How Good Is Your “Funnel Vision”?

I’m interested: how would you fill in this blank….

My business funnel consists of _______________; my marketing funnel consists of these sequential steps __________________; my sales funnel for my Signature Program consists of these steps______________.

These terms are bandied about so inconsistently, they’ve become meaningless–and maybe I’m only adding to the mix by creating yet more definitions, but I believe these will clear the cobwebs. I want you to be clear about what each of these does, and the fact that you need all of them in your business–done correctly.

Why am I so nutty about funnels lately? Because they are EVERYTHING! You don’t have a business without a business funnel; you won’t be seen without a marketing funnel, and no one will buy from you without a sales funnel (properly sequenced.)

I’m going to explain the differences today, but on April 16th, I’m leading a brand new BIZLIBS fill-in-the-blank game–“Funnel Vision”—that is going to be insanely educational—and fun!

 To get you ready, let me explore the differences in these funnels.

Think of these funnels on increasing camera zoom lenses. So, metaphorically, your business funnel zooms in on a “state”; your marketing funnel then zooms in on the “town,” and your sales funnel zooms in on a “house.”

          

I define a business funnel as your complete, progressive line-up of for-sale programs, which begins with the lowest time/lowest financial investment and gradually increases in both. I wrote a blog post in February outlining how to develop your business funnel; definitely make that weekend reading.

On BizLibs: Funnel Vision, you’ll be filling in blanks to develop or test this line-up or programs in your own business. Invaluable.

Just as your business funnel consists of sequential steps (that paying customers take,) your marketing funnel consists of sequential steps, as well—that prospects take. For the most part, marketing is a “front end job,” meaning that it focuses on getting people into your business, into the front end, namely your Signature Program. You do much less marketing, if any, for the backend. So, what does a typical marketing funnel look like? Here’s an image:

Picture6CROPPED

(1) You use social media, blog and other writing, speaking and JV partnerships to move people to (2) your opt-in page to get something for free. I always advise a written gift and also (3) a free event, which I call a “portal event.” Once there, they learn about the (4) Signature Program (and we move into the business funnel).

On BizLibs: Funnel Vision, you’ll be filling in blanks to help you create your marketing funnel. So easy and very instructive.

So, then, what is a sales funnel? Like the other funnels, it too is a sequence, but we’re now zoomed in on the “house,” so-to-speak. Concretely, this means that a sales funnel is the micro-sequence used to sell a product or program. People’s education on this is very minimal because not a lot of people are out there teaching it well. But let’s face it, you must go through a very selective series of steps on your “free portal event” to get people to actually buy your Signature Program. You must go through a very selective series of steps on your sales page to get people to buy your product. The same is true when you offer free consulting calls: a very selective series of steps needs to be taken to get callers to actually buy. So, you need properly converting sales funnels for everything in your business funnel.

Make sense?

On BizLibs: Funnel Vision, you’ll be filling in blanks to help you think cogently about your sales funnels, too!

So, what can you do while you await word from me on the BizLibs game?

EXERCISE: Review each of these funnels and visually sketch out the sequential steps you’ve currently got. Then ask yourself if you’re happy with the conversions of each of the programs in your business funnel. If not, check out analytics and conversions of items in your marketing funnel and improve your social media; increase your speaking; befriend more JV partners, etc. Then, look at your sales funnels for each program/information product. This is where you may have difficulty seeing the trouble-spots. You probably think you’re selling properly and don’t realize that you’re not pricing things creatively, or asking the right question at the right time, or making a “no-brainer” offer (and on and on).

BIZLIBSCropped

On BizLibs: Funnel Vision, you’ll play the game and then I’ll be answering questions on all of this! Just as our endocrine, circulatory, and nervous systems are us, your funnels are your business—and can either be sick or healthy. We’ll get them healthy on this very special webinar. Click here to read more and register!

The 3 “Passion-Making” Questions for All Speakers!

Are you an introvert, quiet type, and think you can’t bring my level of passion to your “presentations”? Watch this and tell me that to my face. :-)

YouTube Preview Image

Session #6/8 With Financial Coaches: Copywriting for Their Marketing!

