Sean: About two and half years now.
George: It’s been two and half. That’s what I thought, it’s been two and half years. Sean and I have known each other for a long time. We were very fortunate to coerce him into joining Vendasta. I think there was a couple of drinks involved and maybe a couple of steak dinners to get Sean to come here from his previous life. But when we’re talking to partners I do talk about your previous life because I think it’s interesting the skill set that you brought into this role. Because when we work in digital agency we’re working on behalf of our partners. So we are solving the problems of the end customer, but you also have to keep our partners happy so you got two clients that you got to keep happy. It’s like a double layer.
Sean: That’s correct.
George: And in your previous life you did this as well and I like to use your example because it’s a great story. Sean is in the ticket printing business, and you did that for how many years?
Sean: Eighteen and half.
George: So remember back when we used to actually get tickets? Michael Toth is shaking his head because he is like 25 years old and he’s never actually got a paper ticket, it has always been on his mobile device. But you printed all the tickets for the Miami Heat and in that role you had to keep the Miami Heat happy and then you had to keep their ticket-holders happy and you like to tell a story about the husband and wife, the divorce and they split the tickets up and you had to make sure that they got the right one.
Sean: Yeah, it’s a funny story. But it’s unfortunate true story and when you have the team phoning you because they have got this issue, you have got the husband phoning you because he wants this tickets and the wife is calling you because she wants the tickets and you are almost in court with them. Luckily it worked out for everybody but it is a true story and having those multiple different layers of responsibility certainly can be challenging.
George: So, I wanted just… just a moment, we have got a great comment come in from Israel. And we really appreciate your comments. They became partners this week and they’re thanking us for our support and we try to really go above and beyond and look after our partners, but thank you for the comment. And by the way, you are our first agency from Mexico City. So we welcome you to the Vendasta family of partners.
So Sean brings a wealth of knowledge from the fulfillment and dealing with customers and has done a great job in building out this product that set in digital agency. We battle all the time, in fact we just had a battle this morning about adding other products and services to our rate card so that you people can…our partners can offer them on the street and that information is coming from other partners. You sometimes don’t like it because I’m always running back there with, “We need to figure out how to do this and I want to do it today.” And you always slow me down and say, “Listen, we got to figure it out.” It’s good though because I appreciate the fact that you want to make sure we get all the nuances right when we go to say, “We’re going to do this, we’re going to do it at the very best of our abilities so we knock it out of the park every time.”
Sean: Yeah, it’s a balancing act, but a lot of violent agreement and at the end of the day though, our partners are the ones that are really getting success from it.
George: So, when I mentioned earlier before we were going on the air that we were going to be very transparent today and talk about some of the trial and error. And there’s been a little bit of trial and error over the past two and half years as we built this thing out. And we’re utilizing all of the tools that are built by Vendasta and we’re were utilizing best practices. But we’re also getting feedback from our partners and that feedback is really crafted what you people do on a daily basis.
Sean: That’s correct. I mean, any kind of feedback that we get, it goes into the queue and we look at it, research it and even do testing on it and see what we can take from it and see how we can apply it and I think the phrase, George, you’ve used many times is “rinse and repeat.”
George: Yeah, when you get something that works so you want to keep going with it. But the other thing is I think you sit back and you got to measure that thing on an ongoing basis to make sure that it’s working for the client and working for the partner. So let’s just set the stage here, when we talk about clients, we’re talking about our partner’s customers.
Sean: That is correct.
George: And when we refer to the agencies and media companies that we work with as our partners. So that’s a verbiage that we’re going to use today. And it’s not just listing correction, review, monitoring and social posting. There is other things like on boarding and custom tasks and building up Google+ pages. And we’re going to dig in to all of that stuff as we move on through the presentation today. So, let’s talk about the why. Why do you need Vendasta’s digital agency?
Sean: Really, the biggest issue is that your clients don’t have the time to do this work. And in a lot of cases, you as our partner don’t have those resources available. I mean, one of the advantages that we have is we’ve already gone through the trenches, we’ve kind of already fought those battles and we’ve come up with solutions that you guys can just use and use to your advantage and really just get out there and sell and we’ll take care of the heavy lifting.
George: So any heavy lifting which Sean is referring to is…and this is for our sales people that are on the call and we’ve got lots of them because it’s weekly sales webinar. But I’m talking about true sales people. True sales people just like to sell, that’s what they do, that’s what they do best, they buy people lunches, they make them feel good and they sell them stuff and then they move and they sell the next thing. True sales people are not usually that good at getting stuff done, filling out lists and I’m one of those guys. I don’t fill out orders very well, it’s not what I’ve done. I sell stuff and then other people fill the orders and it goes great.
