In one year Ross added 50 clients to his agency in addition to teaching 400 people how to add clients to their agency. His unconventional building business strategy can work in many types of businesses.
“I don’t want to be at the top of my game because when I’m at the top of my game, it means that I’m on my way down.”
Working for free through giving trials is one of the best ways to hook your clients. Once they have your product, or have experienced your product, they aren’t going to want to give it up.
Dave: 00:00 Alright and just now finished an interview with Ross Christopher. He’s an agency owner and he’s doing this wild, crazy thing most agencies would never, ever consider doing, but it’s brought him in over 50 clients in the last year. You’ve got to check this out. In addition to that, make sure you subscribe and subscribe. Ring the bell so you don’t miss out on any of the notifications so that next time I get some of these other cool ideas and you’re the first people to know. Subscribe. Hey everybody. You guys are super, super excited and you have a privilege of having rosters fully. You’re on the show. Welcome to the show.
Ross: 00:33 Hey, thanks man. I feel like my privilege to be on your show.
Dave: 00:36 I hear you can crush it and again, people may not understand your story and know your story. Then we were kind of talking offline and the idea is the fact that he ended up selling all your other businesses due to an injury where he started basically from scratch in January, first 2017 and in glass basically that year up adding 50 clients to your agency in addition to teaching 400 people how to add clients to their agency. I mean did that just crazy, crazy stuff. I can’t wait to kind of dive into this as far as I’m building an agency because your agency is different than most people’s agencies. Your agency or you’re in the heavy machinery. That is weird. Is that right?
Ross: 01:14 Yeah, and it’s weird because I just fell into that niche and so it’s something that I can kind of explain here, but it’s been a crazy year like so many and I haven’t had the downsides of digital marketing where a lot of people fall into it, but I think that a lot of it came from owning businesses in the past. It really helps me to be able to kind of come in with structure and a business plan model as far as what I was going to do to make it happen. And so I knew that my agency wasn’t going to just build itself, but I can kind of backtrack if you want and kind of tell you how I fell into it and then some of the things that I’ve done to grow it. So I, uh, when I was 17 I opened a guitar shop.
Ross: 01:57 I wanted so bad to be an entrepreneur. I worked for a small business downtown, absolutely loved guitar and I realized though about two years in how bad I hated teaching the same edge here in song over and over again. Like it was just horrible. And so I ended up getting into this weird niche of fixing cracked phones and flipping them on Ebay and stuff like that. So I did that for about a year and in that time got married, opened up a cell phone repair store and the cellphone repair shop went really good. I was actually crushing it and about two years in I got a little cocky and I opened up a second store and it just tanked. Absolutely sent me. It was Kinda like Russell was just talking about the pride cycle. Yeah. I was at the top of the pride cycle and it sunk me into so much debt a for three months.
Ross: 02:51 I had to close that store. I had to fire everyone at my profitable store and get it back up and running just by myself. I mean there were times because we’re in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. My wife and I were literally boiling water for hot water for our bags because we couldn’t afford the propane heater to come and fill it up for 500 bucks or whatever. And so I, after I dug myself out of that hole that just entrepreneurship, you know, I dug myself out of this hole and I relocated my profitable store to a better location that was less expensive and I was like, I’m tired. And so right around that same time I started having these issuers where I was like falling and I couldn’t walk well am I, you know, like I was having all these mobility issues. So I started going into the doctor’s and they diagnosed me with Stringer Emilia, which is a spinal cord disease.
Ross: 03:40 It’s a cavity fluid filled cyst that runs mine’s really long, the length of my thoracic spine. And so they said basically that hey, this isn’t something we can fix the, it comes from my brain being herniated a, they won’t operate on it for other reasons. And so I was like, I can’t stand, you know, in these jobs all day. And I was starting to learn this idea that, you know, when you exchange your time for money, you always lose. And even when you’re an entrepreneur, and this is why I think like you see so many people being profitable in this digital marketing business to funnel business, that they are not going into the mindset of like the, you know, you have three years and then if you make it past that Hump, you’re good. You know, they’re going into it from day one, we need to be profitable.
