21 replies
Ok guys heres my deal. Ive been doing this "offline marketing" since December I know not much time but consider that I have dragged my wife into this and we both work part time. We have made a total of about 3.5 K calls on our time and managed to book 3 appointments which later proved to be a waste of time. We have targeted a few specific niches. I have bought a few WSO's related to the subject which seemed packed with great tips and tricks. I consider myself literate in the internet marketing arena and know a thing or two about the basics. Well as I sit here I have yet to set anymore appointments let alone any sales. I know 3.5k calls isnt much but I was sure we could at least close one deal.

Heres the thing We are using a script thats been posted here and the forum thats backed by well known marketers here. This is what I usually get in return when someone answers
"I can get a website for free from 1&1"
"SEO, the last guy who did our SEO did nothing for us...click"
"Wheres your office, I want to see your office"
" I am already receiving services from my own guy" <- - - -Popular

Thats just a few examples of what I have got from owners. I live in the WEST LA area and there are many website offices and marketing consultants. Could it be that I live in a area over populated with these services. Ive also tried email and walk ins with little success. Also could age be a factor I am 23. Ive been a 100% focused on this business and am really trying to succeed.

Any suggestions or advice
THanks
Joseph
#guys
  • Profile picture of the author IngeniousBastard
    SEO is a tough market to get into. Especially in LA. It's tough for anyone to speculate on your success rate without much detail. If you could give us some sort of overview of your approach it might be helpful. Also, have you considered approaching these potential clients from a different angle and then having the SEO conversation as part of what you do once your foot is in the door? Just thinking out loud here.
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  • Profile picture of the author racso316
    I don't know what your script is, but it sounds to me like you're selling a commodity.

    You might be trying to sell a feature instead of a benefit. Or trying to push your services into those business owners that maybe they don't need or want or don't know that they need.

    Offer solutions to a problem they have. Find out what makes them tick, what they fear, what they really need.

    Educate them. Qualify them. Target them better.

    If you have some capital, you could try to send a letter first, then follow up. Or change your script. Test it. If it didn't work the first thousand times, modify it.

    Maybe change your foot in the door offer. Offer a free consultation.
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    • Profile picture of the author Aurora Bourke
      Joseph, it seems to me that your approach may sound too scripted.
      That is an immediate turn off for most folks. After 3.5k calls and only 3 appointments I would be tearing my hair out!

      I agree with rasco316:
      "Find out what makes them tick, what they fear, what they really need. Educate them. Qualify them. Target them better."

      I would also suggest that you search all threads started in Offline Discussions by Warrior Ben.....you will find some absolute gems in there.

      Particularly this thread: The reason you HATE COLD CALLING is because you're lousy at it... Here's how to change that TODAY!
      Ben teaches: "...a specific script you should use to when you get your lead on the phone: "Hi, my name is Ben and I own a local marketing company that helps small businesses increase their online presence and in turn increase their revenues. The reason I'm calling specifically today is to set up an appointment to show you how I can help grow your business with our online strategies. How does tomorrow at 2pm work for you?"

      These are Ben's words....perhaps yours will differ slightly. Make the words your own, keep a smile on your face and dial.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aussieguy
    3.5k calls and 3 appts. I just want to say - I respect your tenacity! At least you've got that! I also want to say - I hope those 3 appts work out to be worth heaps for you!

    At the end of the day though...you've got to offer something people want to buy (assuming you haven't invented something new and need to educate people etc). What are you actually selling? SEO and websites by the sound of it? Are you doing anything else marketing wise? A great site with portfolio + PPC to get clients?

    Is it possible for you to start out via businesses that you know, and know you? Get a bit of a name at least in business circle? Maybe for your business you'll need an accountant, and (compliments of their business) they could offer all their clients a deeply discounted site just to get your name out?