So what’s so important about having a signature program?
There are many advantages for a business, not the least of
which is that it is a sure-fire differentiation strategy.  As a
communications expert, I’m interested also in the fact that
it streamlines what the heck you talk about when describing
your business! When I attend networking meetings (which I
still do occasionally), and certainly in my daily work with
coaches, I consistently notice that they discuss several
things
they’ve got cooking. The brain can’t process all this
information. It wants to know you’re doing one thing. So,
in Session 6, one of the things I tell M&M is that they will
now be speaking only about “Feast or Famine,” their portal
event. On their website, ideally, they would have a squeeze
page, inviting people only to this event—rather than explaining
in detail all the things they offer. This always produces a big
sigh of relief for my clients, who are always aware that typically
their communication isn’t effective because they talk about
too much.

In this session, we also discuss possible copy for their promo-
tional postcard and I emphasize the need for their couples to
“self-identify”—to say, “That’s us!”—and to do it either in
the headline or in the first paragraph, and certainly through-
out the rest of the copy. So, I play around with a few possible
headlines for them that satisfy this requirement, then we pull
the first line of the copy straight out of their heads and gut:
It
(marriage, as referred to in the headline) hasn’t worked out
the way you envisioned it, has it
? So we’ve slammed them
with two “self-identifying” questions in the headline and
first sentence.

Then we list several unwanted things in their lives that
they never envisioned—things directly related to their
financial stress, and we further “call them out” by discussing
their particularly unique situation: that they make a good
income but continually coming up short. This rules out
other couples who don’t have that issue.

Then we slip on M&M’s “older and wiser couple” persona
with the next paragraph that begins, “We know.” And
continues on with the brief story of their financial struggles
twenty years ago and the constant fights they used to have,
inserting some of the accusations they hurled at each other,
which we know their market most certainly does as well. This
is another self-identifying tactic. And we conclude that
paragraph by saying, “we’ve weathered those storms and
are here to show you how to, too.”

Below that, in the center, is the title of their program and below
that, centered, is the thesis argument of their “brand
concept”
(Remember that? It’s a teaching point around
which their portal program revolves.) Theirs is that financial
struggle is directly related to a secret communication cycle
they can’t see. Below the thesis, we put the statement, You
must attend this special seminar to break free of that cycle
once and for all.” (That’s what I wrote about yesterday:
activating the compulsory need in humans to know). Then
we describe what they’ll learn in the 90-minute program and
conclude with logistical information such as where, when
and how to register.

Of course, I don’t write this on the fly; I spend time in off-call
hours constructing the final language, but we flesh out the
basics in this session.

I’m happy to provide some key pointers for your promotional
copy! I kept this post purposely vague for copyright purposes,
but there’s enough direction here for you to apply the general
concepts to your own marketing pieces.

TOMORROW IS THE DAY!! You can own this entire 8-session
consultation!
To see the first of two videos introducing the CD,
click here now!

Session 2 of 8 With Two Financial Coaches Who Want Clients

In the first session, M&M and I looked quite deeply at their
target market. What would be the natural next question?
How do you reach them? I call these your Touch Point 1
venues
. Lucky for me, I didn’t have to convince M&M that
speaking is hands-down the best way to connect with a
market; they had already done some speaking.

So in this session, we delve deeply
into this subject, again gathering
data and building upon it. Where
have they spoken before? Where
could they speak that they’d never
thought of, and which are the three
most effective venues? We decide
that to attract couples, they would
reach out to churches, libraries,
Barnes & Noble
(they could ostensibly
speak on Dave Ramsey’s book), and
local boards of education to see if they
promote workshops for parents.

From there, we begin to touch on content. What have they
spoken about in the past? Well, their previous topics have
been rather dry, focused on how to budget and reduce debt,
so I draw us into thinking about what would be most Brain-
Sticky
. To determine that, we must know who would be in
the audience (target market), and what would get them there.
So we need to understand the Trigger Event (see yesterday’s
post) and their market’s most acute pain, and of course
M&M’s special solution.

