List of Articles
The Value of No
Who is Gro365?
A Simple Way to Increase Profits by Controlling Deal Size
What Sets Our Most Successful Clients Apart from the Rest?
What Drives Equipment Purchases?
THE VALUE OF NO
You’ve not worked with anyone like us before, so we thought it would be wise to provide you with an overview of our service.
Marketing and salespeople stay up at night trying to figure out how to get more yeses. In fact, their incomes are often tied to the volume of yeses they deliver annually. Here’s the big surprise…we are after nos. And no, that’s not a typo. We really mean it, and here’s why.
Marketing and salespeople work with that portion of the end users that are ready to buy. They know they need your product or competitors and are looking for the best deal they can work out. On the other hand, we work with both end users who are ready to buy and those who are not.
To be competitive, all our clients produce equipment with a designed useful life. To simplify the math, let’s assume that the equipment you manufacture is designed to run 10,000 hours before buying new is less expensive than maintaining their existing equipment.
If your end users work one shift, five days a week, their equipment is going to run for about 5 years. If another end user runs two shifts five days a week, the equipment will last about 2 ½ years, etc. You’ve got the idea.
That means that for the end users that run 1 shift per day, 5 days a week, about 20% will replace equipment this year, 20% will replace equipment next year, another 20% the year after, and so on. So, in this example, we’ll get 20% yeses over the next 12 months and another 20% over the succeeding 12 months, etc. But 80% of end-users will not be in the market this year, next year, or the year after that.
But that 80% of no’s we’ll get this year represent a gold mine because 20% of that group will buy next year, and we can tell you, with a fairly high degree of accuracy, because we’ll ask them when they plan to purchase next. And because we don’t ‘hassle them and accept their no’s at face value, our experience is that they will gladly tell us, which means you can begin the market to them this year.
And next year, because we have them in your Marketing and Sales Database, we’ll call them based on the call-back date we set with them. We love no’s because we know how to deliver them to you when they are ready to buy, and within reason, we don’t have to waste your market budget pestering them in the meantime. Oh, one more thing, along with increasing the value of your marketing dollars, it will also increase the productivity of your salespeople. It’s a Win/Win for everyone involved.
WHO IS Gro365?
In 1989, I was looking for a career change. I thought it would be fun to own a sales training company, so after work and on weekends, I started reading sales books and designed my course over the next several months. I had enough savings to last six months, and in early 1990, I rented an office and went to work.
Despite what I didn’t know, I enjoyed some success, and before I ran out of savings, I was making a living. My clients began giving referrals, and my revenue continued to grow. After work, I began studying marketing, and among the books I read was one on telephone lead generation.
I could see that telephone lead generation (TLG) could increase my sales productivity, so instead of visiting prospects in person, I began having telephone conversations with them. My closing ratio fell slightly, but I more than made up the difference in increased sales volume. With the additional income, I hired a part-time student and put him to work generating qualified sales leads for me. In addition, he set appointments for me and made reminder calls the day before the appointment.
I continued to enjoy success and earned more than my old job that year. Then, in early 1991, an unexpected event occurred. Two training clients called the same week and asked me to teach them “…that telephone lead generation thing I was doing.” Before the end of the year, I was out of sales training and was teaching small businesses how to Tele-Prospect. Within a few more years, businesses asked me to do the Tele-Prospecting for them, and I’ve never looked back.
Today, my business continues to expand. I have employees in 10 states and work in multiple languages. I’ve been doing business with our smallest client since 2013. Their annual sales are about $100 million, with 1,500 customers and 6,000 prospects. My largest client, a member of the Fortune 1000, has been with me since 2017, has distributors worldwide, over 75,000 customers, and they dominate their industry.
While your business’s salespeople and our Business Development Representatives (BDRS) share many skills and traits in common, our job descriptions differ substantially.
Your salespeople tend to work with prospects and customers who are (1) qualified and (2) who have a need for the products and services they represent. Like your salespeople, the customers we work with are qualified and may or may not need your products and services. Many of the businesses on your prospect list are likely not qualified, and only a low percentage of them will buy your products and services during the next 12 months.
She doesn’t grow plants.
The plants grow themselves.
Her job is to create conditions for the plants to grow.
The soil, the water, the light, the weeds… these are the conditions.
But none of it happens if the plants don’t do the thing they want to do in the first place.
This is always true, anywhere a leader succeeds.
Creating the conditions is the hard part.
We should talk about contact rates and their impact on lead rates before launching into a discussion of the list.