    But for the why's and wherefore's of the cold calling issues, I'll leave that for others. There are some on here with good advice. Hopefully they hop onto the thread...
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  • Profile picture of the author Craig Dewe
    I admire your commitment to make 3.5k calls for those lousy results. However there's a point where you need to look at your process and ask yourself why it's not working. That was about the 100 call mark.

    As Racso said you're selling a commodity. There are millions of people out there selling SEO services so you want to stop leading with that. You are putting yourself in a nice little box and people are shutting the lid on you.

    Imagine you're at a party and you ask someone what they do. They reply with "accountant" and you go wow and stop the conversation because you already have an accountant. This is what your sales process is currently doing.

    Here's the conversation I have every time I meet business owners at a networking event...

    Business Owner: "So what do you do?
    Me:"I increase your website sales."
    Business Owner: "Oh, so you do web design?"
    Me: "No, web designers make your website look pretty. I increase the sales you get from your website."
    Business Owner: "So you do SEO?"
    Me: "No, SEO people get your website to the top of the search engines. That means you get more people looking at your website. However that doesn't help you one bit if your website doesn't convert those visitors into clients. I'm the guy who makes sure your website sells your business and actually gets clients to buy from you."
    Business Owner: "Do you have a card?"

    As a side note I focus on conversion and copywriting services which is fairly unique. Then once I've done that they trust me and I can sell them any other internet marketing service on top of that.
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  • Profile picture of the author jcjonas
    I agree with all the advice in this tread. As mentioned above you are selling a commodity when you are pitching the way you are. Benefits sell - not features. Remember, all you are doing on the phone is to sell an appointment. Do not get into specifics. You want to let them know that you have helped many limo companies(what ever)acquire more customers and increase their bottom line. I would like to do the same for you. I will be in your area blah blah blah.
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  • Some great advice from the folks here, Joseph. Study and learn.

    My take is that you're selling the wrong thing. What you're offering is not what your prospects want to buy.

    You're offering websites, SEO and stuff. They want new customers and more sales. Work up your own version of Ben's script, as suggested by Kate, and make appointments. But DO NOT BE TEMPTED to discuss your services on the phone! You're talking to a busy guy/gal who wants to make the decision now, instead of when you visit.

    You: "I don't want to take up your time right now, but if you can find me 10 minutes tomorrow afternoon I'll show you three ways I can bring in new customers and help you make more sales."
    Owner: "I'm too busy, tell me about it now."
    You: "Hey, I can't squeeze a book through the phone! In 10 minutes I can lay out a plan to bring you more business. Is tomorrow afternoon good for you, or is Thursday morning better?"

    If you still get a negative, go hard. (What have you got to lose?)
    Owner: "Well, I wouldn't be interested."
    You: "You know, that surprises me. Most business owners I know would rather get the facts before they made their decision. Are you sure you haven't got 10mins to get the facts? Or are you doing so well you don't need any new business?"

    One thing is for sure: like Craig said above, if it's not working after 100 tries then stop and review. Don't burn another 3,500 prospects with something that needs a rejig.

    Good luck
    Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author blackbelt
    OK my advice. First I do not know the details, but it appears you do not have the right answers. In a professional way you need to ask questions, that require a positive answer. Example "Are you totally against making money" "Are you totally against getting more traffic." " Would you be mad at me if I could show how to increase your traffic and get targeted visitors to your web-site or business. Asking the right questions! Taking them by the hand and showing them what you can do. Making it easy to contact you for questions. As far as your office go's your office in in your home. Best of marketing! Joe
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    You're missing some kind of qualification process. That would give you the ability to determine whether an appointment to see a prospect is a good use of your time or not.

    Your call should uncover at least one reason for your prospect to want to speak further with you...and give you information why you would want to talk more with them.

    Booking appointments for the sake of appointments is a waste of time, as you've seen.
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    • Profile picture of the author MaxwellB
      It should take about 150 dials to get an seo appointment with a local small business. With a single line dialer that's one every 3.5 hours or so and with dialing manually 30 dials per hour around 5 hours.

