Chantal: Wow. I actually woke up out of bed this morning…I jumped out of bed this morning because I knew I was going to interview our amazing guest: Amanda Bond, welcome back to the show!
Amanda: Thank you so much for having me here. I was actually looking forward to just being with your incredible community of people who just like, you guys make my day. After the last episode, you guys are the best. I was so excited to come back and chat.
Chantal: Well, let me tell you this, Amanda. For any of you who haven’t listened to Amanda’s first interview with us, and I’m pretty sure every one of you has , because the episode that you’re on was Episode 158, and it downloaded like crazy!
But if there’s anyone out there or if you’re new to the show and you didn’t hear Amanda’s first interview with us, then the first thing you need to do is jump over to fitnessbusinesspodcast.com put Amanda Bond in the search field and you will find the bumper edition with Amanda Bond, the ad strategist, where she says, “Stop wasting money on Facebook ads.”
And Amanda, When we were brainstorming going “who are we going to get for Episode 200?” Your name was at the top of that list, Amanda! So thank you for being our guest for show 200 of The Fitness Business Podcast.
Amanda: Oh my God, I’m just beaming with gratitude. My heart is lighting up, so thank you for having me. And thank everyone who listens to get to Episode 200. That’s a big freaking deal.
Chantal: I know. We are pretty excited, I must admit. Episode 200, we’ve just surpassed 300,000 downloads, and we’re in year three and a half. So it’s pretty exciting stuff for us. So thank you for being a part of this celebration.
So the last time, we were talking about Facebook ads, it’s your baby, it’s where you’re at, where you live. And today, we’re going to talk about conversational selling on Facebook. So to kick things off, can you explain to us what exactly is conversational selling on Facebook?
Amanda: Absolutely. Okay, well I’m going to take it back a little bit further than that because last time I was on the episode, we started talking about Facebook ads and why you need to slow down and get your business in a place where you can actually run Facebook ads successfully. So conversational selling is like the step that you need to go through before you can get your place or your business in a place that paid traffic won’t break what you have going on. Because I ended up having 200 conversations in Facebook Messenger, which hint, is what we’re going to be talking about today, with my audience all about Facebook ads.
And I realise that about 80 percent of entrepreneurs, especially in the internet marketing space who follow the Gary Vee’s of the world, who listen to your podcast, who know Amy Porterfield, they’re still in this place where it’s like, okay, conceptually, I understand how an online business works. Conceptually, I understand terms like lead magnet and sales funnels and Facebook ads, but things just don’t seem to be happening as effortlessly as all these experts talk about when they come on and tout sales funnels. Right?
Amanda: You know what I mean? They all paint this as this magic thing and then we’re left being like, “Wait, what? It’s not selling as easy as that.”
Chantal: Oh, I hear you.
Amanda: So once I had all of those conversations, once I was in the trenches realising that there’s this one thing keeping people from getting to that point where Facebook ads are going to work for them, and it all came down to really understanding their customer. So really understanding the person who would buy from them online without having that one-to-one transactional relationship, but understanding them so intimately that they can start creating sales pages that speak directly to them or emails that feel like they’re coming from a best friend that encourage people to move closer to transacting with us as business owners.
So that’s kind of the backstory of how transactional selling was born. But simply, all it is is getting in Facebook Messenger or popping in your Insta DM’s, sliding into those DM’s, or even getting on the phone, getting on Zoom, being on Skype with your audience and starting to have open ended conversations with them so that you can identify like, what are they saying? What do they need? How can I support them? What are their struggles? What are they looking to accomplish?
And then all of the answers to those things, as you find them out, you can then start creating content that supports them in moving towards that sales journey.
Chantal: So Amanda, what I’m hearing is this all goes back to good old fashioned questions, answers, and truly listening to what your customer wants.
Amanda: Yes, it goes back to talking to people.
Amanda: On the internet, we are so used to thinking like it’s this one to many platform where, okay, I’m going to set something up and then all of these leads, all of these numbers are going to come through the system, and then yay money, but it doesn’t work that way if we don’t understand our audiences intimately. Like if we don’t understand how we can add value, where we can show up to serve, what they collectively are struggling with, that we need to create programmes, products, services around. But once we know those things, once we take the time to dive in and learn about them, creating content that sells is effortless because the beauty of talking to people as they tell you exactly what they need. It’s that simple.
