Inbound marketing expert Mike Gore-Hickman features on this bite-sized episode to walk us through a sales call framework that’s helped him convert 45% of his appointments. We also get to dig into the main differences between inbound and outbound marketing and why agency owners should consider focusing on the former for easier sales.
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Joe Troyer 0:34
My team reached out to you asked what's something cool that you could share that would be valuable for all the podcast listeners, you said that you can share your sales call kind of template or checklist or your process that you take people through?
Mike Gore-Hickman 0:47
Yeah, so there's two to two types of sales calls. And not every sales call is the same. So you got to when you're going into your sales process, you want to know if you're going to be doing call a are called B, a call type A or call type B. And so we'll start with a and this is the two step sales process, I find most new agency owners or even existing agency owners are more comfortable with this two step sales process. Because it's lower pressure for the client, it's a lot more conversational, and you can still get a really great close rate for this two step process. So the third reason why it's actually really great, it's because when you're setting the expectation for people to book this call, all they're committing to is like a 10 to 15 minute chat with you. So to get someone to commit to a 1015 minute chat with you about their business, versus getting them to commit to an hour long presentation is a completely different threshold. So if you can decrease that threshold on the front end and get more people to book that's going to allow you to have more great conversations and more sales calls. But basically, this first call is, you know, introduction, Hey, how's it going? What motivated you to hop on a call with me today. So you kind of get, you know, get their intention. And a really important thing as they start talking, is you need to have notepad open and you need to write down what they're saying, or you need to be recording the call, right, you need to think you need to listen to the needs, the wants, the desires, the specifics that they're saying, in order for this whole process to work. So hey, what motivated you to hop on a call? From there, you're just going to say you're going to do a quick introduction. So how I do my introduction is like, Okay, well, here's how I run the call. First, I'm just going to ask you a few questions about your business just to see if this is a potential fit. I'm gonna give you a quick overview of my solution and what I think I might be able to do for you, if anything. And if you like what you hear, then we're gonna set up another meeting where I'm going to take you through it in more detail. How does that sound? Okay, so you're setting the expectation, and getting them to already commit to a second meeting. Cool. So now is the now it's really vital that you start asking them really good, thoughtful questions about their business. And these aren't difficult. It's like, Hey, tell me about your business. What are your biggest challenges? What are your goals? what's preventing you from getting those goals? Right now, you know, what, if you're selling a digital marketing services, what have you tried for marketing in the past? Right? How did it work? Did it not work? What did you like about it? What do you not like about it? Once they give you the answer those questions. Now, what we call is like the transition, or the pivot, and this is this is like mission critical. You need to be absolutely confident with this next step, you need to see Wow, based on everything that you've said, so far, you are an absolute perfect fit for my program, can I tell you a little bit about it, and then we can, we can schedule that second meeting to learn a bit more. So you're telling them that they're a perfect fit. And now with the notes that you've taken from that initial discovery, you're going to be hitting the second part of your presentation. So what I do my you know, my my solution is going to help you get solve this problem that problem not from the ones that they stated before. And we're going to do that with this proprietary marketing method that does this, this and this, right. And it does it without these issues, the problems that they had from their, their previous marketing experience, right, if they have any. So the entire second part of the call, where you're explaining your services, you're taking in the words that they used on you. And you're saying that back to them, it's going to sound absolutely perfect to them. It's like, Okay, that sounds really great. Now, here's where you can make one or two decisions, you can decide if you want a price drop at this point. So we can definitely solve that problem. You know, my my fees typically start at about 1000 bucks per month, or whatever your fees are. But if that's the case, then you're going to get you know, this many clients or that many clients. With that being said, Can we still go ahead and schedule that second call, right? So you're getting that commitment, you're kind of dropping that price, or it's, you know, the my pricing is between this and between that, right so they can kind of get an idea so that by the second call, they're going to be ready to make a decision because we want that decision on that second call. Yep. The upside is that you might get that decision. And the downside is they might say no, and then you know what, it's actually an upside because you save your second call time. And then that's really how I structure the first call. And then the second call is you put together a deck. You take the information that they gave you, you put it into the first few slides to show that you were listening. And really you structure your presentation around the information that they gave you, and give them projections, pricing, and then you should accept all forms of major credit card payment.