      So just to let you know not only are you wasting your time but your wasting leads of businesses in the area by calling and not giving a good impression on the call.

      I don't mean to sound harsh either but think of it like this. If you are getting such blunt responses and people hanging up on you your not making a good impression so your potentially damaging your brand reputation with your local area.

      Keep things simple. Don't even mention the term SEO. Local small businesses like words like "get customers in the door, visitors to your website, more customers buying your products/services."

      "Hi this is Joseph with ABC Internet Group. John, ABC is a (your area, LA for you or some variation) website marketing firm. We help you increase your presence online so that you get more customers in your door and grow your business. All I would like to do for now is come by and talk to you more about your business and let you know how we can help you guys grow. Would that be okay?"

      Or something like "I have some time tomorrow afternoon can I drop by at 3pm"

      You may want to add a line like:

      Everyday people are searching for (flower shops, auto repair, whatever business the owner is in) and they are not finding you. That's where we come in.

      Really it's all up to you. The most important thing is to make it to the point, talk about things they care about and understand, don't mention any technical strategies don't even say SEO.

      Second thing.

      I know since it's your business you and your wife's time is expendable but cold calling for 3.5k dials to get 3 appointments is ridiculous. If you sold 1 of those 3 you'd end up making an extremely low hourly wage if you calculated it that way. Your time should be looked at as if it's worth some amount of money.

      So I would say if you can set an appointment every 4-5 hours and you don't mind doing it then for now your okay. Soon you will want to spend all your time on sales appointments. But for now you'd be okay until you grow.

      If you are not hitting that metric and wasting days making cold calls you should probably invest and have someone call that can produce those types of results.

      Good luck.
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      • Profile picture of the author reactiontm
        Originally Posted by MaxwellB View Post

        With a single line dialer that's one every 3.5 hours or so .
        Where'd you get your dialer from? Any specs you recommend? Am I mistaken or were the rules on these things changed?
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    A few things.

    1. Your script or execution of the script is off to get that low of a conversion.
    2. 0 for 3 on sales to appointments is hard to judge for sure but given your low conversion above I suspect the conversions will stay low here.
    3. If the script is working for others I owuld guess it's something in your personal approach.

    That said let me ask the following.
    1. Do you have any sales background?
    2. Are you best in person or on the phone?
    3. What are you selling?
    4. What is the benefit for the business(what you are really selling)?

    If you have a sales background and were good you should know how to judge your skills and tweak them. If you don't go look for some free sales training on youtube. You need to be able to sell at least until you can hire someone to sell.

    If you are better on the phone continue to cold call. If you are better in person consider cold walk ins. Either way you are cold but the calls are getting you such a low conversaion you are wasting time. if you are better in person it might be a better use of time till you can hire a good apppointment setter.

    Also everyone here knows I am a fan of different. Cold calls happen all the time. Some days I get multiple calls for SEO and etc. For that reason we tend to ignore them vs. having someone show up who gets our attention.

    Finally the question is why are you doing this? Customers can feel your passion. If you are passionate about helping businesses grow that is great if you are doing it just to get some "easy" money this is not the right place for easy money. To be good at offline marketing you really need to build a true business. And to build a business you need to be passionate IMO.
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  • Profile picture of the author josephandalyssa
    Maxwell - I received your pm but unfortunately I'm too virgin to reply back to your PM.

    As for the rest, thank you all for input and suggestions. Ive based my business on what I know most about, design (photoshop,indesign,adobe,suite, graphic design, website design, Seo and a few other small things) I have actually had a sales job for kirby for 8 months that I actually didnt do to bad with (company office moved to another state). So far what I have heard from talking to the owners of various businesses is that they have been stiffed by other "marketing guys" who have left a bad credibility for other guys trying to pursue this business venture. The last owner I actually sat down with wanted to see credibility behind me more than just my nice looking brochure and business card. Recently I have been reading about publishing myself as a author to build credibility to show to owners. I have thought about the option of asking family and friends to offer my services to but the majority of my friends and my family are predominantly poor and have no entrepreneurial spirit within them let alone any kind of business going for them other the 9-5 (some dont even have that). I in no way want to quit this and know theres a way for me to find myself over this hump. I obviously want to learn new techniques to use and sell to help better position myself and my business venture. I am always open to ideas and solutions from others and am always researching and developing ideas. The hard part for me is not getting ahold of the owner its trying to explain to the owner without a guarantee that I can provide value and help them increase revenue by them develop techniques and strategies, so far I have been shot down.

