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Module 6 of 9
In Progress

Getting Clients

Getting clients tends to be the part of entrepreneurship that people hate the most. Everyone loves having clients, but the selling part for a lot of people, myself included really sucked in the beginning. It just rubbed me the wrong way watching people use slimy sales tactics to convince people to buy something. Not to mention marketing, which feels like you need a perfect formula to master. 

Sure everyone is selling their “formula” to make “one million dollars in 30 days” off your idea. But let’s face it, their “formulas” (often called funnels) are just a fancier way of doing what someone else did already. Why do you think they’re behind a paywall?! Because 9 times out of 10 you can google your way to a successful marketing campaign. In fact, that’s exactly what I did in the beginning. 

If you’ll remember I didn’t go to a traditional college, certainly didn’t get an MBA, and a marketing degree was the last thing on my “what I want to do with my life” list. No, I went to Bible college and dropped out. Bible college was amazing but offered literally no real-world application for getting customers in a business. 

So how did I manage to create over $7 million in sales to date on my companies with absolutely no prior experience? Much less create an entire marketing agency? I failed my way there (throwback to the last module when we talked about “failing faster.”)

What I’ve learned is that sales and marketing don’t have to be sleazy, in fact, it can be a lot of fun and incredibly fulfilling for the right personality. But even if your personality isn’t one prone to enjoy the sales process, I believe you’ll find value in what I’m about to outline for you. No, it’s not some fancy, over-hyped funnel, it’s just a simpler way to approach sales, especially in the first few years of business. 

 

Stop selling, please.

When we first hired a sales team for the nonprofit app company, after the product started getting some traction, we hired a company to build us a script they guaranteed would “convert like hotcakes,” that our sales team would try to follow on a call with the nonprofit. 

It was terrible. People weren’t converting and on the rare occasion that they did purchase, they never stuck around past a few months. We tried everything, deals, same-day closes, incentives for the sales team, nothing was working. We even cycled through salespeople thinking they were the issue. 

After months of frustration, I asked the team to record their calls so I could try to see where the issues were in the script and try to fix it myself. Up until this point, the company we hired to work with the sales team was mentoring calls and trying to figure it out. 

The first video recording of the call I watched I realized what was wrong and I couldn’t believe I had missed it. I personally wouldn’t have sat through that call if I was paid to. It was cold, informational, and forceful at the close. Sure, it was persuasive, but only because the prospect was worn down, exhausted, and confused. 

My product helped people! It was something I knew would change a nonprofit for the better and help them reach more people for their mission. But you’d never know that if you sat through that sales pitch. 

The company we hired had great intentions, but they were focused on convincing a customer to buy a product, they weren’t focused on helping people. Their methods might have worked in other industries but in an industry that was purely relational, 501(c)3’s, this method was instant death to our company. 

Having owned and marketed companies in 15 different industries now, I’ve learned convincing someone to buy only makes them regret their decision later. Helping someone find a solution is the only way to create long-lasting, sticky, customers that trust and buy from you again. My customers left in those early days of the sales team because they felt forced to buy, not because they were convinced it was the best solution for them. 

Sales is not about selling, it’s about helping. When you believe you’re helping someone with your product, it becomes night and day easier to help customers purchase. When you’re not “convincing” but instead “guiding” customers to a decision, both you and your future client feel better about the transaction. Transactions are about value and if your product is truly valuable, just help your prospect see that value and you’ll never sell a day in your life. 

I’m beating a dead horse here because before we dig into getting leads I want you to understand the impact your presence has in your sales process, don’t just pawn the marketing and sales off to someone else to build the message. Half of you going through this just laughed at that because you’re thinking it’d be a dream to have the budget to pawn sales off, I’ve been there. But soon you’ll reach the point where you can source out sales and marketing. 

When you do get there, keep in mind you are the only one that should shape the message your customers hear about your product or service. The goal is to help the people who are using your product, your employees, and 3rd party companies won’t understand it as much as you do.

First, let’s dig into getting leads so you can sell. We’ll dive deeper into how exactly to sell without selling, at the end of this module.

