was into all along.

Even this girl lost so much because she was in love with a guy, and when finally she had the courage to express her feelings to him, he body-shamed her. And then this transformation to someone who thousands of guys follow on Instagram, just to have a word with her. Her before/after pictures leave anyone who sees them amazed and in total awe, be it a guy or a girl. It is similar to that of Sara Ali Khan, only a lot more drastic.

The primary difference between change and transformation is that transformation is drastic/ radical. It is fueled by a huge influx of dopamine, pointing to the obvious fact that her TG is dopamine. Since I am basically a poster boy for dopamine, I instantly knew that we would connect on much deeper levels.

After a few conversations, we decided (well, she decided, I agreed) to meet up on the weekend. She wanted to meet at some cafe but I told her that I am not really into the wine and dine ritual (a waste of time, effort, and money, all on meaningless small talk). But it was nothing like that with her, as soon as we hugged for the first time, I could feel a different form of warmth and peace all over my body. We connected amazingly well on all three parameters of the triangular model (intellectual, emotional, physical). It was a first in many ways, be it meeting at a bar in the day, or the flowers, or even using the washroom. We met a few times more in the coming days. In fact, it was my birthday in the coming week and she got me countless chocolate-overloaded delicacies, a cake, and an exquisite perfume.

Time in her company just flew by, I just couldn’t get enough of her and wanted to see her all the time, no matter whether it is a weekend or even a weekday. I just couldn’t get her out of my head. I was craving to hear from her, even if it was just a message. And people who have ever interacted with me, know how much I hate texting. I guess this is what the butterflies in the stomach phase is all about and I just couldn’t concentrate on anything/ anyone other than her. She was on my mind the whole time.

Anyway, coming to the MBA concept of ‘Sales Funnel‘. It is also known as the revenue funnel and illustrates the ideal journey that prospects go through on their way to becoming customers. While you may market your products or services to thousands of people, only a small percentage will provide contact information and become leads. Of those leads, only a fraction will become clients.

  1. Awareness Phase – in which prospects become aware of the existence of a solution.
  2. Discovery Phase – in which prospects demonstrate an interest in a product by conducting product research.
  3. Consideration Phase – in which prospects examine competitors’ solutions as they inch toward a final buying decision and negotiation begins.
  4. Conversion Phase – in which the products/services are purchased.
  5. Customer Relationship and Retention Phase – in which a customer repurchases a product or service.

The sales funnel is used across industries to sell products/services or even in the job market to scout potential candidates. Also, customer retention is a lot easier than a new customer acquisition which is why at times you get deep discounts from apps to renew subscriptions or pay hikes at the job. It is so that you don’t quit the service/ job as then they would have to go through the entire steep funnel over again so a lot more investment of time and money. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is much higher than customer retention cost.

The sales funnel can be replicated in the modern-day dating context. The awareness phase is where the potential date gets to know about you. A number of ways are possible in the offline (mutual friends, office, gym) as well as online (dating apps, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, et al) space. Staying in a cosmopolitan city near your TG (Target Market) and maximizing offline interactions is a good way to ace this stage. However, with the influx of technology, the awareness phase mostly happens via apps. It is most dating apps but at times even social media apps like Instagram, similar to what I did in this case. For the discovery phase to materialize, offline interactions drastically speed things up.

You also need to do a competitive analysis to figure out the potential date’s BATNA and sharpen your USP in accordance with that. Also across the whole process, the lead time should be spaced across various phases. It should be minimized for the awareness and discovery phase but shouldn’t be rushed into the consideration phase if the LTV of the customer is significant. In case the aim is a casual encounter, the scarcity principle should be used for closing the deal.

Also, post-conversion, maintain cordial ties and focus on having good customer relationships, even if it means going out of your way to do things their way, as customer retention is a lot easier than new customer acquisition.

On the flip side, if you are the customer, don’t end up falling for the sunk cost fallacy and feel that the guy has changed. As highlighted in MVP, you can’t expect a wheel to convert into a car over time by progression, you need to move on and fail fast but fail forward.

Across the years I have spent a major proportion of my time in the awareness phase (mutuals, gym, coffee shops, bars, apps, supermarkets) but haven’t had any substantial relationship (retention phase). Someone also recently pointed out that I hurry from the awareness/ discovery phase to the conversion phase quite quickly which leads to a significant number of dropouts.

That brings me to the transformational girl. So is this it? Have my days of failing finally ended? Is this the peace I was seeking all along? Have I found the one? Has my love life finally transformed? Well, as I had mentioned at the outset due to three reasons (impatience, scarcity mindset, and lack of self-worth), I chase too hard. That works fine for casual encounters because they are generally binary (0 or 1), either you are in or you are out. The focus is just on the NPV and the shelf life is quite low so hardly matters. But in the case of something substantial, the prospect generally takes time from the discovery phase to the conversion phase. Due to the high dopamine drive and high churn rate in today’s generation, physical intimacy doesn’t amount to conversion. So even though, she was interested in the discovery phase, my impatience and endless chase to meet, call, or even text drove her away. To give an example, I called her back to back four times on the morning of my own birthday (supposed to be the most important day of someone’s year). Anyhow, she said that she takes time and I am too impatient, so we should go our own separate ways. I guess having sex is easy, having feelings is tough. So, I am back to my only companion in getting closure across years; my heartfelt writing.



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