Ep 006: Cold Calling Strategies that Helped Mark Petree from Clix Profit Close Nearly 50 Digital Marketing Clients

Ryan Shank wrote this on on October 24, 2018 in Podcast

Mark Petree from Clix Profit uses outsourcing to build targeted lists and cold calls businesses to win them as clients for google ads. He’s grown his business to nearly 50 clients and has since hired an account manager.

Mark’s Linkedin:¬†https://www.linkedin.com/in/markdpetree

If you want to check out the video, here you go:




Full Transcript:

Ryan Shank: 00:01 All right guys, welcome to episode six of growing your agency. Super excited today. I’m joined here by Mark Petri of clicks profit. Mark, thank you so much for coming on the show.

Mark Petree: 00:12 Yeah, thanks for having me, Ryan.

Ryan Shank: 00:14 Yeah, absolutely. So tell me a little bit about that. So I know you have a, you have an agency, you’ve been doing this for a while. Tell me a little bit about how you got into, into the space and then also, you know, did you, did you start out as you’re your own boss or did you kind of work at another agency then you broke out on your own? Tell us a little bit about the background.

Mark Petree: 00:34 Yeah, so I started off as a marketing director working for a company that rented a big video screens. If you’ve ever been on like a concert or any sort of sporting event, you see those huge video screens. Yeah, we have. So he rented those two events and so I did that for about, oh, 10 years, and that’s, that’s when I started learning a google ad words. It started out, I just started cold calling people, trying to find clients and then the, that wasn’t working out so I was like, it’d be a lot better if they could find us. Right. And that’s when I started digging into online marketing, started Google ads and really, uh, got, got pretty good with it, just uh, read everything I could on it. And then about two and a half years ago I left that company and I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. It’s such a small little niche industry. Uh, at first I started looking for another gig within that industry

Ryan Shank: 01:49 screen

Mark Petree: 01:49 in the screen industry. Yeah. I was the marketing director for that company for nine years. So I had a ton of experience in the industry and so I started looking around for another Gig in that industry and so find something that would have had me making comparable money. I was going to have to move to like Texas or you know, or to the east coast. I didn’t really want to move. And so kind of like hold the fuck Outta my hand and do with my life. And so I’ve got this skill, I know Google ads, I’m pretty confident with it. And so, uh, one of my friends who does Seo, he had a client, it was a, it was a limo company actually, and this guy was running google ads, you’re spending like eight grand a month and a, my friend said, can you check out his account because he thinks he’s wasting a lot of money account and it could be doing a lot better. So I checked out the account and I completely redid everything and I got him down to spending $3,500 a month, but probably tripled the number of leads he was getting. So his Roi was like insane.

Ryan Shank: 02:57 What was he spending? Sorry, what was that

Mark Petree: 02:59 new spending? Eight grand a month. Really small market. And so, um, I, I switched things around, got him down to $3,500 a month and spend. But if he was getting even more leads at 3,500, denny was at 8,000, like two to three times as many. So he was over the moon. He was super stoked. And I just look, I’m sure there’s a ton of these, I’m sure there’s a ton of these guys out there that have really horrible Google ads campaigns that are just pissing away money. And so I just picked up a phone and I started started calling and so, uh, that was two and a half years ago. Fast forward now, got just a little over four dozen clients. And so most of them I’ve gotten from a cold caller and a, well recently I’ve been getting more referrals and I’ve been getting more inbound stuff through relationships. But uh, yeah. So that’s pretty much today.

Ryan Shank: 04:05 Love it. Love it. So a couple things. I’m going to dive in there. So when you looked at the account, um, what were some of the things that you were able to do? Was it, were you, was there any negative keywords that just weren’t added in there? Like what were some of the things, because I just talked to someone the other day actually on, uh, one of the podcasts and they were saying how, you know, a lot of these agencies who are, or marketers who I guess are running ad words, you know, especially if they’re incentivized by getting paid percentage of ad spend, you can blow through ad spend, you know, by doing, you know, just some broad match key words and, you know, not using a lot of negatives and it’s pretty easy to, to get that ad spend up there. So what were a few few tactics that you did when we took a look at the account and I guess now that you do, um, with your current agency, when you look at someone’s account and you say, Oh, this is a, this is a little little, little loose looser than it needs to be.

