In this interview, you will learn:
- What is a funnel and how can you use it to scale unlike any other time in history.
- Why most businesses fail at effectively marketing a product or service online.
- The Loudest Gets Paid the Most, Not the Best. -What to learn from those generating the most sales.
- Want to know what’s keeping you from doubling your sales in the next 12 months? Take our quick QUIZ to get answers: Howtodoublesales.com
- If you’d like to have a profound breakthrough in your business, schedule your breakthrough call with a LIVE expert here: Chetholmes.com/Breakthrough
- Claim your FREE chapter 4 from the top 10 most recommended marketing and sales books of all time! Visit: Ultimatesalesmachine.com to find out how you Create 9X More Impact from every move you’re already making to win clients!
[00:00] Amanda Holmes: Hello, Amanda Holmes here, CEO of Chet Holmes International. And I have with me, Steve Larsen. And so Steve, can you share your story? I think you’ll do a better job than me.
[00:10] Steve Larsen: For sure. My company is called pursuit of profit now, but I actually went through 34 business failures over five years.
[00:19] Amanda Holmes: Wow.
 Steve Larsen: And sane people get jobs when they do that.
But about halfway through, I was never planning on it, but I was a nerd with Russell Brunson’s software ClickFunnels. While I was in college and I really wanted to go to his event, I could not afford his event. So I started trading funnels for plane tickers and funnels for hotel nights and funnels for I traded, in fact, my laptop now is still a laptop I traded to, you know, with the funnel.
So psycho nerd, right? I got the twitch in the eye and everything, you know, just way in, deep on it. And in college, fighting with my marketing teachers, you know, that’s not how it works, you know? But I got to Russell’s event and he, I don’t know, I don’t know if five people asked me to work for ClickFunnels there and they gave me a job offer.
I graduated from school four days later. Funny enough, perfect timing and became Russell Brunson’s funnel guy for two years. And, uh, there were 20 or 30 employees at that time. Now there’s 400. This was right at that hockey stick growth. There was no designer. It was me. There was no copywriter. There was no fun. Like we did everything.
There was no internal funnel agent. His podcast intros or so when I made like, so it’s really aggressive work from the ground up, but I got to see from a really interesting lens, just tens of thousands of businesses, business types. Try to use today’s best-selling tech on the internet and see where they’re all getting stuck.
So there’s a cool lens. And then I left and did my own thing.
[01:52] Amanda Holmes: Here you are now. You’ve done so much more as well. I love that. So, so for these people that maybe aren’t really familiar with funnels. Can you define what you just said to me? Cause I just love that the purpose of a funnel and how it actually operates from marketing and sales strategy.
[02:13] Steve Larsen: I like to tell stories from like the rich marketers from the 18 and 1900s. And so I studied them a lot, a huge nerd over PT Barnum and Claude Hopkins. And you know, just all of those guys. Yeah. What I like to do is imagine that that is what we had today.
And so, okay. If you’re a brick-and-mortar owner, right? How would you get noise without the internet today? And for like, we already do, like, actually you might have more of a leg up winning on the internet than you realize. Because a lot of people who are here at funnel hacking live and such, we think that the funnel is some magic genie in a bottle, or it’s just like a series of pages that just prints money.
And it’s like, oh, you know, it’s this kind of mysterious.
[02:58] Amanda Holmes: Make money while you sleep.
[02:59] Steve Larsen: Yeah which totally can happen. But the reality is it’s not like ClickFunnels invented funnels. A funnel is any automated sales process.
[03:10] Amanda Holmes: And 92% of businesses do not have a sales process, hence why this is extremely important.
[03:16] Steve Larsen: It’s so key. It’s like when I was a door-to-door sales guy, I was the funnel. So you think of the funnel as really two parts, there is an offer and a message, right?
And the issue is if you are an entrepreneur that made the business, you probably are in love with your product, right? And don’t really have a message.
He’s you know what I’m saying? Like, whatever I work with someone, messaging is the thing I spend the most on. And so, because they don’t have a message with their offer, they don’t have a funnel, and all a funnel is, is the automation of that. And with today’s powerful tech, we can automate those with a series of pages on the internet, but if you don’t have those core things, your funnel is going to stink no matter how good it looks, right?
And so that’s where like those where people think like, oh, it’s this magic genie.
[04:00] Amanda Holmes: Can we talk about why messaging, why they don’t have messaging? Like what are they missing in their messaging? I’m curious.
[04:06] Steve Larsen: I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase: “It’s so good. All you have to do is put it in front of people and they’ll buy it.” right? And like we all after this, so dumb, that is not true at all.
[04:16] Amanda Holmes: Well, and, and research actually in the top five biggest issues for sales right now, one of them is that exact thing that people, you can no longer think that your product is the best. Therefore it will sell. It will not sell itself.
