April 21, 2016

#AndyTalks 039 – Another way to cold call


[It’s a] busy day today. My parents came over from the UK they brought me this second monitor. Yes, delighted. Obviously, I’m delighted to see my Mum and Dad as well and the kids are delighted to see their Grandad and Grandma. . . . before our 7 year old’s Communion and our three year old is turning four on Monday, ah bless.

I’ve had to jam pack my morning, try and get as much done as I could for when my parents came back from the hotel. They’ve seen me from 8:00 going out helping somebody with his maths for an hour and then helped somebody else afterwards for 15 minutes with their maths.

Got back at about half nine and then prepared for a call with a client at 10:00 that went on for about 20 minutes. It was really good, it was with a CEO and the Global Head of Sales, talking about this weekly cycle I’m trying to get us into where we’re looking at reports and working out what happened last week, analyzing the data and the reports we’ve got and trying to find the single smallest thing that we can change that will have the biggest effect. We identified which country most of their volume is coming from and identified that a lot is coming from mobile, two thirds of the volume. Our priorities next week are to implement better tracking so it’s more complete and to just focus on mobile landing pages. To be honest I’m seeing that with a lot of clients, more and more of the volume is coming from mobiles.

We knew this before. [We knew] this was coming. But it’s more on mobiles now. What I like about the way I’ve done this is we’ve been loading campaigns, we’ve been buying in data and now I’ve created a report and we can see what needs done. . . . push to get management buy-in to improve the mobile landing pages, just obvious that’s what we need to do.

Now obvious to the web developer or designer or whoever I’m going to be speaking to, that this is the top priority. . . . data telling us. It’s not some external consultant saying, “Oh look, the mobile landing page needs to be improved.” It’s the data that’s telling us now. . . . show him the data and say, “Look, if we doubled the conversion rate, the click to inquiry rate on mobiles, this will result in this much more leads.” . . . I’m saying here would have any misgivings in working with an external consultant to improve the mobile landing page that he’s developed. . . . never spoke to him yet. But what this is doing is he can see next week if we make a change now what effect it will have. . . . be able to see it driving more leads; he’ll be able to see it creating more sales.

[I’ve] load of questions all stored in Trello that I’ve been meaning to answer, ones that have come through via Snapchat, through the forum, people emailing me stuff or just asking me in person, so I’m saving all these questions and I’m going to get around to answering them.

[Someone] asked me just now have I done much cold calling. He’s trying to sell his web design service into businesses and having not much joy cold calling. Let me tell you a little story. I don’t know whether I’ve told it before on Snapchat. I’ve certainly told this story many times but here goes.

I built a website years ago to capture leads of people looking to repair their washing machine in Dublin. It worked really really well so then I went and created Corkwashingmachinerepairs.com or something like that. Same style of landing page. I then went and created the AdWords campaign in the same way that worked in Dublin. Dipped my hand in my pocket and I started paying for clicks, the ad was running, it was a good ad in a good ad position. I then went looking through the Yellow Pages, probably the online Yellow Pages for plumbers and washing machine repair people in Cork. . . . started ringing them. “Hi, do you do washing machine repairs in Cork? I’ve gone and created a website with an ad and it’s running on Google and I’ll happily pay for one month of the traffic if you have your phone number on it. For free I’ll put your phone number on it; you can get all these leads but you just tell me how you get on.” Mmm, yeah, didn’t go down so well. I don’t even sound convincing there trying to sell that; that’s just confusing and confused the plumbers. “No sorry, we’re with the Yellow Pages, we’re quite happy with them.” — click — “Errr that would be my husband, I’ll take a message” — click.

After about 10 of these calls I realized — well actually probably five; I can’t remember; this is about 2009 — I realized I wasn’t going to get anywhere, not with that sales script anyway. But it’s not a problem with the sales script. I sounded just like every other person trying to sell something to these plumbers. Plumbers do not want a website, a Yellow Pages listing, AdWords campaign, Content Marketing, SEO, any of that. Those are just ways how to get what they really want which are leads for their business. The reason they’re walking around with a phone in their pocket is so that they can be contacted by somebody who needs a plumber, not by somebody ringing up to say “hi, would you like to get more visitors to your website?” No, they don’t want that.

