Do you have sales call anxiety? How about are you giving away your free quote unquote discovery calls and getting a bunch of tire kickers or people not showing up? In today's episode, we're going to talk about why we finally started to realize that we were tired of giving away our time, our best strategies on free calls, and how we've started charging for our sales calls, and increasing our closing rates.
We’re going to break down why you should charge for your sales calls. The feeling behind it, the reason behind it, and the results we got when we did it during a global pandemic (thank you March 2020!)
This strategy brought $16,000 directly to our business during a global pandemic and improved the businesses of our clients as well.
In this episode:
- (2:24) What prompted us to try this special offer
- (4:16) How We Put A Webinar Together in 24 Hours
- (8:38) Why People Don’t Want to Let Their Customers Choose a Price
- (12:27) The Offer We Made (Pay What You Can)
- (14:08) Why We Made The Pay What You Can Offer
- (17:26) How Many Sales Calls We Booked (And how much they paid)
- (18:34) How Many Offers We Made (and how much money we closed)
- (20:24) Our takeaway from this process
- (21:29) How it increased brand trust and loyalty
- (27:44) The best way to book sales calls
- (28:13) The other way we’ve charged for sales calls
The THRIVE Webinar We Talk About – you can see this webinar to discover how to keep your business moving forward withOUT being spammy or scammy… OR just watch until the end so you can see how we crafted our pitch!
Jennie Wright 0:00
Do you have sales call anxiety? How about are you giving away your free quote unquote discovery calls and getting a bunch of tire kickers or people not showing up? In today's episode, we're going to talk about why we finally started to realize that we were tired of giving away our time, our best strategies on free calls, and how we've started charging for our sales calls, and increasing our closing rates. Our time is far better spent. We've enjoyed creating and sharing our strategies with eager entrepreneurs. And we're going to tell you the story today as to why we're doing it. charging for sales calls isn't a new thing. We didn't invent it. And maybe we're late to the party on this entire bandwagon. But we're going to tell you how happy we are that we've moved to this model. There's multiple ways to do paid sales calls, and we're going to share two that we've done and why.
Alyson Lex 0:51
Hi, everyone, so I want to just kind of paint you the picture of the landscape at the time because I don't know when you're listening to this But if you remember March 2020, you know what I'm about to say? COVID nine teen sucked. Um, it was really ramping up globally. A lot of people had just come understand home orders the US had declared a national emergency they were furloughed or laid off completely from work. And what happened in the business world entrepreneurs, coaches and business owners and and online marketers. They were really paranoid. They felt paralyzed. Like it was insensitive to move forward or promote that people weren't going to buy anyway, that pushing your business right now when people's health was on the line and people were afraid for their health and safety and you know, it was like a movie come to life just felt insensitive and like we shouldn't be doing it.
Jennie Wright 1:51
It was an apocalypse movie with John Cusack starring in it it felt like it.
Alyson Lex 1:55
Yeah, well, if john Cusack had been in my house, it might have been a different story for me!
I was actually thinking of contagion with Gwyneth Paltrow.
Jennie Wright 2:05
Yes. And that movie actually soared to the top of the Netflix charts in March, people were watching it in droves.
Alyson Lex 2:12
Right? Well, and I own it and it was on my Vudu, and a friend of mine was watching it and she was like 12 monkeys, contagion, outbreak all in a few days. I was like, What is wrong with you?
Anyway, there was a ton of stress, anxiety all around. I totally understand that because I had it. I had major anxiety because my whole schedule had changed. I used to working from home by myself. All of a sudden, my husband and kids are home. I don't know what's going to happen. How am I going to work? I gotta take care of my kid. My husband's working from home. And I actually lost clients.
What prompted us to try this special offer
So I lost a lot of clients that month, because they were insecure about what would happen and unsure and they slowed their marketing down. Which that could be a whole nother episode about what kind of decision that is. But it kind of left me feeling a little hopeless like, man, I don't even know how I'm going to do work and I guess it doesn't matter because I don't have any. And, you know, hashtag transparency, which is a thing you'll hear us say a lot. I couldn't sleep. I really struggled sleeping. And so it would be one or two in the morning and things would hit my brain and who am I going to message all of these things to? But my friend Jennie. Who? She's been getting better everyone, but she's a night owl. She's working on going to bed earlier. But I knew if I messaged Jennie, at one o'clock in the morning, she was probably still up.
