Module 11 – Onboarding


Okay. In this module, I’m going to be touching on onboarding or prequalifying your leads, probably more so onboarding, I think. I’m going to get into this in depth later on and show you how I go about prequalifying my leads. The onboarding part of your process really will set the grounds for everything that you do from here forward.

This is definitely one of the most important parts of your SEO business, because if you screw this up, then you’re going to end up working with an absolute asshole or someone’s that’s going to do your head in. Onboarding and prequalifying in this business is super important. You want to make sure you get this right. You want to make sure that you sign the right people up, because it just makes everything else afterwards so much easier and more enjoyable.

The first thing I want to say is, if you’re still sending PDF proposals or silly emails outlining what your deliverables might be as part of your service offering, then that shit has to stop immediately. Look, I might pull in $10,000 clients twice a week, and I haven’t sent a proposal in about six years. I don’t send proposals anymore, for the simple fact that, look, there’s a number of reasons.

Firstly, they never get read. You send someone a 20-page proposal via email, or even a hard copy, it’s just going to end up on someone’s desk piled beneath a dozen other proposals. And let’s face it, who has time to sit there and look through some bullshit proposal? Business owners aren’t interested. That’s the first reason. They’re not going to get read.

The second reason is, you’re not going to stand out. If you’re sending a proposal to try and close $2,500 a month SEO campaign, and you just sent some silly PDF proposal, you’re not going to stand out, and you’re just going to blend in with everyone else who’s sending their proposals. And I think the third point is, there’s just no perception of value. When you’re sending a proposal, they’d know that you just filled in the blanks in some cheesy bloody Word document saved as a PDF and flicked it over.

So if you’re doing proposals, you’ve got to stop that shit immediately. I’ll be sharing how I go about closing jobs through holding PowerPoint presentations, sales presentations, and pitching for the job. And I can tell you right now, again, I haven’t sent a proposal in about six years, and my close rates are 100%.

Okay, prequalifying leads. As I said in the previous slide, this is super, super important. One of the biggest mistakes I see with most people running SEO business, or even in business in general, they just say yes to everyone. Oh, you want help with SEO selling $2 pot plants? Yeah sure, we can help you out. Oh, you mow lawns? Yeah sure, we can help you out. Oh, you do dog photos, $20 a pop? Yeah sure, we can help you out. When you’re saying yes to everyone, it’s just going to be a fucking nightmare, and it’s certainly a mistake that I made before I learned to understand the importance of prequalifying my leads.

Again, I’ll be showing you exactly how I prequalify my leads and ensure a good fit. There’s a number of set questions that I ask to determine as to whether or not the prospect, the new lead that I’ve got on the phone, is in fact a good lead, and it is someone that I want to work with.

If you’re not prequalifying leads right now within your business, then you’re going to have no end of problems. So learning to prequalify your leads, super important so that you know that they’re a good fit, and it’s going to be beneficial for everyone involved.

Now, determining a good fit, I’m going to give you a brief overview of this, and we’ll touch back on this again in an upcoming video. But determining a good fit, in a general sense, is about ensuring that the client firstly is working in the right industry. This is super important, and it’s something that I mentioned just a moment ago.

Look, if they’re doing something like, oh, we sell stamps, and they’re 50 cents each, then fuck me, they’ve got to be selling a lot of stamps if they’re paying me $2,500 a month to get a positive return on investment. It’s just not going to work.

On the other hand, a recent client that I just signed up, he does roof restorations, so he goes out for residential houses, and they clean and they fix and they paint. A job for him might be worth $3,500. So ensuring that the person is working in the right industry. If they’re in the financial space, if they’re in the medical space, if they’re in the legal space, these are all high end professions, and people that run businesses of that nature are usually always going to be a good fit. It’s only when you get low end businesses, where the turnover is minimal, those people are just never worth working with, and they’re never going to be a good fit. It’s just going to be nothing but stress, and it’s just something that’s really important when you prequalify.

I don’t want to spend my time working with someone within an SEO campaign where they’re on the other end, during a end-of-month strategy call or something, and they’re saying, “Oh John, this has gotta work. I’m really under the pump here. We’re not making any money.” It’s just too stressful. I want to work with business owners that are well established, they’re doing good numbers, and they just want to ramp up their efforts. So ensuring that you get someone that’s working in the right industry is always something you need to be mindful of.

