Disqualifying leads seems reasonable when you are getting a lot of traffic, but what should you do when you are a start-up?
Tim: I’ve never done so well for somebody right out of the gate that they’re completely overwhelmed. They’re like, hold on, shut off the nozzle for a second.
David: Yeah. It’s happened before. I will stop the client and say, let’s pause for a moment; you’re telling me we’re giving you too much business? That’s your problem? We laugh about it. And at that point, the question becomes, let’s see how we can improve the quality. So, I had a client that does landscape stuff, but they’re very specialized in the kind of landscape stuff they do. So, the first thing we did was basically invite everybody to submit for help. And they got stuff for, can you take care of my lawn, can you trim my trees, and that’s not what they do. But we wanted to make sure we got to a critical mass before we started turning those people down. And we got to a critical mass, where the person was just answering phone calls about stuff, but stuff that was irrelevant. Some people are more aggressive salespeople. No, we don’t do lawns, but we can’t make your lawn look better by replacing it with this. You know, some people are really aggressive salespeople who do really well with that. But just so early, let’s not disqualify people too early. But we got to the point where that was the bulk of what he was getting, so now it’s like, we’re going to do things like adding a price limiter to the website form, starting at this much money. So, if you’re less than this, don’t even contact us.
David: Right? But I wouldn’t start there. That’s once you’re getting too many leads that are irrelevant. Now that people are spending time wasting time. I mean, this whole plan behind me, the whole drip campaign thing, which I promise I’m getting to, is in one sense, these are all like get your email list increased. But aggressive salespeople treat those people just like regular leads. You can contact these people and say, “Hey, I noticed you signed up for an email. It’s nice to meet you. Is there anything you’re looking for specifically?” And you’ve got that in because they’ve already signed up. So, you could almost treat these soft leads as hard leads and pursue them with equal vigor and fervor. Because a lead is a lead is a lead. Right? They might not be ready yet. But an introductory email might be a nicely appreciated thing.
David: Especially in our digital world where people are very impersonal. It’s nice to get an email. When I send out my monthly emails for Reliable Acorn, inevitably, a couple of people just reply. Great. Let’s talk. Like, let’s chat. It’s fine. Yeah, keep it warm.
Tim: When you’re talking about not limiting yourself as far as what leads might come in if they’re outside of core services, it makes me think of like a new restaurant that opens. It’s hard to say what the hours of that place are going to be because you have to think about who your audience is, what you’re serving, and that type of thing, right? So, the best practice typically is to go with maybe extended hours, like, stay open a little bit later for the first maybe two or three months and see what type of traffic you’re going to get. Then reign back your hours based on profitability, based on numbers, based on return on investment. That’s kind of off-topic, but it makes me think of that. Like, don’t constrain yourself without facts.
David: I don’t think it’s off-topic at all because we’re talking about getting customers. Right? And sometimes, there are certain customers that you can serve and certain customers you can’t. But especially early in the process, you don’t want to be in a position where you are limiting yourself so much that you end up getting no customers. Right?
David: Curious Ants is becoming a thing in a way. But at the beginning, I was opening it up to all kinds of people. We had in-house people, we had solopreneurs, and now it’s morphing. But at the beginning, it was open to everybody, right? Now we’re kind of limiting ourselves to web professionals and people who we could talk to a little bit more technical, and that’s okay. I mean, I appreciate both of you. And it’s fun for me. I hope it’s fun for you. But being flexible as a business is really great, but early in the process, I didn’t want to be too strict about who could join. You know, don’t be too strict with the hours of your restaurant. Don’t be too strict with the quality of the leads. You know, maybe a small lead can be talked into a larger budget. And so, if you are too careful, you’re going to… I’ve seen clients that are too strict on their requirements for what makes a lead end up disqualifying people that could otherwise really be good clients, but they’re just so focused. But again, having the conversation, what is a lead, and are we getting you those leads? So, then we can say, you know, I’m answering the phone, and there are too many irrelevant leads. Okay. Great. Too many. I just want to hear you say that you got too many leads this month. Okay. Right. Great. Let’s dial that back. Let’s make them higher quality.
David: That’s great.
Tim: Yeah. I like the whole optimization part of it and studying the calls and everything too. It turns into more of business optimization or sales optimization than just strictly thinking about SEO.
David: You know, someone might say SEO ends when they visit the website. No, I don’t believe that at all. SEO begins. Like, what good is it if they show up at the website if they are the wrong visitor? And they’re not a customer. I’ll look at some of my most trafficked blog posts, on all my client sites, I can get spikes in traffic from certain articles that we just happened to optimize for, right, and they do really well. Every client has at least one article on their site that brings in a ton of traffic. Not all those people are relevant. So, it’s not always the most helpful thing in the world. But if it’s bringing in customers, that’s what’s important. Right?