How To Create a Powerful Sales Funnel (7 Ways To Get Leads)

Sales podcast ep 3 The Slow Pitch Sales Funnel
Sales Podcast, The Slow Pitch
The Slow Pitch Sales Podcast
How To Create a Powerful Sales Funnel (7 Ways To Get Leads)


Creating a Sales Funnel

In this episode Rob & Lane talk about several ways to bring in leads. The goal of anything you do in sales is to bring in a lead and nurture them into a sale. You can’t nurture something you don’t have…and one way to acquire more leads to nurture is to create a sales funnel. This episode is about bringing in leads to begin the nurturing process. We should also mention, there is a difference between sales and marketing (learn more about that here How Does Marketing Impact Sales? Quality Counts Too!) We know that sales and marketing have different goals and you need to know the difference. Remember, every industry has it’s own way of bringing in leads, but these are some of the most commonly used. This episode contains several hidden nuggets of information regarding each method. Listen in!

Show Notes:

0:45.  Subject of Today’s Show – Getting Leads
1:30   Problem: No one is calling me for my services! What do I do?
2:15   Difference between Marketing & Sales
2:42   Tip 1 – Networking
3:40   Tip 2 – Referrals
4:00   How to get Referrals
4:30   Tip 3 – Seminars / Workshops / Trade Shows
7:45   Tip 4 – Direct Mail – How effective is this? When it’s effective. How to get results from Direct Mail
10:45  Tip 5 – Cold Calls – An example of what a cold call could sound like. Goals of a good cold call.
20:45   Show Recap and a mental challenge for you to maximize your time.



Related Episodes:
3 Easy Ways Get Business Leads On LinkedIn (And What Not to Do)

Sales Problems: When Should I Stop Calling A Sales Prospect?

How To Sell When They Don’t Want To Buy – Buyer Apathy


Related Articles: 

Sales Funnel Template & Examples

The Episode

Rob 0:06
All right, we’re back to the Slow Pitch Podcast. And last episode, we talked with Lane being not a very good salesperson or not a salesperson period. Like he’s like, I don’t know how to do this right?

Lane 0:18
What are you trying to tell me, Rob?

Rob 0:19
I’m not trying to tell you anything. I’m just saying this is what we talked about last time.

Lane 0:24
It seems like you’re accusing me of something here.

Rob 0:26
I think those were your words as they think that’s what it was. Maybe not. I don’t know…

Lane 0:31
I think I did admit to not being a salesperson. But you just told me I’m not a good salesperson.

Rob 0:37
I just assume that’s what you meant. But I think in our conversation, we got into this, you know, I want to get better. So this time, we’re going to talk about sales funnels, but not in the traditional sales funnel standpoint. So if you’re thinking of sales funnels, as is where you are setting up a website, bringing them through the process, getting the sale, that’s not what I’m talking about. We’re talking about how do you get people to start to make the phone call to you? How to get people to respond to you to get to get to bring in a lead, basically. Right? So there’s a lot of different ways to bring in leads, and I don’t know, Lane, do you have a way of bringing in leads at all? Are you are you looking for answers on this?

Lane 1:13
Oh, I’m definitely looking for answers. But you mean, I can’t just sit here and just be awesome and expect people to come knock on my door wanting to buy my service?

Rob 1:21
Well, why not? You could try? I mean, I don’t know that it’s gonna work that well. I mean, I’ve seen people try that. So is that what you’re trying now? Is that what’s happening? Or do you think you’ve got a couple things going or?

Lane 1:31
Well, Robert, you know, despite me being awesome, and all, you know, I don’t have those people knocking on my door. As much as I’d like, like them to be I do have the website, we do the social media, we try to get referrals, but that just doesn’t bring it enough business. What do you think…

Rob 1:46
That’s normal, actually, you know, a lot of people set up a website, and they set up their different sales, social media, but, but in the end, you know, there’s a lot more to it than then just setting up these basic elements that we’re hoping will bring him in. I mean, if you even if even if you have the greatest of SEO, there’s still a process, and all of those things are really marketing, right? They’re not really sales. People always confuse sales with marketing, like marketing is one of those things where you’re bringing people some interest, or they’re gonna get some interest in, they’re gonna find you in one way or another, where they’re gonna be, maybe they’re reading a magazine, and they see your ad, or they they’re gonna be watching TV and see a commercial or, you know, those are all things that are just, you know, marketing materials are not really sales materials, right? So what are the actual activities that you should be doing to get in or bring in new sales? And so there’s a whole list of things that I would probably recommend thinking about or talking about, the first one or one of them, or one of many of them is networking? And I don’t know, do you do any networking? And we talked about networking before, but you and I, but But have you ever done anything like that much?

