Filling the Sales Funnel

Episode 41: Filling the Sales Funnel, with Andy Buyting

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Filling the sales funnel, an insightful episode with Andy Buyting. Learn how to convert leads by filling the sales funnel.

Andy Buyting is an expert in thought leadership and content marketing. His “integrated content” strategy has served both himself and his clients exceedingly well particularly on filling the sales funnel.

Andy’s thought leadership journey started when he published his first business book in 2007 and started publishing his first magazines in 2009. Since that time, he has leveraged his integrated approach to print, digital and interactive marketing strategies to establish himself as a thought leader in content marketing and brand positioning.

Andy’s 2nd book, How to Win Clients & Influence People, is now in its 2nd edition and is an International Bestseller on Amazon. In 2021, Andy co-authored Double Sales/ Zero Salespeople: Optimize Your Sales and Marketing Into One Business Development Strategy That Works!

Through Tulip Media Group, his team of marketing coordinators perform like superheroes!


What you will learn about in this episode of filling the sales funnel:

  • How Andy and his Tulip team build a sales machine beginning at step one of lead generation
  • How Andy’s business development assembly line approach can improve performance
  • The steps to create an effective website with message content that converts prospects into client partners
  • Why a call to action must be clear and intentional to connect with prospective clients in the most effective way
  • Andy’s guide for getting on the fast track to filling the sales funnel



Filling the Sales Funnel: Full Episode Transcript


Welcome to the Sell with Authority podcast. I’m Stephen Woessner, CEO of Predictive ROI. My team and I created this podcast specifically for you. So if you’re an agency owner, a business coach, or a strategic consultant and you’re looking to grow a thriving, profitable business that can weather the constant change that seems to be our world’s reality, you’re in the right place.


You want proven strategies for attracting a steady stream of well-prepared, right-fit prospects into your sales pipeline. Yep, we’re going to cover that. You want to learn how to step away from the sea of competitors so you actually stand out on your own the ground you’re standing on. Yeah, we’re going to cover that too. Do you want to future-proof your business so you can navigate the next challenges that come your way?


Filling the sales funnel, a challenging task for you? Absolutely, we’ll help you there as well. I promise you each episode of this podcast will contain valuable insights and tangible examples of best practices. Never theory. From thought leaders, experts, and owners who have done exactly what you’re working hard to do. So I want you to think practical and tactical. Never any fluff. Each of our guests has built a position of authority and then monitors that position by claiming their ground, by growing their audience, by nurturing leads, and, yes, converting sales.


But all the while they did it by being helpful. So every time someone from their audience turned around there, they were given a helpful answer to an important question. So their prospect, it’s never, ever felt like they were a prospect. I also promise you every strategy that we discuss, and every tool we recommend will be shared in full transparency in each episode so you can plant your flag of authority, so you can claim your ground and fill your sales pipeline with a steady stream of right fit clients who never, ever, ever were made to feel like one of your prospects.


Learn more about Andy and filling the sales funnel strategy by visiting his website


Filling the Sales Funnel: Andy Buyting’s Introduction


Okay, so I am super excited for you to meet our very special guest expert today, Andy Buyting. In case you’re meeting Andy for the first time, he’s the founder and CEO of Tulip Media and the author of several books, including How to Win Clients and Influence People. Awesome title and the book he co-authored last year entitled Double Sales zero Salespeople Optimize Your Sales and Marketing into One Business Development Strategy That Works.


Amazing title. Candidly, when I read the title Double Sales Zero Salespeople, I was immediately curious, intrigued, and wanted to learn more. Why? Well, it is a rare day that goes by when I don’t have a conversation with someone in our community about Dev winning that next new client, hiring a sales team, or the frustrations of all of those that keep people awake at night when they think about scaling.


So when I learned that Andy shared and wrote about important topics like how to build a sales machine, how to fill a sales funnel, and how to create websites that convert qualified leads automatically in his Double Sales Zero Salespeople book, I thought, okay, this is a conversation that we need to have and we’re going to focus on those three topics because it’s going to be a helpful conversation.


I promise you that the insights and wisdom that Andy shares will provide you with the necessary ingredients as you build out, or maybe potentially tweak or revise your sales plan recipe for 2023. Okay. So without further ado, welcome to the Sell with Authority podcast. Andy, I am so excited to be here. Steve And this is going to be, this is going to be a fun discussion.