Jennie Wright 3:42
Yeah, at the time. I was because I was, transparently, I was freaking out too. And I was having anxiety and I wasn't really sleeping that well. And I was worried just like everybody else. You know, it was really, really tough. I knew you were having anxiety and I didn't know how to support you. No, I was struggling to be able to support you. But I realized that whatever, whatever was going on, I was there for you. It doesn't matter if it was one o'clock in the morning, I was like, I'm there.
Alyson Lex 4:11
Ride or die, baby, ride or die!
Jennie Wright 4:13
And what happened?
How We Put A Webinar Together in 24 Hours
Alyson Lex 4:16
It's like one in the morning, maybe two in the morning and I have an idea. So I messaged Jenny, and I said, we're going to do a webinar. We're going to do it next week. I mean, I didn't really give her a choice. Like I knew she was right or die with me. So I said, we're going to do it like next week. And I said, and it's all going to be about helping people survive and thrive through this situation said we can call it the secret to thrive and she's like, not like secret, let's call it system. Um, hashtag how the name and the podcast was actually called The System to THRIVE.
Jennie Wright 4:51
Alyson Lex 4:54
Hashtag origin stories, a lot of hashtags in this episode.
And I said You know, we're going to, in fact, thrive could be an acronym and I just kind of spit some stuff out. And she sent me one of those like shocked face emojis. And I said, Okay, I'm going to try and get some sleep now that I've gotten this out of my head. Spoiler alert, I didn't. We'll talk about it in the morning. And so over the next few days, we put together this whole webinar.
Jennie Wright 5:22
Few days?! Try 24 hours!
Alyson Lex 5:26
Trying to not make people think it was impossible.
Jennie Wright 5:29
Twenty four hours. You messaged me at two o'clock in the morning on it in the in like it was Thursday.
Alyson Lex 5:34
I was gonna say Thursday,
Jennie Wright 5:36
it was a Thursday, two o'clock in the morning on the Thursday, and by Friday at five or seven o'clock at night, the opt in page was done. The landing page copy was done. The automation was done and we were promoting.
Alyson Lex 5:48
Yeah, we were.
Jennie Wright 5:50
In 24 hours!
Alyson Lex 5:51
I was actually talking about the webinar itself, like the presentation. So we're putting all that together. And we came to what is the offer, gonna be? And we knew we wanted to get on the phone with people. Yeah, we didn't want to just offer free calls.
Jennie Wright 6:08
Because we've been struggling with that.
Alyson Lex 6:09
We had been really been struggling with that lately, free calls just felt like such a time suck.
Jennie Wright 6:15
And and I had just done a challenge we're at I had booked 97 calls. And I had a bunch of no shows and a bunch of tire kickers and a bunch of people who were you know, really wonderful as well, but I had a lot of time suck people, and it felt draining to do that.
Alyson Lex 6:31
Absolutely. It totally is when especially when you're really pushing and like you said you have done that challenge. And you had I remember your goal was 100. Yeah. And you were three shy which I think we'll still call that a win. 97 sales calls! And that's what happens is you get a lot of no shows. The no show rate for discovery calls or sales calls is astronomical. And it's just really frustrating. So we thought, well, let's let's put like a package or an offer together. And we'll charge for it. And we went back and forth back and forth. How much should we charge? We knew they were valuable. But we also wanted to take into account the time, this landscape, if you will. So that is why we decided to let our people pick the price. Yeah. It was super interesting. such a fun experiment.
Jennie Wright 7:39
It was amazing. So it was pretty cool. And so now we're gonna dive in, we're actually going to break this down based on the conversations that we were having and the results that we were seeing. So this particular episode is going to be a breakdown about why to charge for your sales calls. The sort of the feeling behind it, the reason behind it, and also We're going to be, you know, again, hashtag transparency, we're going to tell you our real results from doing this. And be honest and show you and talk about it. Because if you can take something from us, and again, we didn't discover this strategy, this isn't our strategy. You know, we're kind of late to the bandwagon maybe and that's totally okay with us. But at least we're going to tell you how we experienced it, and how it improved our businesses during a global pandemic. Well, because it did, and we added we added tens of thousands of dollars to our businesses during a global pandemic. And you know, thanks, Alyson!
