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What Separates The Professionals From The Amateurs?

Profile photo of Marie Yovcheva Submitted by Marie Yovcheva August 8, 2016

Back in early 2014 I began my whole marketing journey. I was new with no guidance, had no experience, clueless about everything and had zero success trying to get people to join my business or buy products from me. I was putting ads out, links out, talking to numerous people and still NOTHING!  Frustrated, I turned to my friend-Google. She helped me research what I was doing wrong, what the professionals had, and what the missing piece of my marketing was. The answer? A sales funnel or marketing funnel. In fact all the top earners were using one and that is what separates the professionals from the amateurs.

But I had no idea what that was in the beginning, but after I researched more, I realized I had seen a sales funnel many times, and maybe you have too!

What Exactly Is A Sales Funnel?

Well, it’s exactly that-it’s a funnel! At the top is the biggest (leads or potential buyers) and as you get down towards the bottom it gets smaller (your sales or buyers).


sales funnel


A sales funnel is taking your prospect from where they are to where you want them to be- buying your stuff! If you’ve ever been on a page and then a pop up window comes along asking for your email to get to the next page, then you have experienced the first phase of a sales funnel. It usually looks  like one of these options:

. Teaser (ad, banner, etc) —-> Sales page

. Teaser —-> Lead capture page (the pop-up window to put in your contact info) —->Sales page

. Teaser —->Lead capture page —-> Relevant info (blog, article, video, etc) —–> Sales page

Keep in mind you can switch up the relevant info (and have as many as you like) and the lead capture page. Therefore you could have:

. Teaser —>Relevant info —-> Lead capture page —>Sales page

The purpose of the sales funnel is to sift, sort, follow up with leads, and sell your products or services for you. But the great thing about this is that it’s pretty much automated once you set it up. All you would need to concentrate most on is getting traffic to your ad or capture page to bring leads into your funnel. Once you do, your follow up emails will continue to go out to your prospects; so even if they don’t buy now (or buy a lower grade product) they could buy later (or upgrade) without you having to do any extra work.

In fact that has happened to me. I had a customer by a lower grade product and then about a month or two later, bought a more expensive product, making me more commissions without me doing anything extra. Another friend of mine had the same experience. He got sales, but because of the sales funnel, had many of his customers upgrade to a higher level product, making him more money, again without doing any extra work.

Why Is A Sales Funnel Important In Business?

Now the big question is WHY?

When people buy things they go through a mental process, they don’t want to waste money on something that will NOT benefit them. Think about why you buy something. Do you buy toothpaste because you like toothpaste, or do you buy it to keep your mouth and teeth healthy? The benefit of getting toothpaste is keeping your teeth clean, not because you enjoy buying toothpaste. The same goes with any product or service. If someone joins your business what benefit is it going to give them? If they buy your products what will they get out of the products?

Interesting fact: a lot of people do not buy the 1st time around, it usually takes around 5 exposures or follow ups before they decide to purchase. If they are interested but undecided about your offer, they may go and Google it to find some information on it beforehand. Just think about it, when you’re looking for a product, do you not read the reviews and try and look for the negative? That’s just human nature!

Sales funnels build trust, especially when you keep giving them relevant information. If you are selling health products and they go from your ad to an article about your product, maybe some information, a review or testimony then to an option to go to a lead capture page with more info or a sample; that is much better than just going from the ad to the sales page.

The funnels also help to make a connection using your auto emails. You can not only bring offers to your leads, but tell your story and share many things to your email list, making that connection stronger-especially if your prospect can relate to your story. It’s kind of like dating. When you see an attractive person in pub, don’t you usually go and talk to them first before you say “Let’s go home together?” Its the same in marketing, but everyone is missing this  connection step. Instead they’re saying, “Come home with me!” (Join my team, join my opportunity!!) You’ve got to capture the attention of your prospects, engage with them, build the trust up, and then lead them to a sale if and when its right.

All marketing professionals and internet businesses use sales funnels for their business. It helps them not only to continue to make sales, but to sort out the “tire kickers” because those people can easily unsubscribe from the funnel if they don’t want any of the offers. This is a huge time saver on your part as a marketer-you’re not wasting time on those not really interested. It saves loads of time on just about everything because it’s about 90% automated after you’ve done the work just once. Like I stated before you just concentrate on getting traffic to your offer and the rest is set!

