5 shocking mistakes killing your marketing funnel project sales

Are you making these five shocking mistakes that are killing your marketing funnel project sales?

It just doesn’t make sense. You work long hours, give hundred percent every day, follow all the gurus online and yet-you still struggled to make an close marketing funnel project sales.

What gives?

Have you ever felt that your marketing funnel business is lacking a secret, missing ingredient to more frequent sales? What about higher project fees and better budgets? Everyone else seems to be doing it OK.

$10 000 projects, $25 000, $100 000. Marketing funnel projects shouldn’t be this hard to sell should they?

You have all the tools, you’ve got a great process and the product should sell itself. So why aren’t you making the sales you deserve?

Well, you’re probably making 1 of these mistakes.

1. Confusing creative activities with ground work sales

marketing funnel project sales, marketing funnel sales mistakes, sell more funnsl

But it looks so pretty! Kelly Sikkema

The summary of this cardinal sin here, is that you’re focusing on YOU rather than your CUSTOMER.

Tools like Canva, Photoshop, Instagram, AdEspresso, Beaver Builder and Coolors have made creative activities for branding, advertising and social media easier than ever.

We can create cool memes, amazing images with Unsplash and beautiful blog post images. Landing pages are now easier to build than ever. Even designing in browser using tools like Beaver Builder to build gorgeous looking pages. We look over our beautiful work and think “no human in the world could ignore this. It’s too gorgeous.”

We think of creative ways to drive traffic. Sexy and exciting and interesting ways to drive interest and traffic to our websites and content. We might even succeed with driving mad levels of traffic to our website, but still…no sales.

We’ve had customers tell us that our website and products look incredible.They say they look just and like “eye-candy”.

So why, even when we have high-level traffic, gorgeous marketing assets and well written copy do we still struggle to make sales?

It’s because we confuse creative and interesting marketing activities with ground-level sales work.

I get it no one likes cold calling or pick up the phone or having conversations with customers. Cold-emailing is even worse and I totally agree that it shouldn’t be something that you’re doing.

However. People making sales and selling products for thousands of years before Facebook advertising, Canva and beautiful responsive landing pages. The reason we do this because a lot of these activities are more interesting, allow creativity and also a bit of an ego boost.

  • Creating new Facebook adverts
  • Designing our social media profiles
  • Creating tweets and social posts
  • Downloading beautiful stock images
  • Re-designing the product landing page
  • Re-writing our product sales letter
  • Creating automation workflows in ActiveCampaign

How many of these are you guilty of? You get excited about the new creative activities because you see successful companies using the same tactics.

They’ve all got ads and images and social profiles. They also have a team who are dedicated to that single pursuit.

If we think deeply, we even know that we’re ignoring some more pressing sales matters. Maybe you don’t know what to do instead? Even after doing all the creative stuff, you still don’t feel like there is a connection between what you’re creating and driving customer interest.

The problem is that many ground-level sales activities are boring. They’re repetitive and don’t offer much of a buzz. Proper sales is like proper investing. It’s about persistently putting in the time, over and over through routine and habit. That creates massive results over time, rather than one off flashes in a pan.

What to do instead?

Write out a list of 10 prospective customers. People who you can help and you feel obliged to help.

List out their names, their business names, titles, positions and everything you know about them. Find out their email addresses, their phone numbers and where they hang out. Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, online forums, business networks, coaching groups.

You want to know everything about 10 prospects and your job is to focus on them. Find out who in your network knows the decision makers and reach out to them. Interview prospects, get them on the phone. All we’re trying to do is have a conversation, not pitch anything yet.

Give them value, show them what you know and how you can help. I’ll take 10 clients signing on the dotted line, over a nice new social media header any day.

Your time is better spent focusing on your CUSTOMERS rather than your business.

2. Focusing on re-designing and adding to the product

Right off the bat – this is my worst habit. I have to do everything I can to stop myself falling into this trap.

They didn’t buy a marketing funnel, so you go back to the drawing board. That sounds sensible right?

If you got to a sales or conversation stage and someone DIDN’T buy, then at least you had the chance right? Therefor, you should listen to their feedback or ask yourself “why didn’t they buy?”

So you go back to your process documents, team workflow, proposal and product page. You start adding extra stuff and bonuses. You adapt and change the product depending on the feedback, past tests and gut feelings you’ve got.

Maybe your marketing funnel started as a simple website with automation and a focus on squeeze pages and sales funnels. Now, you need a traffic strategy and live webinar automation process.

Prospects have told you that they want more upsells. So you add an upsell and order bump product to your page. You include OptinMonster and Intercomm with the package. You reduce your margin (you fucking idiot) and you KNOW that the next customer will want this. They have to!

