B2B Marketing and Lead Generation in 2019 - The Client Journey
[Complete Guide]: 10 Steps to Find, Attract, Close, and Retain High-Ticket Clients
On command. At Scale. Using A Simple “Client Journey” System.
Every year, it gets more and more difficult to stand out in a saturated market, to win the trust of your high ticket B2B prospects, and even more so to close them and convert them to brand advocates who send referrals your way. It’s an issue of trust in an ever distrustful world.
And yet, there are some businesses who’ve managed to get to the heart of their ideal prospects and frequently charge $2,000, $5,000, $10,000, $20,000 or even $50,000 over the phone.
What’s their secret?
It’s understanding a simple “Client Journey” System and knowing how to reach and interact with your ideal prospect at every stage.
This approach works best for three kinds of businesses:
1. B2B Marketers
3. Professional service providers
Finally, it works especially well for business owners who offer “high-ticket” services. Each client should be worth at least $2,000+ to you.
If that’s you, keep reading to discover 10 steps you can implement today to find, attract, close, and retain your ideal clients as you take your prospects through their own Client Journey.
This is a complete guide that goes in-depth for each step. Here is a quick summary of what you’ll learn at a glance.
Follow these steps in this exact order:
1.Find leads on relevant, “High Return” B2B platforms. Only focus on channels where businesses look to work with other businesses.
2. Pre-sell your ideal clients by answering one of their most burning questions. In detail. Do this with long form content that solves that one specific problem. (Hint: this should be related to your paid service 😉)
10. Turn buyers into raving fans through effective service delivery, results and reporting. This will increase your customer lifetime value.
Do you want to step-by-step instructions to implement this funnel? Cool. Stay with me as we deconstruct each step of your own journey engine in detail below.
But first, What Is The Client Journey Engine?
The Journey Engine is the system to help your client progress from first meeting or hearing about you as a cold prospect to becoming a hot lead, then a client, and finally, a lifelong advocate of you and your business.
It is a Holistic system made up of 6 mandatory stages:
See - Business owners first become aware of you
Explore - Relationship building stage where you educate, inform, nurture and prove expertise in your industry
Trust - Invite them into your tribe with real, actionable value and build your list of qualified prospects (generate leads)
Try - Provide deeper value and invite them to take more action (like book an appointment with you/growth session/strategy session)
Buy - Convert the prospect to a client - audit (lower commitment)
Commit - Exceed client expectations to gain loyalty and referrals
You don’t have to have them all optimized at first.
It’s possible to start small and then build up each stage of your engine over time.
At that point, you will have a machine that will attract, nurture and close prospects on command.
And your system will go beyond most “Sales Funnels” not only because you’ll consider what content your prospects need at each and every stage of the journey, but also because you’ll track every piece of the Engine with Data.
Click here to download a template you can use for planning and tracking your own model:
*Note - This is a model I adapted from Avinash Kaushik’s content marketing framework. For even more awesome context please check it out, I guarantee you won’t regret it.
The key to this model and any data-driven marketing initiative is to set realistic but ambitious targets for each stage of your buyer journey.
This way you know when to celebrate and when to go back to the drawing board. You also know exactly which levers to pull, should you need to tweak things to try and move the needle.
All your content and marketing held fully accountable for their own purpose. A clear line-of-sight to your business goals. BANG.
For example, when it comes to social media, you need to be able to monitor, track, and analyze exactly which posts are working and which aren’t. Otherwise why put money behind the posts that don’t resonate with your audience? Data is the key here.
As you collect and analyze your data, you’ll know exactly what to optimize, in order to grow and scale your business.
Another reason this is better than a sales funnel is that the Journey Engine focuses on Respect.
We don’t believe in the hardcore sales funnels most online businesses use.
This is absolutely essential in high ticket and B2B marketing. Your prospects are likely to be more sophisticated buyers and the decision making process is more involved, often including the need to consult and convince a superior, a committee, or even a board before they decide to work with you.
Hence the need to build trust and show your client some respect throughout the journey; it’s worth it to win their trust and give them the respect they need in order to operate.
However, a lot of B2B marketing today is not respect based.
They use a “spray and pray” approach. Hoping to catch any old sucker that quickly falls for their marketing and sales tactics. In B2B, this will backfire on you, turning prospective clients away.
