Sarah: Leads, enquiries, phone calls and emails. Whatever you want to call them, you want them.
Katrina: But if you find you’re not actually making sales or sealing deals despite getting leads, you have a big problem.
Sarah: And it’s a problem we’re going to help you fix with today’s guest business expert and National Accounts Manager Ben Reynolds.
Sarah: Welcome Mr Ben Reynolds. Thank you so much for coming in today.
Ben: Thank you, it’s a pleasure.
Sarah: So we were having a bit of a chat before this and we were talking about how you have been working and supporting small businesses for over fifteen years at this point. So we are super excited to get your feedback and some tips for businesses out there. Who are, you know, getting their digital marketing all sorted, but they’re still not seeing a bit of a growth so super excited to have you on today.
Ben: Thank you, grazie.
Sarah: So let’s get straight into the nitty gritty with this one. Say your business is running some digital marketing. They’ve got some Google Ads. They got some social media going and they’re looking at their reports, and they’re like, OK, so we’re getting, we’re getting phone calls, we’re getting emails coming in there, there’s quite a few, but staff is still standing around twiddling their thumbs and not actually getting more work. If anything, they could perhaps even be seeing a bit of a down crease in business, which is really confusing them. Where in their sales funnel did they need to be looking at because obviously the digital marketing is doing its job. What’s going wrong here?
Ben: It’s a good question, I think for a start, it all begins with the website, and I’ve done a lot of sales training over the years and you can have a performance based strategy around Google Ads or SEO or social marketing but if your website is not professional, it’s not built for user experience and that could be fast page load speeds, secure URLs, then you’ll find your bounce rate is really significant. I find it’s a big problem with a lot of businesses that have got into digital marketing and we all know that performance based products like Google Ads SEO are not always the cheapest. They generally are the most effective when it’s done right, but far too many times people missed the really important obvious factor which is their website. In this day and age, there’s too many options out there to not have a good website. You need to have a good website, a good experience. Our website is professional representation of your business in the digital world. It is your business in the digital world. So you need to make sure first and foremost and above anything else before it even gets to a potential lead walking through the door or making your phone call that your website is geared up for professionalism and performance.
Sarah: It’s almost like you could say if you had a uniform that you’re wearing everyday. Say you’re a mechanic or a plumber or something. You’re turning up all dirty and everything crinkled. It’s that first impression. Your website is that first impression online.
Ben: An exact sort of example of what you just said. It’s like walking into a business that has ripped up carpets and walls that aren’t painted properly like you just don’t want to be there, and that’s exactly what a website is, and I think people just take it for granted that it’s not a big deal. It’s all about my business and how it looks in the real world and my staff will do the trick. No, because most of the time, like the majority of the time, we’re not as personal as we used to be. We will go to a website and we’ll gain credibility and trust before we make a decision to actually call that particular business. I can’t stress enough how important it is to get your website right.
Katrina: So for many business owners they’re wearing the hat of the owner, the accountant, the receptionist. It’s almost anything you could think of, so sometimes they can’t get to their calls and emails as quickly as they’d like. What do you suggest for those people who don’t have a dedicated admin or reception person?
Ben: The best thing to do these days is actually engage digital and go after something like Monday.com. I’m sure a lot of people have heard of it. If you haven’t check it out, there’s different ones out there I know a lot of my friends have actually got into to the likes of a Monday.com, it’s almost like that assistant that works for you, it schedules you. You just have to be strategic and organised. You have to always make sure that you do put time aside. When I was selling full time as much as I couldn’t stand it, sometimes having to go and put time aside to book up my next week I just had to do it so I’d book out two hours on a Friday or whatever it was and make sure that I just did not leave that particular room, just making sure that you stick to what you need to do to achieve yourself. And know that you have to do it, otherwise it’s just not, it’s not going to happen on its own.
Sarah: OK, so following up with that something that would drop off people’s radars, especially as you said tradies in particular, so busy, but business owners in general. And probably something that makes them a little bit uncomfortable if they’re not from a sales background is following up with past inquiries that maybe they inquired about a price but actually didn’t get back to them. What is the easiest, quickest way to do a follow up that doesn’t actually sound naggy or kind of like salesy?
Ben: I think in this day and age text message is.
Sarah: Text message?
Katrina: I would not have picked that.
Ben: I think it’s not intrusive too much, it’s not invasive, it’s what we do all the time. I think for a lot of people when it comes to human psychology to send a text message to someone is a lot easier. As opposed to picking up the phone and calling them and having to deal with human emotions sometimes. Look, it’s also a good way of correspondence. You don’t always get the deal across the line, you don’t always get the sale. So when you can just text them and keep on top of it. I believe that’s probably one of the more significant success factors when it comes to business these days, because also when it comes to the receiving end, they will tell you the honest truth, via text message, email, not so much phone calls, not so much. So text can be that real personal communication, which would generally only get up until the last couple of years from family members or friends.
Sarah: Yeah, that’s true. I guess another thing as well. If you have a modern phone, most people have iPhones or the Android equivalent these days. It comes up with say you say, OK, let’s lock it in 3:00 PM Friday, it squiggles underline, it automatically books in your calendar if you press a button, so I guess that’s also a time saver as well. So that’s a really good one.
Ben: Definitely yeah.
Katrina: That’s a really good tip ’cause I know I personally am way more likely to respond if someone texts me then if they call me or if they email and I’m more likely to give them an honest response. Because you do feel that personal connection with them.
