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[Free script template] How I make sure customers are ready to buy marketing funnels

The number one mistake but I believe funnel builders make when they have a new potential lead, is going straight into sales mode.

It’s funny really, because I’ve met so many marketing agencies who don’t like selling, and think themselves above selling. But when they encounter a new lead or prospect, they go immediately into “sales mode”.

My entire business is designed to help you sell more marketing funnels to your customers. I would be the last person to tell you that you shouldn’t be trying to sell or doing everything you can to sell to customers.

However, I also think that how you drive on a professional race track is going to be very different to how you drive your car to arrive to the racetrack.

We can’t go straight into sales mode, because we frankly don’t know enough about the customer.

All too often, I see marketing agencies and funnel builders do everything they can to explain the features and benefits of their products to the customer, in order for the customer to make a decision whether they want to buy.

This is a real shame because that’s not what we need to do at this point of the customer journey. What we need to do, is qualify the lead.

Whenever there is a new potential prospect or customer, try to refrain from immediately trying to sell to them. Instead we are going to work out if they have the means and ability to pay for us, and if we want to work with them.

When I first started my marketing funnel business, I was very hesitant to qualify customers in the way that I had been taught in my previous corporate marketing job.

Even though I knew the value of lead qualification, my attitude was “beggars can’t be choosers”. That was until I was challenged by one of my mentors “Mike, do you still consider yourself a beggar?”

Instead of thinking about how your product is either exclusive or you can’t work with people even though they might really need your help. I want you to think about resource allocation.

This this is not a case of excluding customers because we think we are above them. It’s a case of understanding that we can only help so many people, and that it would be a waste of resources to help people that don’t benefit from our expertise.

The five basic questions for qualifying a customer are as follows.

  1. Can the customer afford me?
  2. Can they afford to implement my advice?
  3. Do I like them?
  4. Can I get them extraordinary results?
  5. Do they refer?

They need to build answer positively to all five of these questions. Arguably, question number three and four are perhaps more important.

Unless you like working with them, no amount of money is going to make the project worthwhile.

And if you can’t get them extraordinary results no amount of money they spend will make them happy with working with you.

So through the process of initial lead enquiry, and qualification, we need to be able to answer these five questions. You could just ask these questions, but customers have a way of telling you what you want to hear.

Which is why we’re going to ask five different questions. We going to be asking them about their budget, who the decision-makers are, some of their goals, when do they want to start and who are they working with.

Also known as BANTS.

Budget, authority, needs, timescales and suppliers.

What’s the budget? Who is the authority, also known as the decision-maker? What are their business needs, goals, problems etc? What are the timescales for starting and achieving results? Who else are their suppliers and who are they working with? BANTS.

This can be a 25 minute call via zoom or Skype but it doesn’t need to be in person. All you’re doing is running through this list of questions which also give you below. To understand if they are the right type of customer to work with.

Qualification Script

These questions will help you get a better understanding about the customer’s business. And make no mistake, qualifying the customer is absolutely vital to the rest of the sales process.

Higher conversions, short sale time

When you qualify customers, you will find that the conversion rate of your proposals and offers will be higher, the more time you spend qualifying the customer.

The more certain you are about the types of customers you can and can’t work with, the more likely you are to find customers you want to work with.

If for no other reason you should be qualifying your customers, so that your proposals and offer rate is more likely to be accepted when you make them.

This is for two reasons. First of all, it’s because you have made the customer work for it. The second reason, is that the more time you spend qualifying a customer, the better you will understand them.

Customers do not buy marketing funnels because you have talked about marketing funnels. Customers buy marketing funnels because they have talked about their business.

The more questions you have asked your customers and the more they get to talk about their business the more likely they are to buy.

This is because first of all you have learnt more about their business and will be able to sell to their real desires. But also, people trust people more when they are allowed to talk.

Someone doesn’t perceive you as an expert because you’ve talked about your business. People perceive you as an expert because you’ve asked questions about their business.

You don’t have infinite resources

The second reason to qualify is that you can’t afford not to. I don’t doubt that every business in the world would benefit from spending time with you.

I’m sure that every business would see some improvement after working with you. The truth however, is that you are not Google and you are not Coca-Cola.

You don’t have the resources to reach, sell, serve and respond to every business out there. You don’t even have the resources to serve every business that gets in contact with you.

One of the reasons that funnel businesses fail where they needn’t, is because they try to serve too many low value customers. A lot of the time, customers simply aren’t worth the hassle.

As awful as this sounds, many of them simply won’t get the results that they need and that you can provide.

In the first chapter we looked at our audience, or niche. Essentially asking the question, who benefits the most from working with us?

We must stick to this answer if we want to find customers that benefit from working with us.