But in my career, I realized that I was going to have to find other people to do the things that I wasn’t very good at, let me focus on what I’m good and that is selling. So this is for agencies that don’t want to build out a fulfillment department. And I’m telling you right now, it’s not easy. You hire somebody, you give them some tools to do the work and there’s going to be a learning curve there and you’re going to make some mistakes. And that’s what I speak about, that trial and error. We’re probably about a year of trial and error to get it to where it was manageable and then another six to eight months to get it where it was working really good. And I would say in the last 12 months, you’ve been knocking it out of the park pretty much on a daily basis.
Sean: And it’s also one of those things that change. Staying on top of that change can be very challenging. I mean anything from claiming listing. It work this way today but tomorrow they’re gonna change the way they do things and we need to be able to stay on top of that, adapt to that and rinse and repeat that moving forward with everybody else. So it’s really staying on top of all that and it’s a full-time.
George: Sean, I’m glad that you brought that up. But let’s talk about claiming listing sites. That process across some of the sites changes every month.
Sean: That’s right. They probably change for really good reason, it might be really bad reason but at the end of the day, it changes and we have to be able to provide the service that you are paying us to do and staying on those changes can be challenging.
George: So, I know that everybody on this call can read so that’s why we’re not reading the slides because I’m a big advocate of “if you’re going to be a good presenter, don’t read your slides.” But I do want just touch on a few points here. It is a customized full-service work plan. That’s a really important piece to this. When we sit down and on-board you, we talk about the best practices that Sean and his team have developed working with other media and agency companies. But you as the partner, can weigh in and say, “This is the way that we would like to do it or this is the way that we have been doing it”
And we’re just on a call with a large partner that is doing some of this work in-house and they’d like to get us to do it. And we went very deeply into how they’ve been providing it so that we could mimic that. So it’s not a big upset to their clients when they change things over. It is premium service, it gives you the ability to start selling immediately. So here’s another thing, I sign up to Vendasta, I’m a new partner. I don’t want to go hire a bunch of people and set up a fulfillment department but I don’t have any clients yet. So you can utilize digital agency and what I like to call this as The Incubator.
So we start doing the work on a daily basis that needs to be done for your customers. Claiming listings, responding to reviews, social posting. And then when you get up to 40 or 50 accounts, you give us a call and you say, “I’d like to move this in-house and you’ve done a number of this, Sean, where you’ve done transitions. And we can talk about the one that we did for David Little and the team at Comporium of South Carolina. They actually flew up here for a week, sat with your team, learned how to do all the things and then you handed the keys to the kingdom over to Faith and now she does that work on a daily basis.
Sean: And I think the key is, as George talked about at the beginning, we call you as our partners because it is that partnership. Part of this customization, as George is mentioning, is part of that partnership. We want to learn how you guys can utilize our services and then it only helps when you decide and if you decide to bring that back in-house. We’ve already done all the heavy lifting, we’ve done all the early on work and we can help you to continue to grow and help you teach you, train you how to do this work.
George: I cringe when I see the words “white label” because a lot of people don’t quite understand what that means. But what white labeling means is we build a solution and you can put your branding on it and Vendasta disappears. We had a great question this morning when we were working with that large partner. They said, “Where does the white labeling end?” And it doesn’t end at the door to digital agency because you do a bunch of that branding and white labeling to make sure that we are under the hood. And as far as the client is concerned, the partner has just hired a bunch of really polite people with Canadian ascent.
Sean: That’s right. We worked really hard to make sure that we are not Sean from Vendasta calling your clients, we are Sean from whoever it may be. And we really need to keep that up so that the the client feels very comfortable talking to us, feels comfortable giving us passwords, usernames, any login information etc. And we are really just a different department in your company.
George: And Sean has done a great job in training his staff to make sure that they understand that they’re working with your customer and they need to treat that customer with kid gloves. So don’t worry about that. The other thing is, let’s talk about holidays. So you know this is something that you had to learn and then we had to learn, that we have to make sure we have coverage on Canadian holidays because a vast majority of partners are American.
Sean: One of the things that I bring to the table and George mentioned at the start, coming from the ticket industry and the company I worked for was from Canada. However, we dealt with 42% of all major sports in North America. So this actually wasn’t too new to me. Currently in digital agency when there is a holiday that falls in the States, we have coverage. When there’s a holiday that when weren’t like a Canadian holiday, obviously we have to have that covered so that your customers and you as a partner have full access to us. So it’s something that probably was more of a learning curve for some of the staff, but I’m very much aware of that in previous.
George: Let’s start digging into what you do. And we’re going to cover this off in detail. So let’s talk about some of these areas.
