The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  How I Went from $50,000 to More Than $250,000 in Sales Per Year- Wit...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  Michael Cyger: Hey, everyone. My name is Michael Cyger and Im thepub...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  Michael: Great slogan. I still love it. And so, who are your custome...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  very very small. At the beginning we were still not a large company....	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  So my goal was to sell four a week of those. So I guess if you do th...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  page with some rich text, a couple pictures, it wasnt just like a ba...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  and he starts saying hello. “Hi, Dave. Hi, Dave.” Its all him. Hes d...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  started this, you would think, “Oh, wow, there wasnt all this compet...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  Washington right outside Seattle on the Olympic peninsula—or just ou...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  Michael: So youll build a website for a customer. If they have a web...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  All those things that we can do for you. And then if you have extra ...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  Shane: At that point, it was a just a page on my network.Michael: So...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  Im probably going to get 50 different answers. Thats how fractured t...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  “Well, I can build you a website for $200, but its going to cost you...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  websites or internet marketing could bring them customers and now ph...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  information gatherer. I have my camera, I have my pencil and paper, ...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  this for you, Im going to do everything I said with this marketing a...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  Kind of the one thing I say is, in the competence of service, it get...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  components to a website. Domain name, theres hosting, theres design ...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  going to do, but unless they start asking the tough questions like y...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  Then the sales tool part of it also is—whats even more valuable than...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  We have a guy that works for us that is a salesman. I mean, he came ...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  become a customer here.” So you can bring in business that way. That...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  Michael: Or not even that. “I saw that picture of that pug or your 6...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  Shane: Thats right. And we say that to them. If youre a prospect, if...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  can just build it, build a good network—again, that effect that the ...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  Shane: It depends on the client. It almost gets down the basics of a...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  So their stats dont necessarily have to be as high and again in the ...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  up, and I got business from them because in California, maybe the dr...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  So the majority of calls—and this is probably true of any sales in a...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  industrial park a strip mall. Im walking into every door of that str...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  Shane: Youre asking the best questions. I announce myself and talk t...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  Michael: So you said five times you typically have to interact with ...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  On the stats issue—I know I keep going back to stats—how often do yo...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  domain—you may not understand,” again, the business owner, “you may ...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  Shane: What we do—and at that point, to be honest with you, what Im ...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  coffee shop right now, so everybody that comes into my network that ...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  Shane: Absolutely.Michael: What kind of businesses do you find easie...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  probably going to sell him a bigger package. So if I had to pick and...	  The	  Domain	  Name	  Authority	  them access to change it. Either way, its fine, but we also have a s...	  The	 €
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Shane Wells: How I Went from $50,000 to More Than $250,000 in Sales Per Year


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It's relatively straightforward to build a geodomain into a directory or blog. But where most people fall short in making their venture a successful business is the sales process. Shane Wells, on the other hand, loves to sell. His enthusiasm for sales (and his success) speaks for itself -- he went from $50,000 in sales to more than $250,000 per year in sales.

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Shane Wells: How I Went from $50,000 to More Than $250,000 in Sales Per Year

  1. 1.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  How I Went from $50,000 to More Than $250,000 in Sales Per Year- With Shane WellsWatch the full video at: messages before todays interview educates and motivates you.First, if you’re a domain name investor, don’t you have unique legal needsthat require domain name technical know-how and industry experience?That’s why you need David Weslow of Wiley Rein. Go search for DavidWeslow on DomainSherpa, watch his interview and you can see for yourselfthat he can clearly explain issues, can help you with buy/sell agreements, dealwith website content issues and UDRP actions, and even help you write yourwebsite terms and conditions. David Weslow is the lawyer to call for Internetlegal issues. See for yourself at, managing multiple domain name marketplace and auction siteaccounts is a pain. Inevitably, you forget to sign into one and lose a greatdomain…or worse. Now imagine using a single, simple-to-use andcomprehensive control panel to manage all your accounts. That’s Protrada.You can setup search filters, analyze domains, automate bidding, list domainsfor sale, and buy domains across all major marketplaces. Protrada also has anew semantic engine that builds Google-friendly websites with rich contentand network feeds. Sign up at to get 20 free credits and startbuilding and monetizing your domains today.Finally, if you have questions about domain names, where should you go toask them? The answer is Not only is DN Forum the largestdomain name forum in the world, but its the best. You can learn aboutdomain names and the industry, buy and sell domain names, talk aboutdomain name news, and meet other domainers just like yourself. Register fora free DN Forum account and begin advancing your skills and knowledgetoday. And when you do signup, send me a friend request so we can connect.Heres your program.Shane Wells ( Page 1 of
  2. 2.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  Michael Cyger: Hey, everyone. My name is Michael Cyger and Im thepublisher of, the website where you learn how to becomea more successful domain name entrepreneur directly from the experts. Foranyone that doesnt know me, I really dislike sales. Youd never guess, giventhe fact that Ive run a few publishing companies in my career and Ive mademost of my revenue from advertising. So Im always looking to learn fromexpert sales people. I want to learn what they do, what makes themsuccessful, and I want to bring it back to you.And to help us do that, I invited Shane Wells to join us. Shane is a salesmanager at An internet marketing company servicingsmall businesses in Maryland and Virginia since 1996.I had dinner with Shane and owner Bob Luther at the GeoPublishers Event in 2011 and we had a great time. Shane volunteered tocome on here and tell us about his experiences and share his sales tactics.Shane, thanks for coming on the show.Shane Wells: Hey, thanks for having me. It was great to see you again.Michael: Shane, I described Do you describe it anyother way to customers?Shane: Well, its interesting. I describe it to prospects as I walk in their doorand they go, “Ive never heard of that. Youre not the Yellow Pages, right?Who are you?” And I say, “Im here to bring customers to your business.Thats what I do.” Its interesting, because theres so many things that we dothat took us a long time. Thats the slogan of our company. “Bringing newcustomers to your business.” Because it was too hard to explain that we doSEO, we do this, we do that. Were dragging small businesses into theinternet age. They didnt get it, so they wanted to get to the chase.“What do you do?”“We bring in new customers. Are you interested? Were in business! Doyou want them or not?” kind of thing.Shane Wells ( Page 2 of
  3. 3.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  Michael: Great slogan. I still love it. And so, who are your customers?When you walk in the front door, who are you walking in the front door of?Shane: Great question. Its—our customers are almost anybody and thatskind of the method that we use. Small businesses. Let me rephrase that.Small business—and I guess people have different definitions of smallbusiness. I think the government has one definition and I disagree with thatone, but hyper-local. We were doing hyper-local small business marketingbefore that term was even imagined. So its walking up and down a stripmall, walking into a restaurant, a hair salon, a dentist, everybody is aprospect. Going into an industrial park and talking to a plumber, a car repairguy. Theres unlimited potential for these small business clients.Who I dont want to walk into is probably easier to describe. Wal-Mart, BestBuy, the big box stores. Those are the ones I would pass by. Everythingelse, if its got a door, we should walk in it—even if we dont know what it is.Ive walked in doors before and got a, “Im not sure what you do here. Whatdo you do here?” And then they explain, and I say, “Well, I think I can helpyou somehow.”Michael: All right, I told the audience your title at the beginning of the show:sales manager. Does this mean that you manage a team of sales people, thatyou dont actually there and sell anything yourself?Shane: Well that kind of gets into the history of me with the company, Iguess. I started with Bob Luther back in 1999. Believe it or not, answered anad in the newspaper back when that was the way to hire people, I guess. Andcame on board as a sales rep in a territory in an area. There was lots ofchallenges in those days. As a matter of fact, we were selling in those days,ads, what wedve called pages in the network. We werent even sellingwebsites. It was interesting because all of our ads on our network, we hadgeo names—were performing better than peoples websites if they hadwebsites, because their websites were terrible.So its kind of grown and Ive never stopped selling since that day. Myexperience led me to mentor these other people as we brought more on board,Shane Wells ( Page 3 of