A better way is to form partnerships: to start wonderful journeys with your clients.
High quality prospects do not respond to bullsh*t tactics like fake scarcity and urgency.
They see through all that stuff.
You need to do things differently.
Let’s get back to the idea that people do business with other people.
The best thing about the Engine?
You set it up once...
Make sure everything works...
Then it runs on autopilot.
But how do you actually set it up? The 10 steps I’ll walk you through today will support each and every stage of the Journey Engine. You’ll be able to use this as a guide to build your own client journey system to find, attract, close and retain high-ticket clients on autopilot.
Ready? Let’s dive into the details of the Journey Engine and within it, the 10 steps you can implement to support your prospects at each stage of the journey.
Journey Stage I: See
Step 1) Find leads on Relevant, “High Return” B2B channels
The first step of the Journey Engine is simple, you need a way to get in front of your prospects and position yourself properly in order to attract them.
At the SEE stage we are just getting the relevant people into our Sphere of Influence.
Getting seen. Not selling.
Here are some of the ways we can do this ..
Company & Personal Branding - Authority Building
Informative / Educational / Value Content in Video Ads
"Warm" (value) emails to cold prospects
If you’re targeting high-ticket B2B prospects, you’ll want to focus your efforts on channels where B2B decision makers and gatekeepers hang out. Focusing your marketing efforts on the r/facepalm subreddit probably isn’t going to get you a new client for your dentistry consultancy.
Need to better identify your ideal clients? Use our Ideal Prospect Avatar Worksheet:
When you do find them...
DON’T sell them. Not yet anyway.
This comes later in the Journey and you’ll need to sell them the right way.
We need to focus on relevant, high-return channels.
The three best options for B2B businesses are Facebook, Linkedin and Cold Email.
But, they work at different speeds.
SLOW: Cold Email
You also need to use different distribution tactics for each. I will break down the exact tactics for each in Section 3 below.
Just remember this, the slower the method the more personalized it is. But, it’s also the less automated.
Finally, as I said in the intro of this article, you should be measuring data - Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) at every stage.
You can get ALL the KPI’s you need to track (for every stage) in a free dashboard. I created it just for you. Click the graphic below to get it.
Journey Stage II: Explore
In this stage, your prospective clients just need to learn more about you. This is your opportunity to pique their interest and begin to win their trust with valuable long-form content and paid social media methods.
Step 2) The Presell: Create A Long-Form Blog Post To Pull High-Ticket Leads Into Your Funnel
First, remember that high-ticket clients want to work with people who have expertise - people who can solve their specific problems. No exceptions.
Second, let's talk about why you are NOT going to do things like 99% of the failing B2B businesses out there.
Most businesses who are exploring this whole “funnel” concept do things like this:
They create Google Ads and Facebook ads and then drive leads to a landing page
This landing page may try to capture their email address (to sell them) or it may try to make them book a call right away.
The business owner gets frustrated because they are paying loads of money for leads. Getting low quality prospects. Getting flakes for their sales calls. Or, worse case scenario, nothing happens at all.
They give up and say online marketing doesn’t work. They go back to their old methods and grow at the same slow rate they were before.
There is a simple reason why that doesn’t work.
You are trying to sell first.
You haven’t proven your expertise yet.
So, how does the prospect know you are even qualified to help them?
How do they even know that they have a need for the service you are offering them?
Two BIG objections need to be overcome before any client gives your their money.
A. Is this person qualified?
B. Can they solve my problem in a cost effective way?
We can overcome both of these objections with a long form blog post.
I am talking 2,000 - 5,000 words. At least.
Lucky for you, business owners in the same niche usually always have the same problems.
Pick one problem. Then create an awesome piece around it that solves the problem. For example, in this guide, the one problem it should help you solve is how to get more high ticket clients in 2019, step by step.
This long form piece will include content upgrades so we can capture the lead as well. (More on this later ..)
This is our first “point of contact” with cold prospects.
After the cold prospect has read your content piece they will become a warm lead who respects you. You’ve proven your expertise. You over delivered. Now they feel you can help them solve the problem you wrote about in your blog post and they’re more open to hearing more from you.
This is what Jay Abraham describes as the “Strategy of Preeminence”. In one sentence, it boils down to this: “I’m not trying to sell you, I want to serve you.” Brilliant.
