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Finding Leads

MayMay, WedWed, 2021202120212021

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In a recent poll I discovered that the vast majority of people in the group "rarely" or "never" go on the hunt to find new leads (instead, let their leads find them).However, one respondent to the poll said he's made seeking out new prospects part of his daily routine.

When you think of prospecting, you probably think about those slimy cold-calls and emails — but are those really your only option?

Pete says NO!

He's been making outreach part of his daily routine to help keep his agency's pipeline full — and he's going to share his techniques and strategies on how he does it.


Kyle Van Deusen
Now that we got that out of the way, beans and toast aside, we need to get to the business we're after here. So to set this up in case anybody missed it, last week, I posted a poll inside the group asking people Taco on toast next week. Good idea. I posted a poll in the group asking people how often they're going out and trying to get new leads for their business. So this isn't just wait for someone to email you or get a phone call or what?

Kyle Van Deusen
Or how often are you out trying to get business for your business? And the vast majority, 80 something percent chose either rarely or never. So there was like daily, weekly, monthly, rarely, never. And 80 something percent voted for rarely or never. And I voted inside that category. But Pete, I noticed, you know, it puts a little profile picture next to who voted where. I noticed Pete voted daily. And so I think a lot of people do this rarely or never because it feels weird to cold call people or they're not exactly sure what to do.

Kyle Van Deusen
And you kind of conjure up ideas of those slimy people that email you really bad pitches. But my guess is and I haven't discussed any of this in detail with Pete yet, my guess is Pete isn't doing those slimy, gross things to prospect leads every day. So the whole point of this call is to find out exactly what is Pete doing to generate leads daily or to look for leads daily.

Pete Everitt
See if you finish that sentence to find out exactly what Pete is doing. You might have had my wife on the call for a bit longer because she has no idea. She just sees me out the garden to my little man cave every day and then I return at the end of the day and hopefully money appears in the bank. Right. So let me the whole idea of doing daily some form of daily business development is it was I had to ingrain in our business when we started.

Pete Everitt
So if I can just sort of tell a little story to set a bit of a scene here as to why I started this practice. Yeah, so. Like when was it, nine and a half years ago, I set up my first ever business and I was really a freelancer, WordPress developing freelancer, but actually I built myself as a WordPress development house a lot like, you know, an agency of one, a lot like a lot of the people watching this call will will resonate with.

Pete Everitt
Sure. And I got a few. I knew that I wanted to do this. I got a few clients. I was working evenings and weekends. And basically when I was working four nights a week plus some weekends, I handed my notes and left. When I did that, I then got to stop payroll, which in the UK meant the I needed a business bank account. So on October the 1st, whatever year it was, I set up a business bank account.

Pete Everitt
My mom gave me 50 quid to open the bank account. So I had 50 pounds in that. I then registered myself or had registered myself as a company. And I got a bill for 40 pounds to Companies House and it's like I want to be in debt with anybody. So I paid the forty pounds, so I had 10 pounds in the bank account. And then the dread sutin, because I knew that in like three and a half weeks time, I was going to have to pay myself a salary check that we didn't have in savings.

Pete Everitt
We didn't I had a work flow. But yeah, I was sitting there thinking Gob's my wife isn't going to think this is a particularly good idea if I can't meet the bills in three and a half weeks. So I'm going to have to do something about this. So, you know, you call in a few favors, you do a few things. You know, if I can turn this around for you this week, can you settle the bill within 48 hours yet?

Pete Everitt
Perfect. Right. And I made the made the check. I won't hold the suspense. I made the check. And then the next month it became easier. In the next month, it became easier. So he then sort of dawned on me, I suppose the actually the. With any form business development, with any form of outreach, there's a failure rate, so you can't go and wait until you need the work and then think, oh, bugger, where the hell am I going to get it from?

Pete Everitt
And then be able to accommodate a 40, 50, 60 percent failure rate and called outreach. You waited too late. So the only way of combating that is to make it part of your daily routine. So you do something every day and that could be as small as sending an email or it could be something as big as and I've done this gone down to London, I've paid for a train fare. I've gone and given a free, free discovery section, all to try and win a client.

Pete Everitt
But that was my one thing that day. I didn't you know, I worked to the stuff on the train and they stopped me. But it could be as small as a couple of minutes. It could be as big as the entire day. But every day you do something to try and win some new business. So when you put that poll up, I thought, yeah, it's got to be it's got to be. I do it daily.

Pete Everitt
I even have it in my to do it. It's I killed one for I had to earlier. So it's now knocked onto tomorrow the fourth one down business development task. There you go. So that is that, that's why I do it. It just it made seemed to make sense.

Kyle Van Deusen
So does it shock you to see that because this has just been part of your everyday routine for years at this point, does it shock you to see that 80 percent of people are not doing that?

Pete Everitt
It does. It does a little bit. It makes me wonder. It makes me wonder where people build a pipeline, why is there security and knowing where the next web projects are coming from. So if I look at our pipeline in our agency, I should say I know a lot of the people in your group know me and we have a lot of banter in there. We talk about what we're going to go and all of this kind of stuff.

Pete Everitt
They know that I have multiple businesses, so this is the kind of thing I do for my agency every day. This is me sitting on your side of the table, not me being the customer or the the CEO guy. This is me being an agency owner. And I have we've got the next 11 or 12 projects already planned in our pipeline that, like confirmed deposits either invoiced or paid, you know, but they're booked in. We know what we're doing for the next eleven or twelve projects.