Ross: 04:31 And so I was like, okay, what can I do? And I came across your guys’ ads. I ended up taking a course on funnels and facebook ads and it kind of really clicked well with me because I had done my own Marketing v for my businesses in the past, but I had only done organic marketing so when I learned this stuff, but like lit a fire under my butt and I sold my businesses to an employee for like nothing. I just wanted out. I was like, I just want it out. And so like after everything was said and done, I didn’t have much money. I like three grand in my name. I spent like a thousand of it or I should say 1997 on a course. And uh, you know, I got it. And what was funny is I started landing clients right away using my own techniques.
Ross: 05:11 I’m a big fan of cold calling, which I know a lot of people hate. I did a lot of free trials, which a lot of people hate. I did pretty much the opposite of what everybody else wants to do and I just started seeing clients right away and I remember it was the first time last year in February that I understood passive income because I had done all this work to do sales in January and now here comes February. I doubled what I did in January and then when the money stacked on top from January, I was like, who? Who did it? I didn’t know and teach me this before, like why in the world have I taken. My wife regularly says to me like, why couldn’t you have done this? Like instead of ever opening and Guitar Shop for Sofa Chap, you would’ve been so much further ahead.
Ross: 05:54 Expert secrets.com secrets exist back then. No, but in reality, that’s kind of how it felt for us over this year and I. I’m trying to not hit the top of a pride cycle in this business now. I’m trying not to get there and stay humble, but like I have not seen the downside yet to this business other than taxes suck, but that. Other than that, you know, it’s been a pretty amazing ride, so what I’d like to do is explaining some of the things that I’ve done to help some of your audience members who are running an agency understand like, okay, that’s great, that’s inspiring, but where’s the actionable stuff of how to actually get this done? Let’s dive right in. So I started out for me by a on a Napkin. I drew out my value ladder and I drew out what was what I called my 10 k model and it was pretty much, I call it push starting your agency because in the beginning you’re really doing a lot of harder work.
Ross: 06:51 You know you’re manually cold calling and reaching out to people, but after about six to nine months, what you noticed is that engine’s turned over and you find this gas pedal to your business and you are like, I don’t have to cold call because now your networks so big, you got so many referrals coming in that all you have to do is keep up with that and your agency just keeps going. It’s as you guys know, it’s harder to go from, you know, zero clients to 10 or 20 or in an agency for your business. It’s different, but it’s harder to do that than it is to go from 20 to 50 because all you have to do is get one to two referrals from every client and all of a sudden your business is doubled in size. And so what I did was I thought, okay, I like the software model of offering a trial because you get people hooked on something and you get them like engraved in it, like all my files.
Ross: 07:44 Then all my stuff is in my account and then to pull that away like you can really like you want it now it’s like someone trying to take your cell phone away after having it for seven days, like all built into it. So I. What I did was I did seven days short trials, seven days or less and I offered these two people and I did it in a unique way where instead of just calling them up and pitching them on a trial, because I was in programs, I called them saying, listen, I’m a student, I’m learning all this marketing and I really would like to just get a testimonial. That’s all I really want. Would you guys be willing to let me do some marketing for seven days for free if I can just get a testimonial from you? And I was going after doctors initially because everyone’s going after chiropractors and I thought that’s what we do.
Ross: 08:31 And so I was going after these doctors and they were like, yeah, yeah, that’s great. We’ll do it. And so once I got in there and I just really rocked her all, how much is it going to be to keep doing this? And when I started hearing that, I knew right away like this is a, this is a model. So that’s what I did is I would only give them seven days, like, just enough to give them a taste and want more and then I cut it off. But there’s many people who are against trials because they do them and they don’t land the client, but the main reasons why they’re not landing them after trials is a, they didn’t find people who can afford advertising. So they went after people who had no advertising budget. Like I don’t give people trials unless they’re already paying for marketing.