Chantal: So is this entirely a manual process? Are we having these conversations? Like are you getting on Facebook and having these conversations? Do you recommend that we delegate this to our team? Or is there an automated side of this? Help us understand that side.
Amanda: The answer to this is pretty much going to be, where are you at in your business? I always remind people that we pay in terms of an expense in one of two ways. We either pay with our time or we pay with our money. So if you have extra money and you can use that to fuel a team going out and doing this, okay. Maybe we might pay with our money to go through this process and assign it to a team member, but if we’re time rich and still a little bit cash flow poor, then this is a process that you’re going to do yourself.
And it’s really simple. I say conversational selling like it’s this big idea and it’s all groundbreaking. It’s not. It’s really just having open ended conversations with people, like I said, in Messenger, in the DM, on Zoom, and just asking open ended questions. So what this could look like for you in your business doesn’t have to be something that takes a boat load of time. Right? Like I threw out, I talked to 200 people. Well, I talked to 200 people over months. And when you’re talking to 200 people in Messenger, you can have conversations that don’t take up a lot of your time, but you can fit in around all of the rest of the business tasks that you do.
So let’s say you’re a trainer and you still have in person clients that you’re going to see. Well, maybe on the commute from client to client, that could be an opportunity to start an open ended question with somebody in your ideal audience that you met on Instagram and start getting to know them a little bit more so that you could identify, hey, are my products or services a fit? Maybe. Or maybe they’re not a fit, but I want to build this relationship with someone.
Because I think we talked about this in the first episode. You know I’m such a big believer in building community and relationships because that’s what supports you in the long run.
Chantal: One hundred percent. Amanda, let’s talk specifically about process with these because say for your 200 conversations that you had over a period of time, or if I’m a gym owner or a personal trainer, I want to start working my way through this process. Do we identify one or two key questions to ask our audience or do you recommend that we chop it up? Do we ask them different things? And then how did you actually record that information so that it’s not just a whole lot of data sitting there, but it’s actually something that is usable and you can use it to actually sculpt your campaign after you’ve collected the data?
Amanda: Oh, these are great questions and this depends on your personality. So I said 200 conversations for me. I’m a very inspired conversationalists, let’s call that. I just made that term up on the spot, but we’re going with it.
Chantal: Let’s do it.
Amanda: [inaudible 00:09:50] conversationalist where if I’m feeling energised in the mood to have conversations, I will rapid fire a lot of them at once. Now on the flip side, there’s those people that like to create small incremental habits with consistency. So they might look like somebody that makes a point to have one conversation a day or two conversations a day, which leads to 30 conversations in a month, which leads to 360 conversations in a year.
So definitely go with whatever your style is because I could say, “Get out a list and make a 100 people list, and then track it each and every day, and make sure that you hit three.” But if you’re like Bond who gets inspired and then starts talking up a storm, do your strength and go with it in that way. So that’s the first half.
The second half is once you start having an open ended conversation with people, I don’t want you to go into it with business hat on. I want you to show up as you. So when I start a conversation, me Bond, I would open a conversation just like I was talking to a friend. Okay? Like the end goal here isn’t necessarily to close each and every prospect along the way, but it’s to build those connections, those relationships, do that old school networking so that you can expand your network, you can learn about what people are needing, and then you can start tailoring things along the way.
So I always say start that open-ended friendship conversation, and then if you see an opportunity, AKA somebody is saying, “Hey, I’m going through this,” ask them to share a little bit more about it. Like, oh, tell me more about that. How’s that going for you? Right? Like again, open-ended. You’re not asking yes or no questions. So then because you’re building a relationship, they’re going to open up a little bit more. And then that might be the opportunity to say, “Hey, I’m not sure if you realise, but I help people or support them through what you just told me that you’re needing.”