I feel it already. Amen to that. I agree this is going to be a blast because your expertise, as I mentioned in the introduction, your expertise, Lyons aligns so perfectly with the questions we get all the time here at Predictive. So before we dive into that, which is just going to be a blast, take us behind the curtain here and share a little bit more context about your path and journey and then we’ll dive in.


Join our open mic Q&A to address any questions on filling the sales funnel


Filling the Sales Funnel: How It All Started


Sure, sure. So for myself, I grew up on a farm. You know, my father, my uncle farmed. And so we grew up working at a young age. And I always joke that my sport in junior high and high school was farm work. It wasn’t on any team. So we learned work ethic there.


And I’ve always been an entrepreneur. So it all happened when I was a teenager, we moved into town and my parents got into a retail home and garden center. As I grew up in that business, I took over that business. We grew it, we scaled it. I always loved the marketing side of things that was always a draw to me.


Even during school, you know, we scaled our business. And when I took over the business, we did 800,000 business. And when I exited it would have been about 12 years later we did about six and a half million dollars in business. So, wow, you’re grown. It grew fairly substantially. And then figuring out what I wanted to do next I ended up following my passion and really following marketing.


And we launched what is now Tulsa Media about eight years ago or yeah, eight, eight, nine years ago. And it was really where we started it. We started by serving client partners in doing custom publishing for their business, like we would help them create, write their content and then create and send out printed newsletters or magazines. That’s how we started.


And then we started optimizing content online for SEO and really getting good at keyword strategy and how to bring people to websites. And it just evolved from there. And now Tulip Media, you know, we do it depends on what is needed, the right strategy for the client partner. But we do a number of different things where we’ll set up the strategy and implement that strategy for client partners, making it super easy, effective and making it really enjoyable for them to go through and execute on a digital and a digital marketing strategy that brings in real qualified leads.


And then we can optimize referrals and engagement through some print media as well. But the digital component is much, you know, a much bigger part of the business now obviously than print is. And that’s how Tulip was born and Tulip Media was born and how the Tulip team has grown and where we really specialize now. Okay. So before we David, just a quick clarification here because I’ve been hearing things recently from people in our space that that print is not dead.


And because, you know, for years as digital was doing this kind of resurgence. It was very common to say, print’s dead, you know, our direct mail is dead. So I would love to get your take on that. Is print dead or is it still a relevant channel? It’s still very relevant. And, you know, Deloitte put out a study a few years ago and it was called Digital is Growing.


Learn more about Andy and filling the sales funnel strategy by visiting his website


Filling the Sales Funnel: Share Great Content for Your Audience to Enjoy


The print is not dead. That’s what it’s called. And what they found was that most people, if they’re if you’re creating content to really engage your audience and especially, you know, they segregate two different genres of content. But if you’re creating, for instance, business content, you know, and you know your agencies, your audience, your coaches, your advisors, they’re working with business owners, operators or managers, you know, business leaders, especially business content.


Filling the sales funnel needs to have a smooth start. If you send someone a business article in an email, they will print it off and read it 84% of the time. Really. So because you’re in print, it has a longer shelf life on digital. You know, how many times have you flip through LinkedIn and you see an interesting article, right? You ever go back to that article, you literally never exactly.


You either consume it in the moment like in magazines or newsletters. If you have great content, great information that you know that is worth sharing that your audience is going to enjoy and it’s going to be of value to them. If you send it to them in print format, they’re much more apt to read it. Then sending out a digital email, I love that.


Okay. And thank you for sharing the numbers too. We’re big fans of stats as opposed to marketing hyperbole, so I love that. So thank you very much for that. Okay, so let’s dive into these three pieces that you and I have been chatting about over the last couple of days. I say the last couple of days, everybody in full transparency because thank you for your grace again, Andy.


Join our open mic Q&A to address any questions on filling the sales funnel


Filling the Sales Funnel: Evolving Your Business Throughout the Years


And shifting schedules. I was having some technical issues as we got kind of bombarded by a winter storm here in Wisconsin. So yesterday’s my audio yesterday sounded like it the great to end so anyway not very good and we rescheduled for today so thank you again feels better today. Yeah so we talked about these three points about how to build a sales machine and how to fill a sales funnel.


And then creating websites for converting qualified leads is amazing. So let’s start a list. Let’s go to the 30,000-foot view first. Let’s get your point of view and an interpretation around like when we hear build a sales machine from your perspective, what does that mean? So this was an inspiration by Justin Rothman, who wrote the book called Dumb Machine.