Mark Petree: 04:56 Uh, so, so yeah, I mean generally speaking with most accounts, it’s still the same, the same issue. The first thing I always look at is the search term report and I just see how many irrelevant searches they’re getting. Um, this account was getting over probably 60 percent or irrelevant searches. Uh, he was, yeah, he was using a lot of broad match keywords in the account, which, you know, you shouldn’t do. He didn’t have many ad groups, so, um, the clickthrough rate was low because the ads weren’t, um, you know, he wasn’t using my skaggs single keyword ad groups or anything like that. Um, so once I switched over to, you know, just using the other three modified broad phrase and exact and um, kind of rebuilt the campaign. So is click through click through rate, went way up. I added a ton of negative keywords. Uh, he, he added the landing page is actually just using his homepage, which I usually usually use landing pages with clients, but actually his, his website converts pretty well and so we just kept using his website.

Mark Petree: 06:10 Um, and yeah, just those changes. Um, I did some bid modifiers based on location and mobile verse Test Top, but I don’t think that’s where most of the results came from. I think it really just came from getting, you know, going from having a, you know, 30 to 40 percent relevant searches to go into like 90 to 95 percent relevant searches like that may also lowering its cost per click, you know, he was getting at too high of a position he was going for like one point three to one point four. And so if you’ve been at like two point five, you can, uh, and also, you know, just having a really high click through rate that gives you a better quality score, which, you know, pay less per click. So, I mean, I probably dropped his cost per click by about 50 percent, you know, um, got rid of all those irrelevant search queries he was getting. And so just those two things alone, it is how you start to see a multiplier effect. And so that’s how, that’s how he ended up getting those results. And so, uh, yeah, he was, he was pretty stoked.

Ryan Shank: 07:18 Yeah. That’s amazing. That’s a, that’s all really good stuff. So going, going then into, you said you get a lot of clients through cold calling. I’m very intrigued by this, we do a lot of cold calling ourselves into agencies. Talk to me about, you know, the process that you go through, where do you get the lead, you know, your list from. Are you going into people that you see are advertising on adwords? Are you going into specific verticals? I’m one. So, so it’s a couple part question, like how do you create the list for yourself? Um, are you testing a script and then what kind of tools are you using for your outbound calls and all of that. Um, you know, to walk, walk us through that because I think that’s a big pain point for a lot of lot of agencies, a lot of marketers. How do I get clients, you know, four dozen clients yourself, that’s a good amount of clients. Um, so yeah, walk us through that.

Mark Petree: 08:12 Really. When I first started out, what I did was I would just go online and look for, for, for one hour would recommend if you’re starting out, stick to one, a vertical, one industry. Um, because once you can get really good results in that industry, you can use it as a case study. It makes it easier to build the next campaign and can predict a little bit better. Um, you know, as far as the results you can get for a client if you kind of have some sort of benchmark for the results, you know, your other client got ’em. So as far as in the beginning, yeah, I just, I went online, I searched and I looked for people that had shitty ads, shitty landing pages and I called them up because I assumed they weren’t getting great results. Um, these days I don’t do any other calling myself, but um, generally what I will do is I’ll have higher some outsource or off upwork to build me a list.