 

Getting Leads

Let’s talk about actually collecting leads in a systematic and automated fashion that can scale over time. This might be a little daunting, but I’m going to simplify lead generation by breaking down how we collect hundreds, even thousands of leads a month for our customers. You can always google “lead generation funnels” and find a lot of this information. But I hope the way I lay it out in the context of what we’ve talked about up to this point will shed some new understanding of the steps of lead generation. 

My experience in this field is taken from personal sales experience in my own projects, my previous company we built for nonprofits, and my agency that has the Growth Team I was talking about in the earlier steps. Combined I’ve built lead & sales processes for 25+ companies, all of which saw an increase in leads, and most saw a dramatic increase in sales. I’ve also made a lot of mistakes in sales, a lot. Some of those 25 companies I mentioned took much longer than we would have liked to get any sort of growth because of those mistakes. We failed faster to reach success sooner.

And before we get started on that it’s worth noting that for 90% of companies a traditional website is dead. A website is informative and doesn’t inspire action. Most of today’s online companies can get away with and actually thrive off creating a simple funnel. In fact, a huge trend is simply using a link in bio type of service instead of a website, like a link tree. The goal is to find the fastest way to get your customer to receive the value you’re giving. Often a traditional website convolutes that value with too many options and information. That being said, of course, any marketing material needs to go to some sort of website, a single page with a single goal, we’ll work through this in a moment. 

 

Design Your Funnel 

Here is the funnel my Growth Team uses to get thousands of leads a month for our customers, this is the same method we used for the nonprofit app company, and all of my businesses since. The nonprofit app company gets, still to this day, thousands of leads a month, and hundreds of automated sales without ever talking to a salesperson.

The word “funnel” is incredibly broad, but simply it’s the journey you bring your prospects through to reach a sale. I’d like to refer to it as a formula in a scientific sense; the same molecules are rearranged to create something completely different. Essentially, no one arrangement of elements works for all companies, but the same elements rearranged will work for any company.

Here are those basic elements that make up all funnels. I’ll also list out additional additives you can build into your arrangement. You can use this model exactly, or do some research of your own to add more elements into your funnel. We use this basic arrangement for every single company we take on the Growth Team, rearranging minor elements, and building in different additives. 

Attention Piece

This is the first impression, or the action-based impression, that someone sees and can be a Facebook ad, google ad, post, video, ,SEO etc. The goal is to simply grab someone’s attention, call out the pain point, and interest them enough to get them to take an action; most often click. 

 

Value Object

Give something of a true value by solving their problem. This is also known as a lead magnet and can be as simple as an eBook, a video training, a course, this doesn’t have to be directly related to your product. In fact, half the magnets the Growth Team has built are just solving a random problem that we know our deep audience has, so we can isolate the correct lead. 

What we’ve found is that the best type of lead is one that you gave something to. Whether that’s a simple lead magnet or it’s a free session when you put the value upfront, the law of reciprocity is in full swing and they are ripe to return the favor. This should be something that is scalable and requires no work from you after it’s created.

Before they access the value object, they need to commit by submitting a phone number or email address.

 

The Upsell

This is the confirmation page that you’ve sent the value object. After accessing the value object, educate the lead on why you are offering it for free, what’s your passion, why are you doing what you’re doing, what are you doing, and how you or the company can help them too. 

 

Retargeting

In order to capture people that maybe didn’t understand the value object, or didn’t follow through on the upsell, you remarket them with another version of the offer or a different offer. Remarketing or retargeting is just targeting another ad to a certain set of people, in this case, people that landed on your page. 

 

Nurturing Campaign

For the people that submitted their email or phone number, officially considered a lead, a nurturing campaign will keep your brand front and center and act as a remarketing campaign to people that didn’t follow your value ladder as far as you wanted. 

 

Uncomplicate the funnel. 

Using your value ladder you can begin filling in some of the gaps here. You can use anything for your attention piece, literally anything for a value object, and of course, the upsell is your entry-level product or service. 