Lane 2:52
When you’re dealing with websites, it’s all networking, man.

Rob 2:56
Different kinds of networking now are talking different? That’s true.

Lane 3:00
Well, being the introvert. Networking is hard for me. So that’s, that’s, that is one of the things I’ve kind of struggled with.

Rob 3:10
Well, that’s not unusual, and especially for for introverts. But the cool part is, is if you’re an introvert, and you’re doing networking, you’re gonna find that the more you do it, the more people you know, the less introverted you become, I would assume, right? Because if you know somebody, you’re going to gravitate toward talking to that person usually, right?

Lane 3:28
Well, yeah, that’s why I was puppy dog behind you, man.

Rob 3:32
Yes, that’s probably true. But how effective is that?

Lane 3:36
It hasn’t been very effective yet, so?

Rob 3:39
Probably not. So that’s one of the ways you can do it. The other way you can do it is referrals. And I don’t know if you get referrals, but this is one of those magical areas, people don’t realize how powerful referrals are, and how much that you can actually bring in for business through referrals.

Lane 3:54
It takes time. Is there a magic pill to referrals?

Rob 3:56
You know, that’s a good question, because most people think referrals will just happen, or should just happen, and they should, but the reality is they don’t actually just happen by themselves. What ends up happening is is you if you do good work, which I know you would, but if you do good work than you think you should be referred but will end up happening is people go “Yeah, they did a great job” and they just move on, they move on to the whatever. They’re also important for their lives. And so you have to start to ask for referrals. So that’s another one that we’d want to go through. Another one that we want to talk about as seminars and if you do talks that are public speaking, that’s another great way to get sales brought into your business. Just curious, why do you think that’s seminars or giving a talk would be powerful to bringing in a new business? Do you have any idea why that would be?

Lane 4:42
Okay, I think your specificly talking about giving a talk or a seminar not going to one, right, correct? Yeah, you’re adding credibility for yourself. You’re you really set yourself up as the expert in that in that field.

Rob 4:53
Yeah, exactly. So if you’re standing up on stage and you’re saying this is the way it is, you’re the expert So that’s a great way to get new business to come in his seminars. In fact, anytime that that I’ve done, I’ve done seminars, anytime that I’ve seen a seminar, nine times out of 10, there’s a lead that comes out of it at least one. And it depending on the size of your sale, that could be powerful, that could be helpful, that could, that could generate enough business for a month that could generate enough business for a week, whatever that might be. But it’s just by, you know, given a half an hour, hour, 45 minute, two hour, whatever it is seminar, it makes a huge difference, or workshop or talk, wherever you want to call it, it brings in some business. So that’s another way that you can actually get business to be brought in. And I’m going to go through these kind of high level.

Lane 5:41
Yes, yeah, absolutely. But it sounds like these are things that we could actually break out and spend, even, you know, a whole episode just talking about, how do you do a seminar? I mean, I have questions that pop into my head, which we don’t have to answer right now. But you know, where do you Where do you do it at? You know, do you go the, you know, the motel six down the road? And, and, and rent it rent out one of their little conference rooms? How do you go about that? I mean, there’s a million questions that come out of that. So…

Rob 6:08
And rightly so, because I think that the seminar piece is a little confusing, because just giving the presentation is one element of that any one of these could could be its own show, really, because a lot of people think that like toxin seminars, or you know, any sort of workshops, those kinds of things. It’s just about the content you’re putting in into the show or whatever, right into whatever you’re doing. But in the the reality is in the sales world, it’s not the content. It’s everything that you do before. And it’s everything you do after. So you would think it’s just simple. But there’s so many other things to do.

