In this week’s episode we talk about the biggest asset in business, time. In the early days we wasted A LOT of time, because we didn’t know better. We thought you had to sit down with someone for an hour to talk about your business and then listen to theirs so you can build a relationship with them. Although that is true, the fallacy is that it wasn’t the only way.
We’re talking about:
- The three things you should stop doing so you can save time and grow your business
- How we wasted FIVE HOURS with one person and how you can avoid it too
- The exact step-by-step process we put in place to never get on a phone call or meeting with someone who isn’t qualified.
If you’re a local business owner who wants to generate more qualified appointments online we created a free training to show you our proven three step process. Watch the training
Connect with us
Aaron [00:00:00] Hey, guys. On this episode, we're going to talk about the early days in our company where we had people fill out Google forms in the manual process, that we put it to people through networking, wasting five hours of our precious time sitting down with people. We talk about all the processes and procedures that we didn't have in place and the exact proven system that we have in place now so that we can attract, qualify and convert more leads. This is going to help you figure out exactly how to only sit down with people who are qualified. So you do not waste any more time. Can't wait for you. Listen.
Narrator [00:00:34] This is the marketing natives, providing actionable ways to grow improve and succeed in your business.
Narrator [00:00:42] And now your host Christian and Aaron.
Aaron [00:00:47] I honestly think this is like one of my biggest pet peeves now is wasting the time.
Aaron [00:00:53] I think early on we were okay with, you know, not wasting time, but like getting experience. Maybe that's what it was. We're getting experienced by the excuse. Yeah, I don't think anyone should do that. No, they they shouldn't. And you can still learn from people who are qualified because you'll you'll know how to answer the questions or combat them. That, yeah. Is very fresh. You just don't know what you don't know which. Hopefully if you're watching this, you are a local business owner and you are trying to only spend time with qualified leads because we went through that where we sat down with a lot of unqualified people, whether it was in person, whether it was a phone call and actually the worst one to ever tell a quick story of.
Aaron [00:01:42] I was meeting with a lady in at Bigbee Coffee. RHP went out of business. But as media and Bigbee Coffee was like one of the first times I had a one on one. So I'm like, I didn't know how to end it. And this person just kept talking out of you remember or not. But it was five hours. It was the absolute biggest waste of time ever. Like I don't even remember we talked about she was not qualified. It was supposed to be like an hour one on one, just going to get to know each other. She's very well known in the area.
Aaron [00:02:12] But we sat there for five hours and I, like, kept trying to leave and like, my legs started to hurt because, you know, if you sit for too long, like, well, my get up and there's all of these cues and I just was so early on, I didn't want to make her upset. So I was like, okay, I'll sit there. So, like, if this is you, you are like wasting so much time in your business talking to unqualified leads. This is gonna be a great podcast for you, but I just don't want anybody to ever do that one. I mean, your hips are gonna hurt, but it's just I don't know. It was hours. It was five hours. Wow.
Christian/Aaron [00:02:46] I mean, I remember this about. I remember. Oh, it's this is probably the first year I started. Yeah. Within the first I would say six to nine months of the business.
Aaron [00:02:53] It was very early on and it was me and like I don't know, like I shouldn't have had that one on one. I should have had the one on one. Yes. Because we believe you should definitely build relationships and business that way. But you shouldn't not five hours. No, it's like you're not talking about business at that point. It's not anything mutually beneficial. And that person wasn't qualified. That's thing is, I couldn't necessarily help her at the time and she couldn't help me. Doesn't mean they're going to be something in the future. But we didn't need five hours to figure that out. Right. We also said yes to I guess to kind of get the lay of the land here, maybe some things that you guys have done before and things that we did and then who are we fix it. But we also used to take phone calls from everybody. I mean, used to sit down and talk with people about websites. And it's like, oh, what's your budget? And they're like, five hundred dollars. Nothing gets people both I've and other websites. But it just wasn't our model. It was just such a it was very frustrating. I mean, we did that for probably two years, just constantly sitting down with people because it we didn't have a good message, I guess, or we were in the new guys are like, oh, those are the people to help people with marketing and website design and so people to send us those people our way. And we didn't have any checks and balances in place.
