Here’s why a sales funnel is important:

The Ultimate Sales machine

That means if your sales funnel isn’t working, as many as 97% of your potential customers will never buy from you.

15 Sales Funnel Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs

This is the first in a series of three articles we’ll be publishing about common, costly mistakes people make in their sales funnel.

These are problems you might not even know you have, but that could be costing you many thousands of dollars in profit over time.

In this article, we’ll focus on top-of-the-funnel mistakes.

Mistakes at the Top of the Funnel

As we covered in detail in our beginner’s guide to sales funnels, grabbing attention is the only goal at the top of the sales funnel.

You’re not trying to make a sale. You’re just trying to catch the attention of potential customers who are currently unaware of you or your product or service.

5 Blunders that Torpedo Results at the Top of the Funnel

Here are some of the most common mistakes we see in the top of the funnel:

Blunder #1: No Target Audience

A few years ago I asked a business owner whom he wanted to reach with his marketing strategy.

“Well you know… anyone I guess,” he told me. “Whoever will buy it.”

Sigh…

I often hear some version of this answer when working with new clients. It’s one of the biggest errors I see.

If you don’t know this already, when you target “everyone” with your marketing, you’re targeting no one.

If you don’t have a target audience, it’s time to get one.

It’s easier than it sounds. Just answer this question:

What group of people would love your product (if they knew it existed) and also have the money to pay for it?

Blunder #2: Going Straight for the Sale

To quote Robert Collier:

“Always enter the conversation already taking place in the customer’s mind.”

RobertCollier

It would be strange to approach a stranger on the street and immediately say, “Do you want to buy my 2-hour training course on how to be a highly-paid consultant?”

You’d get some strange looks. And I doubt if you’d make any sales.

Every day, I see ads from marketers that basically just a list of features for their product or service.

Remember that 97% of your audience is not actively thinking about you or your product. Your job is to meet them where they’re at.

If you hit them with a list of features, they’ll just ignore you.

Blunder #3: Bland Content

In 2004, publishing content—by itself—was a way to position yourself as a thought leader in your space.

Today marketers are publishing over 2 million blog posts every day. Just publishing content is not enough anymore. You need to publish content that stands out.

That means having a clear understanding of who you’re talking to, what they struggle with, and how you can solve some of their problems.

Blunder #4: No Call to Action

What should people do after reading your ad or your blog post?

This is the critical moment where people either fall out of your funnel or take the next step.

Too many marketers don’t have a call to action at the end of their content.

Be explicit.

If you want people to subscribe to a newsletter, tell them to subscribe to your newsletter. Or download your guide. Or follow you on Facebook or wherever you’re building your audience.

Blunder #5: An Overwhelming Form or Confusing “Next Step”

Here’s the rule of thumb: the more fields you have on a form, the less likely people will complete and submit the form.

Don’t be that marketer who tries to extract 37 pieces of data from a prospect.

At this point, you don’t need anything more than the name and email of your new sales prospect.

You can always gather more data as people move deeper into your funnel.

Conclusion

Finally, remember that sales funnels are not brand marketing campaigns.

They’re about driving customers to take actions.

If you don’t see the results you want, don’t keep throwing time and money at the same old strategies.

Change it up and see what happens.