Mark Petree: 09:18 Um, I use the website. I searched from Dr. Com, which is great because you can search from different Ip addresses and see local results and still have an outsourcer go through and go through the top, let’s say 200 cities in the US for particular keyword. And then just have them copy and paste the url of the domain into, you know, like a google sheet and that I will have someone go in and try to find the contact information associated with that url because having the owner’s name really helps a ton. And, and even even with doing that, I typically tell my, uh, my, uh, appointment setters to do a little research, don’t just because a lot of times information’s incorrect, so a lot. So I usually have my appointment setters go to the website for just do double check, make sure the name is right, um, because you get one shot and then you can’t touch it for, you know, probably two, three weeks, you know, until you’re going to call back or maybe even longer. And so that, that’s, that’s pretty much. Yeah. And so, yeah, and I definitely have a script that we use. Um, generally how it works is I won’t have them get into too, too much

Ryan Shank: 10:45 demos for you. Right? So you go to upwork, you tell them to create the list, go to these 200 cities or whatever. Use this word, build the list, Google sheet, you get the site, you get the name, then the appointments. So, so, so a data entry person does that. Then the appointment center goes down, calls, calls down. Hey, I’d love to set an appointment with, with mark. He’s Google ad words, specialists, expert, whatever.

Mark Petree: 11:07 Got It. Um, between that one part I left out, I use hubspot’s great. And so it allows you to, you know, it will count how many calls, it’ll record the calls so you can really start to fit because what you want to figure out, as you know, how many calls does it take for an appointment? How many appointments does it make for a sale? Right? That’s how you can figure out how to scale.

Ryan Shank: 11:31 Exactly. So how many, by the way, I’m just really curious because we’re very sales driven as well. Like what’s your close rate? And by the way, are you the, are you the only one closing right now? They’re all for you, right?

Mark Petree: 11:42 Yeah. Actually. So, um, yeah, I’m the only one who closes. Yeah, that’s, that’s one of the toughest things to that. That’s the thing that from scaling really quickly is because I only have so much time in the day and I’m the one who’s got to be doing the closing. Um, so that, that definitely, that can slow things down a bit. But uh, and that’s why recently I haven’t been doing, I’ve been getting into paper lead a little bit, um, because I liked that a lot more because I don’t have to be there to close it. You know, the sales guys can close it. You’re just looking. So essentially pay for leaders. You find clients that just pay for leads. So you still, I’m still doing the same thing. I’m still building the Google or bing ad campaign, um,

Ryan Shank: 12:34 ad spend plus retainer fees. It’s just all in, hey, you only get results if you only pay if you get results.

Mark Petree: 12:40 Exactly. It’s an easier close a sure there’s more risk involved. I mean you have to be pretty confident and you can get leads and get them for a certain amount of money or you’re going to be. Or you’re going to be losing money, but it’s much. You can scale much, much quicker because the weakest link of the PPC management is me, you know, and my time. But with pay per lead, it’s a very easy close because they’re not paying money. Well they do pay for me. They pay a small up front, but that’s credited towards the leads. So if they’re not getting leads, you know, I, I’ll refund them. Uh, so, and that’s what I’ve been focusing on more lately. I’m still doing the PPC management but not doing cold calling for it anymore. Um, but not, not to say you can, that’s how I built my whole business. I found it really, uh, it can, uh, it can definitely be more of a grind, a selling ppc management and pay for lead. And so it’s a little riskier for the paper lead though, so.

Ryan Shank: 13:50 Yeah, totally, totally. And I’m really interested in the paper lead stuff as well. We’ll talk about that in just a second. So talk to us about how you know, you’re charging, so like we’re talking about obviously the pay per lead, I get that, but typically are you charging a percentage of ad spend? Are you doing retainer, is it based on like scope of services, like what does it look like pricing wise or setup fee? I think a lot of people are, you know, trying to figure that piece out. Um, what does that look like?

Mark Petree: 14:18 Yeah. So there’s, I’ve used two different models in the past. One model is, you know, you charge a setup fee than a monthly management fee. They own the account. Um, what I’ve switched to recently is I own the account. I don’t charge a setup fee. I don’t even give account access. Uh, all, I try to determine what the client is. Okay, how many phone calls do you want a month, you know, how many leads, how many leads do you want a month? What would, uh, you know, a month look like for you with regards to how many leads you get a day or a month trying to figure that out. And then, um, then yeah, building out the account. I’m just doing a, I don’t do, I haven’t been doing contracts for those types of clients because I don’t have to because I own the account. I’m going to.

