Steven Werley, a DM Certified Partner who runs Maximum Effort Agency, has been in the CP program for the last year. But in the last few months, he has changed the way he uses the CP resources and completely overhauled his client meetings.
And it has completely changed the game for him. Not only has he seen his close rate with clients double, but he now can charge more for his services because he is providing more immediate value to his clients with this new structure.
Steven taught his new meeting structure at a recent Certified Partner Training Day, and we reached out to learn a little bit more about what made him want to change his process, what the results have been, and what exactly went right.
We wanted to both showcase Steven’s success and break down some of the winning tactics that might just be the missing piece in your own agency’s puzzle. So here is Steven’s story and the 4 tactics that make this new strategy tick that you need to integrate into your business.
Making the Change
The main driving force behind Steven’s business shift was simple. He moved. With the change in location came a change in priority. And with the global shift to virtual communication due to COVID-19, Steven found himself in the perfect position to try something new.
He simply didn’t need to focus on local clients anymore.
And while he had seen success with his previous process—he had been sending 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 leaning on the virtual end.
Not only that, but he had struggled with the extended sales cycle of the textbook CP meeting structure. He was constantly going through a long process of talking to a potential client and trying to convince them to hop into the DYSS. And then he wasn’t generally closing the DYSS right then and there, which meant he was waiting even longer to see any sort of payment.
So Steven was looking to shorten his sales cycle in a way that would deliver more value to the customer quicker, and by extension drive profitably more immediately.
That’s when he turned to the strategy session format he uses now.
Making it His Own
Running a shorter strategy session instead of the full 90-Day Accelerator wasn’t an entirely novel concept and has been thrown around by different marketers in the industry, but it wasn’t until Steven took the advice of one of his mentors that he gave it a shot himself.
On top of that, Steven had been trying to move away from some of the bespoke, done-for-you services and website design that had previously been the center of his business offerings. He wanted to be able to help his clients with their marketing strategy at large, since he saw so many of his own clients who were struggling with the bigger picture.
Which meant that a strategy session was perfect for him.
And since he already had all of the valuable tools in the DMCP program, he just had to put it all together.
So Steven pulled the most immediate, value-driven tools from the 90-Day Accelerator Program and condensed them into a single, 3 hour long meeting that would create an immediate strategy basis for his clients.
Now his sales funnel looks like this:
Steven has a free 20-minute discovery session with all potential clients where he learns what his clients are looking for. If it seems like a good fit, he offers them a single, paid-up-front strategy session.
The strategy session goes through the three most impactful DM tools: the Customer Avatar Canvas, the Customer Value Journey, and the Bottlenecks and Opportunities Chart. Using these 3 tools, Steven creates the foundation for his client’s marketing strategy in just 3-5 hours. And throughout the meeting, he is keeping an eye out for opportunities for future work that he can pitch to the client at the end of the strategy session.
If the strategy session goes well and Steven feels like he can help them with some of those opportunities, then he will make an offer immediately for a single project or a short term contract.
This strategy may seem super simple, but Steven has seen incredible success with it.
He went from around a 20–25% close rate sending his clients from the DYSS to the 90-Day Accelerator, to consistently 50% (and even upwards of 70%) sending them from the discovery session to the strategy session.
Not only that, but he was able to nearly double how much he charges for his strategy sessions, because he proved to himself and to his clients that they are worth a higher cost.
But as impressive as the numbers are, Steven’s success is more than that. He gets to actually focus more on the parts of his job that he actually wants to be doing: the strategy. And he does that without sacrificing income or time.
His clients are happier because they not only feel heard in the discovery session, but they then feel taken care of because they see immediate value in their working relationship with Steven.
So 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 why 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 pull the core benefits out and integrate them, so you can double your own close rates.
After Steven got to know his client in the discovery session, he didn’t just make an immediate pitch for a long term retainer contract. He started small with the strategy session and then offering small projects or short contracts.
Starting small not only means that Steven provides immediate returns because of the smaller timeline, but it also means both he and the client feel a level of space and freedom. Nobody wants to be trapped in a bad contract. So keeping things small at first means both he and the client get to feel things out before committing.
This was a huge element of success for Steven, and it was a driving factor in why he made the switch. He wanted to shorten the amount of time it took for his customers to see value in his services.
When your customers immediately feel like your meetings or work have been worth your time, not only are they going to be happy, but they are going to be way more willing to pay more.
Additionally, when you can promise your potential clients immediate results, your close rate is going to skyrocket.
Look for the Right Opportunities for You
The quickest way to build a bad relationship with a client is to promise work you can’t—or don’t want to—perform. The quality of your work will suffer, and your clients are sure to feel the bad will when you hate what you are doing for them.
So when you are looking into the opportunities for more work, make sure you know what your strengths are, and only make offers for those services. Offering fewer services that are better executed is way better than trying to cram every potential service into a contract and having it fail down the road.
Make the Offer Right Away
One of the elements that Steven emphasised in his talk at CPTD was to make the offer right away. You want to take advantage of all the warm feelings and good rapport that you have built up in your meeting and make the offer right there on the spot (if you are making an offer to work together more).
The longer you wait, the more the client will start to forget just how much you helped them, and just how great that meeting was. So make sure to pay attention when you are looking for opportunities and have your offer on hand, so you can jump on just the right time to make an offer.
Changing for the Better
If you take nothing else away from Steven’s story, just remember that while changing the core offer or structure of your business is incredibly scary, if you set yourself up right, it can be incredibly successful.
All you need to do is make sure you are using winning tactics that you know work (like those listed right up there ^), and keep the success of your customers the centerpoint of any change. In no time, you’ll be seeing your own close rates double and you’ll wonder why you were ever afraid to change things up.