Ross: 09:13 Like there’s a book called the Challenger Sale. It’s an amazing book. Um, and they talk about the five different tiers of, um, salespeople since 2008 in which ones have been the most profitable and people who will challenge your status quo of your business are proven by numbers to have much higher sales and be the wolf of sales in their industry. And so to me it trial is like challenging your current way of doing things. You know, it’s like saying, hey, you’re paying for this. Let me give you this for seven days and I’m going to show you that this is better, you know, so it was my way of doing that. Well, after a while of doing that, you get referrals and it becomes what I call a gold digging, which works perfect for your prospecting there because you take for free. But then once you got that client you don’t offer trials to their referrals.
Ross: 10:01 She just keeps using the case study from your referral to sell the next guy that smart yet. And so I only have two people like get confused like why does your office, he’s the child that I know I get trials just to find my gold. That’s super cool. And then I chased that gold with these referrals and so you think about it when you’re digging for gold, the first few scoops are free. So get over it. It’s part of our business, you know, and I always find it hypocritical when an agency owner will go into a business and they try to get them to offer like a really good deal or a free initial visit or really low cost initial visit to get traffic. And then when they say, well, what’s your, you know, can you give me a deal? No, I don’t do that. I don’t believe in the value ladder.
Ross: 10:46 Like I don’t, I get, it’s just so hypocritical to me that tried to get someone else to offer an initial traffic driving. But then to say, no, I’m not going to. And so that’s what I’ve done to scale the agency and it’s worked really, really well. And then I went into, you know, then you get your strategy call after you, you have to do a strategy. You guys see so many people trying to go straight from the trial to setting it up on facebook, setting up their ads. But I liken it to this. If you do a, um, like in a Webinar when you’re doing a Webinar, that Webinar strategy call, if you pull out the webinar industry to the sales page where you go straight to something else, it’s going to convert much. It’s not going to preframe them to buy. And so, so really that strategy call is a way that even though you came in saying you just wanted to testimonial, you can really set them up for at the end of this, the end of this trial, I’m going to pitch you.
Ross: 11:44 So you say, hey, you know, so I’m going to be ending my schooling, my training here after this testimonials. So if this goes really well, is this something you’d be interested in continuing? And so now they’ve already got in your mind like you’re going to pit it makes it way less awkward when you do pitch them when they know that you were going to pitch them. And so once we, once we do that, then we get our strategy call, we go into a trial and then this is one of the most crucial things. You gave it your testimonial before you pitch them. I cannot send so many people. They pitched them and then they ask for the testimonial and there’s so lame because then if they said no, their testimonial suck. They’re like, well, you know, yeah, it was pretty good to where in your testimony you can actually sell them on the service by being like, Hey, can you see how this can help other businesses?
Ross: 12:33 And as they’re answering these questions, they’re really talking themselves into the service. And then when you pitch them on the service, they’re like, yeah, okay, this makes sense. You know the, yeah, I’ll, I’ll do it. So that’s what we’ve done. And right now what I found is if I do 25 phone calls, I get about three to four strategy calls in about one to two, um, trial started and I’ll typically land a client out of that. So one more time. Yeah. At about 25 cold calls, I’ll get three to four strategy calls, a two trials in all, in one or two clients based off that, that’s fantastic. And it’s not just me, every single day I have the students emailing me pictures and screenshots of pay pal and stripe. Oh my God, I can’t believe I wish I’d have done this. The downside is, is that I don’t sell my course on pain points.