Why People Don’t Want to Let Their Customers Choose a Price
Okay, so first thing we're going to talk about, is why people shy away from letting people pick a price. Now this model may or may not work for you, but just, you know what, take it for what it's worth here. Listen, grab what you need from it. So people are always worried about what they're going to make, you know, there's people out there, if you were to book out Listen for a straight up consulting call, that's not going to cost pay what you can,
It's going to cost hundreds of dollars. 250. Right. And to talk to me on a consulting call, it's about 200. At the moment, at the time, we're recording, this is about 200 bucks. So it's, you know, to get an hour of our time to get us really deep in to consult with you to strategize to prescriptive marketing, it takes some money. And some people really do attach an outcome to like, I don't want to do a call with somebody, like, my rate is my rate, right? They attach this weird outcome to it. You know what we were going through a global pandemic.
And our concern was, we're not leaving anybody behind. Anybody who wants to talk to us should be able to talk to us and we know that people were struggling and suffering and we wanted people to be able to get in front of a world class copywriter and myself to be able to get something that would help their businesses, we really did it from a place of service. And that's why we did it from a pay what you can model.
People tend to be really, really worried that it'll make them appear too desperate. Right? If people know if I'm on your sales pages or anything, or if you're like, on 300 bucks an hour, or whatever the case is, and then you do a pay what you can call, people might think, Wow, she's desperate for money. But that's not it. But that's not how this was perceived. Right? We framed this as and we weren't desperate for money, quote, unquote, like we weren't. We wanted to make some money. But we weren't desperate. It wasn't, you know, $5 wasn't going to put Kraft dinner in a bowl for Alyson's kid. It was more along the lines of we want to help people and people can get really worried. The other point on this is people get worried that nobody's going to buy one of these calls. Right? So people can be like, wow, people aren't going to get this. They're not going to understand why when the opposite is actually true. We were showing how much we cared because quite honestly, we were freaking out for other people, we were seeing people struggle, and we were freaking out for them. We were freaking out for ourselves. And we cared through a really rough and insanely strange time in the world.
Alyson Lex 11:15
I think another reason that people don't want to do it is because they feel like they're gonna get taken advantage of. I remember when I told my husband we were doing this, he was really unsure. He's like, they're going to take advantage of you. They're just going to pay you $1 and, you know, suck up all your time. And my answer was, okay, well, the alternative is offering it for free. So even if they pay me $1 that's still more skin in the game than they would have had if I had given it away for free.
Jennie Wright 11:50
And what we'll show you is that people actually didn't pay us $1 they paid more. Yeah, yeah, talk about that.
Alyson Lex 11:57
So what we were selling was actually Really simple. We wanted to get this out quickly. As Jennie said, we were promoting within 24 hours, we actually held the webinar within eight days or seven days, right? We had seven days from idea to get completion.
Jennie Wright 12:12
Okay, we yeah, we you thought of it up in the middle of the night on Thursday morning, and we were up and running. It was on a Friday.
Alyson Lex 12:20
Mm hmm. And then we held the webinar the following Thursday.
The Offer We Made (Pay What You Can)
So we didn't want to put together any kind of complicated offer or anything like that. So what we did is we offered a nobody left behind strategy call. It was an hour on the phone with us. We offered our notes and the recording. And of course, the notes were more organized than just typing and we had put, we put together a plan for them, we gave them super personalized information. So the first few minutes of the call were spent on uncovering where they are right now, what they're struggling with, what they're looking for, what their goals are, and then really going in and using the mind meld power of Jennie and myself to just really diagnose and plan and prescribe a solution for them. And we also used our THRIVE method, which is the acronym we talked about, to make sure that it was really super transparent, super authentic and would feel good to their customers to get an offer, even during a global pandemic.