Christian [00:04:15] Right. I think are our notion was that, yeah, we needed to sort of get her feet with me, with everyone. And obviously we were hungry to do something right. Yeah, we need money. Yeah, we needed people coming in and leads. So I think that's how we just the mentality that we had was like anyone and everyone is are our deal client. Right. We didn't really have anything in place that said, you know, they have to have the certain criteria in order to become a client.
Christian [00:04:48] It was just anyone who is a local business level business. The SAT with us and talk to us like, all right, Raymond, like we'll do business with you. And we always even if it wasn't the right fit and we knew was in our effort, we would still find a way to say, you know it.
Christian/Aaron [00:05:03] Yeah, I'm sure it's a frustration for you guys, too, is like, you know, this is not gonna be good, but you want the business. So you'll say yes. And you're like, this is gonna be a headache. It's like a ten thousand dollar project and I'm willing to do it for three. And it's gonna cause more stress. But they are gonna pay me three like. So you end up paying. Yes. Or saying yes to something. And it's I don't know, hopefully this is catching you at the right time so you don't have to do that. But that's just some of the frustrations for me. And like and also we did it in networking to like we would always add value to people which people loved. And our our strategy for networking is kind of different. You guys should check out our. And like, why should stop doing 30 second elevator pitches? But as a different video. But my point is, like in those meetings, we would used to give value and when we gave value, we got a lot more people to talk to us afterwards. But because we weren't specific about who we were serving and who that that device would be best for, there was five or six people who came up to you and you may not have been able to talk to. I know we wouldn't have been able to talk to everybody. Some people I didn't have enough time. And it was like the perfect client. And then you end up talking to the same person that you saw last week who isn't going to do business with you. But like, oh, I just had a question. I know a phrase that I hate is can I pick your brain? And I'm like, No. One. That's such a weird phrase anyway. Right. Can I pick your brain? No, no, no, I mean. OK. Sammy is like, let me take like take a piece of your brain, like I'm just saying.
Christian/Aaron [00:06:40] Yeah. On your knowledge. Yeah. Or your opinion on some. So that's another word that they could use instead to pick your brands. Like can I steal your knowledge? So when you say like that, it's like, can I steal your time.
Aaron [00:06:50] Right. So I didn't really care for that. But anyway, I didn't. I cared for them, but I didn't. I was like, oh, this is great. So many people are interested, but really, though, the wrong people.
Christian [00:07:01] Yeah. Or like, I feel like also like you're saying, because of the messaging and because we didn't have the correct sort of like audience and place writer of who we're talking to and who is this ideal client also fell under like, you know, I don't give him like a tip or something on a Web site. And then getting people on like, oh, do you also do an app or like phone apps and like, oh, did you not hear what I said? Like, it just makes me. Now, looking back. Yeah. We weren't very clear on the messaging and who were wanting to target because, yeah, we've got a lot of people coming in and it was just random stuff. Most of the time. Right. Or things that we didn't really talk about. But it was I guess, related in their minds. You're young and, you know, computers. Yeah.
Aaron [00:07:50] Like people asking us about I.T. and it's so, you know, like that just sounds like a headache to me. We are not putting together your VPN or fixing your email like those. Just sound like nightmares to me. Yeah. Way again, a waste. It all kind of goes back to the wasting no time. So it was cool for us to have all of these leads coming in. But if you filtered it through, we wasted our time on the 70 percent who weren't qualified and probably didn't give as much love or much attention to the 30 percent who were qualified when we could have served less people and did a better job and wasted less time and did and served them better. Yeah, exactly. I don't know. So I think it was probably about a year ago. I mean, we started to make the shift, the switch. We I think our transition was like, OK, cool, we're gonna get these people to file this form because we're gonna get them to answer questions about their projects so we don't waste time. In the very beginning. We'll we'll cinnamon email. They fill out a form and then we talk to them. So we made it a little bit better. And then we're doing we we tweaked that and we thought that was the thing was like, oh, we're just not asking the right questions. We're let's get more clarification to make you go faster. And so we changed that and then changed it again. And I think we were on multiple iterations of like Google forms to have people submit, which was still manual, like we are still. All right. I'm asking you this email. You fill out this form. Let me know when you filled it out. Or hopefully if Google notifications worked, get a notification review. It then scheduled a meeting with somebody. And it's like, all right, there's a book out. There's gonna be a better way.
