The 7 Ingredients of Every Successful Sales Funnel

less-is-more

If you’ve ever wondered what successful online marketers and business owners do that maybe you don’t, this blog is especially for you.

There was a breakthrough moment in my entrepreneurial career (after I quit my day job for the second time) that changed everything. I came to realized that there was one key insight along my long and stressful journey. It’s a concept that you’re probably familiar with but I’d like you to really let it sink it when applying it to your business.  Drum rolls please…

Less is more.

Ok, before you shut down your computer combining my name with all sorts of profanity – I’m fully aware that you’ve heard this phrase a million times before, but have you ever actually thought about applying it to your business? If so, have you actually done it? Allowing your mindset to shift to this way of thinking will change everything. I am certain of this because only by refining and taking away elements that didn’t work on my entrepreneurial journey, did I arrive on these simple steps that I’m going to walk you through. That’s how you create a work of art, you don’t add clay or material, you remove things that don’t work to create your masterpiece.

Steve Jobs once said, “Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains”.

He couldn’t be more spot on. You can move mountains.

If you’re struggling with all the noise that’s floating around the web related to marketing, you’re going to find this extremely liberating and, not to be weird, but almost soothing.

We’re going to use an important concept called the Rule of Ones to map out your strategy. This strategy consists of 7 steps that I would like you to commit to doing one at a time (in order). It’s important that each one of these is in place before doing anything else to grow your business. I can’t underscore this enough and I want to be crystal clear. These are proven methods. The strategy I’m going to cover isn’t based on theory. It’s based on 18 years of experience (and a lot of struggle) in helping myself and thousands of other small business owners. It’s based on publishing a best selling book and growing numerous, multi-million dollar companies in Silicon Valley. It’s based on starting my own agency and serving businesses with content marketing, SEO and web design. I’ve been through the ringer and learned the hard way, the less is more approach works.

OK, so let’s move some mountains.

THE 7 KEY INGREDIENTS OF EVERY SUCCESSFUL SALES FUNNEL 

  1. One Avatar

You might be thinking, “Are you talking about that movie with all the weird blue people?” No (but that was a good movie).

 

Your avatar is the profile of your most ideal client.

If your most perfect client walked through the door right now, who are they? It’s your mission to define your most ideal client as in depth as you can. What are they thinking? What are their favorite hobbies and interests? What keeps them up at night? What are their biggest concerns, doubt and fears?

While your business might serve various avatars, your strategy in becoming successful or more successful will unequivocally start around one avatar at a time. You must start with one. Remember, less is more.

Once you prove your first avatar to be successful, you can add as many as you’d like (one at a time). Focusing on a single avatar at a time will take you from anonymous, bland and unmemorable to familiar, trustworthy and extraordinary within your ideal target market.

When your audience sees your messaging they will feel like, “Hey, that’s me. You know me. You understand me. You’re speaking right to me.” When you don’t have a defined avatar, you’re searching around in the dark. You’re fumbling with ads and messaging, just hoping for a response. This strategy (or lack of) is a waste of time and money.

It’s about knowing your avatar better than they know themselves. When you can articulate their wants, aspirations, frustrations, fears, better than they can, the rest of your marketing falls into place. Your ad copy, landing pages, content and everything else you want to create becomes systematic because you’ve taken the time to define who you’re targeting.

You might be thinking, “OK, how do I do that, Aaron?” Well, there is a framework for that. Get used to that term. You’re going to be repeating it in your sleep by the time you get through this ebook because they’re that important.

[Avatar Framework] is used to find your client like never before. It sets the stage for everything else you do when it comes to marketing. All you need to do at the end of the day is really think about this: “What are your client’s pains and frustrations?” If you haven’t captured them, the first thing you need to do is take a survey of your target audience. Don’t make assumptions, don’t fill this out in a vacuum. Really take your time on this. [for detailed frameworks, sign up for The Fletcher Method Community]

  1. One USP: Unique Selling Proposition

Once you can articulate your ideal client’s pains and frustrations using the Avatar Framework, then you have to look at their fears and implications. What’s going to happen if they don’t change what they’re doing now? Where are they going to end up? If you offer a dating service or a fitness gym, are their fears and implications being alone or never getting in shape? Do they want to meet the love of their life so they can start a family? Do they want to lose 20 pounds so they can have more energy or cure an illness? Those are their dreams and aspirations. Where do they really want to go? What is the greater transformation you offer them?