As an example of how versatile this model is, I’ll explain how the nonprofit app company used it vs how some Instagram accounts use the same funnel in a completely different way. 

We build hundreds of variations of attention pieces, with expert-written copy, custom-designed graphics, and message-specific calls to action. These were pushed to Facebook ads, search engines, and google ads. 

Those all sent interested parties to our 4 core Value Objects, all free eBook resources, and checklists that solved an issue for the nonprofit. 

After they download the free resource by submitting their email, they’re taken to The Upsell, which is a “confirmation” page, under the confirmation we pitch the customer an upsell. In this case, we explain what the pain points are, and how our software addresses them, then we encourage them to watch an instant demo of the platform. 

This takes them to a page that has nothing but recorded demos of the product on the page, along with videos that answered the most common questions. Under the video player, there’s a simple button “Register.”

We also use reviews, social proof strategies, SMS campaigns, etc to fill in gaps when we find a lack of conversion happening. In the workbook, you can find a list of helpful tools for building your funnel here.  

Now, let’s talk about applying this model to a simpler business model. Let’s say your company is on Instagram and you offer a web design or graphic design service and want to build a simple funnel. You don’t even need a squeeze page, all you need is Instagram and a couple of free tools. 

You can easily make a social post an attention piece that refers people to “link in bio” or a story that has a link attached to it, this isn’t the most effective, but for the sake of proving the simplicity let’s roll with it. 

Your Value Object could be a free training video on how to brand your Instagram account, this can be added directly inside most link in bio products like linktree. 

The Upsell could be at the end of your video prompting viewers to book a call with you by clicking a link below (a link you’ve added below the free video training on your linktree.) That link could be a simple calendar booking system like Calendly. 

It doesn’t matter how “simple” you want to make your funnel, they all use the same core elements. 

Included in this module is a version of the questionnaire the growth team uses to break down and build the different elements of this funnel. You can choose to walk through this questionnaire if you’d like help refining your message and value ladder to fill in your funnel. 

 

The Sales Call

This is that part of the sales process that I mentioned earlier that everyone hates. I’m here to show you sales calls can be fun and engaging if you know how to run them. 

When I was working on the nonprofit app company and building our first sales team we learned a lot. After auditing the sales demos with prospects, we found quickly the entire call was more informative than it was relational. 

We restructured the entire call to be more of a Q&A session than a presentation of numbers. We threw the written script out and ended up with 3 core sections, that later would be identified as Sympathising, solving, and saving. 

Please remember though, sales is relational, and about connection NOT about a formula. There’s no perfect sales formula and there’s certainly no perfect system. There are only principles, and truths, that work to help you pitch your product.

 

Sympathy

I was recently working with a sales team from a company that sold beef straight from the farm. When they first presented the script to me I was immediately overwhelmed with the amount of information and numbers that were presented. It was overwhelming. And when I asked how many sales they’d made off the script they said none. I was shocked as my agency had built a lead system that was pouring qualified leads in, but none of them were selling?! 

Firstly I’m not entirely surprised, because sales require authenticity and sometimes a script can really hinder the salesperson’s ability to be or seem authentic. Now, they do help keep a large team in check and within bounds on what they can and can’t say in a sale. But when given the option, I shy away from a traditional script and veer heavily toward a 3 step outline. The outline I find MOST effective is: sympathizing, solving, and saving. 

After reading the script I almost immediately caught the issue or one of the main issues anyhow. The script kept asking questions and talking about the type of beef they buy at the grocery store, how much they pay for it and did they? While I was reading those questions, I was imagining myself in the Kroger beef aisle staring at the 20 different options of steak, cold, and a little frustrated since I couldn’t find the peanut butter earlier because Kroger once again rearranged everything…

Do you see the issue? The script put me in a place I DIDN’T want to be. Not a place I wanted to be and felt excited about. When we talked about mindset, I mentioned a psychological principle called the Hebbian Principle, which essentially states that when something new is learned, it’s attached to something old, this is why our neuron network grows. So when you think about what you just learned, it’s associated with the neuron path that it attached to. What’s this got to do with beef? 

