The 3 Must-Know Rules of a Successful Sales Funnel

We’ve spoken about this before but in case you’re new around here… let me give you a quick primer on the almighty sales funnel.

Sales funnels or marketing funnels are just graphical representations of the relationship that you have with your customers or prospects. Your sales funnel maps the journey of your prospect into your business from Prospect to Lead to Customer.

There are three main stages to a marketing funnel:

  • Stage 1: Awareness
  • Stage 2: Engagement
  • Stage 3: Conversion

Ok back to the show…

Just like a relationship between you and your significant other… sales funnels have rules.

So when we have marketing that doesn’t work… it’s usually because we broke the rules.

So let’s do something a little different and talk about the rules. If you know the rules – you can go back to any failed marketing campaigns that you’ve EVER run and see why they weren’t as successful as you hoped.

Cool? Awesome. So let’s dig in.

Sales Funnel Rule 1: We Have To Start At The Beginning

We can’t enter a relationship in the middle it just won’t work. If you’re at a bar and somebody you don’t know walks up and says “Will You Marry Me?” – you don’t even know this guy’s name – that’s not going to work out very well and that’s exactly what a lot of people do with their marketing.

“Hi, my name is Richard… Wanna buy some stuff?”

Don’t do this… Don’t be a Richard.

The Solution: Be cool and introduce yourself first. Our goal with our sales funnels is to have our online relationships follow a similar path to our offline relationships.

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Sales Funnel Rule #2: We Can’t Jump Stages


You can’t go straight from Stage 1: Awareness to Stage 3: Conversion. Well, that’s not actually true. You can do it, and most people do, but your results will not be great.

If we go back to our dating analogy, that would be like getting married after the first date. You may hear a random story here and there about it but for all practicality – that won’t work either.

The Solution: Engage with the user before you ask them to buy something. This is often called “nurturing” the lead.

How do we do that? Easy… Just be nice and ask questions.

  • Get to know them.
  • Find out their likes and their dislikes
  • What they really want in life
  • What drives them absolutely crazy
  • What challenges are they currently trying to overcome

After all of that, if you feel like what you have to offer will help the end user… by all means – Take the relationship to Stage 3 and make them an offer.

Sales Funnel Rule #3: We Can Speed Up The Journey

This is my favorite rule of all because I’m a huge fan of “hacking” systems and trying to figure out where the balance is between efficiency and overall results.

By understanding the rules and what is needed to proceed from one stage to the next – we can speed up the journey that our customers take through our funnel.

This is where the challenging part kicks in… What is required to move a user through YOUR sales funnel is most likely going to be different than what is required to move a user through MY sales funnel.

To take this even one step further – for a given company that sells multiple products, the journey might need to be different for each product.

For example: My business, Black Dog Marketing, sells a variety of marketing training programs and “Done For You” marketing services. They range in price from $7 up to $50K+/year.

The journey that my prospects take before they buy a $7 video-based training program is drastically different that the journey a prospect takes before they are eligible for my private coaching.

Guess which one takes more time?

I’ll give you the answer next time but for now…

It’s Your Turn

Use the comments field below and tell me about how you nurture your leads and get them ready to buy from you.

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