5-step Sales & Marketing Funnel for Service-Based Businesses

5-step Sales & Marketing Funnel for Service-Based Businesses

Johnston Marketing 5-step Sales and Marketing Funnel for service based businesses.

How to win customers for life

How to win customers for life

If you work within a service-based business, it can become a real task on how to not only win new customers but also keep them. Johnston Marketing have put together a 5-step sales and marketing funnel to streamline this process and ensure that when you take on new business you have the right tools and expertise to keep them

Step-1 Traffic

What does this mean?

Traffic is the first step to a new possible client finding your business. We are going to focus on those clients who come your way not via word of mouth. These will be customers that interact with your online presence whether it be your website (using Google & other search engine), social media and paid content / Google ads. In short, all must be actively worked on and carried to maximise website & social media traffic.

How to gain Traffic


Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the practice of optimising a website or online content to improve its visibility and ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). The primary goal of SEO is to attract more organic (non-paid) traffic to a website by making it more appealing to search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. SEO involves various strategies. 53% of all website traffic comes from organic search and 75% of people never scroll past page one.

Social Media

In today’s digital age, social media has become an integral part of daily life and business strategy. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and TikTok are not just avenues for personal expression but powerful tools for marketing, customer engagement, and brand building. Keeping social media channels updated and active is crucial for businesses to remain relevant and competitive. 54% of social browsers use social media to research services, leading to higher conversion rates.

Paid content and Google Ads

Leveraging paid content and Google Ads is essential for businesses aiming to maximize their reach, drive targeted traffic, and achieve a higher return on investment (ROI). Organic strategies are valuable, but paid advertising offers immediate visibility and precision targeting that can significantly enhance marketing efforts.

Step-2 – Customer experience with online platforms

Ensuring that your online presence is aesthetically pleasing, informative and easy to navigate is crucial the second step of your potential client’s interaction. Having a well optimised website that looks great on mobile and loads quickly is extremely important to your customer’s journey. Displaying client reviews is a must. When it comes to social media, content is king, and you will want to ensure that you have lots of informative posts on your social media platform. Create a story with case study work and make sure that not all posts are directly related to selling your service.

Website –

In today’s digital-first world, a well-optimised website is a crucial component of a successful business strategy. Your website is often the first interaction potential customers have with your brand, and its performance directly impacts your credibility, user experience, search engine ranking, and overall business success. 53% of consumers will abandon a website is it takes more that 3 seconds to load. Focus on the Users experience (UX) as the main objective for your website and ensure it is mobile optimised as over 80% of internet users are browsing via their mobile phone. Reviews are also a crucial component of customers reaching step-3 (communication)

Social Media

Like your website, social media is a great place to showcase your talents, results and reviews. It also acts as a story telling tool and can be a place where you share more intimate details of the business and make announcements that are more customer and topic focused. Your consumer wants to relate, this can be done by ensuring that your social media channels are updated regularly with interesting and engaging content.

Paid content and Google Ads

Running paid ads is a very useful way of accelerating your client’s journey to your website/social media channels. In such a competitive market, ads need to be engaging and stand out from the competition. You will want to ensure that the messaging is clear and eye-catching.

Step 3 – Communication     

One of the biggest challenges faced when selling your services is communication. Initial communication with your potential client is crucial. Although we now live in a digital dominated environment. Customer relationship is integral to the next step of the journey with your new customer.

  • Make sure that the initial communication is prompt
  • Ensure that common ground is established
  • Listen! Our job is to solve problems and provide solutions

Step 4 – Sale

Discussing pricing can be tricky. It is the icing on the cake to a well-structured pitch but can be hard to approach. Allowing cost to be a fluid conversation can really help. If approached earlier on (or in some cases providing an estimate) it makes broaching the subject much easier.

  • Instead of how much, discuss value

Whereas some businesses will reduce pricing in the hope that this will entice the customer to spend, it has a negative effect on the ongoing relationship as the collaboration is mutual for both you and the client.

  • Pricing is not always the most important thing. Quality of service reigns supreme

This is particularly the case for service-based businesses. Your service is essential to your client’s growth and development. They will care more for your support than how much it costs. If they’re more interested in pricing, it may not be right for you and your company.

  • Trust

This is a great segway into the final step of our funnel. Trust should be at the forefront of everything you stand for as a business. Without it, you will struggle to obtain retainer-based clients. Trust with you clients is crucial. This works across the good, the bad and the ugly. Your client needs to know that you’re there for them and their needs. Helping them face whatever challenges come their way and offer support where possible.

Step 5 – Retention

Step 5, the most important part. Retaining clients! It’s no secret that service based businesses struggle when it comes to keeping a client on board. We utilise these three core values when it comes to keeping a customer for life. Results, Customer service and consistency.


Of course this is number one on the retention stage! Results are what keeps a client coming back for more. You must add true value and quantifiable metrics/analytics which not only keeps the customer happy but proves your dedication to the cause.

Customer Service

At the forefront of every successful relationship is customer service. This can be shown in various ways. Communication is key and regular (but not overpowering) check-ins are essential. Make sure your client is aware of just how important they are to you.

Customer service is about tackling every situation head on and being there for your client.


The final piece of the puzzle is ensuring that your 5-star service offering is consistent. It can be hard to get things right 100% of the time but being as consistent as possible will help build customer trust and continued collaboration. Ways in which to ensure this are –

  • Be present – remind your client you’re there for them and their needs
  • Be vocal in the good work you’re achieving for them as a reminder of your value
  • Continue to strive for progress for both you and your client
Download our 5-step Sales and Marketing Funnel

About the author

Tim is the founder and managing director of Johnston Marketing

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