Category

Front End Offer

Scaling A Coaching Business From 20k to Over 200k A Month (In Less Than 15 months)

By | ad, ad campaign, ads, Advertising, advertising campaign, Business, business-growth, Front End Offer, Uncategorized | No Comments

Nehal: Hi, this is Nehal and today I’m here with Nazim from Regent black belt and today we’re going to talk about a case study of one of the clients that he took from about 20 k a month to over 200 k per month in less than 15 months. How’s it going Nazim?

Nazim: I’m good, man. Real nice talking to you and thanks for having me.

Nehal: It’s funny how all the whole industry works when it comes to Facebook advertising. There is a lot of people who have a scarcity mentality and Nazim and I are working together on client transition and stuff. We started to talk and we said- man, why don’t we just go deeper and I shed about what other cool stuff you’re working on. I believe in abundance and there is a lot of business to go around for all of these agencies and obviously, they’re growing so that’s how Nazim and I got connected, and so here we are and I’m glad we’ve got the chance to do this, man.

Nazim: Also, man. When you send me a friend invite to your page I was expecting the usual stuff and  I said- hey, man this is going breakdown at scores and the scorecard method you explained on the whiteboard and some of the things that you explained that we`re using and I thought – yeah, he’s going deep in the marketing stuff. It was instant respect and I’m really glad we connected.

Nehal: Likewise. So that’s why when you mentioned your case study I said ok, let’s jump in. If you think in the context of what happened in terms of the after, of the overall results, we could go into the initial stages because going from 20K  a month to 100K a month is a big milestone in itself, but that’s where most people get comfortable or settle or don’t want to push further but you guys were able to go from 100 to over 200K per month and there is something to be said about that not only from the technical and tactful standpoint but from the strategic and psychological standpoint, how you guys were approaching the business and why you were doing so. In a nutshell, what is the business and how you were able to scale it?  In a nutshell, then we can go deep.

Nazim: Me and Vanessa, Vanessa’s a consistent client, connected through mutual connections and I was recommended as a Facebook ad person and at the time she was trying to grow her coaching business and she had a product, a 997 product.  Her goal was to really automate her business and make a decent six-figure living out of it. We built a funnel and we ran it and then $997 product didn’t work that well. Also, at that time she was introduced by someone to the world of high-tech coaching. She realised- hey, I’ve been coaching people for all of my life,she has thick skin in the game,  she’s been around, she basically built a high ticket coaching program for her business and she was charging a 5,6, $7,000 for it so we went ahead and built a funnel for that. It’s a webinar funnel where people basically see an add on Facebook, go to a landing page and there is a webinar site on that page, then they watch a webinar, they book a consultation call and then if it’s a good fit for my client  and the lead, they get to work together, all right. They get involved in her high ticket coaching program which has the elements of video coaching in there so like a membership site plus weekly calls, as well. We basically took that from the level where she was making 20K then we kind of grew it to 200K plus now. Obviously, there were specific stages and specific obstacles we had to overcome to really get to that level and that’s what we can discuss.

Nehal: What is that she does for the  N client, what’s the result?

Nazim: She basically works with people like  therapists, healers and people like that. She helps them get their marketing down. She teaches what she does and that is high ticket sales and she helps them enroll their high tickets clients into their programs because a common problem in the marketplace she is serving  is that they’re slaving away at an hourly pay model which sucks and she basically helps them to really look at their gifts and package their results in the way where they can earn a decent living, earn what they deserve by commanding decent prices, commanding what they deserve from their clients.

Nehal: Why do you think people decide to work with her because there are a lot of “high tickets coaches “? There is a lot of different things that people want from those coaches. Some of them want to focus on sales, some of them want to focus on marketing, avatars, psychology…Why do you think people choose her?

Nazim: They choose her because she really has been that person, she has been a massage therapist, she’s been there and the program is really designed in a way where it is very user friendly, we really don’t pretend to be gurus,  we don’t throw geeky words around like we are gonna do… It’s a very common sense way of teaching marketing, very down to earth, in a way. It’s tailored for people who don’t know, who don’t have a deep knowledge of marketing.

Nehal: Perfect. If you could take like a snapshot of where the business was at 20000 a month, what was going on in the business, like how was the business running at that point without giving away any kind sensitive details but essentially how the business was growing. I’m assuming you were still primarily based on ads, what were the offers, things like that, then after that we can go into what changed, what about the scales out.

Nazim:  At that stage we were just getting started building the funnel and launching the ads and obviously, like launching any funnel there is a trial and error process to that so there was a lot of testing different add copies, different creatives and the biggest goal at that stage, it’s called stage one, to really get to know the customer and get to know the language the customer is speaking. We were doing a lot of testing,obviously, marketing is  testing. A lot of things didn’t work but what we can discuss on this call like a few things that we did that allowed us to kind of start speaking customers language. Using them the customers just started loving on the ads and that really is something that got us to that 60- 70K level. And there was another obstacle and then we went to 20K.

Nehal: When you are giving 20K, is it primarily organic, is it a little bit of ads, how was that?

Nazim: That’s a great question. At the 20K level, it was primarily organic for her because she was doing a lot of 1 on 1  coaching but it wasn’t quite packaged in a way we could scale with it so I got on board in we tried to promote it, this $997 which wasn’t quite working. She was making decent money like 15- 20 grand a month with her own coaching. We were selling the 997 product but not at that level where we could scale it profitably and it wasn’t too much in demand. The 20K- 15K she was making, 70% of that was pretty much organically generated clients.

Nehal: That’s a great position to be in. I think it’s a big challenge for a lot of  entrepreneurs, especially, they’re posting in Facebook groups, they’re doing presentations or  they are just being themselves, they are just getting their word out, referrals are coming in, all this organic stuff is happening, but then it gets very tiring and if something happens in the business when you start making 5000 a month,or something like that you start going 20- 30000 a month and then the business starts breaking because you have very inconsistent  months because of going up and down, you can’t control your leads, you can’t control your sales, so that initial stage whether the entrepreneur does it themselves or get their team to do it or hire an agency, it’s a very confusing time, especially when there is I don’t know anything about any of my advertising, I have no idea what’s going to work, I just keep in these Facebook groups everybody else is doing 100Ks  a month, there is something wrong with me. What is it that you guys were doing in the beginning stage with 999, 997 course? How did you make decisions like stop or I should be running away from that?

Nazim: The problem with these group is that, there was a saying, someone said that, I actually overheard on  a Facebook live that’s really good,there are always certain outliers for anything and they kind of perpetuate the myth that this thing is working where in reality it works for 1 out of  a 100 people. The same thing we can notice with e.com, I’m not saying that e.com sales doesn’t work but we both know people and we know that only specific amount of people actually succeed with that, so what can  work for one person doesn’t mean that it’s gonna work for the majority. You have to find whatever fits you.

Nehal: We’re doing primary information products, education companies, application, webinars,  things like that…One of the clients we’re working on is an outlier, from our standpoint not only from our normal clients, but  e.com, they have figured out from cold advertising standpoint on how to be 2x profitable on products on cold on day zero so that means they’re going to spend money on a daily basis they’re actually going 2x on their  money upfront. This is a product that you take over and over again so from an advertising and growth standpoint usually people are willing to lose 50% , if they’re spending a dollar they’re happy getting fifty cents, these guys are getting 2x,  $2 and it’s a recurring product. There is work that got them there. It’s a great position to be in but that’s not for most people. From your standpoint, when you’re doing the advertising in the beginning there is so many things that you don’t know, what to look at or what to optimise for. How did you know that now is the time to stop? It’s admirable that we’re trying and we’re investing,but at this point it’s not cute, it’s just where we’re done. How do you make a decision of saying No?

Nazim: Yeah, I wish I had a specific number, amount of money you should lose before starting but I don’t.  It’s very subjective. I think at 2 months point I would say that,you know after trying something for 2 months you’re not getting even remotely that kind of results you want to have in business. More importantly,  if you don’t see how you can improve more,the lack of results you’re getting, if you don’t know how to improve it, if you have no clue. You have consulted the people, you have spoken with people but it’s still not working then probably there is a product to market mismatch. I’m really glad that you’re so honest and so open about the fact that you know the whole 2 times, I don’t wanna whine all that stuff, those are outliers and that’s amazing that they exist. You have to think realistically,be realistic and not compare yourself to people who are doing particularly amazing. You have to be willing to be like them, but you have to be real.

Nehal: Got it. And the other thing is you have to know who’s lying in those groups as well. You have to know people’s intentions. There is a lot of people who are just trying to sell coaching programs. Anyways, once that happens , when you guys are in a place where that it’s not working. What happened at that 2 month mark?  I’m sure you’re spending money,there is like frustration, I’m sure emotionally, internally you’re trying to figure out is it me, what am I doing wrong from their standpoint, trying to figure out what we’re doing next. What was the next step after you guys said we gotta change stuff here?