To sum up, it’s a client centered approach that treats your prospects with respect, winning their trust (because you’ve earned it!) in the process. This is why long form content like this is so valuable.
Again, people do business with people. This has always been the case. It will never change.
Just because we have the internet now, it doesn’t mean you should do anything differently.
So create a long form article or blog post with ONE purpose only: to solve one pressing problem for your ideal prospects in full, step-by-step detail.
*Hint: The problem you are solving in the blog post should be the SAME problem your paid service solves.
*Hint Hint: This guide is an example of that.
Just remember, you need to show them how to solve the problem in as much detail as possible.
But don’t give them everything. That is what your paid service is for. For many B2B businesses, you can feel comfortable educating them on your solution because they probably won’t be able to dedicate the time or resources to implement it like you can.
Step 3) Distribute the blog post using paid and organic traffic strategies
Ok, so you’ve written this content piece.
Now, this is important...
You DO NOT need to wait for SEO to take effect. You can distribute it yourself or you can distribute it with paid traffic using the relevant B2B channels I mentioned above:
Facebook, Linkedin, Cold Email and two bonuses - White-Hat link building and cold email.
3.1) Promo Method 1 - Paid Social (Facebook)
There are a few things you need to do in order to see positive ROI from the client journey engine strategy with paid social. I’m going to show you a few bases you need to cover to get the right type of traffic to your content and start the journey off properly.
Cool. Cover these bases and you will get cheap clicks, which of course, means a better cost per lead and a higher ROI for you. :)
3.1.1) Tag Management -
No matter what type of campaign you are running, you absolutely need to have the Facebook Base Pixel installed, on every page of your site.
It’s impossible to do anything of value with Facebook ads without first setting this up. Period.
If you’re new to Tag Management, Google Tag Manager is your best asset. I have to mention this because it’s just a fundamental thing you need for data-driven marketing of any kind and core to our system at JourneyEngine.
It’s a free tool that allows you to manage and deploy marketing tags (snippets of code) like paid social/SEM pixels, analytics tags and other important website tags, markups and schema without needing a developer. GTM is especially helpful when you have several tags to manage because all of the code is stored in one place.
If you don’t have it, get it set up (properly) ASAP. Here are a few links that will help you:
3.1.2) Targeting (Cold Traffic) -
In order to send the right type of cold traffic through your funnel (the type that will eventually turn into a client) we need to get hyper-relevant.
If you’re just starting out in paid social, you’ll begin with a custom audience that’s based on interests. Here’s how you do that...
I use “audience narrowing” in order to get my interest-based targets just right.
For example, if you’re looking for people interested in data-driven marketing, you might target people who are interested in both Russell Brunson and Avinash Kaushik.
So instead of having to watch my ads sets like a hawk and adjust bids manually, I like to use campaign optimization.
This feature automatically distributes budget to maximize performance. Set your lifetime campaign budget and flip that baby “On”. No more headaches trying to figure that out yourself.
Once you have converted 100+ visitors through content upgrades (more on this below), you’ll want to graduate to a lookalike audience.
This is because narrowed interest audiences are focused, but quickly exhausted. Lookalike audiences will take the most relevant people from those audiences and find more just like them for you.
No matter how well you think you know your audience, Facebook’s machine-learning robots know them better. Trust me when I say that lookalike audiences are the best way to scale a paid media campaign.
3.1.3) Retargeting (Warm Traffic) -
Next, I target previous visitors site who didn’t convert or opt-in through the content upgrades.
With retargeting, when a person visits your website (via your Facebook ads, LinkedIn outreach, etc..), a ”cookie” is placed on their browser. The cookie lets you recognize and follow your prospect so that when they login to Facebook, they see your ad and it reminds them to visit your website, opt-in to what you offered, or even just stay top of mind.
But… DON’T just retarget everyone who has visited your site.
If someone visited your site and bounced a half second later, they’re probably not interested. Let them go.
DO retarget people who took key actions (showing they’re interested), but didn’t convert.
I like to retarget people who scrolled through at least 50% of my article, or watched at least 30 seconds of a video. (You can do this easily via GTM).
And I never send retargeted people to the same landing page, I switch it up. I’ll usually send these (warm) folks to a landing page with my lead magnet (eBook) and give them a chance to convert a different way.
