Gary Tramer, Founder, LeadChat
Sales Superstar from Start to Finish
From a very young age, it was clear that selling was encoded in Gary Tramer’s DNA.
His aptitude for sales emerged early when he was a scrappy little kid riding his bike around the neighborhood with his friends. He and his gang would steal their neighbors’ plants, re-pot them into yogurt containers, and sell them back to the same neighbours. With the money they made, Tramer and company would indulge in Fizz Wiz, Warheads, and other junk from the candy shop.
“ crafting our humble entrepreneurial beginnings,” Tramer says.
From these humble beginnings, Tramer has evolved to start and run several successful sales-focused businesses, up to today’s LeadChat company, where revenue reach over 1 million. He’s become a true master, with roots in face-to-face selling that he adapted and scaled up using cutting-edge digital tools. And he dished all of his secrets for us in this interview.
Off The Beaten Path
Despite his early aptitude for plant sales, Tramer followed an academic path in his young adulthood. He attended Monash University in Australia, where he earned a degree in Behavioral Neuroscience.
But he jumped ship on a conventional life very soon after, and choose to take up DJing trance music after graduation. Having trouble finding people willing to book him, Tramer started holding his own gigs. This eventually lead him to start a touring company that organized raves, bringing DJs in from across Europe to perform.
After four years and a particularly wild concert that left the venue and surrounding suburban town a mess, Tramer decided to walk away from DJing.
He went back to his childhood roots and started working in direct sales, with a company that did door-to-door sales. Tramer loved it. “It was a really cool, amazing environment. Energy was high.”
Being a true entrepreneur, he quickly progressed from his job as a door-to-door salesman to creating his own direct sales company called Face2Face Global, established in 2004. His client base included Fortune 500 brands like Citibank, GE Finance, and Virgin Mobile. His business model involved placing trained salespeople at shopping mall kiosks, airport terminals, and going door-to-door to win customers for these companies.
“I would have trained thousands upon thousands of high school leavers and backpackers with no prior work experience into becoming absolute sales machines that could find somebody in a shopping center, pitch them, convince them, and sign them within the space of 10 minutes. It was a machine, we were writing thousands of sales every week,” Tramer says. “That was probably the best experience of my life, running a high-powered sales factory for some big, important brands.”
The company was highly successful, but it came at a price. Tramer eventually got burnt out from running Face2Face Global, having been doing 80 to 90-hour workweeks, early mornings, late nights, and weekends for over four years. He decided to shut down the business.
After taking a short break, Tramer reentered the sales world, but took his expertise in direct sales to a digital setting. He founded and now runs LeadChat, a lead conversion tool. LeadChat installs a live chat tool on your businesses website, which is manned by a real person, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. By providing a way for website visitors to speak to a real person, more visitors are converted into customers.
How well does it work?
Amazingly well. LeadChat converts its own leads at a stunning 95%, Tramer says. That means that 95% of the leads with whom Tramer demos his product with turns into a sale. Before falling off your seat, there is an earthly explanation for reaching this level of conversion rate, and Tramer took us step-by-step through the process for getting clients to buy LeadChat.
How To Generate Leads
Before getting to the stage of converting, you need to round leads up in the first place. And lead generation can be one of the most time-consuming and expensive steps in the sales process. Tramer says the head of growth at KISSMetrics doesn’t even consider running paid ads with a budget of less than $50,000 a month.
For most of us, that’s not a realistic ad spend. So how do you generate great leads without breaking (more like robbing) the bank? Tramer has some solid advice and recommended tools to get you started.
First off, you need to identify your target customers. Are they Manager or C-Level people? Are they hyper-local businesses? From there, your lead generation methods will be slightly different.
Lead Generation for Manager and C-Level Lead Targets
You can go through LinkedIn manually and collect emails and name in that way. Although effective, this is a very time-consuming process, and Tramer suggests a few tools to speed up the process:
Tools that collect and validate emails from LinkedIn and other databases (Crunchbase, AngelList etc.)
- LeadFuze.com (cheaper, LinkedIn only)
Tools that retrieve company information based on technologies that their websites are using or have used (e.g., search by HubSpot and find all of the websites that are using or have used HubSpot)
“I’m a SaaS tool testing junkie. I think I’ve tested every CRM tool that is available.”
Lead Generation for Small or Hyper-Local Businesses
YellowPages is a classic way of finding local and small business leads, and Tramer recommends it. But to speed things up, here’s a set of tools you can look into.
YellowPages Scraping Tools:
Remember, in the end, lead generation is about one thing, and one thing only: building lists to contact.
Next up: qualifying a lead.
How To Qualify A Lead
As mentioned above, LeadChat converts at a stunning 95%. But it’s not magic. Tramer half-jokingly admits that “there is a way of getting a 95% conversion rate—only speak to someone who you know will buy.”
He’s built up a highly tested and elaborate method of ensuring that he is only trying to convert the most qualified leads.
The first step is to remove leads that are not a good fit for your product overall. As Tramer advises, ask yourself the following questions about each of your leads:
- Are they the decision maker?
- Do they have intention to buy, or are they just researching?
- Do they acknowledge that you can solve their pain point?
Once you’ve narrowed down your leads in that way, you can further qualify them by doing the following:
- If you already have customers, you can look at different metrics and look at what are the shared characteristics among customers that close the fastest.