Summary & Final Thoughts

Before I started using a funnel, I basically didn’t have any leads-no one interested in what I had to say. I was just chasing anyone I met to have a look at my stuff with zero results. Now implementing this extremely awesome tool, it has helped me greatly! I went from 0 to over 300 leads, and it continues to keep growing. That’s over 300 people who want to hear what I’ve got to say and offer! I don’t know about you, but I’m aiming to be like the professionals in this industry.

sales funnel

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All the best,

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-Marie Yovcheva :)

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Profile photo of Marie Yovcheva
I'm Marie. Originally from Virginia USA, but currently living in the UK. I travel often between the UK, USA and Bulgaria (Hubby is from there). I'm a blogger, affiliate and network marketer. Been in the game for a bit over 2 years now, so I share what I learn on my blog and try and help out other entrepreneurs struggling to get free from the rat race. When I'm not working on my businesses I love traveling! Been to Spain, Turkey, Mexico, Canada, and Grand Caymen Islands apart from my country and Bulgaria-and of course, I'm always looking to add to that list!

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59 Responses to “ What Separates The Professionals From The Amateurs?” Leave a reply ›

  • Profile photo of Sarah John Profile

    Hey Marie,

    Indeed, this piece was helpful! You have provided more insights on the need to have a sales funnel.

    It is a set-up system that can easily be used to track, generate and convert leads.
    I guess the secret of a successful sales funnel is the trust and satisfaction it poses to the prospects!

    • Profile photo of Marie Yovcheva Profile

      Hello Sarah!

      Great to hear this has been helpful to you! 😀 I was trying to break it down so those who hadn’t heard of a funnel would understand what it was.

      Yes the system can track everything which is a plus so you know what’s working for you and what’s not.

      I would also add to provide enough value in your funnel is also the secret!

      Thanks for your comment, have a great day! 😀
      Marie Yovcheva recently posted…Why Your Sales Funnel Doesn’t WorkMy Profile

  • Profile photo of Celine Profile

    Hey Marie,

    Sales funnel is an effective and automated system if a marketer understands how to use it successfully. During lead capture, all necessary triggers and lures to keep the prospect around must be implemented.

    I always follow this system: Teaser —>Relevant info —-> Lead capture page —>Sales page. Thanks for sharing this piece!

  • Profile photo of Marie Yovcheva Profile

    Good afternoon Celine,

    I agree, the marketer must understand how to use it,otherwise it does you no good. That was my case in the beginning, had the tool, but no knowledge of what to do with it… had to go back to learn internet marketing!

    You’re welcome, and thanks for your comment!
    Marie Yovcheva recently posted…Creating Your Customer Avatar & How To Market To ThemMy Profile

  • Profile photo of Sunday William Profile

    Hey Marie,
    It is important for every marketer to understand what it takes to create and operate a sales funnel.

    I have always seen it a specific systematic approach to satisfying the needs of the customer.

    The benefits you have highlighted are real and I have experienced great engagements that lead to buy when it comes to sales funnel. Thanks for sharing this insightful piece.

    I have no doubt that readers will have to embrace the benefits of sales funnel – especially for lead generation!

  • Profile photo of Amit Sharan Profile

    Hey Marie,

    The illustration you used in this post has clearly expressed what the sales funnel is all about – it creates offers, captures leads and converts sales.

    These are sure clear benefits that every marketer must think about before using a sales funnel.

    You are right, this is one of the secrets of professional marketers. Amateurs can as well take advantage of it!

    • Profile photo of Marie Yovcheva Profile

      Hey Amit,

      Yes that was one of the 1st things I learned about funnels-were the three “C’s” 😉 Amateurs can def take advantage of it, but most just don’t know that a this type of thing exists, and end up spamming links everywhere without researching what to do. I was guilty of this as well until I found out that what I was doing didn’t work. And then came across this tool and started implementing it into my business and has helped me grow my list.
      Marie Yovcheva recently posted…Why Your Sales Funnel Doesn’t WorkMy Profile

  • Profile photo of James Ling Profile

    I guess it is important to try out how sales funnel can lead to generation of leads and conversion of sales.

    Well, it is helpful that you have taken time to explain this approach for people like us who loves trying out new knowledge 😉

    Thanks for sharing Marie, the knowledge is indeed practical!

  • Profile photo of Judith Chang Profile

    Hi Marie,

    Thanks for explaining about sales funnels in this post.

    It seems though that Internet marketing product launchers in platforms like Jvzoo and warriorplus have different perspective on sales funnels.

    They launch a product and immediately it has many different funnels with OTOs. They don’t wait to build a relationship before attempting to sell more products to same customers.

    What’s your take on such sales funnels tactics?

    • Profile photo of Marie Yovcheva Profile

      Hello Judith,

      You’re welcome.

      I don’t really know anything about Jvzoo or Warriorplus and with One Time Offers that is just a way to get a buyer to buy now.

      To me, it’s up to the customer whether they’d want to stay in their funnel and buy their products. I personally wouldn’t stay on a list if all I get is pitches from a company… but everyone is different.