  4. 4.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  very very small. At the beginning we were still not a large company. Wehave 12 outside sales reps, so its not a huge number to manage. Weve keptsmall, weve kept focused. So I manage them for their bigger deals, theirstructured off the wall packages, but day to day operations, theyre fine ontheir own.And then this is just my experience with Bob and the company has led me todo a host of other things, sidetracked from countywebsite like domaintransfers. If anyone has a domain transfer, I handle it. Ive probablytransferred into our company hundreds of domains from every registrar thatsout there. So Ive had a great experience with that. But the sale is what I loveand if I could go without and coldcall tomorrow and go knock on some doors,Id thoroughly enjoy it. I just dont do it nearly as much as I used to becauseof the other stuff—managing my own customer base.Michael: Im going to come back and ask you about the cold calling and Iwant to ask you about pounding the pavement and walking into businesses,and Im going to ask you, if you as a sales person or your other sales personactually have to manage things like transferring in the domains yourself or ifyou have a team. But before we get to all of that, Shane, you said that youstarted doing this in 1999. Youve been working with Bob Luther doing sales for about 13 years now. Give us an idea ofwhere you started. First year, you were selling, you had a territory, do youremember what your annual sales were that year?Shane: No, but they were the worst theyve ever been, only because—and Iwould tell this to a new sales rep starting with us today. If theyre not—if Imnot giving them some renewals some existing clients that Im giving them—then theyre starting off in a new area. In a new geographic, for instance.Year ones tough. Youre out there getting new businesses, day after day,month after month, building your base, because our program we still isbasically on a yearly package. That gets more into the sales end of it, howwe do that.But its a yearly package. So they will—year one, looking back, my goal wasto sell 4 packages a week. Packages were much less money, the packagesback then maybe were selling for a few hundred bucks; $400, $500 a year.Shane Wells ( Page 4 of
  5. 5.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  So my goal was to sell four a week of those. So I guess if you do the math,thats—my sales might have been—again, thats a goal, but—maybe $50,000?I dont know. Something—50, 60--somewhere in that range that first year.Michael: And so after 15 years of doing this, youve got customers that comeback to you every year that renew with you, that are bringing in newcustomers. What were your sales last year, do you remember?Shane: They were upwards of over a quarter million dollars last year andactually have been for the last few years over that quarter million mark. Andinteresting but nice, its been a steady—if you were to look at a chart of mysales, its up every year, year after year substantially nice growth jump.Michael: Excellent. So thats what were going to figure out today. Thatswhat the audience is going to better understand by the end of this show. Howdo you, Shane, generate over a quarter of a million dollars per year in salesrevenue and what can we take away and begin doing on our own websites?So let me start with this question. I know you mentioned you sell—you usedto just sell banner ads that—an ad on the network, for example. Now youoffer a host of products and services at What kinds ofthings do you sell now?Shane: We still that same original package as well, so the original package—I guess in just a quick history of our network, we have geo domains likeoriginally we had—when I joined Bob Luther, we had some county names,, but then we had some other ones It was a mish mash. Maybe a city thrown in No consistency. So we were brainstorming in 2000 and cameup with, “Whats a consistent name that we can come up with?” Thats whenwe came up with the county website name in 2000.Then we quickly grabbed,, howardscounty—so that I live on the edge of 3counties. So if Im soliciting in Carroll county, I can announce it Howards County is my brand, keeps things similar. So what weve sold was an adShane Wells ( Page 5 of
  6. 6.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  page with some rich text, a couple pictures, it wasnt just like a banner ad likeyou make up today. But it was just some basics because even back then, wewere into SEO. “We need to have some text on this page for this page to getfound and build value to our network.”So the funny story is there was one time in that early period where we said,“These pages are better than websites and a lot of these people that weredoing these pages for dont have websites. What are we doing here?” Nowremember, this is all in the early days, so were like, “Wait a minute. Letsjust go grab these guys domains and point the domains to their pages that wealready do for them.” So there was a week there when we went out and juststarted grabbing names for customers. or all thesethings, because they didnt even care at that point. They didnt know thevalue of—they trusted me as a salesperson to come in and say, “I can get youcustomers, dont worry how Im going to do it, but youll enjoy the benefit ofwhat I do.” Whether they have a domain, not have a domain, its a differentstory today, which was your question.Today we have basically two types of prospects when we walk in the door orcoldcall. And we ask them right away, “Do you have a website, or do younot have a website?” Its going to be—it has to be one of those two. Again,were trying to stay focused here. The ultimate package that we try to sellthem initially is the same for both clients. Its going to be some sort of pageon the internet that we have control over to do SEO work and all those greatthings and get them some business from the internet.Michael: So the first question you ask then is, “Do you have a website ornot?” if they say they dont, then youll create a microsite on yourcountywebsite page?Shane: If they dont, kind of the trick thing is when I ask them that questionwhether they say yes or now, I say, “Great. Thats fantastic.” and it throwsthem off. Think of how many times—first of all, these small business owners. . . you asked me, but Im getting sidetracked again. You asked me whos myprospect and I said, “small business owners.” Theres a funny commercial,and if you havent seen it, you should just YouTube it, I guess. Its a Staplescommercial called, “Meet Dave.” And this guy Dave walks into a businessShane Wells ( Page 6 of
  7. 7.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  and he starts saying hello. “Hi, Dave. Hi, Dave.” Its all him. Hes doingdifferent jobs inside the business. And then they close with, “Its just Davethere.”Thats my client. Hes too busy to do anything so, “Do you have a website ornot?” He thinks Im trying to sell him a website at that point. I have awebsite. And I say, “Great!” And hes like, “Wait a minute.” I just threwhim completely off his game. He thought I was going to turn around andwalk out the door. Because anybody selling websites would turn around atthat point. So thats my opening question and its an icebreaker with theseguys.Michael: So I should back up and actually ask you a little bit more So the products that you sell, you start with website, youstart by asking them if they need more business, which of course, every smallbusiness owner is going to say “yes.” So right off the bat, youre gettingthem to say yes to something. And then you ask them, “Do you have awebsite or not?” and they tell you one answer. It doesnt matter what theysay, you say, “Fantastic!” and it throws them off and then you—then whatdo you start doing from there? Whats your next process step in order todecide what products and services you offer best match what their need is?Shane: Then it gets tricky. Youve got to start asking questions. Youve gotto start feeling them out a little bit. Look around their store or their business.Youve got to just find out their hot buttons just by going back to basic sales.What are their hot buttons? Are they—and theres a couple differentcategories of hot buttons in the network. If I go into a restaurant and say,“Maggies Restaurant is on my network,” that may be the hot button. “Oh, ifhes doing it, then I have to do it!”So thats kind of a network effect. Or, “I want a pretty, flashy lookingwebsite.” So thats the—I dont know what you would call that—the vanityeffect. Theyre not even interested in the traffic necessarily. They just wantthe flash. Then youve got the people who—and this is more commonnowadays—where they say, “I just want to get found on Google. I dont carewhat you do.” Again, thats becoming more common to hear that, but itsgreat for me. The more, if you think about it, going back to the day when weShane Wells ( Page 7 of
  8. 8.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  started this, you would think, “Oh, wow, there wasnt all this competition.”Yes, there was and even if there wasnt, it was a whole different mindset withthe business owners. It was like dragging them into this total education.Not much has changed except that theyve been beat on by 10 years byinternet companies to do advertising. So now they have to make thesechoices. Who do I go with?Michael: Do you find one of the hot buttons to be social? They want to dosomething social, a twitter, a Facebook, something because people ask themif theyre on Facebook or not, but they dont know anything about it?Shane: Yes. Were seeing more of that. Thats a great point. Facebook,social media, even videos, video marketing, that type of thing. And mobile,which is a whole other category. And again, its almost like somebody wouldsay, “Does all this competition bother you?” Now youre not just competingwith the credit card machine guy and the phone, and all these other salespeople, all these other internet sales people. And I say, “Well, theres enoughbusiness out there for everybody, so Im not that concerned about it.”But the Facebook and the social media thing, people are excited about andthats great. Kind of one other neat thing about it is theyll get excited andtheyll be like, “Ive got to do this! Ive got to sign up for this!” and Im like,“Great!” and I consult them a little, steer them in the right direction, but mygoal again is getting back to the basics because these people can get excitedabout video marketing, the can hear that if theyre not on YouTube, doingvideo marketing, their business might as well close. Or something like that.They hear that.And Im not going to deny them. Theres value to lots of different avenues ofmarketing, but lets take a look at your website. How do you come up inGoogle? Lets go back to the basics first. So were excited about all thosenew avenues also. Were really excited about that. But we wont let themmiss the basics.Michael: Your business owns a bunch of domain names. You own all of themajor county websites. I looked in my local area. I live in Kitsap countyShane Wells ( Page 8 of
