Sam Ovens: Hey everyone Sam Ovens here and today I have Neil Sheth on with us. Neil helps business with SEO and he helps them rank organically and get customers organically. He joined Consulting Accelerator, how long ago was it now?
Neil Sheth: I think it's probably towards the end of the last year, so end of 2017.
Sam Ovens: Cool, so you joined in at the end of 2017 and back then your business was doing around $5,000 per month and kind of doing a bit of this, a bit of that. Kind of in the ... This is a comfy spot to be. You're making enough money to pay for things and you can get kind of comfy there and you start doing a bunch of different stuff. He joined the Accelerator program, got really focused and was able to grow to 10 grand a month. I'm sure you're going to be jumping up and up and up from there.
Sam Ovens: First of all congrats on that and I'm looking forward to talking with you and hearing your story.
Neil Sheth: Thanks Sam. It's been a long journey. Taking your courses has been amazing. It's one of the things I kind of dipped my toes in and then things got busy. Then I kind of did that off, but then maybe things happen for a reason, but when we saw a bit of downturn, I though I've now got the time to maybe get stuck in. Yeah it's been awesome.
Sam Ovens: Cool. Let's talk about first of all, what was business and life like before you joined the program?
Neil Sheth: I would say that it was almost being busy for the sake of being busy. You're right, that when you reach a certain level of say 5,000 Pounds / Dollars a month. It is a bit of a conflict factor. Now obviously we have costs and staff to pay, but you kind of reach a level and then realize, or think that you can take your foot of the pedal and just almost [crosstalk 00:02:10] a bit of a rest. Yeah just coast and kind of have a bit of a breather. But actually was ... I think I read, or I heard this from you the other day around the evolution of people and we just need to evolve, otherwise we're going to die.
Neil Sheth: I can't remember how you exactly put it, but it just made so much sense. I think I was almost going through that kind of period of I've worked my ass of all year. I've reached this level. Let me just relax and I think that was the wrong decision to do, but taking the course is kind of just fired me up again and got me focused.
Sam Ovens: Death is when cells stop generating.
Neil Sheth: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: When they [crosstalk 00:02:54] ...
Neil Sheth: That's a pre strong way to predict it, yeah.
Sam Ovens: Yeah, when you're regenerating, all the cells in the human body have completely changed. It's like ... The more they are regenerating, the younger and more healthy you are and that's with business too. That evolution process is crucial and the moment it slows, or stops, you're playing with death.
Neil Sheth: Yeah. I've probably never had a conversation where they've mentioned that word twice, but I like the ... I totally agree. I mean you couldn't be more obvious about it, to be honest. I mean we can mainly talk about this later on, but April was a really rough month of us and it just kind of [inaudible 00:03:48] ... I can tap in from recent life. Life reminds what you should be doing and we did a bit of that in April, just for some situations that happened. I think if we had been constantly on it and thinking of evolving and growing, then that wouldn't be such a big impact. Luckily we've done that, but it's ... I think that's just one example why you need to be thinking, as you're saying just constantly evolving.
Sam Ovens: I caught two things so far from your conversation. You said things got busy and thing happen for a reason twice with both sentences. What does that mean. Let's start ... Because this is interesting, because you always can tell what someone ... If things get busy for a lot of people. Then it's kind of like figuring out how to deal with that, that enables you to grow, because things are always busy and everything is always happening and it takes discipline to shut that off and keep moving forward. What do you mean by things got busy? What actually happened?
Neil Sheth: When I say ... Are you referring to say end of last year when we were busy for the sake of being busy? Is that what you're ...
Sam Ovens: Well I mean you said also in April, things got busy.
Neil Sheth: Oh I see, okay. For example in April. Let me take a step back. At the start of this year and we can go back even further, but at the start of this year, we ended up doing a crazy amount of proposals. We were getting referrals left, right and center. Almost to the point at which I was like ... I was totally overwhelmed. It's because we've carved a bit of a niche in the SEO space of being just freaking good at it, but we do things slight different from a contact marketing point of view. That's a I guess a different topic in itself. Jan became incredibly busy with proposals, or pushing out proposals like out of my ears.
