SFR 289: What’s A Funnel? – Stephen Larsen

SFR 289: What’s A Funnel?

Nov 29th, 2019 anchorwave

A funnel isn’t a series of web pages – that’s a method (albeit a very powerful one)…

Today I wanna teach you what a ‘sales funnel’ actually is!

Q: Do you know what a funnel is?

You might be surprised to hear that MOST people don’t!

Unless you’ve been to OfferMind, it’s likely that what you think of as ‘the definition of a funnel’ is, in fact, *WRONG* 😉

Perhaps I should have covered this EARLIER in a show called Sales Funnel Radio

However, as the people following me are largely from the ClickFunnels world….

You all know what a funnel is, (as far as it is concerned with the pages and such on the internet)…


What is a funnel in marketing

  • I wanna teach you a second way to think about a funnel.
  • Show you (possibly) the first EVER funnel
  • Teach you a simple ‘funnel equation’ that removes the guesswork from your process

Oh, YEAH, Baby!


I have a client who is extremely successful, (I don’t know if I’m allowed to say more???) – they make multi- six-figures a month and there’s no sign of things slowing down for them.

Make money with sales funnel strategy

They make A LOT of cash.

Well, they came to me and said, “Stephen, we really need a funnel.”

I was like, “Oh my gosh. You don’t have a dedicated internet process for what you’re doing??? “

(… they’re hustlers, just beating the street, man.)

I was like, “Holy crap, this is crazy. Describe to me what you’re doing…”

Here’s what they told me…

“Well, the first thing we do is we go out and we collect leads.

We find people who might be interested in what we do and we talk to them about what we’re doing.

We have a way of saying things that sells the product really well… and then sometimes we sell continuity.”

Digital marketing funnel

I was like, “THAT’S A FUNNEL!”

But they didn’t believe me….

They were like, “No, no, no, no, we don’t have a funnel. We don’t have one of those things on the internet. That’s WHY we’re coming to you to see if you can build one.”

(I didn’t use to offer funnel building, but I do now, depending on the type of business you’re in…)

What is a funnel

I said, “I know what you’re asking me to do, but the first thing I need you to understand is that the reason why you’re making so much cash is that you already have a funnel.

If you’ve sold something to anyone EVER you’ve had a funnel.”

A funnel is not a series of pages. A funnel is an offer and a message.

Here’s the equation…


… that’s it!


Let's talk sales funnel strategy

  • When I go on stage with a message + an offer = I’m the funnel.
  • When I was a door to door salesman = I was the funnel.
  • When I was a telemarketer = I was the funnel.

I had the message, I had the offer.

It’s funny ‘cause people think online and offline are so different.

Yeah, okay, some of the mechanics are, for sure, i.e., the fact that it shows up on your phone or on your desktop… yeah, okay fine.

But at the principle level (when you understand really what’s happening), it’s no different.

It’s actually a handicap and a mistake to think that online and offline are different – because they’re NOT.

I’m about to fly out to go meet that client, plan EVERYTHING out, and then build their *ONLINE* funnel.

But first, I needed them to understand that they ALREADY had a funnel.

Steve Larsen what is a funnel in marketing

Here’s a funny thing…

People often ask, “What kind of funnel should I build for my business, Stephen? “

*Very Valid Question*

But my answer is…

Steve Larsen sales funnel strategy

The funnel that you already have offline

just put it online.

  1. Think through the steps that have to get a customer
  2. Put them on the internet.

Here’s kinda how the conversation goes…

Digital marketing funnel conversation

Q: What’s the first step in your process?

A: “We find a lead.”

Q: “Cool. Well, how do we do that on the internet? ‘Cause it’s the exact same steps.”

A: “Well, the first thing we do is create some kind of lead gen thing – or maybe we’ll sell them something cheaper – or maybe they book a call with us and come to us as a lead.”

You see what I’m saying?

If you’re already in business offline, how are you doing it now? It’s no different online.

Q: “Okay, what next?”

A: “Well, Stephen, the next thing we do is have a chat to see how our services could be the best fit for them.”