Using the same concept, there's some VERY cool things that can be done can video sequencing (i.e. people who complete a full video get served video ads in order - a piece of content, a testimonial, a case study..) But that’s a topic for another day! I digress, today we’re focusing on written word.
3.1.4) Testing -
Data-driven marketers take a “test-and-best” approach to EVERYTHING. Especially when it comes to paid ad spend. With regards to Facebook Ads, you have 2 options:
A. Split tests are a good option when you have a specific theory (hypothesis) about an element of your creative (headline, body copy, image/video, description, landing page). You’ll be able to find out which variation is best with statistical certainty.
B. Dynamic creative is another option that jumbles those creative elements into multiple combinations, finds the best combo and then serves it.
The setup for each of these options is dead simple. Just follow the instructions at these links:
3.1.5) Your Ad Creative -
Every ad needs a good headline.
After the picture, it is the most important thing to prompt your prospects to take action.
It needs to captivate your readers immediately and make them want to click and read more.
Luckily there is a simple way to create good headlines.
Think about this...
If something has been shared several times, that’s a great indicator the headline or the content is captivating. So, if you know what is being shared, you can use that information to create headlines that your prospects will want to read more about.
To do that, we use Buzzsumo. It’s a free tool that will allow you to see the most shared posts on social media for any term you desire.
For example, let's say you are a content marketing agency. You’ve written a blog post around content marketing trends.
Then I would start by typing “content marketing” into Buzzsumo.
Here’s what came up when I did that ..
In this case, I sorted my posts by Facebook Engagement. (Every platform is different. Here, I want to know what’s been shared the most on Facebook specifically.)
Looking at the top 5 results a few words/terms stand out to me.
How can you use these to create a headline that will stand out and get your prospects interested? Simply work some of those terms into the headline of your blog post to make it more shareable.
Something like “4 ways to transform your content marketing with stories and gamification”.
You will need to get a little bit creative here :)
The Body Of The Ad
Ok so you’ve got a cool headline.
Now what should you include in the body copy?
These are the words that will entice people to go deeper, to actually want to read your blog post. If the headline didn’t get them to click immediately, it hopefully got them to read the rest of the text in your ad.
Which means that the body text in your ad needs to motivate your readers to take the action the ad is telling them to do.
Let’s look at an example ..
Above is an ad from Todd Brown.
I have highlighted two things he does well.
You need to include these two things in your body copy as well.
1. He addresses a deep desire his target market has. “Turning website visitors into new customers like clockwork”. Do the same for your market and tap into your prospect’s deep desire. Then hint that you help them fulfill that desire in your blog post. This is the second step.
2. Tell them the way to learn how to fulfill their deep desire is via your “thing”. Todd’s “thing” is the FREE Workshop he is inviting them to. Your “thing” will be the blog post you have created where your prospects will land after they click your ad. In Todd’s case, he uses the phrase “learn the secret to consistently generate new buyers and sales” to direct people to his free workshop.
Creating strong headlines and body copy will put you LEAGUES ahead of your competition.
They will make your advertising dollars go much further.
Thank me later :)
3.2) Promo Method 2 - Linkedin
Ok, we’ve discussed different ways to use Facebook to distribute your content, now let’s take a look at LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a natural place for B2B businesses to find clients because businesses go their specifically to connect with other businesses.
Not only is it chock full of your ideal prospects, LinkedIn gives you direct access to a more affluent crowd and the decision makers in your target market.
You can expect that some of them will be high rollers in your industry and perfect for your high-ticket offers.
Now, if you want to get their attention and win their trust, here’s what won’t make you stand out from the crowd:
Sending a generic connect request
Asking them to join your group
Trying to get them to book a call right away.
There are LinkedIn “gurus” on the internet that will show you fancy, automated ways to connect spam 100+ people a day using these tactics.
SMH. (Shaking my head)
Do not fall for that. That is the opposite of what we’re trying to do here. High-ticket prospects can smell it a mile off.
The problem is, when you do those things, you’re essentially giving your prospects ZERO reason to take a look at your profile, your message, your content, or your business. Too many businesses take that route.
The good news? That gives you an opportunity to stand out on LinkedIn.
I am going to show you a way to find, reach out and connect with your ideal prospects using a simple messaging funnel.
It’s a series of 3 messages focused on building a relationship with your prospects.
It also has the added benefit of distributing your blog post and getting SUPER targeted leads into your Journey Engine.