Sean: So Visibility Premium, this is… and again, you guys can read all this. But the big four. We have deemed them the big four, that’s Google+, Bing and yp.com.
George: Oh, wait a second. Why the big four?
Sean: Because they are the big four.
George: Okay, 85% of all search traffic is through these four sites in the US. That’s why they are the big four. And the other thing is that you can actually get a claim done on these within 30 days. So we have a clear deliverable that we can give to the customer.
Sean: That’s right. The one thing I’ll point out and this solution that we have is obviously a do it with me solution. We are going to need access to your client and they are going to play a role. Now part of that role, when we get talking about Visibility Premium is we are going to require access to a Gmail email account. And what we are going to do with that is we are going to claim Google, Bing, YP.com and we’re going to use that email address to set up any profiles that are needed and so that everything is attached to one email address. What we like about doing… or the reason we like that is it’s easier when you decide to take these accounts back in-house, but more importantly the business can still have access to those listings because they have access to that Gmail account.
George: Great. And Visibility Premium is available in the US and in Canada. And you’re also doing it in the Caribbean as well with some partners there for YP of course, its yp.ca in the Canadian marketplace. Let’s talk about listing distribution because that is a service that currently is only available in the US. And you utilize this on any visibility work that you do.
Sean: That’s correct. We will syndicate the NAP data, name, address, phone number to the four data provider that you will see on the screen there. And they take that information, and they push that over or out to over 300 different listing sites and counting.
George: So listing distribution, I just want set the stage for this, you’ve heard me talk about this before if you’ve attended any of the webinars, don’t oversell listing. We’ve got sales people out there using the term, “We’re going to clean up your listings.” Be careful with that because listing distribution, what it does sends the data, the factual axiom in for group at new start. And I’m glad that we do have Michael here answer the questions under the hood on this webinar, because yesterday we were working with a partner that had to prove value of listing distribution to a large brand that there are two or 300 locations in the solution.
And what the sales person found, and I want you to really pay particular attention to this. They didn’t have a reputation account for all 300 locations where they could say, “This is where we started and this is where we ended up.” All they had was listing distribution under Presence Builder. So what we advised them to do was to go in and show the dashboard where it had the fixes. So if you have been using listing distribution you know that when you fix something, whether it’s a phone number, address or a website, URL, when it’s fixed, it will come up and it will flag it and say, “fixed.”
What the rep did was they took a screenshot, that dashboard that’s inside listing distribution under Presence Builder. And then they went to the next tab that showed the citation statistics. And they screenshot that growth of citations that was there, where they’d started in the solution, a year ago and they had 26 citations. And now they had 280 and they showed location after location after location of those two items, the dashboard with the fixes and the citations and they renewed the account on the 300 locations.
So my thing with this is, we were able to show enough value in just listing distribution. I was nervous. Because we really haven’t run across this very often, usually what people do is they have a reputation account strapped to listing distribution and then they can show the growth through the reputation account. But this partner was able to use just listing distribution to show enough value to get the renewal. So we were very excited to hear that real world example under listing distribution. Let’s move to review management. It’s probably one of the biggest opportunities.
If you look at listings, there is probably end game here. I think there is going to come a time, we can’t see it today, but there’s probably going to come a time where we can get listings right and then what are we going to you sell them? Well, review management is something that continues to grow on a massive basis. And you’ve built out of a great protocol as to how to handle reviews. Let’s talk about negative reviews first.
Sean: So negative reviews, obviously very important when you have a negative review on a Facebook page for example and you’ve got hundreds of people going to that Facebook page, seeing a negative review, you are not likely to shop at that location or that business if all you see is negative reviews. Now a lot of people want to get rid of negative reviews and I wish it was that easy. Our steps basically are to respond to that negative review on behalf of the client and do that within 24 hours.
So how we do that is our system pulls in that review, our team of digital agents will write a response to that review and we will send it back to your client for approval. Now the reason we send it for approval is because they may have a little bit of insight into the situation and maybe they want to add a little bit of information or a background on the actual person that left the review of the situation. And once they do that, they can respond back to us and we’ll take care of the rest of the work.
Now one of the things that we changed in our procedure with this is this 24 hour window. And the reason we have that is businesses are busy, they also start to trust us and by trusting us they don’t have the time to respond back to us. And there was a time when we would have hundreds and hundreds of drafted review responses sitting in our queue and the customers just weren’t responding to us. So once we put in this within a 24-hour window, step into a procedure. Our customers also start to trust us and they just respond back and say, “It’s good.” And we responded.
George: That’s great. Let’s talk about positive. When we first discussed using positive reviews, the thought process was 90% of US consumers in the latest Nielsen poll said that they use online reviews to make buying decisions. We should probably use positive reviews as marketing channel, pretty easy to tell that I’m a marketer. So that was this whole thought process behind positive reviews.