How will you take your client from their biggest pain to what they want, need and desire? Your USP, Unique Selling Proposition, is how you promise to take them from where they are now to where they want to go.

Once you do that and you have a clear message or promise, it takes your marketing from invisible (where all your messaging just blends in with everything else) to prominent. It’s about eliminating buying resistance. You not only want to make your offer a no-brainer but a must have. Once you communicate what your promise is clearly, your avatar will immediately feel like they absolutely have to take advantage of it. They will feel that you’re speaking directly to them and showing them a clear solution to their problem.

[USP: Unique Selling Proposition Framework] This framework will become one of the most valuable assets you’ll ever create. It’s going to transform your ads, headlines, landing pages, copy and everything in between. What’s your client’s biggest pain or frustration? Think about it. If you’ve listed their frustrations, what’s their number one problem that stands out? For pizza, it might be time. So, Dominos started advertising their pizza delivery in “30 minutes or less”. FedEx is also time. When customers absolutely, positively needed to ship overnight. FedEx launched “next day delivery, guaranteed”.

So who’s your avatar? Now what’s their biggest goal or desire? And finally, what’s the biggest pain you solve for them? Time? Weight loss? Peace of mind? When you can put those answers together, you’ve created your USP. I help my client [avatar] so they can get [what they want] without [pain].

Here’s an example: “I help busy attorneys [avatar] lose 20 pounds within 90 days so they can live healthier, happier and more fulfilled lives [what they want] without spending a lot of time or money in a gym [pain].”

It goes on and on and works with every type of business.  [for detailed frameworks, sign up for The Fletcher Method Community]

  1. One Signature System

Now let’s shift gears and talk about one system. This is something you don’t hear enough about in marketing or business circles. Your signature system is how well you can articulate your ability and unique process in taking your client from their biggest pain to their biggest goal and/or desire. It doesn’t matter if you’re a doctor, lawyer, dentist, software company, etc. This can be applied to any business.

If you’re at a cocktail party and someone asks, “What’s your business?” And you reply with “I’m a bankruptcy lawyer.” Well, that’s not a process and it’s not unique. If you were talking to a prospective client, it wouldn’t give them confidence. It’s quite boring, really.

You have switch from that commonplace, commoditize way of looking at your business to a unique perspective to truly stand out. Trust me. It’s a game changer. At the end of the day, if you think about it, all your clients really want to know is that you have a clear path or framework for getting them where they want to go. It’s that simple. This is a million-dollar concept, so its worth doing well.

[Signature System Framework] If you think about the popular book titled The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, if that book had a different title such as How to Get Stuff Done, it wouldn’t have worked.

Let’s take a stab at it. Simply try and articulate what your client’s biggest frustration is, what their desires are and what steps you need to take to get them there. For example, if I help people get in shape instead of saying “I’m a personal trainer”, I might say “I help busy moms get swimsuit ready with a 10-day nutrition and exercise routine.”

See how that works?

Again, this can be applied to any type of business and it’s a must. Simply articulate how you get them from point A to point B. Spend some time at this as you will be using it everyday moving forward (cocktail parties included). [for detailed frameworks, sign up for The Fletcher Method Community]

  1. One Perfect Offer

Next you have to articulate and put together one offer. This is the last foundational piece in your marketing game plan. Most businesses want to start talking about traffic, leads and funnels right off the bat. All that stuff that doesn’t matter if you don’t have a solid foundation in place yet. You’re building a house out of straw hoping for great success (and eventually a big bad wolf is going to blow it down). Make sure your foundation is concrete. Craft an offer that gives your clients an attractive, low-risk way of doing business with you and then a series of higher, more lucrative offers after that. You want to create a buyer first, before you hit them with your most expensive offer.