I advised them that this time, they need to give more than
just an information-based seminar. In this day and age,
I told them, you want your audiences to be transformed
in some way, right away. And you do that by taking them
through what I call the “Transformation Arc”: this is a certain
trajectory that guarantees a powerful shift in thinking and
very often a shift in behavior.  This “arc” begins by getting
their market immediately into the ugly emotion they deal
with (even unconsciously) every day. I call it “getting
them into the  ick.”

The male “M” of M&M, who has done all the presenting in
the past, is unsure of this direction. He has always worked
with audiences in what I call the “Old Paradigm,” where
he hauls out a Power Point (aaaaggghh!) and didactically
transfers knowledge, without much engagement with those
in the room. I point out to him that in order for his audience
to be moved enough in this  free “portal” talk to then buy
a service package with M&M, they must FEEL—and you can-
not tell someone to feel; you must set the stage for them to
experience emotion themselves. This, and only this, creates
transformation in them, and a far stronger interest in
buying.

Next, we need to solidly determine what the “ick” is for their
particular market. What is the emotional sludge these
couples are wading through, as it pertains to their financial
struggle? Well, in the next session, three, we hit pay dirt!
Together we figure this out and with that knowledge, we begin
to sketch out the Brain-Sticky concept of their portal,
signature program
…that could become the differentiation
for their entire business! Be sure to come back tomorrow to
see what it is!

As for you: is speaking on your list for strategies to get
more clients and build your list? What Touch Point 1 venues
will best reach your market? And what about the “ick” your
market stews in day in and day out—how can you have them
experience or come face to face with that “ick” in a talk you
give? Would love to hear your thoughts below! And feel free
to share this post so others can get eavesdrop, too!

The Precious First Few Minutes of a Presentation

Audiences will not listen to you just because you’re standing in front
of a room. Did you listen to your English teachers or Social Studies
teachers just because they were there? Of course not. The ones you
listened to were the ones who earned your listening. Adults may
be more politically correct than kids and give you the impression that
they’re listening—but unless you have earned it, they’re tuned out.

How do you “earn their listening”? First, let’s talk about how you
don’t. Just in any conversation, whether with one or one thousand
people, you lose their listening when you start out talking about
yourself
. They don’t care about you. Not yet. You have to earn
that. Begin by entering their world and showing them that you under-
stand them. That you respect them. When people are acknowledged,
they’re all ears.

You lose their listening if you don’t persuade them that they will
benefit from something you have to say. My daughter comes home
every day telling me “school was boring.” I don’t doubt it. Wasn’t it
boring when you went, too?  Her teachers are not enrolling  the kids
in the benefits of learning about fungi or Ancient Rome. You must
convince them that they’ll gain from listening to you–right from the
outset. If you fail at this, you’ve lost them for the rest of the ride.

You lose their listening if you’re not speaking their language. Literally.
Know the industry lingo. But at the same time, do not use your indus-
ry lingo with an audience who’s not in your industry!!! This kind of lack-
of-awareness is epidemic. Do you use words others don’t know to impress
them–or just because you’re not thinking?

You’ll lose their listening really fast if the language isn’t right, either.
 A particular pet peeve of mine is incorrect grammar. I can’t tell you how
many “professional speakers” don’t speak correct English. They lose my
listening the instant they mix up “me” with “I.” As in, “The team went to
the meeting with Roger and myself,” or “He was so much better than me
at selling.” Please read a grammar book if you’re unsure. 

You’ll lose their listening if you don’t tell them why you are up there.
 What are the education and credentials that make you worthy of their
listening? The best method is to tell us a story that explains what brought
you to this spot in front of the room. Perhaps it’s a before and after story;
or a story of an “aha” moment that changed everything. I don’t know any-
one who won’t listen to a good story. Do you really want to wow them?
Then tell them why you’re doing this over any other career/job in
the world. What about this compels you? Gets you up in the morning?
What’s in it for you? Why are you so passionate? When you answer this
for them, not only are they listening, but they’re beginning to see the
value of being in their seats.

And, of course, you lose their listening if you don’t know that.  If you
have no passion for your subject. It will show itself in your monotone
voice, flat facial expressions, slow movements, “ums” and slide-reading.
If the subject you’re speaking about isn’t worth your energy…it certainly
isn’t worth theirs!

