Creating A Lead Generating Machine
I read recently about the $2 million blog post story and thought it was worth highlighting here. Yes that’s right. A single blog post that generated over $2m in sales!
Marcus Sheridan sold pools for a living – serious ones. These pools that were 5 figure assets that provided recreation and enhanced property value over time.
And apart from the cost of the pool, and the surrounding landscape and support investment, it also requires a pretty considerable cost in terms of care and maintenance.
The first question any prospect asked Marcus was “how much will this cost me?” Fair question. And an astute salesperson would have all the answers to the various cost questions. An astute marketer would also think about how to preempt those questions.
But because they didn’t want to lose customers before a salesperson got involved, Marcus and his competitors never quoted prices on their websites or marketing material.
The flip-side of this coin is that investment in a pool is also likely to increase the asset of the purchaser’s house considerably. Some, or all, of the money you invest upfront can be returned in an increased sale price when you move home.It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out because price qualifies your prospects. Price is the most common question customers have about any product!
Afraid to loose prospects, his competitors never addressed this question online. This is a perspective shared by many small businesses. Many small businesses don’t want to post their prices since they’re afraid that they’ll loose the sale. Sound familiar?
Pricing is hard but not for Sheridan. He gave prospective buyers a detailed response to their most important question on his company’s blog. Since this is the only article that answers this key pool buying question, it gets lots of search traffic.
The $2 million in sales blog post
Entitled “How Much Does a Fiberglass Pool Cost?”, the blog post has generated over $2million according to a tweet Sheridan made on #BlogChat a few weeks ago. While $2 million in sales sounds like a lot of money, simple math shows they sold between 24 and 57 pools based on Sheridan’s price range.
Sheridan outlined all of the many categories of pools and related products that a pool buyer needed to consider along with their price ranges over the expected life of owning a pool. His list included products that his company didn’t even sell.
This information built Sheridan’s credibility and provided context for a better informed decision. It also changed the price decision from a first cost in year one to the total cost over a number of years.
Pretty sweet, hey?
In order to ‘change the sales process’ Sheridan did three things:
- He reframed the pool cost question – from an upfront objection to a more balanced decision factor
- He included all the product options – today’s consumer is willing to build trust with you, if you are up front and seem to be open about costs and weaknesses
- He provided a price range – since this was the primary decision factor in the first interaction, Sheridan made sure he gave the answer rather than ignoring it
Sales blog metrics to watch
What did Sheridan gain by answering this question?
Increased qualified leads (aka lead quality). Prospects spent time reading his information. According to Sheridan’s forward to Jay Baer’s Youtility, in 2011, the average visitor to the River Pools and Spa site who read 30 pages or more before filling out the content form. If you’re not going to spend the money it takes, then you’re not going to call him.
Reduced sales cycle. Sheridan no longer needed to educate prospects during the sales visit and return to answer more questions. If you called him, you knew what you wanted and cut to the more specific questions.
Improved the close rate. By providing this information, Sheridan had an 80% chance of closing the sale compared with the pool industry’s 10% average.
So, this means he achieved more sales revenue, with less marketing cost, and less sales cost. Therefore he increased profits…!