Once I got clear on the what my business’ goal was, it changed the way I looked at the possible solutions to problems I encountered as I grew my businesses.
Keep the answer to that question, “What is the goal of your business?” in the back of your head as I share with you a strategy for one of my businesses partnerships that is working very well in 2017.
Let’s get this out of the way…I’m not a “well-educated” man by the standards of the world. I was home schooled and self-taught in a lot of ways. I haven’t been to a public school since 6th grade, and haven’t taken any college courses. However, my parents did an amazing job at teaching my sibling and myself how to think, reason, and create solutions. Those life skills have allowed me to grow in business in spite of what some might call “limitations” due to my lack of formal education.
This doesn't mean I am short on specialized knowledge, but you’d never find my resume in a pile with others who have their degrees and MBAs. In fact, like most of you, I wouldn’t want to be considered for any corporate job that requires such things. I love the freedom that I’ve received from creating amazing marketing and sales strategies for my businesses.
When I was asked to write this article, my first reaction was, “What can I say to impact as many fellow business owners?” The answer was clear and simple, “I want to share what’s working for me and my partners now, with the tools and technology of today.”
My hope is that other entrepreneurs are blessed with the freedom that comes from running a profitable and growing business. That some of the lessons I’ve learned might make your life better, whether you are a young growing company or run a wildly successful company that could greatly benefit from the strategy I’m about to share.
If Frank Kern needs texting, so do you
Recently, my brother and business partner in FixYourFunnel.com, Ryan Chapman, received a text from well-known internet marketer and business coach, Frank Kern, after reading a recent report we published. He had a conversation with my brother and in simple terms, said he realized he needed to use text messaging more in his businesses.
If someone doing as well as Frank got some ideas from our strategy, I’m hoping you’ll keep an open mind and find the tactics that might work for you, even if you feel the entire strategy isn’t a match for your business.
Before we get into it, I want to motivate you to read this whole thing, so I’m going to give you the punchline and share the results of the strategy I’ll be sharing.
Generates 125-plus leads a day currently at $1.53 per lead with name/phone/email and most (>70 percent) giving us permission to text them. (Training additional salespeople to scale to 1,000 leads a day with no major change in cost per lead)
$29 in leads equates to a 1:1 call with a sales rep
One out of ~95 leads invests in a $1,900 average program price
One out of ~5 people who get on a call with a salesperson buys
All sales calls are by appointment only, scheduled by the lead
>40 percent profit margin after marketing expenses, COGS, and sales commissions
$5,000/mo to over $50,000/mo in <12 months with one employee (inside sales)
Would those results in a scalable business get you excited to wake up in the morning?
If not, then stop reading, I’ll just bore you from here on out.
Here are some of the basic concepts we need to agree on before I go on with the strategy. If you don’t agree with these, at least open your mind to these concepts as you read on.
Concepts we need to agree on
Let me preface this by saying this isn’t for everyone, but most people will get great value from at least part of it and can modify the strategy to benefit their sales and marketing process.
Unless you are selling something that the market already wants and they already know they want from you, you need to hold off on going for the sale. In each step, focus on getting the lead to the next action in your process, not on making the sale.
People need to be educated and motivated enough to buy your product before you ask for the sale, or you are getting a lot of “No” responses that should be “Yes” responses and are missing out on a ton of sales opportunities.
The medium(s) you use and the time you take to educate and motivate a lead to make a buying decision depends on who you are selling to and what you are selling them. One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to marketing and sales strategies.
Now I want to share with you a little story that illustrates the power of this strategy when it was implemented for a business we partnered with.
A quick case study
One of our inside sales reps at FixYourFunnel.com had started a side business before coming to work for us. He intentionally sought to work for us, because he was referred by his relative that knew about our past success with selling information products online and in over 400 live seminars.
Before working with us, he was focusing strictly on posting free ads on sites like Craigslist and Backpage to generate leads using a text message keyword call to action, such as “Text the word DEMO to 760-621-8199 to learn more.”
The owner was doing a lot of manual work and already feeling maxed out on the results. A few months into working for us, our sales rep asked for help in growing his side business, and in exchange, offered ownership in the company. We partnered with him because we saw he had a passion for what he was doing and we believed in the product and services he offered.
In February 2016, we started creating a sales and marketing funnel for his business, which had done about $20,000 in revenue in the first four months.
The first thing we did was look at the funnel. There wasn’t anything very structured to speak of, but the business owner was using our software and was capturing leads by text message, then following up by phone to make the sale. He had a good basic sales foundation to start from.
The problem was, he was spinning his wheels and maxing out his time by educating each prospect on the same thing, over and over and then asking for the sale.
Obviously, nothing groundbreaking, but the first thing we did was have him put together a video education series to help educate and motivate the prospect to make a buying decision before talking to the lead by phone.