Then, if you want to automate and scale it later on, you can.
Obviously, this is a simplified version. Covering all the nuances of LinkedIn could be another article in itself.
For the moment, here’s a hypothetical example.
Let’s say you’re a lawyer. You help nutritionists safeguard their business with legal disclaimers. So you wrote a long form blog post called “10 Things All Nutritionists Need To Include In Their Legal Disclaimers Because Of New EU Laws”. You know the damage some nutritionists face if they don’t follow this advice, so you know that this is a big problem for them, and the problem you’re helping them solve aligns perfectly with your paid services.
Now, your goal here is to connect with nutritionists, distribute that blog post and get leads for your paid lawyer services.
Step 1 is to find your prospects: Nutritionists!
To do this simply type nutritionist into the LinkedIn search box ..
Here’s what popped up when I did it ..
There you have 221,745 potential prospects for your service.
The next step is to connect with them...
Hit that connect button.
You will see this box ..
Always click “Add a note”.
This note will be the first message of our 3 part “messaging funnel”.
3.2.1) Message 1 - The Connect
At this stage we don’t know if this prospect is even a good fit for us.
Don’t make any assumptions that they are. You need to screen them first.
MOST people assume that all prospects are a good fit for them. So their connection requests and messaging oozes with neediness.
Instead we use a message like this ..
*Note - your tone of voice can/should be different, based on your brand and prospect avatar. We’ve gone with a more casual tone in this example. You may choose to air more professional.. etc.
Let’s break this message down.
The first two sentences are in line with what Jon Buchan over at Charm Offensive teaches.
It is slightly humorous. It also addresses the elephant in the room… yet “another connection request”.
This small thing will make you stand out MASSIVELY from everyone else because you put yourself in Fiona’s shoes and are looking at things from her point of view. What are your prospects thinking when they see your message?
After the first two sentences, we follow up with a question.
It’s a qualifying question. To ensure the lead is right for us.
It aims to dig a little deeper into what they do. To see if our long-form blog post can actually help them or if they even have a problem that needs to be solved.
It is also fairly innocuous. It doesn’t seem like there is any agenda behind it (and there isn’t).
It’s worth it to note here that the tone of voice you write this message in will depend on your audience. The key is to think about what kind of person they want to work with. If your business has a younger, more modern approach, maybe the above messaging is sufficient.
However you write your message, you want to be personable. Remember, show respect and build trust before you go for the sales call. Also, you are connecting with a person, so be friendly.
The key is to peak their interest. So you might want to mention that you both know the same people, you’re both in the same industry, or maybe you got something out of a recent article they shared. Something that creates a common connection. For example,
3.2.2) Message 2 - Distribute
After you’ve asked your prospect a question two things can happen.
A. They respond and you get into a discussion.
B. They don’t respond but connect anyway.
If you get into a discussion with them ..
See it through!
Be an actual human being.
Great business relationships come from simple conversations.
If there is a natural opportunity to send them your long form blog post then do it.
Respectfully shoot them over a link with a message like “I could explain why you need to update your legal disclaimers but hey … I actually wrote this super cool article that summarizes everything in detail”.
And BAM … they are now in your world.
If they don’t get into a conversation with you, this is where message two comes in.
We offer them the blog post as a solution to a problem they might have. Like so ..
It utilizes more of the Charm Offensive stuff I talked about before.
If they click the link and actually read the article ..
This person just became a super hot and qualified lead for your paid services :)
3.2.3) Message 3 - Ask
This is usually our last point of contact with the lead.
We usually send it a week or so after message 2.
It’s a super simple follow up:
“Hey did you get a chance to read the blog post?”
At this point, if they haven’t read it OR responded it's better to move on. Focus your energy elsewhere.
They probably weren’t a good fit for you anyway. And you’ve done everything in your power to try and connect/offer value.
3.3) Promo Method 3 - White-Hat Link Building
White hat link building is the best and the only way to drive organic traffic to your content, especially in a difficult niche.
If you want free traffic from Google, every single month, you need to build quality links.
Improved search positions are not the only reason to do link building. Done properly, this tactic will help;
build your business as an authority so that clients are predisposed to trust you
send traffic that converts right from the referring link
There are many ways to get quality, white-hat links: Resource pages, roundups, broken link reclamation. All of them can work.