Pete Everitt
And I don't know how I could sustain my team. Our team is not very big. There's nine of us. But I don't know how I could sustain my team if I didn't have a pipeline that extended a few months in advance. Because if you're only literally working project to project, what if that next project fails? What if they it's not a good time for your client. You know, life happens. Stuff happens. It happened last year.

Pete Everitt
Nobody was going to make that one it. Well, they. Right. So what? It's about building that security into your business, I suppose. And that's something that helps me sleep at night. It helps me also know that if I go through a spell whereby we'll get onto some of the things I do in a minute, but like the actual practical stuff. But it makes me know that if I go through two, three, four weeks of just constant rejections, well, the bills are still going to be paid.

Pete Everitt
You know, the pressure is taken off in that respect. And it also means that if I find a prospect that I've I've sort of approached and they're not a good fit, well, I can still say no to them. I'm not married to having to to agree to every project. So for people to say that they rarely do it, I'll never do it. I, I find that a little difficult to process. I suppose that's not a criticism of everybody because I've been doing it this way for so long, I can't think I wouldn't do it any other way.

Kyle Van Deusen
And I'm wondering here, too, like one thought I had during this, was this sounds like something that if you started doing it, you would wonder how you ever rode the roller coaster you were probably on before. Because I reach out to people every now and then, and I put rarely in the poll because every once in a while I do some sort of prospecting here. Recently, we launched a little challenge and inside the first table we launched, we're kind of all participating in together.

Kyle Van Deusen
So right now I have a lot of incentive to prospect right now. So I am doing that over the last like four days. Right. But generally I don't do it a whole lot. But I'm wondering, you know, if it's something you got in the habit of doing, if you'd feel like I wonder how I ever not did this before, because I often am on that roller coaster of, OK, I have a bunch of projects right now, but if they all wrapped up at the same time, maybe something comes in this week, maybe something doesn't.

Kyle Van Deusen
And I think a lot of the people that put comments inside that poll were just saying, you know, I have enough business from referrals or SEO or whatever it may be coming in to me that I don't need to go out and do those things. So I wonder, too, if it's. A place where an agency like yours, where there's nine people, you you have to do a lot more feeding of that agency than an agency like mine where it's just me and one project a month, I could probably survive off of that.

Pete Everitt
Maybe there's a bit of that, there's a bit of responsibility with it, although so I told the story of my first business, I was a company called Coda Digital Media, and it was as I closed that business, I was headhunted for a job. So I decided to take it and I closed that business. And it was at that moment that we met our mutual friend, Lee Jackson. So that was probably six years ago now. And so since then, I worked for somebody else when I started my agency that I run now, so.

Pete Everitt
It was really important for me that we built the business on recurring revenue. It's maybe a slightly different discussion to finding leads, but ultimately the sales process we put in place was that we didn't want to build a recurring revenue just with any client, because it's a bit it's a bit risky, actually, signing client brand new clients you've never worked with before onto retainers. It's quite a hard sell because the values are normally quite large. It's it's quite a big commitment.

Pete Everitt
And if the people that you don't know that you're going to work with, well, then actually you can set yourself up for a fail. So we wanted to build so with a basis of recurring revenue and we run at about 60 to 65 percent recurring revenue in the agency now. So we focused on getting those first jobs in. So we decided to sell the recurring stuff. We were going to sell a lot to clients that we'd already done ad hoc work for a project work for.

Pete Everitt
So the pipeline therefore started by selling the projects to then sell the retainers afterwards. And that was kind of the methodology. And within six and a half to seven months, we'd covered our first bases for overheads, which was basically my salary. To be honest, I knew what I wanted to be paid each month. And to begin with, it was just me and my business partner. He had another income stream, so he was happy for me and he knew I was going all in on this.

Pete Everitt
So first of all, it was my my salary. Then it became both of our salaries. And then after that, it was dead easy to then make business decisions because, you know, should we get an office? Well, can the monthly recurring coverage, yes or no? So I need a new laptop. But that wasn't the recurring because we bought it outright. But is there enough profit to do it? Yes. You know, all of a sudden your decisions become black and white because you know what your business can afford on an ongoing basis.

Pete Everitt
Should we take on our first developer? Yes, we can, because we can afford it. And I think that makes sense with with going out and prospecting, too, in the fact that you can make what your you can make your pipeline more predictable if you're taking more control over it, if you have zero control over it and you just wait for things to come to you, you're really at the mercy of whatever happens. Whereas if you're out proactively doing it, you take a little bit more control and have a little bit more foresight on what's going to happen.

Pete Everitt
So I got two things here. One I want to circle back to because I had several people ask me, I want to circle back at the end of this conversation talking about you said, you know, like the next 11 projects you have out. I think a lot of people struggle with how do you tell a client, I'm going to be pushing it? You know, we can't start your project until X date, but let's save that for towards the end.

Pete Everitt
I just want to say it out loud so I don't forget. But let's talk about some of the practical things you do on a day to day basis. You said you already did your test today. What are the things you're doing on a daily basis to go out and try to fill your pipeline?

Pete Everitt
OK, so I have a number of there's a number of things that I do and we do them on a sort of semi regular basis. So the first one of the first source is for leads that I go to is I'm a member of my local chamber. The chamber produces a quarterly magazine, one of the. The way the chamber funds that magazine is, it sells advertising. OK, there's no way that the people are spending money on that publication actually know how far that reaches.