  9. 9.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  Washington right outside Seattle on the Olympic peninsula—or just outsidethe Olympic peninsula and you own I think you You own—a lot of the county domain names across theU.S., right?Shane: Not whats called the “pure county” domains. Those are hard to get.We get them whenever we can. Theyre not—again, backing up one second,to be honest with you, the name doesnt matter. Its the marketing of thename that matters and thats a theme that I carried all the way down to thelocal level of the business owner.Michael: So tell me why that makes sense? Why does the name not matter?Shane: The name does matter for that group of geodomainers that have thebig ones. the Palm Springs, the Baltimore—those I 100% agree that thats adifferent sales tactic. But if Im talking about the name of me—I live inCarroll county, so I have to market Ive beendoing that for 12 years now, and I could poll most businesses and residents,and theyve never heard of But my searchstatistics show that thousands of unique visitors hit that every monthsearching for everything related to the community. So I know people arehitting it, and they probably hit it and dont even know it.Michael: Because its not a brandable type. If I go to, yes, itsthe location, but its also a brand that you can recognize is sort of three words that arent necessarily asbrandable.Shane: Right, theyre not brandable, so we may very well kitsapcounty.comwhich, that falls under our theme—Michael: I think you do. I think thats the one that I checked.Shane: If it were to become available in the after-market, we may snap thatup to supplement that. Because that is a better name. The shorter, purernames are by far better for typed in traffic and all those other great things.But the SEO work is what we do to our network and to our clients websites.Shane Wells ( Page 9 of
  10. 10.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  Michael: So youll build a website for a customer. If they have a website andthey just want to get that website ranked well, youll search engine optimize itfor them. You have these directories across the United States, youll add theirwebsite to the directory which helps them with inbound links and sharingsome of the authority that you have on those websites, right?Shane: Absolutely.Michael: Will you manage a customers—we talked about social campaigns,we talked about video. Will you manage a persons Pay Per Click budget, forexample?Shane: Yes. We sure will. We will even—we dont come out and walk intoa business and say, “Can we manage your business email?” but we will,absolutely. Well set up business email, well help them set it up on outlookbecause again, its kind of a theme, but when you get to that small businessowner, lots of them dont even know how to use email. So you get into thatwhole—we walk in saying to new customers if those other things like . . .well, Pay Per Click, we would—I put that in the upsell category.Michael: Youre not leading with that. That could be something that youfind later they may want to do in addition to some other stuff.Shane: Right. In general terms, we have a lot to offer with our product base.But theres only so much money that I can extract out of a local business andcontinue to give them good value and a good return on their investment withthat base of products.But and this is kind of how I describe it. Im almost going to pretend likeyoure a prospect and explain it to you in those same terms. Because this iswhat I would do. But the Pay Per Click side of it—most of that moneysgoing to go to Google. So you need to be able to allocate sometimes 4-10times, no matter what youre paying me, youre guaranteed that if youregoing to go into that Pay Per Click market, effectively youre going to have tospend a lot more. So my goal is, spend as much—reach that max that youcan with me first, which is going to be the best return on your investment.Shane Wells ( Page 10 of
  11. 11.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  All those things that we can do for you. And then if you have extra money—now thats the key, right?But its amazing what you end up seeing. Even some of the smallestbusinesses, what theyve allocated to print budget and just never thoughtabout moving that money or just a portion of that.And Ive got so many stories where—Ive got a water softener guy, a watertreatment guy. That guy started out with me at a couple hundred dollar a yearpackage. I didnt do his website. And this is kind of the progression. He wasone of those clients that first year, as an example, that signed up with me. Hedidnt make a ton of money off of it, but every year after that, he renewed,and I tried to say, “Hey, are you still happy with your website?”“Yeah, Im still happy with it. My buddy did it.”Next year, renews with me, because Im doing my job. “You still happy withyour website?”“Yeah.”Well then all of a sudden one year he says, “Im not happy with that guyanymore.”Now the floodgates open. I take over the website. My revenue doubled forthat client. Then we expanded to some neighboring counties, then weexpanded into some other programs with him, all of a sudden today, its 10-12 years later, hes maxed out with my program, and Im trying to talk himinto Pay Per Click because even though hes maxed out with my offerings, hespends with me, lets say a penny on the dollar for his ad spend. But Improbably responsible for well over 50% of his new customers. That doesnteven make sense, but thats—and lots of us that are in this industry would saythe same thing. For what theyre getting, theyre getting a fantastic package.Michael: So let me ask you a couple questions about that water treatmentguy. So when he first started spending money with you for $200 a year, whatwere you doing for him? What kind of services were you rendering?Shane Wells ( Page 11 of
  12. 12.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  Shane: At that point, it was a just a page on my network.Michael: So it was an optimized page, separate from his website, youcontrolled this page, you optimized it, its on your network so it gets a lot ofyour network benefit, and it probably rose to higher in the search enginesthan his other website?Shane: Absolutely. And when we do that program, again, that gets into—one of your questions was, “What do you start asking these clients, where doyou steer them?” Well, if Im doing a program like that which I would stilldo today, Im not trying to compete with his website. So if somebodysGoogling—his name is Atlantic Blue Water Services. If somebodysGoogling Atlantic Blue and I do this kind of page on my network marketingprogram, theres not that much value in getting that traffic because theymaybe would have found him. I mean, theres plenty of sites that dont comeup for searching the names. So my goal is to then—again, that question,“Mr. Business Owner. What makes you the most money in here? Of allyour products that you sell—sure, you sell this $5 water filter over here, thisreplacement filter—but what about that $5000 acid neutralizer or well tanksystem?”Thats the questioning part. So maybe the ad that I put together for that clientis just geared towards one or two products. Again, its bringing him clientsthat will give him a good return on his investment.Michael: And then slowly over time hes just giving you more and morebusiness because you asked the right questions and consistently asked themyear after year when you were going through the renewal process and whenhe had a need, you asked at the right time and thats a lot of what businessopportunity is. Asking at the right time.Shane: Its asking at the right time and its again, getting back to this industryin general, and I dont mean—Im talking about the web industry now. Thewebsite industry. If I were to go into 50 local businesses, even today, thiswas true 10 years ago, its probably true today--in any small town in America,and go into 50 small businesses and ask them, “Who does your website?”Shane Wells ( Page 12 of
  13. 13.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  Im probably going to get 50 different answers. Thats how fractured theindustry is. Somebodys going to be using yellowbook, more of a another adagency, someones going to be using their brother, someones going to bedoing it themselves, so its just all over the place.Michael: So how does a typical website run a small business? How muchdoes it cost to build it and maintain it on a yearly basis?Shane: Weve structured our package nowadays, which is still a great valuefor them, and our package is just over $1,000 for a year.Michael: $1,000 per year?Shane: Yes.Michael: So in order for you to build me a website, I pay you $1,000, youbuild my website, you host it, you do all the updates I want to do, things likethat?Shane: Yes, but its a trick question, because when I go into a client—whenyoure talking about building a website, I can build you a website for $200.So, and Im happy to tell a small business owner, “I can put your websitetogether.” And thats a phenomenal deal, but its not going to be fancy; itsgoing to be 1 page. But I have a camera in my pocket—getting back to thatbusiness owner whos doing a million things. He doesnt want somebody tocome in and drop a project on his lap if he doesnt have a website. When Iget to that category of person, first of all if they say that, “I dont have awebsite,” my jaw kind of drops.“What? What do you mean you dont have a website? We need to get yousomething up ASAP like now.”So do I want to engage this guy in this—again, small business—in thismassive . . . a 5 or 10 page website is massive to these guys. Or, I walk inthere with my marketing plan. Do I want to get him something up andrunning to start grabbing this great business on the internet that hes missing?So thats kind of my sales thing. So how can I do that?Shane Wells ( Page 13 of
  14. 14.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  “Well, I can build you a website for $200, but its going to cost you $800 tomarket it.”Because our whole philosophy is a websites worthless if its not marketed.Theres a couple spins on that. The other phrase I use sometimes is, “Thewebsite doesnt bring customers in your door. The marketing of the websitebrings the customers in your door.” So thats the theme.So then Im presented with that particular client. I dont want to leave moneyon the table for instance. Im going to say, “How much—you can give me$5,000 to build you a fancy website. Whats your budget?” at that point. Sohow much of a website do you want, and I have a bigger marketing programthan just $800 a year. I mean Pay Per Click can run you a couple thousand amonth. But its not a gimmick or a catch. I can do a good job.Michael: So I know a lot of companies thatll build a website, and itll be$2,500 or $5,000 lets say and itll be a gorgeous website, 5 or 10 pages,somewhere in that order of magnitude—but thats a one-time fee. And youreactually getting a nice renewal fee every year of $1000.Shane: Thats right. Thats—and well do that other program, too. Ive gotplenty of clients where I go in. I did a home builder last year. This is a greatexample because, I mean it was a referral. Thats how I actually get a lot ofmy—I almost cant keep up with my referrals at this point, much less coldcalling. Theres a new bowling alley that just opened up, and Im like, “Ivegot to get in there and talk to the guy.”But this was a referral. A homebuilder. And I went and met him. He justcalled me up, “Hey, Joe, said to give you a call. Youre the man.” So I goand meet him at a house that hes just finished building and this is kind ofhow I present. Its in person, its looking at—and then hes proudly showingme the new counters that he just built, this sort of thing. But he says, “Wevenever had a website. Weve never needed a website.” And this is kind of theinteresting piece of this now. Theres a whole group of people or businessesthat didnt need websites before the economy tanked, because business wasgood. They just never got around to it or whatever. They didnt realize thatShane Wells ( Page 14 of