I teach my clients and audiences how to “earn their listening”  from the
very first moment they step on stage, and, of course, how to keep
it throughout. There are many more elements to this process that are
subtle and absolutely essential. If you don’t get the results you want
from speaking in public; if you don’t get the reactions and the word of
mouth and the sales, check in to see how you “lost their listening.” Did
you start out talking about yourself? Fail to enroll them in the benefits of
listening to you? Did you speak “below” or “above” their heads? Give data
instead of a story?

Don’t worry. There’s always a next time! 

Today is the LAST DAY you can bring-a-colleague-free to my
2-day public speaking training based on the latest brain research. 
You will learn 2 sequences at this event–and the first is the 7-Point
Introduction: How to earn their listening right from the start. There
are a lot of videos you can watch on this page to see if this is the
seminar you need to attend next month. I hope to see you there!

Why is Power Point Okay for the Military…And You?

An Actual U.S. Military Power Point Slide

By now, you have certainly heard about, or read, the prominent
front-page article in today’s New York Times, entitled, We Have
Met the Enemy and He is Powerpoint
.”
Its focus is on the
prominence of this popular presentation software in the U.S. military
and the dangers it poses. General Stanley A. McChrystal, the leader of
American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, concluded, “Power
Point makes us stupid.”

The program, commanders feel, stifles discussions, critical thinking
and thoughtful decision-making. It “relieves the briefer of the need
to polish writing to convey an analytic, persuasive point.”  General
H.R. McMaster claims, “It’s dangerous because it can create the illu-
sion of understanding
and the illusion of control.”

They bandy about affectionate terms for the program, such as “Dumb-
Dumb Bullets
,” “death by PowerPoint,” and “hypnotizing
chickens
” (25-minute PowerPoint presentations with 5-minute Q
and A). I’m sure you have slung a few choice words toward the
screen yourself.

Despite all of this, the article concludes that the Microsoft program
is staying put in the military—the one faction of our population
we’d like to hope isn’t occupied by stupid, hypnotized chickens.

 So, I have one question for today: Why is this okay?

 Why is it okay for our military, corporations, schools—for ANYONE
—to not just perpetuate stupidity, but produce it? Why is it okay
for ANY leader to stifle discussions? To bank critical thinking?? To turn
decision-making from “thoughtful” to robotic? Why is it okay to
“relieve the briefer of the need to polish their writing to convey an
analytic point”? Where does writing originate? In thinking! If
writing isn’t polished, then we know the thinking that generated it had
ragged edges and holes—and there’s nothing more dangerous than sloppy,
careless thinking.

Why is this okay?

Why is it okay for you to give a presentation that “creates the illusion
of understanding”?? Do not get me started on the ineffectiveness of
knowledge-transfer in this world; how far too many “experts” are out
there teaching without any innate skill or training in teaching. “Creating
the illusion of understanding” is epidemic in this information-age and
why are we allowing it?

Why is it okay that the brains in our audiences are flat and unaffected?

Why is it okay to insult them, by dulling their senses with slides?

Why is it okay to give a presentation that disables the group
energy
because the humming monster up front sucks it all into
itself?  How is it okay, for anyone serious about making
an impact, to completely deny group energetic connection?

Why is it okay to disrespect the audience’s time, with content that is
going unprocessed?

Why is it okay for you that your audience is bored? Where are your
own high standards?

Why is it okay for you to think you cannot persuade without a
software program?

Why is it okay for you to think you cannot remember what needs
to be said, without the crutch of slides?

Why is it okay for you to suppress your own genius? To fail to
experience your own creativity, mental ingenuity and audience
leadership
—everything that rises to the surface when you give up
your dependency on Power Point?

Why is it okay for you to tamp down your own passion in favor of
the Power Point “intellect”—which DOES not sell, and DOES not
influence??

Why is it okay for you to speak and lead others—and yet harbor
insecurity about your own ability to touch, inspire and influence
without a machine?

Why is it okay for you to disconnect emotionally from the very
people who have the true power in the room: to move your message
forward, or squelch it?

