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How to Make More Money From the Leads You Already Have

With Madeleine MacRae

61 minutes

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  • How to effectively communicate with leads
  • Three ways to make more sales in your business
  • How to master on-the-spot selling
  • The five components of a solid sales system
  • How to earn more money from leads you already have
Madeleine MacRae
Madeleine MacRae Founder and CEO

Madeleine MacRae is the creator of FastTrack Sales Systems and the CEO of MM MacRae Coaching & Consulting, an international learning, coaching, and consulting firm out of Scottsdale, Arizona. Madeline has over a decade of experience helping companies in the home products and professionals industry to increase sales and solve business challenges.

Emily: For those of you who are here for Make More Money From the Leads You Already Have, you are in the right place. I’m Emily Washcovick, I’m Yelp’s small business expert, and I’m so grateful today to queue up one of our speakers we’ve had with us a handful of times in the past year, Madeleine MacRae. She’s going to do a deep dive specific to the home service industry and how you all can make more from the leads and contacts you already have.

Emily: Just a quick high level for you before we all dive in again, everyone on this call, feel free to ask questions throughout the presentation. If you take your cursor right now and scroll it to the bottom of the screen, you should see a little toolbar pop up. On the far left is a little microphone button. If you click that up, you can call in on your phone if you’re having any issues hearing through your computer. And then if you continue to move to the right, you should see a chat bubble. That’s where you can engage with Madeleine throughout the presentation. She might do a few call outs to you guys to jump in there. And then we’ll use the Q&A button, the two bubbles. I’ll be monitoring that throughout the presentation, and we’ll be doing live Q&A at the end.

Emily: Before I turn it over to Madeleine, I would like to say that we’ll be able to answer Yelp questions at the end of the presentation. My role at Yelp is to educate business owners on the free tools available to make the most of their site. I often educate about completing your profile as well as responding to reviews and engaging in digital marketing and your online reputation. I’m happy to answer any of those questions, or if you’d like to shoot me an email and you want to connect with me one-to-one, feel free to do that as well. I’m more than happy to answer questions or connect you with someone else at the company who can help you out.

Emily: All right, without further ado, I’m going to hand it over to Madeleine who will lead us through some very exciting and insightful content for the day. Madeleine, feel free to take it away.

Madeleine: Hey Emily, thanks so much for having me here. I always love to speak to your small business owners in the home improvement and home services space. My name is Madeleine MacRae, as Emily introduced. I am a coach and consultant. I’ve been working in the home improvement space now for almost two decades, and I specifically support business owners in growing with more intention and being able to do what they do repeatably, predictably well to get them to their next level of growth. I’ve worked with thousands of small business owners and their teams, and I am delighted to be able to share with you today some of the things that I have picked up along the way to help you make more money with those leads that you already have.

Madeleine: In order for me to really get to know you a little bit, seeing as we’re on Zoom and we’re all here together live, I want to congratulate you for investing this time in yourself and in your business growth. I just want a couple little things, so let’s try out some stuff here in the chat to see if you can pop in. I just want to see a raise of hands or a, “Me, yes, this is me,” if you have a business that is anywhere between two to three years old or older. If that’s you, you’ve been in business for two or three years or more, go ahead and pop in the chat, “Yes, me, hi, here,” something, so that I can see who all has joined. And if you’re under two years old, someone just shared they’re one year old in business, great. I’m so happy to have you here. Just love to see who all we have in the audience, because since you’re here, I can tailor make my content just for you.

Madeleine: Okay, I see a bunch of people popping on. A lot of people who are well over 10 years, 20 years, three, two, seven, 17, five, one and a half. It’s super cool. So welcome. Welcome to everyone. I’m really, really excited to have you here.

Madeleine: What we have going on today, we’re going to be talking about three core topics with a little bonus in there. The first thing we’re going to be doing is we’re going to be exploring the only three ways to make more sales, to make more revenue inside of your business. I want to deep dive into those because once we tackle that, I want to walk you through a really, really simple mistake that a lot of business owners that I’ve worked with are making. And whether you have a team or you’re a solopreneur, it’s still a simple mistake that we can plug right away. One of my clients that was a company doing about $5 million, they’ve now grown to $10 over the last four years, so exciting, they plugged this one profit leak, and they had a massive increase, a 25% increase, in their appointment set. So, a couple little small things that can really make a big difference.

Madeleine: Then I’m going to talk a little bit about on the spot selling. We’re going to take a deep dive to there, and then we’ll look at the most important factor to help you really close more sales without that feeling pushy, salesy, coercive, because nobody wants that, right? Nobody wants to walk away from a sales appointment and feel like they need a shower to wash off all the ugh.

Madeleine: What we want to really work on is living our business with more intentionality and really getting the most out of everything that we’re putting in. So, thank you all for being here, love to see you all in the chat. Feel free to chat me in stuff, if something’s cool and you love it or you want to hear more, or pop it into the Q&A. As Emily mentioned, we will take plenty of time at the end to answer questions.

Madeleine: As I promised, there’s only three ways to make more money in your business, to make more sales in your business. I’ll never forget the first time I heard someone posit this theory. I was actually a little bit skeptical, and I thought there’s no way that you can boil everything we do down in our businesses to only three buckets. But I went on a quest to prove this theory wrong, and I couldn’t. I could not disprove this theory. Over many, many years now, I have always been able to track back making more money, making more sales inside of your business to one of these three buckets. Building out more customers, making more money per each sale that you have, and then having people come back to you again and again with more frequent purchases. So, let’s take a closer look at more customers.

Madeleine: A lot of people, when they hear more customers, think about … Pop it in the chat. When you hear you have to get more customers, what do you feel that you need to create in your business? Or you need to augment inside of your business? Because there’s a bias that we all have, or many of us have, to what we believe we need in order to get more customers.