And what the way we look at it with tools, we’ve kind of taken that and evolved and put our own spin on it. But with everyone in our tools team we talk about, we actually talk about it as a business development assembly line. And what I want everyone to picture is back over 100 years ago or so when Henry Ford was creating the assembly line, he did not invent the automobile.


He created the assembly line that made it affordable for people to buy automobiles. And when he built the assembly line, you know, before Henry Ford built it, build an assembly line, automobiles were created by craftsmen, and the same person would source the material, would put the chassis together, would put the body on the engine, and it would, you know, do the interior would bring it all the way through to the end.


And it made for a beautiful automobile. It wasn’t standardized, and it would, but it was very expensive. Now, Henry Ford created the assembly line where one person focuses on the chassis and then the next person puts the wheels on, then the next person drops the engine, and then the next person, the next station puts the body and the next station does the interior and so on.


Learn more about Andy and filling the sales funnel strategy by visiting his website


Filling the Sales Funnel: Creating An Effective Sales Process


I’m not an expert in automobile manufacturing, but you get the idea and then as time evolved, a lot of those stations became automated through robots and so on. So if you think of your business development process as an assembly line, I always take our own company as an example. So that tool of media, we have an eight-step business development process.


The first one is finding prospects, you know, sourcing prospects, then there’s lead generation, then there’s, you know, once we get their attention, then there’s an intro call, then there’s a, you know, some sort of a demo. Then there’s a confirmation call. You know, you know your audience or maybe your audience is clients. What is that business development assembly line?


Each step, you know, whether it’s eight steps or 12 steps or six steps, it doesn’t matter. For us, it’s eight steps between where we spend a dime of time or resources working on a sale until we actually close the sale. There are eight steps there. Clearly identified. Okay. Now, if you think of that as eight stations in an assembly line, what you want to do is instead of having you know, when we first started the business, I had a whole sales team.


We had a sales team of seven people, including the sales manager, and they would own almost all eight steps. They would find their list of prospects, they would do their own lead generation, they would get the attention, they would do the intro calls, help with demos, you know, try to close those sales rates from beginning to end.


And we now have a tool that we look at it much differently and think, okay, if this is a business development assembly line and there’s eight stations, how do we optimize each station? Now looking at it from the human capital lens, you know, the first thing we would do is say, you know what, we actually should hire a student or a researcher to find prospects.


You know, maybe there’s someone else that’s really good at lead generation and we should have them making Bill 1500 phone calls a day. And then, you know, the next step, once we get somebody that is interested, we have someone else who’s really good at intake and building rapport. You know, that first step of the sales process, connecting with the person and getting to understand them a little bit better so that they could hand it off to the next person who can, you know, do a really customized demo that’s specific for their company, you know, and then whatever the next steps are.


Join our open mic Q&A to address any questions on filling the sales funnel


Filling the Sales Funnel: Properly Executing Each Sales Process


But, you know, if you look at those eight steps, you could theoretically say they should be done by different people so that you can optimize each station, the assembly line. Now you take it a step further and you say, what can we automate? And that’s what we do. A tool of media is when we work with a new client partner, we outline what we want to understand, what is the sales process, and what are those six steps eight steps, or 12 steps?


What are they? Sometimes they don’t. People don’t even have them. So we work with them to create even a rough draft of a, you know, a sales process. And then we say, okay, with our methodology, we’re going to automate the first two or three or four. You know, in our case with Tool Media Group, you know, we automate essentially we leverage digital marketing to automate the first 3 to 4 stages of our eight-stage sales process so that we then can optimize each of those stations in the beginning, leveraging digital marketing, and then later we consult with them on their sales process.


So, you know, once we leverage digital marketing to get qualified leads to generate those qualified leads, and then we talk to them about, okay, how do you track those who do those go to who, who takes that first phone call? And it may not be the sales specialist, it may not be the product specialist. It may be, you know what, Suzy, who’s really good at building rapport and connecting with people and being interested in them, because in that early, you know, in that early sell or sorry, in the first conversations, it really is, you know, we the way we look at it, for instance, is it’s a 30-minute phone conversation.


It’s 25 minutes of talking about them and understanding their business, their strategy, and what they’re trying to accomplish. And then the last 5 minutes is saying, yeah, you know, if we believe we understand them better, that we can help talk about saying, yeah, we can help you out by developing the strategy for business development in your company, leveraging digital tools, filling the sales funnel, and so on as well as print.