But in addition to that, you’re taking those positive reviews and you’re sharing them across social media channels so that’s built into this as well. We’re going to take positive review, and we’re going to put it on Facebook and Twitter and Google+ on their newsfeed, or their wall. But we found something else and I think it’s important to note. When someone leaves a positive review saying, “You’ve got a great store, really appreciate all the great service.” That is a conversation from one of your customers. Not just one of your customers, one of your best customers. So to leave them sitting there hanging without responding to them is not the way that you perform customer service in 2015.
Sean: That’s correct. I mean, as far as the negative review goes, people want acknowledgement, they want their problems fixed. The same can be said for the positive review. Myself when I’m buying things and I think I’m a loyal and a valuable customer, but one thing that I hate is that I’m not being recognized. So we take our positive reviews and we also want to recognize them and we want to say, “Hey, thanks George for that review on our steak sandwich. It is special, it’s something that people love about our restaurant.”
George: Yeah, and here is something I couldn’t even fathom, a business person, great customer works in, have dinner at their restaurant, buys a car, get some work done with the plumber and at the end of the transaction they say, “Hey, Sean, great job, you really did a great job solving my plumbing problem.” And the plumber doesn’t say a word back. Just ignores them. It’s ridiculous.
Sean: Yes. It is a conversation.
George: In 2015 all that stuff lives online and what I like to say is word-of-mouth lives online today and it’s on steroids. And you have to deal with it. So positive and negative is included in our review management solution, it just makes sense. Here are some examples, talking about award-winning digital agency. Let’s talk about some of these wins that you had for some of our partners.
Sean: Well, I mean, the first one here on the left, is really… it’s a negative review. And we just simply… our three steps to resolving a negative review are first of all we want to say we’re sorry. Sometimes that’s hard as a business owner to say they’re sorry online. However, it needs to be done, it needs to be acknowledged and they have to say sorry.
George: I got one for you here and you can use this from here on and this is a great. So you need to say you’re sorry, because you don’t want to argue with the customer. Arguing with the customer online is like fighting with a pig, you both get dirty and the pig likes it. So you can take that and use that in your sales presentations. If you deliver it right with the right timing, it’s guaranteed you’re gonna get a laugh out of it.
Sean: The second step that we like to do is leave some marketing. We want to still be able to sell our business. We want to be able to leave something that the next person that reads this negative review and reads our response makes them want to come to our place because they see that we care.
George: So let’s take this further, I think there’s science behind this. So I’ve been told by business people when I’ve been on sales calls with our partners they say, “I really wanted… that guy is an idiot, the person that left that review, that there is no truth to that whatsoever. I don’t think that I should respond to it.” And I’m like, “Okay, we got to think a little bit further down the road here.” Someone reading that review doesn’t know that that guy is an idiot. They don’t know that that information is completely false. All they know is that it’s there and there’s a negative connotation to it.
So if you don’t respond to it, all the customer sees it, “Oh, well those guys must not know what you’re doing.” Because consumers trust the comments of their peers more than they trust traditional advertising. So it doesn’t matter that that guy is an idiot or I like to call them review lunatic. You need to get in there and leave some marketing. And what you wanna say is something that negates what was said in the negative review.
So they say, “You don’t know what you’re doing, you’ve got horrible service, this product doesn’t work.” You say something like, “That’s a little strange. We sold 2,500 of those last year and never had a problem. That’s a little strange for the past five years we’ve been ranked number one by the Chamber of Commerce and Customer Service in this marketplace.” And then you move into the third step when it comes to responding to negative review.
Sean: And the third step is basically you want to try and take the conversation offline. You can see from this first one. Basic, leave a name, where they can reach you. And the idea behind that is take it offline, have a conversation whether it’s in person, whether it’s on the phone, whether it’s via email, in attempt that you can A, resolve the issue and maybe B, have them remove the review off of that site because they are the only ones that can remove that review from the review site.
George: So that is the holy grail of review management and on a sales call I always want to talk about that, “You’ve got shot at getting rid of the negative review.” But the only way you have a shot at that is if you undertake these steps. So just some real-world examples of the work that Sean and his team are doing on a daily basis. You told me yesterday you’ve done a thousand reviews since Monday. I don’t even know how you get to do that, but that’s fantastic. Let’s talk about creating social profile.
Sean: So you can see the four here, Google, Foursquare, Twitter and Facebook. If your business is…if your clients do not have any of these set up, that’s something that we can take care of for them. If it was set up by maybe a previous employee, sometimes we hear the stories about my son’s girlfriend set up my Google page for me and nobody has access to it. Well, that’s something that we can work with the business and reclaim that or maybe we have to create a second one and have this first one removed. And those are some of the things that we will work with them to do.
