Will Wang is in the business of growing other people’s companies. In this appearance, he and James examine the growth he’s achieved for one client in the space of under half a year.
They discuss the importance of identifying what you do best, in order to grow your online business.
Will talks about finding the sales offer that will let you raise your prices to match the value you deliver.
They go into the topic of pinpointing the right marketing channel, like cold email outreach, and more…
Table of contents
1. One shell shocked client
2. Finding out what makes people special
3. How clients might react to analysis
4. Stopping up the leaks
5. The value people don’t know they deliver
6. Raising rates across the board
7. Now we need more clients
8. Let’s talk about conversions
9. What emotions does all this trigger?
10. Investing what’s left over
11. The lowdown on setters and closers
12. Enabling your team for growth
13. Advice to finish with
One shell shocked client
Will’s client, Bob, they’ll call him, listens to this podcast and reached out to Will for help growing his business over the next five or 10 years. Obviously, they’ve gotten results much sooner than expected.
Over the past 30 days alone, at time of recording, Bob declares himself shell shocked over the growth his business has seen.
Bob is in a specialized industry, with a company doing about $250,000, $300,000 a year. He has a lot of authority in the field and is a technical expert at what he does.
This ticked the boxes Will looks for in terms of, can they take the business and grow it? And what he and his team decided was to go upscale and increase prices.
What Will will do is break down their six-month growth plan into three key phases. At the time of the episode, they’re into month two with Bob.
Finding out what makes people special
James has a question: if someone doesn’t know what makes them and their business special, is this a red flag to someone like Will, or is it something they help the business owner figure out?
It’s a case-by-case basis, says Will. A lot of times, he finds business owners actually downplay how good they are at something specific.
Granted, it’s easier when a client can tell them right off what their specialty is. But on the occasion they can’t, Will and co do help them find it, and craft an offer with them to highlight what they’re good at.
That’s something James actually helped Will with when he was starting out. Will thought of himself as just a copywriter, till James pointed out to him what Will and his team did well.
In months one and two, that was one of the major things Will worked on with Bob that drove big results, right off the bat.
How clients might react to analysis
And how did the client feel, going through the process of analysis, asks James? He knows some people can get emotional and defensive, while others might want to be told point blank what they need to hear.
The clients Will typically does well with are of the latter sort, the ones who don’t quite believe yet what Will says, but are ready and willing to give it a go. And Will has gotten better at filtering out the other kind.
Stopping up the leaks
In the first two months, the analogy Will often uses is that of the leaky bucket. If you fundamentally don’t have the right offer, or the product, or the package, it doesn’t matter how many leads you bring in, you’ll just never get profitable.
So they create better offers and real value, improving how they talk about things and getting better pricing.
Now Bob sold a $3,000 yearly package to enterprise level clients. And over the years, he’d developed his products and services to where clients would get $200,000 to $300,000 worth of value on what he sold.
Bob was making less than one percent of the value he generated. But he wasn’t sure he could raise his prices – what would his clients think?
In month one, Will and his team changed Bob’s mindset, and helped him craft a message to his clients explaining all the care and attention that went on behind the scenes to serve them.
They created an $18,000 package, and offered it to seven of Bob’s best clients, two of whom immediately said yes. So off the bat, Bob’s revenue has increased by close to $36,000.
The value people don’t know they deliver
Someone needed to hear that today, says James. He’s thinking about it himself, how he’s been undercharging for the value many people have been getting.
Sometimes you just need someone else to bring it to your attention.
Bob is now getting, from just two clients, the revenue he used to get from 12.
It’a actually more, says Will, because the best client, after taking the $18,000 offer, asked if Bob had anything else to sell. That one client has now paid over $30,000 for Bob’s services.
That’s close to $50,000 of extra revenue just from one shift in packaging. And with another two to three clients coming in at $18,000, they’ve added upwards of $100,000 to the business in a single month.
That’s just from fixing the leaks, how they thought and talked about the service as a whole, and looking at the top one percent of Bob’s clients.
Given, there was some strategy involved in going from $3,000 to $18K, but 80 percent of the service stayed exactly the same. Just now, the clients know how much work goes into it.
Raising rates across the board
On top of raising prices on Bob’s premium offering, Will increased rates by 25 percent across the board.
With inflation, everything is going up in pricing – cost of team members, the cost to serve Bob’s clients. The company’s prices needed to reflect that.
So the next $100,000 Will will bring to the business is looking at every other client and talking again about the value proposition, raising prices by 25 percent.
And they’ll be letting clients buy more, by dividing previously one-set products into levels of service and return.
It all makes sense, says James. Of course, when they put those prices up, though, everyone else will put their prices up – that’s what causes inflation.
Well, we can’t singlehandedly stop inflation, says Will, so we might as well make sure that we’re taking care of ourselves.
Now we need more clients
The next part of the work, in months three and four, is getting more clients. Existing clients are loving the new offers and paying high prices – now, how to get new leads?
Bob is very much a B2B client, so Will and his crew are doing something they’re very good at, which is cold outreach to drive some of the leads into an industry event.