And we can help you out. And we should do a customized demo where we can show you what we can do for your company. And then they literally will hand that off to a product special guest who has knowledge in that person’s industry, who can speak their lingo, who can share with them what they’ve learned from other client partners.


And so on. So, you know, going through our sales process, you’re working with technology, you’re interacting with technology at the beginning. Yup. Then you’re interacting with probably three people through the rest of the sales process, and that’s what really works. So that’s our business development assembly line approach we try to take with, any new client partner that we work with.


Learn more about Andy and filling the sales funnel strategy by visiting his website


Filling the Sales Funnel: Reviewing And Improving Each Sales Process


Okay, so let me give this back to you. I captured four steps in my notes. They kind of wrap around all of this, but you tell me if I missed anything here so high level. First, we had to build the assembly line with the number of appropriate stations. Yours, obviously, has eight. We need to build the assembly line.


Step number one. Step number two, you need to Then once the assembly line is running smoothly, then step number two is look for opportunities to optimize the function of each station so that we can improve performance and evaluate that step Number three is then to automate as many of the stations as possible. You mentioned like can you automate the first three or four?


But we need to automate as many stations as possible without negatively affecting performance obviously. And then four is it sounds like there’s a continuous review and improvement review and improvement review and approval. Am I tracking you? There’s always review, review, and improvement. You’re absolutely right. And yeah, because when your business changes, technology changes the way people buy changes, so you’re always reviewing and improving.


Yes, I love that. And again, everyone, this is why I was excited to have this conversation with Andy because, you know, it’s often Andy like you and I were talking about that, that owners will say, for Pete’s sake, I got it. Maybe they see their hat in all eight stations or whatever the number of stations is right there.


Like it just feels overwhelming. The burden is big. It’s like pushing a boulder up the hill. They’re in the trenches generating the lead, then qualifying the lead, then maybe making the pitch and all of that. And I think what you’re saying is, wait a minute, step behind the curtain here first, build the assembly line and then you can actually have a cast of characters.


They can do each session so you don’t have to wear all eight hats if there are eight, right? That’s right. Yeah. And if you have, you know, even if you have, you know, two, one or two or three, let’s say, you know, if you’re an advisor and you have an assistant that works with you, that assistant could actually take the first phone calls.


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Filling the Sales Funnel: Assigning The Right Member to The Right Process


You could automate the first two or three or four steps of your business development assembly line, leveraging digital marketing, which we’ll dive into here shortly, and the various digital tactics. Then, maybe your assistant can take that first intake phone call to understand and get to know the business a little bit more so that he or she can then do a couple of things.


They can weed out the folks that are not a good fit, saving you a lot of time and can get to understand their business a little bit better and be able to say that, yeah, you know, we can help you out or we can’t help you out. And by the way, you know, if you work with us, here are our expectations for you.


And so long as it’s a good fit on both sides, then that phone call could be handed off to you to have a deeper conversation with that prospect. So, you know, you can do a lot of things too. I’m always a fan of whatever you’re really good at. That’s where you should be working. If you’re not good at what I think about myself personally, Stephen is, you know, I’m not. We have people on the team who are in actual production, people who are much better at it than I am and are really good at rapport-building.


I have a hard time with that. It’s just a personality thing. But those folks have a really hard time closing a sale, especially if it’s a large sale, which, you know, so quite often I will get involved in the sales process at the later stages, either stage seven or stage eight when we’re actually closing. And they’re saying, look, you know, here, here’s the you know, it looks like maybe a good fit.


Our CEO is really interested in meeting you. They would love to have a quick conversation. And, you know, could we schedule that call? And I can jump on to a call and I can close deals really, really well. I’m very comfortable in that space. And that’s where my sweet spot is. My sweet spot. I’d actually be doing a detriment to the company if I started taking those early phone calls.


Yeah, it’s a great recognition of gifts. Right? We all have our own gifts and talents and also that highlights a mistake that sometimes is very common, feeling like, I got to do this entire process. But the reality is, we’re not great at each of the stations. And so, figuring out which station is really aligned with your gifts and talents is smart.


And it also frees up capacity and you can focus more on stages seven and eight or whatever the stages are where you’re great. So let’s take a quick break. And when we come back, everyone, we’re going to step into the second topic, which is the sales funnel piece, like how to build a sales funnel. So, Andy, thanks very much for that first piece.


And we’ll be back in just a second. Okay, everyone, we are back and we’re going to step into the second piece, which I had originally intended to be about how to fill a sales funnel. And then, during the break he said, Hey, can I throw you a curveball? Can we go to the website piece first? I’m like, okay, you’re today’s expert buddy.