Lane 6:41
My assumption would be that the content was key, but I guess it’s part of it.

Rob 6:45
But and there’s a part of wording, the content, there’s part of creating the content, that all makes it all different, but it’s the before and after that everybody realizes or doesn’t realize that, that that’s the really the critical components of it. Same thing like the other one, the other one that what could be we could talk about as a trade show, like have you ever done a trade show?

Lane 7:02
Yeah, I’ve been to trade shows and expos but never never had a booth.

Rob 7:05
Yeah, if somebody has a booth, the same type of thing as like a workshop, it’s the same thing. It’s not the booth that’s the critical, it’s how well do you handle all the leads that you get afterward that are really going to impact your sales? If you do nothing? And you just go, Well, I met all these people. That’s great. They’ll reach out when they want me. Right. Yeah, maybe. Right. So…

Lane 7:23
Because you’re so awesome. Yeah.

Rob 7:25
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And you know, you may think you’re awesome.

Lane 7:28
I know I’m awesome.

Rob 7:29
I know you are.

Lane 7:32
I’m so modest too.

Rob 7:33
Yes. Oh, yes. But But then the reality is, is they they think you know, you talk too much, maybe or they thought you didn’t give them enough information or whatever.

Lane 7:41
What are you saying, Rob?

Rob 7:42
I’m not saying you personally, I’m just saying anybody listening maybe could have said that to themselves? What else we got? What about? What about just simple things like mailing stuff out? Could you do that?

Lane 7:52
I don’t know. Is that really effective these days? I, you know, I look, I go to my mailbox every day, I grabbed a stack of mail. Most days, there’s nothing legitimate. It’s just ads. And I never look at it. Is it really effective?

Rob 8:05
See, there’s where I would say it depends depending on what the business is. So somebody building a website, probably not somebody that does landscaping, I would think that would be or somebody that that does, let’s say outdoor lighting for houses, I would say that is a really effective way, you could show a beautiful postcard that shows all these images of a nice house being lit up with nice external lighting that lights up trees and lights up the outside of the house, let’s say I do some really cool things with that kind of thing. But you could target the particular homes in a particular neighborhood, if you wanted, who are most likely to buy. So the more targeted you are, the more effective it is. But again, that goes to marketing, right?

Lane 8:44
So yes, it really depends on on, on what you’re selling.

Rob 8:47
Exactly. And if you send something, what do you do after you send it? Do you do anything? There’s a thought out there that you have to mail things four or five, six times to get a result? And the reality is, yes you do, to get the people to say I’ve seen this once before, because if you don’t mail it out several times in mailing at once, it’s very ineffective several times you get some frequency with it, they start to see it, they start to think, “Yeah, you know what, I’ve seen this, maybe we should look at this again.”

Lane 9:15
That’s spamming my email box.

Rob 9:17
Yeah, exactly. And and the concept being that, you know, at some point, we might catch you at the right time. But what if you mailed out twice these postcards, and then literally walked into the neighborhood. And you could go door to door and say, Hey, listen, I know if you saw my postcard, you know, your house would be a perfect situation where to speak, but you may not even need that. And you can have that kind of conversation. You don’t have to do that you can make a phone call. You could there’s different ways to do that. Where and depending on the messaging on the mailing, you could drip them through a process meaning if you wanted to get a free light or if you wanted to get a free ring doorbell or if you wanted to get some some there’s there’s other elements that you could add in there can cause some action, which then gives you the lead. So that’s it That’s one of those elements that isn’t effective for everybody. No. Could it be effective? For some? Yes, it’s just being very specific. In what you do before and after. Make sense?

Lane 10:09
Yeah, gotcha. Yeah.

Rob 10:10
Yeah. And the same thing with advertising. I think the same thing with, even with video and TV commercials and online TV or online videos. I mean, those types of videos that you do online or on TV, they’re meant for frequency. How many times have you seen a particular lawyer on the same channel on the same day, on the same time every day? And they’re saying the same thing and maybe a different message, but basically, it’s the same commercial, right? It’s different messaging, but different day.

Lane 10:35
Brand awareness? Yeah.