  15. 15.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  websites or internet marketing could bring them customers and now phoneshave stopped ringing and theyre like, “What do we do?”So this is a great opportunity for anybody to do that. So he says, “Ive neverhad a website. What can you do for me?”I said, “Well, I can start at $200 and spend as much as you want.”He goes, “I want a big fancy website. Ive never had one. Im doing thisright.”The guy cut me a check for 3 grand for the website and then another 3 grandfor a wider net of marketing.He goes, “Well, I build houses in five counties covering Northern Virginia.”And I said, “Weve got to give you a little bigger marketing program.”So the setup—the website building, we do it the same way. Thats a one-timecost. Well go up against any—unless its broader—but our prices are veryfair for web development.Michael: So for that web development, youll give them a few differentdesign templates to choose from?Shane: See, thats a great point. But we do things a little differently. Andsometimes it works. Sometimes thats what they might want. But again, Idont—I want to take as many choices away from this business owner as Ican.Michael: Because they dont want all those choices. They dont want tomake all those decisions. They want you as the expert to take care of it.Shane: Right. Some do. But thats not how we operate. I—and again, this iskind of—this is our system. This is the way it is. Im not a web designer.Im not a designer at all. I can barely match colors. So I consider myself asalesperson. Im the face of the company with these clients, but Im the dataShane Wells ( Page 15 of
  16. 16.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  information gatherer. I have my camera, I have my pencil and paper, Imgoing to take notes and, sure, if youve got some brochures or somethinglaying around, Im going to collect this data. And I am going to say, “Whatare your colors? Whats your theme from you logo,” and get some basics.Im not just going to make up something completely out of the blue.But I gather this information, make all these notes, because I was there, Italked to the owner, Ive got this great personal relationship, and then I send itover to my office in Alexandria. I dont go there, we get all the informationover to them and they knock out a package.Michael: So they build the site.Shane: They like it. They like what weve produced. And if they dont likeit, well redo it. Nobodys offended because you didnt give us that muchinput. I didnt ask for input. Im trying to take a project off your hands.Michael: So based on the information they give you, based on the marketingcollateral they have, you just take that information and you build the websitefrom there? Youre not asking them, “Hey, could you write five paragraphson why you build better homes than your competition?” or anything like that?Youre not requiring them to do homework in order for you to build thewebsite?Shane: No, and actually, almost the reverse is true. If they say, “Let mewrite something up and get it to you,” thats like a red flag for me and Imlike, “Okay, but if I dont have that in 3 days, Im going to make somethingup and put a placeholder there because,” it all goes back to marketing. I say,weve all seen it—and no disrespect to the company that takes six months toput a website together, its usually the clients fault going back and forth.“Oh, I didnt give you this exact wording, or I didnt give you that.”Our theory is—its not a theory—we cant start your marketing until we havea website to market. And even then, once your websites up, thats kind ofmisleading in some TV commercials that you see that you build it, they willcome. You load a website up on the internet and your phones going to ringoff the hook. So I cautiously manage their expectations that, “Im going to doShane Wells ( Page 16 of
  17. 17.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  this for you, Im going to do everything I said with this marketing all thesegreat ideas I have for you. But the day your site launches, your phone is notgoing to ring off the hook.” This is not a billboard thats going up on thehighway even though I do use that metaphor. It is a billboard going up on theinternet superhighway, I do use that, but Google takes their time in indexingand competing with a billion other websites, and they understand. Again, itsjust managing their expectations.Michael: If youre selling more than $250,000 in sales per year, lets just callit $250,000. If your average deal size were $1,000 a year, that means thatyoure managing 250 customers per year. What numbers actually work out?What do you think your actual deal size is or how many customers do youactually manage per year?Shane: Probably now—youre right, if you just use those raw numbers, thatis the way it would work out. But my average deal is between—I still havesome at $1000, but I have some that pay me $12 or $15 thousand a year. Soits a mix in between there. More of them—I would say the majority of theclients are under $5000 a year, maybe even under $3000, in that ballpark.Michael: How are you getting customers to pay that much money per year insuch a terrible economy?Shane: Thats a great question. I would have my own customers ask me thatquestion. I had a guy that does courier business one year. He said, “Shane,Im in this local town. Theres a guy running around,”—the town is Crofton,Maryland—“Theres a guy running around with” And thoselittle portals and geo cites are everywhere. Ive got a dozen of them in myown community and theres room for everybody. Theres a mix.He says, “That guy cant sell $25 a year banner ads on his website. Butyoure selling me a package thats hundreds of dollars a year and obviouslyyoure selling it to other people. How do you do that?”And I said, “Well, because it works.”Shane Wells ( Page 17 of
  18. 18.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  Kind of the one thing I say is, in the competence of service, it gets down tothe initial sales process, which we can still talk about more. But its—theyhave to trust you. That first year is the biggest trust. Im not asking you forthe money up front. Weve always collected the money up front for the year.Thats even—talk about a whole other challenge. Im not billing them. Imnot putting them on a monthly program. Im saying, “Today, I would likeyou to give me a check for $1000 up front.” They go, “Who are you? Whosyour company? Ive never heard of you. You say youre going to do this?”So then I say, “Look. I may be the best salesperson,” I mean, Im not, Im justa soft salesperson, “I may be able to get this out of you today for this year.But thats not my goal. My goal is that youre going to renew with me nextyear, and youre not just going to renew with me next year; youre going to beso thrilled with the results, youre going to expand, move more advertisingdollars into stuff that I have, whatever it is, youre going to recommend me toyour buddy—thats my goal.”And thats what we do. We work hard. Its not a high maintenance business.Its not a low maintenance business when I said the industry in general—andIll just say the web industry, the web hosting industry. Is this very cold,“Oh, let me open an account somewhere and throw my website up there andyou never talk to anybody.” So thats not us. If you called our companytoday, a couple of interesting things. A live person would actually pick upthe phone and say, “Hello, this countywebsite, how can I help you?” Andthen if you asked, “Hey, I want to register a domain name.”“We dont do that.”“Can I host my website with you?”“We need to have somebody come talk to you and show you what ourpackages are.”Even though we have thousands of domain names in our manual portfolios,we host thousands of websites. We wont consider ourselves a domainregistration company. Its almost like the reverse. I would say theres fourShane Wells ( Page 18 of
  19. 19.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  components to a website. Domain name, theres hosting, theres design andmaintenance, and then theres the marketing.Everybody starts from the beginning. “Lets get a domain name. Lets find ahost, lets put something together,” and then they just forget the fourth part.So we work the opposite way. We walk in and say, “Were here to help youmarket. If you need a website, fine. Its included in the package. If you needa domain name to go along with it, fine. We dont even have a domain nameprice.” Its a commodity. We put a great value on our service and the results.Michael: I think a lot of customers appreciate that, they can understand that.If you come in there and say, “Im going to build you a website, Im going tomaintain it, Im going to host it, $1000 a year,” they know whether youredelivering on that or not. If they have a new service, they email you, Shane,they say, or you stop by, and theyre like, “Hey, Shane, Ive got a new thing Iwant to add to the website.” Youre like, “No problem! Well add that.”Great customer service, they can see it up on the website. I dont thinkanybody would have a problem with that. Youre meeting their needs, andtheir expectations. If they want to get on social, you can do that for them, ifthey want to do videos, you can do that for them, if they want a mobile site,you can do that for them.But when we started this show, you said, “I get customers to walk in yourfront door. I deliver customers to you. Thats what we do.” Smallbusinesses are notorious for not knowing where their customers come from.How do you get your business customers to know—first of all, how do youget people to walk into there? Youre putting up a website which may rankhigh in search engines, youre putting up a directory listing where maybepeople search and they find them on your directories. How do you know howmany people are walking in the front door, calling up your water treatmentguy?Shane: Perfect answer to that is the statistics package. We included that withevery program no matter what the program is. SO that doesnt necessarily getthem in the door, but what that does—and thats part of my sales process.Getting back to the sales process, I only provide in the sales process—so ifIm selling to a business owner, I give them a quick overview of what ImShane Wells ( Page 19 of
