Posted by Rich Harshaw on June 28, 2016.
If you’ve ever talked to me or participated in the Tuesday Morning Ad Clinic webinars we used to do, you know I’m a staunch believer in tough, honest love.
If I tell you that your ad sucks, I tell you why and how to make it better. If I tell you that your website looks like a 4th grader built it with Wix (sorry, Wix), I tell you why and how to fix it.
About 95% of people “get” my style. The other 5% just want to punch me in the face… like that one time MYM COO Bryan Bauman got so mad he nearly knocked out my teeth in a restaurant.
If you’re an MYM client, you’ve talked to Bryan. You know he’s a super nice guy. So what did I say that almost caused affable Bryan to commit assault and battery with two-dozen witnesses present?
Let me set the scene. The year was 1999-ish. Bryan was an IT manager making $38,000 a year. He had a wife and two young children, and he was looking for a way to earn more money to support them.
At the time, I was running a business where I coached clients on how to become expert marketing consultants. Bryan had picked up the audio version of my training and listened to it constantly while at his IT job. He eventually contacted me to enroll in the program.
One problem: He didn’t have the required $35,000 to invest in the program. Bryan was adamant about making this work though, so I agreed to meet with him and hash out his budget.
We met at a restaurant in Los Colinas, TX. On the table between two Sprites and a bowl of guacamole dip, we laid out spreadsheets detailing Bryan’s budget.
While we were strategizing, Bryan said, “To afford your program, I guess I’m going to have to get a second job, even though I don’t want to.”
I asked him why he didn’t want to get a second job. He said he wanted to have time to spend with his wife and children.
That’s when I put my hand over the spreadsheet, looked him in the eye and said, “Bryan, you haven’t earned the right to spend time with your children.”
Bryan’s face turned the same shade of red as the bottle of Heinz ketchup on the table. Have you ever watched that famous scene from the 1980s movie Scanners where the guy’s head explodes? I was positive Bryan’s head was about to do that from all the fury.
Ever made someone so mad their face turned Ketchup Red? I have.
Here’s Bryan’s perspective on the situation:
“My first thought was ‘Did this guy say what I think he said?’ After I concluded that, yes, he did actually say that, I thought, ‘I’m going to jail right now.’ My fist was clenched so tight I thought my fingernails were going to puncture the palm of my hand. I came so close to punching him in the face. But I regained an inkling of composure at the last second and simply walked out of the restaurant.”
I don’t blame Bryan for his reaction. But I said what I said for a reason: To get him to do some soul searching and think about my words.
And he did exactly that. About a week later, Bryan called me. He told me, “You know what, you’re right.”
Over the next year, Bryan created a number of excellent income-generating ideas. One was collecting homeowners’ unwanted belongings and selling them at garage sales at his house every weekend. He then split the profit with the homeowners he collected from or donated their halves to charity—whichever they preferred.
After a while, Bryan wanted to take that last step to true success. He came to me and said, “Rich I want to be a marketing consultant, and I want to work with you. But if you don’t hire me, that’s okay. I’ll do this with or without you.”
I told him I’d give him a trial run. If he was successful in that period, I’d bring him on full time. When Bryan walked into my office a week later and slapped a $500 client contract on my desk, I hired him on the spot.
Seven years later, he’s my COO, right-hand man… and best friend. (What great friendship doesn’t start with one person wanting to uppercut the other the first time they meet?)
Here’s the moral of the story…
If you truly want your life to change for the better, and you’re humble enough to take direction and listen—no matter how much you may not want to hear it—your life WILL change for the better. It’s up to YOU to take the advice you’re given and put it into action.
That’s exactly what Bryan did—and now he’s reaping the rewards. He now makes more than enough money to provide for his family and has time to spend with them. All it took was some mettle, an open mind, and almost getting arrested for cold-cocking his future boss.
You know, that old story.
In a few weeks, I’ll tell you about the time I wanted to throw Bryan out of my office window after he spent $35,000 of my money on a list of useless leads.
I’ll give you the details of how I almost bounced Bryan off the pavement in that email.
Have a great day!
P.S. Did you know there’s an actual word for throwing someone out of a window? It’s “defenestration.” If you’re a window contractor, maybe you already knew that!
Posted by Rich Harshaw on June 28, 2016.
One-star online reviews are the worst.
Even when they’re unwarranted, they drag down your reputation, make you appear untrustworthy, and can cost you a ton of business.
That’s why I’m going to tell you about a brilliant tactic one of our clients use to turn one-star reviews into five-star reviews… within 60 minutes of the review being posted.
This is a method you can immediately start implementing in your own business, so be sure you read this entire email.