Neil Sheth: It's not to say they all landed. It's just to say that we got really busy with proposals and I was almost looking at the pipeline thinking wow this is incredible. We ended up taking on a few clients in Jan, then took on a few more clients in Feb. Then took on a few more clients in March. We really just started to hit, get the ball rolling. It was almost like all the work we had put in, or I've put in 2017, actually the fruits of it and you talk about this where you ... You're kind of doing that for a while, but you're ...
Sam Ovens: The kick.
Neil Sheth: Yeah the kick. I was really feeling that and then we took on some really good accounts and started working on them. April we were incredibly busy, but a couple of things happened. We ended up losing a client, who lost a major contact on the side. No fault of our own, but because they lost a major contract, we were the first to get hit. It was understandable, we took the hit, then suddenly another client ended up leaving us. It wasn't our fault again, which is great, but it was ... We weren't able to get them the results they needed, because there was more of a ... I mean this all get quite technical, but very kind of short story is, it's eCommerce shop.
Neil Sheth: They needed to do something to their shop for the last year and they just never did it. We were still doing our end. But we needed both to really see the result. In the end, they kind of just fath around and said, "We're going to now stop this and actually work on our site. It was actually a good decision to make and we were going to say the same, because the last thing I want to do is keep a client, who takes part of my mind space and doesn't ... I almost feel a lot more freer actually letting them go and moving on, although we spoke today and he's like, "We're coming back in three months today." But who knows.
Neil Sheth: Then on top of that a client who we finished a major project with and I think this is a massive learning curve. It's the first time it's happened. They ended up not paying their last invoice. We lost two clients, then we lost a load of money. It was an incredibly rough month, actually my worst month ever and we ended up ... There was kind of two ways to see this, which was do we just mope around and kind of look at the floor all day, kind of depressed, or do we do something about this. At that point I just decided to put more budget in marketing. We need to be doing more organic outreach.
Neil Sheth: We've not done that actually up until now and this was my kind of kick up the ass to finally do it. Then actually just get out there and network. Then last week I signed a client, who actually made up for those two clients in one. That was just major validation that everything is fine.
Sam Ovens: Got it. Let's go back to when ... Before you joined and you were kind of comfy. What was the problem that you faced back then? Because I mean most people join a program to solve a problem and to go to another level. What was that pain you were experiencing back then?
Neil Sheth: I guess I give people a bit of background into how I jumped into this. My background is actually investment banking. I used to work for Goldman Sachs, Barkley Capital and some of the big banks as a project manager. I would manage 50 developers across the country and make change happen within the banks. Banking pays really well, but it's incredibly boring, especially when you know you're an entrepreneur at the heart of it. For the last 10 years while working in banking, I was launching businesses on the side, online primarily. One of my first businesses I lost 20 grand with an online business and realized actually I never understood marketing, but I really liked the idea of starting an online business.
Neil Sheth: For about nine years, whilst working in banking, I continued to launch business and actually start seeing successes and then I just wasn't impressed by all the [scandely 00:10:18] workshops with make money online quick type of workshops. I decided to teach and train small business from what I was actually doing day in, day out. I began doing that and then it got to the point where I was working in Goldman Sachs, incredibly busy, because they kind of just ... They've got you all hours in the day. I tried to hire an SEO agency. I realized A, I knew more than them, but B, they never took the time to really understand my business, as much as I would understand my business.
Neil Sheth: I just never trusted they would do a good job as me. I ended up hiring my own team, doing my own SEO. Did that for a few years and realized, actually I kind of love it and I'm really good at it. I decided to create an agency, which I did in 2015 and then took on a few more clients. Long story short we realized we were having a baby daughter. Our first baby towards October of 2016 and realized if I don't have the guts to quit my banking job without a kid, how the heck am I going to quit my job with a kid. Pretty much the same day we found out we were having ... Sienna is her name. I decided I would quit my job at the end of 2016, which I did.
