Today we bring on Alzay Calhoun from Coveted Consultant who takes us through his recent marketing funnel.
Alzay has been generating leads for his high end consulting via cold emails. First, he takes us through the paid marketing funnel which lead to the cold email approach.
He’s boiled it down to a 9 step process that ANYONE can follow and walks us through each step.
He also shares insights he’s learned since launching the campaign.
We’ve Provided the Transcription Directly Below
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Interview with Alzay Calhoun
Sweeney: Hey guys! Welcome to another episode of the TriggerCast. Today we have on Alzay Calhoun of Coveted Consultant. The way I actually ended finding out about him was I saw one of his blog post on how he was using cold emails bringing consulting prospects and close them to clients. It was just very interesting to me because I hadn’t really seen something very similar to them before, I’m sure it’s out there but the way he laid it out in a step by step format, you could tell he has really done and gone to the process and taught a lot about it. Digging deeper into his blog, I also read about how he initially builds in marketing funnel which led to the cold email. We brought him on today. We’ll talk about both those processes, how he’s running his consulting business and he’s generating leads and how he started at one point and now where’s he’s at currently. So, Alzay thanks a lot for coming on today!
Alzay: Yes sir! Good to be here.
Sweeney: Just to give people a short summary background. What do you mainly sell consulting wise services? What consulting services do you sell?
Alzay: What I sell essentially are management consulting services. I work with consulting firm, consulting companies. They sell big package services. They’re probably in between $1M-$5M in annual revenue. The hard core work that I do is around their marketing funnel. It’s about how we get leads, how to convert them, what do we sell? A kind of package with that is we work on core messaging. You should be about what’s the big story. You should be telling in the market place and we turn it into a funnel. On the other side, we talk about the management others so that you, yourself on the phone every single day trying to close clients and also make good on the services too. It’s just overwhelming. So that’s the package. That’s what I do.
Sweeney: Awesome! So, you’ve been consulting for a while now. You say that you always been consulting at least or someone else is working for yourself?
Alzay: Yup! I stepped out to start my business in 2008. Up to that point, I have always been a consultant. The name has changed but I always been up as a consultant. So, what does that mean? That is consulting the leader of the business offering process improvement, offering data analysis, those kinds of things. So when I stepped out and start business, Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula. As a strategy that was the smartest overall strategy I’ve even seen. I’ve never seen something that was so clear. A kind of step by step, one thing at a time. So, I fell in love with that as a concept. Around 2009, he offered enough somebody to train certain number of people in his particular product launch process. I flew out LA for training and did all of that. I became a consultant in his particular process. That was about 2009. So now what I do is a mix of what I’ve done before, what I’ve learned from him. You can put it all together and make it your own. What I just explained a minute ago is what I’ve landed and what I’m working on that.
Sweeney: Gotcha! Let’s dig in here a little bit. The initially spent on a marketing funnel, it sounds like you did solo Ads maybe?
Sweeney: Initially you did the marketing funnel in solo Ads. We’re going to cover that just to give our listeners an idea that this is what leads into how you ended up with reaching out for hiring clients via cold email and how you ended up in that process.
Alzay: That funnel, couple of things I guess to say upfront and know where my head was. This is was true then and it is true now. I do not like being on the phone. I absolutely do not like being on the phone with sales call. If I told you it wasn’t my favorite, that’s true. I don’t know if hate is a very strong word but it is not my favorite. So, I was looking for system, looking for ways/methods to drive business. I don’t have to be on the phone all the time and what gets down to finding quality leads souces. Again at that point, I was trained in Jeff Walker’s product formula and his consulting system. So, I was trying to find him audience that already understood that was qualified. So long story short, I end up running an advertisement with SelfGrowth community run by David Riklan. That’s where I got started. The funnel itself. There’s a lot of mood but let me give you the big chunks. You start out with the offer you plan to sell. What I wanted to say was product launch services. Who was that good for? People with existing products, focused on digital products typically, focused with existing list and what to increase the conversion of that list. That’s you, product launch makes a whole lot of sense especially that Jeff Walker teach. So, that’s what I wanted to sell. My price point for that preferrably what $10,000 give or take. It was $10,000 plus commission offer. That’s where my head was when I got started. I begin there. I buy the Ad. I make the advertisement. I send that out to the list. As far as format of the advertisement, it really was the classic email advertisement. I believe in this. I don’t believe you have to hack or crash your sales, no fancy ninja strategy, tactic type stuff. It was very straight forward. You’ve got this problem, I’ve got this solution. We should have a conversation. I did that. I got certain response from that. I guess if we want to talk about hacks, behind the scenes systems, you got to have a follow up process. When people register, they went to a landing page, register for a conversation with me. It’s a common assumption but a poor assumption when everyone registers who automatically sign up. It’s also for the conversation. It’s also for assumpion to think that everyone’s going to sign up like tomorrow. People ask schedule. Sometimes, somebody signs up and they’re put in 7 days when they signed up or 8 days or 9 days or 12 days when they signed up. Don’t forget! You got them on your calendar but in their world they forgot about you. I head up follow up process. My personal assistant put together a follow up a process where she begins to reach out to them after they register. She did that. We have couple of calls. By the way, this whole script is lay out in blog post we’re talking about so you can get it and have it and use it. I’m trying to cut to the chase here. She did the follow up ahead the conversations and they will close couple of clients. I guess, long story short that’s what we are. Sweeney, tell me what you want to go next with that?