Why is it okay for you to conform? To be more invested in “getting
approval” than getting results?

Why is it okay for you to be average as a leader??

The dangers posed to our national security because of “death by
Power Point” are varied and, for some, arguable—but one thing is
certain: this tolerance for substandard methods of knowledge-
transfer is pervasive.

We have become far too seduced by what others are doing, by what
is easy–to offer what works, what truly effects change…in rooms of
lively discussions, critical thinking and thoughtful decision-making.   

And my one question about it all is, why is that okay?

My public speaking training (coming in June)  teaches how to truly
“talk to the brain”–so your creativity explodes, and with it, your 
abilty to impact and influence audiences–without PowerPoint!
 Click here if you’re ready to “escape the wannabees” with your
presentations
.

What’s the Key to a Stimulating Presentation?

Do you remember in English class, we were told to “show, don’t tell” when writing fiction? That’s because it’s boring to “tell.” Here’s a quick example of “telling: Bob was tired. He walked to the sofa and lay down. The room was too bright and he covered his eyes.

How would we write it if we were to show this same scene, not tell? Bob rubbed his eyes and yawned. He stood up and dragged his feet across the wooden floor into the living room, where he collapsed with a heavy sigh onto the sofa. Sunlight streamed relentlessly upon him and he threw an arm across his eyes. This is more interesting and taps our visual and even auditory senses. We are more engaged and intrigued —i.e. more attentive.

But this is not a post on writing, so what’s my point? My point is that “telling” in any format—writing or speaking—is boring! And when you’re speaking, your audience will lose interest if you “tell.” This is called the “pour and snore” technique!


Yet, do you know that 80% of
presenters I see “tell” almost
exclusively?
And 99.99% “tell”
far too often?

So, when you’re speaking, what’s the alternative to ‘telling’? Asking.

Here’s one of my firm mottos:  Whenever you would tell, ask a question instead.

Glance up three lines. Do you see that I asked a question–“Yet, do you know that…?” I could have made it a statement, couldn’t I?
Where I would have said, “80% of presenters I see…” But I asked a question. And look back in this paragraph. I posed two questions that most people would have made as statements. “Do you see that…?” would have been, typically, “Glance up three lines. You’ll see that I asked a question.” And rather than write, “I could have made it a statement, couldn’t I?most would have told instead: “I could have made it into a statement.”

Have you ever seen an Improv comedy show? One of the games is the Question Game. Two members begin: one asks a question, the other must answer with a question. The member who answers with a statement, or whose mind goes blank, goes to the back of the line, and the next troupe member plays against the winner. Obviously, the last member standing is the one who has succeeded in asking only questions all the way through. Kind of fun, isn’t it?

I would go so far as to say the speaker/presenter who asks questions all the way through his presentation will be the last one standing.

Even if you are a natural born question-asker—as coach or reporter or interviewer—it will still be challenging to take this on. We’ve been taught by our educational system that the person in front of the room knows everything and is there to “pour information” into us.

Despite hating the effect of “information download” when we’re in the audience, we tend to perpetuate it on stage because we haven’t been taught to ask questions.

How on earth can you ask questions all the time, you may ask? Well, can you envision one of your main teaching points and how you usually express it? Or a single statement you might make? What would it be like, turned into a question?  (Please note 4 questions in this paragraph.)

All right, let’s try an example, shall we? Say you’re
giving a presentation on the most advanced techni-
ques available for screwing in a light bulb. So, there you are and you’ve got a light bulb in one hand and a fake socket on a demonstration table next to you.
With me so far? A typical presenter would tell her audience how to insert the light bulb: “First, make sure all electricity has been turned off. Next, rattle
the light bulb to make sure it makes no sound—that means it’s new. Finally, make sure there is no water nearby.”

So, how boring is that?! Can’t you just imagine everyone in that audience nodding off? How can we turn it into a question-based presentation
instead?

Can you tell me what you think we’re going to be doing here today?”
Answer: “Screwing in a light bulb.”

“And for what reason?” Answer: “To make light.”

