Creating a “sales funnel” can sound dry, boring or too business-y for some. Imagine how surprised I was when I did the “sales pyramid” exercise with folks during the complimentary My Biz My Way Breakthrough Session and they got totally psyched, stoked, inspired and excited about how they can grow their businesses doing what they love and make a generous income!
As usual, I like to look at these business and marketing tools from a different perspective. It is important to know how you can “funnel” your clients or customers. However, if I am going to help my clients build their sales funnel, the exercise gotta give them more than some dry stuff that would be put aside and rot in some dark corner of the hard drive.
I came up with the “Sales Ice-cream Cone” analogy not just because it takes the shape of an inverted triangle. And not just because it’s fun, it’s summer, or I used to LOVE drawing ice-cream cones when I was a kid. It actually adds an additional layer to thinking about your offerings – and I will explain that later in this post.
In this extensive post, I am going to walk you through the process of creating your very own “Sales Ice-cream Cone” – and along the way I hope you will also get some clarity around your vision and your business. Roll up your sleeves, let’s go:
What Do You WANT To Do?
Write down all the ways that you want to work with your clients – not all the ways that you can think of or were told to, but ways that you WANT to be interacting with your clients. E.g. if you love speaking in front of and interact with a live audience, you can write down “workshop”. However, if you want to run a location-independent, mostly virtual business, “workshop” may not be on your list.
Put Down Some Numbers
Put a “price” next to each of the products or services you have written down – it can be a ballpark number, or it can even be arbitrary numbers like 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 – just so you have a sense of the pricing hierarchy.
The image here illustrates how you can structure your cone – the closer to the top, the lower the unit price and generally the higher the volume. Depending on your strength, your expertise, your market and your business model, the total sum of revenue from one particular area may dominate – that’s ok for now. The key is to make sure that (1) you have a diverse stream of income from doing work that you enjoy and (2) your clients can enter your “world” through various price points, wherever that is most appropriate for their needs (so they don’t have to plunge down $3,000 for a program after a $10 workshop).
Yeah, About the Ice Cream Cone Analogy
I studied architecture – I like things in 3-D. The “sale funnel” thing just looks flat to me.
For your Ice Cream Cone, imagine the “ice cream” part being “set it and forget it” type of products and materials. E.g. your free gift should be all “ice cream” – meaning after you set it up, it’s all automated and requires (close to) zero of your time and attention.
The “Cone” represents products, programs and other services that require your personal time and attention. For the top tier – a high “ice cream to cone ratio” – which most likely means a “one to many” product or program, allows you to leverage your time and attention to serve many at the same time. As you go down the cone, the products and services become higher in price, and require more of your personal time and attention. In the example above, the tip of the cone – which has very little ice cream compared to the amount of cone – represents a high-end one-on-one coaching service. It means a lot of “you” and very little leveraged materials.
To use this as a pricing reality check – if a product or service sits higher up top (means lower price) but actually requires more of your personal time and attention (means the “ice cream to cone ratio” is low) than the one below – you need to revisit either your pricing strategy or how you package the product.
How To Use This Ice Cream Cone
A well-structured “cone” will give you an accurate and succinct impression of your business model. Because you are writing down only the things that you WANT to do, it should also reflect your vision and your desire – isn’t that what we want our business to support?
Here are two ways you can go about using your cone:
- Inspire possibilities – when I take people through the exercise of putting some numbers down, 100% were able to see the possibilities of how they can diversify and increase their income. When you break the numbers down in chunks, all of a sudden it feels doable. Here is how you see your monthly income potential: for each tier, multiply the pricing of the product or service by the number of clients you want to get for that tier in a month. Do that for each tier and add them all up – bam, that’s your potential monthly income! I recommend that you use numbers that are realistic to you, and stick to the somewhat “conservative” side of things. You need to truly believe that those numbers are achievable before they can inspire and motivate you.
- As the “What’s Next” guide – with all the products and services you want to have in order to have a robust sales “cone” clearly laid out, you can confidently charge forward with creating and launching your “next big thing” without wondering if you are doing the right thing or how it fits into your big picture. You can spend your energy charging forward, not second guessing yourself… huge relieve!
Some Resources To Help Make Your Cone a Reality
- Free Offer/Entry Level Info Product: check out our List Engagement System with everything you need to grow and monetize your list.
- Workshops: check out the Wellness Workshop Series with all the juicy goodness to help you promote and run your workshops to attract more potential clients.
- Information Products: these Done-For-You Programs help you create your suite of info product/home-study programs in no time. You can use them as bonuses to add value to your higher level programs; or as “back of the room” sales to increase engagement in your workshops.
- VIP days: see how you can create “Fast Cash Injection” with VIP days in this post.