Sweeney: Throwing some number because actually I did like those part that are interesting. The cost of the advertisement was about $2,500. You’ve got 717 unique visitors. Out of that 86 leads signed up so 12% sign up rate which isn’t bad. You’ve got 34 consultations so about 40% of those leads are actually scheduled. From that, you closed 4 clients so 11% close rate. Sales were about $6,750. That’s pretty freaking good because most people their first marketing funnel to paid Ads, it can be hard especially to solo Ad which is more of one shot. It’s not like you’re running $10 a day and you can tweak the system. You got one big chance and you make it work. I think it’s worth mentioning those numbers because it did have success. Now, looking at some of the lessons you had from that. I thought this is pretty interesting especially the free consultation. You talked about not liking being on the phone but you scheduled 43 phone calls. So, what did you learn from that? How do you approach that now?
Alzay: OK! One is you do what you have to do. If you don’t like being on the phone another reality though is if you’re going to sell high dollar services, you have to talk to people. It’s hard to get somebody to pay somebody $10,000 from a click on a website. It’s not a fair assumption. I had to relax my desire to not be on the phone. If you want to do business, you got to do business. The free consult is very, very real meaning you schedule these calls and the calls come when they come. People choose their own time to speak with me. At least at that time that was the case. I may have a call at 9 in the morning or 10:30. From off the phone at 9:45, what do you between 9:45 and 10:30. You only got 45 minutes to do another task and you can get always get your brain to turn over from free consult to new task back to free consult. You got this weird time blogs. You’re given the same information to different people everyday. 3-4 times a day, you’re doing this consultations. It’s important to remember that for the first time you’re talking to, it’s their first time talking to you. You got to give them all the energy. You got to make sure that they know whether they buy or not. If they buy or not, they feel that you’re legitimate. You got to give them the energy and you’re doing that over and over again. It can be challenging. It can be a dream for anybody especially when you’re having to run other parts of the business too. So, you’re selling and doing service. I just did realized how taxing it was until do it. You got to run a test. You got to know. I did that and I run a test. What that particular campaign, this funnel that we’re talking about right now, what it creates for me was a 2 step consultation process. We’ll talk about that when we talk about the cold email. That’s where I begin to apply more. These 2 step consult process is what I do not internally from own business but every client I work with, I install it as much as I possibly can. I didn’t realize how many quality businesses out there have a version of what I’m now describing to you. They’re just on the phone all the time, sales call and sales call. They’ve no process to simplify how the sales made. That was one of the big things with the consult. You’ve got to simplify how you close. I got it down to a 2 step process.
Sweeney: Nice! You talked about using content to be clear duing the funnel. I just want to mention that real quick because that’s the big part of qualifying leads and qualifying prospects. It’s funny I was just chatting with my girlfriend the other day and she said. “At our job, we have all these people in for this job. It’s more of an entreprenuerial mindset job. For some reason no one wants to take it.” I’m like, you should have the job description. You don’t want hundred people coming in. You just want 5 people coming in that want actually be a good fit. I think, leads are the same way. When we first started on mine. We’re so used to emails that where like as many emails as we can get especially with the phone call, that’s a very really ease of your time. You only want to be talking to qualified people that can potentially use your services. Any other calls are waste of your time and their time, probably too.
Alzay: It is! I agree. I won’t even have a thing to it. I agree with you 100%.
Sweeney: So now you also talk about needing more product type services. Do you want to go into that a little bit.
Alzay: Yes sir! Another major thing that came out into this particular campaign was the importance of having product type services. The analogy is people should buy your services the same way they buy a book on a shelf or the same way they buy an item from the grocery store. They walk in to the grocery store. They say I want peanut butter and this peanut butter on the shelf and put it off the shelf and put it in their basket and they go buy it. That’s what someone should buy. You were consulting or your service package. The way we typically sell consulting services is, let me see what you got. I will give you a few thoughts on it and then you could tell me if you want to buy something. The scope of that is like amazing. That’s like going in to a grocery store not having a list, not having a shopping list. We’ve all done it. Your client in this consulting world, those are the exact same thing. You just say, let me see what you got. We’ll just talk about it. I’ll shoot you a bid then they wander. Your client wanders down your aisle in the end. So, the idea of product type service is if you have a clear need then I offer a very clear solution. What makes this challenging for us is now you’ve got to know a lot about your perspective client before you sell them anything. You’ve got to have an understanding of what it is they need before you package your services together. It’s challenging. It’s not as hard to do as it may sound but it is a shift in your focus as your consultant. No one cares about what you know. What they care about is their own problem. You’ve got to build this solutions. I’ve got a few different formats for that. One of that is inside the post that I’m talking about. There are few big things I hope folks grab from this conversation and this product type services is huge. You only have 1 or 2 services then that’s it.