      If it works for them, then that is just another tactic to use and you must use what you prefer or what you find your customers prefer-value+offers or just offers.

      Hope that helps! 😀
      Marie Yovcheva recently posted…Inspiring Quotes To Motivate Your Entrepreneurial SpiritMy Profile

  • Profile photo of Carl Profile

    Hey Marie,

    Thanks for taking time to explain the sales funnel. I hardly consider it as essential for marketing success. I guess have been wrong!

    Well, thanks to your enlightenment, I have clearer understanding and the motivation to now become a professional online marketer 😀

  • Profile photo of Black Profile

    Hi Marie,

    It is revealing learning about what separates professionals from the amateurs.

    Your post is all about the sales funnel, and it is revealing how this system can be implemented to generate leads and make sales.

    I think everyone should have it. Perhaps, this is what makes professionals truly professional!

  • Profile photo of Paul Profile

    Hi Marie,

    I guess businesses should take bold steps now to increase their sales with the sales funnel. It is a good strategy that has worked and still working for many!

  • Profile photo of steven Profile

    Hi Marie,

    I will say this is an easy explanation of “sales funnel”.

    From this post, many readers and amateurs will absolutely see the need to start using this “professional” tool.

    Traffic generation and lead conversion with is truly possible if this tool is rightly put in place!

  • Profile photo of Winford Moore Profile

    Hi Marie,

    Sales Funnel is a tool that most marketers use and share knowledge of. It would be cool to experiment with it so as to get results as well. The create, capture and convert functions of the sales funnel should be motivating!

  • Profile photo of Sherman Smith Profile

    Hey Marie,

    This is the smart way of building your business. You want to set up something like a sales funnel once and let nature take it’s place.

    Yes, it’s very important to build rapport, establish trust and send your leads valuable information that’s going to get them ahead. If you’re consistently doing this, then you will definitely start getting sales.

    Thanks for sharing! Have a good one!
    Sherman Smith recently posted…Why Solopreneurs Struggle With Generating Blog TrafficMy Profile

  • Profile photo of darrellantonio Profile

    Hello Marie
    Great post! Very informational an very useful. I believe we are all in agreement that a sales funnel is a great tool to use.

    When used correctly traffic generation and lead conversion will be set basically on automation.
    Marie super job explaining in detail thanks for this value-packed post that will definitely enhance one’s blog. Have a super day.
    darrellantonio recently posted…Wow ! 5 of the Most Expensive AppsMy Profile

  • Profile photo of Gordie Chase Profile

    I am so happy that you wrote this article, I’ve been telling newbies for years to create funnels. Without a funnel you’re just posting content. Everyone that writes about creating blogs always leave off the important part, which is creating a funnel. Thank you for reiterating its importance.
    Gordie Chase recently posted…A Secret Website That Can Create Crazy ROI For Your Image Ads (NO BS!)My Profile

  • Profile photo of Dave Profile

    Hi Marie,

    This post make a lot of sense. Professionals do what works for them and their business, and amateurs don’t.

    Thanks for explaining about sales funnels and how important they are.

    I agree with you, sales funnels build trust overtime and works better than trying to sell outright at first.

    By the way, I tried to visit your blog from your comment links here but got this message:

    “Bandwidth Limit Exceeded

    The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to the site owner reaching his/her bandwidth limit. Please try again later.”

    • Profile photo of Marie Yovcheva Profile

      Hello Dave!

      Thanks for your comment. Yes professionals find tools and systems to keep their businesses running while amateurs are sometimes afraid to invest in their business.

      You’re welcome.

      I think the more value you provide and keep in contact with your email list, the better chance they will buy when you do promote something to them.

      Thanks for letting me know about my site, I just tried to visit it and it’s working, please try again and let me know if it still gives you an error message. If so I can send in a report ticket.
      Marie Yovcheva recently posted…What I Used To Go From 0 To Over 330 LeadsMy Profile

  • Profile photo of Hannah Edia Profile

    Hey Marie,

    I agree with you. An online business must setup a sales funnel to convert customers and make even more profit.

    Sales funnel is rarely mentioned for offline businesses and I think that is where it is even more powerful since you are directly in touch with your customer giving you even more leverage

    Hope to write a post in that direction soon.

    Thanks for this Marie.
    Hannah Edia recently posted…12 Life Changing Reasons to Host an Online SummitMy Profile

  • Profile photo of Norma Profile

    Hi Marie,

    I have read some of your posts here and on your blog, who would have thought you started this whole marketing journey just 2 years ago? You sound very knowledgeable.

    From what you have explained, sales funnels are important, but can anyone create their own sales funnels without expertise and experience?