For example, if we have two businesses approach us, both with the same budget, but with different business models, who would you prefer to work with?

Business A

Currently at 1000 sales a year, with each sale roughly $1000.
Approximately 2000 customers in their database
Currently spending money on advertising
Range of products from $10-$10,000

Business B

Zero sales with a product worth $100
Few hundred leads in their database
Zero spend on advertising
One product

Business A is doing roughly $1 million a year turnover. And has lots of potential customers. They also have a range of products and are currently spending money on advertising.

What this tells you is that they are selling already. If you were to increase sales by just 10%, that would be an extra $100,000 in revenue. Probably with a higher profit margin also.

Business B is doing zero in revenue. They don’t have a range of products and they would have to sell 10 times the number of products business A cells, in order to match revenues.

If you generated $50,000 in sales for business B, that would be a 100% increase in revenue. You would be essentially taking their business from 0 to 50,000 and you still wouldn’t make as much money as you would Business Day.

This might look like a trick question, But business A is in fact the best business to work with. You would want to work with Business A more because it’s easier to generate a higher level of return.

As I mentioned above, customers are only happy with you when you are visibly getting them results. The problem is that even businesses who you help take from 0 to 50,000, will not see that as a massive improvement.

I would also bet that I could get business a a hundred thousand dollars in revenue faster than I could get Business Fee $50,000 in revenue.

Everything about Business B might say would benefit more. But the numbers suggest that Business A would benefit more.

Are they the right customer?

I can’t answer this for you, but you’ll have to make the decision based off of the answers you get during the qualification calls. It’s important to note that qualifying a customer is NOT selling to the customer.

Your job is simply to find out “can I help this customer and can they afford me?” Remember those 5 questions above?

  1. Can the customer afford me?
  2. Can they afford to implement my advice?
  3. Do I like them?
  4. Can I get them extraordinary results?
  5. Do they refer?

We need the answers on these questions to be a “yes”. We need to know that we’re placing our time and resources in the best possible place and that we can get the customer great results.

Qualification is where most businesses, especially funnel and marketing business fall down, because we believe we can help everyone. We can’t. As I’ve outlined above, not all customers are created equal.

There’s nothing more disheartening than working with a customer and them blaming you for poor results when really they were setting you up for failure.

If they fit your criteria and if you believe they’d be a good fit, we need to move onto the next stage of the process. You don’t even have to tell them this on the call.

You could just wrap up the call and let them know that you’ll be in touch. If you’re absolutely 100% sure that you want to work with them, by all means end the call with further details or booking another call.

But don’t feel that you have to give them an answer right away. I like to finish my calls with something like the below.

Remember, you don’t have to give them an answer straight away. They’ll probably be very happy that you’ve suggested that as it shows you’re clearly taking this seriously.

If they have questions, feel free to answer them. But I hate giving out free consultation and some customers are just trying to get free information out of you.

So I have a pretty standard response for any questions that I don’t want to answer. Some pretty typical questions are:

  • How much do you think this will cost?
  • Have you got a portfolio?
  • What kind of traffic tactics do you think you’ll use?
  • Should I be advertising on Facebook?

First, at the top of the call, I’ll tell them when this call is ending.Just to let you know, I’ve got a call straight after this so I’ll have to jump off at 11:25, is that ok?

Of course they always say that’s ok. This gives you an easy option to end the call.

Second, if they do have questions and you want to either leave the call or not answer them, just say something like the following “Good question. I want to make sure that I fully understand your business and the project before I make any recommendations or send over appropriate case studies. What I’m going to suggest is that we might need to book another call to further go over your questions and ideas, how does that sound?”

Even if you already know that you don’t want to work with them, the goal of this call is NOT to give away free information or consult them for free. If they’ve got questions, great, they’ll still have them on the next call.

When you’ve decided whether or not you want to work with them, use an email like the below.

You might recognise this from last weeks post on selling consultation

What we’re doing is positioning a second call, which is paid, to better understand the client’s needs and their business.

One of the biggest mistakes that funnel agencies make is giving away free consultation. Even though giving away information for free, is likely to lower your conversion rates.

Instead, you should be paid for your insight and understand as much as you can about the customer. The more you know about them and their business, the better the position you’re in.

Yes, some of your old customers might baulk at the idea of paying to talk to you. But your new, qualified customers will be fine with it.

The massive misconception that people have about a five figure funnel price tag, is that the $25,000 price is justified in the delivery of the funnel. It’s not. The $25,00 or $100,000 or $1m price tag is justified and sold way before the project is even delivered.

The more time you invest into the customer, understanding them and their business, the bigger the price tag on the back end. If a customer can’t afford $497 for a strategy call, how in the hell are they going to pay the big bucks?

You’re an expert and you deserve to be treated as such, which is why we sell a growth session.

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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.