Nazim: Story time… Let me tell you a little story. I’m going to start telling you the story. When we transitioned from the product to the coaching, it was client-based for  starting the program, high ticket sales. The thing is, even when we started promoting this product we’re doing now, at the beginning stages we were, let’s say, unsuccessful. It was all me, I blamed it all on myself. It was a Sunday morning and I packed  my notebook and I went to the coed space where I would go back at that day and I was thinking to myself like, I looked at the ads and the conversion of the landing page, it wasn’t bad, it was like 15- 18% but the CTR was low on the cost, click was high and I was thinking to myself what am I doing wrong because I wrote the ads and then my client she looked at them and she was like-yeah, it kind of sounds like me. Obviously,  she tailored it to her flavour, to her language, but it was still not working. At the time I was also reading one of the articles and it basically said something along the lines of- if you see a marketer who’s not studying his audience, run away from that marketer. I said alright, cool, I don’t want to be that marketer basically and what came to my head was that all clients we enrolled into the program,we would have them run through a questionnaire. The client she had thick skin in the game and she worked already with   50- 60 clients at the time. She’s been doing it for years now. I open the questionnaire, and I spent no lunch, no nothing, just some lemonade and I spent the next 3 hours or so running through them. As I was running through them I was like -oh, my God, how come we are not running these things in the ad and I literally opened up a Word document and started copy pasting, copy pasting. I copy pasted like 15 pages, worth of literally lines where they talked about their problems, their pains, motivations. Then I started incorporating those in the ad and this is where it was like boom, from 1% to 3% ,like real quick. That was  like the breakthrough.

Nehal: For people who might not  know 1% isn’t very good on a click through rate. Obviously, I’ve seen some of your ads now and they get 10%  click through rates for one of the accounts we were looking at and that’s phenomenal for overall engagement in 3- 4%  on the actual click through and that is because of the some of the nuances that you got really good at in terms of a photo.If the photo of the man,  if it’s a relationship offer for example,of a man looking at the woman, is it the woman looking at the man in terms of aspirationally, is it out of pain, is it out of disgust, is it out of valour,is it out of euphoria, interest, curiosity like there so many different ways that you can take that scene image from stock photo sites or you’re taking it  yourself. How you’re choosing images is so valuable and of course, if people are giving you data in specific instructions, on how to sell them is just priceless.

Nazim: I gotta give you credit for the client,  where she communicated really well with me by saying -hey, Nazim, these are the kind of pictures I noticed that our clients like. I saw that you started promoting, the thing is that we as marketers, you Nehal and me, we   do our job amazingly, but we still have, I believe and I’m sure you’ll agree, to keep close communication with the client and listen to the clients very attentively because they ultimately have the experience of working with their audience so if the client says- hey, I don’t think this image represents my brand or or audience then, obviously, you analyse data because sometimes it might be over exaggerated, but a lot of times also  it’s a very important comment and you should take it and improve the ads.

Nehal: Yeah, sure. I think this is very important from an entrepreneur standpoint as I speak to many of them or even if you are a Marketing manager in a bigger  organisation,if you have a budget, the responsibility isn’t to fix all problems throughout the whole funnel. The best relationships we’ve had with clients, the best relationships we’ve had internally have always been a tag team, have always been that you are a part of a team and if you are in a situation where the expectation is  beneath the media wire, and someone on the team is figuring out and it’s not working and you’ve been trying it for a while it’s now time to take responsibility because they’re not going to solve all of your problems and even though you can provide a lot of coaching (19:19 min) to them they need your support.What we learn from agency standpoint, we are the platform you know ,we have expertise on the platform but  the client always has infinite domain expertise that we just can’t replace. We’re not gonna get that by being on few calls or learning or reading a few books. What they do is after hundreds of hours, thousands of hours of actual implementation in the trenches so we can just speed that up by getting way better at extracting that information at them. I think that’s part of the relationship you have with the client.

Nazim:Yeah, absolutely. I agree with every word you say.

Nehal: Now you made a decision and found this gold that was just sitting there, that just got revealed  to you. I’m sure you had this moment of heavenly music playing in the background, you know feeling like in The Matrix, all this stuff happening. Now it’s clicking,now I’ve got something, I feel I have something, you start testing. What was the main first point when it started connecting from 20K and now  it’s 30-40?

Nazim: Let me give the audience and those who are listening a little pro tip.One combination of the ad copy that made it really work  with the audience was this, I basically looked at the section where they were complaining about their problems and I basically took all of the statements they made there  and then I worked on creating five powerful questions I could open the ad copy with. All of the ad copies we ran were question oriented. We would open that ad copy, that ad with a very powerful painful question that was basically taken out of their mouth and that was really good. That’s what really worked because we ran and still run a lot of traffic on mobile and the first two chapters they see without having to click on more,if those were some powerful questions, if it grabs their attention, they have to click more.

Nehal: I think when people hear about copy frameworks or  copy structures the first thing is like step one-put a question, step two- make an introduction. A lot of times when people see the question they are just asking- are you a healer that just wants to grow their business? That might not even hit a thing  that actually resonates with the audience, so, why do you think your questions worked?

Nazim: Again, because it’s all about speaking the language of the audience and I overheard this thing that says the best copies  are written by your clients. To be fair with you, actually, you almost made me feel bad because- are you healer who wants to grow their business?- that copy actually worked as well,decently, but others as well. You  can’t just run this variation, you have to mix it up. That’s what we also learned by looking at the best marketers they mix things up.

Nehal: With all of my copy, with all we do, we tried very embarrassing stuff that this is just not going to work at all,and ends up working, simple things like that Or we tried very ninja                stuff that were like- trust me, I know my stuff, man, I spent a lot of money, just trust me, I got you, and we got our butts handed by Facebook.

Nazim: Let me ask you,  when you are launching the ads do you ever have a few  ads that you like that you kind of fall in love with? They underperform and you hate to turn them off.

Nehal: Every single time I feel internally like- ok, I created a bunch of ads and the team created a bunch of ads, then I jumped in into a handful of ads, make them a little bit   nicer and almost always they are the ones that bum. At this point I let them run and I try not to get emotionally involved with any of them. At the end of the day I usually have copies  that I am betting on and copy them for sure.

Nazim:  You have to stay cold-blooded in this ads game, man.

Nehal: The thing is, as soon as you fall in love with any of your work, it’s kind of game over because you try to massage the copy or you try to massage an angle or even  triple an offer, lead mega offer but a lot of the times the market just says I don’t care and I think that’s kind of what was happening to you guys at initial stages, until you were making a bunch of decisions and it sounds like even though you guys didn’t change the whole business significantly, what you just did was just  say- Ok, maybe we are just not explaining, communicating or connecting with you guys the way that you want to get and feel connected to, so, what is it that we can say differently and that’s where it sounds like you guys started testing messaging that they provided you on how to sell them.

Nazim: You’re absolutely right. To  touch on the point of being creative and put all those things    analytical, the way I would say that running ads or even doing marketing is a fun game with very serious rules, meaning you got to be creative to really grab your audience attention, but when it comes to actually cutting out what doesn’t work and scaling what works, you have to be very calculated killer,  you have to abide KPI’s and eradicate emotions. I’m making it sound too dramatic but that’s it.

Nehal: For people who might not have experience with that, it sounds maybe over the top, but the reality is different. As soon as you get emotionally involved with any of your casting or decision making process, the whole thing becomes difficult especially if you are manager or  entrepreneur working with your client as emotional or more. I definitely hear you. When it comes to that connection as soon as you started testing the nuances of the advertising what happened next?

Nazim: As soon as we started testing and we started discovering the ads that were  working well, we managed to scale them to a level where now we’re making 50, 60, 70K  a month, a lot of people would stop, but the thing is the client was an A player, still is an A player,  we still work together and I love her dearly, and she says- I don’t care, let’s go 100, 150K, 200, 500K  a month. That’s her goal and we’re still on that journey with no destination just moving up and up, but there was a different problem now. It wasn’t the  ad but the whole funnel started being important now for the success.

Nehal: What was the difference in the advertising and how much money were you spending when it comes to the initial stages when you started testing  and then what happened when you started running into the next problem?

Nazim: To tell you the amount specifically, let’s say we started with a few  $100, $100-$200. They were testing a lot of stuff.We were doing a little targeting and primarily spending money on let’s say 90%   of the ad we were spending on a really trying to: number one- discover the right audiences until we had a very solid look alike, number two- discovering the ad creatives, images,videos, testing those as well, number three- obviously, the copy variations. We are really trying to not overspend until we had a proven ad variation or variations we could scale. As soon as we discovered them,  we scaled to $700- $800 a day level, something around that..

Nehal: Do you remember what your recurrent  on ad spent was before you got to the next challenge which was  the funnel, approximately?

Nazim: Like a monthly figure? I would say like 10 to  15 grand. At the point we were making like 70-75K, roughly speaking.

Nehal:  Got it. It’s important because what happens is just when you initially are starting with advertising I like when you have only $100 a day or $50 a day. It is in the motion of figuring things out, but when it does connect it looks like you guys  started spending money relatively quickly when it comes to spending from $100 a day to $700 a day just so that you could get results faster and see that momentum and then you face the next level of challenges, right?

Nazim: Yeah,  exactly, absolutely. As soon as we hit that milestone of 50-60K  a month or maybe even 70, another set of obstacles came into the picture, and we can talk  about that.

Nehal: I think this is important from like a journey standpoint. As soon as you think all my problems are gone because I figured out copy and I’m so smart,naturally, there is going to be  a next challenge. For you guys, what does it mean that there was a funnel challenge for you?