Madeleine: Getting more customers is a function of one of two things. The first thing that most people really believe that they need is an increase in their inbound leads. Better online presence, advertising. That’s right, you need people to see you more. You need more visibility in order for customers to be attracted to your brand and to want to do business with you, so increasing those inbound leads.

Madeleine: But there’s another piece of getting more customers that a lot of businesses kind of glaze over, and it’s actually your conversions, transitioning those leads into paying customers. Most of us have the habit of calling a prospect or a lead, a customer, before they’ve actually purchased from us. So we need to be really, really diligent in getting that customer through our funnel and into being an actual customer, a buying customer, in order for us to make more money from this bucket.

Madeleine: The next bucket that we have is making more money per sale. That’s increasing your average sales price. Now, this can be done in quite a few different ways, and different companies like to play with different pieces of it. One of the easiest ways, the one that’s most common, that people gravitate towards the quickest, is the classic upsell. I put French fries there, because this is the McDonald’s play. Would you like fries with that? Would you like to supersize that? I think they got into a lawsuit over that one.

Madeleine: But there is an ease of purchase. We see it when we go grocery shopping, there’s all of the different candies and magazines and little things that you might need from a lip balm to whatever, right there as you’re checking out, because you’re already there. You’re already in process with that purchase.

Madeleine: Our businesses are absolutely no different. We can get people to take on another piece of the project, to add another space, to add an upsell to what they’re doing. Maybe there’s something that we can upgrade to a better control system or upgrade to a service offer. Having something that you can add on to the core of what you’re already offering is a huge way to fill up the bucket of increasing your average sales price. A lot of people miss this bucket because they get into the habit of just selling what people are asking for, being more order takers. I want you to be value creators instead. To be able to see where there’s opportunity, not just for you, because it’s not just selfish. Sales is doing something for your customer, not to your customer. So, making sure that you have more available options for them.

Madeleine: Another way is by actually, with that more options, is providing options. Our human minds are designed to be binary. Either/or. Either this or that. What we want to be able to create in our business is where someone embraces our offer, and it’s either this thing that we’re selling or that thing that we’re selling. We want them to have choice, but not overload of choice where they can’t make decision because an overwhelmed mind cannot choose, so you have to keep your choices simple.

Madeleine: But what we want to make sure that they’re asking themselves is, “Which one of these two things do I want?” Instead of, “Do I want to do it or do I not want to do it?” We don’t want them to choose between either you or not you, we want them to choose between which way can you serve them. So providing them with options and not just making it a take it or leave it deal, and of course, none of us approach our clients with that level of cut and dry, but sometimes we unintentionally make it a take it or leave it when really we should be providing them with this way or that way. Give them a little bit more ease of choice, and that helps them to purchase at a higher level and to purchase more consistently from us.

Madeleine: The third way to fill the second bucket is by selling at a range of prices or even at a higher price point. Sometimes when I talk with my clients about increasing their pricing, they’re like, “Ooh, but I’m going to lose business if I do that.” There is a fascinating impact to increasing your pricing, that people up their gain. The people inside of your company up their game, your clients feel like they’re being served at a higher level, and sales often take a boost, not take a dive. They don’t take a scale down, they take a scale up.

Madeleine: I’m certainly not suggesting that you overprice your services. We want to be fair, we want to serve our clients well, we want to always have integrity in what we do, but do not shy away from having a premium offer for your client, having options for them, having things that you sell at a higher price or at a range of different price points so you can tackle a wider audience. It’s one of the ways to optimize the flow of business that you have coming towards you with those leads in that conversion, is by being able to have things at a higher price point that they can say yes to, that you can then serve them at a higher level. So, that’s bucket number two.

Madeleine: If we look at bucket number three, it’s more frequent purchases. So, getting a customer to come back to you again and again. The reason that I had you put in the chat how long you’ve been in business, right there from the start, is if you’ve been in business for anything more than just a couple of years, and even those of you who’ve only been in business a couple years, never fear, there’s always more potential inside of your client base than you might think.

Madeleine: Even if what you do is something that people do infrequently, you have to ask yourself, “Did they buy everything available? Is there absolutely nothing else that we offer that they could say yes to?” Because your client pool, the people who’ve already bought from you, who know, like, and trust you, who’ve done business with you, is a beautiful place to fish for an increase in potential business. It’s one of the ways to make more money from the leads you have because they already were a lead that you converted, and then if you go back and offer them additional services and have it built into the fabric of your business, that you get repeat business. That, my friends, is gold.

Madeleine: In order to really leverage these buckets and to make more money from all of the leads that you have coming in, you have to make sure that you are taking a look at the way that your business runs, and that you’re really considering not just these three buckets, but how are you managing the life cycle of your lead? How are you moving them from the top of the the light bulb moment, that they think that, ooh, this might be something that they might want to do, to becoming a hand raiser, being booked on your schedule, confirming that appointment, closing the deal, and then getting repeat and referral business.

Madeleine: If we look at that cycle of our leads, how well are we managing each and every one of the stages? Because if you have a big miss in this, you are risking more than what you think. And for those of us home services, the appointment, meeting with your customer, talking with them about their home, understanding what they need, being able to tailor make our offer to their needs and expectations, that is the heartbeat of your business, that appointment is the heartbeat of your business. You are serving real people in a space that they live in, so being able to connect with them, that’s what allows you to do everything else. And if we miss this, if we miss this little piece of the cadence, it’s one of the most impactful things where you can find more money hiding in plain sight inside of your business if you solve your conversion from a inbound lead and inquiry into a book deployment. This is what I call a really sneaky profit leak that a lot of home services and home improvement companies are not paying attention to.

