If you know me, you are well aware that I geek out over automation. I’m the person you’d appreciate for my relentless pursuit of data and attention to detail, but would not want to hear me nerd out over the inner workings.
For a limited time, I’m going to share a few tools that will truly give you your time back (and possibly even save you from having to hire an assistant).
If you struggle with finding the right employees, or cry out that there just aren’t enough hours in the day, I have the silver bullet.
Marketing is still at our core, but for a limited time, I’m offering a couple gems to my circle. I’d like to help you overcome this common problem.
As a principal in your business, what is your time worth? $50 an hour? $100? $500? More?
If you are your primary sales person and you spend 20 minutes prepping for each consultation and you have 5 consultations each day, that’s 1 hour 40 minutes. With automation, we’ve been able to knock our prep time down to 5 minutes, for a savings of 1 hour 15 minutes.
You can squeeze at least one more consultation into an hour, maybe even two.
If you close one out of every 3 deals, factor in 1/3 of a deal.
A client with a lifetime value of $5,000 would mean a lost opportunity cost of just under $1,700 …. per day!
Does that make sense?
Budget Your Time Like Money
Your time is your most valuable asset, and as such, it is worth budgeting as you would your finances.
A carefully planned calendar is like a well crafted budget spreadsheet. To properly budget your time, you need a tool.
Tool Tip: We use Google Calendar. It is a versatile way to share, invite, automate, and even color code to make sense of it all.
Online Automation to Boost Offline Relationships
People often confuse automation with replacing talking to people with making communication automatic.
We do not replace phone calls, texts, or even emails with automated “touches.” We set automation so that we spend less time with busy work so we have more time for connecting.
I save 1 to 2 hours every day by automating busy work. For example, here are some estimated breakdowns:
- LinkedIn Prospecting: 45 Minutes per Day
- Consultations: 15 Minutes Each (x number of consultations each day)
- Podcast Prep: 20 Minutes Each (x number of interviews each day)
- Pipeline Management: 20-60 Minutes per Day
- Management of Client Services: 20-60 Minutes per Day
- External Lead Management: 30 Minutes per Lead
Make Fewer Mistakes
People are not perfect. I make mistakes, my team makes mistakes, and when we’re left to manage tiny details amidst busy-work, things fall through the cracks.
Do you ever worry how many of those leads you’re not getting back to are your perfect client?
A properly set up automation can pick up those little details to make communication reliable and consistent.
A great example is our LinkedIn Marketing.
We research ideal connections, make the request, then manually send a sequence of emails with free tools on standby for pros who are interested.
In the beginning, we had to keep up with new connection notifications on LinkedIn, then manually scrape the name, link, date connected (for tracking), and a link to the profile (so we can easily go to the page for subsequent messages in the sequence).
The biggest problem we had were keeping track of the notifications without anything falling through the cracks. I mean, what if we’re busy and miss a day or two? Grabbing contacts from the notifications can get messy and time consuming.
- Grab the notification emails through Gmail, reformat to grab the new contacts’ names, LinkedIn profile link, and date added.
- Add rows to the LinkedIn Marketing Google Sheet with the formatted data.
- Create formulas for the columns that follow for the follow up email sequence dates.
- Conditional formatting turn cells with current tasks GREEN and past due tasks RED.
- Quick button on Trello with daily tasks that include a links to the spreadsheet and custom searches.
Each day, instead of taking time to hunt for new connections, we skip straight to the easy to navigate spreadsheet in one click. We easily save 45 minute each day with this automation.
Save an Hour for Every 4 Consultations
Consultation prep is important. When you get in front of a qualified prospect, you make the most of the time with a questionnaire and a script.
When the prospective client completes the questionnaire, the traditional method is to log into the survey portal, grab the results (or find them in your email), and prepare a document for the call.
That is far too time consuming, clunky, and leaves too much room for human error.
Streamlined Consultation Prep
These details are laid out to illustrate how so much time is saved. I save 15 minutes – and I’m quick. You can see that it could easily save more than just 15 minutes per consultation.
- Prospective client completes a consultation qualifying and prep questionnaire.
- When submitted, the prospect is redirected to the appointment scheduler (Appointlet), where she schedules a consultation. Appointlet automatically triggers a new Zoom meeting and Google Calendar event.
- The completed questionnaire triggers creation of a Google Doc using a template that includes our script. It has a title that includes her name, and answers to the questionnaire are merged into the document in a way that supports the Script. The document is automatically moved into our Prospects Google Drive folder.
- The completed questionnaire adds a deal, contact, and organization to our Pipedrive sales pipeline management software in the correct pipeline and moved to the “Consultation” stage.
- A link to the customized consultation Script is added to Pipedrive for easy access.
- The scheduled appointment triggers a time block after the appointment, in case it runs long. It also triggers Pipedrive to add an Activity for the meeting on that date for proper sales activities tracking.
- The Zoom call triggers a search for matching event to add the Zoom link to the calendar event for easy access.
When it’s time for the consultation, I open Pipedrive, do a 2 second search for the deal, and have everything I need at my fingertips. With a quick click and review of the script with the answers to the qualifying a prep questionnaire, I’m ready to get to know the challenges and solutions for the person I’m about to meet with.
Whether or Not to Hire An Assistant
The job market is tight, and who has time to train and hire an assistant? By our estimation, our overall automation does the work of one part time person.
Don’t get me wrong, we need to (and likely, so do you) hire an assistant. But again, your employees can stick to the higher level tasks and leave the busy-work to the geeky tech systems.
Everything You Need, Where You Need It.
Digital marketing is our core competency. Automation is our superpower.