The client is Service Champions, an HVAC company in Orange County, CA. When I talk about monopolizing your marketplace, Service Champions is literally doing it:
- Revenue over $30 million per year
- Almost 200 employees
- Over 100 service trucks
- Tens of thousands of customers
On top of that, they maintain an astonishingly high 4.5 out of 5 rating on Yelp with almost 600 reviews.
As of this writing, Service Champions has 582 reviews and a 4.5 rating on Yelp.
Now, most companies would be happy with satisfying literally 99.9% of their customers. Not so with Service Champions. They give each and every one-star review from Yelp the Code Red treatment.
The company fastidiously monitors their Yelp reviews. When a one-star review comes in, an email immediately notifies marketing director Katey Becker. Within 30 seconds, she contacts owner Leland Smith, who drops WHATEVER he’s doing to troubleshoot the complaint.
In minutes, Katey and Leland have a conference call with the involved employees to discuss the situation. They don’t try to “build a case” to prove the customer is wrong or that the employees screwed up; they just want everyone’s perspective on what happened.
Within an hour of the one-star review being posted, Leland personally calls the customer to discuss why they were unsatisfied. He intently listens to their complaint and asks them what they need to see happen to make them happy. It doesn’t matter what it is—he’ll do ANYTHING.
One customer was mad because he was paying $12,000 for a new HVAC system and received a quote from a different company after the fact for $6,000. Leland told the customer to pay whatever he thought was fair. The customer paid $6,000.
Another customer was so impressed by the act of Leland calling that he changed his one-star review to a five-star review on the spot.
To further foster their “five-star” culture, Service Champions has a company meeting with all employees to recognize who got the highest reviews for the previous month. The company reads the five-star reviews out loud, brags about the technicians involved, and pays them a cash bonus.
Because of their methods, Service Champions converts about 80% of one-star reviews to five-star reviews. The 20% they can’t convert are typically people who won’t return the company’s repeated phone calls.
Look, you may not be able to sacrifice $6K for a five-star review or give employee bonuses like Service Champions. But that’s okay. If you follow the general blueprint above, you can also turn one-star reviews to five-star reviews.
When a one-star review comes your way, talk to the employees involved. Call the customer to discuss why they’re unhappy and what you can do to make it right.
You’ll often find an angry customer is so floored you took the time to call that they quickly turn into your next gushing groupie.
Trust me, maintaining a good online reputation is vital to your business. Studies have shown that just a one-star rating increase on review websites like Yelp can increase business by 5% to 9%.
That’s a lot of extra cash you could be bringing in for a small amount of effort. So get to it!
P.S. Want to know how much money your online reviews are leaving on the table? Let us perform a free, no-strings in-depth audit of your online reputation. We’ll show you EXACTLY what you need to do to beef up your review scores to start making more money.
We’re offering this service to MYM email subscribers until 6/31/16. After that, it pulls a Jimmy Hoffa and vanishes forever. Email us to get started.
Posted by Rich Harshaw on June 28, 2016.
About a month ago, I emailed you a couple of audio recordings of one of our clients botching PPC phone leads.
To summarize, the company was losing a ton of leads because the people answering their phone were, well… atrocious.
As promised, today I’m back with more recordings of cringe-worthy phone calls that resulted in lost leads.
Just so we’re clear, I’m not doing this for the schadenfreude or to embarrass anybody. I simply want to show you what not to do when PPC leads call you, so you can avoid these types of blunders.
Let’s dive in…
Lost Opportunity #1 (4/8/16): “I’m sorry, we can’t help with that.”
Click here for audio.
The lead’s first words are literally, “I’m calling to see if I can get a quote.” HOW CAN YOU MESS THAT UP?!!
This phone rep found a way.
The lead is a real-estate agent calling on behalf of someone who is renting a home and about to close on it. He needs a bid on windows to know how much money to put in escrow for the project.
The phone rep informs the lead that the current owner needs to be present during the consultation, even though the owner lives out of state.
::banging my head against wall::
Okay, I get the legalities involved if the project were to move forward. But you can’t even provide a quote? Really?
This lead wants to move forward right now. He has already received a bid from another company. He’s not going to back out. The company is not going to waste man hours on a fruitless estimate. This is a guaranteed project and guaranteed money.
Well, it is for the company that provided a bid, at least.
Lost Opportunity #2 (4/15/16): “I don’t have any answers regarding the pricing of our windows!!”
Click here for audio.
I’ll admit, the lead in this call is kind of obnoxious. He repeatedly asks for prices despite the phone rep telling him she can’t give prices over the phone.
That said, the phone rep could have easily set an appointment with this prospect had she been a little more proactive. A simple “Let’s schedule you a free estimate, so you can get exact prices and answers to your questions” would have probably done the trick.