“Excellent. Before we screw it in, what are some safety precautions we should take?” They think of the water and turning off the electricity, but not ensuring that the light bulb is new. So, you shake the bulb and ask, “What do you think this might tell me?”

There you have a very brief example, but can you see what it does for the attentiveness of those in the group? The brain cannot abide an un-answered question. It’s like not answering a ringing phone. Your brain is compelled to answer.

Can you see that “telling” does not activate
the brain at all? It keeps it in a passive state—
which is the kiss of death for attentiveness,
comprehension and retention! Curiosity pro-
duces chemical reactions in the body that
directly stimulate learning and recall.

So, what’s the bad news for you? Well, you don’t get to show off every-thing you know when you’re asking questions—which can be a problem
for many experts, right? But that’s not what you’re there to do, is it?You’re there to enable the audience to see how much it knows.

So, what’s the motto you want to keep front and center when you’re delivering a presentation? Wherever you could tell, ask.

Got it? Do you promise to ask a LOT more questions? Do you think you already do? Let me assure you—you could almost never ask too many questions. Not if your goal is to stimulate a peak state of learning.

Join me tomorrow, April 7th at 7:30pm for my last free teleclass on “the new paradigm” of public speaking. Learn why it is we “tell” and don’t ask (it comes from an archaic cultural influence)–and find out what the other 3 influences are that destine you to be ineffective (and mediocre) with audiences. Read more and register here. It’s tomorrow!

Are Your Presentations Moving with the Times?

For the next few weeks, I’m focusing my posts on public speaking
because it’s key to changing the world. Today, I want to send you
over to an eye-opening video on YouTube that has, on the surface,
nothing to do with speaking–and yet nothing we do in any part of
our lives is exempt from the message contained in this video. 

The video tell us “We are living in exponential times“–and it
then proceeds to make its point: in 2006, there were 2.7 billion
Google searchs. Two years later, there were 31 billion!! Did you
read that right? In 1984 there were 1,000 internet devices. In
’92, there were 1 million. In ’08–1 trillion. Exponential times.

A company in Japan is testing a fiber optic cable that can send 
14 trillion bits of information per second down a single strand
of fiber…this is equal to 210 millon phone calls per second.

Ever heard for an exabyte? It’s (4 x10 ^19). Equal to 1 billion
gigabytes.
It looks like this: 1,000,000,000,000,000,000. The
video estimated that in ’08, 4 exabytes of unique information
would be generated. More than in the previous 5,000 years.

We are living in exponential times. The world is humming at 
frequencies never known before. Obsolescence is occuring some-
where every second. With this mind-boggling upsurge in speed,
our brains are being rewired; we are thinking differently and 
learning differently. The brain is plastic; it changes and grows
and the way we integrated information twenty years ago in
high school doesn’t apply. And it doesn’t apply for those we’re
teaching and coaching.

Are your current attempts at knowledge-transfer (ie. your pre-
sentations) humming as fast as the rest of the world? Are they
provocative enough to capture the attention of minds fractured
by constant stumuli? Are they as new as the latest App? Are
the ideas you’re presenting “escaping the wannabees” and gener-
ating exponential growth?

Maybe those are high standards for a single presentation. But
I’m not one to wrap myself up in cozy excuses and I bet you
aren’t either.  I believe if we are worth our salt as leaders and as
conveyors of information, we must measure the quality of our
content against the pace of the world–and that of course, begins 
with the big-picture question, Is my business keeping up with
the breath-stealing acceleration of the times we’re in? If not,
what must I do? If so, how do I ensure my presentations do the
same?

I teach a “new paradigm”
of audience leadership–
but this video got me
asking the question,
How can it be even
newer
? How can I speed
up what I’m teaching to
meet the frequency of the
world’s vibration?

I’m giving a free 90-minute teleclass on the “old paradigm” of
public speaking, and its replacement: the new paradigm based on
the latest brain research. I’m sending you away to watch the
YouTube video–but before you go, I invite you to sign up for the
teleclass on April 7th. It’s provocative and will shift how you think
about speaking in public You can read all about it here.

Then go check out the video I’ve talked about today, Did You Know?

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