- Study the people who retain the longest of all of your customers.
- Study the customers who bring in the highest revenue.
You are ultimately trying to find customers who offer a balance between these three criteria above, hitting that “sweet spot.”
Instead of doing this manually, Tramer recommends a tool called Insightsquared.com, which is an analytics platform for sales data. This tool looks at all of your customer and measures them against various metrics.
Once a lead satisfies all of the right criteria, they are booked for a sales call. The process up to this point ensures that a very high percentage of these calls end up in a closed deal.
How To Land A Lead
Now that you’ve collected a group of qualified leads, it’s time for the hard part: getting them on the phone to make the sale.
Tramer recommends starting the process with an email or LinkedIn message. To increase your chances of getting a positive reply, great email copy is key.
Tramer has formulated his own by following the steps below:
- Subscribing to all of the email sequences for a demo request of other B2B (business-to-business) companies
- Storing the email sequences that he would personally respond to
- Forming his own sequence based on these and on tests that result in a 70% open rate on his target verticals
If you would like to see an example of Tramer’s copy that converts like crazy, email: [email protected], which will auto-respond the email copy.
Once you got great email copy, it’s time to start sending emails. Instead of doing the sending and following-up, here are some tools you can use to automate the process:
Tools that automate sending email and sending follow-ups
If you’ve got a budget, and limited patience, Tramer recommends a company called LeadGenius.com
LeadGenius is company based out of Austin, Texas that does end-to-end lead generation, from lead qualification, to research, to retrieval, to email outreach. In the end, you get a positive response in your inbox. All for the price of around $3,000 for 1,000 leads.
Tramer backs them up with: “These guys are legit, and you will get your ROI.”
Either way, you’ll have a bunch of leads in your inbox interested in having a sales call and seeing a demo. But it’s not time to relax—it’s time to hustle. You need to start follow up with these leads immediately.
Based on data, Tramer recommends that you contact a lead by phone within 10 minutes of it arriving in your inbox. If you cannot get through, send them an email 30 minutes later.
If the lead still does not get back to you, call them three times the first day. Then, call or email them every second day for a month. This might seem excessive, but Tramer insists, “The amount of leads that we find we get through to and close on the sixth or seventh attempt is sometimes more than the first attempt.”
Tools to help automate following-up with leads
- Speak2leads.com – makes a phone call to you when a lead comes through to prompt you to call them back
Finally, Gary Tramer leaves us with some general words of advice on selling. Whether you are selling to other businesses or consumers, Tramer emphasizes:
“You are speaking to a person. People are hardwired mostly the same way. They don’t want to be bullshitted. They don’t want to be waffled around or coerced or manipulated. They just want to know what it is and how it’s going to help them, and they want to be left to make the choice on their own.”
People care about people they can relate to. Being real, and sharing the story of your product or your company is very important.
“Be genuine; be a good story teller.”
- From start to finish, what goes into making and closing leads
- Dozens of helpful tools you can start using today for your own sales strategy
- The different ways you can test your ads without breaking the bank
- The process of utilizing traditional marketing techniques in a digital setting
- What it takes to train your salespeople with no experience into becoming absolute sales machines
Full Transcript of Podcast with Gary Tramer
Nathan: Hey guys, welcome to another episode of the Foundr podcast, my name is Nathan Chan and I’m your host, coming to you live from Melbourne, Australia. So what’s been happening with me at the moment, we’re heads down working on a whole ton of awesome new products for you guys. The team is expanding, which is really, really exciting. We’re close to seven people now in the Foundr team and we’re growing and we actually didn’t even update the website to reflect that but it’s all happening at Camp Foundr. I hope you’re enjoying these episodes and you guys are in it for an absolute treat today. Today’s guest is…his name is Gary Tramer and he’s the founder of a company called LeadChat. LeadChat is a service that we use that I absolutely love, it’s an amazing service. Pretty much if you want to do live chat, they can make sure that you can have your live chat manned every single minute, every single day, 24 hours, 7 days a week and it’s a service that you pay for on a monthly basis, it’s killer. And what that person’s whole goal is sitting on the chat of your website is to get leads and to help you close more sales. So, Gary is the founder of…co-founder of the LeadChat and he’s actually a buddy of mine. He works out at the same co-working space that we work out of, so we’ve got an office at Foundr and he’s got an office as well, the LeadChat office in Revolver Creative, the co-working space we’re based out of. And yeah, look, this guy is an absolute sales weapon, a B2B guru. A lot of you guys have been asking more around B2B stuff, not so much B2C stuff, like business-to-business type marketing strategies and tactics, not so much business-to-consumer because a lot of the people we speak to are B2C, so Gary is going to be sharing with you everything sales. He’s a sales master, like, he can close…it’s over 90% of leads that come through on LeadChat, he can convert them. He’s crazy, he talks about the sales process, how to sell more and he talks about some crazy tools that you can use to get leads. So, that’s it from me, I know you’re gonna absolutely love this episode if you want to get more sales, if you want to get more leads. It’s full of gold, I showed it to one of my friends, Xavier, a while back and he’s like, “Man, this episode was absolutely brilliant. I got so much from that, I’m gonna use all of these tools.” So you’re in for an absolute treat, Gary does not hold back. So guys, if you are enjoying these interviews, please do take the time to leave us a five star review or a review on iTunes or Stitcher or SoundCloud, wherever you heard this, and you know, if you have any friends that are entrepreneurs, you know, or if you have any friends that might get value from our podcast, all these episodes, please do spread the word. It helps us much more than you can imagine and your friends gonna love you because, you know, if you’re an entrepreneur, you would love the Foundr podcasts. All right guys, now let’s jump into the show. So, how’d you get your job?