    • Profile photo of Marie Yovcheva Profile

      Hello Norma,

      Thank you! Yes I started early 2014.

      Yes you can make a sales funnel without experience or any expertise, how do you think I started? 😉 I got in with nothing basically, no experience, no knowledge of what a sales funnel was really and no clue what I was doing..

      But I got in an all in one marketing system that has everything linked together so you don’t have to do all that (hosting, auto-responder, ad tracking, customer tracking, contact manager, etc) You basically fill in the blanks and can create funnels within minutes. In fact, I created 2 funnels this past weekend in one day. (lead capture pages, sales pages, a few video email templates, and an auto-responder for each) And the best part is, if you need to share your funnel with team members or anyone for that matter, you can duplicate your whole funnel with a click of a button.

      I absolutely love it-simple, easy to use, and don’t have to be a technical person to use it!
      Marie Yovcheva recently posted…What I Used To Go From 0 To Over 330 LeadsMy Profile

  • Profile photo of Omar Saady Profile

    Yeah, this was helpful, I freely admit it.

    So, here are some things that I’ve noticed seem to separate the professionals from the amateurs

    The amateur is focused on the results they wants to achieve at whatever they do, while the professionals are focused on improving, on getting better at their craft. The professional is driven to improve, to serve, whether he gets paid or not.

    Omar Saady recently posted…8 Simple Steps to Make Profits With ClICKBANK and YOTUBEMy Profile

    • Profile photo of Marie Yovcheva Profile

      Hello Omar,

      Great to know it was helpful! :)

      I agree, amateurs do tend to focus on results while the professional analyzes everything and tries to improve their performance in whatever they do.

      Thanks for stopping by!!
      Marie Yovcheva recently posted…Video Marketing-How To Conquer Your Fear Of Making VideosMy Profile

      • Profile photo of Omar Saady Profile

        Hi Marie,

        Nice to meet you!

        That`s what also separates the startup marketers from those who are mastering the art of professionalism. is that true?
        Omar Saady recently posted…8 Simple Steps to Make Profits With ClICKBANK and YOTUBEMy Profile

        • Profile photo of Marie Yovcheva Profile

          Hey Omar,

          Nice to meet you too!

          I would think so. I don’t know much about start ups, as that isn’t in my field, but I would imagine that the startup marketer is also focused on results, while the professional keeps improving their skills and such. :)
          Marie Yovcheva recently posted…4 Reasons Your Leads Aren’t Buying From YouMy Profile

          • Profile photo of Omar Saady Profile

            Yes Marie,

            How are you today? I hope you`re very well!

            To me, the single biggest sign of the amateurs is the pain of being professionals. They`re not be able to get away from their comfort zone. In fact, being a professional is so painful and is not on our comfort zone.

            The problem with amateurs is that they are inconsistent and they work towards their goals and dreams occasionally. They work only when they feel inspired or motivated or when life allows them to do so. It’s just easier that way

            In my opinion, no matter how many goals we have to be achieved, or how many dreams we have to be fulfilled. The matter is how to break out of our comfort zone and make some changes to our lifestyle as well as changing our entire attitude.

            All my best regards Marie,
            Omar Saady recently posted…Powerful Keyword Research TipsMy Profile

            • Profile photo of Marie Yovcheva Profile

              Hey Omar,

              I’m doing great thanks! Hope your weekend is going well too!

              Breaking out of the comfort zone is a huge issue for many people. Then most quit working on their dreams because they do get too comfortable and don’t want to break out of it. And yes, I agree-usually they work when they can or feel like it, instead of making a daily route to continuously move forward.

              I love what you said: “The matter is how to break out of our comfort zone and make some changes to our lifestyle as well as changing our entire attitude” <– That is def true and if we are to really achieve our goals we must do what is uncomfortable, make lifestyle changes and change our attitudes/mindset! 😀

              Enjoy your weekend Omar!!
              Marie Yovcheva recently posted…Video Marketing-How To Conquer Your Fear Of Making VideosMy Profile

  • Profile photo of Krystsina Profile

    Hi Marie,

    that’s a great post I would say! I found it very educational as the sales funnel might play the main role in the professional activity of marketers.

    I heard about it some time back, but never went in details to understand it in a full way. Seems like I missed out quite a lot :)
    Krystsina recently posted…Small Business and Freelancing Roundup: Week of 13/01/17My Profile

  • Profile photo of Katrina Schuessler Profile

    Hi Marie,

    I know some of what you talked about here but still learned something new.

    I will love an update from you regarding how you went from 0 to over 300 leads.

    You should be at tens of thousands of leads by now, right?

    Please share.

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