I went on a tiny little podcast called Entrepreneurs On Fire a few months ago. It was a big one. It had 1 Million downloads per month. I knew it would be big for my business but I didn’t know it would be painful.
Best Laid Plans
My team and I had built a great funnel for the large number of calls we knew we’d be getting. Because we wanted lots of hot leads, my call to action on the podcast was simple. Grab a free copy of my book, Gentle Marketing and book a call with me if the listener thought that I could help their marketing. We even made a special link for it. Sound good so far? We thought so too.
The Flood Begins
The morning the show aired, I got a new appointment within 15 minutes of the show. They had booked for that day. Then it just kept coming. Because I wanted to cash in on the action right away, I had told my team to clear my calendar and to let people book all day, every day. Well, let me tell you. After going through back to back meetings with mostly people who were not my target prospects, my excitement started to wane. Exhaustion started to set in.
I complained to my coach about the overwhelming response that I got and how I was having trouble handling the obligation. Luckily, we had put in a pre qualifier questionnaire on the schedule form that asked whether they could afford my packages. My coach told me in a no-nonsense way that I had to cancel all the calls who had answered ‘no’ on the pre qualifier question. And so we did. We put it very nicely when we cancelled the appointments though. Here’s what we said;
Thanks for booking a call and for filling out the questionnaire. Looking at your form carefully and wanting to make sure that we make the most of both our time, it doesn’t look like you’ll quite benefit from our conversation yet. So we are regretfully postponing your scheduled call.
Here are some resources to get you ready for a call in the future when you’re at a further stage of your marketing:
Business Survival – https://repositioner.com/businesssurvival
Small Efforts Big Results – https://repositioner.com/smalleffortsbigresults
Conference Confidential – https://repositioner.com/conferenceconfidential
All the best,
Canceled by firstname.lastname@example.org
Sigh of Relief
Oh, my calendar cleared and I was able to attend to my very exciting new live launch of my Elevator Pitch Bootcamp but I felt so guilty. So bad. Did I get any backlash? Well, I got 2 hate letters but that was expected. Both letters mentioned that I should be ‘giving back’ to new businesses. As I volunteer in a men’s prison teaching entrepreneurship and have supported an entrepreneur program for the past decade in Rwanda, I feel pretty good about that.
The big lesson for me was to pre-qualify no matter how much of an ROI you want. The pain isn’t worth it to wade through the throngs to get to your prospects. I mean the conference speaking funnel that I used to have is a very different game than the online space. Online, everyone has access to you. For the conferences I was speaking at, you needed to invest in the thousands of Dollars to get into, to travel to and to get accommodations for.
Pre qualifying with online tools like ‘Apply to Speak to Chala‘ buttons and intake questionnaires avoid a disservice to both you and to the prospect. Because neither of you can take it any further than the extremely short time you have together. I mean I’m good but I’ve rarely completely turned around a business and their positioning in a 30 minute conversation. But don’t quote me on that…