Madeleine: Why? Why would we not pay attention to this leak? Well, it’s because, especially in times like this, when lead flow is pretty strong, it’s a matter of you just have the next person to serve and the next person to serve and the next person to serve, and it’s so easy to miss the people who have already been raising their hand in service of the one that’s coming right after them. It’s one of the things that the smaller your business, the more likely that this is going unnoticed, and then as your business grows larger, you have to make sure that you put a really strong process, so that your team can manage this extremely well.

Madeleine: Because the hard truth is that in working with thousands of small businesses, hundreds of small businesses directly one-on-one, helping them look at their systems and their processes and what is working and what isn’t working, most businesses are missing more leads than they think, that there is a bigger leak here than what you might think in your business. And the simple things that contribute to missing these leads, being on an appointment, serving someone else, whether it’s on the front end of earning the business or the back end of service delivery, being on a phone phone call, getting involved in phone tag, working with a vendor or maybe a team member, managing projects, finding that social media, they sent you a message and you somehow missed it, that they reached out to you when you were not in the office, when you were not having office hours. And the more incredibly busy we become, the higher the incident of missing these leads.

Madeleine: Unless you have a system in place to make sure that you’re touching them back, then we are probably suffering from this leads leak more than we think. A lot of people try to solve the problem of putting more leads into their funnel, when if they put their attention here and really challenge themselves to say, “Are we missing anyone who raises their hand to say that they might be interested, are we missing them? Are we not getting them into our appointment books? Are we not getting them scheduled on our calendars?” This is one of those opportunities that there’s a lot of power when you plug this leak, and it’s one of the sneaky ones that’s easier to solve than maybe some of the bigger ones. A little bit of focus can go a long, long way.

Madeleine: So, not only is there the hard cost of your ads and your website management and all the things that you’re doing, your online reputation and your visibility, all the energy and the money that you’re pouring in to earning those leads … And then, of course, the soft cost of your time. There’s actually a significant opportunity cost, because if you don’t get in front of that lead, then of course you can’t serve them, they can’t become your client officially, and then you miss out on all that repeat and referral business. If you don’t get them into bucket number one of becoming a customer, you can’t get them into increasing that average sales price and you certainly can’t get them into that repeat business where they come back to you again and again, or where you create an opportunity for them to come back to you again and again. So, solving this little leads leak is one of those opportunities that really can help significantly in you getting everything out of your investments upfront, through having a better process in the back end.

Madeleine: You might be saying, “So Madeleine, our company does a really good job of following up with our leads and we don’t let them fall through the cracks.” I want you to just take a minute here. I want you to guess, on the chat, I want you to guess how many times is a lead followed up before it’s abandoned? What would you guess, in general, what do you think? Pop it in the chat. I’m curious to know what you think. Because this is something that most people are guessing differently than the facts that we got. Two, four, 10, 10, three, five, nine. We got lots of guesses going on. Three attempts, one. Okay, now we’re getting to the ones and the fives. Awesome, I love seeing these numbers coming in. Thank you for all these. So cool. Thank you guys.

Madeleine: So, how many times is it for real? I’m going to tell you. Here comes, drum roll, please. A lead that comes brand new into your business, by and far, is followed up 1.7 times. So those of you who guessed one, those of you who guessed three are right there in the middle. Here’s the thing. We are only reaching out to people twice. Not even twice. Here’s the even worse news, 50% percent of these leads are only called back once. One time. One time. So all the work, all the effort, all of the investment that you’re making, your hard costs, soft costs, are being spoiled by only reaching out to that lead one time, 50% of the time. And then some of the times, a second call. So 1.7 times.

Madeleine: We have to be so tenacious with these leads because they’re precious to us. When we convert those, that’s what equals dollars in our business. So, how many times is a lead followed up? Less than half of the leads, in general, in our industry, 50% are only called one time.

Madeleine: If you are here, what’s cool about this is you can be that standout company, because when you are fast, statistics show that when you are first, your lead will convert with you 10 times more frequently than with the person who’s second or third or fourth. You have got to be fast on these leads.

Madeleine: Here’s why. Imagine that your marketing is like a fire, it’s like a campfire. Okay? Imagine. When you’re at the campfire, you have a little spark that comes off, and as that spark goes into the air, it quickly evaporates. Your marketing is the fire, and that little teeny tiny spark is your customer’s interest. You’ve got to capture it and nurture it into its own little steady flame in order for them to buy from you. The further that spark is from the fire, the more quickly it cools off.

Madeleine: People used to be patient. Think about way back there … Let me stop my screen share here for a minute. Think about way back in the day when people used to fill out forms by long form. They used to find someone in the phone book, fill out the form, and mail it in. They used to wait for that company to reach back out to them, and they were okay with a long … Weeks and weeks and weeks of lead time.

Madeleine: You guys want to take another guess in the chat box? How long do people stay interested? If you get back to your leads in less than blank blank, is it minutes, hours, days, you have a really significant chance of reaching them? Do you guys want to fill in the blanks? What do you think? Five minutes, one hour, one day? Keep going, six hours. We have done so many studies to figure out what is the secret sauce here. How long do you actually have in order to be on it, and for people to feel like you’re highly responsive? And guys, it’s terrifying. It’s terrifying. We have such a small window of opportunity in terms of that really fast, fast, fast. I’m going to tell you. It’s if the lead is followed up within two minutes or less, your conversion rate doubles with that lead. Two minutes or less. Five minutes or less, you still have a really, really, really healthy shot with them because they’re interested in it now. And in five minutes, they’ve already gone on to the next thing. They’ve already moved on. They’re already thinking something else. And now the game, what I call the hamster wheel of follow up, really starts to engage. So, we have got to be quick.