Gary: What job?
Nathan: What you’re doing today, you know, take us back to the humble beginnings for Gary Tramer.
Gary: Not a problem. First things first, I don’t consider what I do a job. I consider it the lifestyle. That’s clichéd as that might sound. Where did it all start? Look, if I sort of traced back to the very start of time, after the dinosaurs and the cavemen, when I was in my younger years…actually, a good friend of mine, we actually used to ride our bikes around the neighborhood, leafy neighborhoods of McKinnon here in Melbourne, getting up for a lot of mischief and crafting our humble entrepreneurial beginnings, stealing pot plants out of our neighbors’ garden, packaging them in yogurt cups and selling it back to them.
Nathan: That’s hilarious.
Gary: And we make good money. In fact, we made so much money, we could even afford the shoes and, you know, Warheads and the, you know, all the lollies at the store and we were the cool kids and then we thought, “This is really awesome.” You know, we love lollies, so let’s convince my mum to…well, in fact, we found Warheads were really popular and coke lollies were really popular, so we looked at the back of the packet of the coke lollies and it said, “Distributed by,” and it was a company…and this is when we were like eight, “Distributed by,” you know, whatever it was in Mulgrave in Melbourne, so we convinced my mum to drive both of us to this distributor and we bought a box of coke lollies and on our school bus where we had bought coke lollies for five cents, funded by my mum and dad, and that was I guess my first seed funding, they believed in us, we’ll call that a family and friends round. We sold our five cent coke lollies for 20 cents and first things first, the whole fricking school bus was like high on sugar by the time they got to the school. You know, that would be frowned upon now, you’d have to be selling, like, you know, organic, you know, chia pods or something but back then it was coke lollies and we made money, like I remember we actually had over space of a week, we made about $300, we had like these bags of silver and gold and even copper back then coins. And one fateful day in class…well, it was a maths class, someone had complained, some parent had complained and the headmaster came into our class asked for me, asked where the bag of money was and confiscated the money, which was my first lesson in tax. And that was the start…we actually did get the money back in the end, so that was sort of the starting of the whole journey. And beyond then, when I left school, traveled around Europe, Israel, for about a year, getting some sort of life experience, came back, did a degree in behavioral and neuroscience at Monash University, finished that, and decided to take up a really, really, really prestigious career in DJ-ing trance which…and actually, dabbling in producing as well. And what was quite frustrating at the time was nobody would actually give me a gig, I’d give out my CDs, my demo CDs, nobody would give me a gig, so I said, “You know, screw this. I’m gonna run a party myself, at least that way I could guarantee that I get to feature.” So I put on a warehouse rave, I promoted it on thescene.com.au, so shout out to Scott Doughty who’s now actually the APAC Regional VP for Salesforce marketing cloud, little plug there, but he was running a website called thescene.com.au which was a forum for raves and promoted it on “In The Mix” and people came and it was awesome because I got to get my first gig paid…well, I paid myself, paid gig at an event and I ran raves for about four years. I started touring DJs from Europe and around Australia, we had a company called Cabana Productions and we brought down DJ’s like Blank and Jones and Martin Roth and some names that if you searched you would see and we actually had a stage for a few years at this big outdoor festival called Earthcore which is a big…it’s actually back now but it’s a big outdoor…what they called, Bush Doof for Trance and we had a stage there for a few years and then there’s another story with how our whole business got shut down and we ran a really big rave at Melbourne Tennis Center, had like 3,000 people…I probably shouldn’t say this, who knows who’s listening but it had 3,000 people and it made great money, it didn’t end very well for the suburb, the cleanliness of the area. And a few things led to another and we made the decision that we didn’t want to, you know, be locked up, so we would shut down that business and I got involved from there in direct sales. So I started in a company that was selling…doing door-to-door sales.
Nathan: How long ago was this, sorry?
Gary: So that’s now going to the start of 2002 or ’03, doing direct sales door-to-door and in shopping centers and I learned that it was a really, really cool, amazing environment. The energy was high, you would ring the bell every morning if you did sales and the gong if you did more sales and it’s really amazing environment and I decided to progress into actually running a direct sales company and I did that. The company was called Face to Face Global, we had offices in Melbourne, we ended up opening an office in Singapore, we had guys in Adelaide. So if you would sort of walk through Melbourne or Sydney or Brisbane or these sort of airports between 2004 and 2009, somebody was standing there pitching you a Citibank or an American Express credit card, they would have more than likely be my sales guys pitching you. And it was a bloody awesome experience building sales team, I think I would have trained thousands upon thousands of high school leavers and backpackers that had no prior work experience into becoming absolute sales machines that could find somebody in a shopping center, pitch them, convince them, qualify them, close them and have them signed up for a credit card within the space of about 10 minutes. And it was a machine, we were writing thousands of sales every week for these company. And then, sort of at the end of that, got burnt out. You know, doing sort of the 80, 90-hour weeks, early mornings, late nights, weekends, and I took a bit of a break.