Neil Sheth: That gave me then a six months kind of run time to get the business, get the agency up and running before she was born. I was doing everything. It's not even about being busy. It was almost being stupid, doing things that I thought were important, but actually weren't. For example I'm sure you've heard of a networking group called Business, so BNI.
Sam Ovens: Yeah, that's kind of like the Chamber of Commerce sorts of things right?
Neil Sheth: It's worst. It's like Chamber of Commerce, like ultra [crosstalk 00:12:20] ...
Sam Ovens: Like styrofoam cup, shitty coffee. Like a bunch of people with lousy suits and business cards handing it to each other. No one is making any money.
Neil Sheth: Yeah, yeah, so that's just the cost per bit, but let's just make that 10 times worse. You have to go in every week. You have to go in at 6:30 in the morning, or 6:00. I'm not really a morning person, so I'm already pissed off without even starting the day. Number two is you have to bring in referrals to a group of people. So there can only be one electrician one ... On a boiler guy, one I don't know digital marketeer. One website guy. It's a closed group and there's pressure to bring in business every week. I joined this group at the beginning of 2017, just when I left my job, I thought holy shit I need to get my network growing and I need as many people.
Neil Sheth: What I ended up doing was almost spending most of my time stressed and trying to get referrals for the group. Trying to bring in contributions for the group. I think I must have brought in 10,000 worth of business for that group in my first two months. In my whole six months of being there, I had probably made about 500 Pounds in my [crosstalk 00:13:36] ...
Sam Ovens: You did it for that long? What I found is I went to something knowing there that one time. I just knew instantly ... I talked to people and they were all like, "Yeah I've got this idea, but I'm trying to raise money for it. I can't do anything till I raise money. I'd probe them, how long have you been doing this? Before I found out like five years. I was like, "Fuck these people." If someone has been waiting for five years just for that. This person is nuts. Then I spoke to all of them and they were all the same, but they kind of got a dopamine hit from festering with each other.
Neil Sheth: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: I was like, man if I join this group, I'm going to get played like them and they're just going to suffocate me and I'm going to think negatively. I was like, "Screw this I'm out of here." Never went back.
Neil Sheth: Yeah. I wish I had that attitude. I think for me it was coming out of investment banking and just being in business for the very first time full time. I thought I was good at business. I've been launching business for ages, but actually when you're in it full time, it's a totally different story. The spiel the group gave was, you got to be in here long term. The group has to get to know you. You have to get to know the group, bla, bla, bla. I was almost ... It's funny, you know wife saw it within two months. She was like, "Why the hell are you going to that group." Like, "Why are you even doing that."
Neil Sheth: I remember in my third month I won Networker of the Month award and I came home and I was like, "Look check this out." I actually embarrassingly felt proud about it. But it was embarrassing to think of. The funny thing is it's still on my frigging desk.
Sam Ovens: That's how they rope you in.
Neil Sheth: Yeah I know and you have to do training. You have to bring in referrals. You have to ... They called ... I was the education coordinator. They really liked me and I was the education coordinator. Every week I had to prepare an education speech, so imagine that. You've got this business to run, get off the ground and then you're messing around with putting together an education.
Sam Ovens: My rule of thumb is to quickly evaluate whether anything is worth doing?
Neil Sheth: Tell me.
Sam Ovens: Quickly locate the smartest, most successful person in the entire room. If they're not doing better than you, leave.
Neil Sheth: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: If they're not doing very well leave. If they're just doing moderate, leave. Otherwise you're not going to learn anything, because the group is only going to be as successful as it's leader and if that person is not successful, that group isn't going anywhere.
Neil Sheth: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: That's my rule. Quickly evaluate out.
Neil Sheth: You know what? I've become a lot more astute and I guess cut throat with my thinking since. Even in conversations now, like went to an event today and I met someone that's clearly never going to pay for my service and we don't waste too much time. But I think that takes practice, is recognizing even before they open their mouth, whether they can be a client, or not. I think you get better at it over time.