Madeleine: But don’t despair. If you miss them and you don’t get back to them in that two minutes fire, fire, fast time, you still have an opportunity to still reach them. But you have to be really smart about how you reach back out to people. Because as I said, they’ve moved on to other things, they’re busy, their day is filling up, so we have to think about when is best for them for us to reach them.

Madeleine: I know a lot of small business owners who, they come into their business, first thing in the morning, they return all of their missed calls right away, eight o’clock, nine o’clock in the morning. You have to think about your ideal client. What is your ideal client doing at eight o’clock in the morning, nine o’clock in the morning? If your ideal client is someone that has children who are school age, that’s a quite a wide range of ages, they’re getting the kids off to school. If they’re working professionals, they’re getting themselves ready in the morning, they’re trying to battle traffic if they’re driving. Otherwise, they’re getting their Zoom all set up, but they’re getting settled into their day. And they’re probably not thinking about this new pool that they want, or this roof that they want to have redone, or the lawn that they want to have done, or the windows or the doors or whatever thing that you sell. That’s probably not top of mind for them.

Madeleine: If you are able to reach people when they’re more available to you, you will have higher odds of reconnecting. And when you can reconnect with them, that’s when you can nurture that spark back up. Once the spark fades, it doesn’t mean it’s gone and dead forever. There was interest and you can re-nurture it and get them to book with you, of course. They wanted what you sell, that’s why they looked you up, that’s why they found you, that’s why they reached out to you, so there is underlying interest that you can still nurture.

Madeleine: The golden hours are from Tuesday to Thursday, from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Why? Lunch. That’s why. Because we all eat. In the beginning of the day, you’re getting your day sorted and settled out, and then you have time in the middle of the day where things quell a little bit, things quiet down, and you’re able to reemerge. And then from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM and onward, they’re then doing something different.

Madeleine: Now, if your ideal client is more of a retired person who has their mornings free, then you can consider about what your ideal hours are. But given that many of our ideal clients, of course, they’re homeowners, they’re usually in the middle of their lives, they’re established, they’re trying to improve and enhance their home and their living environment, then this window is usually golden for you. I’ve had clients where the only thing that they changed in their booking strategy was blocking out time on their team’s calendar, on their calendar every single day, during 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM, like totally sacred time where they did all their follow up, and it increased their sales volume significantly.

Madeleine: Because this doesn’t only work with your new inbound leads, this also works for all your follow up. With your clients that you’ve already given a quote, who haven’t bought from you, use this for that too. That’s another way for you to make more money from the leads by making sure you’re converting them into paying customers. You’ve already put all the work in, you’ve already put all the investment in, you may as well get the most out of it.

Madeleine: In order for us to really take advantage of these leads that are pouring in, we have to be quick, we have to be smart, and the other thing that we have to be with them is be where they are. Again, think about your ideal client. How old are they? What season of life are they in? How are they typically reaching out to you? If you have people who are consistently trying to text you, text them back. They will respond to a text message. If you have people who are reaching out to you on social media, make sure that you or someone in your team is managing those social media messages, because people buy off of companies through social media. If they reached out to you through your Yelp page, make sure that you’re managing those inquiries. Where they found you, where they reached out to you, is indicating to you what their preference is in terms of communication.

Madeleine: Think about who you’re dealing with. If you’re dealing with people in the Silent Generation, if your clientele are retired and have been retired for a while, then you’re probably going to have people who respond better to a long form communication. If you’re dealing with people … As the age gap changes, as the generational shifts, different people want different things. Email, phone calls, text message, social media, they’re all good. Consider what’s best for your ideal client, and weave that into the fabric of your business. You will have better experiences. They will feel more well served by you if you meet them where they are. Instead of trying to get your client to conform what you want them to do, consider what your clients most prefer and meet them there.

Madeleine: It’s a simple tactic that can be one of those big, huge money makers. I was speaking at a convention once and I had this woman come up to me and say, “I want to share with you a secret that I want you to tell everyone who you teach from now on,” so I’m honoring her wishes and sharing this. She said that her number one tactic of growing her business from a small, under a hundred thousand dollars company, to a multimillion dollar company was always responding immediately in the way that the client reached out. She actually had a team who would respond to after hours inquiries. If someone sent them an email, they immediately emailed back. If someone sent them a text message into their business late in the evening, they’d immediately text them back and say, “Hey, sorry to disturb during evening hours, but we saw that you were online asking about this and we want to see if we can help you.” And that immediacy, that responsiveness is what she attributed as her one thing that really helped her augment her business.

Madeleine: I see a note here. Yeah, it’s tough if you’re a one person business. Totally agreed. You have to find these different elements. I’m giving you a smorgasbord, a buffet of options, and you have to find what you can implement consistently in your business. If you’re a one person company, and the best thing that you can do is block off an hour each day in the middle of the day for follow up, amen, do it. Find what works for you. All of what I teach are these available options of things you can do. In a perfect world, would we implement every single one? Heck yes. But we don’t live in a place of perfection. We live in a place of reality. So I want you to find, in this webinar, in this training that we’re going through, the little kernels of things that you can take and you can use now. And then of course, this is recorded for you, so you can come back once you’ve implemented that and find other things to cherry pick and to leverage. That’s my wish for you, to find the things that you can implement easily and consistently in your business, and go and do it.

Madeleine: Because no matter how cool and exciting all this content is, unless you use it and implement it in your business, unless you go to your Yelp page and register your business and update your details and make sure that you have it rock solid, then everything that I teach, all the things, it means nothing, unless you implement it. So, find what works for you. Don’t feel the big weight of I should, I should, I should. Decide what you’re going to implement and do that. Doing one thing extremely well is far better than committing to all the things and really letting it fall through the cracks. I know that we deal in a world of reality, so thank you for that comment here on the chat. I’m keeping my eye on the chat, if you have any more comments, feel free to pop them in. I love hearing where your thoughts are.