Ross: 13:22 So like a lot of people know cold calling and all this stuff is a pain point. No one wants to do it. And so they sell against that. But then when people struggle, I’m like the last resort and they’re all broke by the time they get to me. Everyone’s broke. So I don’t sell a lot of courses I guess. But um, but the people who do end up taking the bite, they ended up, uh, they ended up seeing the results. Like I said, I’ve only had about a in total, I’ve helped over 400 people. I’ve only sold just over 200 of my actual course. And um, I have a program called scripts that work. It’s my $47 a front end offer or whatever. And I’ve had about 200 people purchase that, which has been cool. But I, it’s fun because I get all these text messages of people seeing the same results that I’m having and I. You said a comment when you’re live videos and run home, but you said what got you where you are won’t get you where you want to go. Do you remember that?
Ross: 14:23 And it’s funny because you said that at a time where I think I had around 25, 30 clients and I was starting to get to a point where I was. I related to it because I thought I can’t keep going with the same strategy now that I’m here because I’ll grow too slow and so I needed to start selling to the masses because my agency is maybe me. Like I love my program. I love the course. I loved the students, but some people they do an agency just to sell a course and have the credibility. I love my agency because I love my agency. And so I think that’s. That says a lot about you. It says a lot about, again, when you’re out there talking to the people, when people understand that I’m not in the business of just selling other people to do this, I actually do it myself.
Ross: 15:05 I mean, we’re in the same. We’re in the exact same business. We build funnels. We held our own funnels and Russell’s literally building a monster funnel type. We’re calling the mother and funnels right now. Uh, and that’s again what we do. I would love to be a fly on your wall by the way, going around in an office. It would be like, but yeah, it’s just been fun. It’s this, you know, it’s kind of like the practitioner thing and what I think it ends up happening is you end up influencing people in a way. I do the, um, the document rather than create theory from my content. And I think you end up influencing people in an interesting way because what I’ve found is there’s some influencers where you’ve really connected with them at one point in your career, but you outgrow them because if they’re not a practitioner, what can happen is they don’t have new content, new problems that they’re helping solve and you ended up just outgrowing their style and you feel like you’ve gotten everything that you can from them.
Ross: 16:04 But when you’re a practitioner and you’re constantly trying to improve things and you’re documenting it. Like I went live yesterday on the spot and I showed people how I’m doing these cool. I, I pretended like a strategy call visit, like a little 10 minute one and I were, I have a sweater in the corner that is kind of like this one. And what I do is I use that same video, but then I’ll go to a client, I’ll fall form like a two minute intro in that sweater. And I’m like, hey, thanks so much. I was going to send you more information that you asked for. Let me show you what it is that I help clients do, and then I bought that video up to my other video where I’m wearing the same sweater and a it looks like I’ve made this 15, 20 minute video for that client, but I literally only made like a two minute detailed portion for them.
Ross: 16:50 So when you’re trying these new techniques, you can share value to people constantly because you’re constantly trying to be better. I love it, but again, we’ve had this conversation with Russell so many times. The only way you can continue staying up in the front of the pack is you’ve gotta be relevant and the only way you can be relevant as you have to be a doer, you gotta be out there just doing the business if you’re not doing it. Oh my gosh, it just people catch on real fast. You can only think of so far. Do you think that, um, how do you think this question. I love the people a way you can really tell if someone’s doing it or not. What’s the best way in your opinion? Because you guys see probably more crap than anyone that has ever seen crap, you know, like you’ve probably seen the decline payment from someone on stripe and then all of a sudden they’re the ones shouting off that they played in the, you know. So how would you say from an actual standpoint is a way that someone can really know someone’s doing it for me, the results that they always just speak for themselves. I mean we’ve
Dave: 17:50 got over 250 people now have qualified for a two Comma Club award. We’ve got, I think 14. I think we had our 15th person now qualifies for our, our soon to be eight finger award. And it’s just people out there actually just doing it and people know it’s again, it’s, it’s, you can cut through the crap real fast. You just have to ask a couple of questions and you find out real quick if they know what they’re talking about.