George: Oh, wait a second. So five multiple pages you have a process to get them cleaned up?
Sean: Yes, we do.
George: Well, that’s exciting. Because I know that we’ve run across lots of businesses that have multiple pages they don’t have access to.
George: So it’s good to know that there is a solution for that.
Sean: Yeah. There is obviously a do-it-with me solution there, because we may have to go through the steps of cleaning each and every one of them. Different listing sites have different procedures to do that. But we’ll work through those with the business.
George: So this is an example of a Facebook page that you’ve built. It looks beautiful.
Sean: Thank you.
George: And a Google+ build. So the one thing about Google+ if you haven’t spent any time with the pages for your clients, what you’re going to get is just that the red, blue, yellow, and what am I missing? And green.
Sean: Yeah. The generic profile picture and the generic kind of artist rendering of something in the background for the cover photo.
George: Now the other thing that we should mention is, if we were looking at the pages, the landing at water mirror and we were looking at Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, we should have some consistency across those pages with the cover photos and the profile images. And that’s one thing that you guys really strive to have there, is that consistent message even though it’s different channels. Imagine you run a TV campaign, you’re running the Fox station, the ABC station, and the CBS station, the NBC station, probably going to run the same creative. But you’re going to use different channels to reach different people.
Same thing here, let’s use the same creative on your Facebook page, your Google+ page, your Twitter page so that it has some consistency. And I know that’s one thing you guys are doing. Let’s talk about posting on social.
Sean: So posting, we have a couple of different options. We have the basic, which is two post per week and that goes out to Facebook, Twitter and Google. Or we can ramp that up and do four posts per week. One of the conversation that we will have with your client is around social posting and the type of content that they want to see as well as more importantly the content that they do not want to see, because obviously we do not want to post things that are not in line with their business.
George: So that’s an interesting point and I’m glad you brought that up, something we learned through trial and error, I might add. Actually what they don’t want to post was more important for a lot of businesses than what they do want to post. So we find that out in the on-boarding process. The other thing that we’ve got on here is the Foursquare monthly offer. And it’s just amazing to be the number of people that don’t have a Foursquare offer even though Foursquare has over 40 million users.
Sean: That’s right. So anytime somebody walks into your business and uses the Foursquare app or more importantly the Swarm app to actually check into their business, if you have an offer on your Foursquare listing and I walk in to your business, check-in, it’ll pop up and tell me what type of offer you’ve got going. So it’s definitely a way to drive business in a certain direction at your place of business.
George: Inside social marketing, we’ve got a great tool, The Twitter Base Lead GEN tool that utilizes geo-targeting to find customers and then we can respond to them and send them offers and have conversations with them. We call that service Amplify and what Amplify is, is a team member on Sean’s team actually doing a reach out to customers every couple of days using that tool. But there’s a couple of caveats to that. And the first being, you’ve got to have a bunch of followers in your twitter profile.
Sean: That’s right. If you are coming to us and you’re not on Twitter and we create a Twitter account for you, brand-new, you’ve got no followers, you’re not following anybody, it’s certainly not recommended to utilize that with the Amplify service.
George: Well, it just won’t work…
Sean: That’s right.
George: …is the biggest thing.
Sean: Twitter will shut you down because it comes across as very spammy.
George: So the first thing you need to do is have a Twitter profile that has been operating for six months with at least 200 followers is what we found to work best. Then you can start to utilize the functionality of amplify in the Twitter Lead GEN inside social marketing. There is an example of some of the social posts with native image posting right inside it. And again, great engaging posts that are going to get people clicking on it and gonna get people liking and of course sharing is really important, to get them to share to their broader network. Here’s some social posting around reviews. And let’s talk about websites now.
Sean: So we have the ability through our Presence Builder that we can create a variety of different sites. These are the four that we have in our offering. One being a basic landing page, which is essentially two different tabs through our Presence Builder. We’ve got…
George: And I could use that landing page for Targeted Display campaign. That’s what most people in our solution use it for.
Sean: That’s right. And I think George mentioned originally with the Presence Builder when you create an account, the basic landing page is already created.
George: So one thing that I want to mention if you are outselling Targeted Display, what I have heard when it comes to conversion of Targeted Display and this is coming from sales people that sell that on an ongoing basis, you can really increase your conversion of Targeted Display by making sure the message that you have in the Targeted Advertisements, so when you buy the banner ad, that message brings you to a landing page that has the correct information on it. Meaning, what some people will do is just direct them to the front page of the website.