Now, again, hashtag transparency and we told them this at the beginning of the webinar, or when we made the offer on the webinar, is that if we felt right and the person could use and needed our help, we would make an offer to work with us. But as with any of our offers, we deliver a ton of value first, and then make an offer that there are no hard feelings if it's not something you take us up on. So we really focused on being super authentic super relationship. And we did that for a couple of reasons.
Why We Made The Pay What You Can Offer
Jennie Wright 14:08
First and foremost, it was to support our, our base, you know, the people who follow us and the people who were interested in us during a pandemic. So we have a huge range of people who are interested in what Alyson and I do. So it's from the beginners, people who are brand spanking new in their business, maybe don't even have clients yet, to people who are more seasoned three to five years, sometimes even more established players in the online space. So we've got this range, and we wanted to support everyone. So in our webinar, we did tell people that the call that the suggested price for the call was $197.
And we did share that with them, but we said but you can pay what you can. So if you feel like it's worth $197 to pay it?
Alyson Lex 14:56
We'd love to have it.
Jennie Wright 14:57
Yes, we're in we'd be in we'd love to have it Pay what you can, right. So we were supporting people during the pandemic because we really saw people freaking out. They felt like they couldn't either start or grow their business during a pandemic, they felt like it was disingenuous to help people. And the funny thing is, is that during the first two weeks that everything was happening with COVID-19 in March, at least in North America, which is where we're both situated, I'm in Canada, Alyson's in the US. We weren't sure how this was going to go. But what we ended up seeing is there was a lot of online sales happening, like, you know, people were still buying online, they were still purchasing things that they needed online. And certain businesses really did flourish. So we were just trying to help people.
The other reason we wanted to do this is we wanted to book sales calls with again, transparency. Alyson and I are pretty lethal on a sales call. And we do really, really well. We help people. We give them a ton of value and we offer them something that is great because and this is another reason why we're literally a Venn diagram of awesome. Alyson has skills, I have skills, there's this really cool overlap. And when we team up with Alyson writing copy for, say, like a sales page, and I do the implementation in terms of building out the actual funnel, our clients see a really good return on the investment.
Alyson Lex 16:23
Fanastic return on investment.
Jennie Wright 16:26
Yeah, really, really good return on investment, like 75% opt in rate to this webinar or 44% conversion rate on a sales page. But we digress. And you know what? We needed that mental boost too we needed something to focus on. And it started with Alyson needing something positive to focus on because I swear she was losing her mind.
Your schedule went so haywire, you didn't know up from down.
Alyson Lex 16:53
I didn't know anything.
Jennie Wright 16:54
Yeah. And you were really, really struggling and I knew this was going to give you structure. So I told my partner I'm like, Hey, I don't know how this is gonna work. I don't know if it's gonna work at all. But I'm supporting Alyson through this. She's having a really tough time. And we were like, Go team, like we were on it.
Alyson Lex 17:12
It worked. It worked.
Jennie Wright 17:15
So we needed that mental boost too. We needed a win and we needed to have we need to feel good about our businesses. So good. Yeah, we're going to talk about the results. We're going to be really honest to share with you exactly what happened.
How Many Sales Calls We Booked (And how much they paid)
Alyson Lex 17:26
Yes. So we had, how many how many calls? Do we book like 11, 12 calls? 12 calls. So yeah
We booked 12 calls. We had a couple people pay $5 Yep. putting it out there. A couple people paid $5.
Jennie Wright 17:49
Actually one person paid five.
Alyson Lex 17:51
I thought it was a couple. No, we had three people paid $10, one person paid $20, one person paid $29 One person paid $22, $39. And then the rest of the people were all $197.
So, there we go. Yeah, the people who paid with the lower amount as we got on the call, they were the people that we discovered actually really needed the help the most because they were struggling really hardcore. And so we were really honored to be able to give them that help at an investment that they didn't think they'd be able to get that help for.
Did we land any clients?
Jennie Wright 18:33
Oh, heck Yes, we did.
How Many Offers We Made (and how much money we closed)
Alyson Lex 18:34
We made offers to about half the calls we booked I think five, we made five offers out of 12 calls, so not even 50% of the time did we make an offer, because it wasn't the right move. They either were the I think a couple of them they had enough going on. They could do it on their own and a couple we knew were not in the position to be able to afford us and so why even put that on them?
