Steven Werley, a DM certified partner who heads the Maximum Effort Agency, has been on the CP program for a year. In the past few months, however, he has changed the way he uses CP resources and completely redesigned his customer meetings.
And it completely changed the game for him. Not only has he seen his close relationship with customers doubled, but he can now charge more for his services because with this new structure he is delivering more immediate value to his customers.
Steven recently taught his new meeting structure at a Certified Partner Training Day, and we went out of our way to learn a little more about why he wanted to change his process, what results it got, and what went exactly right.
We wanted to both demonstrate Steven’s success and break down some of the winning tactics that may be the missing piece in your own agency’s puzzle. Here is Steven’s story and the 4 tactics that are making this new strategy tick that you need to incorporate into your business.
Make the change
The main driving force behind Stevens’ business relocation was simple. He moved. With the change of location came a change in priority. And with the global shift to virtual communication due to COVID-19, Steven was in the perfect position to try something new.
He just didn’t have to focus on local customers anymore.
And while he had success with his previous process – he had sent his clients through the Double Your Sales session and then through the 90-day accelerator program – he wanted to be able to bridge the gap between prospecting in a new area and really close to rely on the virtual end.
Not only that, he also struggled with the expanded sales cycle of the textbook’s CP review structure. He constantly went through a long process of speaking to a prospect and convincing them to join the DYSS. And then he generally didn’t close the DYSS immediately, which meant he waited even longer for any payment.
So Steven wanted to shorten his sales cycle so that the customer would get more value faster and immediately become more profitable.
Then he turned to the strategy session format he now uses.
Do it yourself
Running a shorter strategy session in place of the full 90 day accelerator wasn’t a completely new concept and tossed around by various marketers in the industry, but it wasn’t until Steven followed the advice of one of his mentors that he gave it a shot himself.
Additionally, Steven had tried to move away from some of the bespoke services and website design that were previously at the heart of his business proposition. He wanted to be able to help his clients with their overall marketing strategy because he saw so many of his own clients struggling with the bigger picture.
Which meant a strategy session was perfect for him.
And since he already had all the valuable tools in the DMCP program, he just had to put everything together.
So Steven pulled the most immediate, value-driven tools out of the 90-day accelerator program and condensed them into a single three-hour meeting that would create an instant strategy base for his clients.
Now his sales funnel looks like this:
Steven has a free 20 minute discovery session with all prospects where he learns what his customers are looking for. When it fits well, he offers them a single pre-paid strategy session.
The strategy session covers the three most important DM tools: the customer avatar canvas, the customer value journey and the diagram with bottlenecks and opportunities. With these three tools, Steven creates the basis for his client’s marketing strategy in just 3-5 hours. Throughout the meeting he looks for opportunities for future work that he can present to the client at the end of the strategy meeting.
If the strategy meeting goes well and Steven feels he can help you on some of these occasions, he will immediately make an offer for a single project or short term contract.
This strategy may seem very simple, but Steven has seen incredible success with it.
He went from a close rate of around 20-25% that his clients sent from the DYSS to the 90-day accelerator to a steady 50% (and even over 70%) that sent them from the investigation session to the strategy session.
In addition, he was able to nearly double the fees for his strategy meetings as he proved to himself and his clients that they are worth the higher cost.
But as impressive as the numbers are, Steven’s success is more than that. He can actually focus more on the part of his job that he actually wants to do: strategy. And he does so without sacrificing income or time.
His clients are happier because not only do they feel heard in the discovery session, but they also feel cared for because they see an immediate value in their working relationship with Steven.
While there was absolutely nothing wrong with his old system, Steven’s new sales process gets him exactly where he needs to be.
Why this works (and what you can do too)
There are several reasons this worked so well for Steven, and we’ve broken down a few of them so that even if the strategy session isn’t right for your business, you can take advantage of the main benefits and incorporate them to double your own closing prices.
After meeting his client in the discovery session, Steven didn’t just pitch an instant for a long-term retention contract. He started small with the strategy meeting and then offered small projects or short contracts.
Starting small not only means that Steven will see immediate returns due to the shorter timeline, but also that he and the client will feel a certain amount of space and freedom. Nobody wants to be trapped in a bad contract. If you keep things small at first, both he and the client can feel things before committing.
This was a huge success for Steven and it was a driving factor behind why he made the move. He wanted to reduce the time it took his customers to see value in his services.
If your customers instantly feel that your meetings or work are worth your time, not only will they be happy, but they’ll be much more willing to pay more.
If you can promise your prospects instant results, your close rate will also skyrocket.
Look for the right options for you
The fastest way to create a bad relationship with a customer is to make promises of work that you can’t or won’t do. The quality of your work will suffer, and your clients are sure to feel the bad will for hating what you do for them.
So if you are looking for opportunities to do more work make sure you know your strengths and only make offers on those services. It is far better to offer fewer services that perform better than trying to contract every potential service and let it fail later.
Make the offer immediately
One of the elements that Steven highlighted in his presentation at CPTD was to make the offer immediately. You want to take advantage of all of the warm feelings and rapport you built in your meeting and make the offer on the spot (if you make an offer to work together more).
The longer you wait, the more the customer will forget how much you helped them and how great this meeting was. So be careful when looking for opportunities and have your quote on hand so you can make an offer at exactly the right time.
Change for the better
Unless you take anything else out of Steven’s story, remember that changing the core offering or the structure of your company is incredibly daunting. When properly set up, this can be incredibly successful.
All you have to do is make sure you are using winning tactics that you know will work (like the ones listed above ^) and keeping your customers’ success at the center of any change. In no time your own closing prices will double up and you’ll be wondering why you’ve ever been afraid to change things.