  20. 20.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  going to do, but unless they start asking the tough questions like youreasking, I may not go into all the detail of everything, because I may just losethem all of a sudden. But if they start asking me—but I would in a generalsales process, I would say, “We are going to install a statistics package andtrack whats most important.”Again, if Im getting back to my normal sales mode and youre a client. Imgoing to take a step back for a second. Were all in an industry where wethink we know—you think you understand what a domain name is, thereslots of people that I go into that they dont even know what a domain is. So Ihave to say, “Okay, let me start from the beginning.” What is a domain, whatis hosting, and that sort of thing.Michael: You have a stats package. So you can say to the water treatmentguy thats a customer of yours, you will tell him on a regular basis orwhatever he asks—you tell me what kind of information do you give himregarding how many people visit his optimized webpage that youve created?Shane: I explain to them that theres three ways people can find your website.They can type in directly—I try to make it as simple as I can. Not over-educate them, but not talk down to them, but I say, “They can type in yourdomain name, they can link to your website—come in from a link, or theycan find you on a search engine. Its going to be one of those three in somefashion.” And the one that I focus on the most—because remember, some ofthem already have websites, some dont. So I have to throw out the directaccess. So Im focusing on the links from my network, and the search enginetraffic. So my report will show—its just off the shelf software reporting, butit also will collect every search thats done on Google, bing, yahoo, the exactsearch that was done to bring somebody.Somebody typed in “well pumps Westminster Maryland” and clicked on yourwebsite. I will have a report that shows that. Thats pretty standard. But itsnot standard for these clients. They dont understand that. So I show that—Iactually walk in with a printed 3-ring binder with that—a sample of thatsearch result so I can explain that if they want—and an example of how asearch engine works. They may not know that if somebody does a search,clicks on your website, I can track it.Shane Wells ( Page 20 of
  21. 21.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  Then the sales tool part of it also is—whats even more valuable than havinga statistics package and knowing that people look at your site and how theygot to your site. Thats very valuable. Most businesses dont even have thator dont have access to it. But the more valuable part is, Shane, who lives andworks and knows your business, is going to look at those stats and analyzethem for you and with you and then use that data to further tweak yourwebsite to get more search results for you.Again, another way we justify that money—that yearly money—is that itsnot a throw it up and forget about it.Michael: Youre managing this process for them. So I went which is the corporate site for everything that youdo, and I clicked on the testimonial page. Youve got testimonial aftertestimonial after testimonial from customers saying, “Youve brought memore customers than I paid you. I put up a website and the day after, I got anew customer.” Its just phenomenal testimonials. And if I were reading it,of course I would be thinking exactly what you want me to think: that everysingle customer of yours has a fantastic return on investment.Is that always the case? Do you lose customers some year just because youjust cant get people to walk in their door?Shane: Whats that?Michael: Do you lose people some years just because you cant people towalk in their front door?Shane: Thats exactly what I was going to say. Sometimes its not even that.Sometimes its they dont know if we were responsible for it, so theyrecutting the line item out of their budget. But in the scheme of renewals—andthis is interesting—our renewal rate is, again, I dont have my exact numbers,but its between 90-95% annually. And in any industry, I think thatsphenomenal. And that also accounts for some businesses are just going toclose or retire, so I am factoring that in there.Shane Wells ( Page 21 of
  22. 22.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  We have a guy that works for us that is a salesman. I mean, he came to us asa salesman. He didnt know anything about the internet. It didnt matter. Hecould sell anything. The thing he was selling before he came—hes been withus for about five years now, maybe more, even, but he was selling ads on theback of pharmacy bags. If you go to the pharmacy and get your bag at yourgrocery store, he would sell ads on there. And he could sell them.And he said, “Shane, I could not get one renewal. Nobody knew aboutthem.”So when he came over to us and he started to see that people actuallyrenewed, he wasnt worried about that. Hes lovely. Its just a good feeling tohelp a business owner. I mean, I enjoy what I do. I enjoy—every day I learnfrom these business owners.Michael: I do the same thing here on domainsherpa. It feels great to knowthat youre helping other people. And in your job, what youre doing is yourehelping other people keep their business alive or grow their business or bemore successful. And that is a great feeling. And so we talked about whatyou do from a collateral standpoint. You build them a website, you buildthem videos, you optimize their website, you get them to the top of searchengines, you drive more traffic. All this stuff makes sense to me, and youcan show that data to the customer if they have time to sit down with you andlook at it, but how do you get the customer—your customer—to know wheretheir customers come from? Do you do some sort of coaching with them?Do you say, “If you see a new person come into your shop, ask them howthey heard about you”? Do you do any sort of work like that?Shane: Absolutely. And thats a great point because what we do and whathas to be done in that case, is we have to be a consultant to them. And again,thats what separates us from, “Let me go throw a website on a hostingprogram.” Theyre missing—theyre just missing a lot. So that gets into thewhole area of #1 of converting the customer. When they hit the site,technically I cant get the client to walk in their door. So I guess I cant reallysay, “Im going to drag somebody into your door.” However, when youreselling in your local community, it is a good feeling to say, “You know what?Im already a customer here. I didnt know about you, so now Im going toShane Wells ( Page 22 of
  23. 23.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  become a customer here.” So you can bring in business that way. Thats justa nice feeling.But the conversions—coupons are big for some retail places. Restaurants—they are the worst. Theyll never know whos coming in their door.Michael: So if you can talk them into a coupon, then you know that yourcustomers customer is going to take a coupon, print it off, go into therestaurant, and then your customers going to know that they found it throughyour website. It was your marketing efforts that did that.Shane: Exactly. Coupons and the other thing thats actually even bigger—were doing a ton of these—is just lead generation forms. A quick form thatcan be useful for—and Id say its bigger now than ever because more of thesesmall businesses in the beginning, they didnt even have email. And I wasntgoing to teach them how to use email, so a lead form was worthless. Imtrying to drive people to their phone. But, boy, do those lead forms—andthen, again the beautiful thing is if they get a lead form or a coupon or sometangible evidence, or—let me go to a different school of thought. If I put apicture on their website—remember, were very personal here. If I go andsay, “Thats is a fantastic picture.”A stained glass studio customer of mine had a picture laying around with 6golden retrievers—and theyre in the store—and hes got a picture of himposing with the 6 golden retrievers. “Lets put that on your website. Thatreally differentiates you.” You cant believe—and I see that guy year afteryear, still renews, ten years now, he says how many people come in his storeand saw that picture on the website.So theres little things like that—things that are on your website that arentanywhere else. We absolutely hate stock photos. We think that theyre theabsolute worst to make a personal feel. Sometimes you have to have one orsupplement your site with one, thats fine. But when youre talking to a small,local business owner, with so much rich content that you could snap a pictureof the outside of just something in there that will all of a sudden—yourcontent thats on the web, no matter what package they have, is unique. Andsometimes unique enough where a client will say, “Im here because.”Shane Wells ( Page 23 of
  24. 24.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  Michael: Or not even that. “I saw that picture of that pug or your 6 goldenretrievers or whatever. I love golden retrievers!” Suddenly all it takes is thatone person saying that, and theyve probably got their ROI—their return oninvestment for the year because that one person said it.Shane: Yes, they have the ROI and do I need to show them statistics afterthat? Probably not. That gets into the case where I can show somebody aboatload of statistics, all these people. But if they dont have that warm,fuzzy feeling that somebody actually came, then they could theoretically say,“I dont think this is work Im going to continue to approve.”Michael: Im going to ask you about that warm and fuzzy feeling, but beforethat, so just to summarize, how do you get your customers to know wheretheir customers are coming from and the answer is, you can show them thestatistics, but really they want the hard, tangible evidence. So coupons thatare on a website, the lead generation forms that might be on that forward tothe business owner that you get a copy of so that you know how many leadsare being generated per year, and then your great story about pictures.Putting pictures up so that when people walk into the store, they havesomething to talk about as soon as they walk in and it may be something thatresonates with them personally as well.Shane: And it can work backwards, too. You do a restaurant—restaurantsare interesting because you mentioned that and that theyre notorious.Theyre also notorious for not giving me changes. I dont know if their menuchanged. Im not psychic. So they dont give me the new menu. So how dothey know people are looking at their website? When people come in andtheyre mad that theyre getting charged a higher price than whats on theirmenu. Then I get the phone call, “Oh, Ive got to change my menu! I forgotto give it you!” and customers are complaining because of it. So thats kindof the backfire effect of that. But it works. They know theyre coming.Michael: So warm and fuzzy. You said just a moment ago your clients wanta warm and fuzzy feeling. They want you to walk in there, they want you toknow—they want to know that youre invested in their success.Shane Wells ( Page 24 of