Neil Sheth: It's funny. My daughter, once we found out she was being born I had left my job. It was my daughter again who actually got me out of this kind of mess, because she was born in June, so that was about six months in. I went on paternity leave, which was awesome. I freaking realized how good life was when I left, when I went on paternity leave. Three months later I told them I'm not coming back. Ever since my business has grown, because I'm no longer spending any time thinking about their business, all I'm obsessed about is my own, which ... And clients and customers obviously.
Sam Ovens: I'm sure you had to work hard too.
Neil Sheth: Big time. Yeah, that's what happened. The business grew since. I was working better referrals, make better relationships. Why did I take ... I guess going back to your question, why did I take the course?
Sam Ovens: What was your problem? Generally people enroll in training to try and get to another level. Generally people want to grow to another level, because they've got a problem that they want to fix. You know what I mean?
Neil Sheth: What I found is my clients were almost coming from a different various areas. Most of it referral came from networking, but I wanted was a bit of structure around, here's what I should be focusing on. It's one of those things that you hear a lot of time is business coaches, or coaches, or anyone really is, focus on sales activities only and leave all the rest on the side. Maybe it's the age 20 rule of sales versus 20, the non important stuff. But what does that actually mean? It's like what, out of all the marketing stuff should I be working on and where should I be focusing on? What's the priority from a funnel point of view? I think I was just looking for at the time direction.
Neil Sheth: I actually heard your interview many years ago and I might be guessing here, but I remember your name coming up with Andrew Warner. This was quite a few years ago. Is that [crosstalk 00:19:05] ...
Sam Ovens: Did I look like a little baby? I remember when I did the first interview with him. I was five years younger.
Neil Sheth: Yeah, yeah, so it was an audio. I listened to a lot of the podcasts and I'm a huge fan of his podcasts. In fact it's the only one, or two that I listen to. I remember your name many, many years ago and I was still in banking at this point. I don't even think I realized I was going to create an agency. I was always anti agency. I was always ... I wanted to create my own business, which we still do on the side, we still run. But I remember coming across you in that interview. For anyone that Andrew interviews is like trust factor in the person he's interviewing in my eyes goes from that to like massively up. Then I must have ... You must have hit me with one of your Facebook ads and I was like, "Ah that's Sam." I think that's how it happened.
Sam Ovens: Got it and then years later you saw it, but still like ... Okay, so the problem is really you wanted some structure and you wanted to know ... One way I describe it sometimes is business owners are doing a whole bunch of stuff, but they don't know what little pieces in there are actually causing the results to happen. They can't clearly trace cause and effect, so they just default to doing a lot of stuff and they know it creates something, but they're not able to cut away stuff and just focus and obsess over specific things.
Neil Sheth: I think you're right in terms of obsess over certain things. I've always been the kind of your typical entrepreneur that loves to do different things. I'm still improving on that. I think you're right to a point. The only thing I would add is I've always been of the opinion of ... All right I'm doing thing ... In my eyes I'm always doing things at this level, but I'm always saying, "How come I'd even do that?" Even it doesn't mean I could do that. Even just an inch up, what I could do? The fact that you're hitting me with the message of how to get five to 10 to 15 clients almost on tap, readily available is a pretty strong as you put it in your training, your profound offer.
Neil Sheth: If you could tell me within ... If there's kind of that that you teach us and I know most of it, but that piece I'm missing, then for me the training is worth it. I've always been one of these people that will always invest in myself. I think that's partly my attribute. I'm very bullish when it comes to training, even if it's a piece that is a nugget, the training is worth it.
Sam Ovens: Yeah. I think that's true, because a lot of people just look at the instant effect of it. Even some training I've done that I didn't really get much for and kind of wrote off. I've had a look at it and it's helped me four years later with something totally unrelated. So long as you're learning and you're improving, I mean it's a really good thing to be doing.
Neil Sheth: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: Let's talk about ... I understand the situation and you joined Accelerator to try and make things more predictable. Let's talk about what happened after you joined.