Sweeney: With that, my question I’m wondering is. Are the product type services the foot in the door? Or is it what you hang your hand on? Is it I’m good at these 3 things and I can do these 3 things for anyone? Or is it more like these 3 things start to relationship and then once we build the relationship and I know more about their business then I can offer them a bit more customized and higher level ticket consulting as well?
Alzay: When I work with my clients, here’s the way I describe it to them and I have fun here Sweeney so you have to stop me if I start doing too much. Your business should offer one transformational experience to your end client. One experience so there is a person you focus. The transition, transformation that I offer in my business is I take frustrated leaders of consulting firms and turn them into business architects. You go from being a frustrated, smart person to being a business architect. There are some major milestones that happened in between place A and place B. You owe it yourself and your own business. Some of you are on pure consulting to explain what that major transformation is. So, that’s what you offer. If we’re talking about writing a book, that’s what the book would be about. When you engage someone about that major transformation, it’s amazing what happens when you talk to clients. They all tell you that sounds wonderful. I’m ready for Part B. I know you got a bigger thing that you do, a kind of overwhelming. I like A and B of that. Then you could chunk that down and offer that as a smaller package if you choose to do so. To say it another way, who are going to be in the marketplace. Let’s speak as loudly possibly can. Let’s hit as hard as possibly can. Let’s be a compelling as we possibly can. It always come up with the service that is completely awesome. When my client sees it, they’ll just melt on how awesome it is. Let’s get them inside about that. We will talk about some other packages if that makes sense. So, that’s the way I think about it.
Sweeney: Gotcha! It makes sense. This product that is interesting, lesson 8 and lesson 9. Lesson 8, you talked about finding a conflict between your price and values. You felt like your price is running the range of $5,000-$10,000 but when jumping on with the client, you found $2,500 to be more suitable for these leads. You also talked about how you’re trying to get $10,000 level results but they’re spending only $2,500. How does that shift happened? What did you notice there?
Alzay: I’m on the phone with folks and I begin this conversation by saying part 1 will make a big sense for you if you got 1, 2, 3, 4 in place. I’m talking to these folks on the phone and they don’t have 1, 2, 3, 4 in place. They might be familiar with Jeff Walker, familiar with the system. They might be excited to do it, etc. If we’re going to drop a car, we have to have keys. If you got no keys, you can’t drive. But because of my desire to help people, I’ll figure what model car they have and go to the store and make the keys and not turn the keys for them. Bad idea! Again, it gives more color to that. You need clients to come to the situation compare to do work not only mentally but you got to have certain assets. If someone doesn’t have those assets when they come to work with you, they aren’t great to do work. It’s not because they’re bad or smart or dumb or anything like that. So, my job as a consultant is to say just that. To do these things, you got to have certain things in place. If you don’t, it just not going to work for you. Why you don’t just go ahead. Go get Aweber, landing page software. Why don’t you run this small campaign or whatever the starting place could be and then go and come back to them. In my mind as a consultant, I want to sell and what I want to sell. It’s just $10,000 take over the world type package. That doesn’t mean that it’s where they work. In this particular lead source in general, that’s not where they were. Few folks fits that mold but the majority of folks weren’t there. So, part of what I learned and it’s also in the notes from this article is I should have had a small, medium and large package or both 3 different offers. The small would have been purely starter package. Here are the things that you need to get going. I hope to get on. If you’re hearing my language, that’s my product type service. This is the starter package. We’re not driving anywhere. We’re going some keys. Then you can scale it up from there. When if it’s your situation. You’re the guy on the phone, you own the money on the line. They’re a lot louder. So, that’s what I picked up.
Sweeney: That’s one of the biggest things that people learn and quickly with entrepreneurship and even in this internet marketing age or this digital age. It’s so easy to get started. It’s so easy to do things and it’s so easy to do consume information and think that you know it all and have this overwhelming amount of information. When you don’t have the experience side, things are always different for every business and everything on what you’re doing. Who knows if you have emailed the different list maybe it would have been people that were only interested at the $25,000 level and you have been offering them $10,000 packages. It would be like you’re taken a very rich, wealthy person in the Walmart like I don’t want everything here. Then the poor says, I can’t afford anything here. You’re not matching the demographic.
Alzay: There is more one more.
Sweeney: I found what’s more interesting too is Lesson 6 and I will jump in to the whole cold email process. You said, too many in the prospects didn’t have existing marketing budgets. I imagine this also feels into the pricing structure. You can’t ask someone to pay certain amount if they don’t already have an existing marketing budget. How did you come about this? How did you find this to be important for you or for your services?