Instead, the phone rep loses her patience and gets snippy with the prospect by the end of the call. No Bueno.
Lost Opportunity #3 (4/11/16): “We have a four-window project minimum.”
Click here for audio.
The lead says he needs one, maybe two windows replaced. The phone rep informs him that the company has four-window project minimum.
That’s all well and good. But you can tell from the lead’s uncertainty of his situation that he’ll be receptive to an up sell. He doesn’t even know how many windows he needs—where’s the harm in telling him about the benefits of having a home full of new matching, beautiful, energy-efficient windows?
Instead of doing that, the phone rep immediately refers the lead to a repair company. I’m sure the repair company thinks this call went great, but I chalk it up to a big fat missed opportunity.
The moral of the story: You don’t need the reincarnation of Zig Ziglar answering your phone. But it pays (big time) to have phone reps who are knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and not afraid to exercise the occasional salesmanship.
Want to know if your phone-answering practices are costing you job opportunities and sales? When you’re an MYM PPC client, you can.
We record, listen to and track every single phone call FOR YOU. If you’re messing up, we pause your campaign and help you fix the problem.
Will other companies do this for you? Not a chance. They’re happy to let you flounder, as long as you keep giving them money.
Let us know if we can help you out.
P.S. Remember: We offer a free, no-strings, no-obligation lead generation & marketing audit if you’re curious about how effective your online marketing is. We’ll perform an in-depth analysis of your SEO, PPC, and website, and then personally review the results with you. This is a fantastic way to know exactly where you need to step up your online marketing game.
Posted by Rich Harshaw on June 27, 2016.
How often should you update your website? I don’t mean “add a new page” or “change a picture.”
I’m talking about full-blown overhaul of the damn thing.
Believe it or not, the correct answer is about every 18 to 30 months.
Yeah, I know. That answer freaks most contractors out. All they can imagine is a giant time suck and truckloads of cash being spent forked over to a bunch of nerds.
But if you’re not overhauling your website at least every few years, you are most certainly losing out to your more savvy competitors who do.
It’s the internet, man! Stuff changes F-A-S-T. What worked yesterday DOES NOT work as well today.
That’s why, as a condition of doing business with us, we INSIST that our clients update their websites every 2 to 3 years.
And no, it’s not a cash grab for us—in fact, we do it for them for free. And for a very selfish reason.
I’ll tell you WHY in a minute.
But first, let me give you an example:
Colorado Living has been with MYM since they opened in 2013. That year, we built them this spiffy looking site for about $7,000:
The site was an instant hit. Matt Colligan, the owner, dug it. And most importantly, it worked. He started getting LEADS from his website.
But a 2013 website isn’t going to cut it in 2016. Sorry, it’s just not.
Matt knew it, too. So late last year, he and MYM started working on a redesign and update.
The new design has a much more “2016” vibe—larger photos, more prestigious, more awesome. See what you think:
Colorado Living’s redesigned homepage for 2016 (above the fold).
Colorado Living’s redesigned homepage for 2016 (below the fold).
We didn’t reinvent the wheel. And we didn’t have to. We kept the elements that worked and juiced up the aspects that needed juicing.
Here were the main changes…
- More visual appeal that’s easier to navigate
- Prominent “Get A Price” box
- An online chat box
- Reworked copy that focuses on client’s new services (bathrooms)
- Site is now mobile-responsive (If yours isn’t in 2016, just go jump off a cliff.)
Here’s what Matt said about the new site, in his own words:
“We’re converting six to eight times as much since the new site went live earlier this year.”
Quick math: that works out to an extra $1 million in sales per year for the company.
All from a simple redesign.
Do you see how important keeping your website current is?
And oh yeah, we did it for him for FREE.
Why? Because at MYM, we PARTER with our clients. Our long-term success is inextricably tied to Matt’s.
He pays us big dollars to manage his PPC campaign for him… and to do some SEO work. If his website is 3 or 4 years old, web leads and conversions will suffer. It’s in our best interest to scratch our partner’s back.
Bill for the update: $0.00.
Is your website up to today’s lofty standards? We’ll perform a free lead-generation audit of your site and evaluate it for power, conversion, and visibility.
Be warned: We’re brutally honest. If your website stinks, we’ll tell you. Then we’ll show you how to fix it.
Our price for new “first time” websites has gone up to $10,000, payable over a year. But after that, updates are on us. Forever—as long as we continue to partner with you on your lead generation.
The only question is: do you want to add another million in sales this year?
P.S. Until 6/31/16, we’re also offering a free online reputation audit for our email subscribers. It’s a no-strings, no-cost, no-obligation way to find out how much money your online reviews are leaving on the table… and how to fix the problem. All you have to do is shoot us an email with the subject line “Online Reputation Audit” to get started.