Nazim: Let me remind you again what I really appreciate about you Nehal. You’re not the guy who thinks only  Facebook ads, even in the video that you recorded and I watched. You clearly talked about the importance of the offer, the landing page conversions, the ad, everything, so you understand the importance of the whole thing coming together for things to work out. I can talk about the specifics of the webinar funnel and maybe I can tell you how I troubleshooted. Basically, like in most funnels, including the webinar funnel ,if this is the  funnel there are certain points where conversions happen, where a person has to go from one page to another, from one stage to another. Usually it’s clicking on the ad, signing up on the landing page, then visiting the thank you page and waiting in that wait room to become an attendee and after that Webinar converting that person into application Then the sales team getting that person actually on the call because surprise, surprise, most of the people who book, not most ,but a good amount, are  either disqualified or they do not show up on calls and then sales team closes them. You can see lots of things you have to stay on top of for a really things to start working out. One of the things we started working on is obviously the landing page. We took the conversion rate from about 12 percentish to 20% and that immediately slashed our CPL, allowed us to have twice as many attendees on the webinar, twice as many eyeballs so more people could apply, so that was the first thing.

Nehal: Was CPL the main issue at this stage of the business?

Nazim: It’s a great question. It was at the point where it was $15 or so, and we basically set a certain amount of money where we wanted to spend everything. Even today we spent two grand on ads and we don’t want to scale above it. We want to squeeze out everything possible from the 2 grand before moving to  let’s say 2500 or 3 grand. At that point, as well, we didn’t want to scale further until we really explored all of our optionso of improvement. CPL stood out the most to me because I knew that we could really reduce it down to below $10 mark. Improving the landing page was really the first time that we overcame the first obstacle.  The second one was making sure that as many people as possible attended the webinar. We started from the point where 50 maybe 55 % attendees, which is still decent ,right, show up rate on an evergreen webinar, but we are at 80- 85% now. There are a few things that we changed on the thank you page and the biggest one was something that not a lot of  people do on a webinar funnels specialist-adding a video, so we have the client get in front of the camera and give a 30 maybe 60 seconds video saying- hey, this is me, thank you for signing up to my webinar and in a couple of minutes you will be directed to a training session where I’ll be showing you how to

x y z  and also I will give you a free pdf if you stay until the end. My client, the  expert appears in front of them, welcomes them and that kind of entices them to  really actually watch the webinar, you know what I mean.

Nehal: I listen to a lot of podcasts, I go through a lot of education and if you’re listening to this or watching this right now, I want you to like stop for a second then think about what he just said especially if you’re doing an evergreen webinar or you are doing a webinar sequence you might have heard to do a video like that,  but what he just explained is-here is the video I’m doing, here’s the exact script or approximately of what I’m implementing, it was a big element of how I went from 55% show up rate to 80%. The reason I’m stopping him now is are you actually doing that? You might have heard about that, you might know the importance of doing that, but are you actually doing that? We were going through one of the accounts of  one of our client`s webinars today, and when we looked through it had the generic ever webinar video in there. Something happened where it didn’t get transferred over and that’s obviously going to Influence people showing up significantly or getting them excited. The reason I want to emphasize this is because it might not sound like a crazy ninja hat or anything like that but if you’re not doing that you’re not going to see the results. So if you’re watching this on YouTube or listen to the audio, go back right down to  the script of that video so you can send it to your client or do it yourself depending on what your role is and let us know what happened with the script.

Nazim: Thanks for the call to action,man. I really appreciate you having me on the podcast and motivating people to make these changes not only to give them this awesome info, but also prompt them to take action. Listen to Nehal and implement because implementation is the only thing that counts. So that was the next step really increasing the  attendance rate and after that it was really improving the Webinar. I can give you a few tips on the webinar as well. Also, I don’t claim to be a copywriting expert or a webinar expert,there are plenty of those out there, but from my experience running dozens of webinar funnels we noticed that adding actual video testimonials in the webinar is super effective like you know how people say- hey, look at  Jenny, picture of Jenny, Jenny is this and that, but actually talking about journey and then right in the middle of the webinar slapping the video of Jenny talking about results,first of all it’s pattern interrupt, interrupts people’s patterns,that’s number one and number two it’s personal.The currency these days is personal. They get to see Jenny`s life and it’s also something that has to do with the audio,  audio-visual that impacts the trust element.

Nehal: I don’t do that with any of our webinars. are you doing that at a specific stage or you’re doing that at the beginning stages are you doing that at the end, what do you suggest?

Nazim: I usually  do one in the middle and then one in the end, closer to the end because I know that a lot of people give show testimonials closer to the end.Whenever you’re showing testimonials you can put those in.

Nehal: How long is that  testimonial usually?

Nazim: A very good question, anywhere from 30 seconds to  60 seconds.People are there to listen to the experts but  30 to 60 seconds. I’m not saying that this is a guarantee to improve the conversions but this is something you could try.

Nehal: This is perfect. I`ll let you know what happens.

Nazim: Cool. Let me see if I have a few more webinar tips. Nothing that comes to my mind specifically, but it was also,  let me tell you actually the most important thing you can do on the webinar. That is to qualify people hard before getting them on the call, to qualify the heck out of people. This was one of the biggest problems where we kind of we  didn’t qualify them enough, we left the gates open and that caused a lot of unqualified people on the call. That’s amazing when you’re getting an application a day through your funnel but not so amazing but not so amazing when you’re getting 15, you have to be ready for those 15,right? You gotta be closing  leads but you can’t because the leads are not of a good quality.Have you had that issue with a client?

 

Nehal:  Yeah, for sure,  and a big part of that is if we say the  price or not and how we position a price without ever saying it. I’m sure other people who are listening to this are like- I don’t   even know if I’m qualifying or if I’m qualifying hard enough. How do people know if they are not?

Nazim: It’s a good question. An exercise I usually have my clients do is super simple.They’ve got a piece of paper and a pen and  they really write about their ideal client and then try to put bullet points what they need to have in their business or where they need to be in life to qualify.

To be honest here, at the end of the day, 80% comes down to money,the person having financial resources to allow the thing. At least with high ticket coaching stuff, I’ve found that that’s the case, you have to qualify people for the fine power. It is a simple as saying- hey, if you’re just starting out your business and you haven’t had your first few clients then,sorry but this is not for you. You’re very welcome to check out our YouTube page where you’re gonna get amazing tips and advice about how to generate your first solid income business by landing clients but this is a more sophisticated product, of course, for people who are already…You’re trying to be settled, to be nice.

Nehal:  I know from the initial stages this is so counterintuitive, I think this is why some people always get stuck which is when you start in the initial stages I will do anything to get a deal, I will do anything to close my next customer, just so I can pay for my advertising, just so I can keep things going.  It becomes a challenge because you’re not disqualifying them,eventually everyone just disqualifies themselves and says I’m not interested because you’re not saying this is not a lead or this is not exclusive, this is not for everyone or making it very clear that this is something that different.. For what you’re saying is that when you go through the process of what is it that the client actually   wants of their ideal client writing those bullet points that becomes how do I integrate those into the webinar, is that right?

Nazim: Yeah, you  nailed it, absolutely. That’s what it is. Testimonials and just qualifying people,doing the qualifying on the webinar is significantly going to improve the conversion rate as well, the sales team because now they’re getting to qualify people. Their morale, I realised the importance of keeping up the morale of the sales team. The sales team is a huge part of any funnell that is not selling a product on the webinar, a huge part.

Nehal:  Post webinar, when they actually watch the webinar is there anything that helps increase the conversion rate or is there anything  that supported that person to convert to set to a higher level?

Nazim: You mean like in terms of free targeting or…?

Nehal: Just post webinars, after they see the webinar.

Nazim: Got it, cool. First of,  we`re are using self seminar primarily, but I think other apps also have that functionality. Set an automatic redirect at the end of the webinar on the booking page, that’s number one, and number two, obviously, work and master your buyer sequence or  applicant sequence and make sure it only goes out to people who attend the webinar. You can create a tag in your webinar software and integrate it with your email marketing software, so that sequence only goes to the people who have watched the webinar. Otherwise, if it goes to the people who  didn’t watch the webinar. They may end signing up but they will not know what the service is about, they haven’t gone through the qualifying,not a good lead so really the email sequence remarketing. We used to do a lot of Facebook remarketing. I would love to sit with you at some point to really talk remarketing with you as well because I know you do e.com and the products sales, and I think  remarketing there, you guys take it to a whole new level so I would love to learn from you.

Nehal: Got it. Just to make sure I understood what happened in this stage. So 20K is just switching the offer, changing the approach in terms of what’s being sold, how it’s being sold  and then it hit and went from $100 a day to $700 approximately and at that point you’re getting 70K. You’re saying now we have to go deeper into the funnel because things were working but we want to squeeze more out of it. In order to do that we have to optimise the overall cost fairlead, getting people to show up more, getting people to I’m sure there is elements you were doing for people to stay longer when they actually saw the offer testimonials and all of that and then remarketing email segmentation just so you can segment them further to  attract the right people to get their messaging to apply and eventually buy it. I know for people who might be listening that sounds like a lot- I don’t know how to do majority of that and what would be your advice to them because It does sound like a lot of moving parts? You and I know it’s not as much as it sounds, it just takes time and thinking and learning, but from your standpoint how would you say they should focus on first and how they should go about troubleshooting that?

Nazim: First, I  would really focus on figuring out your offer and writing decent ad copy for that and then making your ads worth.  That’s the first step, naturally. The second step is making sure your webinar works. If your ad or ads are decent, which is not so hard to write, people over complicate it. If you know your audience, just write whatever’s on your mind and give them  call to action and add some scarcity there and there you go. 7 out of 10, but it still works, it gets you a lead. You work on the webinar and really educate them there, Provide enough social proof, provide enough content, give enough testimonials so they actually sign up. Once you have these two you’re going to make decent money.Then you can actually start bringing experts on board, sales  team, all those people to help you figure out the other stuff.