Madeleine: With all of those ideas, that takes us through the gamut, big chunk, of making sure that you’re booking that appointment, making sure that you’re leveraging that first interaction well and getting all the juice out of those leads that you possibly can.

Madeleine: The next piece is making sure that you’re handling that appointment effectively. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re doing a virtual appointment, or you’re doing in person appointments, or you’re doing some hybrid where there’s some in person, you’re doing a showroom in your store. However you’re meeting with that client, this is your chance to earn their business, and all the things that you’ve done with your branding and your positioning and all of the marketing dollars that you’re spending to make sure that you show up a certain way, this is the moment when you get to collect on all of those investments, by handling this appointment effectively and really making the opportunity to close a deal, really close deals.

Madeleine: Remember that there’s a lot of different ways that you can reach an end goal of a closed sale. There’s so many different avenues that you can take, but there’s one way that is more efficient and effective, and there are a lot of ways that are kind of the squirrel-y path of like, oh, there’s lots of loops and turns. I want to suggest to you to take the easier route. There’s so many things in our business that are hard. In terms of selling, I want you to take the easier route, and I want you to embrace, be fearless, be bold, in having the courage to sell on the spot.

Madeleine: Now, I know when I hear that, when people hear that, they’re like, “Ugh, it’s not what I want to do. It’s too coercive,” it’s too all the things. In my paradigm, when I teach selling on the spot, what I really mean is making an offer live to a client in need of the goods and services that you sell, that they can say yes to, right there in person. Not pushing and praying, write an email, closing your eyes and pushing the send button, and hoping and praying that they say yes, but giving them the opportunity to step forward.

Madeleine: Because in sales, the first person that they have to say yes to is not you, it’s themselves. They have to say yes to this enhancement of their home, this service that you’re offering. They have to say yes to themselves first. You have to be there as a supporting cast member to get them what it is that they want. They wouldn’t have reached out to you if they could do this totally on their own. If it was well within their wheelhouse and they were just experts at it, why would they be reaching out to you in the first place? The people who reach out to you have a specific problem in your area that you can solve, and you want to make sure that you are willing to sell when you’re with them, and that you’re set up to do it effectively.

Madeleine: Now, a lot of people feel like, “Ugh, it’s kind of selfish for me to try and close a deal there.” And yes, you’re right. It’s totally good for you. It’s absolutely good for you. Lets you get onto your fulfillment sooner, it’s positive for your cashflow. Nobody is feeling sad when they’re walking out of an appointment with a check. That’s positive for your cashflow, which is a good thing. It’s important for your business to have strong cash flow, that you stay in business and continue to serve the people who you’ve already taken care of, that you’re there for them in the future. And it’s also good for you because, remember that hamster wheel of follow up that I mentioned? If you don’t close a sale now, then you have to continue to do all the follow up to close it later.

Madeleine: On the spot selling though, is not a selfish activity. I said earlier that sales is doing something for someone, not to someone. And the truth of the matter is that selling on the spot to your clients, giving them an opportunity to say yes to the services and the products that you offer, is actually good for them too.

Madeleine: I want you to think back to a time when you had someone come to your home for something that you weren’t an expert in. Okay? So let’s take, for example, that you brought in a paint contractor, and you don’t know anything about painting and that’s not your jam. Maybe your specialty is roofing or maybe your specialty is landscaping. Whatever your specialty is, let’s just pretend that you brought in a paint contractor. When that person can walk around your house and tell you the things that you didn’t even know were issues, and point out to you, and show you what they’re going to do, and walk you through the process, and you think, “Okay, this person’s going to rock it for me. They have beautiful work that they’ve already done. I believe them. I trust them. They’ve got great reviews. I’m going to say yes.”

Madeleine: How does that make you feel? It makes you feel like, “Ahhh.” I know when I was doing renovations in my own home, it absolutely gives peace of mind to your client. It absolutely lets them get out of that, weighing all the options, what should they do, what should they consider? They don’t do this every day. You do. It’s easy for you. This is your jam. You breathe this, you live this. It’s so easy for you. It’s not for them. It feels big. And most of what we sell, I’m going to guess that most of the people that are listening today or maybe checking out the recording, have an average sales price that’s considered a high ticket sale.

Madeleine: High ticket selling is anything over $1,000. If your client is spending over $1,000 with you, it’s considered high ticket. And those expenditures, no matter if they’re extraordinarily wealthy people or people who are lower income or even middle class, it doesn’t matter. The average is that a $1,000 spend or more is considered high ticket. When you let them say yes to you, there’s a huge sense of relief, because they have chosen you. They’ve given their trust to you, and they can breathe easy that you’re just going to handle it. And then they can move on to other things.

Madeleine: As I said, their top of mind concern is not necessarily this. Sometimes it is, because it’s coming from a place of urgency. The furnace broke and it needs to be fixed right now. Okay, coming from a place of urgency. The roof is leaking? Okay. But a lot of the times they’re coming from a place of desire, not just need. It’s something that they want to have. Something that they’re improving their life, improving their home, and that’s why they can then move on to other things and trust that you’ll handle it.

Madeleine: So, selling is good for your client because when they came to you, they had a problem that they couldn’t solve on their own. And if you don’t offer them a solution, don’t give them an offer they can say yes to, which means go for your close, offer them the, “How would you like to pay for this? Credit card or Check?” Then they still have the problem. They still have the same problems that they came to you to solve. And it’s actually a grave disservice to them if you leave them with the problem.