    So i guess in the end my question to you all is how do you build credibility in the beginning stages and show owners that Im not just another marketing guy?

    Any other suggestions or tips guys?

    Thank you all very very much
    Joseph
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    • Profile picture of the author MaxwellB
      Originally Posted by jamarket View Post


      So i guess in the end my question to you all is how do you build credibility in the beginning stages and show owners that Im not just another marketing guy?

      Any other suggestions or tips guys?

      Thank you all very very much
      Joseph
      Are you outsourcing the seo work? Or doing it yourself.

      If you are doing it yourself how about starting out with a performance based model. When you rank them they are automatically charged a success fee for each keyword that ranks, as they rank, and then they start getting charged a monthly fee for a certain contracted amount of time.

      It would be much easier to cold call when you can say you are a performance based provider.

      Once you build up a client base and they start referring you to people, when the people ask about your performance based model if you want to do it go ahead or you can say "I'll be honest with you I offered a performance based service for a limited time, my record shows I produce results and now I am charging a monthly fee."

      Show them your past results and they won't care about paying a monthly fee as long as you can demonstrate the ROI they will receive.

      If you are outsourcing you'll have to find a performance based provider like rankpay, seoamplified, I'm sure there are others. That have a white label partnership available.

      Or you'll have to foot the bill if you use a outsource partner that does not do performance based.

      Hope that helps.
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      • Profile picture of the author reactiontm
        Originally Posted by MaxwellB View Post

        If you are doing it yourself how about starting out with a performance based model. When you rank them they are automatically charged a success fee for each keyword that ranks, as they rank, and then they start getting charged a monthly fee for a certain contracted amount of time.
        I agree... tell them straight up that you're new, which is WHY you're giving them such great terms.

        As for those who were previously ripped off- PROBE! There's pain there. Obviously, they had a reason for hiring those guys in the first place- why? What kind of results were they looking for? What did they hope to gain through SEO? Where did they fall short? Did they rise at all in the rankings?

        You can USE their momentum to go where your want, but you have to keep your eye on the ball.

        Others have already discussed your script.

        Here' something else that probably needs work- your TONE.

        If you're not already recording your calls, start now.

        Make 20 calls.

        Then, call a few friends for a casual chat.

        Record those, as well.

        Now, compare the prospecting calls to your friendly calls.

        How are they different?

        When you can make the former sound like the latter (in addition to fixing your script), you'll start lighting the world on fire.
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    • Profile picture of the author Teez
      Originally Posted by josephandalyssa View Post

      Maxwell - I received your pm but unfortunately I'm too virgin to reply back to your PM.

      As for the rest, thank you all for input and suggestions. Ive based my business on what I know most about, design (photoshop,indesign,adobe,suite, graphic design, website design, Seo and a few other small things) I have actually had a sales job for kirby for 8 months that I actually didnt do to bad with (company office moved to another state). So far what I have heard from talking to the owners of various businesses is that they have been stiffed by other "marketing guys" who have left a bad credibility for other guys trying to pursue this business venture. The last owner I actually sat down with wanted to see credibility behind me more than just my nice looking brochure and business card. Recently I have been reading about publishing myself as a author to build credibility to show to owners. I have thought about the option of asking family and friends to offer my services to but the majority of my friends and my family are predominantly poor and have no entrepreneurial spirit within them let alone any kind of business going for them other the 9-5 (some dont even have that). I in no way want to quit this and know theres a way for me to find myself over this hump. I obviously want to learn new techniques to use and sell to help better position myself and my business venture. I am always open to ideas and solutions from others and am always researching and developing ideas. The hard part for me is not getting ahold of the owner its trying to explain to the owner without a guarantee that I can provide value and help them increase revenue by them develop techniques and strategies, so far I have been shot down.