Learn more about Andy and filling the sales funnel strategy by visiting his website


Filling the Sales Funnel: Monitor Every Data to Guarantee Conversions


So you’re steering the ship. So let’s do that. So now we’re going to go into how to create websites that convert leads. So Andy, take it away. All right. You know, when we work with any new client partner here in the media, one of the things that we do is, you know, everybody in digital marketing, they have this a lot of people approach it, say, you know, we can bring more traffic to your website.


We can, you know, increase the number of people visiting your website or engaging with you on social media and so on. So far, however, we have always started with the website. Once we understand the business strategy where they want to go, we develop their business development strategy. Then the tools team will start by looking at their website.


The reason why we do that is because the website is your storefront for the whole world. And the metaphor I always use of you is opening up a retail store. Would you start advertising your new retail store and then go back and build the store, you know, stock the shelves, train the staff, and so on? No, you would actually do that in reverse.


You build the store, stock the shelves, you’ll merchandise the product, train the staff, sweep off the front doorstep, and then invite people in. So that’s why I want to start with the website: if you don’t have a website that converts, you can be throwing a lot of traffic to it, and you are just wasting money. Okay, So hang on just a second, though, before we. So when you say a website that converts, in your opinion, what does like what is a website that is converting?


Well, like what should that conversion rate be in your opinion? Sure. So until we don’t, we are we monitor traffic, we monitor phase, you know, social engagements and so on. But what I really care about is what we call what we call conversions. And it’s usually three things, one or three things. What we measure is how many times do we make your phone ring?


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Filling the Sales Funnel: Tracking The Trends


How many times do we have people fill out a contact form on your website looking for more information about the product or service you’re selling? Or how many times do we have prospects book a meeting in your calendar before you’ve even got out of bed in the morning. That’s what we measure. That’s our measurement of success. That’s what we track.


And even our internal dashboards, you know, we track this, we track the trends, always wanting to make sure trends are going upward if they’re going, you know, short term trends are going downwards, we dig into them fast and fix them before client partner ever even realizes there was a little blip in a downward trend because Google changed their algorithm on something.


Who knows, right? Well, let me just make sure I’m getting this in my notes here correctly. The three, I think I heard you say calls. Yep. Contact form, booking, meeting. Welcome. Meeting. That’s okay. Got it. All right. Perfect. Thank you. Sorry to interrupt. I just wanted to make sure that I had those three in my notes correctly.


Okay, So we and having a really effective website and or landing pages is so critical and it all starts there. You are wasting your money. If you’re spending money on any form of digital advertising or marketing, whatever form that might look like without getting an effective website, first read and I’ll share the story of one of our client partners in New Jersey, you know, a large insurance agency, she said.


Learn more about Andy and filling the sales funnel strategy by visiting his website


Filling the Sales Funnel: Embracing SEO Basics for Better Performance


I’m getting a lot of heat from the president because of our website, you know, you Google Insurance and New Jersey, and even though they’re one of the larger agencies in the state, she said we’re showing up on page eight of Google. And I don’t understand what’s going on. This was before we started to work with them and a real quick audit, the first thing that was very noticeable is that the word insurance appeared nowhere on the homeowner homepage.


And when we showed that to them, they said, no, no, it does. It’s right here, it’s in the logo. Yeah, but whoever built your website didn’t even put a meditate, didn’t even label the logo because Google can’t read, can’t read a graphic and the way they had their graphics. So you couldn’t read the word insurance or Google can’t on a picture.


You have to tell Google what that picture is. These are very basic things that you know, that help with search engine optimization, So on that they had totally missed. And when they went back to their web developer who put it together, the response was that it was very clear you wanted esthetics and you know, you wanted the website to be optimized for esthetics.


You said nothing about functionality or SEO functionality. Yeah, there was a big mess. Yeah. So, you know, I mean, that’s a really basic one. But for us, our Tula process, we actually want people to come on to the website and there is a science to it there, There is a way to do it and there’s a, there’s a process to follow where you want to.


You mentioned it earlier in your introduction. You talked about prospects never feeling like a prospect. How do we make prospects never feel like a prospect? And there is a way to do it. There’s a way to create your website, and it’s in the messaging, and web developers are not most of them. The vast majority of them are not trained to do this well.