You’ve turned the dial up to 11. It’s got everything that your customer could possibly want.

marketing funnel sales, sell marketing funnels, marketing funnel projects

Couldn’t turn Stonehenge up to 11 could they though? wikipedia.org

So you’ve now got this AMAZING product. But…no one buys. No one is knocking down your door, emailing you 50 times a day asking for you to come in.

The meetings you do get still don’t result in a sale.

You’ve tried everything. Well. You’ve written one sales page and started more creative activities (see mistake #1 above) and still nothing.

You product has and does everything. But people still don’t want it.


Two words.

The Homer.

marketing funnel sales homer car


The Homer, was a car designed in The Simpsons, by Homer Simpson. The idea was that the owner of Powell Motors, Herb (who is also Homer’s half brother) would let a customer and average Joe design a car.

It’s a mess. It has everything a customer would want. But nothing that a customer would want.

Ask yourself, if Coca-Cola started offering a plastic bag attached to their bottles for the empty bottle to be thrown in, would they sell more? What about a mini cup to share the bottle?

Good ideas from customers are just that. Ideas. But they are not good. “No such thing as a bad idea”? Ask the inventor of the Polaroid Phone that. Or the Snapchat Glasses.

snapchat glasses, marketing funnel sales, sell marketing funnel projects, sales mistakes

$130 for this? Stick to teen sexting Snapchat. dailydot.com

What to do instead?

Rework your BENEFITS and RESULTS.

MILLIONS of people fell to Nigerian email scams in 2014. Millions. Not thousands or even hundreds of thousands. Millions.

How much was lost to JUST Nigerian scams in 2014? $12.7 billion. $12 700 000 000. That’s almost $2 per person on Earth.

At some point, those entrepreneurial and hardworking Nigerians worked out that rich white people love benefits. They pile on benefits after benefit after benefit. They talk about results and how their victim’s life will be better.

At no point are they “improving” the product. They don’t even HAVE a product.

The quality of your product, it’s features, everything it has and everything it does adds NOTHING to your close rate.

If a few thousand people in Nigeria can use Windows 98 and well written emails to generate sales. So can you.

Go back to your product and leave it. Don’t take anything out, don’t add anything. Forget about the product. Leave it the fudge alone.

Instead, take a look at how someone’s life is better when they do buy. What does their life look like after they buy? Are they richer? Thinner? What is the benefit to their life and business when they work with you?

List those benefits and results out. That’s what you’re selling.

What does the average person’s life look like before buying from you? After they buy, how is their life affected? How does their life look now and how is it better?

Focus on the benefits and results of your product and sell those.

When someone DOESN’T buy, don’t add benefits and don’t remove anything. Go back and keep asking “why” would someone buy. Find the right customer who want’s that benefit, not suiting the benefit to each new prospect.

Go and find customers who want the future life you’re delivering. Don’t scam them. Deliver exactly what they need and over deliver on what you promise.

3. Waiting until everything is perfect

marketing funnel sales, sell marketing funnels

“Get all my ducks in a row” is the equivalent to a non-answer like “you’ll understand when you’re older”
Clark Young

This is similar to the mistake above. Waiting until everything is juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuust right. Waiting until your ducks are all in a row.

The problem is that we tend to think that if everything isn’t perfect when we launch. We’ll launch to a resounding silence. We are afraid that if we decide to finally release our product into the wild and it isn’t just right, then we’ll miss our shot at making a good impression.

You only get one chance to make a first impression, right?

While that’s true that you do only get one chance to make a first impression. Our Idea of a first impression is skewed massively compared to what we believe the perfect first impression would be.

This is the age-old problem of minimum viable product or MVP, versus an ultimate product that absolutely sweeps and storms the marketplace.

You want to make sure that all the features, benefits, results and tactics are already to go before you launch.

We have an idea that our websites and social media channels and YouTube videos and blog posts and sales pages and product demonstrations all need to be ready to go before we start making phone calls and talking with customers.

So we spend time adding extra videos to our online courses or extra pages to our marketing funnel architecture. Maybe our logo isn’t quite right all we haven’t enough content on our front page.

All of this revolving around the idea that if we don’t launch with a completely perfect, complete and full product will be collectively laughed out of the marketplace.

It even gets to the point where we start to build up the fear of launching anything at all because there’s always something else to change. There’s always something else to improve or work on or make better. So therefore we shouldn’t be launching anything until it’s ready to go right?

If you’ve ever found yourself saying “I’m just waiting to get all my ducks in a row”, then you fallen into the mistake of thinking you have to have a perfect product before you launch.