And so if that opportunity to sell or to have that sales conversation appears in the conversation, then you have permission to go deeper with it. But if it has, like if it’s nothing to do with it, you’re not going to be like, “Oh by the way, we were talking about wine, but I have this really awesome offer,” and they’re going to be like, “Ooh, that feels really gross.” So it’s really like creating internet besties, and all of the feedback, all of the things that people are saying to us, if it pertains to our business, we just gently continue to guide them in the way of talking about our offer or talking about our zone of genius in those open-ended questions.
And then once people start sharing things like what they’re going through, what they’re experiencing, what they’re fearful of, what they’re excited for, what we can simply do is just write down their answers in a Google doc when it would be something that would pertain to, oh, that would make a really good email. Remember that time that Tim said that he was experiencing a little bit extra fatigue? Oh, I have just the thing that would help him get over that.
So then you start to write this down in a Google doc, and it becomes this email fodder, this sales page fodder, that you can then curate and create a sales funnel that feels so intimate to your audience because, literally, it’s their words that you’re saying back to them.
Chantal: Oh my goodness, that is the gold right there. It is that joining together, the exploration of finding out that information from our customers, but then utilising that to really sculpt the messaging back to them. And you’ve led me perfectly into my next question, Amanda. I always feel like the best way for us to truly understand a topic is to look at a real life case study. And I’m going to pick on you because we’ve been talking about these 200 conversations that you’ve been having. And when you and I were prepping for the interview today, one of the things that you said to me is that your business only spent a hundred and $112 for $40,000 in sales.
Chantal: Help us understand in terms of what you went through. Walk us through a bit of a case study of that particular campaign.
Amanda: Perfect. Well, as an update, we’re now over the six figure mark on the programme with less than $1,000 in ad spend because of this process.
Chantal: Holy crap. Wow, okay.
Amanda: Remember, I’m Bond, owner of The Ad Strategist. I know how to run Facebook ads, so I could be running Facebook ads to the moon, but that’s the power of this process. When you take the time to understand your audience, to really curate content that inspires them to action, that’s the power. So like you were saying, that real life case study. We have a Facebook ads training programme, and before I ever launched it, before I ever validated that the market needed this programme, I said, “I’m just going to put it out there and see what happens.”
So the strategy system, the very first time we baited it, we charged $2,000 for the programme because I was like, “Oh my gosh, it’s group coaching, you get Bond’s time, it’s going to be amazing.” Little did they know is I had no freaking clue what would have been inside of that programme because it wasn’t even created yet. It was just the idea of this digital training programme on Facebook ads. So instead of putting together a sales page, and writing a bunch of emails, and spending money on a copywriter and a developer and all the things, all the noise that we hear out there, I said, “I’m going to find out if I can sell this first, and then I’m going to build it.”
So I set out into Messenger and the very first time I ran it in beta number one, the time that we made the $40,000 in sales, or sorry, the $20,000 in sales was the very first round that we did it. We actually didn’t spend a dollar on Facebook ads. It was just in Messenger.
Amanda: So I ended up going to my network that I had already curated from Facebook groups, friends that were also in business, or my ideal client is business owners. So you listening, your ideal client might be different. So maybe you’ve met them in a Facebook group or you used something awesome like Gary Vee’s $1.80 Instagram strategy. If you don’t know it, definitely Google it after this, to connect with people on Instagram. And then you have DM conversations with them.
So I just went out to the pool of people that I already knew for the first round and I said, “Hey,” after we talked and chatted and I asked them all the questions, I’m like, “How are things going? How are business going?” You might ask people like, “Hey, how’s that progress going on that goal that you were telling me about before?” Right? Like just following up really friendly with them.
And out of these conversations, I’m going to say I had max like 15, 20 of them, we ended up having 10 people say yes to the programme because all we were doing was just understanding what their needs were and then saying, “Perfect, we’re able to tailor that to you in the programme.” And guess what we did afterwards? Built a programme exactly tailored to every single thing that they told me to put in the programme.
Chantal: It is classic reverse engineering.