  25. 25.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  Shane: Thats right. And we say that to them. If youre a prospect, if I cantmake you succeed or be successful this year, then Im not going to succeed.Because if I have a 10% renewal rate, you think Im going to continue doingthis job? No way. Its too hard. Its too much effort to go knock on all thesedoors in the scheme of things. Its a lot of work.Michael: So that is terrible news for 80% of the people watching this show,Shane, because most of the people watching own great domain names, theywant to put up a directory, they want the money to just come flowing intothem, and they dont want to touch any customers because customers are apain in the you know what.So, let me ask you this: Is it possible to not have a consulting sort of role withcustomers? To just host a directory where it gets enough traffic where allyou have to do is—in an automated or programmatic fashion, upgradepeoples listings and let them input their data into the system to upload theirpictures, to upload their own unique information. Is it possible to do that, orin your experience, do you need somebody to help walk the small businessesthrough that process?Shane: The answer is you need somebody. In my opinion. Today, ten yearsago, today and for probably a while, at least for a certain category. Theres anew crop of business owners coming up.Its funny when Im in a business and hes talking about his ten year old kid,and then ten years later, the kids the one now having to get him to write me acheck. We have to change so that the Do It Yourself kind of thing—is therethe technology out there to do that? I think absolutely. Ive seen some greatmethods. We have it. You can go on any of our county websites outside ofour core area, and you can sign up for a $9 a month link. I mean thats justkind of our placeholder for our network. Hey, we figure were putting upthese networks, weve built this great network across the country inpreparation for who knows what, but we just want to be ready to expand. Butif a business finds our network—this is kind of the flip side—if a businessfinds our network, they feel everybodys finding it. So theyre willing topick—so thats where the answer for most people who want to automate it is,yes, it can work. We get people that sign up for that, and the better—if youShane Wells ( Page 25 of
  26. 26.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  can just build it, build a good network—again, that effect that the businessowner finds—and I do see that a lot, then they feel that everybody else isfinding it and they will pay for that.Now Googles doing free sites. So you think, my kids are like, “Youre goingout of business, dad! Googles giving away free websites! And so and sosays that theyre doing them for $2 a month. How can you stay in business?”Well, Ive only ever seen one Google site locally. And Ive got all these salesreps and we see—you figure when you talk about closing ratios and coldcalls—we see, well, we obviously dont sign everybody up. So we see tentimes the amount of situations than we actually sign up. Ive never seen aGoogle website until last week, and the only reason I saw it is because mysales rep in Virginia, they were taking it over. The guys not happy with it.He got what he paid for. He just couldnt manage it. He didnt have the timeand it wasnt—Michael: So what youre talking about, Google has actually had theseinitiatives where theyll go into cities and theyll try to educate small businessowners how to get their own website, how to get it up on Google, and maybetake control of their Google Places listing. And so they do this, but whatyoure saying is that small business owners need some help in managing thisprocess and they dont want to do it themselves, and sometimes its over theirhead or its just more time than they want to spend on it? They want to spendtime running their business, the thing that they love, not running a website.Shane: Yes, but again in the scheme of things, theres so much smallbusiness out there. There really is. So even if I say, you know, thats notgoing to work. Even if I said 95% of small businesses need help, 5% ofsmall businesses—thats a lot of small businesses out there that dont needthat help that would be willing to do the automated and pay. And will thatpercentage increase over the next number of years? Sure, probably. Theresplenty of business for all models, in my opinion, and all methods.Michael: How much traffic do you need to make sure that a customer isreceiving in order to get a proper return on their investment, Shane?Shane Wells ( Page 26 of
  27. 27.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  Shane: It depends on the client. It almost gets down the basics of ad sales.Even though I never did ad sales before this, I did actually food sales whichwas—actually gave me a great perspective, because food sales for anindustrial food service company—Im going into a restaurant to sell thembottled ketchup. Well, theyre already in business. Theyre already usingbottled ketchup. Whats my game? Is it price? “Im selling Heinz bottledketchup.” “Whats your price?” So thats what it does come down to. I hadto ramp up my service level. Get them to like me. Get them to trust me.Why are you going to buy my ketchup? Maybe mines a penny cheaper,maybe mines a penny more, but maybe I have better service.The whole service method is key for us.Michael: But let me get back to the question. How much traffic—we talkedabout doing all these things and at the end of the day, its the stats package,and its how much traffic youre giving them, how many leads youre givingthem, how many new customers they see coming in. But if you just look atthe stats, Im sure a lot of the customers, they dont have coupons, and theydont have leads coming in through an email system. How much traffic doyou need to give them in order to say, the $1000 Im giving you per month isworthwhile?Shane: Its per year.Michael: Im sorry, per year.Shane: But some do it per month, too, so thats legitimate.Again, it depends. Is it a pizza place where—how many pizzas do they haveto sell to recoup their $1000? Well use that $1000 as a number anyway. Sois it a pizza place? How many pizzas—so their stats are going to have tobe—the raw numbers are going to have to be much higher than my homebuilder. If he sells one new home because of that—lets say he gave me 6grand last year. If he sells one new home or one addition, Ive heard thisfrom a lot of my clients in that industry, a guy that builds wine cellars or aguy that builds homes, high ticket items. They sell one? Thats paid for myprogram for a year or two.Shane Wells ( Page 27 of
  28. 28.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  So their stats dont necessarily have to be as high and again in the scheme ofhaving the ability to manage statistics and look at a broad view. I can lookat—and have over the years—thousands of different business statistics. Ihave a really unique perspective. Our whole company does. Fromrestaurants to hair salons to dentists, all in the local area. Homebuilders dontget searched as much as restaurants. So its almost like—Im almostguaranteed Im going to get more searches to the restaurant, so their stats aregoing to be higher, but they have to be higher, like you said, to make thereturn on investment.It really just depends. And that coupon or that lead—I have a dry cleanerthats a customer. How many shirts do they have to—at 99 cents or $1.29—to pay for it, right? A lot. But, again, its a big difference in—I guess if thiswas an automated system, they would lose the ability because how many furcoats do they have to clean, or how many wedding dresses do they have topreserve to pay for it? So thats what I bring to the table. And walking intothat business and say, “Wow, you do wedding dress preservation.” Of course90% of your business might be dress shirts that goes through here, but if I getyou fur cleaning—and this is the real story from a local dry cleaner.I cold called 20 dry cleaners. And its like one of those days where I told youI cold call everybody, and the only places that I skip would be big box stores.Because thats of no use to me to go in and get recommended to Wal-Martcorporate. Thats not what were doing. Im local. We were doing that beforeit was a thing. So I was actually training a rep. They were walking aroundwith me that day and I said, “You know, I have never sold a dry cleaner. Ihave no success with dry cleaners for whatever reason. They have a low endproduct, theyre not willing to spend the money, theyre big on coupons—thelocal coupons. Ive never had any success.” I said, “But lets go in, becauseIm telling you from a sales point, you should bang on every door and justwalk in.”I walked in, presented the program, that lady wrote me a check on the spot onthe first time I met her. Theyre still a customer, that client. And then shegave me a testimonial at one point where, I had somebody for somebodyfrom California do a Google search for fur cleaning, and my website cameShane Wells ( Page 28 of
  29. 29.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  up, and I got business from them because in California, maybe the drycleaners dont specialize so much in fur cleaning. So normally you wouldsay, “Oh my dry cleaner, they only draw business from two miles aroundtheir thing.” But again, if you target the higher dollar ones, they can makesome money off it.Michael: You make it sound really easy, Shane. You make it sound like, “Iwalked into this dry cleaner and by the end of the meeting, I had a check inmy hand.” But if I walk into any small business in my local town, theyrebusy. Theyve got customers there that are walking in and out of the shop.How do you actually cold call a business and get more than two minutes totalk to them before theyre interrupted by a phone call or by a customerwalking in?Shane: Thats exactly how it is with small businesses. When Im—if Imtraining a rep or giving advice, I almost—and I didnt mean to lead off with aclose—it does happen. But it is absolutely not the biggest percentage of mycloses.And I use this kind of as a story where Ive sold four packages in a daybefore. Thats the truth. How—in the sales cycle process, how did I do thosefour? Well, one of them was a one call close. Two of them were the normalsales process, meaning they were about my fourth or fifth time in there andthey told me they might be interested, and thats why I kept coming back, andthey actually closed that day. That was the day when they were like, “Okay,Ill close.” And then the fourth one that day, it was getting towards the end ofthe day, I was taking pictures of three different places, and I was like, “Thisis my best day ever. Ive just signed three up in a day.” Then I get a phonecall from a guy that I had kind of stopped calling on a few months beforebecause Id—Im only going to bang on your door so many times. Im goingto keep going until you tell me to stop. But at some point, Im going to stop.And that guy called me months later and said, “Shane, were finally ready.”You dont get that—that happens about as much as a one call close. Sit byyour phone and hold your breath for that.Shane Wells ( Page 29 of