Pete Everitt
But what I do know is the smallest ad in that magazine is fifteen hundred pounds. So that's about eighteen nineteen hundred dollars, something like that. So we one of the things I do every quarter to find to find leads is I get the quote the magazine from the chamber. I make a list of all the companies that are advertising in that because I know they're spending money on advertising. That's the only way they've got in the magazine. And then I go and look for the appropriate people to speak to.

Pete Everitt
Obviously, I'm a fellow chamber member so I can approach them that way and I build a list. And then, as I said, some days all I do is send an email. I'll go to that list and I'll find a prospect that either has a website that needs an update or that maybe I can see that they've, you know, something's not right on their site or it hasn't been updated in a while or whatever it might be, because I know they're spending money on advertising and say, hey, you know, I'm a fellow chamber member.

Pete Everitt
I've recently seen you advertising in X, Y, Z. Issue of the magazine made me click on your website, you know, and I noticed a few things. Here you go. Be great. If we could have a chat, maybe have a coffee or a virtual coffee, is it now? And that might be my one thing for the day and I could have thirty five emails on that on that list. I'm not the kind of guy that's going to go and put them in mail a light and mail them all out in one go.

Pete Everitt
That, that just doesn't work. It's not, it's not personable enough.

Kyle Van Deusen
It's so damn emails we delete that come in.

Pete Everitt
Exactly. Exactly. So it has to be an email from me. So because of that I build a list and you know, if I'm twiddling my thumbs waiting for somebody on a zoom column that 15 minutes later I'll just go and send an extra email because they're making beans on toast and.

Pete Everitt
Yeah, well, I can be on toast. You know, you might beans on toast. I might have just made seven thousand quid. It's you know, it's about the same honestly. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, the import taxes on those, if you actually sourced them in America, I would say we did something similar like two summers ago. My my son likes to get involved and I gave him a phone book. We still had like phone books and he went through all the people that were placing ads in the phone book because those all cost money.

Pete Everitt
And I set them up with a little er table base and he put in all the contact information and I gave him a system for rating their websites. And then that way I could just go back and sort that list through all the ones that, you know, their website sucks. You know, he had basically like it's a good website, it's OK. It sucks because I need to make it basic for like an eight year old at the time and he could at least do that.

Pete Everitt
And then I basically had a database of all the people who I knew were local spending money on advertisement and had a website that sucked. So that's a pretty easy way to come up with a bunch of people studies.

Pete Everitt
So another another way that I can do this and I can do this, I prefer to do this next thing from my phone or my iPod because it works a bit better. So LinkedIn. LinkedIn. Is a great place to find leads, but you need to figure out how you approach the lead because so Illington, what I do is I'll go every so often I don't do this every day. It makes me sound like I'm like I don't have anything better to do in life.

Pete Everitt
But, you know, this is just the sort of thing this is. This is the thing I do at my son's hockey lesson. That's one of the key times I do this because I'm sitting there in the stands. He's playing hockey and I've got 40 minutes to kill. So I go on to LinkedIn and I search the posts in the last 24 hours for recommend and then web design or web designer or PPC or whatever. You can put anything after the word recommend and I search the posts, then I order them by later.

Pete Everitt
So you've got the newest ones at the top and the oldest ones at the bottom in the last twenty four hours. If you go you could do it for a week. But you've got to be aware that by the time posts are getting a week or so, old people have probably made decisions. They might have hundreds of comments on them. So, you know, you're probably fighting a losing battle. So I then go and find these posts. Now, I don't comment on the post because if you comment on the post, all you do is you say to your network, ever just commented on Bart Simpson's post that says, hey, can anybody recommend a great web designer in the UK?

Pete Everitt
And all of a sudden I now just attract everybody that's connected to my network that also has a Web design agency to comment on the same post. So I don't want to do that. So I got to invite and then I go to personalize invite and I send a personal message to the person that's written the post saying, Hey, Kyle, I saw your post about looking for a Web designer here in the U.K. My name is Peter. And so we do X, Y, Z, I'm going to get 500 characters.

Pete Everitt
It's a relatively formulated message, but then I send the person invite. And the key thing is I end the invite by saying, if you would like to arrange an initial chat or a quick call, please accept this invite. So I'm not waiting for somebody to then come back to me and say, hey, yeah, that'd be great, because as soon as I see click invite accepted, I can go back with the second message and say, Hey, that's great.

Pete Everitt
I'd love to connect with you. Here's a link to my calendar. Please feel free to pick a spot and we can discuss your project. And that's that's something that I can do. As I say, at my son's hockey match. It does. I find that this search filters and whatever, you can do it online, but the search filters and whatever work better if you've got a phone or something that the app is just a little bit more streamlined.

Pete Everitt
So there's another way that you can just go and find some leads.

Kyle Van Deusen
And so what's your success rate been on something like that?

Pete Everitt
I have. I get I don't track exact numbers. And you probably need to speak to Noah Britton about tracking leads and stuff because he has like monster at table light envy when it comes to that. That's partly because I'm often doing this at my son's hockey lesson and then don't ever go back as the general is it work one out of every hundred times or. Oh, no, no, it's it's a lot more than that. I'd say I accept probably four out of every ten invites.

Pete Everitt
OK, and then of the I then maybe have that from there, then the success rate goes up to be honest, because if you then invite somebody to your calendar, I'd say probably 70 percent of those, then go ahead and book a call and then off that I don't know, you then may be looking at another 40 to 50 percent, then accept a proposal. So you have to do a number of them. But for 40 minutes, sitting in a car park, it's it's forty minutes well spent, you know.