Creating a perfect offer will eliminate the stress of not knowing where your next client is coming from. Once you have this offer in place it will allow you to vet your clients and take only those that are a good fit with high profit margins. This will allow you to create a predicable stream of recurring income and leverage your time to work on greater things and create exponential changes.

[Product Ladder Framework] We want to take yourself out of the equation, so you don’t have to be there dealing one-on-one with your clients. First we need to start by mapping out what you’re giving your clients for free (we’re going to cover creating an ideal lead magnet next) and then how you nurture them to become a paying client with your low-end product, your mid-level product, and your high-end product.

Perry Marshall wrote a great book titled 80/20 Sales and Marketing and states that using Pareto’s principle “One of the fastest ways to increase sales is just to offer a product that’s twice as much because 5% of your clients will buy it, invariably without question. It’s just the law of nature and economics.”

Do you have an ability to use your knowledge and market it to people in a one-to-many format? Can you publish a membership site so you’re not working with clients face to face? Can clients do business with you on a national or global level? Can you remove yourself from the equation and create recurring revenue instead of charging your valuable time for dollars?

Let’s go through an example and say that I’m hypothetically a dentist. Perhaps my low end offer is a deal on teeth whitening. Based on our ultimate lead magnet (discussed next), our goal is to create a paying client that wishes to get their pearly whites even whiter. We want to get them in the door and become committed to us. Once we do that, we notice their teeth are a bit crooked and knowing that they’re already concerned with the appearance of their teeth, we might offer them Invisalign. Perhaps down the line, we offer them veneers as our high end product.

Do you see what we did here? We simply created a buying customer and turned them into a high paying client. [for detailed frameworks, sign up for The Fletcher Method Community]

Now, let’s dive into how we’re going to get them in the door in the first place. 

  1. One Ultimate Lead Magnet

This is your single piece of educational content used to convert strangers into subscribers. This is your secret weapon.

It has to be an attractive and easy to consume offer that takes your marketing from repulsive (sales pitches in disguise) to unique, helpful and educational. People are numb and tired of seeing the same old offers such as “free consultation”, “come for a visit”, “free ebook or white paper”, etc. These are painful to read and more often than not, get put aside.

Your lead magnet has to be a specifically engineered, free deliverable; not just something you randomly put out there that’s hard to consume.

If you do this right, you’ll get subscribers everyday who want more than just your free content. They will want to buy your products and services. So how do you do that? Easy. You use a lead a magnet impact matrix. Boy, that’s a mouthful but it’s very simple. What you need to do is create a lead magnet that’s highly desirable and educational. Meaning people really want it (and they don’t have to go lock themselves away to read a 400-page novel to try and understand your proposition).

You have to solve one of their problems completely and then pave the way for the greater framework you offer. We talked about this earlier with your Client Transformation and your Signature System Frameworks. How do you take your clients from point A to point B and how well do you productize that system?

For your lead magnet, you want to solve one problem completely with something really easy like a cheat sheet or a template. And you want to make it easy to download. Once they’ve given you their email and downloaded your awesome content, you then send them to a thank you page. Here you educate them and help them understand the greater opportunity you offer.

[One O.P.T.I.N. Framework] Your lead magnet must solve one problem. Remember, you’re extracting this problem from your transformation framework and easily solving it for them. For example: “Here’s how you lose your first five pounds”, “Here’s your gluten-free shopping list essentials”, “Here’s your high converting website checklist”, “Here’s a toolkit on puppy potty training”, etc. Just solve one problem.

You need to position yourself as an expert. After they opt in, you need to introduce yourself, talk them through your lead magnet and stretch the pain gap. What I mean by this is that you need to show them that this problem is only one piece of a greater map and that they need your help to take them to where they want to go.