The second point that I’ve got here is monthly revenue. And in fact, I want to touch on lead value first, before I get into monthly revenue. Lead value is critical, and it’s a question I ask when I work through my telephone run sheet when I’m prequalifying and asking a set series of questions. I always ask the person on the other end of the call, what’s an average sale or lead worth to you? Now, if they’re selling blue widgets, some of those blue widgets might be $5.

Other widgets might be $1,000. You’ve got to spend a bit of time with them, say, “Well listen, on average, what’s a blue widget worth to you?” They might say something like, “Oh, okay, all things being equal, an average is probably $90,” or something like that. They’d have what I would consider to be a low lead value, and that’s where you need to move on to the secondary question, what’s the monthly revenue? But I’ll explain more on that in just a minute.

In terms of lead gen, if you’re dealing with, let’s say you get a call from a dentist. Again, you ask the question, what’s an average lead worth to you? And they might say, “Oh, we do a basic filling, it’s $80, but if someone wants a brand new smile, then it’s $6,000 on average. Probably overall, it’s probably about $2,500.” So if you’re looking at the dentist at $2,500 lead value, as opposed to someone that’s selling blue widgets, and they’re worth $90, then the dentist is going to have a higher lead value, and it’s going to be a better fit.

Now, there’s always an exception to that, and that’s a very simple explanation of how I calculate lead value. You might be asking yourself, “Why does this even matter?” It matters because you want to demonstrate return on investment. If a lead value is worth $2,500 to a dentist, he’s paying you $2,500, you’ve only got to get him one lead that converts for the month, and he’s at breakeven.

Well, let’s face it, you should be getting more than one. You start getting clients 30, 40, 50 leads a month, and they’re worth $2,500 each, they’re going to be throwing money at you every single month. This is how I’ve managed to keep my retention rates high, because clients don’t want to go anywhere else, because I’m always bringing the discussion back to revenue, not rankings.

So the lead value matters. Now, there is an exception to this. If I have someone on a call, and I say, “Listen, what’s an average lead or a sale worth to you?” And they say, “Oh, it’s on the low end. Probably, if I was to think it through, it might be $120.” If the lead value is low, and I’m very particular about lead value, because I don’t want to get myself involved in a campaign that’s going to be really stressful, if the lead value is low, I always move to the secondary question, which is what’s your monthly revenue?

I ask that question, because I’ve worked with business owners that sell $20 widgets, and they’re making $200,000 a month. Now, I know that even though the lead value is low, that they’re not likely to be on the phone saying, “John, we’re paying you $2,000 a month, and we’re not getting any returns,” if they’re making 100, $200,000 a month. They’ll be probably a bit more passive about it and understand it’s going to take some time. That’s where you get a bit of breathing room.
So you need to understand the importance of that, the importance of asking the lead value, monthly revenue, and working with people that are working in the right industry.

Those three things in particular, lead value, the right industry, and monthly revenue, can all help you determine as to whether or not the person you’ve got on the phone is going to be a good fit. If they’re a good fit, then it’s a no-brainer. You get them onboard. It’s going to make the campaign quite comfortable, and they’re going to be paying you each and every month. Not a problem. This revisits return on investment, and again, I’ll touch on this in an upcoming video. We’ll explain this in a bit more detail.

Okay, learning to say no. You hear this a lot from motivational speakers and business mentors and so forth, learning to say no. I always kind of thought this was a bit odd when I first got into business, because I thought well, if you keep saying no to everyone, then you’re going to not have any clients, you’re not going to be making any money. But this is very fitting, it’s quite important. Where I am now in my business, well established, I’m more than comfortable just telling a person, after I ask the set series of questions, if they’re not a good fit, they’re not a good fit, and it’s pointless trying to make it work. I don’t have a problem at all saying, “Listen, Bob, I just don’t think you’re a good fit for me. I don’t think this is going to work.”

And if they ask why, then I say, “Listen, it’s just going to be too stressful. I don’t want you paying me $2,500 a month if you’re only making $900 a month now selling these $2 widgets. It’s just, you’re going to put yourself under the pump.” I’d rather just not work with those types of people. So learning to say no is a good thing. It’ll put you in a much better position.

You’ll be able to filter out all of the lolly scramblers and people that aren’t going to be a good fit. And long term, it might be hard initially if you’re just starting out and you definitely need clients, it’s going to be hard saying no if they’re not a good fit, but stick with it, because learning to say no is definitely a good thing in business.