Rob 10:36
All brand awareness. And so when you have that problem, who are you gonna call? Because it’s the one you remember? And that’s what they’re banking on. But again, that goes back to marketing. I think the other one that comes to mind is cold calls, which is everybody’s favorite.

Lane 10:49
Yeah, totally.

Rob 10:52
You can just hear by the way you reacted. No, no, thank you. Yeah. So nobody likes to do them.

Lane 10:58
No one likes to receive them either. That’s the problem.

Rob 11:01
No, but you know what though. Here’s the thing. If you do it, right, it shouldn’t feel like a cold call. And I know that sounds odd. But how many times you’ve got a cold call where somebody calls you up and says, Hello, and then you and you say, and then all of a sudden they start going, Hi, I’m so and so from this company. And I want to talk to somebody that does this, or I want to talk to them. Yeah. And before they even get to it, you click but what if I called you, you’re a web company, and let’s say, you know, who would call you what kind of a company would call you? Let’s say?

Lane 11:28
Well, in technology, you’re you’re always getting calls from from various service providers, you know, different web hosts, or different internet service providers, or, you know, everyone who’s got the latest and greatest technology that they want to sell.

Rob 11:41
Okay, so let’s say you’re a web company or a web developer, you get a call from a web hosting company, right? So they’re assuming that you are doing the web, web creation or website creation, but you don’t have the ability to to host it. Right. That’s what they’re assuming.

Lane 11:56
Yeah, I think that’s the assumption.

Rob 11:57
Okay. So let’s say I’m the hosting company calling you. And typically they’ll call you up and say, Hi, I’m so and so from this web hosting company. And we do, we will host websites. And there we do them for really cheap. We do it for this price. Are you interested? Like that’s kind of the messaging, right?

Lane 12:13
Yeah, that’s it. That’s pretty much it. Yeah.

Rob 12:15
Yeah. And it’s like, okay, am I gonna be interested in this? No, because first of all, if you’re cheap, why would I want to work with you? Right? I mean, like, go down, whatever. So instead of doing that, what if somebody called you up and said, hey, let’s say let’s let’s do this? Let’s do a little roleplay here for a second. Ring ring, the phone rings, you say?

Lane 12:31
Hi, this is Lane.

Rob 12:32
Oh, hey, Lane. I didn’t expect to get you on the phone.

Lane 12:36
Oh, really? Why not?

Rob 12:37
I just didn’t think you’d answer the phone. I didn’t have any idea that you’d be there.

Lane 12:42
Who is this?

Rob 12:42
Oh, you know, I was so shocked to even talk to you that I didn’t even say who I was. Well, my name is Rob. And I’m I’m with a hosting company. I don’t even know if that even makes any difference for I don’t think you’d probably even want to talk to me, would you?

Lane 12:56
Well, personally, I would probably say no, but Well, we’ll play we’ll we’ll play along here go. Tell me. Tell me what you got.

Rob 13:02
Why don’t I don’t know what I don’t know what I got. I mean, from what I understand you do web development, right? amongst other things?

Lane 13:07
Absolutely. Yes.

Rob 13:08
Okay. Well, tell me a little bit about the web development stuff. What kind of stuff do you do? Who do you Who do you host? Or who do you make that stuff for?

Lane 13:14
Well, Rob, I guess we if we want to go back an episode or two, you know, I’d have to fall back to that 30 second commercial, and, you know, my my typical customer would be a small, perhaps medium sized business, but usually small businesses that are are looking for a way to get their message out.

Rob 13:30
Oh, interesting. All right. So you probably don’t have much issues with downtime with whatever you Wherever you’re placing those websites now, are you?

Lane 13:38
Not really?

Rob 13:39
I don’t think so. You know what? Somehow I got your name on my list. I looked at it. And I thought to myself, why would I even have this name on the list? It seems like his websites are nice. And it seems like they’re running up fine. I didn’t think that would make any sense for me to even call you. But it was on my list. And I realized that I probably needed to make the phone call. And so I have. So obviously you don’t need to have a whole web hosting company, right?

Lane 14:01
Yeah, no, no, I think I’ve I think I’ve got my my bases covered.