Well, if you’re trying to teach a prospect that your beef is better, would you rather attach to a negative neuron path or a positive neuron path? Clearly a positive. 

We fixed the script in large part by instead of making the prospect imagine the isle meat in Kroger, we placed them into a memory, a positive memory. So every time they thought about that memory or our product the two were associated. We did this by asking a simple question: “what’s the best burger you’ve ever tasted?” immediately we’ve tapped into their emotions, their taste, and their problem-solving ability. Without realizing it, their brain now wants to find a way to get back to that delicious, juicy burger. And, Voila, they’re ready to find a way to get that burger, you just gotta provide value. 

Sales is about emotion, not facts, stick to putting your lead in an emotional state rather than a decision-making mindset. I know that sounds counterintuitive if in the end you want them to pull the trigger and make a decision, but really you want your potential customer to realize it’s not even an option, it’s instinct. 

Sympathising is all about becoming your customer. Sure, empathy would have been a better title, but it doesn’t start with s, so roll with it. When you sympathize with your customer, you’re putting yourself in their feelings by using a story of your own. 

The goal is to break through the fight or flight, or the croc brain, and move our story into the neocortex. 

You do this by building what I call a sympathy pitch, no it’s not to gain sympathy it’s to spark a relationship between you and the prospect. 

This can look like a lot of things, but is commonly and most simply a story or a question prompting them to provide a story. What story sparked the product/service, why does it matter that it had to be built, and how does that affect the person listening? 

You are the product. Your story, you’re why. Anyone can get just about any product they want anywhere they want. But they can’t get you unless they hire you. Why do YOU matter to them?

We’ll talk about closing in a bit, but when building a sympathy pitch, you should queue how your vision solves 3 core needs: time, money, and experience. You’ll use it in the Saving portion later. 

My sympathy pitch for husl is simple: When I was 20 I was broke and living out of my car. Less than 10 years later I sold my first multi-million dollar company. But it wasn’t easy, I felt like everything was working against me. I remember sitting in a conference room with my business partners after half my employees quit on the same day and all my partners wanted out. It felt helpless and I felt alone and like I failed. But really, I just didn’t have the resources I needed to succeed, I was always working in the weeds with no time, I couldn’t figure out how to grow my sales, and I was making costly mistakes. Less than a year later I sold the company in my first multi-million dollar exit. After that experience, I vowed I’d build a mentorship program for entrepreneurs that helped them get out of the weeds so they can focus on vision, create meaningful and explosive sales processes, and avoid costly mistakes that I made. What are a few mistakes you’ve made in business?

You’ll notice at the end of my sympathy pitch, I talk about all 3: “…I vowed I’d build a mentorship program for entrepreneurs that helped them get out of the weeds so they can focus on vision [time], create meaningful and explosive sales processes [money], and help them avoid costly mistakes that I made [money & experience].”

When building a sympathy pitch, the idea is to tell a quick story to show your prospect you relate with their pain points and their deep desire to succeed in the area you’re helping them in. 

Then close the pitch with a question, to help involve them and get their story, this starts the relationship off on mutual grounds and a relational foundation. 

 

Solving

This step may sound self-explanatory, but it’s far from it. You’ll see why as you keep going. 

Let’s pretend you own a web design agency, and you’ve booked a lead to talk to you. Let’s say you jump on a call and start talking about the story behind your company, why you started:

You’re talking about the time you went to a website and it was so confusing and frustrating to find what you were looking for, so you jump off and forget about buying from that business. “I’m sure you’ve never left a website because you couldn’t find what you were looking for?” you ask half-jokingly. They laugh and explain they have. So you continue explaining that something clicked in you, what if everyone had simpler, cleaner websites that were easier to understand. Consumers could make better choices because they understand their choices better; businesses can better communicate and thus impact more people. That’s why you build websites; it’s what moves you and it’s awesome seeing your customers’ results reflect that. 