Nehal: A good part of this process is just be careful that you’re not biasing yourself. If you are going through these numbers and we haven’t started talking about tracking yet and I know that`s a big part of what you do. When you were going through this, the thing that I was looking for is that is there a chance that I’m lying to myself in this process.  Do I believe in the cost fair play ticket, do I believe in the lead numbers, do I believe in market show apps, do I believe in cost fair applications and their conversion rates? Do I believe in the numbers because I’m going to make all my decisions based off on that? If I don’t believe in those numbers, it’s going to be a little bit challenging. Even now looking at the numbers is like a different challenge, it has nothing to do with Facebook advertising, it has everything to do with how you’re approaching the business, and the potential like past element, you know, experiences in your life.  When it comes to how to make decisions on everything from implementation standpoint like what do I actually focus on, how do I organise, majority are priorities and then go deeper into that. Now you go from 20 to a 100K, what needs to happen to businesses especially as you go from a 100 to 250K?

Nazim: That’s when the tracking comes into play like you said. You start really attentively looking at data every day. The data for the webinar funnel divides into 3 parts: Facebook ad campaigns (and that involves basically leads and cost fair leads,if you’re getting leads for the Facebook ads that’s it, we’re done), number 2 is how the  funnel converts and that basically entails the attendance rate and webinar conversion rate and then there is sales team performance, your sales performance. We also had a tracking sheet that would track our amount spent, how many applications we had, like at what percentage the sales team closed, and what’s the ROI. At each call we would meet every week at a certain time we would calculate everything for the last 7 days  and look at the ROI and then compare it with other weeks ROIs and see if it’s going up or down, we would have our benchmarks.. The ROI I personally go after is 6.0, I’m happy to see in a webinar funnel. If we are shy from reaching the 6.0, we have to look at the stats and sometimes it’s just the sales team performance, sometimes it’s the ads, sometimes it’s the webinar conversion rate. From my experience, to be honest with you, the biggest like Ryan Deiss says you don’t have a sales problem you have a conversions problem so a lot of times its either the webinar that converts not so well  or the sales team performance. You have to keep up their morale. That’s from my experience.

Nehal: From your tracking how frequently are you doing that? I think you are tracking your numbers relatively frequently, you’re doing them on a weekly basis, right?

Nazim: I review  them on a daily basis, but the client reviews them on a weekly basis. There is no reason to do the overall ROI metric on a daily or a weekly basis but as far as registration, cost fairlead, cost fair  acquisition goes, we do that on a daily basis.

Nehal: I know at that point now you’re going through optimising different parts of the funnel process and then of course you’re doing deeper levels of tracking, what in your actions had to change when it comes to from an advertising standpoint,going from 100 to 250 because that’s not just-ok,I’m going to increase budget on my ads. What do you need to change from an entrepreneur or a business standpoint?

Nazim: I’ll start with the  business standpoint. I’m repeating myself but you really have to know your numbers, especially when it goes to 100K level because 100K  that’s great but you will probably start adding more people on payroll, hiring more experts, paying. We managed sometimes 2K-3K a day, but then I think to myself- God, that $60,000 a month through Facebook, right? Taken away from your bank account, that’s a lot of money so you really have to track everything, really be awesome with tracking. I mean, I don’t know investing in a bookkeeper, that`s as far as the business  stuff goes. As far as Facebook ads go, then you should really triple down on your retargeting because at that level where you spend that much money, at that point your marketing funnel is like a hand, your ads like sand, a lot of things goes and pours down, so you really want to put the retargeting hand here as well to retain as much as possible.

Nehal:  Cool.  I knew from some of our clients as soon as they start hitting those type of numbers, what ends up happening is they need to know what their actual cash flow situation is. There is a big difference between like selling 100000 vs collecting 100000. How many of those people are actually going to continue to pay those payments,how many of those people are not going to make another payment again. Is that integrated in your overall revenue, profitability because there is so much of the financial part? I can relate to that from an approach to money and the money mindset. That’s so important when you start  hitting new levels and you start doing actions that are sabotaging you.Unless you have a team around you or you have someone who’s pushing you, giving you feedback or being the soundboard, what ends up happening because it’s happened to one of our clients, they went from about 8000 a month to about 80000, they hovered around 60 to 80000 a month and you just can’t break through. It has nothing to do with advertising like you were saying. We have an idea what the funnel issue is. It’s primarily how we are approaching the business. I don’t know if you’ve seen anything like that before.

Nazim: Oh no,  absolutely, man. This  is great that you’ve brought it up.  Given like credit card issues, I could write a ballad, a song about the credit card issues. You should spend from this card, use the points for Christmas gifts, this card allows us to charge only $500, those things you really have to take care of.

Nehal: For sure. For people who are in this situation where they have a webinar funnel or an application funnel and they might be in those initial stages with just getting started or just figuring out their advertising, what is it that you would recommend them like a final piece of advice, what they should focus on and how they should look at the growth of their business?

Nazim: Two things I would recommend: number one really get to know your customers,  it’s super crucial because I’ve seen people who are not even that technical with Facebook ads get amazing results because  their Facebook ads copy rocks. It’s so important. Dial your contacts, people you work with, create 6-7 simple questions and run your past customers through them. Offer a free lead magnet or just as a sign of goodwill  or good service that you’re providing. Ask them to run through this questionnaire with you for 20 minutes. That’s number one and number 2 is really know your numbers. So easy, like man, I’m going to be honest, about 4-5  months ago I tried to run a campaign for myself,for my agency and I had zero plan, nothing, I didn’t prepare anything. I,literally, just ended up spending $600 and didn’t get anything significant. I’m still burning that I don’t have the Speedmaster, on ads so even for people like me  or like you, I’m not bragging or anything, but who do ads for living, we get people amazing results but if we don’t plan it for ourselves,the success is not going to be achieved. Really know your numbers, it’s crucial.

Nehal: Perfect. Where can people reach out to you if they want to work with you or have any questions?

Nazim: Sure. My website name is leadgenblackbelt.com and you can also find me on Facebook. My name is Nazim  Aghabayov. It’s written there.

Nehal: Perfect, man. I appreciate your time.

Nazim: Thank you,  man, I really can’t thank you enough  for this great opportunity to talk with you and hopefully we will have another one on one to talk about remarketing and tracking and . so many more topics. I really appreciate your time.

Nehal: I appreciate it, man.

Nazim: Awesome,  thanks.

 

How To Scale a SaaS From Zero To Over $1MM Revenue With Sales Teams

By | ad, ad campaign, ads, ads campaign, Advertising, advertising campaign, behind-the-campaign, Business, business-growth, Facebook ad campaign, Facebook ads, Front End Offer, Podcast, Sales, Uncategorized | No Comments

 

Nehal: Today, I’m really excited to get Nick on here because a lot of people, when they’re focusing on Facebook ads and growing their business with advertising, there’s so much focus on how can I decrease my cost per click, my cost per lead. And it’s only front-end conversations. There are very little conversations and strategy and energy invested on the back end. It’s so undervalued and that’s why I wanted to make sure Nick got on here because he’s done something very fascinating with an inside sales team.

He’s essentially gone from zero to over a million dollars in revenue just by optimizing the back end. And so from everything I talked about, from everything a lot of the experts when it comes to advertising talk about is how to get more leads, how to get them cheaper. But then, what happens when those leads come in? And so that’s what Nick is gonna share on how we went from zero to over a million dollars in revenue with that inside sales.

How’s it going, Nick?

Nick: Good.

Nehal: Awesome, man. Thank you for coming.

Nick: Really good. Yeah. No problem. I want to just say that it equally is important to do the front end lead generation properly as it is to do the back end close. If you can’t close, then you’re wasting your money. You’re not gonna make any money and your business gonna fail. But if you cannot generate leads, then you cannot have any opportunities to sell. So they’re both really, really important. The front end and the back end is really, really important.

Nehal: And that’s especially for adit doesn’t matter if you’re in a SAS company, if you’re in a brick-and-mortar if you’re doing coaching and application funnels. At the end of the day, if you do have leads coming in, doesn’t matter if you’re getting that $100 an app or $50 an app or if you’re getting you know 5, 10, 20 leads a day coming in.

All of that is important but once you figure that out, the next logical step is, okay, I’m getting cheap leads. Why aren’t they buying? Why aren’t they converting? And so that’s essentially where you come in. So can you give a background on what is it that you exactly do and then what is it that you did for this company when it comes to the starting page before you started working with them?

Nick: Sure. Really what you’re talking about is called AdvisorStream. We took them from zero to a million dollars annual recurring revenue in twelve months. And I’ll tell you the story but for a background. So my background, I was trained as an engineer in Canada and I started — so when I was in between third and fourth year, I got a job selling door-to-door. I was literally like it was a commission only job. Actually, you had to pay the company money if you didn’t make any sales. So it was a pretty stressful job.

So every morning, we go out 8 in the morning. So I’ll tell you the first day. I go there the first day and they drop me in the middle of a neighborhood. They gave him this 300-pound aerator which pokes holes in people’s lawns. And I had no idea why people wanted this but apparently, it made your grass green. Did it actually work? I don’t know. But that’s what we were told to sell.