Christian/Aaron [00:09:23] You and the schedule and the meeting was very manual. Like you have cowardly or anything like that. It was a lot of back and forth on line. Oh, I have this open.
Aaron [00:09:32] Nope, that didn't work. What about this? And then a week goes by and then like we'll really meeting about again, like I forgot. So that was like part of it. And then finally I would say it's been about a year now. A little bit over a year. We bought a program. They kind of helped us see the blind spot in the business. And that was like our systems and processes and well, I think even stepped back further than that. I was more than like maybe a year and a half ago. We're like, we've got to get our processes in place better because we bought, I think very early on in the company, we had the vision of like, we want to have everything systematize. So we did that. But then we didn't have a CRM or project management tool, so we had them and we kinda knew was going on for our process. And then we hired somebody to do it digitally and that kind of went like fifty, seventy five percent of the way. And then like three or four months later we're like, okay, we still have a blind spot here.
Aaron/Christian [00:10:24] There's nothing that we finally bought a program that's like, oh no, this is the way you should be handling like your leads and qualifying people on and sitting down with them, which is a tangent, I think from all that experience, maybe business the way that we work. But I think we needed the sort of you know, we watch a video, we make a change, we watch video and make a change, because before that, we try, like you said, just outsourcing it almost completely. Mm hmm. And it was okay, right? It gave us, like, the these are the steps and everything. But obviously that was from what we had thought about. Right. There was no others input from anyone else. So I think what really helped us. Yeah. That we had the knowledge of like, hey, these are our ideas on the steps. But then we grab this system and you put it in place and then you see like, oh, my steps are actually maybe a little bit cricket here. And I need to add this step right here. And that's where you actually fill in the holes and those blindspots like you're talking about. So I don't know if it works for everyone like that.
Aaron [00:11:34] I would say for any is like a service base, like those watching, like a service based business whose schedules appointments with people like for us, we want them to submit a form and then have a meeting with us. So if you're in that, it doesn't work for like a product. Like, if you're so on a t shirt, it doesn't work. Or like if you want people to go to, you're like retail location, that's probably don't work. But if you're serve it like a service based company, I think that process is pretty much the same, like, you know, getting those people into it that way, I guess.
Christian [00:12:03] Right. So. Yes, I would say definitely having that system. And then you kind of fill in the gaps of like, OK, this is what we're doing and this is where these blind spots could be. And obviously, like, you know, this course gives you also some examples on tools and things that you can use. Right. To make it better.
Aaron [00:12:24] Right. Big lifesaver for us. We'd like active campaign, which we were looking at. Was it sharp spring before? Yeah, I think sharp spring was like a look at it, SMI. And we just needed a nice, like SUV, you know, like it was it just it just offered so much that it was just kind of overwhelming. I think it was like kind of unheard of, I guess.
Christian/Aaron [00:12:49] Yeah. And that's so kind of is. Yeah. It's like with any of the bigger like HubSpot and Salesforce. If you're a smaller business or starting out, this is very daunting. And I think you mentioned that earlier. It's like, you know, we starting out you have some sort of knowledge on this process, but because you're not big enough, you might not need, like a sort of CRM or like, you know, need all these tools right away because you're just not big enough. So you don't you know, you don't feel like you need those tools. Right. And they're part of the process. So I don't know, maybe every business goes through that transitional process of I'm doing everything very organically and by hand. And would you get to this point of, OK. There's more that I can handle. I think that the the thing is, knowing when that transition is because I don't mean there's anything bad.
Christian/Aaron [00:13:40] If you're starting out just I think it's like to get to 200 like two hundred thousand dollars a year. You could be completely fine without a CRM, without like I mean, our first year in business, we didn't do 200000, but we did a significant amount of money and we didn't have a CRM. We had like a whiteboard. Yeah. So I think you could get to two hundred thousand. But like to go to that next level, you've got to have something because then you got to start hiring a team, even if they're just contractors. You got to start having people help you because it's gonna be very hard to like scale. So maybe it's just kinda like a dollar amount. Once you get there, you're like, okay, I've made enough money, but I either got to work more or I got to put a process or like system in place to make it work.