You’ve sympathized with a problem they have, and without saying it insinuated that their customers could be experiencing something similar when they visit their site. Sparking a little fear in them so you can get to the problem-solving part of the brain. So now it’s time to solve that issue. You’ve asked, “when was the last time you felt confident in your web presence.”

After letting them respond and explain their fear that their customers will experience that SAME thing you did if they were to visit their company’s site you open the door. 

That’s when you save the day – wait though. Don’t save them yet, help them down that path instead of throwing all your features and pricing at them. Use questions to lead them somewhere you want them to be:

 

Why does that concern you that people might be confused on your website? 

What do you think could help you fix that? 

Have you already looked at trying to fix it? If so what did you do? 

 

These questions should be designed to figure out which core issue they’re truly looking to solve: more money, more time, more experience. 

Lead them to solve their OWN problem by deciding that you can help them, instead of you telling them you can help them. When it’s your idea it’s an opinion, when it’s their idea, it’s fact. This is the #1 way to scuff out “competitor research” from a prospect’s mind. 

Think of a counselor. Their job isn’t to solve a problem for a client, it’s to help the client solve their OWN problems by helping them discover the real issue, the potential solutions, and what path makes the most sense for them. Be a counselor. Be someone that HELPS people make the best decision. Not someone that manipulates them. If it’s not the right fit for your prospect, don’t sell it, ever. A forced sale breeds resentment. 

 

Saving

Okay, so they’ve admitted that they’re talking to you because they’re scared that they’re missing out on having a bad website. Then through your questions, you lead them down a path of discovering that an updated website would solve their fear and bring them more business. It’s time to cost replace. 

Cost replacement is just trading your value for your result. Sure your product or service might cost $3,000 or $4,000 but the result of them buying it will replace or even supersede that amount! (I even give a guarantee, and if you’re being honest on what you can help them with, you can confidently give a guarantee too!)

There are a million ways to close a deal. You could literally read every book in the world on sales and a lot of them probably work. But like we talked about earlier, there are really only 3 things people buy anyway; money, time, experience. 

So this portion has less to do with WHAT you’re selling and more to do with the information you extracted above. What did their answers in your solving step tell you? Did they value their money (more sales), their time (less work), or experience (better quality of life) more? 

When you can learn to successfully identify what their root need is and why they really truly reached out to you, you can honestly and ethically be the solution. So, let’s say earlier when you asked “Have you already looked at trying to fix it?” and they said “no, I’ve done some research, but I don’t have the time.” or something similar, then you know they’re after time. 

Sure, everyone’s after all of those 3 core desires and your product should sell them all. But when you pick one, you can drive the conversation into a cost replacement model. Using the other 2 as objection blockers; tools when people say, “well…I don’t have time to manage this,” or “I don’t have the money to afford it,” or even “I’m going to go do some research.”

After they answer, you need to QUANTIFY what they just said, “how much time do you think you’ve spent on this?” then monetize that by asking “What would you say your time is worth?” say they respond “$50 an hour.” This gives you a basic metric of value to base how much you can save them. 

Now allow them to identify you as the solution: “Do you think working with me can put that time back in your pocket?” This question can look like a number of things, “do you think we can help you [make $x], [save x hours], or [help you better x]?”

Let them answer. Then ask “why?” this is just reinforcing their conviction. It’s paramount to let them verbalize. What you say you create. So you’re letting them convince themselves.

 

My Savings Outline

How I build my savings outline is I ask people if they’ve ever made a mistake in business. The answer is inevitable, “yes.” 

Then, I ask how much did that mistake cost you?

Their response tends to be along the lines of “Maybe $1,000, maybe more.” 

I sympathize by admitting I’ve made MUCH bigger mistakes, one that cost me $40,000 actually, so I totally get it. 

Then I ask, so do you think I can help you avoid some of those mistakes?

They will always say some variation of “yes” because they’re in a social setting and don’t want to disappoint. 

Then I ask why?

Usually, they say something like “Because you’ve had more experience than I do.” Or “you can help me see pitfalls.”