Alzay: It started with where I was in the world of I’ll sell what I wanted to sell. I just want to “help” people. I figured if we could just get the system installed then you get some money. That’s so one sided. The reality of it is, there’s a reason why somebody buys the small body car versus the large body car. Again, you want to add your stuff to theirs. That’s not what they are. The big lesson there was you’ve got to offer something that was useful in the world they live in. You’re asking me another question Sweeney. Say it again, please.
Sweeney: As far as the marketing budget?
Alzay: Yes, the budget! The importance of the budget helps you understand what level they’re currently functioning at. If they say 0 that’s fine. There’s no judgment, right? But if you know that their service requires $10,000 of budget or $100,000 of budget then you got to be honest with that. You got to get a sense of where your client is currently spending so that you can match your offerings to them. The budget tells you where they’re functioning. For folks who didn’t have an existing budget already in this particular campaign, for those who didn’t have a budget they were accustomed to doing this kind of work on their own. So, some of those folks wanted to talk with me. They weren’t being rude but they thought they could take the knowledge and do it themselves. I need to be working with folks who knows that they can do it themselves. They might know of what to do but they know that their time is better spent than doing something else. When you hit that hurdle then I can begin to work with you. If you think that you can’t do it all yourself then I’m not going to be as helpful. I walk you through couple of things but you need to go try it yourself. If they got the budget, they know they can’t do certain things themselves and they’re looking for some help.
Sweeney: Gotcha! Let’s shift gears and jump into this how to close high end clients by sending cold email. You have multiple, what is it? 8 steps maybe 9 steps overall. So, go to these steps. Obviously, you know the process better than I do. Some of these we have discussed a little bit. I want to leave it up to you a little bit as far as which one is a little bit more important than the others. For example, defining your super power, defining their problem. Those are easy words. Maybe developing your outreach email and or the actual phone calls. I can see that being more difficult.
Alzay: Got you! I’ll give the quick brush here on what we’re talking about. Long story short, I took the lessons that I learned from the content marketing we’ve just talked about. I’m talking about the solo Ad that I ran and the content that I used. I want to do it again. I wanted to do it a little different. I wanted to keep leveling up my game. I came up with this funnel. This was selling services that started with the first contact was a 1 to 1 email that I send out. When I’m reading right now, I’m just scrolling through the actual process. I wrote a heck of an article about it and I did it on purpose so I can remember what I did honestly. I want to leave anything out. I hid the magic inside from it. So, step 0, I was making a point about is you got to sell the best that you got. If we’re going to take the time to put all these pieces in place and we’ll take the time to talk to people then let’s sell them the most valuable thing you have to offer. That’s up to you. We will just call that step 0. Just show them the best that you got. Step 2 is defining their problem. Now, Sweeney call this easy because he does this and he understands. Get a clear understanding of the clients problem is actually more challenging. As consultants, we do this stuff all the time. It’s what we think about. It’s a vocation and it’s our hobby. We just love playing around in our particular topic. Your client would love to play around in something else not this. They’re level of awareness, understanding is not always a sharp edge you think it should be. Without going too deep into that, you just got to make sure that what you’re selling, what you’re talking about as a company reflects the problem that they believe they have. You develop your program. When I say program I’m about this transformational offer. To make it very plain is a series of steps, whatever service you sell you fall in to a series of steps. They start at step 1 and you walk them to step 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. If you cannot explain your services with that level of detail, with that level of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 then you going to find the client confused about what your best thing is. The importance of this conversation about what your offer is what price point do you give it? What time frame can you give it. I’ve got some suggestion for some suggestions for that inside article but these things come all together. What is it? How long does it last and how much does it cost? Then, I actually structured the outreach email. I agree with you Sweeney. This is where most people spend their energy. They want to get this right. The glory is found in the copy writing. If you don’t prepare well, you can’t write good copy. It is impossible. What you can do is you can go, look at a bunch of guru emails and you can splice together. You can Frankeinstein together which sounds really cool to you because you brought all from the brakes so to speak. But if we’re talking about communicating with your business client, you don’t have to be nearly as good copywriter you think you do. What you got is a clear insight about your client. What is certainly helpful? If you’re writing this email with a template. Starting from a blank page is always hard. Again, there’s a template that’s already laid out here in the article but for the sake of the conversation, I’ll promise it’s just straight forward. You give a “Hello, my name is. This is a short introduction about me. I specialize in a given service and I love helping people that are in this problem and we’ll try to get into the solution. I’ve got a program I’d like to offer you. There are program that’s good for people who fit in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 categories. This program is not good for you if you are in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 categories. If this sounds interesting please reply to the email.” Again, if you’re not clear about what you’re offering, clear about how it helps them you ended up writing a secret email ninja trick style and you don’t have to do that. The more stuff you add, the more it turns off clients especially if we’re talking about high level. Sweeney, we can talk about that more if you like but I’m moving on to step 5 which is developing the target list. Again, major point here is we will just talk about this. You got to make sure you’re talking to a group of people who actually have the problem you intend to solve. The way I approach it here which I think is a great place to start because it’s free and