Christian [00:14:21] I would say there's like even if you're small, starting out, still write everything down. And from the get go. Literally just put one, two, three, four, five. This is my process and just sentences, whatever it doesn't to be fancy or anything, but it's gonna help you in the long run and it's gonna help you with that transitional period hits where you're like, oh crap, I need to put some systems in place and proper legit process, not something that's usually written down. I need to get the right tools to handle all this stuff.
Aaron [00:14:52] Right. Well, and I think something that wasn't around for us from the very beginning, if we would have done it, is just like, oh, what are we using? We could have used something like Loom or given a lot of tool shout outs here. But it's free and just like screen record and like that could be your process. Like, this is how I run an N. Well, let me talk and then record the screen and then here's a link like it's just so easy. So the loom would've been nice too. But I think that the point of getting back to this like, ah, process and like what we went through and like how to never waste your time again, which is what we do not want to do, especially now like this afternoon. I think I was in Christian early, like I've had like seven meetings. Most of those meetings were with clients or with potential clients. And the good thing is that they were all qualified people or already existing clients. So I didn't waste any time. I didn't have any time to waste today. But what we put into place was. Like, even if we get a referral or anything like that, we have them go to a link and have them scheduled time on our calendar. Thank you gallantly. And then it takes them to another page that has them fill out. Like me, we have like ten or twelve questions on there. On average, between a Web site or marketing, they're both about 10 to 12 questions that qualifies them. And then they have to fill that out. And then it takes them to like a thank you page tone. I'm like, all right, this is what you need to prepare for. This is, you know, when we're gonna have our meeting. This is everything. So kind of like recaps it. So it's like if they don't want to take the initiative to at least go schedule it, if they don't take the initiative, fill out the form, and then they don't take the initiative to watch the video. You at least know that. Okay, great. They're not qualified, but then they fill it out and say, great, we've got a qualified person and it's awesome. I for my e-mail and it's like on a new person for the lead accelerator program. That's awesome. But what's even better is when you thought those forms. I think something we were missing was like other qualifications, like, OK, do they, you know, have a team or are they growing or are they ready to invest in their business? Because one of our questions are like, are you ready to financial invest in your business? So they say, no, we should probably email them, not get on the phone. And then it's like monthly revenue, which we know what our average client monthly revenue should be. And it's like if they don't hit those two boxes, we don't sit down with them. It doesn't mean we don't, like, take care of them or send them an email or let them know that, hey, this isn't a good fit. And here's some other resources. It just means that we shouldn't have a forty five minute call. Don't waste any more time like that.
Christian [00:17:18] I mean, these are two very important things, like one as the qualifiers. Right. So it's not just having questions about the project or specifics and it's, you know, having questions to your ideal client will be like. Right. So like I said, if it's if it's someone who's willing to spend the money to make the money. And maybe that's the question that you need to ask. Right. And just put these questions in in your questionnaire, your form intake form, that basically will spell out your ideal client. Right. And I think beyond that, the only qualifiers you also mentioned the sort of checkpoints. All right. So I think having like you said, you know, you have the form or maybe have the scheduling right first. So they're like, OK, heightened schedules. So now I'm sort of obligated to this niccum that. Right. To actually fill out the form. And it's I think those checkpoints is more of a mental mental game where you only get to her. It's like a little hurdle you got to, you know, get over. And and that's also like, yeah, if if they're going over these hurdles and they're doing their information correctly, it might be cumbersome for them.
Christian [00:18:29] But for us, it's like we're gonna get someone who's truly qualified. Yeah. At the end of, you know, the little process. Right. To get that lead. So, yeah, I think those two things are highly, highly important. That's the checkpoint. And then there's qualifying questions.
Aaron [00:18:45] Yeah. And there's always gonna be things that come up where, like, they need to schedule or reschedule or anything like that. So we have things in place for that, for when those happen. But it's helped us to stop wasting time on unqualified leads, which is the whole point for this podcast, which is how you can stop doing that.
