Did you know that the sales funnel has existed at least since medieval times, and that Little Red Riding Hood was actually taken in by a sales funnel? A precautionary tale about who you really want to learn about marketing from… and who you want to avoid like the plague (yes, they had that back then, too).
Body: So you think you know what a sales funnel is and how it works? Read this retelling of an old precautionary tale and you may expand your definition a little.
When Little Red Riding Hood set out into the woods on that warm spring day in about 1321 or so, little did she know that she was to encounter not only the Big Bad Wolf, but a sales funnel so irresistible she would fall for it like a kitten for a saucer of milk.
Little Red’s intention was only to bring some warm currant buns to her dear old granny, but as soon as she set her foot on the path into the forest that day, she found herself walking straight into the mouth of a sales funnel.
It all began when she met the Big Bad Wolf on the path. He didn’t have any trouble getting her attention, as he was, of course, a very large wolf.
He began by complimenting her on her lovely red hood – you see, the first irresistible element of a sales funnel, and one that people often get wrong, is all about approaching the prospect with their favorite subject – themselves.
“What a lovely red hood you have on,” said the Big Bad Wolf. “Why thank you,” said Little Red, thus responding with interest and beginning her first step into the slippery slope of Wolfie’s steep and irresistible sales funnel.
Next, the Wolf intensified Little Red’s interest by asking her even more about herself: “And where might you be going this fine spring day, my pretty?” And, as you might expect, Little Red stepped a little further into his sales funnel by answering him with information he could use: “Why, to my dear Granny’s house, to bring her these warm currant buns.”
The wolf sniffed appreciatively at the basket, and proceeded to do a little more “market research” on Little Red (they didn’t have agencies to do this kind of thing back then). “Those are lovely smelling buns. And where might Dear Granny live?” To which, of course, Little Red replied with the desired information, thus stepping further into the sales funnel by inviting future communication with the wolf.
The Wolf, now having the information he needed to contact Little Red again, bowed, bid her a good day, a laid any fears she had to rest by disappearing up the path and giving her a little space (which she felt herself needing at this point – the only indication that she might have a brain hiding under that cute red hood). But, of course, his sales funnel was only beginning.
As soon as she reached Dear Granny’s house, Little Red walked straight into the closing sequence of the funnel when she saw what appeared to be someone very familiar to her, and proceeded to strike up a conversation.
You may know how this part of the story goes, but what you may not know is how obviously it follows the pattern of a great sales funnel, so I will recount it for you here with a little sales funnel commentary on the side.
First of all, note that the Wolf did NOT say, as soon as Little Red walked through the doorway, “Hey, girl, why don’t you come over by the bed and climb into my big old mouth? It’s very nice in there…” as many unfortunate salespeople might, thinking they can immediately ask the prospect for a sale once they contact them again.
No, the wolf very wisely dressed up as someone Little Red knew very well, and already trusted. Then, he proceeded to elicit empathy and even ask for her help (a sly twist that you can add to make your funnel even more irresistible). “I’m not feeling well dear, won’t you come over and fluff the pillows for me?”
Little Red, of course, distracted from the warning sign of the large snout sticking out of Granny’s lace bonnet, walked even further into the sales funnel by helping the wolf with his request, then asking for more information.
“My, what big ears you have, Granny.”
“All the better to hear you with, my dear.”
“My, what big eyes you have, Granny.”
“All the better to see you with, my dear.”
You may think you know this exchange very well, but I would ask you to note that the wolf did not jump straight from the opening line of “My, what big ears you have” (her first request for more information) into “All the better to eat you with, my dear” (the close). That would surely have put Little Red off, as it is obvious, even to one as dense as she, that you cannot eat someone with your ears.
No, the wolf sensibly waited until their third exchange to give her his final answer, and his closing offer. (Notice the entrancing repetitive nature of their exchange for another clue to a good sales funnel element)…
“My what big teeth you have, Granny.”
“All the better to eat you with, my dear. Why don’t you climb inside and take a look?”
And we all know how THAT sales funnel ends.
Now, the Moral of the Story, in case you were wondering, is this…
You could learn how to build a sales funnel, bring in leads, and all the other aspects of making money from any number of characters out there in the wild woods of marketing.
But if you really have your choice…wouldn’t you want to learn how to build your sales funnel from someone who not only makes over three million a year online themselves, but can teach you about it as interestingly as I just did?
Or would you rather learn marketing from someone as dry as an overcooked currant bun, who has never actually made any appreciable money with a sales funnel themselves?
It’s really up to you. But remember…when it comes to marketing, you can either be a Granny, or a Big Bad Wolf. And we all know who gets the girl in the end.