Pete Everitt
Absolutely. So it's things like that that that look, one of my now biggest clients, which is a national group of health care centers in the UK, they have twenty three health care centers in the UK. I want them using that exact technique and they have paid me to date around about fifty five thousand pounds and they're on a fifteen hundred pound a month retainer.

Kyle Van Deusen
Yeah, you just never know. Sometimes when you when you make, you know, introductions like that, what it's going to end up leading to.

Pete Everitt
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And that's, you know, that's I wouldn't have had that client. That's a serious chunk of cash to to miss out on just because I hadn't been filtering through LinkedIn and, you know, and I didn't therefore go and advertise it to my network that I was contacting X, Y, Z.

Kyle Van Deusen
Sure. Yeah. And it makes sure I was where you were, say, like it makes you look a little bit desperate that you're just answering every post. We do have one question here. William Cobb ask, do you send a follow up emails if they don't respond? So I'm guessing he's talking about the invite you're sending out in LinkedIn and occasionally.

Pete Everitt
Occasionally on. Yeah. Occasionally, the the thing I find is because I often do them in chunks, so with the LinkedIn thing, of course, once you've got the filtered results, it's easy to go and send five or 10 out at a time. And if there's one that jumps out at me, then I may well go and follow up on that. But I don't have an automated process. I'm not that organized. Sure. There's no there's no bots involved or software.

Pete Everitt
It's me and I have an Evernote with them with some, like, sample standard sort of invites in there. But I always edit to make sure it's got their first name in and that kind of thing. But I don't regularly then schedule something 48 hours later to go and follow up if they happen. If I haven't invited.

Kyle Van Deusen
Fair enough. All right. Well that's two that I think anybody can do. The finding your Chamber magazine might be a little bit harder, but even look in the local newspaper, those ads are freaking expensive, you know, so there's definitely always places to find where are Facebook? Who are you getting served ads from locally? You know you know, those people are spending money.

Pete Everitt
But please, if you don't want to work for electric shops, don't go into the electric shops. I mean, you know, it's all it's also the start of you filtering out the clients that you want to work with. But ultimately, what you're doing is you're putting yourself in a position of power where you can you can control the pace and the flow without having to panic about it. Because the minute you have to panic about, oh, my God, how my kids are going to eat this month, all of a sudden your your standards drop.

Pete Everitt
You look desperate. You'll accept anything. You'll agree to anything. You don't really know who it is. You do all of the dominoes start falling at that moment. So it's about being proactive while you're not reliant on it. That's kind of my biggest source of advice, I suppose.

Kyle Van Deusen
Sure. Next thing you know, you're feeding your kids beans on toast every day for like three months straight.

Pete Everitt
Right. That's going to lead to one hell of a queue in the bathroom every morning. Yeah, I know, but hopefully I can make it through this call after my two. Bye.

Pete Everitt
Hey, I'm good till nine a.m. tomorrow so I can power them through.

Kyle Van Deusen
Awesome. OK, well do you have any other tips people might be able to use? What are some other things you've been doing.

Pete Everitt
So the right another and the next thing, don't be afraid to ask your existing clients for referrals. Now obviously only do this if you've had a good experience with the client, go out. Yeah, I hate to state the obvious, but a project that's going south, you probably want to just finish and move on from there. But yeah. So I said I did. I did my Tuscola today. So my call, my business development test for today was a referral that came in from another client after a task a few days ago was to email them, to thank them for their work, say what a privilege it had been to work with them.

Pete Everitt
They didn't need any extra support, guidance. I didn't offer anything. But instead I asked if they had anybody that they could refer on to me. I'm for a similar kind of project, they replied. Cole was booked for this morning. I spent twenty minutes on the call with a lovely lady called Rosie.

Kyle Van Deusen
That's awesome.

Pete Everitt
So don't don't be afraid to go and do it.

Kyle Van Deusen
It is amazing that I mean, we do this. Look, if you're in the business of website design and development and you spend a lot of time with other people who are in that industry, you know, a lot of people in that industry, people that are in whatever industry know, a lot of people, whether they're competitors or not or they know a lot of business owners tend to run in circles with other business owners. So chances are they know somebody else who runs a business, runs a similar business.

Kyle Van Deusen
You know, your chances are much better asking your your client for a referral than asking a random stranger or just a friend who works a nine to five job.

Pete Everitt
Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. You know, there's there's very little point in you, yeah. And you just approaching sort of random people asking if they know of people that can do X, Y, Z. That said that said, if you are if you are starting out and you're you're really running short on the client base, you're not connected into the network, you know, a network of your own property, et cetera, et cetera, going to your friends and asking them if they know of people, that's that's not a bad way to start.

Pete Everitt
But I would move away from that as soon as you possibly can. Really. It's it's not it's not a sustainable means of growth. It's a means to an end, which is to get you going. And then from there, you can then move that tactic to your client base that you've then built how you keep fighting, widening that circle every time when you add more people circles to it. Yeah.

Pete Everitt
Yeah, absolutely. Now, the other thing that and this maybe goes back to right to the first point that you mentioned about how do I feel, I suppose, about people that say that they rarely or never do this. We build websites for people. Websites are the biggest marketing tool on the planet. So if you're helping people with your marketing, with their marketing, why aren't you marketing yourself? You know, if that might be that you need to cross yourself as one of your own clients a while and give yourself a little bit of TLC.