Join our open mic Q&A to address any questions on filling the sales funnel


Filling the Sales Funnel: Be The Hero to Your Client’s Villain


They can create visual and technological effects beautifully, but to work and connect with the person on a psychological level and bring them through a journey. Most are not good at it. And that’s what we really focus on, is what is the mindset of the right, you know, your core customer. So, we start by defining the core customer when you’re filling the sales funnel.


Okay? You figure out, you know, they always say what their needs and wants are, but we go really deep on that. Okay, look at their pains and fears. And, you know, one of the things that we look at is who the villain is. You know, we want to paint the picture, and we look at our client partners as Luke Skywalker.


We’re Yoda. You know, we’re never the knight in shining armor. They’re here. It’s their hero’s journey. We are just the guide to help them get there. And every great hero has a villain that they’re fighting against. And oftentimes it’s not what you think of in their own company. I was just told as an example, we always thought the villain was competitors.


Well, it’s not usually it’s not. You know, if for us, the villain is Google, we define it as Google because digital marketing is confusing. So, to put a face on it, the villain is Google. If you want to get it, get good at digital marketing. Your biggest impediment to doing that is this complicated world of digital marketing.


So that’s the villain. You know, if you’re selling insurance, you know, commercial insurance, for instance. Well, the villain is that most business owners don’t understand insurance, so it’s actually the product that they’re buying that is partially the villain. Insurance is complicated. It’s hard to know, you know, do I have the right coverage? You know, you don’t. Anyway, you want to understand the psyche of your customers, and you want to meet them where they’re at with the messaging.


Learn more about Andy and filling the sales funnel strategy by visiting his website


Filling the Sales Funnel: Identifying The External and Internal of The Client


So there is a scientific way, and we have a process that we follow where we identify, you know, who is the core customer, what problem do they have, what are their pain points, what are their external fears? You know, the things that are obvious, but also the internal fears. What are the things that they are really worried about, like making a wrong decision?


For instance, we have one client, a fire truck, and the internal problem is a fire chief making a three quarter million dollar decision on buying a fire truck and making the wrong decision for their community. That’s their internal fear, right? So we talk to them about that in the messaging of the website and say that this is complicated.


You probably haven’t written an RFP in five years, like even what to put in an RFP. Maybe it can be confusing, maybe daunting for you, but we can help you. We’ve been in this industry for 35 years, and we can help you in their case; the strategy we talk about is to help their prospects. Those fire chiefs write an RFP that will allow them to serve their community and ensure that you know, they have a really good process for buying and making that purchasing decision, not a new fire engine.


Well, that’s this interesting thing you mentioned. Let me just interrupt for a second because, like the fire trucks piece, for example, excuse me is a really great one. Here’s why. Like, if I’m a manufacturer of fire trucks and or fire prevention equipment or firefighting equipment, forgive me if I’m getting the terminology wrong, but like I think the temptation, let’s say an engineer’s writing that copy, I think a temptation would be to talk about features, advantages, and benefits.


And I think what you’re saying is like performance, cement and that kind of stuff, talk, towing capacity, you know, whatever. But I think what you’re saying is those things are indeed important to probably meet the spec of the RFP from a literal perspective, but then also needing to speak to the fire chief so that he or she will see that, you know, fire chiefs or fire stations that purchase this truck and or whatever, the community is safer because the firefighters and the crews riding along on this are safer because and in so that that person can make a decision based on what is keeping them using your words up at night, which is the safety of their community and probably even first and foremost, the safety of their crew, so that we identify as the external problem that, yeah, it is absolutely something that keeps them up. But really deep down, what the internal problem is with the fire chief in the one that they don’t speak about, is the fear of making the wrong decision, you know, the fear of, you know, most of them, this is the most people don’t spend three course of million dollars on one shot you’ll often right there in fire chiefs of the same.


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Filling the Sales Funnel: Learning From the Past to Refine the Process


So most of them are saying, okay, I want to make sure I got the right equipment. Yes. Externally, what people will look at me and say is that the fire chief has a lot of pressure to buy the right truck to serve the community, which is absolutely true internally. They’re worried about actually making the wrong purchasing decision. And of course, it terrifies them, right?


That terrifies them. So we present a client part of this, a manufacturing manufacturer, in the light that let us be your guide, let us share, let us give you some RFP templates that are updated for 2023. And let us give you a checklist of the 13 things or the 18 things that you need to look at when considering a new fire engine.


And by the way, here you know, there’s a lot of new technology around fire engines, but really, here’s a white paper boiling down kind of the essentials that you really need to be aware of. Yeah, there’s different sizes, horsepower, pumps and so on and so forth. But here’s some technology that’s come out in the last few years that you really want to be aware of and maybe consider as part of your RFP.