Rob 14:04
Fair enough. All right. So stupid question. One last question. I don’t know if you know, any other web hosting companies out there at all or anybody else who might need something. Have you ever seen a website that’s like horrible that I could call you have any idea?

Lane 14:19
I’ve seen lots of horrible websites, man. But…

Rob 14:22
But what about hosting, like, you know, where they’re just like, slow to get going? And

Lane 14:27
yeah, I don’t know if I if I really have what you’re looking for right now.

Rob 14:32
No worries. No worries. I didn’t expect you to quite honestly. But in the in the end, I don’t know when you probably wouldn’t even make sense for me to even share with you my contact information in case you needed somebody to backup just in case because listen, I know how things go. You know, you have something set up and it works really well now. But all of a sudden, things start to go a little weird. Maybe I should maybe I should have a backup plan here.

Lane 14:55
And well, if you’d like you can drop me an email with your contact info.

Rob 14:59
I don’t know If I want to drop an email, that’s you’re gonna delete that, aren’t you?

Lane 15:03
I might. But that’s that’s kind of the gamble you’re taking man.

Rob 15:07
I’ll tell you what, here’s the deal. I will let you go. I know you’ve got a lot of stuff going on, I just wanted to make sure that I had a chance to talk to you, because I’ve seen a lot of good stuff from you. And if I can ever help you in the future, I’d be happy to do that. Okay, our company name is XYZ. Have a good Have a good rest of the week.

Lane 15:23
You too.

Rob 15:24
Thank you. So was that difficult? Was that a cold call? That was anything like you’ve ever had?

Lane 15:28
No, no, no, not at all. You know?

Rob 15:30
And would you hang up on that if they had that kind of conversation with you? Let me ask you this, is it…

Lane 15:37
If I let them get that far? Yeah. If I let them get that far, I’d probably chat with him for a minute.

Rob 15:42
Yeah, so nine times out of 10. When I have that conversation like that with people, and I do this every once in a while. For me, it’s becomes a game, how long can I talk to them and get information? That’s what I’m after? And can I get a referral? Maybe not. Maybe I can. But for me, it’s really important to for them to understand that I’m not like anybody else. I’m not going to harass you. I’m not going to bother you. In fact, I left you with I don’t even want to talk to you anymore, basically. And you probably left it with a feeling of “Well, that was weird.”

Lane 16:14
Yeah, a little bit.

Rob 16:15
Yeah. But will you remember me if I called again later?

Lane 16:18
Yeah. If you called me another day, six months down the road, I’d say Oh its this guy again. Alright.

Rob 16:23
So if I called you back in six months, let’s say or three months, and I called you back what I might say is something along the lines of “Hey, I don’t know if you remember me. I called you 346 months, whatever it is to go. Does my name ring a bell at all? I don’t know if it does.” And then you went

Lane 16:38
Oh, yeah, of course, of course. Yeah. I recognize your voice.

Rob 16:41
Okay. Cool. Fair enough. And, and so I you know, probably nothing’s changed, cuz I haven’t heard from you at all right?

Lane 16:46
Yeah. Yeah. Things are going okay. Right now. Yeah.

Rob 16:48
All right. Cool. Would it be alright, if I call you getting another six months? Is that okay?

Lane 16:52
Knock yourself out.

Rob 16:53
Cool. I’m at it. I’ll write it down. I’ll call you in six months. All right. All right. Take care. And so it’s like, people are like, after a while people are like, what the heck is wrong with this guy, this guy doesn’t ever ask for the sale. But then at some point, I might if I do this three, four times. And if you know, sometimes you have to do it more frequently than every six months. But if you’re in a in a job, where you end up having to call them the same people frequently, you could have some fun with that too. Because you could after a while or when you’re getting that kind of response. You could just go Hey, how many times have I called you, you have any idea how many times I’ve called you?

Lane 17:25
They’re gonna stop and think about that for a moment.

Rob 17:27
And then you know what? I haven’t got, I’ve never gotten a sale from you. And that’s okay. I understand. There’s no time. How many more times do you think I need to call before I could actually entertain getting a sale with you? Yeah, that’s interesting.

Lane 17:39
What would you actually ask that question?