But there are two we want to highlight, because they are a particularly good return for the B2B case:
3.3.1) Guest Posting -
Guest posting is the crux of our link building strategy for B2B.
We prospect for authoritative sites in our niche that are currently accepting guest posts. You can often do this with a simple Google search for; “sites that accept guest posts in [INSERT YOUR NICHE].
There are tons of high-quality sites that accept guest posts in almost every niche.
Find them. Pitch them a valuable article idea. Link back to your content piece (not your service pages) from that article for added value.
We check SEMRush “Organic Research” report to make sure every site we post on is legit. We look at keywords, traffic, traffic cost. We also like to make sure there’s no history of big dips in traffic, which can be a red flag for penalties:
Here’s a good proxy for scoring opportunities with SEMRush metrics that I got from my favorite SEO in the world - Ryan Stewart at Webris.
Then we use a outreach tracker like the one here to score and prioritize all of the links we find:
If you’re wondering what’s the impact of all this work on B2B lead gen, check out our client’s campaign case study:
2. Community (Blog, Group, Forum) Commenting.
Too many people massively underestimate this tactic.
Done in the right way, dropping links in the comments section of a quality blog content piece or Facebook group can be the most cost-efficient driver of leads for your organic strategy.
If your doing link building for SEO, it’s vital that you first have a naturalized link profile before going for contextual links in guest posts with anchor text (the tactic above). Manual promotions like community posting are a surefire way to optimize your backlink profile.
Here’s the right way to do it ..
Find a high traffic blog post in your niche. Their target audience should be the same as yours.
Read their blog post. I mean really read it. Understand the points and what it is trying to communicate to its audience.
Formulate a unique opinion about the article. What was good about it? Bad about it? Why is it interesting? How was it different to everything else?
Express that unique opinion then add value to it. Write a 100-150 word comment (including a link to your blog post). Above all, this comment should ADD VALUE. As long as you did step three correctly … it will.
Post your comment.
3.4) Promo Method 4 - Cold Email
Cold Email is a proven B2B marketing channel.
It’s the sniper approach.
You are personally reaching out to targeted prospects you have pre-qualified.
The emails are going to be personalized, with the aim to set up a sales call.
Because of this, you can’t go cold emailing direct links to your blog post!
That is sure to be annoying, salesy and spammy.
It will also trigger spam filters.
Instead we need to connect with them first.
Be personal with a couple of well written paragraphs.
Then we can ASK them if they want to read it later on - in a respectful and subtle way.
To get a template on exactly how to do this, hit the link below ..
Step 4) Convert Readers Into Email Subscribers Using Content Upgrades
Step 4 still falls under “Stage 2: Explore” of the Client Journey and is the bridge to really starting to build a relationship with your prospects. That’s because email is the highest ROI channel for online businesses. That’s huge! To give you an idea of the importance of email marketing, take a look at this graphic:
Every $1 spent on email marketing returns $40 on average.
The way we collect interested leads is with a Content Upgrade.
You may have seen them sprinkled across this article already.
Heres a live example of one:
^^ That is a content upgrade.
When readers click on the graphic they can download your “upgrade”.
Your upgrade should be closely related to the article itself.
It should be a natural complement to it.
The reader should want it. Even need it.
My example here is relevant because earlier I told you how important data is for the Journey Engine.
That content upgrade gives you an easy way to track data for every stage of the Journey Engine.
See how that works?
Journey Stage III: Trust
In this stage of the content journey, you continue to win the trust of your prospects and prove your expertise to them.
Step 5: Use A Survey To Collect Data On Your Leads
Ok, you create and distribute your long form piece ..
Your prospects read your blog post ..
Than opt-in to your email list via your content upgrades.
What happens now?
Remember the leads that sign-up for your content upgrades? At this point they...
Know you have expertise.
And want to learn more.
So, you send them emails to nurture the relationship, right?
Not so fast tiger 😉
There is a step you can include between a lead signing up for your email list and actually sending them emails.
This step is a survey.
JourneyEngine uses a 5 question interview.
Any lead who wants your content upgrade is keen.
Yes, a survey will reduce the number of people who sign up.
The people who follow through and complete this step will be more qualified, which is key for high-ticket B2B.
You will also know more about your people.
Here are a few things you can include in a survey ..
