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Lowering Customer Acquisition Cost

FROM BULLETPROOF SELLING:

The first place to lower the cost of prospect acquisition is in the work you do before you attempt to acquire the prospect, we ‘ll start with an excerpt from Chapter 8:

Prioritizing Prospects System
Trigger: When it’s time to load existing prospects into your Bulletproof pipeline and whenever sourcing new prospects for outreach.
Bulletproof Impact: Ensuring only the highest-quality leads appear in your salespeople’s pipelines drastically improves closing ratios as priority is given to accounts with a history or high likelihood of purchasing your product or service.
After tracking the results of more than 8,000 sales calls in my own company, we’ve discovered that we can largely determine the future success of a sale by the research we conduct on our prospects before making the first contact.
To clarify: It’s possible to know how likely a prospect is to buy what we’re selling before we ever have a conversation with them and, by using the systems described in this book, unseat an incumbent provider.
The first thing we must do is to get clear on who our product or service isn’t a right fit for. That way we can eliminate a fair swath of the billions of people on the planet and further cull through those who remain to define our ideal sets of clients. Whenever we look at the prospect list of our clients’ salespeople, it’s not hard to see that many of those prospects will never buy from them. How do we know if a prospect is viable and worth the omni-channel pursuit that converts prospects?
Across thousands of prospects and hundreds of industries, the first filter we’ve found that will determine someone’s likelihood of becoming a customer is: Have they bought our product or service, or something like it, in the past?
If a prospect has a history of purchasing what your salespeople offer, there’s an astronomically higher probability they’ll purchase something like it again, should the need arise. This especially applies to high-cost, intangible services like coaching, consulting, and training. Trying to convince someone who’s never purchased what you offer isn’t impossible, but it’s a much harder hill to climb.
What if you’re going to market with an innovative solution that no one’s purchased yet, because it simply hasn’t been available? Ask: Who’s purchased something like this? Knowing that ahead of time will allow your salespeople to more easily build a bridge between your product and something prospects are familiar with.
Once you have an industry or group of prospects who meet the criteria of having purchased something like what you’re offering in the past, the next determinant in a high-quality prospect list is the prospect’s annual revenue, especially if it will limit their ability to purchase your product or service. That can often be determined by the size of the company and/or where it is located.
Next, consider the prospect’s geography if you’re limited to selling in certain regions, states, nations, hemispheres, etc. Or perhaps you only sell to people in a certain set of industries. That means when standing up Bulletproof systems, all other industries can be left out of your pipelines.
Once there is a list of high-quality potentials that meet the minimum criteria above, the next step is prioritizing them for outreach. Avoid dumping everyone into a pipeline’s campaign systems at once. While everyone on the initial list could purchase what you’re selling if budget and need coincided at the moment you get in touch with them, there will be a tier of high-value prospects who:
  • Have a history of purchasing what you’re selling
  • Are likely connected formally or informally to someone who has purchased from you in the past
  • Have a regular/recurring need for what you sell
  • Know they need your product or service, although they may not know your company has the ability to provide it
  • Have identifiable decision makers or people with fiduciary power, usually identified by job title
  • Are in the regions, states, nations, or hemispheres you can sell or deliver to
  • Have contact information for outreach that you can obtain
This initial list allows salespeople to qualify who they should be reaching out to first. Prospects that have all these attributes are what we consider ‘qualified’ prospects, although some research is always required to fill in a solid contact profile. If a prospect has most of the above attributes but is missing one, they fall to the next tier in priority. If two pieces of data are missing, they fall to the third tier, etc. This will allow sales leaders sourcing leads for their salespeople to accomplish a few important things:
  1. Equitably parse leads to your salespeople if you, a lead-generating service, or your marketing team are providing leads.
  2. Inspire your salespeople to put more effort into outreach as they know they are pursuing highly qualified leads.
  3. Greatly increase closing ratios and pipeline conversion.
  4. Coach salespeople through consistent sales systems as their leads will all be capable of buying, even if they aren’t willing to buy from you or your company right now.
Of course, providing or assisting salespeople in generating qualified leads is not meant to dissuade them from generating their own prospects. Rather, it is designed to give them model prospects to pursue and parameters to use when discovering their own high-quality leads.
Systemizing Success with Prioritizing Prospects
What information should you ensure is researched and input into your CRM for each prospect before salespeople make initial contact with a campaign system?
  • Name and direct contact information of the executive director or CEO of the organization. The information of a company’s leader becomes helpful if your team needs to ‘unstick’ an account that’s become unresponsive.
  • Name and direct contact information of the likely decision maker in the organization if they’re different from the CEO.
  • Mailing address for direct mail and handwritten cards.
  • Websites for the organization, staff contact info, and dates of any events that are tied to your product or service’s use.
  • Past vendors or suppliers of our product or service to that organization so we can differentiate ourselves with our unique value and have a strong call premise.
“But what about things like budget, decision-making process, or buying windows?” you may be asking. “Don’t you want to know those things as well?”
Absolutely, but unless an organization is required to publish that information on a public-facing website, it’s almost impossible to find without speaking to a human within the prospect’s company. Critical data points such as budget, decision-making process, or buying windows form the backbone of the discovery questions we’ll build scripts around in an upcoming chapter.
After gathering initial information on prospects, we next need to define what pieces of information, if we had them, would drastically increase our salespeople’s ability to sell. Those questions will seed our future calling scripts and communication templates. It shouldn’t be a surprise that there’s a system for that, too.