Mark Petree: 15:11 This is something I’m trying, I’ve only been doing it for two or three months. I’ve been loving it so far because clients tend to focus on metrics they don’t understand, uh, when you send reports about cliques and all this shit and they see, oh, hey, my impressions dropped by 10 percent and then they hit you up and none of it matters. Like it only matters to us because we understand the data, but they don’t. And so they’re concerned about all of these vanity metrics that have no, uh, you know, um, don’t make any sort of difference.

Ryan Shank: 15:45 I totally, totally get it. That is so funny you say that. I feel like I used to say that all the time and I’ve been talking about this a lot recently. It’s like almost that like mid, mid funnel stuff that helps you optimize at the end of the day, you know, they should be paying it, you know, I think the thing that matters to them, clicks, impressions, page views, even, you know, none of that should matter. It’s like how much did you spend and what did you get for it? You know, you spent all in adspend plus retainer or whatever it is. It’s like you spent, you know, five k did you get 100 leads, $50 per lead, you close 20 percent, you got 10 sales, average sales, a thousand you spend, you know, like that’s what I feel like it should matter to them. And I, I definitely agree that I feel like so many times you give them too much information. They start just at you. No, not that you want to not have them ask the questions, but you know, it’s like if you’re, you know, a pest control company, right? You’re not gonna if I’m the homeowner, you know why I’m not going to ask them like, hey, what kind of like, you know, spray is that like, what are the ingredients of your spray?

Mark Petree: 16:44 Doesn’t matter. Like we’re getting into their books, you know, know. Exactly. Yeah. What kind of drill are you using? It’s like, no, just, just put a hole right there. Please take a look. If you’re a really big agency that’s working with a really big clients that they have a whole marketing department. Sure. Then you know, if you’re, if you’re working with people that actually understand the data, that’s different. But most of my clients I would say yeah, 90 percent of my clients I worked directly with the owner and most of the time the owner has a small understanding but nowhere near the kind of understanding that, you know, one of us would have. And so I try to get them to focus on, uh, you know, the metrics that matter, which is, yeah, total number of conversions, total amount of money spent and if they can track it, which not many do, but return on adspend, you know, that’s, that’s really the only things that matter and I swear the headache I have is getting emails from like clients getting reports and they’re like, hey, why is this dropped? And it’s like, I, you know, so

Ryan Shank: 17:59 I’m going to switch message messaging about a few weeks ago because it was, it ended up being like a user error. I totally forget what it was, but it’s like, yeah, on the weekends sometimes I forget, I forget what it was, but it’s like when people go into the account, and I’ve even heard some people, you said you own the accounts so he might not have this problem, but like they’ll go in you not ad words sometimes gives recommendations. The owners will like the recommendation to me yesterday really?

Mark Petree: 18:29 Yesterday. Yeah. I was talking with my account manager and she was like, yeah, he, you know, all the client made all these changes. I was like looking at my why is it like, what the hell? And I called them. I’m like, hey man, what’s going on? Is that, oh yeah. He’s like, yeah, Google recommend doing all that stuff on my, you know, just don’t make any more changes. And that’s why I’m like most of my clients still own their accounts and are getting reports. I wish I would have been doing this from the beginning. I really think it’s how you sell it. If, if you’re confident selling it this way, you will get clients. My whole problem all along is I felt like that it wasn’t the way things were supposed to be done because I read so many articles that said no, the client should own their account, they should own their data, all this other stuff. And while that might be, I don’t know, I don’t want to subscribe to that anymore because I really want to get my clients the best results possible, but also without me having a huge headache and I think is actually better for everyone all around when it’s this way because then they can just focus on the things that matter and they don’t have to worry about these reports that they don’t understand.

Ryan Shank: 19:42 Yep. So, um, so, so transitioning into the report, so talk to us about, um, how do you report you to the clients? What is your cadence? Is it weekly, you know, and then what is, is it a call? Like, is it, how do you report to them?