Nathan: What happened to the company? Do you sell it?
Gary: One of these things is very, very hard to sell truthfully. The sales guys they’re not…they’re all on commission, so you have the benefit of not having the overhead but whilst you have the client and you have the revenue, where…you know, it’s sort of like an actor, you know. Mel Gibson can’t sell Mel Gibson to somebody else and my sales guys that I trained that sort of, you know, we’re under this sort of sales spell and they build up a loyalty, if I would leave, it wasn’t the kind of business that another sales manager could just come in and take over. And so, it really wasn’t sellable. It was a cash flow business but it wasn’t something that was easy…at least it wasn’t then, I didn’t think about it. So I gave it up and literally just shut it down. All the sales guys went and found other jobs and I sort of called it a day. So that was probably the best experience of my life, running a real high-power sales factory for some big important brands. We actually did stuff for Optus and AAPT and GE Finance and Standard Chartered Bank and West Park and some really cool brands. And took a bit of a break and then actually reconnected a year later with the same guy that were selling, effectively stolen pot plants in yogurt cups with me sort of 20 years earlier. A guy by the name of Michael Jankie, we reconnected, have been friends, you know, sort of since but really not on a business level and we decided to get involved in the world of startups and tech. Michael was running an audio-visual company at the time, doing, you know, conference fit-outs for, you know, Melbourne Exhibition Centre and some, you know, the Comedy Festival and “Shane Warne: The Musical” and he was doing some really cool creative stuff. He decided to get out of that and we joined forces to build tech companies or hybrid companies that were part tech, part humans. And that’s how we ended up there and we build a handful of businesses since.
Nathan: Yeah, wow. Okay. Man, this is really interesting because for everyone listening, me and Gary, we work out of the same co-working space and Gary’s a sales master. Now, for one of your businesses, LeadChat, you said to me that you’re converting at 95%. You’ve got a 95% conversion, right?
Gary: I do, yes.
Nathan: Now, so you’re the sales master, like, I’ve heard on the Grapevine that like, you know, with your service, the LeadChat, you’re the founder of LeadChat and then, please tell us a little bit more about LeadChat but, you know, pretty much if you get that number, you can close someone. So I want to talk to you everything sales and, you know, please keep in mind, that our audience would be nowhere near as masterful as you at sales and let’s give us some good stuff to take away. So yeah, just tell us about…yeah, let’s just do this, man, give us your best stuff.
Gary: All right, I will. I’ll give you all the nuggets and none of the sludge, okay? That’s the deal. I hate listening to podcasts where it’s like 20 minutes in your life, “Dude, you know, I don’t give a shit about your story anymore, just give me the fucking websites that have all the things I need to do point by point,” so I will do that. Ninety-five percent conversion rate, it sounds amazing. It’s quite cheeky but there is a way to get a 95% conversion rate from a call or a demo and that is only speak to somebody who you know is gonna buy. Like if I know that Nathan is gonna buy from me, then when I call him, he just gonna buy from me. And it sounds like, “Hold on, what do you mean?” Well, the entire engine that goes before doing a call is a process in qualifying out. So in fact, you take a lot of sales off the table and don’t let them in to a meeting with your sales exec because you don’t want them wasting time with somebody who you are not 100% certain is going to sign up and you try and do as much as you can before that meeting or that demo as you can. And the reason we do that, I think it’s a…you know, by nature of being in Australia where wages are ridiculously high and higher than anywhere else that I’ve seen, you consider that an hour or a half an hour demo with a salesperson could cost you $100 in terms of wage, just a raw cost per person. So when you consider that, depending on the price of what you’re selling, you never ever want them spending their time unless you can ensure that there is a very, very high chance that it will turn into a sale. Otherwise, you are wasting their time. A lot of good sales operations in well-funded startups in the States will have this process where they have a part of the business that focuses on generating leads and those leads need to be what they’re called “Marketing qualified,” so they meet all the criteria of the ideal person. And then once those leads come in through the front door, whether it’s through an inquiry, whether it’s through live chat, whether it’s through any other mechanism, then it goes to a process called sale development, where there it is a Sales Development Representative or an SDR and what these people do is one thing, that is take the leads, shake them up and down, call them, qualify them, make sure that they meet every criteria that you think they need to meet, and some of the important things that we qualify are, you know, are they the decision maker? Do they have an intention to buy or are they researching? Do they have a pain point? Do they acknowledge that you can solve the pain point? And then only at that point, when all those things are met plus a few others, then they get booked in with a sales exec to do the deal. And so, then it’s a very easy job for the sales exec to do a deal. And I think, you know, for some of you that are in a start-up process, you may have to do all those things yourself. You may have to do the marketing yourself and then the sale development work yourself and the closing yourself, but processing it, running it in such a systematic way is the way that is then scalable to get a high conversion rate in the end. And that is very, very important. So what do you do? So some of the points, what do you do to qualify and one of the things that you need to do in your marketing. First things first, if you have customers, you look at your data and there’s a very good company called insightsquared.com that gives a lot of good resources about sales metrics that you should be aiming for. They are an analytics platform for Salesforce but I look at their material and they have this chart, this analytics graph called “The Strike Zone” and that Strike Zone is this look at all your customers and you look at a few different metrics like sale cycle, so what characteristics do the customers that close the fastest share in common? So, if you’re selling to enterprise, your cycle for selling could be three, four, five months, but if you’re selling to the lawnmower down the road, he might be a, what we call “one call close.” So obviously, the goal of any sales organization is to shorten that cycle of sales because you want to bring in revenue faster. So, that’s the first metric, what are the people that close the fastest having in common. Then, as the next sort of metric to measure is those people that retain the longest of all your customers and then the third measure is those that bring the highest revenue. And what you’re looking for is a strike zone which is a balance of all those three and then you look at the criteria and the characteristics of the businesses that form that sweet spot and that becomes your prime target. And then your marketing efforts get laser focus on that very, very, very specific niche or a very specific market. And you might say, “Yeah, yeah, but Gary, like, you know, those people might spend $400 a month or $100 a month but I can also sign up people that generate $10,000 a month.” Well, you can’t get everybody when you run a good sales organization so you have to be focused on something that meets a proven metric of success and be focused on that. And that’s how you generate your marketing qualified leads by targeting people who are absolutely in your sweet spot and then that moves into your next step of the funnel which is sales development. The people who going to fit you, it’s a very short call, if it’s a phone calls.