A contact rate is the percentage of contacts that result in a conversation with a decision-maker (DM). Twenty-five years ago, contact rates were in the neighborhood of 33%, which meant that for every three contacts you initiated, you had a conversation with a decision maker (DM). Over the years, contact rates have steadily declined, averaging a bit less than 15% today. That’s unfortunate because there is a direct correlation between contact rates and lead rates. What follows is a simplified example of the consequences.
If you contact 45 businesses per day and the contact rate is 33%, you will have conversations with 15 qualified DMs. If the contact rate is 15%, you’ll have conversations with only 6.75 DMs. Now, let’s assume that your project’s lead rate is 20% and see how contact rate influences leads per day.
- 20% of 15 qualified DMs equals 3 leads per day.
- 20% of 6.75 qualified DMs is less than 1.5 leads per day.
The message is that while your daily lead generating costs remain roughly the same, the number of leads has declined by about 50%, meaning your cost per lead has increased by roughly 100%. Because contact rates have fallen, list quality has become more important than it’s ever been.
List selection is both a science and an art. Recently, one of our long-time clients had us do a project to replace underground fuel storage tanks. The standard warranty on underground fuel storage tanks is 30 years. After that, the liability for leakage passes to the site operator or, if the site is leased, the property owner. When the station is 30 years or older, the lead rate is over 50%. Using the list the client provided, the average cost per lead was a little more than $650 each.
One of the list sources we work with had a list that was ideal for this project. The list broker could provide a list that gave the age of every fuel site in the US. Not just convenience stores and service stations, but boat marinas, federal, state, and local government fuel sites, and so on.
The cost of the list was unusually expensive, in the neighborhood of $100,000, but because it was a near-perfect list, given the number of sites out of warranty (roughly 40% of the fuel sites in the US, it was a bargain. Qualified DM contact rates per hour increased dramatically, etc. We looked better than ever to our client, the list broker made a tidy profit, and our clients saved hundreds of thousands of dollars over the life of the project.
Do not underestimate the value of having access to the best list.
Maximizing the growth of competing businesses within the same sales territory is impossible, so we grant exclusivity to clients as long as it’s mutually beneficial to us and our clients. What does that mean?
Years ago, we had a large material-handling distributor in the Midwest whose sales territory contained 76,000 plus potential clients. He wanted exclusivity but authorized only the services of a single Business Development Representative (BDR). On average, a BDR will contact 20,000 businesses annually. In other words, it would take almost four years to contact each potential client in his sales territory just once.
Such an arrangement benefited the distributor, but it was of limited value to us. So, it became a deal breaker so within a few years we were working with 5 competitors within his sales territory.
A SIMPLE WAY TO INCREASE PROFITS BY CONTROLLING DEAL SIZE
Years ago, when salespeople still knocked on doors to generate new business, they became very good at determining which doors offered them and their employers the most significant earnings potential. They bypassed doors that offered less reward and poured their energies into soliciting business from the more significant, more profitable end users. And it worked!
As mass marketing developed in the 1960s and 70s, there was less need for salespeople to generate business by knocking on doors. The cost per contact using mass media was only a fraction of the cost of knocking on doors, and it worked. Unfortunately, we essentially lost the ability to influence deal size significantly. For all its many benefits, mass-marketing results in homogenized markets where the dollar value of your average closed deal is about the same as your competition’s. It becomes expensive and difficult to beat the competition when that occurs.
What would happen to your business’s profitability if the dollar value of your average closed deal increased by 10% over the next 18 months and by 10% each year after that?
Suppose that without losing the advantages mass-marketing has provided, you could enjoy the economic rewards that knocking on doors once provided without the costs or hassle.
The process is a bit complicated to put into play because it has several moving parts. Still, once you have the parts in place, the process will deliver the same profit opportunities salespeople knocking on doors once did.
The 80/20 Rule (The Perado Principal) is fully operational in markets with many end users and . . .
WHAT SETS OUR MOST SUCCESSFUL CLIENTS APART FROM THE REST?
Our most successful clients realize that while they know many things, we know more about the aspects of prospecting than they do; so when it’s time for a new project they value our suggestions and input. If you get to the point where it’s time to talk to some of our clients, you’ll want to ask them how we are to work with.
Our best clients schedule time with us to review their projects. They are intrigued by the relationships between contact rates, presentations per hour, list quality, and qualified decision makers.
We firmly believe that you can’t manage what you don’t measure, so we pretty much measure everything.
