In the latest instalment of the B2C Lead Generation podcast we were lucky to be able to have a chat with Kelly Gordon, founder of the highly successful Lead Gen Agency Dapper Codes to talk about what it takes to build and run a lead gen agency.
We took the opportunity to dive deep into this area and try and find answers to the questions that really matter:
- What does it take to make a lead generation agency successful?
- How can you scale up your lead generation agency?
- What is more lucrative, the retainer department or the PPL department?
- How can you switch from a retainer to a Pay-per-lead model?
- What sets you apart from other lead gen agencies?
Below are some abridged extracts and key ideas we explored during the conversation, but be sure to check out the whole podcast if you want to learn even more.
When it comes to Retainer versus PPL, do you treat the process or the way you generate leads for your clients differently?
Kelly Gordon: That’s a good question. I don’t think so, at least not personally for me. What I have found for some of the mentorship students is, they don’t mean to do it but it’s a lack of “How do I make these things work together?” I get a lot go those people that might have a traditional retainer, but are trying to go into PPL, they don’t understand that they can co-exist, or how to handle that within themselves, to be able to speak to that in a way the client can understand and be happy with.
You run an incredibly successful lead generation agency. What sets you apart from others?
Quality. Hands down. Really, that is the only differentiator that PPL ever had, right? Otherwise you are competing on price and I promise you, you’re not gonna win that battle. There’s no way. So the only way to do it, is quality, and by quality in PPL, I mean qualification and verification of that lead.
There is the contact and follow-up strategy, which is what cements a PPL client as being worthy at all, in my opinion. When I got started in PPL we brought on some clients that did not have that in place, and it does a couple of things mentally to you.
So of course, always, if it’s a Retainer or PPL, if somebody is saying “I don’t know about these leads,” you have to look introspectively and say “Hold on a minute, are they right?” We have to take that stock and take that moment. But then there has to be a point to say “You know what, I am literally doing everything humanly possible to qualify and verify these leads” - it’s got to come down to them, being the client on that contact and follow-up strategy.
We have a massive responsibility in that qualification and verification. Now what that does for the industries we are in in PPL - I’ve talked to other colleagues and things like that - we are selling our leads for anything like 3 - 5X what they are going for in those industries, and we can do that because of what the conversion rate actually is.
What are the biggest challenges you faced?
Back in the day, the biggest challenge was probably “What is that core offer?” People think they have a sales problem, or they have a lead generation problem, quite honestly they have an “Offer” problem. Specifically, can I tell who it is I help, how I help the, what I do to help them, what the main objection is - that I know and I’m not going to trigger - and the system by which I do it. That is what allows somebody to go into the marketplace and buy something.
What people don’t know - and I wanna scream it from the rooftop - is, if you add bells and whistles to a bad offer it is still a bad offer. If you can’t sell very simply, from Point A to Point B, it doesn’t work. Go back to the drawing board.
That might be a hard thing to understand, but if we put it in the context of a sales funnel, I think people here would understand it. If we have a 4 page sales funnel, with traffic coming into it, and no one is getting all the way to the end, there are several different drop off points we see it, whatever’s happening.
“What if I put a timer on it, that’s gonna help right?”
No. A timer is not going to help. A timer is going to increase an already working thing, or should do, by maybe half a percentage to a percentage. It’s not going to make the thing work. So if we can’t sell the thing straight off, it’s not going to work. Back in the day, that was probably the biggest challenge.
Transparency is the number one thing we find is overarching lead gen in general. What is your experience of this?
The only reason people are not transparent is because it makes you vulnerable, and if you’re afraid of being vulnerable it means - in the case of business - you’re not sold on what you’re doing.
I can go to anybody we’re working with and say “This is the thing we’re doing. This is how much it’s costing. This is what it looks like. These are the numbers I’m getting from you.” Completely transparent, and being able to put that out in the open is not some magical thing, it’s just I’m perfectly comfortable with what I have sold and that we are delivering on that.
What are some of the best ways to increase client retention for an agency?
So many people come into the programme who have clients but who are living in fear that they’re going to leave.
“Why are they going to leave?”
“Well maybe I should talk to them a little bit more? The CPL is up.”
“And you didn’t talk to them about that?! Yeah, they might leave, so why don’t we sit down and have a conversation about that?”
The only reason we can get those clients back is client management of expectations through communication.
To listen to the entire conversation - an hour of lead gen gold! - be sure to subscribe to the podcast.