Pete Everitt
Go and don't feel bad about taking two hours, one, you know, one afternoon a week and doing some work for your business rather than for your clients if you need permission for that. I've just granted it to go and do it right now.

Kyle Van Deusen
Yeah. I mean, I think, you know, it's this weird it's this weird place where if I polled everybody in the group, I would get a large number of people that say one of their biggest struggles is they don't have enough leads. But then at the same time, we pull the group and say, OK, what are you doing to get leads? And most of them are saying they're rarely or never going out to do something about it.

Kyle Van Deusen
So I'm not trying to shame anybody on that because it is hard to put yourself out there. And, you know, a lot of us are into website design and development because we can sit behind a computer screen and we don't have to interact with people, you know. So a lot of times you see that's just like the personality type that's attracted to doing this kind of work. But when you're running a business, you owe it to your business to feed that business.

Kyle Van Deusen
So I think it's you know, it's just kind of a weird thing where people say they need more leads, but they're also not going out and doing all the things that would proactively get them leads. And that's kind of what I want to have this conversation in the first place.

Pete Everitt
Yeah, it's it's a very good point. And, you know, it just it just makes good sense. I guess that's the what's the alternative? That's, you know, now, OK, I could go and employ a business development manager and then I could stop doing all of this stuff. But one of the I suppose one of the things that you need to put this into the context of is understanding what success looks like for your own business. So I talk about this quite a lot on my podcast is, you know, I don't really want to grow a multi-million pound agency.

Pete Everitt
That's that's not what my vision is. I want to build something that that it supports the people in the families that that are part of our network, that our staff and their families, we we often do a dependency count in our agency. So they are all of the people that are dependent on our agency doing well. So it's not just on nine staff, but it's their partners or spouses. It's their children. It's there that you could say that dog's OK, we don't include animals, but it's that, you know, all of those people are reliant upon the nine Coggs of our business operating efficiently.

Pete Everitt
And I am one of those cogs. So it's up to me to do my part now. OK, if if you're an agency of one or your a smaller team, of course, that means you've got fewer cops, you've got fewer mouths to feed. That's absolutely fine. But where where's your vision of success? What do you want to grow to? And we as a company decided that our vision of success wasn't actually to grow much beyond nine or ten people.

Pete Everitt
We might take on another we might take on two more, I suppose. And I recently posted a job for a developer in the the top job board. So we've got some really great responses from that. So I'm not saying that you will never see us grow, but my target isn't to become a multi-million pound London based agency that's looking to you know, that's too much hard work. I want to build a business that supports a good and happy lifestyle so that I can be more present for my kids so that we can we don't want for anything, but, you know, that they can have a great experience in life and all of that kind of stuff.

Pete Everitt
That's my vision of success. Yours might be completely different and there's nothing wrong with that. But you need to put your sales pipeline in the perspective of what you're aiming at.

Kyle Van Deusen
Right. They have to be in alignment. And that's a good way to think of it, too, that I bet most business owners don't do a dependency report factoring all of their employees and their dependents in there. So kudos to you for doing that. That's awesome. But even if you think about like. I don't like I don't have motivation to go out and do this for myself, we'll think about if you have children or if you have a spouse like those people are depending on your business, not only sustaining the family, but also your well-being in the business.

Kyle Van Deusen
And if you're on that roller coaster of I'm really busy and I'm stressed out now, I don't have any work and now I'm stressed out like you're not a big help to your family at that point either. Even if you are paying the bills, you're not helping in other ways. So if you can't do it for yourself, you can do it for your family.

Pete Everitt
Absolutely. Absolutely. And look, ultimately, that's where there's kind of I get sort of selfish with my time in one of three three areas. So I'm either I'm either selfish because I want to be with my family, I want to be present or I'm selfish because I want to take look, look after myself. Because if I don't look after myself, then that coconut business on my presents for my family, that's going to be affected. And then the third is I'm going to be selfish for my business because that's what feeds the that's what feeds the ecosystem.

Pete Everitt
That's what keeps it alive. So that might make me sound really boring. But actually that's kind of the three the three things where I become a bit more structured, a bit more selfish with my time, because they they are important basically in that order, you know, and it kind of then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. So that's that's maybe a bit deep and a bit heavy for a shy about making leads. But that often leads. But that's that's my view on it.

Kyle Van Deusen
It's about finding that motivation to do it, to which I think is part of it. Just like you get complacent at some point, it's like, well, I have enough business and it's OK. And maybe that's not always the truth if you actually examine it. So before before we in this conversation, when I mention this to a group of people, they were really curious about the part where let's say you get a bunch of leads and you do this work, you get a bunch of leads and then you realize, you know, the last handful of people you talked to, you really couldn't start working with them on their project for a month or two months or three months.

Kyle Van Deusen
How have you seen that? As somebody who has a busy agency? How have you seen that working? How do you approach that conversation with people and what's like a realistic amount of time you could put somebody out before it just doesn't make sense anymore.

Pete Everitt
Yeah, I don't I don't like pushing people out more than two months. OK, that's kind of my anything longer than that. Seems like it's too far away if I'm being honest. Now, of course, most new prospects are only really bothered about two things. One is when that project going to start in. The second is probably going to be finished. So you you can treat both of those differently. So, again, this comes down to how you then plan your process in your agency.