Neil Sheth: I was mentioning this before when we were just chatting. Last year we ended up trying to niche towards travel, hospitality and food. We're doing well in the sense of getting a lot of buzz, getting a lot of branding. The problem was we weren't actually making the sales we wanted to. We niched to that industry just because of my own experience of launching businesses in that industry, but actually I realized business within that industry for whatever reason are very tight on money. We almost ... I know this is kind of the opposite of what you teach. I think it's useful to see that. We went through a process actually just in the last couple of months of unniching and unniching to an industry I ... We could help any industry from an SEO and content and marketing perspective.
Neil Sheth: I was driven by the fact that actually we were getting referrals and we were picking up clients in totally different industries. For example of one of our clients sells bollards outside ... You know outside your flat, or building, that [inaudible 00:23:48] was from and to the pavement. One of my clients sells that. Would I have imagined that we would be targeting that type of client? No I didn't. Then another client does data integration. We have another client in the baking space. What we started realizing, when actually it wasn't so much the industry. It was more the situation of the business.
Neil Sheth: I think as we went through your training, just being able to ... I've got this huge deck that I've built on the back of your training, which goes through the messaging, the target audience, the messaging, the offer, the hypothesis and then rating that from one to 10. I went through that process and I ended up with hospitality and travel and that was last year. But I actually ... Reading the market, picking up clients for our agency, realized that actually we didn't need ... We need to niche, we needed to understand that actual niche of our client, I.E. their spending on paid advertising.
Neil Sheth: They're a certain size. They've got a certain number of staff. They're already making money on paid ads and now we need to look longer term on the SEO to help that kick in and increase market share. Sorry, that was a bit of a long answer, but to kind of summarize that. On the back of your training we were forced to niche and that really made us realize actually it wasn't so much the hospitality and the travel, it was the niche around the type of business and that's what we've refined through your training and just getting that messaging right has been super important.
Neil Sheth: The other thing is ... I think the other thing is, we make more of a effort to ... I like that word profound, because it's so true. You will only stop and think about someone that actually makes a profound offer. In the last few months, we increased organic leads for one of our clients by 40% within about two months. Usually we don't really expect an uplift of such an amount within such a small period, but we saw that happen. Now, we're making such a big deal and we're making a massive deal at this point and we're going out to that specific target audience to say, "Hey here's what we've done."
Neil Sheth: We really didn't think of that before. That for me would've been a case study, testimonial, boom, done, move on. Now we're actually going in to that and saying "Actually how do we maximize this? How do we get this out there? How do we use this as a marketing ploy?" If that makes sense.
Sam Ovens: Yeah, I think what you've discovered is like a huge thing for most entrepreneurs, because you said you niched and then you went through a process of unniching. But really you just niched on a different variable.
Neil Sheth: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: Most of people tend to look ... When I say the word niche, they just think oh industries. Where there's real estate, insurance. There's dentist and they're like, "All right there's 12 things." There's only 12 categories of ... There's only 12 niches in the world. But those are just 12 broad industries. That is one way to cut the market up. But a niche by definition is just any way of slicing anything. It's just any cluster of anything and there's infinite niches. It doesn't have to be on the industry level. It can be on any level. You see a ... Going just on the industry was difficult, but you noticed it was clients who clustered together by different things.
Sam Ovens: They're spending money on ads. They're probably profitable on ads. Then that means that you already know what key words to target and you know what's going to be a fruitful endeavor. You're not really optimizing blindly. The ads pay for the short term. This pays for the long. That's going into a place where those are the conditions. If someone has those conditions, that means that they're in your niche, compared to saying just travel insurance business is my niche. You know what I mean?
Neil Sheth: Correct, yeah, yeah, yeah, totally.
Sam Ovens: When people make that paradigm shift, it unlocks everything and they find their little thing. What I've noticed is when people just put real estate or something, they haven't understood deep enough. That's really good news that you have done that, because that's ... When I notice people do that, that's when things just blow up.