Well, now I gotta go through 30 different pages to find and let’s use the laser clinic as an example, they are selling Botox. So they have got the Botox ad that they are running on the banner, the person needing Botox like me, clicks it and I go to a landing page and now I’m getting some other service that they offer like hair removal. Well, that’s not what I want, I’ve already had my hair removed. So what I need is to get to the Botox. So we can utilize this landing pages to increase conversion of Targeted Display. Let’s talk about the microsite.
Sean: So microsite is four tabs. So there we can start building out additional tabs having more content, maybe covering more things like services, products, basically just more information that we can put on that site.
George: Website, five pages plus?
Sean: Again, more content. We can start taking more and more contact wanting to break it out and be more specific so that it’s a little bit more neat, more organized and when people go to that site that they can clearly get to what they want to get to and see what they want to see.
George: I know what this fourth one is. Let me set this up. I’ve got a website, but I don’t have a mobile friendly website. You can help me.
Sean: That’s right. It’s real simple to order this, you just send us the website and ask for the mobile code. And we’ll take all the information that we can take from your site, put it in basically a simple, two-tab site. The advantages, we’ll give you the code that needs to be put into your physical website that will direct people on a smart phone, any mobile phone to go to that site instead of the desktop version.
George: So we give you those two lines of code, you put it at the header of your website, so when you log into a website with a mobile device, it just recognizes that it’s a smaller display and it sends them to this solution. So a great way and an inexpensive way to get somebody into a mobile friendly website. Let’s look at some of those sites that you’ve created, this is nice, like that. We should point out on the right hand side, there is that beautiful mobile friendly site with the clear buttons, with the call to action, with the phone number and to view the map and then some more information about the business. So we like this. We want to be a part of digital agency. What happens when we make a sale?
Sean: So when the sales is complete, what we will have done with you as our partner prior to is create a digital agency order form. It’s a one-page order form that we give you the link to that you can go to and fill out the order form. So once you’ve made the sale, you complete this order form. One set of order form is received on our end by our team. Well, that’s when the work starts for us. We are going to take the reputation account that you’ve already created in the system. We’re going to bring that into our concierge platform which will start generating all of the different tasks that we need based on the order form. We are going on-board your customer with a call and start the work.
George: Alright. So what this should say is we’ve Georgified [SP] this. And not Georgia as in the state, I mean as in George the sales guy. And as I said to you earlier on this presentation, I’m not big at filling out forms. And what we found was, most sales people aren’t. So giving them a five-page form to fill out and to gather intelligence about the customer to pass on to a digital agent, just wasn’t working.
So what Sean has done is come up with the very basic information that the digital agent needs to move to the next step and then we take it from there, you go sell another guy. So we’ve talked to lots teams that utilized this. And this is probably, aside from the fact that you guys get it right most times, this is the thing they like the most, is that you’ve taken all the work of getting the client on board and then put it in the hands of somebody that’s good at that, that’s good at following procedures and tasks and all sorts of things like that.
Sean: That’s correct.
George: I’m just looking across our sales floor and I see lots of lone wolf sales people that they aren’t good at filling out forms, so I’m going to stand by this that we’ve come up with a great process here. Ordering website, what do I got to do?
Sean: Essentially the process is the same. You go and make that sale, you’ve already created the Presence Builder account within our platform and we have a form just like from Digital Agency that will ask some of those basic required questions that we need to create the site. Once we’ve created that site, we are going to send you the URL to that site and any follow-up questions that we may have.
George: Fantastic. This is the example of that on boarding call and the salesperson can set the stage. I like this handoff where if I’m selling you digital agency services we agreed with the terms based upon our bundling. Client says, “Yeah. I want the gold package.” “No problem here is what is going to happen, a nice young lady or young gentleman from our agency is going to call you and they are going to take you through the next steps and I’ll give you a call in a month to see how things are going or you can reach out to me if you have any questions.” So it’s a real easy handoff, we’ve tried to build it that way.
Sean: One thing just to point out, and George mentioned it earlier on, about the customization of everything. This is the sample of the text that we would use on that call. However, if you have called this service that you are offering something other than brand management or if you want it, presented in a certain way, that’s part of what we will do with you. We’ll work with you to ensure that our language is the same language that you’re using on the street which helps connect those dots.
George: So again, on the on boarding call we’ve just got some things that we’re pointing out that need to be done.
Sean: Listing distribution, we want to ensure that that NAP data, that name, address, phone number and website, we always confirm that. We don’t want to start pushing out incorrect information and to all of our data providers and then return to all of the listings because if we do that, all it does is really slow down the timeframe to get the listings correct for your clients. So it’s really important that we have this right at the start and moving forward. This is part of the communication that we have with our digital agency, we have a toll-free number and it’s one of those things that is not white labeled, however its generic labeled. If somebody phones, if one of your clients phones, we answer it Digital Agency, so it’s not Vendasta at all.