Ross: 18:15 Yeah. There’s a lot of people that I’ve found are quiet in the communities, even in your click funnels community, but they’re so smart, like a lot of diamonds in the rough. And I’ll, uh, I’ll see a name here and there, like a comment and then I’ll get into a conversation with someone and you don’t realize how many people are just absolutely killing it, but they don’t need to be up in the forefront of everyone’s saying it. And I find those people fascinating because there’s so much you can, you can learn from those people.
Dave: 18:42 You know, it’s one of the things I love most about funnel hacking live is you literally could be sitting next to someone who has done six, seven, eight, 10, $20,000,000 and you wouldn’t know any different. I mean, everyone’s all the same. Everyone’s there trying to learn from the best, try and improve their game. And that’s, I think that’s the fun part about the, you know, the culture that we’ve built here is there. We really, again, I loved is you made mention, you know, Russell’s podcast the other day on, on the whole pride cycle because it’s so true. And I think, uh, after you’ve gone through that cycle a couple of times in your life, you, uh, you understand a, once you get there to the top, you don’t want to know what the Lord. Fortunately back down, I’ll try to learn as much as I can without that.
Ross: 19:21 Yeah, I think the is. He thinks he’s standing be worried doesn’t fall. That’s right. And I think that is when you get to that point that it is, um, it’s scary actually. And I did a live video that was inspired by that yesterday where I was talking about how I don’t want people say like, you know, I’m at the top of my game. I want to be at the time, I don’t want to be at the top of my game because when I’m at the top of my game, it means that I’m on my way down. There’s only one way from there. It’s a depressing thing to be at the top. It means you’re not gonna get any better. Didn’t get tiger woods when he was at the top of his game or you know, when you think about that phrase, it is. It’s a little depressing from an agency standpoint.
Ross: 19:59 I think that is for the. If people can just say stupid, super focused on what they’re actually there because there’s so many ways to make money. Yes, you can get into crypto. You can do all these different affiliate and [inaudible] and stuff like those are all great. There’s ways to make money, like all of them are probably are not all, but most of them can be very legit in their own way, but when you have all of them pulling at your attention, it makes you do none of them well, so agency owners get into it and then they see. They think that courses are the way that they’re going to make all their money and that’s great info it. You can make so much money and info products, but I right now make way more in my agency than I do selling an info product and it’s just what you’re focused on. Yeah.
Dave: 20:43 Again, you can find your unique ability. You gotta go with it and again, I think Raj has done an amazing job, you know, some of the things you’ve mentioned pockets, but I just love that you’ve got to work for free. There is just, there’s nothing better than worked for free. I love your idea as far as work for free once and then use that as a case study for everyone else. You’ve done an awesome, awesome job on that of get close to wrapping things up here. Anything else you want to make sure our listeners hear about or know about?
Ross: 21:08 No, know. I’m not sure if, if anybody’s interested in, you know, just interacting and learning any of that stuff. I don’t have anything right now that I’m selling people my toe. I open and close the course. Uh, periodically right now it’s currently closed because I, um, I just am. I’m about to be in front of like 70 new dealers who are onboarding and I’m kind of prepare, bring back in here at the office to scale. I’m hiring on people because I just didn’t have a lot of time to work one on one with students, but I go live in my group every single day. It’s client acquisition entrepreneur for entrepreneurs and I help people with their businesses. If that’s not allowed, you can chop it out. You can just go sleep while I’m talking. It doesn’t matter. And um, I love helping people out. So find me. You can reach out to me through my page, whatever. I’m sure I have stuff I can give away for you guys. Love it, Ross. Thank you so much. Appreciate taking the time today. And again, if your agency considered the idea as far as a free trial, it, you’ll be surprised it actually works. Yeah, absolutely. Thanks. Thank you.
Dave: 22:14 Pretty cool stuff, Huh? So make sure you go ahead, subscribe. So somewhere down there’s a little button, subscribe, and then ring the bell. Get the notifications so you don’t miss out on any of the upcoming episodes. Talk to you real soon.