[04:28] Steve Larsen: Yeah, no, it’s so true.
And we don’t really live in the age of information so much anymore as we do attention where we’re, the loudest gets paid the most, not the best. And we, you know what I mean?
And so it’s like, that’s why if you’re watching it or listening to it, it’s like if you can think of someone who is worse than you, but making more than you, that’s exactly what’s happening.
They’re just typically louder. And that’s the power of messaging. It’s not just about screaming, right? It’s about being crafty on where you speak to someone and where they are and their journey. And that’s the messaging piece that, that frankly is what sells the offer. You don’t sell the offer, the offer to sell the offer. That’s called a sales message.
And so that’s, when someone doesn’t think through those things before they build a funnel, right? It’s so easy to build a funnel on something like ClickFunnels or any funnel builders today that you can log in and click save and think that you have a funnel and really, you have a bunch of pages.
You know what I mean? There is no funnel. There is no offer message.
[05:28] Amanda Holmes: Wow. I love this. I’m curious too. So having your sales background and being such an aficionado in funnels. So we know from market data that what superstar salespeople do versus a regular salesperson is a regular salesperson spends the least amount of time building rapport and the most amount of time trying to sell.
What a superstar salesperson does is they flip that upside down and spend the majority of their time building rapport, finding the need, and then closing the sale. It’s like, as if it’s a triangle. So much easier after you’ve done those first two things.
I think, and I’m curious for your opinion here, that a funnel is automating and systematizing those first two steps of building rapport, establishing that you’re credible, and then finding their need and speaking to their need.
What do you think about that?
[06:15] Steve Larsen: Yeah, which I think is kind of cool, first off, that shape is like a funnel, right? I think the biggest thing to understand here is that their marketing and sales are not the same thing. And we don’t call it a marketing funnel for a reason.
Marketing’s whole job is to move someone to close. I can think of like a golf ball moving towards, you know, the hole, if that’s it, we’re just building rapport and relationship where we’re helping them realize Steve Larsen’s got some big eyeballs, but okay. He’s an okay dude. You know what I mean? You know what I mean? I usually have a capitalist pig on my chest that was like, ah, there’s this guy in India, you know?
And like, all right. All right. But if I haven’t done any of that work, when they land on page one where a sale begins, right? And people try to squish the entire role of marketing on the first headline on their page when marketing should be over. You should be selling on the first page of your sales funnel, but marketing way before it. And that, that piece right there is huge. So understanding the separation of those two roles is massive.
[07:12] Amanda Holmes: I love that!
[07:13] Steve Larsen: Which is why I love Chet’s, your dad’s, books. I don’t know if it’s dad or..
[07:18] Amanda Holmes: Chet. You can call him Chet.
[07:19] Steve Larsen: Because his career, like his book, clearly shows, right? Your dad was epic as like a salesman, but also understood the role of marketing. That’s rare. People think that marketing is sales. It’s not, they’re very different.
[07:35] Amanda Holmes: Yes. I would also say that marketing and sales don’t work together so much because they act so separate and even his whole idea of education-based marketing and bringing in core story together where they’re all, both on the same page saying the same thing is very hard to find these days.
[07:52] Steve Larsen: Yeah, absolutely.
[07:54] Amanda Holmes: Ah, interesting.
[07:55] Steve Larsen: I always ask my, my audience. I’m like, Hey, how do, how do we measure marketing? Cause it’s not through likes, all right? You can’t cash likes. I can’t put that in a bank. You know what I mean? That’s like, how do we know if we measure marketing with leads and sales and that’s how we tie the two functions together.
So, if you put a piece of content out and you didn’t get a lead or a sale. You put content out, not marketing, and that’s like a huge, huge deal. You know? So we measure the marketing with just a lead or a sale, and that really helps someone who doesn’t want to play on the internet. You know, if you’re like, ah, I don’t know if I want to do this internet thing.
It helps cause I’m a little bit of an introvert. You may not be able to tell, but I want to say, I want to make sure that when I speak on the internet, that it’s worth my time, and the way I measure that is as a lead or sale. Otherwise, I’m just making noise.
[08:45] Amanda Holmes: Right. So how can they avoid that? What are some of the things that they can do?
Because this brilliant, obviously yes, leads, sales.
Wait one quick thing. It drives me mad when I was jumping on a clubhouse and what every new entrepreneur would come in and say, “I really need to build my brand. And I’m wondering how I build my brand.” I know, right?
It’s like, oh my goodness, please stop. Like, in my house, branding was like a faux pas, like, you wouldn’t use that word. Like my father would buy every knockoff thing. Cause he’s like, why do we have to spend extra on things that it’s just marketing? Right? Says the guy that wrote one of the top ten marketing and sales books.