This works on multiple levels as well.Blog posts. Lead magnets. YouTube videos. Pod casts. Products. Speaking events.  Everything can be held off because we want to be perfect.

I know of marketing funnel customers and coaching customers who’ve got 10 or more blog posts sitting in their draft  status, because they’re just not ready to be published yet.

Ultimately this entire problem boils down to the idea that everything else we see around us is perfect or better quality. So we don’t one launch anything in case it damages our reputation. We feel that if we launch what we think to be a shoddy or poor quality product to the marketplace, then that reputation of “badly built for poor quality” will follow us around for the rest of our life.

What to do instead?

Swallow your pride and launch. Those videos that don’t quite sound right? Launch them. That blog post that still has typos and isn’t quite finished? Press publish. That email that talks about a new idea you’ve got, but isn’t quite fully formed? Send it.

In our office we have a saying “60% done and published is better than 99% done and not published”. The idea that something could be the most perfect revolutionary product in the world, but if it isn’t ever published and released to market and it will gain literally no traction.

I often equated to playing live music or live theatre. People mess up lines, playing their instrument and lyrics all the time. It’s just the nature of doing things live.

However the audience is usually none the wiser. Looks like a glaringly obvious mistake on your behalf and you think will haunt you for the rest of your life, probably hasn’t even been noticed by most of your audience.

It’s also a hard habit to be in because we know exactly how far and how big the potential of our projects and products could be. We have these grand ideas of huge products or software or funnels with all these amazing features. But if we launch now it’s only got 60% of those features.

You have to remember that your customers aren’t psychic. Your customers can’t magically predict the ideas that you’ve got in future. They’re still likely and going to buy on the features that they can see and that they can have.

Swallow your pride, swallow your fear and hit publish. Otherwise you’ll have a five year out of date product that no one wants when you do launch it.

When Disney World launched it was an absolute disaster. Fake tickets were printed and the capacity swelled to over 10 times what they had predicted. Toilet plumbing had been fixed and finished, but water fountains and power to many of the drink and food stands hadn’t. In fact Disney World’s first day  is a famous example of why launching even when you’re not ready doesn’t follow you around for the rest of your life.

4. Telling people what you do – not who you help

You’ve got so good at telling people what the marketing funnel does and what you do that anyone understands the process that you go through to start getting results.

You spent ages working out the metaphors and models to explain succinctly exactly what it is that you can deliver.

Marketing funds are extremely complex. They require automation, content, written copy, images, video, sales pages and optin pages. In order for your customers to fully understand what it is that you can help them with surely they have to understand what you do and how you do it.

You’ve convinced yourself into thinking that the better you Rx explaining how you do something, the more likely they are to buy.

You can explain how traffic converts into email address subscribers. You can explain how email subscribers can convert into sales and lifetime customers. You can explain remarketing, search engine marketing, social marketing and community group growth.

And still you struggle to find customers. Why is that?

With just explained you’ve got really good explaining how something works and what you do. So why is wooden someone by that.

You can explain the basics of how a camera works or how smartphone works and people by millions of them. Is it because you aren’t  clear enough or succinct enough with your explanations of what you do?

We tend to think that if people understand what we do, then they’ll pick up on two or three of the activities that we do, and ask us “I’d like help with that. Can you do that for me?”

Surely the better the idea that customers of got of what you can do the more likely they are to buy. We think of it like a menu. Explaining the products and services and “solutions” that we provide to our customers increases their understanding-and therefore increases the likelihood that they’ll buy.

This mistake is perpetuated by our friends, family and colleagues asking us “what is it that you do exactly?” Surely of our closest friends and colleagues don’t understand what we do then our customers won’t understand what we do, right?

Therefore we need to get really good at explaining what we do in order to a) justify our pricing and b) find customers.

Just makes sense doesn’t it? That the better you are explaining what you do? What you do for customers and what you do in the marketplace WILL result in more sales.

Of course it doesn’t does it? Because otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this blog post.

What to do instead?

Look backwards at your process and look over what it is that you deliver. Write out exactly what it is that you do and the deliverable that you will put in the customers hand. Against each deliverable right down the benefit or result that that deliverable gets.

  • Squeeze page to increase email subscribers
  • Sales page to make sales automation
  • Email automation to engage leads and sales automatically
  • Sales copy and content to increase sales conversions

Look at the results that you’ve got and ask yourself WHO would benefit from these? Immediately I understand that you think that every single business in the world would benefit from these results.

And you’re absolutely right. However thinking like that is the trap that in order to differentiate ourselves in the marketplace, because it’s obvious that EVERYONE would benefit from working with us. That we have to therefore explain what we do.