Pete Everitt
So, of course, we have multiple stuff so we can handle multiple projects at the same time. If you are the kind of business the only likes to do one project at a time and see it through to completion, then you might have to think of a slightly different way of having this conversation. But we we can massage start dates and we can massage and date. So we can you know, we know that we all quotes, I don't know, five to ten days for a Web project.

Pete Everitt
But actually those five to ten days are spread out over eight weeks. So actually that gives us the ability to move around the central bits as we see fit. The the first thing, though, is I have that discussion quite early on with clients. So I, I generally tend to know roughly when the next project will will be scheduled in four anyway before I start actually finding them on the Chamber magazine or sending the email or looking on LinkedIn. So I kind of have a relative idea of when, when our next availability is.

Pete Everitt
I if you then get two or three. The other thing is don't mention exact dates when you're prospecting things. So we are looking at the third week of May to start this project if the third week becomes the fourth week. Well, you know, I'm sorry. We had we did have a project confirmed. So this is your this is your slot in the queue. I'm the guy that said I also am very committed to not letting date slip because I know how frustrating that can be.

Pete Everitt
We were supposed to have some building work done that was supposed to start the second week of March. And the builder has now confirmed that he will start on the 7th of June. So that's that's one hell of a slip. And that's not something that would happen in my business. I wouldn't like that. I wouldn't let that happen.

Kyle Van Deusen
Yeah, I imagine you have to be really, really amped up about working with somebody are really, really desperate with no other options to wait, you know, five months, six months. I mean, I can't imagine how badly somebody would want to have to work with me personally versus any available alternative to wait six months to work with me. So at some point, it's just not realistic to think you can have some kind of wait list that's, you know, a year long unless you're that good, where you demand a one year wait list, you know, and if you are, you should be having.

Kyle Van Deusen
This column, not me.

Kyle Van Deusen
Yeah, and you should be raising your prices tremendously.

Pete Everitt
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, the I had a thought come to mind and it's completely gone. The the other thing that was it the other thing that you do need to do with any coal prospecting is before you send that e-mail or that LinkedIn message or whatever it might be, you have automatically made some assumptions about this company that they are a company you could be prepared to work with. And it's quite. It's important that you establish that that is the case quite early on in the process, so you do need to have that discussion about budgets and pricing.

Pete Everitt
You do need to have that discussion about time scales quite, quite early in the conversation with the prospect, because there's no point in you investing, you know, hours and hours and hours of your time on a couple of Zoome calls, some emails, whatever, preparing a proposal only to find that they want this thing delivered in two and a half weeks and you can't start it for six years. So you need to sort of have those kind of check points put on put on you.

Pete Everitt
But I've generally found if you're guiding that conversation, like, you know what you're talking about. So the lady with the it was Nescio Stockholm earlier, the lady with the local, she wanted to know what the next steps were. So I explained what the process was explained. Right. And then I just said we can start that happen to be the third we can make. That's why I pulled that as an example. We can start that and said we can manage that, OK?

Pete Everitt
And so I got it in. I didn't it wasn't a labored point. It wasn't. But I'd already set the expectation of, you know what, you can pay your deposit now, but we we're not going to start it for another couple of weeks. So that was yeah, there's ways and means. But you do need to have those discussions with coal prospecting as early in the process as you feel comfortable.

Kyle Van Deusen
And I just imagine kind of going back to where we started this conversation and you talking about not really being able to picture not doing this right. I think just having at least, you know, if you're a solo agency like me and you can only be handling I'm usually two or three projects is probably about my maximum bandwidth at one time. Like, you know, some are kind of in a holding pattern. Some I'm actively working on, some are going back and forth.

Kyle Van Deusen
And if I get to four or five, I'm really overwhelmed by that. And for some people, it might be one or some people it might be 10, you know. So think about whatever your personal number is. But it's probably a wise move to always be thinking about how you can have at least one or two or three or four, depending on what your capacity is in the queue waiting for you. So you're not in that panic mode all the time.

Kyle Van Deusen
But the only way you're going to be able to do that consistently is you've just seen over the past year or two years or three years that you get that many leads that come to you and maybe then you're fine on this. But the only realistic way to go out and do this is to go out and actually do it, not wait for it to happen to you. And I think some of the ways you shared with us today on how to do that is definitely a nice way to go about it.

Pete Everitt
Cool, thank you. Well, I must say, just on that, I've only ever had one argument with a client because I delivered something early. So, you know, if you have those full if you have the pipeline and somebody drops out for it, could you know, we we had a Nescio Hive client recently that dropped out because a family member had committed suicide. And it's like, oh, my God, I can't even begin to to understand what you're going through.

Pete Everitt
Of course. You know, of course, we're not expecting to do any work with you right now. That's absolutely fine. You take care of yourself, take care of your family and come back to us when the time is right. But we then had that many works a little differently. But of course, it meant that we then had an open slot that we could then put somebody else into. I don't mean disrespectfully at all, but because there was a pipeline there, it didn't affect us financial kind of aspect.

Pete Everitt
And, you know, my my sympathy still gone to that client. I have had some contact with them since. And and it's just untrue. But stuff stuff happens that we're not in control of. That's really the point. Yeah.

Kyle Van Deusen
I mean, even with your recurring revenue, if one of your big recurring revenue customers fires you, leaves, shuts down the business, whatever it is, you know, you don't want to be in that panic mode because you have nothing to replace that income with. So being proactive about this is good. So last in last week's so I've been thinking about this this whole lead generation finding things you can see from that poll we did these things happen organically in my brain and then I get super focused in on them.