Madeleine: Now, perhaps what you sell is a little bit more complicated and you cannot sell with a first time close. You show up and you lay everything out and you give them the opportunity. Breaking it into multiple steps is totally okay. It’s still considered on the spot selling because you’re making a personal connection with your client. You’re offering it to them person to person, even if it’s over a virtual platform. What I advocate against is just send an email and push the button and hope they say yes. You want to be able to leverage the momentum, to leverage the conversation, to be able to allow your close to be the natural conclusion. That’s what you want to be able to do, so they’re empowered to have what they want, to fix what needs fixing, and to be able to walk away well served.

Madeleine: A lot of businesses and a lot of sales teams shy away from on the spot selling because they associate it with some version of that … You know the used car sales guy who has a really bad rap? The polyester suit, the handlebar mustache, and they’re a quick talker, and they’re going to sell you an old jalopy, and it’s going to be a lemon. That’s kind of been our communal experience of on the spot selling. It’s what a lot of people fear and dread. And I’m here to tell you, absolutely for sure and certain, nobody wants to feel pushy, sleazy, imposing, uncomfortable, awkward. Nobody wants to create that type of a sales environment. Sometimes we do it unintentionally, but we don’t want to do that. So, a lot of companies will reject the idea of on the spot selling because they feel that it’s a synonym with coercive or a synonym with pushy or high pressure. You do not have to have pressure to create results. You really don’t. We’re not canning things here. You don’t need pressure to get someone to leap, to step forward.

Madeleine: There is natural tension in sales. It’s like stretching a rubber band. And if you let go of your end then it goes back to them. You want to hold your end so that when they let go of the rubber band, it can come to you. There is natural tension. And people mistake tension for pressure. The reason there’s tension is that they’re deciding, they’re trying to make a choice about stepping forward and saying yes to this. And anything over that high ticket selling is a big choice for them, so they’re trying to weigh all the pros and cons. And who are they saying yes to first? They’re saying yes to themselves. They’re giving themselves permission to do this. They’re giving themselves permission to have this. They’re saying yes to themselves, they’re saying yes to their home, and then they’re allowing you to facilitate that yes.

Madeleine: And when we have a really solid sales system, when we have a step by step process that we follow, that’s what resolves that pushy coerciveness. We can build in the relationship, we can make sure that what we’re doing really serves our client step by step. That we’re educating, that we’re supporting, that we’re doing all of these other elements that allow the client to step forward. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck. So if you feel pushy and you feel like it’s kind of tense, then it probably is pushy and tense. It doesn’t have to be that way for you to win. We deal in a world with real people in real buildings, real homes, and we can rely on relationship creation to carry us forward. And a good sales system is going to allow you to relax and to connect with the client, connect with your customer, because you have all the five, seven, 10 steps, all laid out that, that you know you’re going to answer each and every question that they have. You know you’re going to display your own value. You know you’re going to ask the right questions at the right times.

Madeleine: And when you have that system to rely on, when you have a solid approach to selling, then the actual ask of their business, “How would you like to pay for this? Credit card or check?” Becomes the natural conclusion of the conversation. It doesn’t feel like someone just plopped a turd in this beautiful bowl of soup. It doesn’t disrupt the relationship, it enhances the relationship. Because you are there to serve them, ultimately. You’re there to discover what their needs are, what their expectations are, and to show them, to demonstrate how what you do checks those boxes for them. And that’s a natural conclusion and they will walk away feeling empowered.

Madeleine: Has anyone ever had a situation come up, just pop in the chat, “Yes, me, I have,” where you close a deal with a client, they said yes to you, and they were like, pre-COVID times, hugging you, high fiving you, saying how happy they were, how delighted? Where they were in the moment of having just said yes. And maybe it was a high ticket sale, maybe they said yes to a $30,000 project, or maybe they said yes to ongoing services with you. And they were happy and joyful? Pop into the chat if you ever had that. Say, “Yes, me,” raise your hand into the chat, because that is what good selling in our industry looks like. That we have empowered people to say yes to themselves and to allow us to facilitate that yes.

Madeleine: When people express joy and delight and happiness over having just said yes to spending their money with us, we know that we’re nailing it. We know that is exactly … We are matched up with their expectations and our offer. And that consistency in that sales process is a really important piece for it.

Madeleine: So, if you wanted to look at what makes up a solid sales system, what is it that you can rely on? How do you know if you have one? These are the telltale signs. I consider the five signs. First of all, it gives you consistently excellent results. That means that you can rely on a high close rate. You have predictably, excellent results that people say yes to you.

Madeleine: That it’s simple enough to teach. If you don’t have a process that you can explain to someone else, that really limits your growth potential. It limits how much team you can bring on. A good sales system helps you train effectively and it helps you really protect your brand because that’s consistency in what they’ll experience no matter who shows up to their home.

Madeleine: It also helps you to, number three, anticipate key objections. Consider whether there are going to be delays or hurdles that you have to overcome. Remember that an objection is not a closed door. An objection is a symptom of someone still considering things. And when people raise objections, sometimes we get a little offended or we start to feel pushback. I want you to celebrate when they raise objections, because it means that they’re trying to get to a place where they can say yes to you, and something is standing in their way, and they’re giving you the chance to eliminate that thing that’s standing in their way. So, a good sales system thinks through what those objections are going to be and doesn’t shy away from them. We face them because they’re just not a hurdle to the process, they’re the doorway through which the process happens.

Madeleine: The fourth one is it honors the client in the relationship. As I said, it feels exciting and happy at the end, not, “Oh, what did I just do?” It honors that you are in a relationship to help deliver this service that they are now saying yes to, or the product, the whole suite, the solution, that you offer. It’s usually not just a one and done and that’s it. You are there with them and you’re in it together.