  30. 30.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  So the majority of calls—and this is probably true of any sales in anyindustry—we say five times. You have to bang on that business five times.And so the next logical question is, how many businesses do you have to seein a day to accomplish that? Well, if youre starting out from scratch, thatwhole first year—its easy. I mean, its easy for me if I went into an area thatI didnt have any customers. I could be in 50 businesses in a day easily. Nowthat means I probably didnt do a lot of presentations, Im in and out and theguy was busy, the guys not there, so—Michael: So if theyre busy or not there, you drop off a business card andsome sort of printed collateral?Shane: Actually, I dont. Great question, and again, everybody might havetheir different techniques. But it all boils down to where Im cold calling.Im cold calling in my local community in an area. Im not going three hoursaway and blitzing an area. If I was, I would do that technique. I would blitzan area, catch you if I could, leave information everywhere, nothing wrongwith that method, but its not how weve been successful. We want our repsto live in the area where they live.So if I go in and theyre busy, sometimes I almost hope that theyre busy thatfirst time. Because I walk in, theyre visibly busy, maybe I dont even knowwho the owner is, I just say, “Hey, Im just in the area, Im here to talk to youabout some local advertising,” or “Ive got some questions,” whatever myopening kind of may be and theyre busy. But I say, “I see youre busy. Letme just get one of your business cards and Ill stop by the next time Im in thearea.” And they appreciate that, actually. Theyre like, “Wow, hes not apushy sales person,” and really what theyre probably thinking is, “Good, gotrid of that guy!” and pat themselves on the back.Then I show up the next day, and theyre like, “Wow! That guy wasnt—hesthe real deal!”Michael: You will actually show up the next day, not like a week later?Shane: I would probably go in the next day because I work in geographicareas. So lets say, well use a strip mall as an example. Doesnt matter. AnShane Wells ( Page 30 of
  31. 31.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  industrial park a strip mall. Im walking into every door of that strip mall.Some of them are going to be closed, some of them are going to be busy inthe middle of lunch, some of them are going to be not there, so my odds areIm only going to get to see one or two of the clients. So my best chance ofcatching those other people is to come back probably the next day, but at adifferent time of the day. Maybe I was in there the morning that first day,then I do the afternoon the second day so I try to catch—I dont want to waitanother week because the guys slammed busy on Wednesday—and this isjust another little trick, but if you go in and theyre slammed busy on aWednesday, the odds are maybe Wednesdays are a busy day. Shoot foranother day. Maybe not Thursday, but Friday or maybe wait until Monday togo in. You learn little tricks like that.Florists. Dont ever go into a florists before noon. Period. That I wont donow if Im cold calling, because I know that thats when theyre bumping alltheir deliveries out. My chances—unless Im just going in to quickly grab abusiness card and leave, thats going to be tough.Michael: So when you walk into a store, whats your opening line?Shane: Generally, Ive got a couple different variations, but I just say, “Hey,Im Shane with countywebsite,” and usually I announce the local site, “Imwith carrollcountywebsite and Im here to just ask you a couple of questionsabout your business. I want to talk to you about advertising.” Generally, Ilead off with the advertising thing because its a very strong distinction.Nobody has a website budget unless youre a big car dealer with an IT guy,youve got a website budget. The small businesses, they dont have a websitebudget. But they have an advertising budget. So you have to speak theirlanguage. So if you want to talk about advertising, and again the websitething, like I said about throwing their hands up, theyll do that if you say, “Imhere to talk to you about a website.”Michael: So do you actually announce yourself first or do you say, “Is thebusiness owner available?” or “Is the manager of the store available?”Shane Wells ( Page 31 of
  32. 32.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  Shane: Youre asking the best questions. I announce myself and talk towhoever I run into first. And again, heres why, its because of the businessesthat Im calling on. If I was calling on a Wal-Mart as an example, that wouldbe ridiculous. But if Im calling on a small local business where theres justan employee, a couple of employees, a proprietor—I dont know who it is.Number one, that might be the business owner that Im talking to and lots ofbusiness owners will let you know theyre the business owner because thatstheir job is to kind of greet people. But if its a young girl a teenager at thecounter, I will actually announce myself and say, “Hey, Id like to show yousome stuff about advertising or whatever,” if theyre the wrong person andthey know it, theyll say, “Oh, hold on. Let me get the right person.”But it makes them feel important. And I cant even begin to tell you howmany sales weve made because—were getting somebody on our side. If itsa young girl, maybe its their kid. But also if its a young person and its anolder, seasoned business owner, who now has got this newfangled internetmarking thing to deal with, he may defer to that young person where they—any other business decisions, that would be ridiculous. So Im happy to dothat, to talk to that person, make them feel important, and then that helps meextract a little bit of information. “Okay, the guys not here today.” “Oh, canI give you a two minute overview of what Im here about?” Because in thattwo minute overview, I can find out if they have a website, what that websiteaddress is, and is the person who Im talking to happy with the website. Justto get some feedback to prep me for that second visit. Im clearly not goingto get a check at that time, and I know that, but Im already there, Ill take acouple extra minutes and feel them out.And one other thing thats interesting about that, I wanted to make sure Imade this comparison even though its a big difference betweentelemarketing, for instance, and cold calling. I hate the term cold calling, butthats what it is. I like to go in and say, “Im here to help your business.”You have to take it the right way. If theyre offended or they shove you outthe door, its their loss. Of course, Im not making any money, but it is theirloss, and Im taking the position of, look, Im really here to help them. Iftheyre not going to give me the time of day and appreciate that, Im going towalk next door and talk to somebody who will.Shane Wells ( Page 32 of
  33. 33.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  Michael: So you said five times you typically have to interact with acustomer before they will order something from you if theyre going to ordersomething from you. Does that mean five touches in any sort of way like onetime you walk in, another time you call, a third time you send them an email?Shane: I mean five times in the door.Michael: Five times in the door.Shane: Yes, because again—and again, Im not the best salesperson over thephone. But if Im going to try to—and I do make appointments, dont get mewrong. If somebody says, “I only work on—youve got to call so and so foran appointment,” Ill pick up the phone and call Dr. Smith for anappointment. Maybe hell give it to me, maybe he wont.Michael: But youve had success because you walk in the door. They knowyou, they know what you look like, if you walked in today, and they were toobusy, and you said, “Ill stop by again later,” and you come in the next day,theyre going to remember you came back in because they were too busy andtheyre going to appreciate that.Shane: Thats right. So the five times—its a great point. It doesnt meantthat Im spending an hour five times. That first time may be—and I amcounting this as number one—walk in, get a business card—oh heres theother piece of information I like to ask that young person at the counter.“When is the owner here, by the way? When is a good time to catch him?”and “Whats his name?” Because those things—then the second time that Iwalk in, and theres no amount of research you can do to get that kind ofinformation. You go in, you get that little bit of information. Now I know,okay, well Joe is in here on Wednesdays between 3 and 5. And I may evenask them a little bit more, like “Is that a good time to catch him?” I dontwant to catch him when hes accepting all his deliveries for the week. Andthat person can tell you that. I showed up at the appropriate time.Michael: So a couple of follow up questions from things that Ive writtendown on topics that weve discussed already, Shane.Shane Wells ( Page 33 of
  34. 34.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  On the stats issue—I know I keep going back to stats—how often do youprovide those to your customers? Is it monthly, is it yearly, quarterly?Shane: Stats are important. I would in general terms, we review theminternally quarterly is what we tell our websites—to look at your customerstats quarterly and to give them or review them with your client almostquarterly is a good number. If youve got a client that says, “I want to look atmy stats every day,” the number one question I would ask is, “Youre notbusy enough. If youve got time to do that, Im not doing my job getting youenough customers.”But we can issue them codes to get in and look at their own statistics, too.But again, when dealing with small business owners, its on an as-neededbasis. If they ask me, “I wish I could look at them all the time by myself,”we can do that. But I dont go ahead and offer it, because now I have to trainyou how to look at your stats and tell you what youre looking at.Michael: But you do have some customers thatll say, “Email me my dailystats every day.” And you can go into your system and set it up to emailthem?Shane: Oh, we would just give them codes to go right into their own statspackage.Michael: So in the event that you have a fantastic day. You walk into abusiness, you sit down with them for 30, 60 minutes, you sell them apackage, you get the check—is there actual paperwork that you have themsign before you take money from them on what will be delivered, what youregoing to deliver for them for that compensation?Shane: Yes. We have a typical two part invoice, actually, that details just inrough terms two things: the product that they bought, so that all parties knowwhat they bought, and the period of time that we are committing to do thatfor them. And it is in writing. We get their signature.If theres a domain name involved, we actually have a separate one that wesay, “Hey, lets be clear about this up front. Were registering you aShane Wells ( Page 34 of
  35. 35.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  domain—you may not understand,” again, the business owner, “you may notunderstand all the implications of what a domain name is, that theyrehijacked, that they can be this and that, but were putting it on paper thatwere registering it for you, well put it in our portfolio, its going to be onlockdown, its going to be on auto-renew, but its your name. Were not goingto hold it hostage.” And that makes people feel good even a little. Theyrejust clueless sometimes.Michael: Shane, I spent a number of years in corporate America. I wentthrough a lot of training sessions. I hated when I went through a trainingsession and people said, “Okay, were going to do some roleplaying now.Pair up with somebody and Im going to give you a scenario that you need todo.” Because it always put me on the spot. But when I did it, I always got alot more out of it.So what I want to do with you, and I didnt clear this with you before, I wantto do a role-play. I want to be a coffee shop in my small town, and Id like—in your small town—and Id like you to come walk in the door and gothrough your typical scenario, and I want to throw out a couple things and seehow you react to them. Can we do that?Shane: Sure.Michael: Here, Im working at the barista machine, Im pouring some coffee.All right. Go ahead. You walk in.Shane: So Im going to walk in and Im going to look around, maybecomment that I hadnt been in there before and say, “Hey, do you have just afew minutes of time for me to let me explain what Im doing here today andwhat I can—how I can benefit your business?”Michael: Sure, Ive got the morning rush, but if you want to talk, Ill continueto work the bar and you can tell me what you need to tell me.Shane: Do you have a website?Michael: I do not. Im on yelp and I get most of my business from yelp.Shane Wells ( Page 35 of