Kyle Van Deusen
So last week, as I was thinking about all this, I went back to a book I had read that was about the sales process. And in there, he kind of proposed a challenge of, like you said every day on your to do list, you have business development as a task you need to get done. He has a bit of a challenge in there that I adapted for our businesses where it's based on a point system. So every day you're trying to get four points.

Kyle Van Deusen
There's several different tasks you can do, all with varying numbers of points. And basically the idea of the challenges is if you can score four points using the system every single day, then you're going to fill your pipeline just because you're actively doing those things. So it's like contacting a lead, scheduling an appointment, actually having the appointment, closing a sale. Right. And all these things are worth different amounts of points. And if you're consistently getting at least four, then overtime, those things are going to average out and you're going to be able to fill that pipeline.

Kyle Van Deusen
So as I've been thinking about that, I put that in last week's email. If you get our Friday Chaser emails, you can go back and look at that if you missed it and you want to try it out. There's some people in the group that are doing that right now. Like I said, inside of our first table, we're doing that kind of as a group, the eight of us. I don't know if everybody is participating, but most people are participating and we're kind of challenging each other and actually, truthfully, shit talking to each other a little bit every day about who's scoring the most points and kind of that gamification of things has been nice.

Kyle Van Deusen
But because I've been so focused in on this subject, I really thought about the problem with the challenge I put out in the email is there's no real accountability that goes along with it. You'd just be up to yourself to do it. So what I'm working what I've been working on the past two days is putting together this challenge in a more. Packaged way that's going to come with the how the challenge works, the scorecard on how you can keep the keep score each day for three weeks and then its daily emails Monday through Friday each day of the week.

Kyle Van Deusen
So you get 15 emails through the sequence that give tips like the things we're talking about today. You know, check in with you, hold you accountable, let you know where you are, let you know how many points you should have by this amount of time. So I'm working on that as a product put out into the group. I'm thinking next week or so I've been trying to get that done as quickly as possible. But if this conversation interested you, then definitely keep an eye out for that.

Kyle Van Deusen
It's the prospect pipeline challenge. And hopefully, like I said, mid-May, all that would be out. You can check it out and hopefully that will motivate people to go out and do this. I know for me, I don't know if you're this way, but I'm super competitive. So when we started doing this in our table, there's another person in there who's also super competitive. That's the person I'm talking with. But because we're going back and forth all the time, yesterday I had a ten point day.

Kyle Van Deusen
So immediately I had to go in there and brag that I had a ten point day. Are you competitive like that at all?

Pete Everitt
Uh, sort of. Sorts of. I've always been the kind of person that just likes to get my head down and get my own job done. But I suppose I set myself targets and goals, so I'm kind of competitive with myself. And then I set punishments if I don't hit them. So some of you may talking about the sort of taking care of yourself so we might do a bit of cycling on those. I live in Sheffield, which is called City of Seven Hills, because, funnily enough, it's in the valley between Seven Hills.

Pete Everitt
And there's one of those particular hills to a place called Tankas, the manor that is awful to sikelel. So I will if I don't hit targets and whatever, I often use Tankersley as a as a bit of a punishment to whip myself into doing them a bit better. But yeah. So I suppose I do it to myself, but I am kind of one of those maybe more so focused, kind of, you know, I'll just get on and do it kind of people.

Kyle Van Deusen
It's funny how different people are different for me man. If I can turn anything into a competition, I'm doing it. We got one more question. We'll wrap it up since Thomas dropped this in here just less than a minute ago, he says, Pete, according to your experience, on average, how many potential clients do you need to contact in order to land one client?

Pete Everitt
Um, that's a good question. So we have a let me I'll work backwards just because I don't get the math wrong. So we have a sixty eight percent close. Right. On proposals. That is something I do trust. So if I get a proposal basically two out of every three cyno within months of receiving the proposal. So past that, I don't I don't track it from the. How does that work. So I guess I probably need around about four every 10 leads, cold leads, I guess I'd probably be sending out two proposals.

Pete Everitt
So I can't do the math in my head as to how how that works backwards.

Kyle Van Deusen
So we'll send around 12 or 13 would get you three proposals that are. Yeah. Two or three proposals. And then out of those, you'd close about two thirds of about two.

Pete Everitt
Yeah. So yeah. So he said for every 12, roughly speaking, for every 12 contacts I receive to some proposals, that's probably about right.

Kyle Van Deusen
That's not bad.

Pete Everitt
One out of six, and it's not, as I say, some of these tasks take seconds or I use that time like sitting in the car park at my son's hockey pitch, the pitch that he does his hockey lessons. So it's it's kind of like. Some of it is done in throw away time or others, of course, though, are you then speak to somebody like that big health care client and of course, they they this was a couple of years ago.

Pete Everitt
We started working with them. They weren't going to sign anything without meeting me. So I had to take put the investment in and go to London and meet them. So it depends who you find. But that's and I try and, you know, one of the things that covid has been great for is getting people more used to doing business this kind of way. So that, of course, takes some of the expense out of travel and the time that's involved in this that near other.

Pete Everitt
But. On the same note, actually, kind of miss seeing some people I like spending the day down in the big smoke and going and getting a gun and getting lunch and sitting, looking over Trafalgar Square, watching, you know, watching the world go by while while you're down there and all that kind of thing. So it's not it's not all bad. The whole face to face meeting.