these folks are familiar. So look at your own social media platforms. Look at your Gmail contacts list if you use Gmail. If you use some other email service then look at the content you have in there. Look at your LinkedIn profile, all of your connections on LinkedIn. Look at your Facebook clients. If you’re like me, my Facebook friends and business associates are mixed together. I’ve got some folks and I might also be able to help. You just simply come to that list and you come up with 25 names, 50 names, 100 names, whatever it is. People who know you already. They know what you do and you have access to them. They’re not going to panic when you send them a very simple email. That’s a great place to get started if you’re trying to build out the list. The point here that you got to talk to folks who fit what I described earlier. They got to have budget for your services. They got to have certain problem. You got to make sure that you got a good core list. As a matter of fact, let me just go ahead and pause for a second. It doesn’t matter what email you send out. It doesn’t matter how phenomenal your services are. If you have set out communications to the wrong target audience nothing will work. There’s no smart marketing tactic that can overcome the fact that you are talking to the wrong person. We just say, if you bring a wealthy person to Walmart, they don’t want anything in Walmart even though Walmart has a million different items in the store. It’s a huge store. You’ve got the wrong person. If you bring somebody on a really tight budget to Whole Foods they can’t afford anything there. It doesn’t matter. So, that makes Marketing 101. It’s easy to skip because you’re so excited to sell what you want to sell. You got to do the diligence. Find audiences that fit. We can have some follow up with that if you want to a little later. So, you send out the email. I’s self explanatory. I send out couple of emails. I think 8 emails a day is what I send. You send more, you send less but it’s best if you make it a daily discipline. So, you send out a couple everyday. You don’t have to send out a hundred a day. You’re going to panic. You’re going to hate it because it’s a grunt level work in your mind. I don’t do grunt level work. So you just make it a daily discipline and also help you manage the response you can get. I’m messed up. I’m talking about the appointment thing. Sweeney, let me stop for a second. Anything that skip? Do you want to add?
Sweeney: No, I’ve made few notes here that we can go back over. Just still like you can go to the process and then you can start micro scoping it.
Alzay: OK! So now we’re at step 7 which is actually setting the appointment. I use a digital tool basically when they respond and say, I want to take it to the next step. Then I asked them to fill out couple of short questions and click this link to an online calendar. If you don’t have an online calendar, you can just suggest a few times. I have found an easier for me and for them to use. It sounds like digital scheduling tool but it also helps me control when my appointments are going to fall so that I’m not overwhelmed or inconvenienced or if I want to take Friday off early for example. That’s important. So, this how you handle the calls. How does it work? Big idea on how you handle the calls is a 2 step process. The first step is the discovery call. The second step is the closing call. I’ll just say this. The content that you offer up to this point needs to make what I just said incredibly clear. Again, as consultants we’re just being free flowing. Let me just see what you got. Ask a few questions we will talk about and give you a bid. You don’t do that. You end up with 6 different consultations and you’re talking to the same person for 6 weeks before they make a decision. It needs to be clear on the front end that when you send email #1, I’ve got an awesome program. If you have this problem, I’ve got this solution. Let’s go ahead and have that conversation. When they decide to take the consultation, I get confirmation of our date like Tuesday at 4:00 they get content from me immediately. I get this more information they give. They give me more information about what the transformation is, the big thing that I offer. They also get information about what they need that they’re going to make good views of this experience so I’m setting expectations. They also get the sense o f what we’re going to talk about the first time on the call. If you want a call it on boarding step that happens before there are client and before we speak. Not only as that good to help set structure for how you’re going to communicate with them. It also turns your professionalism way up. They have never heard of you before but when you send them structure content that explains who you are, what you’re doing, how you plan to help them and all that stuff, you’re a rock star on there. They appreciate who you are. They may never buy anything from you but they will stay on your list. They will open your emails. All you got to do is send them great content. It doesn’t have to be in some fancy awesome format. It just have to be quality. Be their trusted advisers. There’s a bit of magic to that but again all what I’m saying is outline in the same blog post. You can have all of this. You send them up for the discovery call. You have that call. You ask them questions. You figured out where they are. Conversation #2 really what you’re trying to do is simply close the deal. You’ve already explained what you offer. If the effort is already clear, they know it’s interesting as what they are talking to. You’re getting the feel for how prepared they are to take the next step in your discovery call. That time that you spend in between call #1 and call #2 really isn’t about you putting your bid together. For consultants normally, that’s our scramble time. It’s not how I suggest to you folks. I suggest you’ve already got your program pretty much laid out. You may customize a few of those. That time that break is to allow that prospect to decide what they want to do. You get them back to the phone and they will just tell you this is sounds great, we can’t do it right now. Or sounds great, let’s swap items for that item or sounds great and let’s get started today. What I’m telling you is exactly what happened to me. Get on the signed up and the moment I’ve talked to them it was no friction. It was non sales. When you have the 2nd call, you walk them through what your process is and really get a confirmation that you seldom spoke before. If they need to, here’s the closing phrase because I know closing can be difficult and it feels weird. Here’s the closing phrase I picked up from someone else that I think is just too smart. He said, do you want help with that? After you talked about all these stuff so listen if you got this issue, you drop a bomb solution. I think that can help. Is this something you want help with? Then they’ll just be quiet. It is phenomenal when the prospect tells you. You