Nathan: So let’s wind back, let’s wind back. So you’ve identified the kind of person or the kind of people you want to go after to sell to, how do you, like, go about generating leads? Does that make sense?
Gary: Okay, great question. Great question, it really depends on your budget, you know. I think it depends on your situation, so I’m gonna assume that you don’t have big budgets because if you do…and I was speaking to the former Head of Growth from Kissmetrics, name-drop, do you like that? Lars Lofgren just last week and, you know, he was telling me how, you know, he won’t even touch a paid ad budget of less than $50,000 a month and that’s just for doing some tests, you know. And, you know, the average funded startup will happily spend up to a third of their customers lifetime value just to acquire them in the front door, so they’re burning through money. We can’t do that, you know, and I’m assuming that the listeners probably can’t do that so what are some good mechanisms for lead gen? If you’re targeting C-Level or you know sort of manager level, LinkedIn, fantastic. It’s bloody time-consuming, so what are the tools you should use? There are some great tools like SalesLoft, PersistIQ that are great for getting data out of LinkedIn and into a database like a spreadsheet and it validates that email address. They’re a little bit more pricey but they’re really good. There’s companies like Datanyze, D-A-T-A-N-Y-Z-E, that basically look at technology that the companies are using so it can tell you, “For all the people that have HubSpot, here are the LinkedIn contact details they usually talking to.” Very cool platform, it is quite expensive but, again, it is a game-changing platform because, you know, if you’re selling a marketing automation and you want to target anybody that’s using Marketo or Pardo or, you know, Alacra or HubSpot, you can type in those technologies and you can say, “I want to filter by people in Australia that are 10-plus size in staff, 5 million-plus in revenue,” and it’ll give you a whole database of people and their email addresses to call or to email. If you don’t have that sort of money, there are cheaper ones and it’s Arrow Leads which is good. There’s LeadFuze which is another one. I’ll be honest, I am a SAAS tool testing junkie, I think I’ve tested every CRM, I think I’ve tested every sales hacking tool that’s available, every beta, every growth hacking tool. I just love it finding easier ways of doing things. So, there’s some of the key ones that help you pull data. So that’s going through LinkedIn, but if you’re not targeting that category, you’re targeting smaller businesses, then you could use…if you’re targeting micro business, you can use Yellow Pages. There’s a great tool called YellaBot, Y-E-L-L-A-B-O-T, which is a Yellow Pages scraper, it’s the best one that I’ve seen and we use it. And that basically will scrape by the U.K., U.S., Australia. You type in the keyword in the category and it’ll basically just within seconds give you the whole database. And most Yellow Pages is globally…many of the listings now have email addresses there so it’ll pull that data.
Nathan: Wow, that’s gold, man.
Gary: So YellaBot is great for super SMB, like I’m talking hyper-local, very small businesses. That’s amazing. And for that midsection in between, scraping data to get email lists so using platforms like import.io, Kimono Labs have a really good scraping tool and you basically find a website with a list, so if you’re targeting lawyers, like a legal directory or, you know, that sort of thing, and you basically use these tools, they’ll give you the data. It’s much better to learn how to do it yourself than to pay a scraping company because, you know, once you know how to do, it’s then free essentially to pull amazing data. The other way, of course, is to use platforms like BuiltWith. So BuiltWith is like Datanyze where you can choose the technology platforms that you want to find websites that have that technology installed and it’ll give you a lead list to target which is really good. There’s other platform like NerdyData. NerdyData is one step back where…
Nathan: I heard that it’s really good.
Nathan: So you’re all about speaking to someone on the phone to close sales?