So remember, make your lead magnet straightforward and easy to download. Pick a medium that’s not hard to read and that can fit onto one page: a toolkit, cheat sheet, top 10 list, etc. Peak curiosity, solve one problem completely and then stretch the pain gap. Show them that there’s a greater path to follow, and you’re the expert to lead them. [for detailed frameworks, sign up for The Fletcher Method Community]

Now we’re cooking with gas.

  1. One Sales Funnel

Let’s put the fun in funnels. Your sales funnel is simply the steps that you use to turn strangers into prospects and paying customers.

Every business has a funnel whether you realize it or not. The majority of small businesses don’t have a working funnel in place. Most of them are insufficient and loosing money.

This just kills me.

I’m going to show you a simple way to launch a successful sales funnel, transforming you marketing from a leaky bucket to a lead generating machine.

Right now, you most likely have a leaky bucket. You’re leaking leads by focusing your attention on the wrong things (your website, Facebook ads, email marketing, etc) when you first need to design a water tight sales funnel. Not one potential customer or client will get left behind. Nobody will slip through the cracks of your faulty funnel again. Not to mention that having a watertight funnel will make every dollar you spend on advertising go 10x further and nearly all of your lead generation process will be put on autopilot. Leads while you sleep and vacation with family. Sounds pretty cool, right?

Awesome. Let’s do this.

[Swim Lane Sales Funnel] The great thing about this framework is it allows you to view your entire marketing strategy on one page. The goal here is to put in place 5 “swim lanes” or methods you can use to drive people to the next step in your funnel.

We want to walk your subscribers through your funnel, step-by-step. What the beginning and end goal? Perhaps you want your qualified subscribers to optin to a lead magnet, go to a thank you page where they learn about a webinar your hosting and eventually they see an offer. From the time they opt into your lead magnet to the time you present them with an offer, you are utilizing email, retargeting ads, offline marketing and/or good old fashion phone calls to drive prospects to the next step in the funnel.

Again, most of this can be automated. When you do this right, your client acquisition becomes based purely on numbers. The number of subscribers you send through you funnel will equal x amount of clients. No more of this guessing game.

This step is so important to the success of your business (and ironically, the one thing that most businesses are doing wrong) that I’ve dedicated an entire blog post to it: Swim Lanes Sales Funnel. [for detailed frameworks, sign up for The Fletcher Method Community]

  1. One Traffic Source

Instead of spraying and praying, in other words spending money on blogging, directories, ads and just hoping for the best, you have to define one source that you’re going to use to drive traffic through your funnel to get a positive ROI.

Your goal is to transform your advertising from a slot machine, where you’re spending money left and right, not knowing what’s going to work, doing multiple ad campaigns and hoping for the best, to an ATM machine. You need to know that every dollar you spend on marketing will yield a consistent ROI. This is the only way to scale your business quickly, without risk. Once you prove that your one traffic source work, then you can pursue other platforms. If you want to focus on direct mail, Facebook and Google, great. Do the first one that makes sense for your business, get an ROI and then move onto the next. One at a time.

I have multiple different frameworks for the step, let’s take a look at a few.

[Facebook Advertising Framework] Facebook is amazing. I used it to generate over 10,000 leads in the past 12 months alone. I’ve been generating leads for under a dollar, in some cases .30 or .60 cents. And remember, these are qualified leads. People that have a pain that I can solve.

[Local SEO Framework] For some businesses, if you just have a local brick and mortar, you might want to really leverage a local SEO framework so you can have all the optimization you need to rank well and get organic traffic. This works great for some businesses.

[Content Marketing Framework] For others, it’s content marketing. You might want to know how to create a content roadmap so every blog, topic, or video you create follows a proven template. Once you publish this content on your website, you can spread the word and syndicate to different social media channels.

[for detailed frameworks, sign up for The Fletcher Method Community]

Hopefully, by now,  you see the power of frameworks and the importance of completing them accurately and in order. You’ve already won if you’re willing to stop your old way of thinking when it comes to marketing. And you’ll be light years ahead of your competition if you start implementing these 7 steps correctly.