What their biggest problems is
Their biggest obstacle right now
How much money they make per month
The number of people on their team
What kind of service they are MOST interested in
These questions provide you with relevant information that you can now use to segment your audience and craft even better content and messaging.
This is how you can offer them the most relevant solutions to their problems.
For example, you are not going to offer your Consulting service to someone who wants an Online Course.
That would be silly.
So, let’s say we find someone who is making $100,000 a year, who needs to create a sales system. On top of that, they’re interested in done-for-you services to create that sales system. If you offer this service, then you might want to reach out to them directly in an email.
This cuts the sales cycle drastically.
If you do it right, surveys allow you to pinpoint clients who are the best fit for you.
Long before you ever hop on a sales call.
Collecting this information is super important… and you need to do it BEFORE we send any emails.
Step 6: Build Trust With A “Respect-Building” Email Autoresponder
Still under “Stage 3: Trust”, you’ll use an autoresponder software to send out emails automatically.
It’s pretty simple: you write your emails and load them into your Email Service Provider (the autorresponder).
Then, once a lead signs up through your content upgrade and fills out your survey, they will start getting your emails automatically.
You don’t have to do anything.
The autoresponder is the true “Engine” that drives people towards your sales call.
If you do it correctly, it will draw the right prospects closer to you and filter out the bad prospects.
This is what my autoresponder looks like inside my email service provider, ActiveCampaign.
There is a lot of debate about how many emails you should include in your autoresponder.
7 emails has worked best for our clients. This is something worth testing over time to see how many will get the most response for your business.
I like 7 because it is enough to provide value. But not too much so it’s overwhelming.
When you go to set up your autoresponder, remember that a good autoresponder does three things:
Continues the education process.
A simple way to do this is as follows:
Make your emails mini lessons. Each lesson partially solves one of your potential clients pain points.
I say partially, because if they want to get the “whole answer” they will need to jump on the phone with you.
You can increase trust by including a welcome video link in email number one.
Video is a powerful bonding tool.
This video doesn’t have to be professionally produced, either. A short video you record in your home office will do.
In this video you can simply welcome them to your business.
DO NOT underestimate the impact this will have. The advantage video has over other forms of content, especially when someone is first getting to know you and your business, is that videos involve more than one of the senses. Your prospects sees you and hears you. They’re not just reading your words. This goes a long way to connect on a “human to human level”, not just a “business to client level”.
There are two powerful techniques you can use to increase email series engagement.
Done right, these will take your email series to another level.
The first one is super powerful but has one problem.
The second one is cool. But you need to use it sporadically to get the best effect.
They work best when you use them together.
What are they?
Open loops and cliffhangers.
An open loop is when you start a story idea or thought, but instead of finishing it, you move onto something else.
The line in red above is an example of an open loop.
I hinted at a problem.
Then continued to talk about other things.
A cliffhanger is used at the end of the email to tease the next one.
Think about your favourite TV show
They often end with high levels of curiosity. This is why “binge watching” on Netflix is so common - each episode leaves you hanging and wanting more.
Leaving you wondering what is going to happen next.
THAT is the effect we are going for with a cliffhanger.
Here’s an example from one of Lee Child’s Persuader novels...
“I was under arrest. In a town where I’d never been before. Apparently for murder. But I knew two things.”
Don’t you want to know what two things the author is talking about? :-)
To sum up Step 6, when you integrate education, trust and engagement in your autoresponder, what you’re really doing is priming your prospects for the next step.
Journey Stage IV: Try
At this stage, you’ve given value, you’re winning trust and showing respect and now you want to get your prospects to take the next step with you which leads me to Step 7...
Step 7: Get Your Prospect On The Phone
To close a high-ticket client (anything over $2,000 in most cases), you need to get them on the phone.
Webinars are cool.
If you are trying to get prospects to hand over $2,000 + on a webinar, you are going to struggle.
How do you get your prospects on a sales call?
First of all, your autoresponder should successfully educate, build trust and create engagement.
If it does these things, then when you ask (respectfully) for readers to schedule a call, they are more likely to accept it.
Asking them to schedule a call is your primary Call to Action (CTA) in this Stage of the Client Journey.
We recommend you include a “schedule a call” CTA in emails 4 and 7 of your autoresponder.
This is what our CTA looks like in Email 7...
