How I made a sale for my funnel business within 24 hours (even when I had never made a sale before and had no leads)

It’s often said that if you give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day. However if you teach a man to fish, he’ll open a fishery and charge 20% less than his smaller competitors and make a killing.

What I mean is if you can do something once, you can do something a hundred times.

Our funnel businesses need leads and they need sales. The BEST leads, are customers who have already bought.

If you had a list of 100 people who had already bought from you, wouldn’t that increase the likelihood that they’ll buy again?

As Dan Kennedy says, in Russell Brunson’s Book, DotCom Secrets “A buyer is a buyer is a buyer”.

But what if you haven’t got any customers? How can you use that same advantage of “customer based leads” when you don’t have any customers to start with?

Well it’s as simple as generating some smaller sales and customers for your funnel business first.

If you want to generate a sale, and I mean pure revenue (probably not a $25 000 project ) for your funnel business, read on. Because I’m going to tell you exactly how I made a sale for my funnel business within 24 hours.

Even though I had no list, no traffic, no products, no customers and no previous sales.

What do you help people do?

In 2015 my website business was ticking along. I had just won a small claims court case against me and I was producing websites for customers.

I wasn’t smashing it to be honest. Sales were steady, but not profitable. I wasn’t really making any money.

By this point I had started getting interested in marketing funnels and sales funnels. I was reading everything I could about them. I knew that’s what I wanted to make and sell. But I didn’t have any customers who wanted one.

As lovely as my first customers were, paint shops and wool makers aren’t really big spenders when it comes to online marketing. I needed to land someone who was in desperate need of an online marketing system AND who had the budget.

It’s almost easier when life is already rough to deal with a lack of finances. You just add it to the list. But when you have goals, want to support your family and buy your first home, it can seem impossible.

It’s like working your way out of the mud only to get kicked down again. It’s exhausting.

I was tired of selling websites. I was bored of giving free support and advice to customers day in day out. I hated hosting and email services. I became a cheap concierge service for customers. Offering graphic design, SEO, social media…whatever I could get my hands on.

I needed a change of direction and I knew that funnels were it.

But the clock was ticking. I wanted a house before I was 30. I wanted to move in with my girlfriend and start a life with her. I wanted to travel, work fewer hours, have a small team.

I was tired of borrowing money and living week to week. There wasn’t even a huge financial crisis at home. I just knew that a £300 bill out of nowhere, would cripple me.

The bank wanted their money. My creditors, phone company, services and utilities all wanted paying. I needed to give them something.

I was so close to packing it all in. Getting a job, surrendering to a life of salary, just for an easier time.

Instead, I told myself that I could generate ONE funnel based sale (I mean a sale for a service that WAS a funnel, no necessarily a sale via a funnel), in 24 hours, I’d dedicate every waking second to it.

Even if it was $10, as long as it was based on marketing funnels, I’d keep at it for another year.

So I had to ask myself “what is it that I actually help people do? What is my purpose?”

This is where you’ll need to start. Think about your purpose. Your higher calling, your mission, whatever you want to name it.

What is it that you help people do? If you want more make more sales for your funnel business, you have to be able to ask this.

I decided, that I help website consultants find more customers online. I know I know, super generic. But I had to start somewhere.

How did I help website consultants find more customers? With marketing funnels.

Start with the high ticket, killer product

This was going to be my high ticket, whale sized budget project. What was the killer product that I could sell, which would help website consultants find more customers online? It was a killer, high ticket marketing funnel.

I was going to charge £10 000 to any website or digital consultant who wanted a marketing funnel for their own business.

It was going to have landing pages, automation, email optin forms, content marketing, reports, analytics. The whole package.

But no one in their right might would drop £10 000 out of the blue.

I was NOT going to cold call and I didn’t have much of a network to sell to.

But I had to start somewhere, and that somewhere was knowing what the huge final high ticket item would look like.

It had to help website consultants find more customers online. Even if it cost £10 000, that’s what I was going to help people do.

So what’s your high ticket, killer product? What’s the final dream sale that would make all the difference? How much does it cost? What’s included? List out everything you would do for someone if they had the money.

It could be £10 000, it could be £100 000. The price is irrelevant at this stage.

If someone could only give you $9 to help them with the same thing, what would they get?

I knew that a £10 000 wasn’t going to happen in 24 hours. It would cost me £10 000 to find the customer in the first place (let that be a lesson to you. If you want a £10 000 customer NOW, it’ll cost you £10 000).

Instead, I promised to myself that if someone bought part of a £10 000 funnel project, I’d keep at my business.

So that’s what I did. I created a tiny $9 splinter of my core £10 000 product. A splinter product!

I listed EVERYTHING that a customer would get for £10 000. Everything. Ever meeting, every page, every email, every worksheet.

I didn’t create the actual product, just a menu of what they’d get. Remembering at the top of my mind, throughout the whole list process, that every step had to help website consultants find more customers online.

If Ryan Deiss and Digital Marketer had taught me anything. It’s that 100 people who buy a splinter product, are the most qualified and interesting leads you’ll ever find.

I knew if I could sell ONE $9 splinter product, related to my core offer, in 24 hours. I’d have a funnel business.

So my £10K funnel product was split into smaller and smaller chunks. Why $9? Well aside from being such a small sum of money, it didn’t matter if customers lost it and the product sucked (even though I had NO intention of making a shit product). It also was roughly the price of 2 cups of coffee.

So instead of someone taking me to Costa Coffee, to pick my brains, they could get something else instead.

A funny thing happens when you understand what money is to a customer. Don’t think of money as a transaction and the project as the final destination.

Think about you helping people as the destination. For example, my goal was to help website consultants find more customers online. Their final destination is NOT a marketing funnel or funnel project.

Their final destination is having more customers.