Sometimes, people are like, “Stephen, but I’m a service, NOT a product.”

Ma’am, your service is the product. There’s no difference…

Steve Larsen what is a funnel

… that drives me *NUTS!* (… can anyone else see the Squirrels???)

Your service is the product.

So then, we figure out all the different steps, and boom, boom, boom, boom, boom …

Whatever they’re doing offline, instead of having to pitch face-to-face a thousand times, we just automate it online


My digital marketing funnel

My list grows by about five to eight thousand every month

…which is great, but do you understand how many man-hours that would be if I didn’t have my sales pitches automated?

I cannot talk to 8000 people in a month, I just can’t.

But I can bend and compress time by using online methods.

I can go further, in shorter amounts of time, by using an automated sales video for each individual user.

One of my webinars right now has pitched around 50,000 people.

  • 50,000 people have seen the ad
  • 25,000 people have opted in
  • 10,000 have seen it in the last year, (something like that).

… that’s NOT for the full life of the offer, it’s just as far as we can track.

10,000 people have gone in and they’ve watched that webinar.


What is a funnel in marketing online

That’s WHY we do *what* we do in the funnel world – it bends time.

ClickFunnels did not invent funnels, but they made a very powerful way to present a funnel…

(… which everyone should use! They’re the best. They’re the only ones that do what they do)

Does that make sense?

All we’re doing is taking…

  • The message that you currently use
  • The offer that you currently have

… and we’re trying to put it on the internet.


Now, in order to turn up the sexy, we’ll probably…

Sales funnel strategy Steve Larsen

  • Increase the value of the offer.
  • Do things to it to make it more attractive.
  • Change your sales message a little bit so that it’s more fun to listen to and easier to consume.

But it’s still the exact same thing.

Q: What is a funnel?

A: It’s what you’ve been doing all along – if you’ve sold something to anyone EVER!

…even if it was by accident. 😉


Online digital marketing funnel

Most people don’t build a funnel with intent, which is why they suck.


So, now share with the last part of one of my favorite speeches at OfferMind (this is the fourth and final installment of a little mini-series), where I…

  • Go a little bit deeper into the subject of WHAT a Funnel REALLY is.
  • Show you one of the first funnels EVER on the entire earth.

Let’s cutover …


Digital marketing funnel mini series

My first big funnel success happened when I was building a funnel for water filters.

I had been trying the funnel game so much in so long, I finally was like, “I keep building funnels for these brand new startups who haven’t quite figured out their…

  • Product
  • Offer
  • Selling Audience
  • Message
  • Positioning

… and then we go build a funnel, and then they’re like, “The funnel didn’t work, It’s your fault.”

And I’m like, “You don’t have a business yet.”

What is a funnel in marketing Sales Funnel Radio

So finally, I was like, what are some criteria that I could think about that would cause success the fastest? I’m talking like the easiest, all the cards in my favor laid down…

So I developed some…


I was like, “Okay, I wanna go for a business that…

  1. Sell a product that’s at least $1000.
  2. Are already in business.
  3. Have an existing customer list.

…and those three things are my criteria.

What is sales funnel strategy

I hand-picked all these people and I started reaching out to them.

I said, “I know you don’t know what a funnel is… and you have no idea who I am.

If I build a funnel and it works, is it okay if I get paid? But if it doesn’t, don’t worry about it, you don’t pay me…”

That was actually my pitch, and that’s how I started building funnels for these guys.

So I did all this research, and the Ask Campaigns, so I went put the funnel and all the research together.

It probably took me four or five months.


Sales funnel strategy success

I was…

  • In the middle of school
  • Married with kids
  • In the army

… life was busy.

I was building this funnel doing at 2 AM…

Q: When the funnel launched, guess what happened?

Big sales funnel strategy success

A: It exploded – it was crazy.

The first funnel exploded.

And the company was like, “Oh my gosh.”

I’ve had this happen with three companies now…

Digital marketing funnel success

  • Day #1: You put all this stuff and campaigns together, and you go launch it.

The company is like, “Wow. Oh my gosh, this is so many sales. This is so cool.”