— about how many phone calls you’re going to make trying to sell SEO service or AdWord service into a business, cold calling. . . . much time that’s going to cost you to do that or if you’re going to pay somebody else to do it, how much it’s going to cost you to pay them to do it. That’s where your cost per acquisition is, that’s where your cost per new client is for your AdWords service or your web design service or your SEO service. . . . you’re doing AdWords or SEO, if you’re able to generate leads for businesses, rather than provide that service to them, why don’t you use your skills? Generate leads for that business and then ring them with the lead.

This last year as a little experiment I generated a lead for somebody looking for washing machine repairs in Bedford, a place in the UK. I got online and I Googled for “washing machine repairs Bedford.” Then I went through the really painful experience of trying to submit like a “request a callback” or a form fill on each of these websites I found. . . . the forms didn’t even work. Maybe I sent off 10 — it wasn’t that many, maybe 7 or 8 — request callbacks or “contact me” forms.

Next morning, in the afternoon actually the next day I had 2 replies. I rang them. Screwed up the first call, it was funny. “Hi, do you fix washing machines in Bedford?”


“Oh, OK.”

The second call was a bit better. “Hi, do you fix washing machines?”


“Do you cover Bedford?”


“Oh, do you know somebody who does?”

“What kind of washing machine is it sir?”

“Um, I don’t know, hold on let me get back to you.”

Then I rang the consumer, which I should have done first I think, “Hi, you need a washing machine repaired in Bedford do you?”

“Yeah I do.”

“Could you tell me what make it is?”

“Ah, let me go and have a look; it’s something we got in Argos a couple of years ago and it stopped working because of this that and the next thing.”

So, anyway I get the make. I can’t even remember what it was and then ring back the second crowd “. . . xyz manufacturer.”

“Oh, right. OK, you probably want to speak to these people then.” And she went away and got a list of numbers of people she knew who covered that area and did that make of washing machine and she gave me that list and told me to ring them.

I said, “Oh thanks very much. Look, I do the marketing, generate leads for washing repairs in Dublin and I managed to get this one by accident.” She laughed and said “oh good luck, hope you can find somebody who can help you.”

— bite because I’d left a little thing out there — “Oh, I do the marketing, I generate leads for somebody for washing machine repairs.” She didn’t bite and I left it as a nice little conversation.

Eventually, found somebody to ring them back and I think it was via email I actually managed to do that. But they rang back and she’d got sorted; the consumer had got sorted. . . . continued the conversation and said, “Oh look, if I get any more of these inquiries would you be interested in getting more of them?”

“Oh yeah, sure send them on.”

I left it at that because it was kind of tough; I was in a contract on site and it was looking pretty bad, me popping out constantly with my phone ringing, just disappearing and coming back. So I knocked that on it’s head.

— that was a much better experience talking to these tradespeople. . . . I was ringing with exactly the kind of call that they want, this is the reason why they carry their phone around. . . . say I built a website, an AdWords campaign and I started generating leads, I’m going to incur a cost to generate those leads in the same way I would have incurred a cost if I’d spent time cold calling, saying “would you like to improve leads from your website? I can offer an AdWords service.”

Both of them have a cost per acquisition. One of them I generate the leads and then I ring the companies with the lead, exactly the kind of call they want. An additional benefit is I only ring companies that I know I can generate leads for. . . . plenty of times where I’ve had inbound leads where somebody has contacted me looking for an AdWords consultant or an AdWords service and I’ve not been able to make it work.

— lovely little B&B in a really remote place in Italy and it’s fantastic. But it’s remote because nobody’s heard of it. Unfortunately nobody is search on Google for a B&B in that location, so I just can’t make it work.

Personally I’d rather work with businesses where I can actually add value. So if I generate leads first, I kill two birds with one stone. I only deal with businesses I can generate leads for and I get my foot in the door.

That’s my plan later on anyway. At the minute I’ve got enough work coming in that I’m not implementing that strategy, but I will later.

Hope that helps. If you have any questions, then just Snap me back. Send me an email, [email protected] or whatever. Just get in contact.