Learn more about Andy and filling the sales funnel strategy by visiting his website


Filling the Sales Funnel: Proper Website Messaging Will Return Conversions


So we help them be a guide to really address their internal fear, which is the fear that they don’t share with most people, but it is the fear that will motivate them and build that trust and connect with them. The great analogy to to you, Stephen, is a way I heard at one time is if you were sitting at a bar and somebody came up next to you and sat down and started complaining to the bartender about a problem that they had confiding in the bartender about a problem that they had that your product or service can solve for them, How would you approach them?


Would you say, Hey, you know, I just overheard and couldn’t help but overhear your conversation? You know, we have a product that does X, Y, and Z, and here’s all the features and benefits. You’re going to lose them. Yes, It’s going to feel like a sales pitch. But if you say, you know, I can’t help but overhear, what’s your name?


You know, Stephen. Great. I’m Andy. Look, it’s going to be tough. I like how you talk about these problems. Like, I bet you’re dealing with this as well, you know, and this and this and, you know, how are you handling this? You know? But you got to meet them where they’re at. You got to talk to them, and they’re like, Yeah, this guy gets me.


And then you can say, you know, just so happens, I’ve been helping folks like you for the last 20 years and, you know, I can really you know, I believe I could help you by giving you a few tools that may help you with your situation. Would you be interested all of a sudden now you’ve caught them, right?


That messaging in websites is so important. And when I talk about effective websites that convert, you’ve got to capture them. You get to connect with them where they’re at, build that trust, build yourself as an authority. You’ve got to convince Luke Skywalker that you’re Yoda and that you can help them. And then, you know, and then you’ve got to guide them.


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Filling the Sales Funnel: Directing Your Audience to The Next Step


You’ve got to tell them exactly what to do. And so many websites have so many features, benefits and off links to this YouTube video and this and this and this. You know, when somebody gets on your website and gets captured, if you give them off ramps off your website, you have a chance of losing them.


You’ve got to bring them into the website, capture their attention, get them to read more, and tell them what to do next. You know? Are you interested in learning a little bit more? If so, here’s what to do. Book a call, click. It goes to a calendar link. You book a call in their calendar, you know, and the first time we hear from a prospect is when there’s an actual, you know, meeting booked in our calendar.


Yeah this is why I love the Luke Yoda story and, for selfish reasons, the first Empire Strikes Back movie in the three trilogies. I love it. And for some reason I always loved the middle movie in a trilogy and The Empire Strikes Back. It’s certainly that, but it is amazing. And what is really cool about that is there’s a there’s, you know, in that sort of segment when they’re in the swamp and he meets Yoda, the master Yoda, and he’s like, you’re basically you’re Yoda.


Yoda then tries to teach Luke how to use force and raise the X-Wing out of the water. Luke obviously fails miserably and says it’s impossible. And then a day or two goes by, and hears Yoda raising the small little Yoda raising X-Wing and you know, basically like, how did you do that? And how come I failed?


Yes. Because you knew that you would fail, and so that’s such a great example of, like what you’re talking about here, be the Yoda show, how it is possible and how to do it right. Not hyperbole, how to do it right. And then that does establish authority, just like you did it. Yeah, yeah. And then if you get that messaging right and then have a clear call to action and there’s a famous marketing guy in Nashville and he has this, he is doing this seminar, there’s a workshop around marketing and telling people what to do.


And he said, okay. And a whole audience, a whole auditorium full of people. He said, I want everyone to line up single file, and we’re going to go out this door. Everybody lines up, they walk out and he goes on the street and has a bullhorn. He said, People will go where you tell them to go. All right, Then everybody laughs.


Then they go back inside. You got to tell people, like at the bottom of your landing page, don’t have, you know, learn about us, your core values. This you’ll learn about our products that are in the different states that we operate in and all this stuff. No, it goes down to one button, right? It’s learning more. Give us a call, Central.


A call in. I think Don is really, really smart. His story brand stuff is really great. Part of it is telling great stories and then because it helps capture attention and helps develop rapport using one of your words from a few minutes ago. And then when you’ve established that you’re right then your audience, your prospects, your right fit prospects, if you’ve done a good job in making them feel like they’re not a prospect, they will say, We’re they will either audibly say or wonder what the next step is.