Madeleine: And last but certainly not least, a good sales system doesn’t throw away the awesome things that you might be doing today, it allows you to integrate those, it’s adaptable to what you’re already doing. When you learn a new sales system, it might have you challenge some of your assumptions, it might have you think through some of your assumptions, but ultimately what it does is it helps to enhance what you’re good at and augment that process, instead of just throwing away the good with the bad.

Madeleine: So, when we have this, when we have really honored our sales process, we’re converting more leads. We’re making more money from those leads because we’re converting them more consistently. We’re having a solid sales process that allows us to weave in those upgrades, that fills up bucket number two. And we’re really allowing a higher volume of our clients to say yes to us, not just now, but because they had a great experience with us, to say yes to us later. That’s that repeat and referral business.

Madeleine: Did you know that a repeat customer is 400 times, 400 times, more likely to say yes to you than a first time buyer? So, for all of you who have served clients over the years, that pool of existing clients is a beautiful pond to fish in to help you find new business. And the longer you’ve been in business, the bigger that pool, the more potential you have. That is just gold waiting to be discovered inside of your business.

Madeleine: On the spot selling requires a high level of trust on all sides. It requires our client to trust us, it requires us to trust ourselves, and it requires us to trust our clients. It’s a really, really, really solid trust trifecta. And trust, my friends, is where the transaction happens. Trust is what allows people to work their way through the magic circle of knowing, liking, trusting. If someone doesn’t trust you, they’re not going to give you their money to deliver on something. They have to believe that the money that they’re giving is going to result in the solution that they intend. That building of trust, that is what cements your reputation. It’s what allows people to become raving fans and to give you great reviews, and to then refer you to their friends and family members or shout from the rooftops how much they love doing business with you. Lets you put that lawn sign in their yard, lets you tell people, showcase their project, showcase them, connect on social media that trust, that liking of you. That willingness to support you is what allows you to then gain further exposure, which helps you attract new clients. It all will works in a cohesive whole, that when we leverage just these small improvements of all the different aspects, we can get so much more value from what it is that we’re doing with our clients.

Madeleine: So, if you build trust and act with intentionality, you will consistently make more money from the leads that you already have. Because this trust building activity, this intentionality in your business, is what allows you to zero in on the different elements of your sales process and up level them as you go through the sales process, the funnel, the life cycle of your leads.

Madeleine: And that, my friends, is what I had to share with you today about how you can leverage all the different aspects of your interactions with your clients to get every bit of juice out of the fruits that you’re getting with your lead generation activities, to help convert more and make more money from those leads that you already have. So with that, Emily, I’m going to go ahead and pass the microphone back to you.

Emily: Awesome. Thank you so much, Madeleine. That was great information. And for everyone on the line, we will be sending out the recording as well as some resources. I’m going to jump into Q&A now, and I’m actually going to take the first question and then I’ll hand it back to you, Madeleine.

Emily: We had someone on the line who thought that this webinar was going to be more about Yelp stuff. We do have those types of webinars, and in the follow up email, I will also send a link to a blog post specifically for home service providers on how to complete your Yelp profile.

Emily: One high level piece of advice I’ll give now, while we’re on the line, is if you log into, you get into that free portal of yours, it will prompt you through completing your profile. But the three most important areas for home service providers are going to be once you select your three categories, so you can be in up to three categories, you’ll want to check your services offered, and what I mean by that is any service based industry now has services offered under that category. So, let’s say for example, I’m selecting roofing as my category, there’s going to be anywhere from 10 to 20 options of services under that industry of roofing that you can indicate whether or not you provide. It’s free to check all of that information, and that will help you appear relevant to searches for things you do do, and will keep you out searches for services you don’t provide.

Emily: The other two areas of profile completeness that are free and most important for home service providers to get in front of the appropriate customers, are going to be you About the Business section, which is a free area where you can fill out your specialties, history, and Meet the Owner or Manager. So that’s a great place to write about the services that you provide, use keywords or phrases that people might be looking for when they’re looking for someone in your industry or with your offerings.

Emily: And then the last thing is going to be indicating your service area. Every service based business on Yelp, whether you have a physical brick and mortar that you promote the address of or not, you can always set up a service area on Yelp, indicating up to five zip codes or cities that you would be willing to travel to. So I think of it as north, south, east, and west. If you’re in San Francisco, for example, how far north bay are you willing to go? Are we going up to Napa? Are we up to Sonoma? How far south? So you get the idea. What are your suburban or nearby city markets that you’d be willing to travel to for a job?

Emily: Those three things are going to have the biggest impact on if your free business listing is getting in front of the appropriate customers looking for the services that you provide.

Emily: Okay. I had a question here from [Tiffany 00:52:33] that I think you’ll be great at answering, Madeleine. What do you do if you get that no? I think this question came through when we were talking specifically about on the spot selling. How do you overcome that objection of, “I found another company,” or, “I found another option.” I think she’s indicating here that if you’ve proven value with your service, but someone says, “No, thank you,” that’s a little bit harder to work around. Any advice there?

Madeleine: Sure. So, two things. The first piece is when is the no happening? Do you have ability to recover? Because if they’ve said, “I’ve already chosen someone else,” then that is a pretty difficult place to recover from. However, never think that just because someone chose someone else that’s dead and gone and the opportunity is just never again. Because you can put them into a nurture, and you don’t know for sure whether that was a good experience, whether that met their needs. I have a customer, a client of mine, who does custom closets. And they had someone who had purchased from four different other vendors, and they had that closet torn out because they just weren’t getting what they wanted. So, never think that just because they chose someone else, that that choice is final.