Neil Sheth: Yeah, yep, yep, exactly. The other thing is we were getting questions from say prospects who got in touch, who said, "Neil ..." We were speaking to a law firm, which we lost actually in terms of proposal. I'll give you some kind of ... I'll give the people that are watching this some good advice in the back of that. But what they said to us in our first ever meeting was ... They were like, "We really like you. We think you're very strong. We think from a content marketing point of view, you're probably better than everyone else. However you talk about trouble in hospitality on your website. Do you even think you could help us?"
Neil Sheth: My immediate reaction was, it's probably better that we niche to trouble in hospitality, because we're doing things your legal, or SEO, or digital marketing agencies haven't even thought of, because we're bringing creativity from another industry and we're applying to a boring industry. I said that to them. I said, "This is a tradition boring industry and it's your opportunity to stand out." At the time that got me away ... That kind of got me out of the situation, but I do know I left them with that thought of it doesn't really kind of specialize in our industry.
Neil Sheth: Sometimes making an obvious niche, making a big point of it, when actually that isn't the right niche you should be going on. It's according to what you just said, it's conditions, can actually turn clients off, or prospect clients off. We just changed that on the site as well. We've taken that away, because we've understood it more.
Sam Ovens: Yeah it's funny, even a lawyer who's ... Their job is to form convictions could still get derailed in logic by one keyword. You know what I mean?
Neil Sheth: Yeah.
Sam Ovens: That's not much of a case as to why you can't help them, but that's what humans are like. They see one little thing sometimes and they're like ... They start panicking.
Neil Sheth: Or they're looking for a reason not to use you, as opposed to reasons why they should be using you. I think that's human nature. I guess just to finish that off. We actually lost that client. As a proposal we were the last to ... This probably would have been one of our biggest SEO clients on a monthly retainer. Gladly they were happy to provide some feedback and not many business, or clients in this situation would. We got on a call. We're actually friends on LinkedIn we're keeping in touch. She actually said from the get go, she said, "Neil who knows, we might actually come back to you, because we think you're really strong in the content." So, I've got my fingers crossed.
Neil Sheth: But separately what they shared with us was really interesting. The agency that they met and they went through everything with were A, a lot more formal around technical stuff. Some of the kind of work flow, whereas we were more like look its ... I think I even said this and maybe I just need to improve, but I said, "Look here's the technical staff. It's incredibly boring. Generally our clients just trust us with it and here's the content." I ended up explaining the content as spending a lot more time on that, because I said this is where the value is.
Neil Sheth: Because I skipped that, they took away from that that I didn't understand that and actually we probably understand that ... We're pretty high up in terms of understanding the technical side, compared to other agencies. But because in our eyes we didn't see the importance of explaining it, we had almost devalued our service in that area. I would say to people listening to this, is that when you're explaining your service and how you work, really spend the time going into the detail, because whilst you may know it and think it's easy, or whatever. It's worth just building that confidence in your client. I think we could've done that better.
Neil Sheth: The other piece of feedback was quite interesting actually. We haven't necessarily added on to our business just yet, but this other agency were offering quarterly business reviews, I.E. actually sitting down with the company and reviewing their business in line with their digital marketing. So, pulling out their numbers, then pulling out the digital marketing and going through everything. Very, very much like business focused, as opposed to just traffic number, inquiries, leads. They were looking at the whole end to end, which I think ... Like in my opinion right now, it's a bit of a scaling issue if we were to do that, but we'd probably do an certain extent, so that we're building that kind of trust of we're interested in growing your business. We're not just interested in vanity numbers, which any [inaudible 00:33:49] ...
Sam Ovens: It sounds to me like in that scenario, there isn't any real clear differentiation. It's still, even you did that ... It's nothing profound as you said before. That shows me that both of you were missing something profound. Because in it's one big like dagger to the heart blow, that's like difference. That's when you dominate.
Neil Sheth: You are right. We lost another client. Tell me if this is profiling, but I'd like your advice on this. We lost another client, another prospect client, whereby their other ... The SEO agency we were competing with were promising three leads a day. Now, we did our research. We did our ... We understood the market and we also understood what the search volume is. In the SEO space I'm sure you know this. You can't make a promise like that. We spoke to the client and we were like, "Look the data here doesn't validate it, but we've jumped into your paid ads data and we can see that actually if we rank for it, then you could be getting three leads a day. However we can't guarantee you that within three months, which is ultimately what this other company were doing. That's massively profound, but ultimately [crosstalk 00:35:12] ...