But this only helped solve the problem of having to educate people one by one—if they were actually watching the video.
Instead of relying on free ads and on emails to be opened and read in order to get someone to watch a 45-minute video, we created some ads on Facebook using Lead Ads, asking for name, email address, and phone number, and as part of the Lead Ad, we asked the important question, “Would you like us to text a video with more info immediately?”
We pushed those directly into Infusionsoft via SyncSumo.com and, using a decision diamond, looked for the response of yes or no for the question about receiving a text message with more information.
Here’s the good news
We started generating leads at ~$1.74 each. Also, >70 percent of the leads said “Yes” to allow us to text them. By running our FixYourFunnel “Check Number Bot,” we identified 85 percent of the numbers we received were legitimate mobile numbers (we can call all of them, but only text the around 70 percent that said “Yes” to allow us to text them).
We decided to start ramping up the ad spend, got a sales team of six people on the phones, and away we went.
But it didn’t work out so well
We were breaking even at the end of each month. We took a step back and thought, “Why did the small test work, but now that we are pounding the phones we are getting worse results?”
The answer was simple. Once again, we were pushing people to buy before educating and motivating them enough to be able to make a buying decision.
Back to the drawing board
This is where stuff started to get exciting for the business owner.
I’m going to share the full funnel with you at each step, and what we do now that has made it so that one sales person is closing more sales each month at an average price of $1,900 than six were doing at a price of $1,500.
Because I’m limited on space in this article, I’m going to skip one major step of the journey and refer you to read this for a more in-depth understanding of what we learned along the way.
Here’s our current process, after making several corrections along the way
Generate a lead with permission to text from Facebook and two other business opportunity sources.
Filter those that said “Yes” to receive text messages into a 13-step text message campaign that also has a 13-step email campaign that sends out videos and asks questions over a 90-day period (80 percent of our buyers make a buying decision in one to six weeks, but we added an extra few weeks to our primary nurture campaign for good measure) to get them to engage or schedule a call with a sales rep. For those that said “No” to text messages, they are only getting the emails (and they convert at less than 10 percent of those who said “Yes” to receive text).
The goal of the first campaign is to push them to watch a 45-minute video that invites them to text a keyword at the end of the webinar if they are ready to get started (prior to price being mentioned)
Once they’ve texted in, we ask them to schedule a 1-on-1 call. If they don’t schedule, they stay in the campaign that re-markets to them on Facebook and sends them four texts, three emails and initiates two follow up calls through our dialer. This doesn’t require thinking on the part of the appointment setter, they just call who is on the list from within the FixYourFunnel.com dialer each day and the thinking of who to call when and how many times is already set in the campaign in Infusionsoft (This video goes through the steps required if you are interested in the technical components of this campaign using FixYourFunnel.com and Infusionsoft).
Finally, once they’ve scheduled their strategy call (sales call), we re-market to them on Facebook to keep them excited and motivated about their upcoming call and send them a text reminder.
Complete the sales call and ask for the sale (~20 min call)
The best part of all these text message engagements, is that as soon as someone starts to respond to these automated text messages with links to videos and engaging questions, the inside sales rep is able to have back and forth conversations, via text message, from the same number we are sending out automated texts and the same number we call them on.
This gives them the freedom to engage in a non-threatening way (asking questions via text before they are comfortable enough to schedule a phone call).
The goal of small business owners
The goal of most small business owners I talk to is to create more profit with the least amount of effort and complexity, while still fully delivering the promised product or service.
That’s been the goal and the outcome with this business. For me, it is a side business that is tracking to provide an extra couple hundred thousand in net income this year by simply scaling marketing and adding a few more inside sales reps, with little more of my time or effort invested each week.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have your business in a state of growth and profit where complexity and complicated processes and systems have been reduced or eliminated to create the lifestyle that allows you to work on what you want to each day?
Our team at FixYourFunnel.com is committed to helping business owners implement amazing strategies through our tools and technology while leveraging the power of Infusionsoft. We love small business as we own four Infusionsoft apps that run our various businesses and have relied on Infusionsoft since 2007 because their mission and values align closely with ours.
My parting words of advice. Start simple, stay focused on your general strategy, and test and tweak until you find the winning combination that works for you. Use mentors and others who have had success to avoid the pitfalls that are common in growing a business in today’s economy.
Trent Chapman co-founded his first $1 million/year business at 27 years old, along with his brother Ryan. They’ve experienced quickly taking two businesses from $0 to over seven figures in annual revenues. Their first business was a real estate training company in 2007 that reached $1.2 million in revenue their first year ($330,000/mo peak). Their primary business is a SaaS company that does seven-figures in ARR and growing >35 percent year-over-year for three years.