Madeleine: Remember that nos are sometimes temporary and are situational. So, they might mean not right now, and sometimes even no. One of my mentors said this, that people are genuinely honest, most people are honest, but leads sometimes lie. So don’t underestimate that maybe they said that and they haven’t finalized all of that work yet. So, think about when they’re saying no.

Madeleine: If you’re having a consistent volume of people who are saying no to you, that they’ve chosen someone else, I would just get really curious and say, “Oh, okay, I’m really happy that you’re having your project done, that’s awesome. What is it that made you choose them?” So that you start to understand. You might be displaying what you feel is the appropriate value for them, but it’s not translating to what it is that they were looking for. Because they have a Polaroid in their brain of what they’re looking for, and if you don’t match up with what that is, then they end up going elsewhere with something that does match. Kind of that Polaroid, that vision in their brain.

Madeleine: So, get really curious about what’s causing the no or what they’re valuing over what you displayed. It might be something that you could simply tweak. It might be that you’re putting the emphasis on the wrong syllable, and you just have to adjust a little bit of your approach to be able to garner that. And then of course, keep them in your nurture. Keep them in your social nurture, keep them in your email nurture, because you never know when that no could convert to a yes. So, that would be my advice.

Emily: Absolutely. We had another question come in about increasing visibility and Yelp, so I’m going to give just a few more tips on that. And in the meantime, see if we have a question or two more to add for Madeleine before we sign off.

Emily: One other thing that’s important to know in the last year, as it relates to your free Yelp profile, is all of the COVID health and safety measures that we have put in place, because logging into your free account at, and filling in those health and safety indicators, shows to the platform that the information is accurate and up to date on your page. It will then display your business as a more relevant search result for the services and the categories you’re listed in, because we know that your business information is up to date and accurate. Some of those things include, are your staff wearing masks? And other things like that, as well as do you have virtual offerings?

Emily: And so I think that’s another nice key point we can make when we’re talking about gathering lots of leads. Maybe for a period, in the beginning of COVID, you were only doing virtual estimates or consultations, and you were trying to figure out how to fill in the gaps by doing it all virtually. If you’ve gone back to in person and 95% of your customers are okay with you coming into their homes or doing estimates on the outside of their homes safely, that’s great. But there is still this subset of consumers that are only comfortable with virtual or certain safety precautions, so if you are offering those, or you have those avenues or channels available to engage with a client, feel free to communicate that. So check that virtual box on your Yelp page or even promote it, let’s say, on social media maybe, that’s something that you’re putting out there that you offer.

Emily: And remembering that Madeleine talked a little bit about being available on different channels to serve different clients. So, I think that’s important too. How can you manage inbound requests in a variety of ways when your customer base might still have a varying degree of comfort with how they interact with service professionals or having service providers in their homes?

Emily: Okay. Let’s throw one last question to Madeleine before we wrap up, and for anyone who needs to run to an appointment, it is the top of the hour, so we’re going to run just about a minute over here. [Heidi 00:57:57] asks, “How do you tactfully nurture a customer who doesn’t seem to want an ongoing relationship? What are your advice for maybe keeping those people engaged with your business or your content?”

Madeleine: Yeah, love it. And there’s another one here in the chat from [Casey 00:58:15] that’s similar. It says, “How do we continue to follow up and check on customers for continuous service without feeling annoying?” They’re kind of like cousins, so I can definitely answer both for you both. So here’s one of the things is that there are things that require no action from your client in terms of a nurture. For instance, if they like and follow your page on social media. You can be putting out content that is a passive nurture. It means those people who want to see it will see it and will absorb it, and those who don’t want to see it will just ignore it.

Madeleine: The same goes with having them on your newsletter list. If you have them on your newsletter and you’re sending out newsletters to them, let’s say twice a month, let’s just say, for example. The worst case scenario would be that they [inaudible 00:59:04] unsubscribe. And that is their way of saying, “I no longer wish to hear this.” Every newsletter program that you use is going to have an unsubscribe button. And I think [inaudible 00:59:17] is going to allow people to unsubscribe. It’s not necessarily bad if someone unsubscribes, it means they’re taking themselves out of the running, which is a sign to you that they’re no longer interested in what you do, so that just leaves more space for those who are. So don’t worry too much about them self selecting. If they choose that they’re not interested anymore, then you can’t force someone to have interest for what you’re doing.

Madeleine: In terms of follow up and not feeling irritating or annoying, consider it yourself about when you get really busy and you meant to call someone back, and then a couple days goes by and they call you again and you miss them again, and you meant to call them back again. That embarrassment level starts to creep up, and pretty soon you’re like, “I’m just not going to call them because I’m just too embarrassed. Now its been three weeks and I feel so stupid and I’m too embarrassed.” But then that one time that they call you and you get the phone or you respond, you’re like, “Oh my gosh, thank you so much for reaching out to me because I just got busy.” So, consider it more of frequency over time. If you are jamming all of your follow up into a very, very tight window and people are getting irritated, just ease off on the timeframe. Give yourself a little bit more breathing room, but don’t let go of the follow up. Continuous follow up is a support for them. Again, it’s doing something for them, not to them. So, be tenacious with your follow up, and if people are expressing irritation, just give them a little bit more breathing room in between your interactions.

Emily: Thank you so much for joining us, Madeleine. I always love having you. And for everyone who took time out of their day to join us live, we appreciate having you as well. You will all get an email from me, probably on Thursday, no later than Friday, with a link to this recording, as well as a PDF of the slides. And I’ll also put a few resources in there about taking advantage of your free Yelp tools to get more visibility.

Emily: So thanks again, Madeleine, we appreciate your expertise. And to everyone else on the line, we’ll see you at a future Yelp webinar. Have a great rest of your day.

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