[09:27] Steve Larsen: Don’t buy any other. That is the one. Yeah. You know, I think, which I totally agree. Marketing comes second. I didn’t have a logo for my, one of my first million dollar products for six months. Doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. It’s just a vanity thing for us.
[09:43] Amanda Holmes: Okay. So how can we avoid just posting content versus generating leads and sales?
[09:49] Steve Larsen: Yeah. And this is where it’s hard if you made the product. If you made the products, usually, people assume “Well, I made it, of course everyone understands its value.”
You have so many frames in your head that have said that’s valuable, that your customer doesn’t have. And so what our job is, is to go figure out, we call them false beliefs.
What are the false beliefs that my future customer’s likely to have? And then what we do is we craft stories specifically around a specific false belief. That’s how I create my YouTube stuff or that’s how I create podcasts. And so it’s, it’s all moving them towards the sale. And so I, we, I actually call it the best heckler and I put on, put on my hat, so to speak.
And I sit in one of my audiences if you will and I’m like “Steve, this is going to suck for you.” I didn’t make fun of my thing right? And become the best heckler. But honestly, what I’m saying is truth on why, what people will say. If I can’t answer that, it will remain an objection to the sale.
[10:49] Amanda Holmes: I love it.
[10:50] Steve Larsen: And so we just take that topic and that’s podcasts title. You know what I mean? YouTube title, and then you have your main sales message, right? Main sales message. But what you’ve created is this whole thing where you’re already removing objections, that they don’t have time to give you because you already took them out before page one of your funnel.
[11:10] Amanda Holmes: I see, we teach that in like sales decks, right? This is how you do it. You overcome the objection by taking a testimonial, let’s say from a client and putting it, interweaving it, right? But I’ve never heard someone say YouTube title, right? Like Facebook live title or podcast title overcoming the objection.
[11:27] Steve Larsen: And sometimes, it’s not like the actual title, you know.
[11:30] Amanda Holmes: But it’s the basis or that’s a point. Oh, that’s so smart!
[11:35] Steve Larsen: Because then, I don’t have to make constant marketing. And then I’m like, yeah, this will live beyond me. You know what I mean? This is tied to a real human emotion that actually needs to be addressed.
[11:45] Amanda Holmes: Rather than just I’m checking off the list of I’m doing some piece of content online.
[11:50] Steve Larsen: Or by midnight tonight and that’s your only shot, which all right, there’s place for urgency, but you get to sidestep some of the, you know.
Selling on the internet isn’t this muddy gray area thing. You know what I mean? It’s not. But people don’t know how to sell or market. And so they get really weird with these really loud tactics, but at its purest form, marketing is just educating towards the sale, but that’s really all it is.
And you usually do it through storytelling. So I get to go tell crafted stories all the time and customers thank me when I sell them. That’s the effect of good marketing versus “I can’t believe this person’s trying to sell me. That’s ridiculous.” and you know, a capitalist pig, I will try to sell you. My shirt says resting pitch face right now. I will pitch you if you sit with me long enough, but it’s a good thing if marketing is as close to the line is I get it.
It’s a good thing though to pitch. Sales is one of the most prestigious – I have three beautiful daughters. And they’re growing up. I was just like, I mean, there’s, they’re super young still, but the way they got over the baby gate or lunch was by me saying, “Hey, what’s one of the most prestigious careers you could ever have in this life?” And they don’t know what it means, but salesmen! Quizzed them all the time on books before they get out.
[13:17] Amanda Holmes: Wow. Where can they find you? Let’s make sure that they know.
[13:26] Steve Larsen: Honestly, I get asked most about our shirts. Oh, so capitalismswag.com is actually the easiest place to go because maybe like you, I don’t actually, I’m not that engaged in my social media profiles because, it’s not some like stance. It’s just not my personality and there’s place for that for the internet marketer today. You don’t have to be some crazy showman, you know, to make sales. But, so funny enough, the one I look at though, it’s capitalismswag.com.
[13:57] Amanda Holmes: capitalismswag.com
[13:59] Steve Larsen: Yep. Pretty unapologetic piece of messaging.
[14:03] Amanda Holmes: If they wanted to learn something from you, is there like a place where they could download something or opt-in to something?
[14:10] Steve Larsen: Actually, yes. launchforprofit.com – it’s my podcast and that’s stories of all of yesteryear’s marketers who didn’t have the Internet. And so I felt like to study these guys and how they, it was just such a cool thing.
We are so lucky. It’s never been easier on the planet to make money. Distribution is everywhere and that the stories of how these to use get access to that without things like the Internet.
Launch for Profit if they want to download some of that stuff.
[14:47] Amanda Holmes: Thank you so much. This has been so good.
[14:51] Steve Larsen: Did I do a good job?
[14:53] Amanda Holmes: Did he do a good job? Comment We know. Yes, it was amazing. Thank you.
[14:57] Steve Larsen: Thank you so much.