just ask them, do you want help and be quiet? Tell will tell you exactly what they want to do. They’ll tell you yes right now or in 6 weeks or let me talk to my partner or talk to my wife or talk to my husband. If you let it be simple, it can be that simple. Sweeney, you can go back over whenever you want to go over. In this process I just described, try your very best not to have a 3rd call. There are so many things being communicated here. I talked about in this process how your professionalism gets turned away up, how you are qualifying all through the process. If someone doesn’t want to work with you, that’s fine! Somewhere in that process you don’t have to guess about it. It can be easily clear to your client that you have control of this engagement. It’s your vendor problem, you know know how to solve it. You have a sense of what that experience going to be like. They’re trusting you to advice them and guide them through it. When you bring them on board as a client, if it’s a 2 call process it’s a 2 call process. It can’t turn into an 8 call process because they have whatever drama that they’ve got. You got to make it very, very clear and you don’t have to say this actually. It becomes clear as you unfold what I’m describing. There are exceptions but do not set up your system to plan for the exceptions. Let there be 2 calls. They will thank you for your time. They will love it back that you are so direct and clear and helpful and your 2 step process. When you’re appropriate you’ll to them again. So that drag you out to the 3rd and 4th call. Their job is to bring what they need and settle all these issues down why you’re on the line with them. There’s a process with that if you let me explain.
Sweeney: You have the format for the 2nd call. These are certain things I’ve heard before. Here’s what I heard you say, “How can I help? Here’s how I can help? Are you ready to get started today?” then be quiet. They will tell you what they want to do. As long as your energy can stand you don’t speak before they do. If they’re quiet, you are quiet. Let them think. Let them talk. Let them tell you what they want to do.
Alzay: Yes, what we are taught about sales like the actual sales transaction, we’re taught that it’s our job to convert them. It’s our job to say a thing, do a thing, wave your hands, say a little trick and give them to say yes. When they say yes, you are to take money and who to say no. No one likes being sold to that way. No one likes that process. The truth is, your client’s ups in. They choose you, right? They are the ones to say yes, not you. It’s your advantage to let them say yes. If no comes out of their mouth, that’s what they mean, they mean no. But if you’re still talking, you’re still doing your consulting thing. You don’t give them space to consider, what choice they should make? It’s a very simple point. Listen, let them be quiet so they can tell you what they want to do.
Sweeney: So, let’s start with what you learned and then we’ll dive back a little bit as time allows. Now you’ve been through this process. You have it mapped out. You obviously done it fairly certain that you’ve closed a client or 2 from it, high level $25,000 client. What did you learn? How would you tweak it? What are some of the bigger areas to focus on that people can choose over.
Alzay: Yes! I think the basic 8 or 9 steps that are there are healthy process to go through. For anyone listening, feel free to take the process and tweak it where it fits you. I think that the steps are healthy steps. For me, one thing that I’ve done is I have swapped out the actual service offer. You tweak specifically what you choose to offer. Again, for the clients that I work with sometime their language is I just told you I believe you have one transformational offer. Pretty much what I offer to all my clients is the same thing. The same certain number of package steps. I’m not the smart to come up with 9 different products. The question is, where is someone mentally and emotionally when they want to get started. For some of my clients, it’s a question around message. Does it say something like, “Alzay I got it on the niche. I’ve sold this to this guy, that to that guy. I really want to be known for doing these other thing in the marketplace. How to get that done? Or, “Alzay, folks are buying for me at the $2,000 price point and I want to sell stuff at $15,000. I’ve got to communicate differently in the marketplace to get that done”. They’re coming from a messaging angle. Other folks may come to me from a more conversion type of conversation. They’ll say maybe I tried Product Launch Formula and it just didn’t work. So, how do I get to work better? Or I’m having trouble converting my landing page or having trouble with my webinar process. Sometimes it comes from net angle. Again, for me as a consultant they offer to go from the same process but it’s a matter of where they get started. One hack as you talk to these people on the phone and you hear their language , you may hear some folks come from the left, some folks come from the right even though they offer the same thing. One hack that I just want to say is a hack maybe or maybe not. For simplicity sake, the email that I was describing, the way email outlined, intro, who is for, who is not for, may keep that. There are always other formats that you could use and they all work. They want to come up with the awesome email and there is no such thing. If you align to keep that part simple, I think it will make the rest of your life working down that funnel simple. What I also done since from there and I’ll be specific so that it’s really is helpful. When someone signs for the consultation, they get the email and they say they want to talk to me and sign up. Specifically, what I send people is a video, classic PowerPoint with the voice over and a couple of testimonials if appropriate and then some kind of work to do. It could be answer these 3 questions, fill out this short template, respond with your website or whatever it is. The moment they signed up, they get a video with a short walk through, testimonials and some work to do. Why am I stucked and explained that? Because it’s your client, your job is to be the consultant, offer the services but your client has to do some work. They’re part of this process. It’s your advantage to continue or to begin that rhythm before they signed up. When I work with Alzay. There are some work I got to do. They got to keep producing something. Maybe your client does it, maybe someone underneath them, they’re marketing person or whoever, that’s fine! It’s not about them owing you. It’s the idea of we’re going to go to these steps, these inputs have to be in place and someone’s going to create them. You’ll do your part but they have to do their part. Unless you say it’s not enough, you have to encourage that rhythm. That sound’s a little simple but that simple addition of having continually to respond to you creates a relationship that smoothed out the experience.