Sam Ovens: What was the ... Because sometimes people could just say something and there's no actual promise in writing with consequences if it doesn't come true. Do you know if it's just something they said, or if there was consequences of not delivering that?
Neil Sheth: I think it's just something they said.
Sam Ovens: Yeah.
Neil Sheth: I think it's just part of their proposal.
Sam Ovens: That's how you run for president. You just say a bunch of shit, because that often gets you elected and it doesn't really matter if it comes true or not when you're elected. Do you know what I mean?
Neil Sheth: Yeah, yeah I do, but it's just ... We can be confident in certain things. For example we've just done a proposal this week, where it's a search term within ... I don't think I can go into that, but it's a trending search term melanoma, which we're confident that we can rank for it within 10 to 12 weeks. That's just because we've done our research and obviously based on some previous data. I can probably say, "Within 10 to 12 weeks we'll rank for it." Three leads a day for something that doesn't even have the volume in the keyword research tools. That's just crazy. What's your advice there?
Sam Ovens: Here's the thing. This is just the messaging thing right? Factually they were ... Like analyzing it, they probably thought the same thing. When it's ranking we can probably get three leads a day. We know we might be able to get that based on what the paid search is doing. We can get it to three leads a day. Is it inaccurate to say we guarantee you we can get three leads a day? Just leave out the detail of how long. Do you know what I mean? Because then it's just going to stick in their head and they're just going to remember that. Three leads a day and you're not necessarily lying, because once you start working with them.
Sam Ovens: I mean they can say, "When are we going to get to three leads a day?" You'll be like, "Once we've ranked you." But they've beaten you. It's a messaging thing.
Neil Sheth: Yeah, they beat us straight in the message. I mean they did say three leads a day within three months. My response was, "it's going to take ..." Even two months I think they came out with.
Sam Ovens: Every single business has to make a promise and that's not necessarily 100% factually accurate. For example, you look at ... My course I say how to start a consulting business and get your first client. I make that promise, because it's possible and people do it, but it's not guaranteed. I mean you can buy the course, don't do anything, you're guaranteed not to get a client. But you still have to make that promise, because that's the promise that people see. Sometimes people don't want to be told that 100% cold, hard, rationale truth, because then they don't even believe it.
Sam Ovens: Another example is how ... When they're advertising gyms and treadmills and Nike shoes. They've got the best looking fittest athletes in the world. It's kind of promising subliminally if you get these shoes, you'll be like that too. But they're not, I mean you just got the shoes. But you see what I mean? You've got to have ... It's important not to lie like outright, like if it's impossible you don't say it. But you have to be aggressive in that promise, because otherwise other people will and it's not ... Do you see what I'm trying to say?
Sam Ovens: There's a difference between a worded contract promising it, with all these repercussions and terms [crosstalk 00:38:35] ...
Neil Sheth: Which he was on that, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Sam Ovens: Or just saying something. You're probably not aggressive enough.
Neil Sheth: I think you're right. I think I'm too [crosstalk 00:38:49] ...
Sam Ovens: Too prudent.
Neil Sheth: I think I'm too prudent, you're right.
Sam Ovens: Which is a good thing to be. It's always better to be that way, because it means you're not going to make devastating decisions. In business you have to be that way, but then be aggressive with the promises and all of that.
Neil Sheth: Yeah, yeah. I guess the thought that keeps running in my head is, what if by the end of three months we don't hit this target, what happens? Is this client just going to go nuts and leave me a bad review and just go crazy. I think that's ultimately the thoughts that I would be probably be thinking about at the time.