SI started knocking doors. I go up three houses, then I cross the street, come back three houses then I push this big machine up three houses and do the thing. So I was out there. I started at 9:00 am. The meeting was at 8:30, I got dropped off at 9:00 am. All the way till 3:00 pm, I didn’t make any sales. So I actually owed the money and I was walking around and hitting all these doors. I didn’t make any money and I was like, what the hell is going on?

And then the manager comes around, and because I took my buddy out to try this out with me, and was Jordan. He goes, “Hey, Jordan made a sale.” And I was pretty competitive. I played hockey with my buddy, Jordan. And I was like, okay, I’m gonna start running. So I started running, still didn’t make any sales for the next hour but I was just running. And then I came across this older Filipino lady and I’m like, “Please just let me do this. It’s gonna make your grass green.” And I charged her like 40 bucks, which is the lowest thing. She’s like, “Yeah, sure.” And then so I got my first sale, and then I did the job, and then I kind of figured it out. So the next house, I was able to close.

The next house, I was able to close. And by the end of the day, I think, I got like eight sales or something like that and they rank you. So first place got a bonus and third place got like $25 bonus. First place got a hundred, third place got 25. So I was able to get $25 bonus. I think I ended up making 150 bucks a day. And it was just good. I didn’t owe them money and it was more than minimum wage.

As a 20-year-old kid, I was pretty happy. So then the next day, it was raining and everyone was kind of dogging it but I slept on it and I was able to figure it out. And so the next day, I got 17 sales and I got first place. I ended up making about 320 bucks. This is like they paid out in cash. So I’m just like, “Okay, sweet. I just made a lot more money than I would have in any other job.” 320 bucks cash a day was pretty good for me as a 20-year-old.

And then I got the attention of the manager. He’s like, “Okay, you’re gonna be good.” And I was just like, okay. I moved to London. I live with my ex-girlfriend. She had this free place or whatever. So I moved to London, completely focused on selling for that summer. It is like 3 and 1/2 months, that summer. And so as I got better and better, I went from like $300 a day, $400 a day, $500 a day. And then I got the attention of the CEO and he kind of took me under his wing and just like, “Hey, you’re gonna be lethal.” And so he flew me out to some of these other markets like in Winnipeg, in North Bay, in BC. I was able to – I eventually got up to 800 bucks, a $1000 a day cash in selling door-to-door.

The people I was knocking doors, I was in these big houses and I was making more money than they were. And they were like, “Oh, poor guy poor.” I was just like, “Ah, I’m so poor.” Poor little me. And anyway, before the summer I had to pay off the size of an engineering school. I was taking engineering and physics. I had like $50,000 in debt. By the end of the summer, I had a line of credit that was eight grand. So it was like 58,000 bucks in debt. By the end of the summer, I was able to pay it off. So that’s how much money I made. And I was able to buy this brand new BMW. I was making some serious cash.

Anyway, I go back to school and I’m sitting in my lecture hall because I’m doing like a Quantum Mechanics, I’m looking at my teacher and I’m like, “What the hell am I doing? I made more money than this guy sitting in front of me, teaching me life lessons.” And I’m like, whatever. Engineering is probably not for me. I would need to do skills.

I ended up finishing my degree because I was already so committed that I might as well finish the degree, plus this good credibility. Did it do me any good? No. Notat all. The degree did not matter at all. So when I graduated school, I started a business called Midnight Detailing which was essentially taking that door-to-door model, the marketing and sales model, and applying it to detailing.

And then here’s what I figured out. Instead of doing the work, you could hire people to do the work for you. So I just hired all these kids off Kijiji. I bought a van and I piled them in this van, and I would just go knock on doors, and they would do the jobs. And then I would go for coffee and I’d make like $1200 in a day. I would make six or seven sales and I make 1200 bucks. And they would be busy and I was able to provide these guys with a good income too. So that evolved.

I basically figured out how to do — instead of me going door-to-door, I figured out how to teach kids, like really inexpensive kids, to go generate leads. And then I figured out how to do inside sales conversions. So we had a call center that did the sales and the dispatching. So that was kind of an inside sales. And I was working. We’re making money hand over fist. We went from zero to about 3,000 customers relatively quickly. And then we ended up selling that business to a company called Go Wrench Auto.

Nehal: There’s so much that you just went through and I want to make sure we stop just for one thing. What is it that you were able to see that all the other people that you were selling across, selling with didn’t see? Because of you kind of, from what it sounds like, you saw the matrix and they just couldn’t see it.

Nick: Okay. So I’ll get to the point of the story. I’ll finish the story. So after Midnight Detailing, I got into selling software because, in detailing, you can only work in Canada, it gets cold. Like right now, it’s wintertime. No one in their right mind is going to be detailing cars in this weather. So I had to find something to do during the winter times.

So I started selling software and it turns out, what I did and how I saw door-to-door was absolutely lethal when you’re selling software. And this is how we — I’m relatively young, in my late 20s now, but to take a business from zero to a million bucks profitably, like we were profitably acquiring customers, something happened.

And the secret was this super aggressive way to sell, I wouldn’t say aggressive, but strategic way to sell. And using software sales and inside sales allowed us to — and it was developed from being up against a wall whereas a commission only sales guy, you had to figure out what worked and what didn’t work. There were no pillows. So you had to scrap all the stuff that wasn’t working because your income depended on it. So you actually figure out how to close deals, how to get people to open up their wallets.

Nehal: It’s no joke.

Nick: It’s no joke. This is real money. And like most software companies, they’re in la-la land and they think that funding is going to carry them and then they’re so scared to go get money and ask for sales and close deals. And they end up like collapsing because they actually haven’t figured it out. Whereas a bootstrap company that’s forced to do it, they actually kind of figured it out.

Turns out, if you teach an 18-year-old kid or a 19-year-old kid or 20-year-old kid what I learned how to sell and apply it to the software world, A, they’re very very very effective closers and, B, instead of paying a rep like $65,000 a year base, plus commission, where you have to pay them over a 100,000 bucks a year, you can pay a rep 35,000 bucks a year base, and then another like 30, 40, 50 thousand dollars in commission. But you totally spread your risk around and you totally de-risk everything, and you have these reps that are just trained properly and they’re able to outsell these fancy salespeople.

And the secret was it came down to the sales process. It was basically every sale, there’s a way to sell. And most people don’t know how to do this. That’s what I teach my sales guys and I drill it in. Every morning meeting, I drill it in. And they’ve become really, really effective very quickly. So the average ramp time for a normal sales rep is like two to three months, whereas my reps, they are ramped in a week. They’re strict. They’re closing in a week which is unheard of.

We did this with a company called AdvisorStream. They basically contracted me to go in and build their sales team. And so the story goes, we had to figure out a way to generate leads and the way that we did that, well I figured, I tried everything. I tried cold calling, I tried cold emailing. And then eventually, I tried LinkedIn ads to a landing page and then Facebook ads to a landing page. And that was the key.

We were able to drive a demo which was like a phone call or an appointment for about like 150 dollars. And then we’d close one in three of them. So we had these kids closing one in three of them. So the cost per acquisition was sitting around like 600, 700 dollars. And then the lifetime value of the customer was like 2, 3000 dollars. So we were able to work profitably.

Nehal: So we’re gonna get into that leads part, first, in a second hear but from a lot of entrepreneurs’ standpoint, they’re working out so much in the business, they don’t get an opportunity on the business. And even when they’re working on the business, it’s primarily based off of experiences that they’ve had instead of reaching out to experts in specific areas where they need help.

So from a lot of the entrepreneurs that might be listening or the person who’s responsible for sales or marketing, if they’re listening to this, how is it that they should even identify if they have a sales problem? Because a lot of the people that I’ve spoken to especially if they’re earlier in their business, whether they’re doing a hundred thousand or five hundred thousand in revenue, they might not actually even know that they have a sales problem.

So instead of getting more leads, instead of increasing lifetime values, instead of working on that, maybe the first problem is actually sales. And so before we go into the sequence that you went into to get more leads, to fix the sales process and overall scale if you’re in their position, what would you do to understand and to analyze and make sure that there’s even a sales problem or not?

Nick: Yeah. It’s a good question. Basically, it comes down to your lead conversion rate. So here’s how you know if you have a sales problem. If you’re getting — you should have a conversion rate, if you’re doing inside sales it should be like 20%. So if you’re generating five leads, you should close one.

If you can’t do that, let’s say — like I have one client that’s generating like thousands and thousands of leads because they optimized for like cost per lead or cost per click, whatever. But none of it is closing. Then something’s off. It means that the targeting is off or your pitch is off. So you want to get to that point where it’s like a 20% lead closed rate. And then you hire a guy like you to go and generate as many leads as you can.

And then if you need help scaling out your sales team or you know getting that process, then you can, that’s if you can engage an expert like me or you can learn how to do it on your own, then that’s kind of how you kind of scale up.

Nehal: And for someone listening, they’re saying, “Dude, did you just generalize all of the business to 20% that you have to convert leads from one in five lead? The reality is that we’re working with gyms where they’re selling $50 to $200 a month and they’re converting at 20%, the ones that are good. We have an information that we’re getting applications for $3000 product that we sell around at $2000 price point if people buy quick and we’re converting those people at 20 to 25%.

So it’s not that every single business will be 20%. But for a lot of businesses, if you’re not at least doing that 10%, something is broken, for sure, most likely, even if it’s just a qualification process or how you’re getting people on that phone. Or, right now, if you don’t actually know those benchmarks in your business of what it takes to convert that lead into a customer profitably, that it might be the first place to start.