Sweeney: It makes a lot of sense because you’re setting the stage. A lot authority is really just positioning. The way you’ve set the stage with only 2 calls like here’s the content, you’re going to need to do some work. You’re building yourself as the authority. You’re building yourself as the expert and you’re setting the stage for the relationship as you said. I want to be in the mindset and the rhythm. If I work with him, I’m going to have to do some work. I put you on a very position too because if someone hires you and then they don’t put anything in the action that you tell them well then it didn’t work. That’s the problem. I want to send you send you something and I want you to take a look at it. I think that might help your testimonial’s piece. I’m curious with the emails. Is there particular subject line that you generally go with?
Alzay: No! To be honest, I’m actually on a headline search a little bit. I’ve been digging around a little bit to find some headlines that might work better. With the way I’ve done, if you know Ryan Deiss or if you know Neil Patel. These people send out emails about hundreds and thousands. They get data faster than I do. When you get someone 101, I don’t have to say data back.
Sweeney: If you know who you’re going after Facebook Ads or good way or any kind of advertising as a good way to test out headlines and see what people respond to what gets something to click.
Alzay: Yes, good point! That’s right. It just by getting the click that’s the data. You’re right!
Sweeney: It’s not a pure test. It’s not a perfect test but it’s a thing where you could run an engagement Ad which is going to be a lot cheaper and see what gets more likes? Now we know which one gets better response.
Alzay: Good deal. Absolutely! There’s a subject line hack. What I’ve gone in the past is X done for you, that’s what I’ve gone. Hey, name, would you like X done for you? I’m looking some even better ways to do so.
Sweeney: One other thing I would be interested. This switches up the funnel a little bit. I’m sure it’s something you thought about. If you email these people but instead of asking them like I have this problem here and solution. Instead it was formula, it’s the blog post like 7 steps or 7 rookie errors with the Product Launch Formula. Then maybe the other one is 7 steps to perfect your product launch. If you were to cold email people and just like, “Hey I saw this similar article. I just wrote this new blog post. I would just love your feedback on it. I think it might help you”. From a more neutral positioning. I’m not trying to sell you anything. This is something that might help you and check it out. Judging on those responses, I assume someone probably email you back if they found the article interesting or maybe they would comment or maybe they sign up for one of your eBooks, etc. From there, you can leverage the relationship to go. I see that you are interested in the beginner product launch problems. I have a rookie package at $1,500 that might help you out. There you can convert them to the call. It might be a good way to warm people and at the same time hopefully, qualify or filter before you jump into the phone.
Alzay: Good call! That is a good call. I thought about that and that’s another reason why I’m content with what I am, come with this long form guides to help speed up quality conversations. So, duly noted. That made fine into my systems. I appreciate that.
Sweeney: It’s one of those things where you might find that there’s a lot of people like this. They’re only interested in the beginner’s stuff. That’s the basics of having a product $297 or $197. $97 product that you sell first and then you back end them in the consulting and the services. Obviously, with the Product Launch Formula, it’s already the kind of the product but you still get the gist. It’s one of those of taking these people through the funnel. Warm them up a little bit more instead of going straight for the punch. Who knows, you might find out that all these people are interested and some of the rookie or beginner mistakes and you can have your $97 course. Then put some of these things in place and they send and they’re ready for you and you make some money in the meantime.
Alzay: Yes, good point! The part for the audience I think is we’re using content to do that. It is a blog post. This is a good, healthy, standalone content that you can say to someone that if you like it, you might do more of this. That’s the part I’m responding to. When we’re talking offline, I made this point and I say it again on the recording. That’s when I about content marketing, that’s the part that I do really excited about is how content helps speed up the conversation. It’s not about making fancy videos or awesome sales presentation. It’s just more about focus, helpful content that will help someone make a decision. That’s what we care about. There’s another way to use content to help ease to a yes or no decision.
Sweeney: I think one of the interesting time where we moved a way from the opt in pages are changing. Things are going a lot more native. I can think of an example like this. If you were to send that email and you send someone to an opt in, they will be like I’ll screw this guy.
Sweeney: Public post blog is I think the public side of it changes the positioning, I guess. I’m saying that this is something I agree with.