Joe Troyer 5:13
Yeah, so Greg, you want to get started with Visa or MasterCard, sir? Dude, that was great. Even without the notes in front of you, you can tell that you know this system. So Well, you've ran so many demos, you've ran so many of these appointments. Because I'm looking at it Bordeaux's notes, and I'm like, like, he just went through all of those, like off the top of his head. That's, that's awesome. Man. I love how you drop the barrier to entry. Right? We're running a funnel, right now, we costs are way too high, we drop the barrier to entry in just one example. And the cost dropped in half for the same result. And so I love that you said that actually wrote that down, is to drop that barrier of entry. And I love that it was just it's a 15 minute call. Right? So it's it's super simple. It's not a huge commitment. You're not also telling somebody to sign up to get pitched? Like, sign up, we'll see if it's a fit in 15 minutes. Like that's really easy to say yes to. And then I love like your question like, just great, you're here, you signed up for a reason. Like, that's basically what you're saying? Why are you here? Right? Like, what do you mean? Like what motivated you to use your words, what motivated you to sign up for this call. So then you're gonna figure out what all their desires are, they once are. And then you have everything that you need to really make a sale happen, either there or on the on the to stuff,
Mike Gore-Hickman 6:38
totally. And now, I did promise, the second the one the one step. So I'll give a quick overview of that and how it's different. And also, to remind me to talk about the difference between inbound appointments and outbound appointments out there, the ones that process the main differences, okay, you have like 30 to 60 minutes with the prospect. And now you have 30 to 60 minutes to understand their needs, convey the messaging, pitch your product and get a commitment. So you're, it's a much more difficult task. And I don't do many of these anymore, because is a little bit more pressure for the client, they you know, you want them to make a decision, and you need to really employ a lot more of like the traditional, like Zig Ziglar, you know, style of, you know, objection handling and things like that, on that on this one step process than you do on the two step process. So, you know, the ones that process at the start, you're going to start the exact same way, what motivated you? What types of you know, what types of issues that you have in your business right now? What are your goals? What are the barriers that you've encountered in terms of not being able to hit those goals? Where do you want to be in the next year, what's preventing you from hitting that goal, what type of marketing you know, in the past, things like that, okay, then we have the first transition, which is going to be the exact same, like we said before, wow, this is a perfect fit. So excited to work with you for this, this and this reason, mind, if we jumped into it, getting permission, okay, and you go to the next step, which is your, it's going to be your presentation. Now, in this though, because you have a cut and paste presentation, you haven't had time to customize it, you're going to have to have had written down all of the specific terms that they use in that first part, and just pepper them into your language as you go. Right? This is really important to do. And if you just start going on autopilot, and just go through your deck as you normally do, you're gonna wonder why your sales rate is absolutely dropping. I mean, I've gotten that I've gotten in sales slumps in the past and and it always comes back to just going on autopilot, not customizing the presentation for the client. And then of course, when you get to like your proposal, your proposal is going to obviously be more not customized, what's the opposite, like for the customer, and they're going to know that because it's already going to be there, it's already going to be in the pricing is going to be filled in everything before you even got their needs. So you're running into some problems like that, that I probably you know, that are more difficult, but again, are not possible to overcome if you are solving one thing for one set of people, right? Yep. So that's kind of like that, how I would run that. And then you know, we could we can talk about closing theory for hours and hours. We're not going to get into that today. But yeah, I would say go the two step for sure. Right now.
Joe Troyer 9:18
So start with the two stuff. And then in terms of like KPIs, where should somebody goals be like what would you tell them? Like, what are your goals in terms of what percentage do you close or what what what how do you hold yourself accountable to the numbers? What are the KPIs that you track?
Mike Gore-Hickman 9:34
KPIs, I track versus KPIs that I recommend are different depending on what you're selling and the cost of those services. Yeah, so my my KPI, my my absolute, you know, high like, threshold KPI for cost of acquisition is is 15 $100. Right? I don't want to spend more than 15 $100 to acquire a client, and then I work backwards. My sales sales rate is about 45% on inbound. So That's just over one and two, but let's say it's one in three. So that's $500 per appointment. That's what I can realistically, you know, I've been at my threshold, I can withstand to pay up to $500 per appointment. I mean, I'm typically seen kind of between, like 100 to $150, a shoe appointment. So it's way more profitable than the net, but I know what my threshold is. And I would just ask you, you know, as a listener, that question, what is your threshold? And what is your sales rate? And therefore, what are you willing to spend per appointment? Because really, this whole scalability thing is it all boils down to? Can you get appointments on demand? And can you rely to close those appointments in a customer's
Joe Troyer 10:39
house? The debits? Yep, and retention? I mean, that's it. That's your business. Right? Those three major things and you have your business in a nutshell, that makes perfect sense. So you said to remind you about inbound versus outbound.
Mike Gore-Hickman 10:53
Totally. Yeah. So when I say inbound versus outbound outbound, I mean, are you doing outbound outbound prospecting activities to get appointments? Like are you doing, you know, LinkedIn outreach? Are you doing messaging? Are you doing whatever? Are you doing outbound activities to get appointments, right. And if you are, then your sales conversation is going to be a lot different because the person you're talking to is going to have their guard up a lot more than if you were doing inbound prospecting, right? So I always recommend like if you if you want to have easier conversations, and easier sales appointments, do inbound marketing. So this is when you do paid ads, you provide value, you provide, like a funnel for ideal customers to go through to book appointments on your calendar, so that when you talk to them, you can say, Alright, what brought you here, and then they're gonna start telling you about their business. Instead of on the outbound model, you can say, hey, why'd you schedule this call with me today? Well, I scheduled this call with you today, because you messaged me 18 times in the last 24 hours. Right? So it's a different call dynamic. And really, you don't have you're not sitting in the driver's seat on outbound prospecting sales calls.
Joe Troyer 11:56
Yeah, I completely agree. I've done a lot of outbound. I've done a lot of one call closes and we just found like, we had to do one calls with outbound because it was like they just they'd ignore us, they'd be gone. We had to pitch them while we had them with things kind of fell apart. So huge difference definitely. In the prospects attention, willingness to listen, willingness to get on multiple follow ups. Yeah, just the attention is much different. For sure. I'm glad that you brought that up. And KPIs should be different than as well. It'll be cheaper probably to get appointments, but they're not going to convert probably as well. That's a good point.