George: Well, the reporting is one of the key components to what is being provided through the digital agency. And there are lots of dashboards out there and number of groups use it. They say, “Just go to the dashboard Mr. customer, and see what happened. You can just go in there and you can click on things you can see.” And we know the customers don’t do that. But what we found in this report that is sent out at the end of the month, with the overall staff and the actual tasks that have been performed is really valuable in keeping the business. And I know you’ve walked lots of customers through these to explain what’s going on here.
Sean: Well, at the of the day the customer just wants to see what they’re paying for and what work is getting done. So this this report was created to do that. It’s gonna show within that given month, it’s going to show the amount of tasks that were completed. It’s going to show the customer the amount of tasks that are still open and still in progress. You can see in the screenshot there, there is a sub-header in progress. And that will list whether it’s a listing task, whether it’s a review task, whether it’s a social posting task or even a custom task. It’s going to show everything that’s in progress, everything that’s been completed and it’s really that, just that overall screenshot of what we did for you in that current month.
George: And branded for the customer and branded with the agency’s branding in that top left hand corner. As well we have the executive reports that come from within the solution. But I will tell you that if you are utilizing Digital Agency, Sean turns these off.
Sean: That’s correct. The Reputation Intelligence Executive Report will cover all of the listings that are available for that business. And it’s very important that we leave those on in Reputation Intelligence. However, the reason we turn the report off is so that it does not conflict with the information that we are going to send over at the end of the month on the concierge report. The concierge report will only show the work that we are doing on the listings that we are covering within concierge. And so we turn it off. What we found happen is that a customer would get the executive report and they would see their listings being six accurate and 16 with possible found errors. And that didn’t line up with what we were doing in concierge.
George: Quite frankly they freak out because they paid to have those dealt with. And while Sean had dealt with them, the concierge report clearly shows that. The fact is that what we’re seeing in reputation intelligence there’s still a mistake in the listings. And not just because the listing source hasn’t picked up the changes that Sean and his team have submitted.
So I recommend using executive reports in a DIY solution. I do not recommend using them in a do-it-with-me solution. Citations, we spoke about this earlier and listing distribution. I don’t think we need to cover it again. But I will just say, this is a fantastic way to show the value of listing distribution over a period of time. Let’s talk about some of these best practice.
Sean: So… and we’ve listed five here but there’s probably a few more that we should look at the end here. But business names should not be indicating a location. And that’s something that we come across quite often. They want to have ABC Coffee House Portland, but really it works against their business’ SEO. It’s one of those best practices that we will explain to them and walk them through. The Google address, when filling out an order, we don’t recommend just Googling it because that’s the whole reason that you’re coming to us with the solution is that your information is wrong online somewhere. So we don’t recommend you going to Google to look for it in the event that it’s wrong on Google, it’s just going to kinda get the ball rolling for a lot of extra work.
The biggest thing that we find is, we need the client to be available to talk to us. We need a person, an actual person at that business that’s able and willing to talk to us. When we need to claim something, we need to talk to somebody at that business. If they are not available or not willing to take this call there’s only so much that we can do. So it’s very important that your client understand that and in the understanding that it is a do-it-with-me solution.
George: Awesome. So a lot of the things that we’re providing surface around these items that are inside the snapshot report where we look at the four pillars of the virtual doorway. And Sean has taken you through how we deal with listings, how we deal with that word-of-mouth or online reputation, how we deal with website and how we deal with social through the Vendasta digital agency. If there’s a presence listing problem, we’re going to utilize that listing distribution Visibility Premium. If there’s a reputation issue that’s a review response, review generation and sharing reviews to social media channels. So we kind of tie those two together around that.
But we’ve got to create those social pages first for a lot of accounts and we gotta build up some social posting. And then of course website depending on what the business needs, it’s a landing page, it’s a micro site, it’s a full on website or it is a mobile responsive website. We can handle those as well. And that’s all being done through the Vendasta digital agency. Are there listing sites that are not covered by Digital Agency?
Sean: Absolutely there are. There’s a lot of premium sites out there that we’re not just able to do the work on unfortunately. There are sites that, and I’ll use OpenTable as a good example. If you are listed on OpenTable, it is something that you have signed up for. So if you are a restaurant and you are wanting to be on OpenTable for example, we can’t help you with that. That’s something that the business has to be in contact with them. It’s part of a premium site mean that you pay some type of fee to be listed on there. So unfortunately there are certain things that we just cannot to do on your behalf.