This isn’t the case. You need to focus on who you can help rather than what you do. Look over your benefits and results and ask yourself how do you deliver those benefits and results? What’s different about what you do? Who can you work with or help that would benefit from that particular process and from those particular results?

It might be an industry or a particular type of customer. It might be other characteristics within a business, such as their age or number of staff? Maybe they have to have a certain turnover or revenue?

Remember you have the opportunity to pick and choose your clients. A customer that has $60,000 a year on turnover is less likely to benefit, from a 10% increase in turnover than someone with $250,000 on sale.

Have a real hard think about who you help start telling people who that customer is. The clearer that your network, customers and environment are about the types of customer WHO you can help, the more likely they are to find you referrals get you leads and book more meetings.

Customers need to identify with a who, before they don’t fight with what. They need to see themselves in your process and they want to read about themselves. Customers love to talk about themselves and read about themselves and read about the results and benefits that they deserve and want.

They don’t want to dig through the process and try and imagine the benefits for themselves. They want to be told those benefits.

5. Buying new tools

Finally, this is the most common mistake that marketing funnel businesses make, when suffering from low sales. Buying more tools.

AppSumo, Creative Market, Envato and Copistore are all examples of marketplaces where we can buy tools. Who doesn’t love collecting themes and templates and plugins?

So you’re struggling to make a sale and you haven’t seen a new customer come in in a while. Then you open your inbox and AppSumo has a brand new deal on Social Market Influencer and it’s only $49! Or JVZoo has a new piece of software that will “revolutionise lead generation”. Or you see a post on Facebook about a website feedback plugin. Wouldn’t that make your life so much easier?

We all do it and I’m certainly guilty.

We can see the benefits to these new software, tools and plugins and think it’ll increase our sales power. We’ll go from 0 – 60 overnight!

We buy the software, buy all the upsells and addons and order bumps and play around with the new tool.

But still, nothing happens. Lead’s don’t fly in. Customers aren’t banging on your door. What happened? Don’t they know how awesome this new tool is?

That is if you’ve even using it at the lead generation stage. How many of us have bought themes and tools and software that would really only make our lives easier AFTER the customer has bought?

I remember investing heavily in a membership and automation plugin because I saw and recognised all of the benefits of this tool. I really wanted everything they offered.

I couldn’t wait to get a customer so I could start using the tool. But the problem was that I had no customers. I didn’t have anyone that would use what I bought.

It might be a benefit to me and my business. But does it really benefit them? Can I sell that benefit to them? Even if I could, would I need to have bought it to sell the benefit? Couldn’t I have just bought it after they bought from me?

What to do instead?

Build habits first, then automate them.

Tools are methods of process. They are all designed to automate a process and routine.

Here’s the thing about process. Process only accelerates what you’ve already got. It only Xs the factor. So if you’re sending 1 email a day, using ActiveCampaign you could send 100 emails a day, 5 times a day. That’s a 500X increase.

I remember a kid at school arguing with a friend of mine about getting laid. We were 15, so obviously a lot of it was bullshit.

The first kid said “I bet I’m getting 100x more sex from girls than you are!”

To which my friend replied “100x zero, is still zero.”

If you’re not making sales, getting a 1000% increase in sales still equals, no sales. 1000 x 0 = 0.

You have to build manual habits and repeatedly execute them before tools will help you. If you’re making sales and sales calls, then go ahead and buy something to make those calls easier.

But in reality, most of us are unwilling to put the time into those sales activities. We think there are shortcuts to sales and these tools are those shortcuts.

Don’t fall into that trap and start thinking about building good sales habits, like the ones above, before investing in automation and tools.

Hard work

“A lot of this seems like hard work Mike.”

Yep. What exactly were you expecting?

I know a lot of businesses particularly marketing funnel businesses say that the sales process is hard work. I understand that and a lot of people said the same thing. But so is going to the gym, training for a marathon, raising a kid or making your first roast meal.

Everything is hard to decide to commit to it and create a repeated habit from it. Everything is harder to decide to do it regularly until it eventually becomes as easy as breathing.

Businesses all over the world make a lot of money from pretending that they can make the sales process easier. The reality is that committing to one activity and persisting with it is a hundred times more effective than any tool. How, calling up one customer every single day and asking for a meeting with them is can get you more results than buying the latest AppSumo $49 deal.

If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’re going to keep getting what you’ve always got. When you really think about the results that you’ve been getting and whether they are the results that you really want.

Are you getting the sales that you want and that your business deserves? If you’re not look at the activities you’ve been doing and ask yourself if you have been making any other mistakes above. Is your most common mistake? Let me know in the comments below.

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.