Gary: Correct but we start the process with the email or LinkedIn messages but email and the email is, I mean, a very well-crafted email that’s split tested but, you know, the guys that have really good email…you know what? If you want to know a great converting email that works, email me, Gary, it’s one R, G-A-R-Y, @leadchat.com and I will…in fact, gary+foundr, F-O-U-N-D-R, @leadchat.com so I can set a filter and I will auto-respond with the best email copy that we use and that works great. And I’ll tell you how I get the best email copy. It’s a bit sneaky, I sign up to all the requests demo for every database sites that I can find and then I wait for that automated sequence to start, right? And I never respond to the sequence, I just let it take its toll. I just let it take its toll and then after two weeks, three weeks, I’ve got these six, seven, or eight emails in their sequence of cold outreach and then I store it and I look at the ones that I like, that I would have responded to and I’ve got some parallels and we’ve got one that we use that, you know, has got a 70% open rate to one vertical and, like, I’m talking crazy numbers. So, [email protected] and I will shoot you back the email copy. So, your goal is to send out emails and to lead score those emails, so there’s lots of tools to send out the emails and we use a platform called PersistIQ which we found really good. There’s other ones like Sendbloom, there’s QuickMail. You can even use rebump.cc. Nathan, you taught me about that one and I think it’s great for sending one-on-one emails but on mass. PesistIQ we found is actually very, very powerful. And what you’re looking for is a positive response, so somebody that replies to you and say, “Yep, okay, I’m interested,” and that’s then the trigger for the next step. Now, if you don’t want to do all that yourself but you like the idea of it, there’s a great company out of Austin called LeadGenius. The guys there go…it run by a guy called Anand, they’re smashing it at the moment, thousands of clients, huge, big, big, big organizations did use them to do all their lead research and the email outreach as well.
Nathan: So they get the lead for you too?
Gary: Basically they get leads, they get the data, they do the email outreach, and they basically end up with a positive response in your inbox, the whole thing is done for you and it’s a…you know, prices are around about this sort of $2 to $3 grand U.S. a month for sort of a thousand-ish leads. I think they’re very well priced. We have a tendency to like to do things ourselves to test but I can tell you right now these guys are legit, they are the ones that you would use if you want it done for you and it will give you a positive ROI, I have absolutely no doubt. And their onboarding is amazing, it helps you distill what is your target customer and then they’re very good. They actually take it a step further than just the lead research and scraping, they actually do phone calls.
Nathan: Hey guys, so I just want to take a quick moment to talk to you about our sponsor of today’s show, FreshBooks. FreshBooks is one of the world’s leading cloud accounting base software platforms out there, and see, the truth is we get pitched every single week by potential sponsors and it’s not very often that we actually say yes. However, I couldn’t say no when the guys at FreshBooks got in touch with us. Why? Because they’re simply an amazing startup and they take all of your accounting headaches away. They make things extremely simple for you to manage your books even if you’re not a numbers person. They have a super intuitive tool that makes creating and sending invoices extremely simple and it takes about 30 seconds and if you want to keep track of your expenses, you know, you can actually use their mobile app to take pictures of your receipts and FreshBooks organizes them for later, so it makes claiming your expenses at tax time a breeze. FreshBooks is offering a month of unrestricted use to all our listeners totally free right now and you don’t even need to use your credit card for the trial. So to claim your free month of FreshBooks, go to freshbooks.com/foundrmag and enter “foundrmag” in the “How did you hear about us” section. All right guys, now let’s jump back into the show. So you know the kind of people you’re going after, then you try and find the leads and you reach out to them. And then from there, what’s next? Do you get the positive response? How often do you follow up?
Gary: More than you would imagine. So there’s a cadence, there is a cadence on following up but I’m gonna give you the hack. You must contact a lead within 10 minutes of it arriving in your inbox and there are really good stats on that. So, 10 minutes and then you want to…if you can’t get through, then you send them an email. So half an hour later, an email that just says that you tried to call and then you will try three times on that Thursday to call them.
Nathan: Oh jeez.
Gary: Yeah. And then, you will email and call them every second day for a month.
Nathan: Email and call every second day for a month? Are you serious?
Gary: I am serious because the amount of leads that we find, we get through to and close on the sixth or seventh attempt is actually more than the first attempt in some cases.
Gary: So it’s really important. You can automate a lot of this, obviously. We use a CRM called agilecrm.com, I pledge to them. I’ve tested every CRM, you know, there’s everything from Salesforce…
Nathan: You don’t like Infusionsoft, do you?
Gary: I don’t like Infusionsoft because I think that those guys…they have a great platform, it’s very slow, like, the interface is very, very slow which really…I have ADD, I am impatient, I cannot wait five seconds for the screen to resolve, so that’s my big issue with them and I have a personal gripe that they have a very, very mean cancellation policy, so I don’t like Infusionsoft for that reason.
Nathan: Yeah, that’s fair enough.
Gary: But can I tell you, I know lots of people that use them and swear by them, I think Agile CRM does everything Infusionsoft can do, plus a billion things more and I actually think it might be cheaper. But one of the things that I love about Agile CRM is it integrated Twilio so I make all the outbound calls through Agile and it records them and timelines them in the history for every contact which for us is a game-changer because….
Nathan: Wow, so you’ve got that data.
Gary: Correct, because when a sales got a lead and you can’t remember what the last conversation was, you just go to the timeline, press “Play,” and you have pulled their database, so I think that’s really powerful.
Nathan: Wow, that’s crazy. Okay.