The second place we’ll address the cost of customer acquisition is in convincing them to meet with us/learn more about our product or service. Paradoxically, it’s best if we don’t do any of the convincing. Instead, let other people like our prospects do that job for us. From Chapter 13:

Enlisting Clients as Partners System
Trigger: Occurs as soon as a client has received your product or service and is pleased with its results.
Bulletproof Impact: Every past client enlisted as an advocate to tell other decision makers why they should take time to meet with and buy from you. Captured in text and video, client testimonials provide reasons to reach out to prospects with value-added information and represent an opportunity to grow their own networks.
How do we leverage reviews of our product or service in a way that puts every past client on call as a selling partner?
Testimonials.
But not the kind you’re probably familiar with.
Let’s look at the ways most companies use testimonials, if they have them at all. Most of the time, they are in written form, composed by random people within our clients’ organizations, and rarely leave our company’s website, meaning that unless a prospect stumbles upon them, there’s little chance they’ll be seen by anyone. Ever. On top of that, few testimonials feature the picture or even company name of the people who wrote them, which often raises doubts as to their authenticity.
But let’s say that your company is doing an exceptional job with your testimonials and bothers to include a headshot and the company name of the person who left you the review. There are still gaps in leveraging one of the most powerful tools in your Bulletproof sales kit. First, the question anyone has when perusing a testimonial about your product or service is, “Does the person in the testimonial have my responsibilities, concerns and duties?” Few testimonials, even those that have headshots and company names, bother to address this. The second way most companies drop the ball with their testimonials is making them completely passive. Unless someone stumbles upon them while visiting your website, they’re not likely to be seen outside your IT or marketing team.
With the right kind of testimonial, in the right format, and used in the right way, we have the potential of recruiting every decision maker we’ve ever done business with as an on-call representative for our own sales and marketing team.
To accomplish it, we’ll need to change three things about the way most companies gather and leverage testimonials: format, source, and location.
Testimonial Format:
Video content is the primary source decision makers – or anyone these days, for that matter – consume when it comes to content. There’s a reason YouTube is the second most popular search engine on the planet. To turn every decision maker we serve into a personal advocate for our business, each salesperson on your team should be trained and tasked with creating testimonials using video footage and post-delivery interviews with their buyers as part of their post-sale system – a simple process we’ll cover below.
Testimonial Source:
Some companies believe in treating their products like Amazon.com listings, thinking the more ‘5 star’ reviews they have, the better. Unfortunately, most businesses’ testimonials are a waste of time. Why? Not everyone in a prospect’s company is responsible for making the decision to purchase our product or service. Decision makers want to hear from their peers so they can mitigate risk. While the opinion of a blue-collar employee from the warehouse or supply chain might be better than no testimonial at all, it takes a lot of them to sway an executive’s decision to take a risk. Alternatively, it often only takes one other executive in their industry singing your company’s praises to sway a buying decision.
Testimonial Location:
Before we dive into how to systemize the use of these high-level testimonials, we need to cover perhaps the most overlooked aspect of testimonials, especially video testimonials: their location, specifically where a prospect views them.
While there are many paid video-hosting platforms that allow for gathering metrics, controlling follow-up videos, and presenting calls-to-action, most salespeople and organizations standing up their own testimonial video strategy will be starting with the free platform for hosting their videos: YouTube.
YouTube is great for a lot of things, especially videos of cats doing silly things. But it’s not the best resource for salespeople to send prospects to when leveraging testimonial videos within outreach campaigns. Testimonial videos have to be hosted somewhere, and they can definitely be hosted on YouTube. However, they don’t have to be viewed on YouTube. The danger in sending a prospect to your company’s YouTube channel or dropping a YouTube link in an email is that not only will prospects see your video, they’ll also see thumbnails of every other video YouTube wants them to see while your video is running. That’s way too many distractions for even the most focused prospect. Instead, we have the ability to control what a prospect sees around your testimonial videos, including other products and services you offer that might interest them, the ability to schedule time to meet with your salespeople, and of course, the option to see other testimonial videos from satisfied clients with their job titles. The best part? Where a prospect views your testimonials is a resource your company likely already has in place – your own website.
Your company’s website is the best piece of standalone marketing you have for whatever you sell, and if you could get more qualified prospects to visit it, the more awards your marketing team would win. There’s a billion-dollar industry called Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that exists to accomplish that very thing. While SEO is great, all it can do is help get an interested visitor onto your company’s ‘real estate,’ and even the best SEO won’t help with websites that don’t convert prospects to conversations that generate sales. As part of your Bulletproof system, your sales teams can be the ones driving qualified traffic to your company’s website as part of their sales campaigns.
Systemizing Success with the Enlisting Clients as Partners System
Your IT and marketing department can easily create parentless pages, which are pages that cannot be found within your website’s menu drop-down choices, but instead require a unique URL to access. Here, you can create a page specifically for each testimonial video, with links below it to schedule time with one of your salespeople, fill out an inquiry form, or whatever next steps your sales require. Testimonial videos can then be linked from where they’re hosted on YouTube and appear on your website’s parentless pages. We recommend not hosting more than one testimonial video per parentless page, as you’ll want your salespeople to be able to title them something like: ‘A message from Jim Smith, VP of Operations at the Widget Manufacturing Corporation.’ You can definitely load your collective testimonials onto a single page that is accessible from your website’s main menu as a mega-credibility video roll.
Regardless of how many testimonials you post onto any website page, make sure it’s your company’s website you’re sending prospects to for testimonials. When a prospect finishes viewing a message from someone like them, you want them exploring all the ways your company helps companies like theirs, not exploring what silly cat tricks have been released that week on YouTube.

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