Jennie Wright 19:02
Yeah, it didn't feel right.
Alyson Lex 19:04
We closed I believe we closed about $11,000 immediately. And then, actually just last month, yep. We closed another $5,000 plus from someone who was there and followed us since then. wasn't quite ready to buy. So the lead source was that webinar. Yeah. And so, one webinar, seven days, allowing them to choose their own price resulted in over $16,000 of business directly in inside of two months, which, you know, if you're, if you're running a $50,000 month is, whatever, but in the middle of a global pandemic, when nobody selling because everybody's afraid nobody's buying and they don't know how to approach it. Yeah. isn't too bad.
Jennie Wright 20:06
Take it, we'll take it and build relationships! Yeah, we'll take it and run. And we'll make you know, and we'll make everybody happy. And we fulfilled those. We fulfilled those sales calls obligations and the offers that we made. People saw some really good success from what we did, which was really, really great. And that was awesome.
Our takeaway from this process
So you know, here's our takeaway. This is our takeaway from this process. I like doing sales calls, because I learn a lot about people, which is great. But what I found and what we both found is, it was the right thing to do in the moment, right during this global pandemic with COVID-19. It was the right thing to do because it showed our support for people and they saw it and it was it wasn't scammy or spammy, it was transparent. We were so upfront, we're like we're charging for this. Pay us what you want. We'll make an offer if it makes sense. You know, there was no hidden guile or deception or anything, it's not how we are. It helped a lot of people who were struggling the information on the webinar itself.
You could watch the webinar, take that information and plug and play to help get your business going. And we found out later that there were people who actually did that, who implemented the THRIVE method and it did help them who people who didn't even take the call, right?
How it increased brand trust and loyalty
I believe strongly, Alyson does to that it created a lot of brand trust and loyalty. So that was in March 2020. And at the time of this recording, we're mid June. And we've increased our brand and our following from that webinar. And we've had people come back and come back and come back, you know, and worse and we're still, you know, we're still in touch and we know there's business coming from some of the people from those calls. There's there's a person there's a couple people actually that we didn't even pitch to at the time that have been in touch with us and been like, I think I'm almost ready. There were no pitches at the time. But now they're like, I use what you said and now I'm almost ready. Like, are you down? You know, can we work with you? And we're like, Yeah, no problem. Happy to.
Alyson Lex 22:16
I think we can probably work something out. And you said yes, it created this brand trust and loyalty and the reaction when we made the offer, because it was a live webinar with a chat stream. Yeah. The reaction when we made the offer – because I was watching that chat -was “Are you kidding?!” “Holy bleep.” Like people could not actually believe that. Um, like, I think we even got some messages like, Is this for real? Oh, yeah, we did. We got messages and we got people going, is this is this a real thing?
Jennie Wright 22:53
Like, where's the where's the trap door that's about to snap on me. Right?
Alyson Lex 22:57
But because we said at the beginning of the webinar “Hey guys, just as a heads up, we do have an offer at the end of this. It's really cool. I think you're going to love it. But, you know, no pressure we just want you to grab the value of this and then maybe check it out,” which we I think we only have like one or two people drop off of the webinar as we started the pitch, because we started upfront with that. And then when we made the pitch, we said “Again, guys, just to be super transparent. If it's right, we're going to make you an offer on this call but there's going to be ton of value.” We had a 100% show up right to those sales calls, which those free discovery calls. I mean, I've seen a 60% no show rate. Yeah. And we, I mean, we had a really good, good result. So would we do it again Jennie?
Jennie Wright 23:57
Yeah, we would absolutely do it again. I think charging for sales calls is an essential piece in your business. I would totally do it again. It gave us that boost that we needed. You know, even at the time, the amount of money that we made from it at the time wasn't big, you know, it wasn't a big amount off of the initial sales calls. It felt good to say, hey, from creating this thing in an idea that came up at like, one o'clock two o'clock in the morning to seven days later presenting it for being on a webinar for an hour and 40 minutes. You know, we made this this amount of money during a really challenging time. It made us feel good. It provided a ton of value to the people that watch but it really felt good for us mentally and it gave us the boost. We needed to see that it was okay to to still promote and share what we were able to do. And I think it it kind of turned the tide for Alyson, I don't want to speak for you. But I feel like it kind of turned the tide mentally.