Mark Petree: 19:58 Yeah, so it is weekly, but it shouldn’t be. So that’s one thing I would change. I’d probably just send one report a month. I’ve just been doing it a certain land. I’m starting to find out that’s not the, especially someone who’s only spending a thousand bucks a month, you know, and they’re only getting like, you know, a couple of, 100 clicks a month. They know need reports every week. But right now, yeah, right now how we have it set up, it’s weekly. Um, my, my, my thought process in the very beginning was like, oh, that’ll like, you know, they’ll begin to report every week so they’re going to see, oh yeah, I’m on top of thing. And as far as talking to my clients, there are some clients I talked to, you know, that hit me up once every week or two. Um, fortunately it’s not that many. Um, and then most of my clients I rarely speak to and they’re fine with it.

Mark Petree: 20:48 I’m fine with the, uh, if there was one thing I would have done from the very beginning that I, I, I totally wish I want to get my cell phone number out to all my clients. A lot of my clients have my cell number just because it’s, you know, they will use it and they will hit you up and I’m now that brought on an account manager and I’m not doing everything. Some of them have, you know, are okay with the fact, okay, now there’s a new system I’m going to email first and if it’s an emergency I’ll call the 800 number or whatever and if is really a big emergency then I can call mark. But then there’s some clients who have been with me from the beginning. They’re like, no, fuck that I’m going to call you. So yeah. No, not following your new rules.

Ryan Shank: 21:32 Exactly. You’re my guy.

Mark Petree: 21:34 Rules don’t apply to me.

Ryan Shank: 21:36 Yeah. So. Okay. So you brought on. I was, I was actually thinking I’m thinking about that and I forgot to ask. So what’s the, what’s the team dynamic? Do you have an account manager? Um, your, you know, outsourcing a lot of stuff to using upwork? Is that, is that Kinda how it is?

Mark Petree: 21:51 So right now I’ve got just to a claimant center slash sale. Well, another kind of salespeople sensor during the paper lead sales for me, but uh, so I have to have them in office and then I want account manager, which I’ll probably need to get a second one soon just because. Yeah, it’s quite a few clients to have a line

Ryan Shank: 22:14 all man. Hey, that’s that. I mean that’s a, that’s a lot of clients, you know, especially if you’re doing weekly meetings. I mean to have but

Mark Petree: 22:22 50 just. Yeah, no. Well unfortunately all the reporting is automated, but yeah, I mean look, there’s, whenever you have that many clients, there’s always so many things that come up and I’ve found, you know, too much of my time is still being dedicated to account management, which I would really like to remove myself from that so I can just focus on bigger picture stuff. Uh, but I need to probably find another account manager soon, probably sooner than later. Be Better to hire one sooner and not need them than to hire one to late and be like, oh shit. You know.

Ryan Shank: 23:00 So it’s always hard kind of growing the business too because it’s like, you know, cashflow wise and timing, it’s like do I hire them early and then not have capacity for them and then see them grow into it. Then it’s like if I’m too late and I’m overflow and the customers aren’t getting the best service as possible. So it’s kind of like that weird thing that you gotta they gotta deal with. Um, so what are you using for reporting?

Mark Petree: 23:25 Uh, yes. Yeah, I was going to. Yeah. Or why do I wasn’t going to switch to Google data studio, but you know, I also use bing ads and so I was, I, I asked in an adwords group about, you know, Google data studio, bing ads and I think I said you can even use Google data studio for bing ads, but you know, they charged me like I think like 1:10 or one $50 a month and just switch everyone over. I’m like, that’s going to be a major pain in the ass. So I kinda decided against it. So it’s, you know, it’s easy, it’s all set up and it just runs reports every Friday. So.

Ryan Shank: 24:08 Awesome. Awesome. Alright, so we’re gonna we’re gonna wrap up here. I just have three or a couple of questions to ask you a at the end, um, if you were looking to break into, into online marketing, digital marketing today, you’re at a job, you’re maybe at an agency and you want to work for yourself. What would you do? What would be the first thing you would do to, you know, get a client and to break out on your own?