 

At which point, my close is already made, “Even just saving you from making 3 mistakes by your estimation saves you $3,000. But I think I can save you more than that, especially by saving you time fixing those mistakes and helping your company make a lot more money than you’re making now. But if all I’m able to do is save or make you $3,000 more, then you’ve paid for my time and walked away with a lot of insight, someone in your corner when things are rough, and I’m confident we’ll get you an explosive sales model put together.”

 

Pricing

Pricing is one of the most complicated parts of releasing any product. If you price too high, customers avoid you, price too low and they think your product is cheap, price in the middle and you don’t stand out! Pricing can also be an incredible motivator to take action if positioned correctly. 

I’ve attached a pricing calculator to this module’s workbook that may help some products discover the actual value of what you’re creating. It’s not a perfect formula as all companies are different and have totally different goals even if selling the same product. But before you fill that out, let’s dig into what you should consider before pricing. 

The first thing to consider about pricing is you shouldn’t really be looking at your competitors and matching their pricing. That’s a recipe for an average company, and if you’re taking this course, that’s not what you’re building. If you really want to stand out, design front-end pricing that is either significantly higher than competitors or significantly lower. 

Let’s face it, price is no longer solely determined by just supply and demand as it’s not the 40s. In today’s marketplace, everything is about value and result. Pricing is more of a social signal than ever before, it’s something that controls how someone can feel about you and your product. On your front-facing, customer pricing you can go high and promise an incredible result, and immediately elicit “high end” vibes. Or you can price way lower than competitors and elicit a sense of “I’m on your side.”

What do I mean by “front-facing, customer pricing?” I’m talking about the pricing that you put on advertising, your website, or lead page for your first upsell, not the pricing of your higher-level products as the customer travels up your value ladder.

Secondly, you may ask, “why would I price low? Didn’t you just say that can look cheap?” the short answer is not if you position it correctly in marketing, you would have a backend offer that you capitalize on and profit higher than normal after practically giving away what they want most for inexpensive.

For example with the nonprofit app company, we positioned a valuable product, a CRM for churches as “sponsored” by a partner, therefore it was “no-cost” to the customer. This pulled in a lot of customers that were tired of paying for that particular product or even some customers that were just getting started and didn’t have the same budget yet. We then created a nurturing journey and sales process that pulled them into higher level products – that we charged for –  since they were already using our system and the other products integrated so easily into their “free” CRM.

Then why would you price high? Because our brains perceive a challenge as being more valuable than something attained easily. More commonly stated, the more expensive the more valuable we think the product is. 

 

Here are some notes to remember when choosing a pricing strategy (more in the workbook): 

 

  • Just because your product is valued at a certain rate doesn’t mean that’s what you charge. Again, you could price high if you’re eliciting a “high-end” feel. Or lower to pull in more people to upsell later. 
  • People are burnt out on subscriptions. One-time offers can allow you to add more value and raise your pricing since the customer sees “one time” as valuable in itself and is often willing to pay more. 
  • Pricing isn’t always about covering costs. You can have something called a “loss leader” which means you lose money on the first “purchase” or step in your value ladder in an effort to gain the masses and upsell them to make a higher profit later. 

 

However, you choose to price your product, make it innovative and new. This is the secret to many successful companies offering similar products to their competitors but taking the market by storm. For example, I have a payment processing company for nonprofits and most nonprofits are used to paying 2.9% + .30¢ per debit card transaction and up to 3.5% and .35¢ per credit card transaction, and about 100 other variations of rates on different cards. It’s confusing and outdated. After processing millions of transactions in my previous company, I did the math and realized that a simple 2.5% flat-rate fee on all transactions, no .30¢ or .35¢ tacked on, made the same amount of profit and was easier for the customer to understand. 

Pricing is completely dependent on your overall strategy in how you want your leads to travel through your funnel and value ladder. Yeah, I know, this isn’t the “here’s exactly what you need to do” section you may have wanted. Furthermore, after you come up with pricing, you’ll most likely change it 3 or 4 times over your first year as you get feedback from your audience. 

Fill out the pricing calculator, value ladder, and funnel in the Workbooks to best determine your pricing strategy throughout the customer journey.