George: All right. If I would note that if you are interested or you have a client that is interested in working with dealerrater.com. They are a partner of ours and we could put you in touch with them and they would be more than happy to help you get that client integrated into the dealerrater.com solution. Ten locations, do I need to fill a form for each one, Sean?
Sean: Yes and no. It’s kind of a split answer. The form that we have, that Digital Agency form that I mentioned earlier on, does need to or is required to be filled out. However there is an area on the form that if you have 10 locations you can put all 10 on the one form. Again very important that we can connect the dots internally in our software that we have the right 10 accounts that we are taking from reputation intelligence and bringing them into concierge.
George: Can I complete the on-boarding call for my client with Digital Agency?
Sean: Not alone. As I tell, and George and I have had this conversation many times, I like to ask that the partner’s sales rep sit in with the business when we are doing this on-boarding call. The reason being is your sales reps are only going to learn each and every time they are part of one of these on-boarding calls with digital agency and I think they can only take that and apply that to the next business and it’s only going to help them sell.
George: All right. So we got just a couple final things that we want to cover off here today Sean. Cancellations or changes to the order, as a partner you’ll have access to certain things within our software and you could certainly go in there and change information or cancel an account and that’s part of the way we built the system. However, with Digital Agency, part of the reason you’re coming to us is for us to do that work. So one of those things that we only ask that you come to us and allow us to do that.
One thing that in concierge are things like passwords, usernames, log-in information. So we want to be able to bundle that information up. If you have a client that has canceled and be able to provide that back to you, the partner, to then get back to your clients. So it’s very important that you include us in those steps.
George: This is your team and you’ve got a great group of people back there.
Sean: They are a great team. I mean we are growing every day, we’ve got actually a new hire starting next week. And I’m pleased with each and every one of them and I always say I’ve got the best team in Vendasta.
George: There’s some sales people that don’t agree with that. Sean, I really appreciate your time. It’s always a pleasure having… you know, we try to get you in here about once a quarter to tell us about what’s new and I’m going to put you on the spot right now. I’ve been looking at that Digital Agency rate card and you’ve got a set of services on there. What do you got under the hood that you’re ready to release it, will be able to sell? I think we should have some new stuff, don’t you, Michael? We want some new stuff Sean, tell us what you got coming.
Sean: There is a few things that we’re working on. And I’ll mention two of them. Additional tabs in Facebook, as well as Facebook Contest.
George: All right. I’m not going to push this any further. I’m just not because I don’t know, I might be able to beat you in an arm wrestle. But we’ll have try that out at the Vendasta camping trip this week. I’d like to give a shout out to Lisa from Media Manifesto on the call today. I also would like to shout out probably one of the top sales leaders in the TV space, Mr. Stan Justice joining us on the call today from Cincinnati. Stan, I owe you a steak dinner at Jack Ruby’s. So one day I’m going to get to Cincinnati here very soon, you and I will go out for a steak dinner.
Thanks to everybody joining us. You can reach out to your Account Manager or to your Premium Account Executive to answer any questions around Digital Agency on how to get it integrated, how to get it signed sign up, they are more than willing to take you through that process. Sean, thank you for joining us. Michael, thanks for answering all the questions. My name is George Leith, I’ll see you when I see you.
Chief Revenue Officer
George is responsible for business development with Vendasta’s large media partners, as well as managing our in-house sales team. A digital interpreter, George has preached the gospel of online reputation management directly to the local businesses of hundreds of cities across North America. He translates his knowledge of the digital landscape into accessible information for those still stuck in the rut of traditional media.
With nearly three decades of experience in marketing, sales and promotion, George is a highly compelling speaker, always in demand across North America — vital content and emphatic delivery are combined for an enlightening presentation. George’s expertise in sales, training, networking, management and marketing comes from the numerous executive and ownership positions he has held across multiple media and service related businesses. His track record of success is continued here at Vendasta.
Director of Digital Agency
Sean Schroeder has a unique claim to fame: he has helped print tickets for pretty much every major sports team in North America. He is also a huge fan of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, enjoys Rodeo, Golf, and everything summer. When winter hits, he is either coaching his daughter’s hockey team or skiing down the slopes himself. At Vendasta, he is in charge of our Digital Agency, where he brings over 15 years of industry experience.
Whether you present to your prospects in person or upsell your customers over the phone (or vice versa!), having excellent presentation skills is crucial for closing sales. While we don’t recommend that you break through the ceiling with coffees for everyone, an animated presentation may not be a bad idea.
If you haven’t quite nailed your digital sales approach, then this webinar is for you. From the successes of the industry’s most innovative organizations.
More than 73% of people lose trust in a brand when their listings are incorrect. This webinar will allow you to understand the benefits, process and upcoming features of the most critical components of listings management.