Mark Petree: 24:28 Yeah, that’s a good question. I mean, I think I would pick, pick something, um, whether that’s, you know, PBC, um, Seo, it probably won’t be Seo just because I think I can take a long time to learn, but I guess getting really good at PPC can take awhile to, uh, just yeah, just get in and start learning something and try to get your first client as soon as you can. I think a lot of people spend too much time in the learning phase and not enough time in the action phase. In the beginning were really how you’re going to make monies and through your PPC skills, it’s through your sales skills. And so if you can’t bring on clients, um, if that’s the route you want to go, you know, like agency stuff, if you can’t bring on clients, you’re not going to make any money. So you could be the best ppc person in the world. And uh, you know, if you, uh, if you can’t sell them.

Mark Petree: 25:26 Yeah, exactly. So yeah, get as good as you can get, but don’t worry about, you know, getting to good. Look, the first client I got, I lost in three weeks, you know, which was crazy to me because I had experienced and I, I thought I knew what I was doing. Actually. No, not my first. My first client is still with me today. My second client that I got, I was only with me for a few weeks and to this day I still lose clients. You know? Well everyone does, but meaning there are some campaigns I built to this day that I’m like, why is this not getting leads? And I’m racking my brain. It’s so frustrating because I feel like, you know, I’m pretty good at this point. I know what I’m doing. I’ve been doing it so long, but I still have clients that for some reason or another in my, I don’t know why, but I just can’t get this person leads. Fortunately it doesn’t happen very often. So.

Ryan Shank: 26:21 All right. Final question. What is your morning routine?

Mark Petree: 26:25 Oh, um, it’s nothing crazy like yoga or anything. I, I pretty much just get up, drink some coffee, I’m check emails, uh, take a shower and get into work as soon as I can. Pretty much I don’t linger. I used to work from home for the longest time it was going to say, so it looks like you have an office. It’s made like massive, massive difference for me. Uh, I’m just not one of those.

Ryan Shank: 27:04 Yeah. Yeah. So yeah. Yeah. So you said you’re not one of those people and then that’s when it paused.

Mark Petree: 27:12 So what I was saying is, yeah, I spent too much time working from home. I wish I would’ve gotten an office sooner just because, yeah, my business has been like this since I’ve gotten an office and I think it’s because when I’m here I’m just all in, you know, and when I’m at, when I was at home that was all in for an hour or two and then I go fuck around, you know, and then come back and you know, here I am 100 percent focus. So yeah,

Ryan Shank: 27:40 yeah, I, it’s, I also agree with you that separation and I even so like I was working from home and then I was like I just actually sometimes just needed to get out because I was like I’m going crazy. Like I need to like talk to other humans and stuff and that was good. And now what? We actually got another space, like another office space where I actually have to travel because I was like just walking to work and now I have to travel and I just feel like just mentally having that, like I have to like leave and go to work that it’s like I’m all in, I’m not doing anything else. Because like you said, it’s like you’re at home, you’re like, I can kinda like do something else. But I also think being around other people like everyone else’s grinding and then it’s like that just like lifts you.

Mark Petree: 28:23 Well, yeah. No, I mean if I was here by myself, I wouldn’t even be as motivated when I’m here with other people and they’re all getting shit done on my, you know, I’m not going to fuck around up because I’m paying everyone, you know, that’s a word. That’s so awesome.

Ryan Shank: 28:42 Awesome. Well thank you so much for uh, for joining us. I’m super excited to have you on. Can you tell everyone a little bit about your website, where to find you, all of that?

Mark Petree: 28:52 Yeah. Uh, so yeah. Clicks profit, a Dotcom, just cli x profit and uh, yeah, hit me up if you have any questions. I’m just add me on facebook, mark peachtree to ease at the end and uh, I’m always happy to help new and upcoming agency owners and answer any questions or whatever so it would be happy to help.

Ryan Shank: 29:16 Alright, awesome. Mark peachtree. Thank you so much for joining us guys. That was episode six of growing your agency. Thank you, mark, and I will see you later.


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Ryan Shank

About the Author

is the CEO at PhoneWagon. Ryan loves helping small businesses generate quality leads by implementing creative solutions that are proven to work.