Gary: But Agile will run our sequence, so it will run, you know, the response and we don’t want them to make all of it, that was a mistake we made in the early days. So we don’t send the automated emails every second day but we have tasks reminders set for every second day for the sales agent so that they still have to do it manually and the reason we did that was because if it’s automated, you can’t personalize the email once it’s set in automation. So, it gives them the ability to go, “Okay, I’ve got to email this person,” it brings up a template but they can make some adjustments like, you know, “Terrible to hear about the fire that’s happening in California at the moment,” or whatever is going on, so it’s really, you know…and that always helps get a better response by personalizing those sort of emails. And obviously, calling, like you got to make a call.
Nathan: Yeah, yeah, so you’re big on phone calls, right?
Gary: Correct. And if you don’t know how to do it or you sort of need a process to help you automate it, there’s a really good platform called Speak 2, the numeric two, Leads, it Speak 2 Leads and they actually integrate with Infusionsoft. So what happens is when a lead comes in through a form, it will automatically make a phone call to you, your designated number, and it’ll read out the lead details that it’s taken from the form and say, “Do you want to connect with the lead? Press 1 for yes, 2 for no, call me back in half an hour.” You press 1, it’ll dial that person and connect you, so it really helps you automate the process of connecting with leads faster.
Nathan: Yeah, wow, that’s crazy. Man, you know your tools.
Gary: Yeah, I do.
Nathan: So let’s fast-forward, so you will follow up every second day for a month and that follow-up will be to find out if someone is ready to buy. Is that correct?
Gary: Correct, and look, truth be told, I say every second day, that’s an SLA, Service Level Agreement that our internal sales team agree on. It doesn’t always happen that way, of course, as a customer you might say by an email, you know, “Please reach back next week because I’m away,” obviously, I’m not going to call them if they tell me specifically not to. And you don’t want to be stalking somebody, of course, your emails need to be very, very, very gentle and fragile but if you like me, I get tons of emails and, you know, that email from that SAAS provider is not going to be the priority, I think people have become cultured now where they just delete them and expect them to follow up. So if they don’t, it’s like, “Well, out of my mind, out of sight,” new tool, new thing on product type, you know, and then you’re forgotten about it all.
Nathan: Yeah, yeah. No, okay, gotcha, I feel ya. All right, so that’s the process that you guys go to close 95% of leads for LeadChat. Now, I’m curious, what is the process for someone like me who’s doing a lot of B2C stuff? You know, like, what are some sales tactics, like, you know, I’ve come to you, Gary and I want you to help me with my webinar presentation, you know, what are some core basics or things that people need to get under wraps for selling anything when it comes to sales and marketing? Because you are sales master, man, and I want to talk about not just B2B but like also best practices and, you know, you name it. Like, because I’m still learning all this stuff, like objection handling, you know, you name it, man.
Gary: Yeah, yeah, I hear you. Well, first things first, you asked about what we do, so that’s why I’m telling you B2B.
Nathan: Oh, yeah, yeah, no, please, please, let’s cover it all.
Gary: I’m a bit cheeky. B2C and B2B are fundamentally the same beasts. In any essence of sales, you are speaking to a person, right? People hardwired in mostly the same way and they don’t want to be bullshitted and they don’t want to be walled around and they don’t want to be coerced or manipulated, they just want to know what it is and how it’s going to help them and they want to really be left to make the choice on their own and that the fundamentals of a customer is always going to be true. So if you breach that by being too salesy, too pushy, too aggressive, you know, sleazy, all these, you know, dodgy, manipulative, you’re gonna turn people off instantly and there’s only a very small subset of the market that would respond to that these days. So, with respect to sales skills, my biggest tip is be genuine and be a good storyteller. You know, people sort of say this, you know, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care and people care about people that they can relate to,” and having a backstory is really, really important I think. And whilst I’m saying this, you know, I got a really good email from a start-up the other day, I’m just gonna sort of bring it up here that I thought, you know, sort of hit that point perfectly. And the email said, “Hi Gary, thanks for signing up for service. I started this company to help hundreds of other startups get the exposure they deserve. It’s more than a soulless directory listing service, behind it is a passionate entrepreneur working hard to make your life as an entrepreneur easier. That means you have my expertise and time at your disposal, so if you ever need any type of assistance or you just want to share some feedback or ideas, please don’t hesitate to send me an email directly or give me a call, I love to chat. Looking forward to working with you and learning more about your company. Cheers.” Guy’s name is Aaron Hanson and the company is called StartupLister and they are broadcasting service of startups. And when I read that email and I was like…
Nathan: That’s gold, man. I’m gonna swipe that.
Gary: “You’ve got me. I know I like you and I believe in you,” and it’s so much better than the generic welcome to so-and-so, and you know, you get the point. It’s the story, the storytelling is what sales is really about and people connect with that.
Nathan: Yeah, okay. Awesome. And, like, we’re going to work towards wrapping up. You’ve given away so much tools and stuff but I think it’ll be really interesting for the audience to see how you would, I guess, try and sell something, like, right on the call right now because what I think a common thing that most people face when they’re trying to sell something is a price objection. So what kind of things would you say to somebody if they were having a price objection around, you know, wanting to sign up to “Foundr,” like, the magazine or wanting to sign up to our Instagram course? I’m curious, what sort of things would you have pre-canned or, you know, what sort of things would you do to handle any objection like that?