Money is a way of getting to that final destination. Money is a method to speed up how quickly they reach their destination. How comfortably and easily they arrive at the end.

If you want to travel from London to Hong Kong, you have a lot of options. You can fly, sure. But it’s the most expensive option. You’ll get there faster, but you’ll have to spend more.

You could get the train, which is cheaper, but it takes longer. It’s also slightly less comfortable than flying.

Or finally, you could drive. It’ll cost WAY less. But it’d be a long drive and would be a lot of work on your behalf.

So this is how products, services and sales work. You’ll have various price points and they’ll help customers at different speeds.

Some people will want to go full speed straight away. Most won’t. So I wanted to sell a low barrier to entry product that still helped website consultants find customers online.

It’s also important to understand that the delivery changes. Building a marketing funnel for a customer is done for them. Me and my team would build the funnel. That would cost £10 000.

But if I wrote a book, detailing EVERY single step that someone would have to take to build that exact same funnel, that would cost the customer much less. The result it ultimately the same, but the delivery is different.

So of my list of £10 000 features, there was one step that really stood out.

My background in corporate marketing was lead qualification. Qualifying leads and nurturing them before passing them onto the sales team.

Making sure that only good clients got through to sales, was all I started with.

So that would be the first part in helping website customers find more customers. Learning how to qualify them.

If I was to build that for a customer, I’d include the qualification form, consultation script and sales page.

But for $9? I was just going to tell people how to do it. As an added bonus, I’d include an XML file of a copy of my qualification form, that they could upload to their own website.

So that was my first splinter product. A qualification pseudo-course (at the time I had no idea I was building a course). I’d teach them why they need to qualify, I’d explain how to use the form and how to run a call with a lead.

I called it “how to make sure you ONLY deal with high budget clients”. It was called the Cerberus Method (as in the guardian to your realm. At the time I thought it was the coolest name in the world) and I uploaded the videos and files to my website.

I protected the webpage with a password. Set up a PayPal button and set up my email auto-responder. Simple.

So think about what parts or steps in your main core offer would make a suitable product. Think about how you could TELL someone how to do that step. What are the worksheets or notes that would make that explanation even more useful?

Record those steps, use video, upload worksheets and make it available online and make sure you know what it helps people do.

Write up the “how-to” for that help

The Cerberus Method (which is still available), was my first fully digital, scalable product. It was a part of what I’d deliver anyway, but I didn’t have to produce anything if someone bought it.

I needed to create a sales page, but I knew that just creating a sales page for a $9 wouldn’t generate the sales I needed. It might get one (which to be fair, I only wanted to make one sale), but it wouldn’t be as optimised as possible.

So I wrote up a guide on how to do the same thing with no extra help.

I wrote up my entire process for how to make sure you ONLY deal with high budget clients.

I talked about why you should qualify, how to do it and why website consultants don’t do it.

I listed everything I could think of about finding more clients online for your website consultancy.

I wrote up the entire how to guide which frankly, could have been turned into an ebook.

It wasn’t a monster blog post. Maybe 1500 words, so not huge. But it was really detailed.

This is the next step. Write up a great piece of content that supports your splinter product. But don’t hold anything back. Readers don’t know that you’ll be offering a product at the end of it.

Little did I know, this was the start of my sales letter writing career. I wasn’t writing a blog post, I was writing a long form sales letter that explained a problem, agitated the problem, showed the solution and demonstrated my authority and expertise.

Write up the same product as a blog post. This is what you’re going to promote.

Offer the $9 product at the end of the guide

The key to online sales success is offering the product at the end of a longer piece of free content. Webinars, sales pages, PLF funnels. The principle is the same.

Demonstrate your expertise and authority, show people how to do something AND MOST IMPORTANTLY be helpful. And at the end, if someone wants to get to their final destination faster, they need to buy your product.

So, at the end of your blog post, offer your $9 product. Simple as that.

I used the sentence “look, if you’re serious about finding more clients online for your website consultant, you should check out our Cerberus Method” then a little sales patter.

Offer your product at the end of the blog post and start the next OBVIOUS bit.

Drive traffic to that post

I promoted the fuck out of that blog post.

I used my last £50 to drive Facebook PPC traffic. I emailed friends, family and whoever was in my address book.

I shared it on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. Wherever I could.

I wanted to get as many people to see this blog post.

And it worked. It launched in mid-December and I saw my first sale at 9pm that night. $9 in my PayPal account.

Yeah sure, I had spent £50 on advertising. But I proved I could make sales from advertising. This was huge for me.

Eventually, I made around 30 sales netting me a cool $270 in sales. In around 30 days I had made more money per day than my website business was making me.

I knew that every single one of those 30 customers would be interested in a marketing funnel project. Even if they couldn’t afford it, I knew the product would connect.

In fact, less than a year later, a $9 customer DID convert into a $15000 funnel for an insurance customer.

How it works now/ what’s changed

Now the method works a little differently. Of course, I was BUILDING a funnel, but that was the point. I was building an automation system that made sales.

The product I wanted to sell was irrelevant. It was how I got people there.

Now of course, I know to send people to free content and just ask them to sign up. We only ask for an email address and a name, before sending them a blog post with a product attached.

In fact, as soon as someone opts in to a newsletter or lead magnet, I send them to a product blog post disguised as a thank you page.

And that ‘s about it. That is exactly how I made a sale for my funnel business within 24 hours (even when I had never made a sale before and had no leads).

Which of these steps are you going to try? What works for your business or what do you need to do to make those sales? Let me know in the comments below.

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Mike Killen

Mike is the world's #1 sales coach for marketing funnel builders. He helps funnel builders sell marketing funnels to their customers. He is the author of From Single To Scale; How single-person, small and micro-businesses can scale their business to profit. You can find him on Twitter @mike_killen.