And I’m like, “Yay what’s up. I told you.”

… it’s validating for me ’cause everything was failing for a while.

  • DAY #2: They call and they’re like, “Wow, there’s a lot of sales still. Holy cow!”
  • DAY #3: They always call and they’re like, “Turn it off, turn it off, turn it off.”

Turn off the digital marketing funnel

The first time that ever happened, they called and they’re like, “Steve turn off the funnel.”

I was like, “You psycho, who wants less sales?”

Click, I hung upand I did NOT answer for two weeks.

It shows you how juvenile I was.

I was like, “Who wants less sales?”

What is a funnel in marketing all about


But two weeks later, the CEO called back, frustrated like crazy…

“Stephen, turn off the funnel.”

In my head, I was like, “I don’t even know how, but let me talk to him. Why would you want less sales? I’m sorry, I don’t know how to turn off the funnel.”

And he goes, “Stephen, you’re gonna bankrupt us. You’re selling so fast, it’s sucking all the cash out of the business, I’m using it to go buy the product, I can’t pay my people.”

Successful sales funnel strategy

I was like, “Oh, my gosh.”

That’s happened 3x now!

Twice with Russell… and once before I started working for him.

Q: How many of you guys want that problem?

A: It’s a way better problem, right!

Understanding what is a funnel in marketing

…and that was the first time in my life I ever realized that a funnel is NOT a business.

A funnel is a revenue arm.

… that’s it.

This event is NOT about businesses.

A digital marketing funnel is not a business

  • A funnel causes revenue
  • The business systems fulfill on that revenue.

We’re not talking about business systems in this event, I hire people to help me with that, ’cause that’s NOT my expertise.

My expertise is in building the funnel, my expertise is in actually collecting the cash.

I’m NOT gonna talk about business systems at all, I’m NOT your guy for that….


So first of all, what is a funnel?

What is a funnel in marketing, Stephen

We all know that a funnel is a series of pages on the internet that brings and guide somebody through the sale.


That’s NOT a funnel. That’s a method.

ClickFunnels did NOT invent funnels – a funnel is a sales message and an offer.

If you’ve sold anything to anyone at any price ever, even by accident, you had a funnel

Accidental digital marketing funnel


The fact we put it online is A METHOD.’

Some people are like, “Well, I don’t know if funnels will work for me.”

I’m like, “Have you sold something ever? YOU HAD A FUNNEL – it just wasn’t built with intent, which is why it sucked – but you still had a funnel.”

If you sold something, you had a digital marketing funnel

When I was a door to door sales guy, I was the funnel = Message + Offer + Credit or Debit.


And when you look at it in that manner, it really simplifies the funnel game.


The first sales funnel strategy

The first caveman to trade a piece of meat for a rock – that was the first funnel.

Here’s the equation…


I’m not trying to belittle it or downplay funnels at all, but you need to understand, this is one of the BIGGEST super-secret powers of the game that I’m introducing you to here.

Funnels have existed for EVER.

ClickFunnels is a method of delivering, a very powerful one – it automates like crazy.

What this event is about the engine in every funnel – it’s about the message and the offer.

Q: Now, why both?

Online sales funnel strategy

A: It’s because they actually have to be created at the same time.

… that’s one of the biggest mistakes I used to make. That’s one of the reasons why I went through sooo many attempts.

I was like, “Let’s build a funnel!”

Creating sales funnel strategy

…which I thought meant a bunch of pages in a row.

And then I was like, “Well what should we put in the funnel? How about an offer?”

I was like, “Cool, I got the offer.”

And then, months later, I’d ask, “How do I sell it?” 😂

You gotta create them at the same time, and that’s what we’re gonna walk through here in this event.

Good stuff already? We’re not even started, baby!


Hey, wish you could geek out with other Real Funnel Builders and even ask questions while I build Funnels Live?


*Wish Granted*

Watch and learn funnel building as I document my process in my funnel strategy group.

The science of selling online what is a funnel in marketing

It’s FREE!

Just go to the and join NOW.

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