So what are your thoughts on someone who’s like, “Man, I don’t even know what 20% conversion rate looks like if you were able to do that from my business my life would change.”

Nick: Right. So this 20% thing it’s for inside sales. So if you’re selling over the phone, then you should be getting around 20%. You don’t want to sell $20 products or $100 products over the phone. The thing will break. You’re not going to make any money. So you want to sell at least $2,000 things using inside sales. Otherwise, use sales page or use VSLs, right?

So inside sales works, if you’re selling something that’s for two grand or above. If you’re selling something like a hundred thousand dollars, you’re probably gonna need outside sales or like steaks and strippers, or a million dollars. If you’re selling something that is like a couple million bucks, then you probably gonna need inside sales – you don’t need it. You need outside sales. But, yeah, anywhere from two to ten thousand dollars is inside sales.

Nehal: So for AdvisorStream, where were they before you started working with them and then what was like the first step in that process?

Nick: Good question. So they had a product they raised a little bit of money. They had a few early customers like just friends in their world and they had like, maybe, 2 or 3 paying people. Literally, they were at zero.

Nehal: What did they do? Just to give people context.

Nick: So it’s common marketing automation for financial advisors. So they basically curated content and then they would send it up to the LinkedIn and email and all that stuff to build relationships, with the goal to drive revenue for a financial advisor. So, yeah, where I came in, I looked at the stripe account because they said they had all this traction. I went into the stripe account, I was like, where the hell are all the customers?

Nehal: That’s a good question.

Nick: Yes. And then they’re like, okay, well we need some help. And I said, okay. So first things first, you need to generate leads. You need appointments. You can’t sell if you don’t have appointments. So first things first, I needed to figure out how to get people to show up for a meeting. And like I said, I tried outbound cold calling. It doesn’t work. Too many secretaries, too many gatekeepers.

I tried cold emailing, doesn’t really work in this space because they got a million emails a day. And then I tried LinkedIn ads and Facebook ads to a landing page that I built, and then to a demo booking page. And that worked. It was like a Eureka moment. It was like, okay, we nailed it. And then we were able to generate appointments.

And the actual story is, I took those appointments and I gave them to the CEO and the management team and I was just like, “Okay, you guys are so good at selling your product, why don’t you go do this demo.” And they couldn’t do it. They couldn’t sell. They were basically throwing up on the customer. They were like, “Oh, here’s our product. Here are the features. Here’s what we built.” And no one cares about how much work you’ve put into your product. They don’t care about that. They want to know what the product is going to do for them and what are the results they are gonna get. So then they didn’t end up closing.

So I hired two salespeople, the first two, and I taught them this really basic sales script, and that’s the key. The key to this is the sales script end process and that’s what I help with. So I wrote a basic sales script that took me an afternoon to write. I trained these guys up. We did a little exam. So they practiced the script with me. Two days later, they did an exam and then we got them on the demos because we were able to generate demos. We could spend 120 bucks and get someone to show up for a phone call. So then they did the demos and the first one, the guy did, he closed.

So imagine this, the guy is reading from a piece of paper and I’m standing over him. I’m standing over him and I’m like, “Don’t you fuck this up sorry.” Sorry for my language. I was like, “You better read these words.” He’s shaking and he’s just going through his script.

Nehal: No pressure.

Nick: No, there was so much pressure on this guy. And he’s just shaking and he’s reading it. And I’m like, “Keep going. Keep going.” I’m like, “Read those words.” And he’s reading, and he’s shaking. And then all of a sudden, the guy is like, “Okay, yeah, let’s try it out.” And he gets a credit card.

And then I was just like, yeah, here’s a guy. He’s a guy that never sold anything his life. I basically forced him to read these words and he didn’t even execute it properly at all. He was shaking, he was stuttering, he was messing up his words. But the script and the process was so tight that it worked. And then, okay, so here’s the thing. We figured out how to generate leads, and then we figured out how to close those leads. And then the next step.

Nehal: Before we go to the next step, a lot of people who are in just that lead generation phase, they don’t have a lot of patience. Especially if they’re hiring an agency, it’s like, okay, we hired you, we have a budget, figure it out, you got one month, go. And it’s like that’s just not how this process works. So from your standpoint, how long did that whole journey take between trying cold calling, trying cold email, and then trying Facebook ads and LinkedIn ads to the point where it actually started generating leads consistently?

Nick: Yeah. Good question. So it took me an afternoon to figure out that cold calling wouldn’t work.

Nehal: That’s it. You gave up so quickly.

Nick: No. I didn’t give up so quickly. I knew how to do it. I called 200 people. I called 200 people, and I use my CRM. The CRM that I use, it’s called Close IO. I just banged out 200 calls. And I was just like, there’s no way this is ever gonna work because there are too many gatekeepers.

Nehal: You have to figure out how to teach us on how to make that decision because 200 calls aren’t gigantic but it’s probably more than what the average person is gonna make to determine if cold calling is gonna work or not, right? So you make 200 calls. How do you decide to like, okay is this gonna work or not?

Nick: Good question. I know from door to door, you can usually tell if it’s gonna work in one day, in one or two days, if you know what you’re doing. With cold calling, I knew that I just couldn’t connect with the people. No matter how many calls I did — I did 200 calls, I probably connected with one person. So I knew that this was not gonna work because I couldn’t connect. It’s not like if I can connect with somebody, then I know the channel works.

This whole channel searching is just, basically, we need to connect with them. So I tried it. I wasn’t able to connect. I was getting gatekeepers, I was getting answering machines. No one was picking up. So I knew this wasn’t gonna work. And it only took me a day to figure that out. And then the next thing I tried was cold emailing. So I did an Amazon SES. I linked that up and I started cold emailing and blasting people. And I can write copy, I can write strong copy.

So I tried to dangle the most irresistible thing in front of them. This is how you do it. This is how you do it in advertising too. You dangle something so shiny in front of them and if they bite, it means that the channel works and if they don’t bite, and it’s the shiniest thing that any rational human being would respond to and they’re not responding to it, that’s how you kind of know the channel doesn’t work.

Then I tried outbound emailing and the thing is, it was so noisy that I think I got a few leads but I was just like, I can’t get the volume that I want. I did get a few leads from outbound emailing but I was just like, this is too hard. It’s not gonna work. And you know because from the door-to-door game, you can go to 20 houses and you should make one sale. And I’m expecting to make sales. I’m expecting to connect with people. And I know the general type of close rate and lead rate. So upon prospecting, I was like, okay, this is okay. We could do it but it’s gonna be really hard.

Then I tried LinkedIn so I wrote some ads for LinkedIn. I dangled something irresistible in front of them. I made a landing page because I knew how to make landing pages. And in one day, as soon as you turn on the ads, it was like in hours, we started generating appointments. So it was like, I knew what the process was, and sometimes you hit it sometimes you don’t. There were a couple ads I wrote that didn’t hit. But in that section or in that in all those ad sets or in all those ads, there was one that hit.

Nick: And you separate it, like this is what you do, so you separate it so that you can tell when one hits. And so it probably took like a few hundred dollars an ads man to figure it out. But the ad was written really well and the landing pages built really well. But here’s the thing, the market was already defined for me. I already knew exactly who I was targeting.

Nehal: What do you mean by that?

Nick: So I knew that I was targeting financial advisors. It was like, you either were a financial adviser or you weren’t. So that made my job so much easier. For somebody who doesn’t know exactly who they’re targeting, then that process can take like a month. So the test, you should be able to collect data for one of your hypotheses in a week. So I give it like a week. Maybe, it takes you five hypothesis to go through, to nail it. So let’s say, in your example, let’s say they’re selling something and they don’t necessarily know exactly who the customer is, then they’re gonna have to work with you to validate either true or false. And if you have passed it, you don’t spend enough money, and you turn it off, then you’re just wasting money because you didn’t get a true or false. You got a false negative. You could have got a false negative. So that’s kind of how it works.

Nehal: In your case, I think you were able to speed that process up because you already knew benchmarks, you already know what this was supposed to feel like. And for people who might be their first time doing cold calling and they might just call 20 people because there are like a few elements to that. Like, you’re either nervous, you’re not actually doing the calls.

The first time I was doing cold calls, I was doing 5 shaking. And then I got to a point where I was doing 50 to 100 a day but that only happened after I overcame that, then I knew my benchmarks of how many people are actually gonna connect with me, how many of them I’m actually gonna be able to pitch, and then how many of those people are interested and continue to the next meeting.

So if you’ve never done that process before, it’s kind of intimidating because you’re like, I don’t actually know what to look for. But from your standpoint, you knew what benchmarks were for each one of those channels are enough to actually make decisions. But then, second, you had the ability to craft the offer and write the copy in a way that you could test and do that litmus test of I have a super sexy offer and no one cares.

So is it the offer or is it the channel? And from your standpoint, you knew what the market was well enough that you knew that the channel what was the problem. Is that right?

Nick: Yeah. Pretty much. Yeah. And I knew like you can tell if someone’s interested. I knocked on probably 20,000 doors and I kind of knew if somebody was interested and perked up or that they were just completely glazed over and they’re just like, get the hell out of here.

So I’ll give you an example. When we started the detailing business, I knew in like 20 minutes that it was gonna work, because me and my buddy, Alex, we went door-to-door and all we did was we went to this random neighborhood in Hamilton which is just outside of Toronto with some middle-class, wasn’t necessarily wealthy, middle-class neighborhood.