      So i guess in the end my question to you all is how do you build credibility in the beginning stages and show owners that Im not just another marketing guy?

      Any other suggestions or tips guys?

      Thank you all very very much
      Joseph
      Dude first of all the fact that you know what you're good at is a major plus ''so many people wont become rich as they wont make a living doing what they enjoy'' I think thats the quote anyways but seriously you know that you enjoy photoshop,indesign,adobe,suite, graphic design, website design, Seo and a few other small things.


      Now Id suggest you set up Gigs on Fivver think there are others like tenner and fourer based on the same model as fivver.

      What I would do is use those to make money and get to build a client list, confidence aswell as testimonials which you can point prospects too.
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      My first stab at success is the Nike Air Yeezys this is what made me believe.

      You can't be scared of rejection on the quest to perfection.

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  • Profile picture of the author Jgregory
    Originally Posted by jamarket View Post

    I know 3.5k calls isnt much but I was sure we could at least close one deal.

    Heres the thing We are using a script thats been posted here and the forum thats backed by well known marketers here. This is what I usually get in return when someone answers
    "I can get a website for free from 1&1"
    "SEO, the last guy who did our SEO did nothing for us...click"
    "Wheres your office, I want to see your office"
    " I am already receiving services from my own guy" <- - - -Popular
    You might think about the Free Lunch lesson we all have to learn in life. The script is obviously not working with your delivery over the phone. maybe its a little of both, or one is a real culprit. 3500 calls for 3 appointments is way out of what you should expect with a good phone script, even with lousy phone skills

    I can say this... this free script is telling you to sell/say SEO services on a cold call... in my experience, that's instant death in today's business climate. Those 3 appointments might be those people who are lonely and wanted you to come by for a visit. Timewasters like that are a fact of life, if so... you are really batting zero for your calls. Get another script.

    Consider that successful businesses have all found a solution to someone's pain. They sell pain relief around the pivot point of their differentiation. They don't sell commoditized services that 1000's of others are talking about... they have solutions.

    The answer to a script that works, is to write one that fits you, your business, your pain solution, or get it done... your script must be in the proper context to work, otherwise its just words on paper. Anywhere you get a script, forum or otherwise, its best to look at it like a model while writing your own.

    Best Regards,
    jan
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  • Profile picture of the author geolocal
    Joseph, I admire your tenacity. To be able to make 3,500 cold calls without giving up is amazing. That's 3,499 more calls than most people would make!

    I think you need to find another way to get your foot in the door. Business owners are pitched day in and day out via email, direct mail, phone and drop-ins, almost to the point where it's hard for them to run their main business. So they're annoyed on top of being busy. Not a good combination.

    Whatever you say has to be different from anything else they've heard that day, otherwise you're just another "web guy" trying to get their money. That's when their defenses go up and they tune you out, even though they may need what you have to offer.

    There are ways to get their attention, and usually that's by giving value first. Offer to be a guest speaker at a business meeting, where you'll be seen as the expert because you're the one at the front of the room. Give them valuable free information and don't worry abut giving away too much -- they won't know what to do with it and don't have the time anyway. Next thing you know, they'll ask if you can help them out. And since it was their idea, they don't feel like they got "sold". It works for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author josephandalyssa
    THanks guys for all your help.

    Joseph
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  • Profile picture of the author BillBert
    Okay, I am going to sound stupid here, but are you saying 3,500 calls and only 3 appointments? I could call 3,500 Eskimos and sell 35 bags of ice...

    Dude, seriously something ain't right!
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  • Profile picture of the author fnever
    really helpful
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