Sam Ovens: Well it depends why? Sometimes a prediction can be off. If you'll get there in four, or five months. I mean you still get there right? You can explain how the set back happened and all of that. I mean it's just about ... It's about explaining why and discovering why and just telling the person why. If I say you can get your first client and then someone comes to me and they're like, "Sam I haven't got my first client." I'm like, "What have you done?" They're like, "Nothing. It's been a year." I'm like, "Well that's why dude, you didn't do anything." You know what I mean? It's not like I ...
Sam Ovens: Because it's always business, you can never actually make a prediction et cetera. No one can do that, because no one can foresee the future. You want to have your predictions ... Your promises and stuff grounded in some sort of evidence, but you never have to fear that they're going to 100% wrong, unless you're having to put collateral on it. You know what I mean?
Neil Sheth: Yeah, yeah, for sure. I guess reputation is a big thing for me. I mean maybe I'm just over complicating it, but ...
Sam Ovens: This is the way I think about it right? If you think that you're actually better. Do you think you're actually better than that other SEO firm that won that client, because they made a [crosstalk 00:40:50] promise?
Neil Sheth: Oh yeah, [crosstalk 00:40:52] ...
Sam Ovens: Then at the end of the day ...
Neil Sheth: We even told the client that we're better.
Sam Ovens: Yeah, but at the end of the day then ... The right thing is happening. You've got to be more aggressive to get the client, so they can work with you to get the better result right?
Neil Sheth: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Sam Ovens: It's kind of like the end justifies the means. Do you know what I mean? Provided the means isn't too outrageous. Sometimes in business you got to do those things. If you actually are better, then you should be aggressive. You've kind of hurt that business, because you weren't aggressive enough, because now they're working with them. Now they're going to get subpar results, when they could've had the good ones.
Neil Sheth: Yeah, yeah, yeah. When you put it like that.
Sam Ovens: Being aggressive when you suck is not the best move, because you're promising everything and then they end up passing on the good companies and then working with a company that can't perform. Sure that's horrible. That's the last thing you want to do. But when you're in that position, you've got to be bold.
Neil Sheth: Yeah, with a proposal we did last we said ... This is probably the most aggressive I've been recently, where we said ... We would rank between 10 to 12 weeks, based on what we were going for. They actually came back and I justified that with loads of examples and bla, bla, bla, because we speaking about together. They came back and they said, "Would you be willing to attribute some of the cost to a percentage of the sales made?" I was like ... Whilst in way I'd be actually taking a return on their sales, but ultimately we can't ... It's not paid advertising. You can't turn it off and turn it on. It's brand awareness.
Neil Sheth: How long does the SEO carry on for? How long are you going to pay me for? We tried to be aggressive, but actually they still, even though they're a multi million pound business. They are still not willing to fork out the funds and wanted us to take the risk from their behalf in return for a percentage on the sales. What would be your response to that?
Sam Ovens: Well I don't like those deals, because you can't police them. They're not going to turn over their PNL and balance sheet.
Neil Sheth: Exactly.
Sam Ovens: Then there's no trust. You know what I mean? They could lie. They can just say, "Oh I'm just getting any sales dude. It's been 10 years, still no sales." Just been milking it. You've got no way to fact check them. Just based on that alone, I'm not doing that deal.
Neil Sheth: Right.
Sam Ovens: You have to control the gateway if you ever do that. Amazon sells other people's products, but they collect the money and then they give you your piece. Do you know what I mean?" A good response might have been, sure but let us run it through our merchant and then we'll hand [crosstalk 00:43:56] you out the other path, or sure if you're just willing to just share your PNL with us daily. Because these are accurate questions. But to your point, I mean it's ... When someone is in that position where they're like ... They're not fully believing in your, that they're trying to hedge. You know what I mean. You'll be decisions that business makes where they go all in on things, because just someone believes it in more and they tell a better story.
Sam Ovens: You probably need to be a little bit more aggressive and a bit more confident in it and in yourself too, if you really are better than the other players that are saying they can help. Then you need a exert that confidence. Show people that it's like that, but also you need a profound differentiating piece. This brings me to my next question which is like, how are you different? What is the one, or few thing that make you different from everyone else in SEO?
Neil Sheth: That's a good question so ...