Ben: Absolutely, and I’m not saying that everyone just stops making phone calls because that’s not the reality either. But you know if you don’t get a text back, generally you’re going to know most of the time, not all the time. That’s it’s probably not going to work in your favour this time round.
Sarah: So having worked with businesses for over fifteen years and they come from a lot of different backgrounds, try a lot of different things. Is there something you tend to see time and time again of where they trip themselves up when it comes to finding out if they’re actually getting a good ROI from their digital marketing? And if they’re processing their leads as effectively as they could?
Ben: Yeah, it’s really important to understand where everything is coming from. From marketing, sales in particular because their said turnover. People get brought into loyalty, right? And this is what I learned from radio and TV. They just they believe I’ve got a really good account manager, maybe from TV network, it doesn’t take much for that, the business owners like I’ve got this particularly company, talking to me about this, I think I’m going to do it. It doesn’t take much because of the relationship to turn that round. Relationships are really important. They really are. But when it comes to being successful in business, you sometimes need to put that aside because yes, they might be really good friends, over ten years of servicing and doing campaigns around whatever type of marketing platform it is, sometimes you’ve just got to sit back, listen, understand. In business if you get too caught up in I guess personal relationships I don’t know if you’ll go that far. I definitely have seen a lot of situations because of that reason, they just won’t move on and we all know there’s some companies around that have had that monopoly for many years, or did. And people are still stuck with them because they’re too almost scared. I just think you need to understand you need to research for one of a better word, upskill around the options that you do have out there. Google Ads is not for everybody I think it’s fifteen to eighteen percent of industry it works really well for right? So I’ll tell people that it’s not for you Mr Mrs customer. But this is, search engine optimisation’s for you or going back to answering your question and just making sure that you have options and you understand what those options are, and talk to people, don’t be too proud to talk to people about those options. I’m not saying that new account manager from that new digital marketing company or radio station that’s been the monopoly for a thousand years or some sort of print type company. Go talk to your friends family, talk to as many people as you possibly can. If you’re fortunate to know like someone that’s got relative success in business, what they’ve done. If you can have at least three people you can speak to, you talk to someone who’s successful in business. Thank you very much, Mr. Mrs. Jones. Do you have anyone that has been successful in business that you know really well too? They love that people love referring. Remember that too. It’s a proud moment from a business point of view that’s trying to understand, uh, a new marketing platform or new to them. It’s the same sort of question. Who do you know, can I go talk to two or three of your friends family that have been successful in business and what did they do?
Ben: It’s networking, it is. And also, as long as it’s not always conflicting, like a lot of people will tell you everything, it’s amazing what they will tell you. If you’re interested, if you are keen to listen. And you want to listen. Then they will tell you.
Sarah: Even your competitors, I find there’s a lot of businesses. There’s networking groups of just plumbers, and just electricians ’cause they know they can’t service the entire Brisbane area. The entire Gold Coast. They’ll talk to you about that stuff if you’re open, and if you’re open back to them. Don’t be afraid to make friends with your competitors.
Ben: Definitely, and I’ve dealt a lot with regional Australia over the years and it’s the same thing, if they’re too busy, they’ll refute refer, they normally know each other, unless you’ve done something wrong by them. like it’s, they love it, they love sharing the business because they know that business will stay within that particular area. That town people are loyal people are so loyal even the bigger metros they’re still loyal. They still love their big cities. You know, that’s just that’s who they are.
Katrina: Sorry, before we wrap up today if there is one thing a business owner could do and can work into their schedule right now to increase their inquiry to customer conversion rate. What would it be?
Ben: And I’ve seen this I’ve dealt with Google a lot, and they’re obviously revenue producers look, and I know look, it’s a big product. Google made billions and billions last year from this particular product and through the company that I work with we have tracking technologies that can record phone calls right? And it’s it was a real blew your mind moment when I sat back and listened to a lot of those phone calls, but it also helped me understand how we can work more from our Google Ad team around cost per conversion cost back position, but a lot of phone calls that I listened to was even cringe worthy for me because of the reception they got when they called that particular business. Going back to that whole, being busy again like there’s certain industries which are predominantly quite busy all the time and it’s almost like they have this frustration that that potential lead has called them at an inappropriate time or the responses everything like. We all have bad days, we know we all have bad days, but if you’re in a particular industry where you have to put on that face then you need to put on that face. I guess business owners listening to this right now going well, I can’t always answer the phone, it’s my receptionist, I’ve got fifteen staff. The phones go through to different people at different times. You know, get that. You need to sort of make sure that your staff are trained in such manner that they are very inviting when the phone is answered or people walking through the door. I know I’ve been there I’m sure both you ladies have been there to where you’ve walked into a business and the response just makes you do an absolute one-eighty and walk out of there.
Katrina: One hundred percent, I know I’ve done it.
Ben: Yeah, like it’s not cool, so you need to make sure that people are trained in that way. Need to make sure your staff understand that you are watching you are listening because it is your business.
Katrina: That’s so true, ’cause I know as a customer if I’m not comfortable with the business and I’m probably not going to continue to do. Business with them.
Sarah: OK, well those are some really valuable tips for business owners out there. Because we know these are, well this episode came from a conversation we had about businesses struggling with these things, so I know there are going to be some grateful people out there for your tips.
Katrina: They sure are, so thank you so much for coming in today. We really appreciate your time.
Sarah: If you want to connect with Ben Reynolds, I am sure he would be more than happy if you sent him a LinkedIn message or drop us a message on any of our social media for all The Help Me Grow My Business Podcast, but other than that, thank you so much, Ben.
Ben: Thanks ladies been a pleasure.