  36. 36.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  Shane: What we do—and at that point, to be honest with you, what Im doingat this point is Im opening my book as a visual aide. I have not a laptop, Ijust have a book, and Im saying, “Number one, we need to get you a website.We need to get you a domain name.”Michael: I dont need a domain name. Im on yelp. My kids tell meeverybody goes on yelp.Shane: And Im sure you probably get good clients that come in and tell youthat they saw you on yelp, I would imagine, and thats a great marketing tool.This will definitely supplement that. Yelp is like a directory system whereyoure listed. Theres a lot of different directories out there.What Im offering to you, because you dont have a website, is a staticwebsite where you can tell your story, that people cant put a bad review—itlljust be your story. And the main thing Im going to do for you is bring youbusiness that youre not getting. Thats what Im going to do for you. So, Itruly believe that yelp is bringing you maybe a ton of business, but do youthink that theres business that you might be missing out there?Michael: When I type in “Mikes Coffee Shop” in Virginia, I come in right atthe top, but its my yelp listing. Are you going to get me above that yelplisting?Shane: I could probably get you above the yelp listing with your website andthen, so theres kind of two benefits to this. If we do a website in addition toyour yelp listing, and somebody does that search for “Mikes Coffee Shop,”whether your yelp listing comes up above whatever I do, or comes up below,what youve just done is now youve got two spots on that search result. Sosomething has to get pushed off the page, and maybe its your competitorscoffee shop that gets bumped off the page. So theres kind of one benefit tothat secondary marketing option online and then the other piece of that is, Imnow showing you my network. This is where anybody with any kind ofgeodomain has a wildcard, has something that somebody doesnt have—anormal webmaster would have to stop at that point. But Im going to showyou, Mike, that I have a category for coffee shops in here and I dont have aShane Wells ( Page 36 of
  37. 37.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  coffee shop right now, so everybody that comes into my network that looks atthis food and drink page, you might be on yelp but theyre not here, and thenIm not going to promise it, but then Im going to say, what are some ofyour—do you do catering?Michael: I do catering and I make a lot more money on catering than I makeon I do on these $2 coffee drinks. I dont make any money on these coffee,basically. I try and upsell them on other things. If I can get somebody tocome in and buy a sandwich whenever they bought a coffee, that would be agreat thing. How can I do that?Shane: Well, lets put your menu online. Lets get your full menu online,lets get your catering menu online, lets do some additional search marketingso that when local businesses in the area are searching for party platters fortheir office luncheon, that theyre not thinking of a coffee shop when theythink of these party platters or something. And now were talking aboutsearch marketing, so my programs going to give you a website, but the bonuspiece is this marketing. Youre going to be on my directory, so we talkedabout that, so lets talk about search engine marketing, if somebody isGoogling “catering platters in this area” I cant promise that youre going tocome up for that search, but heres what I can promise you: that my companyknows more than any other company in the area on how to make this happen,and we will almost work tirelessly to get you up for these profitable searches,and when we do get you up for them, I will open up and show you somestatistics. Were going to track it for you, so that even if youre not tracking itbecause youre busy pouring coffees, were going to track this thing for youand well supplement that business.I totally believe that youre getting business from yelp, but theres morebusiness that youre not getting.Michael: All right, Shane. Youve almost got me convinced there. You dida great job on that. All right, let me ask you this. Were coming up on 80minutes, and youve been fantastic to give up this much free time when youcould be out there selling. You couldve brought in $500,000 this year if Ihadnt taken up as much time, but I appreciate it. I just want to ask you a fewmore questions if you have another five or ten minutes?Shane Wells ( Page 37 of
  38. 38.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  Shane: Absolutely.Michael: What kind of businesses do you find easier to sell, and what kind ofbusinesses are always hard to sell and you will pass on if you have someother opportunity?Shane: Thats another great question, and I have to answer it by saying, youjust cant predict that going in.Michael: Really? You cant say restaurants notoriously have small marginsso Im going to go for the architects or the home and garden companies or theretailers?Shane: Some of my smallest clients, a small local bakery—is one of mybiggest money customers. She cant predict necessarily how muchsomebodys willing to spend. But if I had to historically pass up a category ofbusinesses that are harder, I would say the professional services becausetheyre almost 100% of the time going to have a gatekeeper, meaning if I gointo a, it doesnt matter if its a dentist, a doctor, a lawyer, Im not going to runinto the doctor, or the dentist like I may in a small business.But on the other hand, the dentist or doctor sometimes doesnt make thedecision. Sometimes its the office manager who is the person I run into. Sothats why I say even that isnt necessarily the best example, but . . .Michael: Do you go into local papers and say, whoevers advertising in thelocal papers is my first target because they already spend money?Shane: Yes. Local papers, any of the mail that I get at my house, absolutely.If I had to pick—and Im going to get back to your other question—if I had topick and choose, I would pick businesses that I thought could draw from abigger market or do service in a bigger market, because I can sell them abigger package. So getting back to the dry cleaner. Im probably never goingto be able to sell a dry cleaner more than my most basic package. But a logirrigation business that covers two states with their fleets of trucks, ImShane Wells ( Page 38 of
  39. 39.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  probably going to sell him a bigger package. So if I had to pick and chooseat that point, I would pass up every dry cleaner and go to the irrigation guys.Michael: So if there are some people out there that have their own directoriesthat have decided that they want to create that warm and fuzzy feeling withcustomers and they want to have that service attitude as well as the directoryservices, and they want to go out and hire some sales people, do you hireyour sales people that you have underneath you on a contractor basis, or asemployees?Shane: Thats more out of my area. I dont do any of that. But traditionallyas employees. And we havent done a lot of—hiring salespeoples tough. Itsjust a tough industry, its a tough business. Finding the right people, andwhen you find them, you hope that they stick with you. We have a greatcrew. We have a range of people who some of them have been on almost aslong as I have, 8 years, to 5 years, to 3 years, to maybe our most recent onethats on board at this point has been with us for a year now. But we havedone the contractor side too, but thats more from our office standpoint.Michael: Lets see. Im just looking through my notes here to make sure Ihave everything. When you set up a website and you say, “Were going toadd coupons to your website also,” is that just all part of the package?Shane: No, those are add-ons.Michael: Those are add-ons. What would a coupon add-on typically cost acustomer per year?Shane: We try to keep our pricing somewhat flexible but roughly, say $50 amonth which is, say $500 a year as an average.We have two types of products. We have set up products, one timeconstruction fees, that whole lead form that you mentioned, thats just a—were going to build that, thats going to be a one-time set up. The coupon,we charge more for that. Heres why. Its the marketing piece. Theyprobably need a lot of updates on the coupon. They want to change theoffers, maybe we offer the service where we change it for them, maybe giveShane Wells ( Page 39 of
  40. 40.  The  Domain  Name  Authority  them access to change it. Either way, its fine, but we also have a specialcoupon page on our directory, so we say, “Were actually going to searchoptimize these coupons differently, were going to market it a littledifferently,” and because of that its worth some extra money to do it thatway.Michael: All right, Shane, so the final question is this. Whats the one finalsales tip that you can leave the audience with who needs to get moving ontheir sales? Theyre just stagnant and they dont want to get into the salesprocess. What would you say to them?Shane: Theres nothing easy. They dont want to get into any type of salesor—what I would say is start in your backyard. Again, this is different. Ifyou have a geo that actually is in your area, but if youve got some that arentin your area, the first thing that I would say is put a little effort into thedirectory. Into the guide. Because youre going to get that question. If I wasselling on and I walked into you and said, “Im Shane, Id like you take out an ad on my network.” Whats the firstquestion youre going to ask me?Michael: How much traffic do you have?Shane: Exactly. I dont want that question. I sidestep that question. So nowyoure a coffee shop and I walk in and say, “Im with carrollcountywebsiteand I have optimized my network enough to where if you search ‘restaurantscarroll county maryland my directory is in the top 10 of Google.” So thatis—that can be, that one little piece of information can be more valuable thansaying—lets say I answered your question. “I have a million visitors” What does that mean? Am I making it up, am I not,whatever. If youre going to pursue this sales with a geo package, the firstthing is to make sure that theres value in your geo portal. One way oranother.We didnt go the route of—our geo portals are simple. They are just barebones, more just business directory types. So thats one angle, but especiallyin our local market, our network dominates searches for hundreds of differentsearches. We own space for auto repair, hair salons, generic searches,Shane Wells ( Page 40 of
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