Rob 17:41
Yes, if I had been in the position, where I would have to make the same call over and over again, because it’s in a position of, I’m sorry, this is typically for people or salespeople that are having a call on big clients, potentially big clients that they’re trying to get over time, and it just not coming together. And you could have a game with it. Like, everybody takes cold calling like it either. They either do it and they just go through the just go through the motions. Yes. Oh, my goodness. And there’s so ineffective, and then there’s other people that go through it, and they’re like, Listen, I’m not gonna get a sale. I’m my goal of a cold, cold call, never get a sale. My goal is to have potentially another conversation sometime down the road, meaning potential real conversation where they are actually somewhat interested. They’ve got to figure out do I even need you or not?

Lane 18:27
You’re trying to create a relationship.

Rob 18:29
Yeah, it’s it’s maybe short term, but I also want to eliminate anybody that’s like, dude, I have no interest at all. I don’t want to talk to you.

Lane 18:36
Okay. If they, if they just hang up on you, then all right, fine.

Rob 18:39
Yeah. And sometimes I’ve called people that hang up on me. Not right away. But like, I call him up two weeks later. Yeah. And they hang up again. Okay, and probably not interested. But if they call, but if they answer, and they’re like, and they’re in a different mood, because listen, I’m calling out of the blue. So if they call, and they hang up on me after I got five words out, then I know I caught them at a bad time. And it’s okay. I don’t expect to catch you at a good time. Every time I call, it’s okay. Right. So if I call the next time and you have more time, you’re more open to have the conversation with me. Some people are some people aren’t. I can’t believe how many people that I have called cold, literally cold, got into a conversation ended the conversation with you know, I don’t need to I don’t need to I don’t need it right now. But can you take my email and email me some information, but but I really want what I want is your contact information. Because I think there’s a potential or how many times I’ve called they said, yeah, we were just talking about this not too long ago. And we got to figure out what to do with that. But I have no idea if we’re we’re not ready yet. Because then I can start asking more questions, because now I know there’s something going on behind the scenes. And then I started asking more questions. They did one time. Yeah, yeah. And I even had one time where I cold called somebody and they were like, you know, our web company. I get a whole lot of script for this. But our web company actually recommended we call somebody and you just called me and just now must be perfect, right? Like, wow, it’s crazy. So you have to call and it’s It’s not fun, and they’re the least fun thing you can do in the world, unless you make it a game and a little bit of a fun thing where you like, it’s not about me, me myself has nothing to do with the result of the call, if I look at it, as I’m not getting anywhere with this call, therefore, I’m a failure, you’re done, you’re cooked, you’re never gonna make it. That’s the problem.

Lane 20:21
I get the feeling you’re gonna make me do some cold calls at some point in the future.

Rob 20:25
Perhaps perhaps, yeah, so I think we’ve just gone through a whole bunch of different things that you can do to bring in business. And there’s a whole bunch of stuff, there’s, you know, there’s obviously more, there’s things like you can go door to door to places and all these different pieces that you can do. But these are just some of the high level ones that I’ve I’ve seen I’ve done I’ve known can be very, very effective. And it depends on how often you want to do it. And it depends on how comfortable you are doing it. I would also challenge you that if you’re doing any one of these already, that if you’re doing them and you’ve got one that’s very successful, and one that’s horrible results, ask yourself on the horrible results is the horrible results, because I hate doing it. And do I need to change what I’m doing? Because that could be the game changer. Maybe that one too, actually is really good at receiving your results. But because you don’t like doing it, you don’t get, like networking. Some people hate networking. Yeah, boy, you can build some good relationships with that. And if you do the networking, you’ll get the business over time. That just takes time. That’s all right.

Lane 21:21
Yeah, that makes sense.

Rob 21:22
Yeah. But if you also look at your scale of things, and you say this bottom thing that I don’t get rid of results on truly is not me. It is not because of me, eliminate it, make sure it’s not you but eliminate it because it’s wasting your time and spend more time on the things that are giving you better results. That makes sense. Yeah, hopefully that helped a little bit. And I think the next episode we are going to be talking about networking itself and how to do networking the right way.

Lane 21:49
Alright. Sounds good.

Rob 21:52
Cool. Well until next time, we’ll see you.

Lane 21:54

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