Aaron [00:19:05] So, like, if we could save, you know, five hours a week, it's 20 hours a month, like think how much more you could grow your business if you're not wasting time talking to those people. And it means and we had a we had a call with one of our clients today. And, you know, his lead count was great, but some of them weren't qualified. So it's like we needed to put in more roadblocks so that he didn't sit down once in wait twenty five minutes on a call. It's like this isn't the right person. We'll great. We want to refer you to the right person. He wants to help them, but he knows that, hey, my lead count may drop by half, but at least I'm not wasting time. And I think that's the biggest thing here is very good for you guys, too, is like sometimes it's OK to have lower numbers and it's not just the lowest cost per lead. And the amount of people you talk to sometimes is about just having quality instead of quantity. So I think that's the the biggest thing here is, you know, if you're figuring out something online to make people make sure that people are qualified and have them go through a couple of those hurdles, because when they do that, they each time that they do it, they're saying, OK, great, I'm committed to not wasting your time, which is your biggest asset at this point.
Christian [00:20:16] Yeah. And I mean, there's also know element, an element of always improving all these processes. And even if you think that you have the right questions and even if you've tested them, maybe run them a couple of times, maybe you find out that after 20 people who have submitted, there's is one question that people respond with.
Christian [00:20:34] I don't know more N.A or. Yeah, this is a very short and vague answer. Right. So just be paying attention to the type of answers that are given you. Right, based on based on your questions, you might just maybe tweak the way they're asking the question. Or splitting that question into two different things to get that information. But I think the most important thing about those questions and improving those questions. It's for, you know, your ideal client or customer to sit down and fill them out how you want them to be filled out. Right.
Aaron [00:21:06] Give you the answers that you want.
Christian [00:21:10] And then some would like, you know, something like the calendar, for example, like I talking about this little improvements that I think we've done. It's, you know, setting up your calendar where it connects automatically with your current calendar, making sure that maybe you're leaving time for lunch breaks in there, making sure that you're leaving lead time. Right. So then they can't schedule the same day. Yeah. Buffer's and lead times. Because we had that in the beginning where, you know, there were maybe scheduling same day, you know, or like within eight hours. And we thought we had a fake fix because we set out eight hours. But then let's get to the day before eight a.m. and it was like, oh gosh, that is eight hours, but that's doesn't work. So obviously, like things like that tweeks little things like that, something that you always ought to be improving without all these all these processes. But even beyond that, like you were saying, like, you know, adding additional roadblocks. Right. So just adding something completely new to the process to make it just a little bit harder so that they're actually super qualified at that point.
Aaron [00:22:16] And I think this helps you like this may be something we talk about for another podcast, but there's also helps you, too, now that you would have a system and process in place. It allows you to scale even more because you're able to tell people this is the exact way to do it. And then you don't have to be the one that has those conversations somebody else could start selling for you. And it's very easy because they're just reading off of a script or they're reading off of what you've done before. And there's only sitting now a qualified people. So now it's a matter of like, oh, great, you you gave them the best person to set them up for success and they're going to close deals and that saves up even more of your time. So are we saying that this is going to completely eliminate all of your wasted time? No, but can we cut it by 90 percent? Yes. And there is a process for doing that. So we actually did a free training on this. So it's how to attract, qualify and convert more leads in your business. It's a free 38 minute training. If you're watching, are you listening on the podcast or watching on YouTube? It'll be in the show. Notes or the description. Make sure that you go down there and click the link ticket, check out the training. It's our three part proven system so that you only sit down with qualified leads and you stop wasting time on that. So let us know how you like that.
Christian/Aaron [00:23:32] I enjoy it as I've enjoyed this episode. Make sure to check that link below the area. What's telling you about? But more importantly, if you're watching on YouTube, make sure that you subscribe and hit that like button. I would say I think 99 percent of our watchers having subscribe to our channel, make our day views, describe in check out all of our other videos. We have tons and tons of content that we put out. So check that out. If you listen on our podcast, make sure that you also subscribe, because we're all always putting out some great, great quality content and some political interviews. We actually interview some business owners and get into their business, how they run their businesses. So that's always very interesting to look at.
Narrator [00:24:15] So, yeah, subscribe the marketing native's podcast is a production of BitBranding.