If you want to see our email series … then you can sign up here to get it delivered straight to your inbox.
Now, when the link to schedule a call with you, you’ll set it up so that it takes them to a call scheduling landing page.
On this page you can share more information about your high-ticket service and further qualify the lead before they set up the call. The last thing you want is a time waster.
If you don’t want to create a landing page, then a free service like Calendly will work just fine where it automatically takes your prospects to a call scheduling page.
The prospect can then select a time that works best for them, and it will be automatically added to both of your calendars.
Step 8) The Sales Call
Everything has lead up to this moment ..
The blog post ..
The content upgrade ..
The promotion ..
The survey ..
The email series.
All 7 steps above did something very key.
They prepared, qualified and filtered your prospects for the call.
Bad prospects will naturally filter themselves out.
Your best prospects at this point see you as an authority; they know, like, and trust you.
They also know that you have the solution to their problem.
So getting them on the phone is actually the easiest part because it’s just a natural extension of what you’ve already been doing.
All you need to do is check to make sure they are a good fit for you and your business and ensure they can pay you. If you want, you can also familiarize and train the prospect on your system, or solution for client success.
The beauty of the journey engine is that by this point, the hard work has been done for you.
All because of the systems you created.
Your ideal prospect now wants what you have to offer.
Journey Engine Stage V: Buy
9) Money Changes Hands
You’ll notice this is one of the last stages after you’ve followed all the above steps to take your client through the journey engine, but this is where most people try to get to first!
Everyone with the “sell first” mentality usually gets frustrated here.
You won’t though.
This is probably the easiest stage for you.
The buyer already knows you can solve their problem with your service.
All you need to do now is offer a few options for valuable solutions.
These should be exactly what the prospect needs, nothing they don't (based on the call you’ve already had with them).
You can do this with a Proposal Deck and a 3-Tiered Package Offer.
A three tiered package offer is basically when you offer the prospect three options.
This is called three pronged pricing. Essentially, this is a psychological trick that positions the perfect solution at a decent price. The “Basic” package, is an entry level offer, but likely won’t be enough to fully meet their needs. On the other hand, the “Expensive” package gives them something to compare the middle “Advanced” package to, positioning the middle tier as the best deal.
Using this pricing structure, you will secure more projects at your usual rate and you’ll also increase your chances of securing more lucrative projects.
Journey Engine Stage VI: Commit & Advocate
At this stage of the client journey, your sole focus is to convert prospects into satisfied clients and strong advocates for your business, which leads me to the final step:
Step 10: Turn Buyers Into Raving Fans
Our aim in this stage is to maximize our Customer Lifetime Value, or LTV. This is how much value you can expect to gain from a client throughout the course of their business relationship with you.
In other words, you want your clients to stay clients for as long as possible and to refer others to you as well...
You want customers to become repeat customers.
You then want those repeat customers to bring us referrals.
To do this you need to do one thing...
Exceed client expectations.
Do this and you will guarantee that your clients leave happy (or better yet, stay happy)
Do this and you will turn first-time buyers into loyalists and brand advocates.
The more you exceed their expectations the greater this effect will be.
In the digital agency world, this will come down to your team’s ability to fulfill your promises to new clients with expert service delivery.
Exceeding their expectations depends on what industry you are in.
Think of some ways you can overdeliver on your service. For example, if you sell consulting services, what kind of documents can you provide, what kind of transparency would your clients like to have, can you deliver in advance of the timeline you promised?
Provide massive value to the world.
Get your message out there.
Then watch your business multiply!
Where to Start ..
That was a lot. Just remember that each of the 10 steps I walked you through support a specific stage of the Journey Engine.
To close, let me ask you something..
Do you run an agency or service business?
If yes .. Do you already have a Journey Engine in place that gets you sales calls every single day?
Let me repeat that: Every single day you should have sales calls.
Think about that ..
Imagine you were booked solid with sales calls with clients who could pay you $2,000, $5,000, or even $10,000, $20,000 or $50,000 per project.
Every. Single. Day.
How would your life be different if you could do that?
I’ve had the pleasure of analyzing marketing campaigns for 10+ years, and I’ve simplified everything I’ve learned into a free 7 lesson training.
This training will expand on the topics in this guide, give you more detailed examples, and will show you how to close high-ticket clients with a Journey Engine, step-by-step.
Get your free lessons here.