But we just went to doors and we’re just like, “Hey, so we’re starting up this door-to-door auto detailing service.” And then people are like, “Oh, so you clean the cars in the driveway?” And I was like, “Yeah.” And they’re like, “Oh, okay. How much?” And they were just like, “Okay.” And then we pitched the price. And they’re like, “Oh, yeah. Okay.” So in 20 minutes, we were able to validate the idea.

That’s the thing. So here’s the job of sales. You don’t want to turn like a no, like a glazed over no into yes. You can’t do that. It’s impossible to do that. You want to turn like, “ha.” You want a “maybe”, you want a “let me think about it”, you want a “let me talk to my wife”, you want to turn those into yeses. So if you’re going out to the market and you’re getting like, “Hmm. Maybe. Yeah, it sounds interesting. Let me think about.” That means you’re not completely on Pluto. But if someone’s like, “Get off my doorstep.” Or they’re like, “No, man. I’m not interested.” Then that’s when you know that something needs to change.

Nehal: You’re a lot further from the sale at that point, for sure. And so with AdvisorStream, as soon as you tried cold calling, then you tried cold email, then you tried Facebook ad and LinkedIn. How many leads were they generating organically and then how many leads were you able to get them in that first initial stage, from like Facebook?

Nick: They were generating none organically. No one cared about their business. Like realist, no one cared. That’s what most people think. I have clients that are like, “Oh, we got to protect the brand.” I’m like, “What brand?” A lot of businesses, they’ll try to generate leads organically first and not spend any money and that, to me, is the stupidest thing you can possibly do because, A, it takes you six months to get good enough content or you have to write really good content to get someone’s attention these days.

Then, even if you get some attention, you have to see if the message resonates with them. So why would you try so hard to drum up a click with your content and then you don’t even know if it’s the right person who’s reading it. And then you try to do some call-to-action and drive them towards an action and it might take six months to bring in somebody. Whereas, you could do it in one day if you spent a hundred bucks.

Nehal: In my perspective on that is how quickly, like how much do you like losing money? Because from my standpoint, as soon as you’re able to spend money and get clicks and get people to go through your funnel, if you’re doing inside sales and speaking to people on the phone, and you don’t know who your market is exactly, you don’t know what offers gonna work, you don’t know what sales pitch is gonna work, you don’t know what closing techniques are gonna work, and what kind of back end is going to be right for you, down sells all that kind of stuff, you have to knock out each one of those to figure out what is it that’s actually going to be working for you.

Even on our side, we recently launched a new part of our business and in that business, we’re trying to get first all the sales process down, then we’re working on fulfillment, and then we’re working on blowing all of that up very quickly. But you can’t talk about fixing fulfillment or fixing sales problems if you don’t have anyone in that funnel.

Organically, there’s only so much you control and with ads, it is the complete opposite. And so you started getting leads on LinkedIn and Facebook, and they started coming in, then it sounds like the next step was how do you actually get those people to come in from a sales standpoint, how did you recruit them and what was that process.

Nick: How do I recruit them? I put up an ad on Indeed or some job site and just say that you’re looking for salespeople and just say how much money they can make. Because in sales, if you’re good, you can make a lot of money. And then typically, you can get some really high-quality candidates. But what I look for is — I just look for recent grads.

When I see your resume, the first thing I look for is the school that they went to. Because you can usually tell if that person went to this school, it’s a pretty rigorous selection process, so I basically know that person’s pretty sharp. If they got into that school, they’re probably pretty sharp. And I don’t really care their degree is. Some people have a social science degree, some people have a philosophy degree, some people have technical degrees. I actually really like hiring people with technical degrees.

Nehal: Why is that?

Nick: Because the sales process is actually just like a step by step thing. It’s very logical. It’s not like they need to be the most charismatic person in the world. That doesn’t matter. It’s just, can they follow instructions? And usually, the technical people are really good at following instructions.

So it’s easier to teach somebody who’s not charismatic, that can follow instructions, how to be charismatic. It’s actually a little bit easier to do this than it is to take some reckless, irresponsible, charismatic person and teach them how to follow instructions. You want to blow your brains out. I don’t hire those cocky persons I look for humility. If you get some cocky person that’s all over the place, loves to party and also to drink alcohol, is just a total nutcase but is really charismatic, fire that person or don’t even think about hiring that person because they’re gonna drive you crazy. They’re gonna show up late. They’re not gonna follow the instructions and it’s not gonna work. Whereas if you have someone tactical, you give them a step-by-step game plan, they’ll just do it.

Nehal: And for people who are listening, if you’re not giving that game play or if you’re not choosing logical people and the salespeople haven’t worked out for you, these might be some things that you can actually implement on the process of hiring and recruiting, and then obviously also, on the onboarding because it shows them what you’re expecting of them and creates that environment so they know, like, listen, this is a logic course or this is a system that I’m looking asking you to follow. Instead of doing whatever or make decisions based on what feels right, there are no feelings in this first.

First, I need to explain to you what the system is then you can add your personality on top of that framework that I’ve provided you.

Nick: In all my experience, the more personality you add to it, the worst you do. I’m not hiring you for your personality. What usually happens with my reps? I hire them, I give them a set of instructions. I say, “Read these words.” They read the words and they start closing deals. And then they think that it’s them. And then they think that they’re sales geniuses. And then they start deviating from the script. Then all of a sudden, they’re closed rate drops. And then I’ll listen to a demo, I’ll be like, “What the hell are you doing? Were is that in the script?” And they’re like, “Oh, well. I’ve been trying this new thing.” I’m like, “Well, how’s it going?” They’re like, “Well” Stick to the script.

There’s a reason why you’ve closed your first demo because you just read it. It’s like straight-up copywriting. So if you hire those creative — sometimes they’re like entrepreneurial types. They have like ADD and they’re like trying to do their own thing and it never works out for them. It never works out. Just stick to the proven system, stick to the script. So I treat it like a sport. When I do my meetings, I’m like, “Imagine you’re LeBron James. You are hired to dribble the ball, pass the ball, shoot the ball, and dunk the ball. That’s it. You’re not hired to make the plays. You’re not hired to make the schedule. You’re not hired to do the advertising. You were hired to basically score baskets.” LeBron James just shoots basketballs all day.

That’s what I’m telling sales guys. I’m just like, read the words all day and the better you get at it — LeBron James does not change his form. It’s the same form. So that’s kind of how I teach my salespeople. And then the ones who adopt that, they come in like a sport. They have the same coffee every morning. They come at the same time. They do the same ritual. They say the same words. And then the better they, it’s just more tightly they stick to the regimen. It’s not anything fancy. It’s just sticking to the regimen.

Nehal: This is kind of difficult for someone who’s not very regimented and they’re the entrepreneur or they’re the person who’s responsible for that sales team. What advice do you have for them? Because if they’re not structured now, you know, their team is a reflection of them to a big extent. So from your standpoint, what would you tell that person who doesn’t have a sales team who has regimens or habits?

Nick: So typically, the CEO or the entrepreneur is not that good at the job. I’ll give you an example. He’s really good at figuring out the offer and how to sell the first one. He’ll be able to get the first couple customers. But he’s really bad at just doing the same thing over and over and over and over and over again.

So what I suggest, and I’m kind of like this too, I can figure out how to sell a product very quickly but what I do is I just hire people. I pay them 30 grand, $35,000 a year to do it. They’re better salespeople than I am. They’re the people that actually like it. You give them a system and they just do it over and over and over and over and over and over again.

If you’re an entrepreneur and you have trouble sticking to a regimen, well good. You have taxes to pay, you have developers to hire. You can’t do that. You have to make sure your fund rate, you have money in the bank. Maybe you have kids and a wife, there’s a lot of other things you got to worry about. Why don’t you just get a lethal process, hire someone for $35,000 a year, pay them commission, and all they do is sell it? And then within the first week, they’re gonna be better salespeople than you are, anyway.

Nehal: And if they’re not, you know, that onboarding process is so important. Is there anything that you do differently in that onboarding process that makes you stand out or that helps you be as successful as you are, from a sales standpoint, when you’re bringing on new salespeople?

Nick: Well, when I bring on new salespeople I tell them, “Hey you if you’re really good at this and you follow the instructions, you’ll make a lot of money.” And you don’t need to think. That’s what I tell them. I’m like, “You do not need to think. Just do what you’re told.

Nehal: How does that go over?

Nick: Well, if you think about it, like what? Some kid out of school is gonna know more than the guy that made that process? There’s no way in hell that that will ever happen. So I’m basically saying, do what you’re told and execute as well as you can and if it doesn’t work, you can blame me. That’s what I tell them. I’m like, you don’t want me to blame you. If you’re not making sales, you want to blame me. That’s why the process needs to be tight. So in order for you to blame me, you need to do exactly what I say.

Nehal: That’s super smart. Because a lot of the time, there’s so much pressure in that beginning stages. Especially if they’re commissioned only, they’re freaking out. They want to make sure that they get the sale, they’re making money. They also keep looking for jobs. At the back of their mind, they’re like, there’s that other interview I did. None of that’s happening with your approach here, because you’re saying, “Listen, if you’re not selling, it’s my fault.”

