The Sales Funnel Explained (in 4 Steps): Use it to Get More Clients | by Jennifer Britton

The sales funnel is a practical, powerful marketing tool that every coach needs!

You may have noticed the term "funnel" cropping up a lot on social media.

Although it's often used by "high ticket closers" and sales professionals in a way that feels pushy and inauthentic, it's actually a very useful tool for coaches to grow their business and focus their offerings.

The Sales Funnel Overview

In the marketing world, the funnel is simply a model that's useful to help us think through our marketing and sales strategy. The sales funnel is a tool that visually helps us consider what we're offering, and to whom. It lets us see how we're engaging with our clients or customers in different ways and at different price points. And the funnel is not only about marketing sales—it's also about building relationships.

To understand the basic concept, picture a funnel: wide at the top, narrow at the bottom. Now imagine your prospective clients moving from the top of the funnel down through the different stages of your marketing and relationship goals: 1) Attract, 2) Convert, 3) Engage and 4) Connect.

The Sales Funnel Explained in 4 Steps

1) Attract

This is the widest part of the funnel, geared to attract the most people. It's also the place where you want to build brand awareness around your products and services.

Here you'll offer items that are free or no-fee. The goal is to attract new people and expose them to what you offer.

At the 1) "Attract" level you might include things like:

  • A downloadable template to support your clients - often in exchange for signing up for your newsletter.
  • A daily challenge (5 days or 7 days) to support clients in taking action towards their goals
  • Blog posts
  • Facebook Live Community Calls where you discuss some of the more common questions, opportunities, challenges and resources for your focus of work
  • A webinar for a larger association or group


  • What do you have at the widest part of the funnel—for free or a very low fee—geared to attract people to what you offer?
  • If you don't have anything yet, what's possible? Take a few minutes to outline a few ideas.

2) Convert

At the next level of the funnel, your purpose may be to strengthen relationships and generate money.

Here, you'll have low-priced offerings to help people consider your services and start the conversation with you. They will get more than a taster and probably get an experience of what your services can provide for them.

This second level is geared to get people to convert to a higher-level or next product.

At the 2) "Convert" level your offerings might include things like:

  • A short e-book bringing together some of your blog posts in a compendium
  • A short video-based course highlighting some of the tips or latest research around the topic

3) Engage

At the engage level, you'll offer your mid-priced programming. This is perhaps where your "live" or in person offerings of retreats or group coaching might reside.

At this point, people are making an investment in your offerings, and they're likely to become a fan of what you offer. These are the people who are likely to move on to bigger-ticket items.

Here, too, people may use your mainstream offerings on an ongoing basis. For some coaches, this is where your regular one-on-one coaching will be located, or a retreat day with a team.

At the 3) "Engage" level your offerings might include your core offerings like:

  • A retreat day with a team
  • Regular one-on-one coaching
  • Regular group coaching programs

4) Connect

Finally, at the bottom (small) end of the funnel, your purpose is to connect with the people who are likely to become the advocates of your work. These are your "raving fans," who will buy everything you have to offer.

Here's where you likely offer products and services that command the highest rate, and involve the most intensive (or highest-touch) work.

At the 4) "Connect" level you might include things like:

  • A "VIP Day" in person with you and just 5 other people
  • A "high end" 6 month coaching program
  • A special weekend program
  • A luxury week-long retreat

Wrap-up Exercise:

Your homework is to consider these 5 questions for each stage of your sales funnel:

  1. What mix of products and services do you currently offer at each level of the funnel?
  2. What are you doing at each level to build relationships?
  3. What are you doing at each level to bring people into different orbits of involvement and purchase? How are you transitioning people from one level of your funnel to the next?
  4. As you consider your programming for the work you do, what could you put in each of these levels?
  5. Which of your existing programs could benefit from some attention or need to be developed?

So what's going on in your sales funnel?​

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Jennifer Britton

Contributing Author:

Jennifer Britton, MES, CHRP, CPT, PCC, is the author of seven books and has influenced a generation of coaches in the realms of team and group coaching. You may have read her writing, including Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010), the first book in the world to be published on the topic of group coaching; From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching; or her latest, Reconnecting Workspaces: Pathways to Thrive in the Virtual, Remote and Hybrid World (2021).

Since 2006, Jennifer's Group Coaching Essentials and Advanced Group and Team Coaching Practicum programs have become known as the must-do training in the area of group coaching. Focused on providing coaches with best practices in designing, marketing and implementing group coaching, these programs have helped thousands of coaches launch their own group and team coaching programs in a wide variety of settings (public, corporate, non-profit). Together both courses are approved for 18.75 ICF CCEUs. These are the first two of 10 course pathways leading to certificates in Group and Team Coaching.

Potentials Realized's ICF-CCE programs are geared for aspiring group and team coaches, especially those wanting to work toward the New Advanced Credential in Team Coaching (ACTC) with the ICF.

Also check out our neuroscience course for group and team coaches (NLE-A), Team Coaching Essentials  and ACTIVATE Your Team and Group Coaching Superpowers. Prefer podcasts? Listen in to the Remote Pathways podcast, which explores the many different pathways to remote work, business and leadership.

Learn more about Jennifer & see all their articles here >>

Image of Mentor and Mentee enjoying themselves by fizkes via Shutterstock


    • mturcott

      Thank you, Elaine! Glad you enjoyed Jennifer's explanation of sales funnels. Warmly, Mary


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