Alyson Lex 24:57
Mentally? Yeah, I was really struggling. I mean, I still struggled after, but it was definitely the start of the uptick. Personal share time, I guess: I've struggled with depression and anxiety for the majority of my life. So this was not a surprising thing for me. I did seek help. And if you are struggling with depression or anxiety, you know, try putting together a webinar, but maybe also go talk to someone. Iff you need help, get some help. But yeah, it definitely it got me moving forward and moving focused. Which is something that was really essential.
Jennie Wright 25:39
Absolutely. And it provided a lot of value, like we said, and it put a bit of skin in the game on both sides. So we promised that we would give our notes and the link to the call, which meant that there was work behind the scenes that needed to be done. And so there was enough skin in the game on their side but also in it side in doing some work behind this that made us really work for it and made it valuable even for us. And I want to give Allison, a boatload of credit here. Because if she hadn't had that one idea, System to THRIVE may have never come about and what has come from System to THRIVE has been additional trainings. Now it's a podcast that's being launched and it's come out it's additional opportunities for the business. We've since helped other clients and we've grown our shared client base over and over, and we've helped more people and we realize the team. Now Alyson and I wanted to work together for years and we have on and off.
Alyson Lex 26:47
Yeah, but we could never come up with a way to actually do it. So to do it ongoing on our like a more formal way.
Jennie Wright 26:56
Right. And this all just it just sort of makes sense. And a System to THRIVE works during a global pandemic, but it also works in your business post [pandemic]. So it doesn't matter when you're listening to this, if it's like a year from or two years or six years, if we're that lucky that this is gonna keep going, then you're hearing this, then what you've heard is sort of like this origin story of how this all started, but why it works and sales calls and getting paid for them should I believe be a model in your business and it can be a model in your business at any point. You know, it can be a model in your business right from it can be like from the get go if you prefer, but definitely added in there if you haven't already.
The best way to book sales calls
And the best way to do it – and Alyson and I both agree on this – the best way to do it is off the webinar. You have people to the free training, tell them upfront what you're going to do, be honest about it and we'll do a whole webinar training in a different podcast. We'll talk about the best ways to get people on your podcast and to close from your podcast, I mean webinar, sorry,
Alyson Lex 28:04
Hey, podcasts too! Once we become experts we'll do that later!
The other way we’ve charged for sales calls
So at the beginning of this, you did promise that we would tell them two ways we did it. And the second way is not quite as exciting simply because it's not pay what you can. We did do another webinar, another System to THRIVE webinar. And we actually put together a different package. And so this one required just a little bit more legwork and there were some resources and things that we put together that came with the sales call again with notes and recording. And that was $97.
And so we did that in order to test. We did that after the pandemic had started to kind of curve down. We wanted to see see if people would pay before $97. To see if the kind of what kind of close rate we would get and testing because we always want to teach things that we do.
So if you are not comfortable with the pay what you can model, that's fine. Try putting together a really nice bonus package to go along with your sales call. It can be stuff that's already pre done so you don't have to do it every time. We added some manual stuff in there. But boost that value of the sales calls so that again, they're getting value from it. Don't [be] like those those sales calls that are just straight up hard sales calls, we want to always sell a value. Yeah. And so the other cool thing that we have for you is we have put up the replay of our first System to THRIVE webinar training. You can actually get the link to that at systemtothrive.com/3. And you can sign up for the replay of it just to see our pitch.
Jennie Wright 30:12
And get the value from that as well!
Alyson Lex 30:14
Oh, yeah, there's total value in the webinar, but sign up for it just to see the pitch, dude.
I think you'll be able to see how we put it together. We didn't do anything super fancy or special, like I said, but it was just really authentic and quick. We did it within seven days. So keep that in mind when you look too.
All right, everybody. Thanks for listening. And we'll be back with another big question next time.