Learn more about Andy and filling the sales funnel strategy by visiting his website


Filling the Sales Funnel: Setting Your Call-To-Action


So, to your point about filling the sales funnel, if you don’t provide clear and unambiguous calls to action or they don’t feel like you’re beating them over the head, they want to take that step because they know now they have vetted you that you’re the right choice. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. And then you can guide them and then you can start sharing some information and, you know, the way to create that, like the story branding stuff, you know, with Tulip, we have our process.


It encompasses a lot of the story branding methodology. But, you know, we have our own process where we, where we kind of outline it, really connect with the audience of the client partner, tell them what to do, and then set up those very clear call to actions and an alter ego and also the call to action if need be.


But you have a very clear call to action, and do create that in a way that really connects with people. And to do that, we also do a lot of research around competitive analysis and keywords strategies so that we know we’re talking the language that the audience is using. That’s when we set up our storefronts.


Then, to the third part, how do you fill the funnel? Well, you take the keyword strategy and everything that you’ve learned, you know, around the problem, the villain, and the challenges that people are having. And you use that through how we fill the final is we will leverage further than we know and understand about the prospect in their psyche to write content, to bring them on to the website, leveraging search engine optimization and, you know, really good content marketing and keyword rich content marketing and then also through pay per click and that’s how we fast track it and that’s how we filled the final in, you know, keeping in mind that we’ve now, by updating the website, creating some video content, whatever is needed, we’ve automated through leveraging the website, we’ve automated for us a tool of steps two, three and four of our sales process on the website. 


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Filling the Sales Funnel: Your Marketing Will Attract the Right Type of Audience


Now we’re going to automate step one, which is actually the prospecting and bringing people, you know, the prospecting, which is getting people onto the website. Love that. Okay, So, I think if I understand the, I’m going to go back to the assembly line metaphor right where we said baby, step one being fine prospects, the sort of the, the, the properly functioning website sits above that so that the website is outputting prospects into the assembly line. And then above the websites are more of the kind of the macro content paid ads, that kind of stuff flowing into websites and then and then the assembly line starts working.


And I guess maybe you could argue that those two also are our stations and the assembly line that can be sourced. Yeah, it’s usually step one because step one in the assembly line is prospecting, right? Or we don’t prospect anymore. You know, we allow marketing to attract the right type of client, you know, the right type of prospect. Amazing.


Thank you for bringing it back to the pipeline because I was thinking, gosh, we’re going to run out of time because I know that we’re quickly running out of time. You did a beautiful job of the pipeline piece at the end of that. So thank you for that. Before we go, before we close and say goodbye, anything you think we might have missed and any final recommendations that you’d like to share?


And then please tell our audience the best way to connect with you. Andy. Sure. The only thing I would really stress, Stephen, is you really need to understand your core customer and their psyche, where their mind is at before they’re engaging with you. And because you need to connect there. And most people, when they think about digital marketing, they talk about pipelines first, when actually you should really spend time in the core understanding them, build that website, build that storefront that will optimize.


Learn more about Andy and filling the sales funnel strategy by visiting his website


Filling the Sales Funnel: Closing Remarks


When the right people land there, they’ll turn into prospects. And then, you know, filling the funnel is much easier if you’re much better at that. It’s much easier. And it’s actually a secondary strategy that is still extremely important, but it’s a secondary strategy once you get the website built as far as where to reach us. We have a great landing page again for your audience.


It’s, and that’s where my coauthor and partner in crime here at Tulip Media, Jessica Embree, and I have you can preview a chapter of the book. You can buy the book, and you can also book half our call in our calendars if you want to talk about your own strategy, your own business development, or answer any questions that you have; we welcome everyone to reach out to us.


They’re awesome. Okay, everyone, no matter how many notes you took or how often you go back and relisten to Andy’s words of wisdom, which I sure hope that you do. The key is to take everything that he shared with you, all of this generous strategy and tactics, the assembly line, the website piece, pulling that back into the pipeline, taking it, and applying it.


And when you do, you’ll accelerate your results. And Andy, we all have the same 86,000 seconds in a day. And I am grateful again for your grace of shifting from yesterday into today because of the technical issues that I had yesterday. Thank you for coming to the show to be our mentor and guide and help us move our businesses to that next level.


Thank you so much. Well, thanks for having me, Stephen. This was very enjoyable. It was a blast.


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Sell with Authority Podcast

The Sell with Authority Podcast is for agency owners, business coaches, and strategic consultants who are looking to grow a thriving, profitable business that can weather the constant change that seems to be our world’s reality.

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