Category: Sales

Marketing Funnels

If this post was a Facebook status it would say “Relationship with Marketing Funnels – It’s complicated.

Oh funnels, those sneaky, slimy ‘salesy‘ things… I’ll be honest, sometimes I dislike the funnel process as much as you do, but is the actual funnel, the sales style, the product? Let’s examine a few and see if we can get to the root of why some work and some don’t – and how you can decide which is the best for you.

Every entrepreneur, whether speaker or coach or make-up artist is a salesperson – or at least they SHOULD be.

If you run a business, selling is a big part of your job. There is no escaping it. If you want to keep the lights on, you need to generate sales. I can hear some of you cringe, but it is true. If you think selling is yucky, maybe you need to look at your attitude towards sales.

Every entrepreneur, whether speaker or coach or make-up artist is a salesperson – or at least they SHOULD be. Click To Tweet

Recently I ran across a lead magnet that offered “what to say word-for-word to finally land paid speaking gigs”. I mean what speaker wouldn’t click on that, right. It is an amazing lead magnet, and the scripts that I received via email were very good. That part of the marketing funnel they did flawlessly. it was what happened after the click that made it all go south for me.

marketing funnels

Here’s what happened…

After entering my email, I was taken to a lead page where they offered a one on one call with the promise that they would “walk me through the step by step process for booking gigs that pay in 2019. We’ll show you what’s working, what’s not, and how you can consistently get booked and paid to speak!”

Again, I thought, “Wow, a one-on-one call – that’s value!” Now don’t get me wrong – I am not naive, I knew it would be a sales call – no one gives away 30 minutes of their time to a stranger on a lead page unless it is a sales call – but at no point did they tell me it was. (in-authenticity #1)
Then below the video telling me about the tremendous value, I will receive on this ‘non-selling call’ was a form that was specifically designed to pre-qualify me for the sale. (in-authenticity #2)

Personally, I would have stopped there, but now I was curious. I booked the appointment and landed on yet another lead page with the title “watch this video to keep your call’ followed by a video meant to further qualify me for the sale. It highlighted the usual glowing testimonials, but it also included statements like “If your business partner or spouse helps you make decisions, make sure they watch this video and are on the call with you” and “If you aren’t serious about making an investment in yourself, respect your time and ours and cancel the call.”

marketing funnel frustrated

The salesperson in me can appreciate that they are overcoming objections prior to the call and that is smart, but again my “timeshare radar” went up.

If your sales copy is pushy, your prospects will assume you are the same way Click To Tweet

I am 100% sure that this marketing funnel will work for many people, and I have it on good authority that the company offering the service is ‘the real deal’. I think that if I was s speaker looking to build systems and get more gigs, I would find value here – because someone I trust told me so. The marketer in me also knows that this is an expensive funnel to run, so they must be making money, and often money = success.

But let’s examine why, in my opinion, this well thought out marketing funnel process failed.

  1. They delivered the lead magnet via email (and 10 minutes after I subscribed) instead of allowing me to see and download it AND they launched immediately into sales.  That means I never got a chance to ‘know like and trust’ them. I never saw one iota of value before I was sold to. 
  2. They mislead me, or at least, I felt they did. The offered a ‘no sales’ call that was obviously going to be all sales. I have no problem with a call that has an offer – but please be upfront about it and let me decide.
  3. The language felt…’ slick.  It was polished.  It was professional. It was… obviously written by a copywriter and built to be in a funnel.  We are not in the ’80s any longer and the sales techniques I learned (and taught) in the ’80s just do not work any longer. Consumers are on to your sales tactics.  Stop it! We have more choices than ever before, and we will make up our own minds in our own time.
  4. It felt pushy, and I felt sure if the COPY was pushy, the call would be that way too.

So, in a rather large nutshell, that was my example of a funnel that went awry. Next post we will examine some funnels that work, and why.


Selling is 'Yucky'!

I had an epiphany this morning, and ran to my computer to share it with you. It has to do with selling, and the general ‘yuckiness’ many people feel when they sell. The stereotype of the “snake oil / used car salesperson” has a long history and it has stuck with many of us. Who wants to be associated with those people. (no offence to the perfectly honest used car salesperson out there)

So, we know we don’t want to be salesy, but we still need to eat – therefore as entrepreneurs we must sell. What’s a person to do?  

I say it is all in the attitude in which we approach selling. For too long we have thought of selling as forcing or coercing someone to buy. What if we realized that selling was actually a customer service? We love serving our customers, we love helping.  How can selling be that?

To explain my point, let’s think of a scenario where someone is drowning.  They are calling for a life preserver.  If you have one,  isn’t it wrong not to offer it? What if they were focused on a life preserver, but you had a rope, or a vine – won’t that also save their life, but need to understand it will help them too? Now, this scenario depends on having something they need.  If you only have an anvil or a banana, then yes – convincing them that that is what they need in this situation is wrong.  But if you truly have the answers they are looking for, you must offer to help them.


Granted, the idea of a drowning person may be extreme, but what if they were hungry, or thirsty, or needed shelter?  Would you not also offer to help then?  So what if they are fighting in relationships, or had a poorly performing workforce, or were struggling with marketing.  Is that really so different?  They have a need you are able to fill. You are doing them a disservice if you do NOT make the offer of help.

As I explained my idea for this post to my husband over breakfast this morning, he brought up a good point. “It is fine to use a drowning person as an illustration, but no one charges someone for saving their life.”  Point taken.  We do expect people to pay for our services.  Maybe that is where you are stuck. I get that. In the workforce, we expected to receive a pay cheque for our services. How has our mindset shifted to somehow believe that now that you are solely responsible for the success or failure of your own business it is less acceptable to expect to be paid well for superior services rendered? Perhaps because we now have to ask for payment, create invoices, have a conversation around money – and in the workforce many of us simply accepted what was offered.

Asking for money can be uncomfortable.  Asking for the sale can be uncomfortable.  But no matter how strange it feels at first, remember the service you provided.  Remember the results your clients see. Remember the gratitude of a drowning man saved.

Never keep your life preserver to yourself.


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Are you qualifying leads, or giving your prospects a reason not to buy?

Recently a door to door salesman came to my door.   He opened the conversation with “Are you the home owner?”  I really did not want to talk to him, so I admit it – I lied.  I said “No, I rent”  The conversation ended abruptly with an immediate retreat and a “Ok, thank you”

It got me thinking about how we are qualifying leads.  Are we reaching them and proving to them we know their pain before we jump to the sale – or are we playing on on-line version of “whomever passes out the most business cards wins” – or are we so busy ‘qualifying’ we don’t take time to understand?

The door to door salesperson was trying to prioritize his time by immediately identifying me as a decision maker.  I get that, and we do it all the time. After all, why waste time chatting with the “subordinates” when they don’t sign cheques?  I’ll tell you why – because good leaders, the kind you want to do business with – listen to those “subordinates”.  They regularly solicit opinions and referrals.

There is a reason we call this relationship based selling.

You absolutely have to understand your ideal prospects.  You have to know their pains, their aspirations, their limitations and their goals.  And you have to tell them that you do understand.

I’m not saying that the door to door salesperson could have sold me a new water heater on the spot – but I am thinking he could have at least said ‘hello’…


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Top Tips for creating a speaker website that converts

Is YOUR website doing all it can to grow your speaking business? Are you sure??