They’re driving cold emails to register for an event, and then using cold emails to nurture after the event as well. They’ve just run a campaign like this for another client, and gotten an 87 percent open rate and 38 percent rate for replies.
For anyone listening to this, Will thinks the main thing is to find the channel that is working for you. And use your own numbers to prove it – lots of people says Facebooks ads are dead, but Will still has clients crushing with FB ads.
Of course, fix the leaky bucket first – otherwise, the second step won’t work.
You probably only need one channel to really grow quickly, says Will.
People are just chasing their tail trying all different channels and mastering none of them, James says.
Exactly, says Will, so pick one thing, pick one audience, get the right offers and you should get to grow to seven figures.
This is in months three to four. Obviously it takes a bit of time to experiment, find the right channels, optimize tests, all that. But once it’s rolling, you’re in a really good spot.
Typically Will works with clients for years and years. But even if they capped it at month four, with a better offer and a way of attracting leads, that in itself would hopefully be enough to make a profit.
Let’s talk about conversions
Months five and six are about conversions. A great offer should really convert well, but it won’t hurt to have even better conversion metrics on top.
That’s where they look at lead nurturing, and how they speak about their products in sales copy. They look at the sales process – how to convert as much as possible.
And you don’t need double your sales numbers to get a significant result – a 10 to 20 percent increase in conversion can mean a lot of revenue, done right.
What emotions does all this trigger?
James is curious – what is the emotion of the business owner, at this point? Does the newfound success scare them? Do they worry they might not deliver?
A good question, says Will. He thinks, for the right business owner, it’s mainly excitement, because obviously, they’ve gotten used to the revenue.
And often they’ve been stuck for a while, at a plateau or declining, says James, till they finally asked for help.
Will recalls freaking out just a day before to James, after spending six figures for a month’s expenses. James reassured him: it was an investment, which was great, because it meant Will’s business had grown and would continue to grow.
So with his own clients, Will focuses always on profitability. The way he likes to grow businesses is to have revenue and profit go up first, before expenses rise to match.
They start with fixing the offer and generating revenue in month one, and that funds the growth going forward.
Investing what’s left over
By months five and six, you really should have a lot of extra profit left over. That’s when you can start investing – in tools, in better presentations, in training if you want.
Will’s company does a lot of that for their clients as well, in terms of managing and optimizing sales. But by this time, you should have a well-oiled machine.
And as a bonus teaser, month six onwards, they start looking at hiring and growing the team around the functionalities that they’ve spoken about.
The lowdown on setters and closers
James was going to ask that. Are they hiring salespeople? He’s heard a lot about setters and closers. Can Will speak to that?
Setters and closers are generally commission-only salespeople. Will is in two minds about that – he’s seen it done well, but more often done very poorly.
When it’s done poorly, says Will, you damage your brand. People might hire setters or closers with the wrong attitudes, who don’t care about the clients, just about closing deals.
Setters like that over promise and make it impossible for your team to deliver. They don’t research your products properly, and just say whatever they can to close and get the commission.
You have to be super careful when you’re dealing with any kind of salesperson, says James. You need to reward what you want – if you reward them for making commission, they will often do whatever it takes to get the commission.
Exactly, says Will. You get what you incentivize for.
Will has a friend he’s in discussion with to help them with selling in their smaller programs, and she doesn’t want commission on the front end sell, but a trailing commission or a much smaller amount. That goes for years, and is such a good growth mindset, Will thinks.
It means his friend will do the right thing by the customers. And her commission grows the longer she stays with the company, because the customers are staying longer as well.
It’s a lot like revenue share deals, says James, where you have a mutual goal to have sustainable growth and for the business to still be around.
Will thinks if you incentivize the right way, you’ll find the right people, and they’ll go out of their way to service your clients the right way, because that’s A – what they’re incentivized to do, and B – they’re the right people who respond to the incentives the right way.
Enabling your team for growth
What sort of resources do you need to enable for your team, asks James? If you’re looking to grow, do you tell them there are going to be changes, that things are going to happen, to prepare them?
Or do you just roll as you go, to avoid scaring people?
There’s two things Will has seen with their clients. One is, they’re small enough, and their team is small enough, that it’s not too much of an issue.
The ones that do have a team have generally a core group that they talk to every day. Their team get the vision and the journey, and are around because they want to be around the business owner, and like working for them.
In that scenario, it’s actually easy to explain where you’re going, to sell the vision and discuss how they will grow with the company.
Past seven figures is something else – you need to consider culture, responsibilities, incentives and the like.
Advice to finish with
Has Will any words of wisdom to finish the episode?
Will is glad, first of all to be back on. He loves talking shop with James and sharing ideas.
In terms of wisdom, he knows, at six figures of revenue, business owners may put a lot of pressure and time pressure on themselves. But growth is a process, it takes time – you’re not going to double your business overnight.
But as long as you’ve got a plan, Will’s whole thing is, are you moving or improving by one percent a day? Because it can literally triple the business within a year if you just do one thing better every single day.
Perfect, says James. He looks forward to their next episode together.
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