Gary: The context of what I’m about to say is…I think you guys will know this but you’ve heard or seen it on TEDx, you know, people, you know, respond to the sort of the why, not the what and if I was at Foundr…and I’m not sure exactly what the price is but I would be saying this stuff: “Now, Foundr has a vision to educate entrepreneurs that are really passionate about good quality information that’s going to help them enrich their lives, not just their work and give them a sense of community within the entrepreneurial space. Now, we’re not for everybody. You know, there is free information out there, there is low-cost information out there, there’s a lot of websites that will give you free entrepreneurial advice and do have interviews. I recommend them, I think they’re fantastic and if you don’t have a budget, you should be looking at them. Foundr is for those that actually have a little bit of money that they can invest in personal growth as well as business growth and I am absolutely certain you’re gonna get value out of it, so you should give it a go. But my recommendation to you is it’s just not for everybody, so either you’re one of those people that fits into the…you know, that wants to get more personal value and growth and be part of a community or you’re not, and that’s completely up to you.
Nathan: Yeah, wow. Man, you’ve made that like a no-brainer.
Gary: For some people that don’t have a budget, you’ve still given them the control to decide and opt out but you are not trying to convince them to opt in and that is a really important point. So when somebody says LeadChat is too expensive, I will say, “Fair enough. You know, we have a very, very, very big focus on delivering absolute value to customers, we believe people want to buy from people, not static websites. That’s why we provide live chat sales agents that will staff your site 24/7, we wanted to do a really good job and that’s what it cost us to do it. There are other services out there that are cheaper potentially, I don’t know who they are but there might be, and if you want to go down that path, that’s completely up to you. You could even staff live chat yourself, I’d suggest you do that if you don’t have a budget. But for those…but here are some people that want a really good service and appreciate that there is, you know, a price tag attached and look, you know what? We charge $99 a month for 24/7 staff on your site to convert visitors into leads, like that is like, you know, cents in the dollar sort of stuff. I don’t know how you get cheaper than that but it’s completely your call at the end of the day.” And that’s the approach that I take and if somebody says, “Why should I use you over somebody else?” You know, I’ll say something like, “You shouldn’t.” Like, “You shouldn’t, you know, I’m not necessarily giving you any reason yet to choose us over a competitor. I don’t know the competition, I’m not interested in the competition. This is what we do, you’re either in or you’re out. I mean, it’s your choice.”
Nathan: Wow, so that’s your style, because, you know, it’s so funny, I thought that as a salesperson you have to fully believe in the product and you have to justify why you’re the best and, you know, you don’t want to give that person a choice. You want to kind of…you know, always convince them to buy, not give them a choice. You know what I mean? That’s really interesting.
Gary: I think the landscape has changed and if you want to refine your sales skills and get some sort of insight around how this works, there’s a really, really, really amazing sales coach by the name of Ari Galper, G-A-L-P-E-R.
Nathan: I have heard of this guy.
Gary: Yeah, he’s a lovely guy, he has some great information. The brand name for his coaching is extremely cheesy, it’s called “Unlock the Game,” but besides that, the content is absolutely fantastic. You know, google it, listen to him if he’s got some podcasts or information. He has a very specific style of selling and I really do subscribe to it.
Nathan: Yeah, wow, okay. Well, look, we have to work towards wrapping up, Gary, and I just have to mention, like, guys, we actually are using LeadChat right now on the Foundr…not on the Foundr website but for our Instagram course website and I haven’t even told you this, Gary, but it made us sales, man.
Gary: I know it has.
Nathan: And how did you know?
Gary: Well, because it makes everybody sales.
Nathan: Like, it’s crazy and, you know, I think it was more me, this is really funny, you might find this story interesting and I think anyone listening will find this interesting. So, you know, the thing with LeadChat is you have someone 24 hours on your site and, you know, the agent on the other end, their mission is to try and get that person’s number and to try and help them further and put them in touch with me, and quite often, to be honest with you, Gary, I’ve been embarrassed or a little bit scared to call that person up, like, your team is getting the phone number and I’ve found now only recently from the last couple…like, you know, few people that have come through that if I call that person up and answer any questions about the course, like, they will buy it because they actually speaking to me as opposed to me sending an email as a follow-up because someone had questions around the course or how it works or anything and they don’t write back. So there is so much to be said in that power of the phone call, power of just caring enough to pick up the phone and say, “Hey, how you’re doing? You know, I’m here to help, what questions do you have?”
Gary: Yeah, it’s true.
Nathan: So, I just want to give that feedback, mate, because I haven’t even told you that which is…really, I just wanna…
Gary: I appreciate the feedback, thank you.
Nathan: Yeah, you’re welcome. Well, look, we’ll wrap there, man, but that was an awesome chat around sales mastery, dude, there’s so much people can take away. So where’s the best place that people can find you?
Gary: Genuinely, email, that is the best place. I don’t tweet a lot, I kind of keep my private but if you want any information or you want some advice, I do read every single email. The best to email me, gary+foundr, F-O-U-N-D-R, @leadchat.com because I’ll set a separate Gmail label particularly for that so I can respond to anything you want to know and I’ll try and point in the right direction.
Nathan: Awesome. Okay, well, look, thank you so much for your time, man.
Gary: All the best. Thanks, guys.