Kyle Van Deusen
Things are starting to open. They never really shut down that much here. But I'm I'm fully vaccinated now, so I'm feeling more comfortable going out now and having, like, my daughters playing softball. So going to softball practice of interacting with people, it feels really good again. I didn't really realize I would miss it. OK, well, Pete, I really appreciate you doing this with me. I have several things I get to add to my list of things I could go out and do to help me find these leads.

Kyle Van Deusen
Before we wrap this up, I know we mentioned several that we might have mentioned everything your podcast, your agency and ASIO have, but I want to talk about all those things a little bit. So tell me first a little bit about the podcast and why what you talk about on there.

Pete Everitt
So the podcast is called Retainer FM. We it used to be called the marketing development podcast. I change it to retain, if I'm wrong about the start of the year. It's a podcast for agency owners looking at it looks at really the whole aspect of business. But the sort of common theme, I suppose, is about delivering on selling recurring services in your agency and by recurring services. I'm not necessarily talking about hosting and domain renewals and that kind of thing, but actual services like SEO or paperclip management, all that kind of stuff.

Pete Everitt
So that's that's what the podcast about. It's around about a 50 50 split of solo episodes from me on guest episodes like the wonderful Carl Vandeweghe. And it's been a multiple guest on the podcast. I don't think you've been on it since rebranded, but I don't think so.

Kyle Van Deusen
But any time you just have nobody better to talk to you reach out to me. And I do appreciate that.

Pete Everitt
So, yes, does the podcast awesome.

Kyle Van Deusen
What about Echo Hive? I doubt a lot of people are going to hire your agency. Maybe you did say you posted something on the job board. So if you've got a job, start the admin Broadcom. You can find jobs posted there, maybe even jobs that Pete has posted on there if you're interested in working with Pete. But why don't you tell us a little bit about Seo Hive?

Pete Everitt
So as the other hive is a white labeled SEO service, so we help digital agencies to we help digital agencies to run SEO retainers basically by we do all the legwork. It's packaged up in an affordable way into three pathways, which is content link outreach on Page SEO. And basically we help support you to have that recurring revenue in your business. Next week we're launching something called our scout product. So Seo Hive, one of the pieces of feedback we've had from our customer base is that the service is great, but actually they need the clients need some support in actually selling the retainers.

Pete Everitt
So the scout product is going to be a one off product whereby we will go and do all of the reporting for you that you can then include in either your proposals or your discovery process. So that will be a health check, a keyword research, current keyword rankings report, link, toxicity report and a speed test, including cold vitals. So that basically gives you a good pack to actually go and sell Celesio retainers. And then, of course, if you on board the site within a couple of months of of climbing that, then the onboarding is free for that site.

Pete Everitt
So that's that's something that we're launching next week.

Kyle Van Deusen
Well, that works out well with this conversation to go find some leads that might need some SEO work. And then you can run all this through SEO Hive and use this new program they're using to go out and actually close that deal.

Pete Everitt
Yeah, that's that's the plan. So we're really trying to support agencies through the sales process. Under-delivery, you know, the admin and you in particular have been absolutely fantastic in helping us get high off the ground last year. And, you know, we've we've changed a lot. We've learned a lot in our first year, but we're now in a position whereby also of coal pathways, the processes for those are working really well, that the accountability's good, the communications, but all of that kind of stuff.

Pete Everitt
So we can now start adding on these extra layers of sort of extra features, if you like. So it's it's becoming a lot more fun. I've spent a lot of time looking at processes in the last year and it's fun to look at something else.

Kyle Van Deusen
Yeah, I definitely think the idea of helping people sell it is definitely the right direction because I think that's where a lot of people probably struggle.

Pete Everitt
Yeah, absolutely. So we're you know, it's as I say, it's launching on Monday and hopefully we might even get a top, a top vouchered or something in that we like it. We'll let you know. See, I didn't have to ask. I just had to flash the smile and eat some beans on toast. And we're getting a coupon codes, guys.

Pete Everitt
Yeah, the code is going to be Heine's seventy seven.

Kyle Van Deusen
If you give us a code that better be.

Pete Everitt
It better be it. Yeah. You only get it if you can figure out how to spell the word Hymes. Yeah, no doubt. As a reminder, here you go, right here.

Pete Everitt
Here we go.

Kyle Van Deusen
All right. Perfect. Well, Pete, I appreciate this. I appreciate you coming here and answering these questions. We had several people thanking you in here for this discussion. That's awesome. We really appreciate everybody checking it out. I did. So we have about 70 people watching live and we will post this as a replay so everybody has access to it. Like I said, keep an eye out for the next week or so when I launch that prospect pipeline challenge.

Kyle Van Deusen
If you want to kind of help motivate yourself, we're going to have some of the tips that me and Pete talked about in here as part of the sequence that will kind of help teach you on how to go out or give you inspiration on how to go out and find some of these leads, plus a whole bunch more. So hopefully it'll be helpful for people that are serious about kind of changing their attitude on this and filling that pipeline up. So, Pete, thank you again.

Kyle Van Deusen
I appreciate it, buddy. I'm sure you won't be a stranger and you'll be back soon.

Pete Everitt
Cool. Now, really appreciate it. It's been lovely to talk to you, but yeah, it's been it's been too long. We've been. Yeah. Anyway, it's been a while. People don't to go. So did I. Yeah. I'll be a burden to this.

Kyle Van Deusen
No doubt. All right, guys, thank you guys so much for joining us. And we will catch you all soon. Bye-Bye.

Pete Everitt
Is.

Kyle Van Deusen
Stop streaming.

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