Nick: Yeah. Exactly. And that’s it. That’s why they do exactly what they’re told. I had to fire a girl because I gave her the script and she was going off script. And then I was like, “What the hell?” I’m listening to her demo and I’m like, “Where is that in the script?” So I basically said, all right, it’s not gonna work out. I fired her in a week. I go back to the team, I said, “This person’s name is no longer with us. Is everyone clear why?” And they’re like, “Yeah.” “Does anyone have any questions?” And they’re like, “No.” And then everyone else follows the rules and was able to generate sales.

So it’s kind of giving the salespeople, they don’t have to think and that’s how you ramp someone really quickly. Because if you give them options, then they have to go figure it out. And that’s how you end up wasting 3-4 months. But if you gave them a clear path, then they just do it and then all of a sudden, in a week, they’re ramped and their closing.

Nehal: First, you’re generating leads, you figure that part out so at least there’s flow in the sales process. Then you brought on two people and then you’re training them to be sales machines, to convert those leads into customers. What happens after there are leads after there are people? What does it look like to actually go from that initial attraction to scale to a million dollars and recurring for our business?

Nick: So basically, once you figure it out, then you just hire more reps. You have a team. And then you have to turn up the ad spend. We were spending 30 grand a month just on leads, around there. So you need someone who knows how to do advertising properly because if you do something wrong and you’re spending that much money, then you could be burning like $10,000 a month.

Let’s say there’s a campaign that’s not performing and you don’t even recognize it, then you could be burning like 10 grand a month. You need someone who knows ads to provide you with the lead flow. That’s their job. And then on the sales side, you just need a regimen. Like, I do a morning meeting with my guys. Every morning I do a meeting. I drill in the same crap that we’ve been teaching forever because I know people forget. Don’t ask me why but you leave it a couple days and people forget how to sell.

So you got to motivate them, keep them focused, and basically, yeah, that’s pretty much it. Every morning, you do a meeting. Then in the afternoon, you check in, make sure the leads are flowing. And if someone’s not, here’s the thing, if someone’s not closing or someone’s like, let’s say they break up with a girlfriend or something happens in their life or something like that, you got to fix it right away.

You got to be like, “Hey, snap out of it. Don’t let this drag on. Get back to the script. Get back to the basics.” It’s mostly execution. Like the best sports teams, that’s what they do. They show up to, let’s say, hockey. They show up to the arena, they put on the same equipment, they do the same drills, they just execute. And the winning teams are just very good at skipping regimented and executing. So scaling to a million dollars is actually kind of boring.

It’s not that exciting. It’s basically you have like 5, 6 sales a day. You just see it in Slack, the notifications. A rep might have 3 or 4 demos in a day and close 2 of them. The rest of the time, he’s sitting in his chair. It’s not like a crazy bullpen where there’s so much stuff. You got to be like, “Ah, crap, it’s Thursday. I gotta do this morning meeting.” And then you do that enough, all of a sudden you’re at a million dollars in annual recurring revenue.

Nehal: Can you walk us through the numbers? Like, what is a $30,000 monthly ad spend look like from leads to booked appointments, to all of that? From your standpoint.

Nick: Yeah. So you should get an appointment for between 70 to 200 dollars. That’s kind of how it is.

Nehal: And what were the leads coming in for to get those appointments?

Nick: So we had an opt-in page. We had traffic that went through an opt-in page, we got the lead. And then from that opt-in page, we go to a calendar and then they book a demo. And then the sales guys would catch them in between the opt-in and the calendar, and they would call them and email them and try to book demos. So everyone was booking. Each sales guy’s calendar had like 5 to 7 demos a day.

And then they would close. Like on a good day, they would close 3 out of those 7.

Nehal: Okay. That’s a pretty high conversion rate.

Nick: Yeah. Well, it comes down to the script, right?

Nehal: So how many salespeople did you have, like at the peak, with the $30,000 a month budget?

Nick: So at the peak, it was five, and then we had two supporting people. So we had a team of seven.

Nehal: Got it. Okay, so I have seen and I’ve been part of teams as well that as soon as an offer hits, there’s usually the next level of challenges which are usually mental, or confidence, or whatever the limiting beliefs are. What have you seen when people, and I don’t know if you’ve seen this because a lot of the companies that you’re working with are funded or that you are running them yourselves, but have you seen where sales offers work but they don’t actually bring on more salespeople, they don’t spend more, they don’t want to grow more aggressively? If you have seen that or you’ve witnessed some of that, what advice would you have for people who want to grow more aggressively but there’s some sort of fear there?

Nick: Yeah. So I come from the world of — I don’t really understand that fear because my world is they try to scale way too early. They hire 15 salespeople and they haven’t even made a sale themselves.

Nehal: Got it.

Nick: That’s kind of what some of these companies do which is completely stupid. The whole thing collapses. They blow millions of dollars and no one works out. But if you’re looking to scale, the first thing that I would do is hire a junior person to try and do what you do and try and close the deal that you’re closing. And if the junior can’t do it, that means you need to tweak it. But as soon as the junior does it, then it’s just an easy equation.

It’s like, how much did you spend to get that lead, and what was the close rate, and then how much does it cost per acquisition. And then what you do is you divide the salary of that rep by how many accounts they closed that month and that’s kind of your cost per acquisition. So you add everything up. And let’s say it’s a thousand dollars to acquire a customer with reps, and with the salary, with ads, with lunches, whatever, but then you’re making two grand, that’s really what you’re looking for. You want to see that you can spend 1,000 and make like at least $2,000 back. And it’s not just you.

If you can figure that out, it’s like a proven concept. So if you can figure that out, then it’s time to scale. And then that’s when you can go to an investor and be like, “Hey, look what I did. I spend a thousand, I make $2,000 back.” The investor will write you a check in five seconds. If you can prove that you can do that and that the market is big enough, the investor will be like, “Okay, take my money.

Nehal: So far from this conversation, the thing that has become very clear to me is that, first, you’ve got to figure out how to generate leads. If you’re not generating leads especially if they’re paid — organic is beautiful, but it will run out, it’s inconsistent, figure out a way to generate leads consistently and as low as possible based off of your business model. Based off of that, then build out the team and, for what you were doing with AdvisorStream was you brought in two additional people and worked on training them and figuring out that script.

The first day, the first person was able to close the deal. From there, you go from two people all the way up to seven, you mentioned, including two support. And then at that point, it’s just numbers, it is just rhythm, it’s just habits of like leads come in, leads turn into appointments, appointments turn into those live demos, from those live demos you’re closing between 20 to 50%, and then you just do it again and again and again and then you get to the end outcome.

For someone who wants, who is in this position where they want to grow but they’re just stuck, what would be your biggest advice in terms of like understanding where you are and what you should be doing next? Because what ends up happening is most people throw money at the problem, most people try to figure out, they’ll go to a conference or they’ll buy a course, but still, they’ll be stuck. So what is it that you think would make a big difference and actually change the trajectory and it’s kind of shocking the system?

Nick: Well, it depends where they are. They can work with me if they want to. I do consult and I have a course that actually teaches them exactly how to do this so they can learn from people who already did it. It depends where they are. If they don’t have product-market fit, and first things first find product-market fit, like get someone to pay you for stuff and get results for them. If you are already at that point you have customers, then you need to find a rock-solid way to generate leads and appointments. So figure that problem out first. And you can engage somebody like you to do that. You can try doing your ads on your own, whatever. But you want to get to a point where you can turn on money and you’re getting appointments. That’s the goal.

From there, you should be able to sell your own offer. So if you can’t do that, keep turning on your money. Keep spending money until you figure that out. Because you can be a crap salesperson with a ton of appointments and still do okay. You could be an amazing salesperson with no appointments and you’re gonna fail.

So first things first arend that appointments and then work on your sales. And then if you’re able to close, then hire a junior. See if that junior will do it for you and could actually deliver. So those are the three things. So if you’re not making it rain appointments, you got to solve that problem. And that comes from advertising, and opt-in pages, and that kind of stuff. And then once you figure that out, you need a sales process.

Nehal: Perfect. I know there are people who are stuck and they want to get unstuck, and one of those things that actually helped us as well as there was a sales script that you published online. So we swiped it and we implemented it for some of the agencies that we work with and it works.

People are like, “Man, I feel so confident.” And I didn’t get a chance to pay you for that. First of all, if anyone who wants to swipe the same thing that I swiped that Nick put out there, go to adtipsforadpros.com and we’ll give you access to that. But more importantly, there are some people who want more hands-on help or want to pick up the course.

What’s the best way to contact you and continue the conversation if they want to reach out to you personally?

Nick: Yeah. Just go to salesprocess.io.

Nehal: Cool.

Nick: And that script, I’m gonna take it down. Well, I’m gonna change it. I’ve been getting freaking testimonials and they’re not paying me for that.

Nehal: Not yet.

Nick: I’m pissed off. But here’s the thing. That script will get you like 70%. I didn’t put the goodies in there. I didn’t put the goodies in there. There are some goodies that I teach my salespeople and I didn’t put that in the script. You can use that template if it. I’m gonna take it down or change it a little bit because there is a lot there. But, yeah, there is something that I left out that if you get, you’ll be able to make it rain.

Nehal: Perfect.

Nick: I didn’t put it there.

Nehal: So if you want to work with Nick, go straight to salesprocess.io. If you want the script that he’s, most likely, gonna remove, go to Ad Tips for Ad Prose and from there, we’ll give you the script. Reach out to him, personally, too. Thank you so much for coming on, man, and sharing everything you’ve done so far.