Alzay: Yes, I’m with you. The whole native advertising conversation is I am very much intrigued by people have accessed information now. To your point, they’re expecting it’s going to be public and open versus hidden especially in the beginning conversation. Why do I have to sign up 9x in order to see whatever you got. It is important to mention all that especially when we advertise if forever changed. You got to figure out where you stand. Making good content is going to helpful no matter what angle you choose to go.
Sweeney: With the Coveted Consultant, I’m curious for example we just talked about. It’s like how to close high end clients by sending cold email. I see that appealing a lot more to consultants. You do say that you work with a lot of other consultants in consulting firms. Has that been bringing you leads or something you use in your process? Has the content been matching the demographic? How was that worked out for you? The content that I used to communicate with those consulting firms, with those large companies is not content available on the blog. The way I think about the blog is for folks that are like me today or like me 3 or 4 years ago and try to figure the thing out and just needed straight forward in advice or consultation. These are also folks that can’t afford to pay the work with me. Not with my big packages. At a great point, I hear you loud and clear. There is content that I have that frankly some content that I’ve been using to close those client is available on this blog post. It’s used as tools to help you sell your stuff. So, those are my worst stories. I have some pages that are available and I just don’t put them. That’s kind of my vision. The post that we’ve been reading are for the guys who are getting going.
Sweeney: Gotcha! It makes a lot of sense. Well, thanks a lot for coming on today. Time wise, I know we’re getting there. I guess let’s take a quick circle back to defining the problem. I jumped over that you said that it can actually be a pivotal part of the process.
Alzay: Yes sir! Why is it a problem? It’s a problem because as consultants we’re moving our own mind and we study this stuff. We really like being in our business. For example, if you go to your own bookshelf and you look what’s on your bookshelf, it’s all stuff about being in business. Whatever your niche is, that’s what’s on your bookshelf. Now, pitch your clients house and look on their bookshelf. What’s on their bookshelf is not what’s on your bookshelf. They’re studying something else. They’re living through something else. For example, there are clients that I worked with that never used the term marketing funnel. Now if I’m talking to Sweeney and I say marketing funnel, he knows exactly what I’m talking about. We can learn that about. My clients sometimes has a different town for it. For some clients marketing funnel and sales funnel are 2 different things. They think about that differently. If I use one term or the other, I’m having different kind of conversation but in my mind, they are the same thing. My point is what you study is not what they study. The way that you would talk about the problem instinctively, intuitively probably isn’t the way that your client thinks about it. You got to do some research to figure out. Here’s the quick strategy that I used for myself and for my clients. Sweeney, do you use BuzzSumo? Is that part of you guys?
Sweeney: I have something similar but I do not use BuzzSumo. Oh wait, I think that back. I’m thinking about KingSumo. Yes, I do use BuzzSumo.
Alzay: OK! BuzzSumo just really quick is a content that tells you popular content in the given niche. It tells you how much social shares it has, Twitter, YouTube, etc. A very easy thing to do is to type your niche, whatever you do; accounting, software as a service, social media marketing, whatever the thing is and you type that in to the search box and you hit enter. You’ll get all the popular articles on that topic. Let’s go to something different. Let’s go to weight loss; out of the business marketing here. What you get are at least the most popular articles in weight loss. In other words, you get a list of what your client or prospective client is actively thinking about. It’s what they share. People are sharing these things and talking about. That right here is the beginning to see what’s on their “bookshelf”. That’s what they’re currently thinking about. Whatever you offer should be in direct response to the top 10 articles that exist in their world. What you may find is that there are certain diet, there are certain styles or certain common elements among the top 5 diets. That’s what people are constantly sharing and talking about. What your program needs to talk about is what’s good or bad about those top 5 elements. You may never have thought that in your own world as a consultant. What you’re thinking about is weight loss. What you’re thinking about is changing, running so many miles a day, counting calories, keeping weight loss journal. Your client cares non of those things. Maybe I’ve given a long response there but if you get this part wrong, you got the guy in Walmart. You try to sell stuff at Walmart. You got the wrong for food. I’m trying to give a very specific way of starting that conversation of what you talked about, what you think is important and your market thinks is important. Your job is to bridge those 2 things.
Sweeney: Gotcha! It makes a lot of sense. Talking their language, understanding it and getting a little more in depth. So, thanks a lot once again for coming on. Where should people find out more about you and check you out?
Alzay: You can email me at alzayconsultant.com. The website is covetedconsultant.com. I got a couple of blog post that are there that fit directly on this conversation. It got full downloads that you could use. All the tools that I use, I try to give it to you so you could use it. Just the stuff and it’s very good for me. Sweeney, I appreciate you for reaching out to me so we can have this conversation. Good stuff! It was fun. Thank you!
Sweeney: I’m very happy to have you on. Good on you for creating awesome content. Someone actually reach out to wasn’t just someone we knew about this. You’re one of the few people recently I’ve been finding great content. I’m like, can you jump on. People might not know about but they’re putting out some great stuff.
Alzay: Cool! I appreciate that. Thank you!
Sweeney: Thanks a lot man! I appreciate having you on.
Alzay: Alright! Take care now!