Our rate is $80 per hour, and we adjust at the end of each year by the increase in the Consumer Price Index. Now, before you gasp and say, “For making phone calls?” No! Not just for making phone calls. Most of the $80 is for all the other activities that support making the phone calls. Let me explain.
The job title of the people who make the phone calls is Business Development Representative (BDR). BDRs have to be recruited, trained, and managed. In addition, there are payroll expenses, benefits, payroll taxes, etc.
BDRs carry out marketing projects as assigned by our clients. Each project requires a unique marketing script and a custom-designed marketing and sales database to record the contact and marketing information we gather. In addition, each project requires a custom-designed lead report we can forward to the clients.
To provide this information (which we call a KPI) for clients, each phone must be accounted for by the BDRs. They send their daily activity reports to Data Management who create the KPI reports. The daily KPIs become weekly KPI reports, and then bi-weekly KPI reports that accompany each bi-weekly invoice, so our clients have a KPI that accompanies each bi-weekly invoice.
And the list of associated activities goes on. I will skip that, but there is one more important consideration. Just like your owners, our owners require a reasonable return on their investment.
If you have questions about any of this, we hope you’ll share them with us.
One of the disadvantages we face as a company is that the businesses that make up our target market have never spoken with, let alone worked with, a marketing vendor like us. So, as a prospect, not only can you not compare apples to apples, but you may also even have trouble relating to what we do. So, what would you do if you were us?
We decided the easiest way to deal with this is to offer our service on a Risk-Free basis. As you come to understand the marketing power we provide and perhaps remain hesitant to take a leap of faith, we will work with you, and if you’re not completely satisfied with the results, you won’t owe us a penny. Only if you’re satisfied and want to use our service will you have a financial obligation to us.
Here’s what we are prepared to do as long as you are sincerely interested in using our service. We’ll work with you to develop a project, create a marketing script and a marketing and sales database, knock on 500 doors or so, deliver the leads we generate, and let you determine for yourself if our service adds value to your marketing efforts.
Our Engagement Agreements include two phases. Phase One is the Risk-Free or proof of concept phase. Phase Two is the operational phase. Unless you decide to move on to Phase Two at the end of Phase One, it’s over because only in Phase Two can money change hands.
Now, let me give you fair warning. We’re very good at what we do or wouldn’t offer our service Risk-Free. To date, we’ve never had a prospect enter Phase One who didn’t decide to move on to Phase Two. If we get far enough for you to talk with our references, you should ask them how Risk-Free worked for them.
That’s what we mean by Risk-Free.
WHAT DRIVES EQUIPMENT PURCHASES?
Sales contests have deadlines. There’s always the push to get deals closed before the end of the month and the end of the year. Earnings are usually tied to sales volume too. Consequently, there’s plenty of pressure on salespeople to get deals closed, and the sooner the better. So, it’s only natural for salespeople to deal with the here and now. If any of that sounds critical, it’s not meant to be. It’s just the way things are if you work in sales.
In our business, we take a long view. Two factors drive equipment sales. The useful life designed into the equipment you sell and how many shifts a day your clients work. Here’s an example. If your equipment is designed to run 10,000 hours and your clients typically run one shift per day, then they are going to replace equipment about every five years. It also means that if you’ve been in business for a while, then in this example, about 20% of your clients will replace their equipment over the next 12 months. Another 20% will replace their equipment in the following 12 months, and so on. We also know one more thing. If they aren’t buying equipment then out of necessity, they then are going to maintain the equipment they’ve got. That means 80% of end users that aren’t replacing equipment this year are going to need, at a minimum, parts and service.
In our business, in addition to gathering contact information, the brand of the equipment, and how many pieces they have, we want to know three additional things. How many shifts they work, when they purchased their equipment, and when they plan to add or replace equipment next. Once we know those things, we can quite accurately predict parts, service, and equipment purchases over the next 12 months. All of that information is stored in a Marketing and Sales Database for each client, and then we mine the information.
We have learned over the past 25 years that equipment buyers will cooperate when they are offered the products and services they need and are ready to purchase. That doesn’t mean you’ll get the sale, but it does mean that you are likely to get a shot at it.
We knock on your prospects’ and customers’ doors by telephone. Our Business Development Representatives (BDRs) are women. They have great voices; they are bright, articulate, and fun to speak with. Each will contact about 20,000 businesses annually, at about $5 per contact. Can you imagine making that volume of contacts and not generating a great deal of business?
Generating business is a numbers game, and we know how to make the numbers work for you.