The Cosmic Sales Funnel

The Cosmic Sales Funnel



“It’s all a funnel,” Ted Tedesco said at 7 PM, after our all-day master training session in setting up funnels, slides and ascension ladders for internet marketing.

I hate to give away the ending. There’s more to it, obviously, and if you take his course you will have your own shocking experience of suddenly realizing you’re not in a sales course at all. You’re in the presence of a spiritual master.

The revelation had come after a participant, a young internet entrepreneur I’ll call Jenny, took the mic and said, “All this stuff about squeeze pages and landing pages and funneling the customer…is starting to sound really manipulative to me. Can’t I just put my product for sale on the internet and let the customer look at it at his or her leisure, and if they want to buy it, fine, if they don’t, that’s OK too. I mean, why do I have to funnel them into it like their being tricked?”

The room was silent. She was voicing something all we young entrepreneurs, who had been chosen for the course by our business school admin at Stanford, had been thinking all day. I mean, these techniques were incredibly powerful, yes. But they were also ethically…upsetting. Tedesco’s mantra was “remove free will from the equation. Your customer will do what you tell him or her to do.”

“I mean, do I have to use a funnel?” Jenny said, since Ted didn’t seem to be responding. Finally, he took a deep breath, turned to us, and announced…

“I mean, what do you think reality is, Jenny?” he said. “What shape does reality have?”

“I don’t know….open?”

“Open is not a shape. If you had to give reality a geometric shape, what would it be?”

“An inclusive circle, where we’re all respected?”

There were murmurs of support. That seemed good.

“That would be nice,” he said. “But according to my friends at the Advanced Physics Institute here in Palo Alto, reality itself, on a sub-atomic level, consists of something they once called quantum tunneling, but now with latest information from Cerne, we see is actually quantum funneling. Just like your customer, the quanta, or packets of information come in here at the top, and here’s your circle, Jenny. And they statistically they are funneled off until down here at the opening of the funnel, matter appears. That’s how matter works, Jenny. It’s not a circle. And there’s no kumbaya. The quanta are forced down the side of the funnel, into narrower and narrower statistical options, until finally, a choice has to be made, and poof….something exists. If it were a circle, like the First People often hypothesized, we’d all be dead and the universe would be an empty vacuum.”

The room felt like an empty vacuum. We were being hit with some heavy shit.

“And here…”

He put up a slide of the uterus, and into the fallopian tube. Some people started crying. They saw the shape of the fallopian tube before he even asked us.

“A funnel,” he said.

And this is the process of conception. Here you have several billion sperms entering at the top of the funnel, here in the cervix. And they swim in ever narrowing passageway until some arrive at their destiny. The egg.”

He put up a close up of a human embryo.

“And what shape is that.”

“No!” someone screamed. It was too horrible. As the animation on the screen of the sperm penetrating the egg proceeded, we saw that even after the sperm entered the cell, it proceeded down an ever narrowing space of the eggs genetic material until it became a male protonucleusm, which itself was shaped like an upside down pyramid.

“Now birth.”

People were balling now. Assistants brought around tissues. We watched a gif of a baby going down the birth canal and emerging into the universe through — -you guessed it, something shaped like a funnel.

“If that’s not enough for you, Jenny, how about this?” said Ted.

An animation of the big bang appeared on screen, and the plasma radiating out from the initial explosion very quickly created in reverse the shape of a funnel. The point of singularity of the big bang was the bottom of the funnel. Time and space themselves radiated away from the singularity in the shape of a…I can’t even say it any more. It was too horrible.

“But it’s not…fair,” said Jenny, tears were falling down her cheeks.

Ted looked at her, or rather, through her. Suddenly he said, loudly, “What happened to you Jenny? Did your Daddy leave your Mommy.”

She looked up, shocked. She nodded.

“And that hurt, yes? Because this is the funnel of a marriage. A man and a woman come together at the top of the funnel, and they have a baby, and they slide down life together and they are supposed to go all the way down the funnel together until the end, right? But look, sometimes, there is a funnel stack. All your Dad did, Jenny, was take a slide out the side of the marriage funnel into the relationship funnel with another woman, what was her name, Jenny?”

“Cindy,” she said, in disgust.

“OK, so now he’s in Cindy’s funnel. Or Cindy’s in his funnel. And maybe they think it’s an ascension model. They’re climbing up a series of sales tiers, like we spoke about earlier, ten dollars, twenty dollars, only its not that, it’s dating, and then it’s marriage, which for him is second marriage and they think it’s gonna work out this time but guess what Jenny, it didn’t work out, did it?”

“How did you..”

“How did I know?” Ted said, amused. “Funnel stacking is my business. The second funnel is always a disappointment. You have to accept that as a marketer and build in a bonus offer. So things didn’t work out with Cindy. You’re Dad landed on another squeeze page, and before you know it, he found himself in another funnel in Vallejo California with a dope dealer named Janine. Some bonus, huh?”

Jenny’s eyes bulged.

“But…but…you…nobody knows…how?”

Assistants came over, calmed Jenny down, gave her shoulders a massage, handed her tissues. Her mind had been blown.

“You’ve been angry at your Dad, haven’t you? But look here, he was caught in a triple funnel stack that was aligned perfectly for him to abandon you and your mother just at the time you needed him most. Once you see the funnel stack he was trapped in, Jenny, what can you do?”

“Forgive my Dad?” she said, and then she smiled. We all saw it. A mountain of pain suddenly was lifted off her shoulders. She laughed. We all did.

“Jenny,” Ted said, after we calmed down. “I was like you, once. I wanted my business to be fair and good. What is it you’re going to do, cruelty free something?”

“Cosmetics,” she said. “No animal testing.”

“Great,” said Ted. “Believe it or not, I wanted to make a positive difference in the world, too. And the one thing I didn’t want to do was force it on anyone. I wanted people to come to me willingly. And you know what happened? Nobody came! My first company failed. But with my second company, failure was not an option. I invented Buzzsaw and I decided people would buy it. I designed the funnel they would fall into. I trapped them. I lured them. I enrolled them. However you want to phrase it. And once they entered, I made damn sure of one thing, they were mine. You could not get out of the Buzzsaw funnel without clicking buy. There was only one way out of this intricate system that we designed. You might not buy today, you might not buy tomorrow, but you see, look at the structure…eventually, after you went into the database and the next squeeze page appeared before you and the next email and the next ladder and the next slide and the next funnel…eventually…we got you. That’s why I am the legend that I am today. You’ve heard the myth of Buzzsaw’s 100 percent conversion rate. Well I’m here to tell you that it’s not a myth. I have three private planes and a castle in Monaco because of one thing and one thing only.”

“The funnel,” we all said.

We were his. This, I realized, was the spout of the funnel that I had been sliding down. And I was about to be deposited on the other side. No longer a victim of chance, but someone who creates my own destiny. My start up was really born that afternoon, in that seminar. And that is why I’m here today giving this rather long intro. Because of my hero, my mentor, my guru. The great Ted Tedesco.

Ladies and gentlemen, please give a great Palo Alto welcome to Mr. Ted Tedesco!

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