Amanda: Right? So I didn’t even have a programme. I didn’t spend a dollar before that $20,000 came through the threshold. So we did it once, and I said to myself, “Hmm, okay. That time, I personally talked to every single person. This time, I’m going to put a little ads into the mix.” So we spent $112 on ads. We had fun with it. We only targeted, and this is a shout out to the last episode, our warm custom audiences. So we only targeted our website traffic, our Facebook page engagement, our Instagram engagement, so people who double tap, comment, DM us, and then the people who watch videos on Facebook and Instagram.
So we didn’t go out to any cold traffic, but we just had some really fun engaging ads. I actually didn’t even collect a single email the whole second beta launch. It was just on Facebook with the call to action being, “Let’s chat.” I literally ran an ad that said, “Let’s chat,” and it had a link to Messenger, which then that’s where those 200 conversations happened in Messenger where, because we had already sold it once, I had a general idea of what people were struggling with. But oh, now it’s the second time. I’m going to take all of that feedback, all of that understanding now of that ideal audience, and I’m going to use it to tailor my next 200 conversations in a way that is guiding people towards a purchase decision that’s right for them.
So that was round two, and now we have the sales funnels so dialled in that we still haven’t even ramped up with ads to hit that six figure mark. So it’s crazy powerful to do that.
Chantal: That is incredible. I’ve got to ask you a quick question. So when you ran the ad that said, “Let’s chat,” and it linked them through to Messenger, in that situation, where you personally or your team personally having conversations at that stage? It was still a manual back and forth conversation? There wasn’t any tech involved in that?
Amanda: Absolutely none. We had many chats set up to give us the link that says, “Chat with us.” Right? So I used that third party tool, ManyChat. That was the thing that then kicked it off. I had one automation in the whole thing that said, “Oh awesome, you’re interested in strategy.” And then I had an audio, that was a written part, and then I had an audio from me so they could hear my voice saying, “Tell me about your business.” Right?
So it’s like qualifying people for the thing that you’re going to end up offering them to make sure that they’re an ideal fit because I’m a big believer if they’re not an ideal fit, I would never ever want to sell something to somebody that won’t benefit from the result that it could potentially give them. Right? If you don’t have a sales process in place, I’m not going to teach you about Facebook advertising because it’s just going to end up breaking your business.
So then I had 200 manual conversations. I almost lost my voice on those three days, but what I was doing the whole time was just, I was in … I love writing things analogue. So I had my clipboard out, I had my floor to ceiling white boards rocking, and every single thing that people were saying to me, I was writing down. I legitimately put it into a Google doc, and the people that were a fit, I sent the Google doc, not a sales page, nothing fancy, right back to them and I said, “Would you like to join us on this?”
And it was the exact words that they said that they needed. It was the exact outcomes that they were looking to achieve, and our close rate was astronomical. I think it was something like 80 percent of the people that we ended up sending that Google doc to purchase in the second round.
Chantal: Can I just say something to everyone who’s listening right now? Amanda has just told us that she personally went through this process and learned about her customers, and learned about their needs, and stepped through these herself. I’m going to say, this girl is one of the busiest people I know. She has literally squeezed in this interview before jumping on a plane tomorrow. And if Amanda Bond can have these conversations, then every single one of us can have these conversations with our customers, to do this kind of deep dive and this digging into understanding what they need and what they want. And what I love about this example, Amanda, is the success that you’ve had off the back of that. An 80 percent turnaround is just phenomenal.
Amanda: It’s just an act of service to your audience. So if you’re thinking like, I’m too busy for it, it’s one of those things where we just have to switch our mindset. That’s a selfish thing to say, “I’m too busy for it.” We need to act from a place of service. If you are really going to make the impact, if you are really going to explode your business in a big way, we have to put those acts of service first because it serves your audience, it helps them do the things that they’re needing to do to create transformation in their lives.
So please, if you’re thinking like, I ain’t got time for that, trust me. You got time to browse or blackout on Instagram. Just redirect a little bit of that time into having meaningful conversations with your audience and it will reward you tenfold, a hundredfold, right? Our return on ad spend at this point, and remember, Bond The Ad Strategist, I know how to run Facebook ads, so it’s not like I couldn’t have gotten those results with Facebook ads. Our results are a hundred to one. For every $1 that we spent on ads, we’ve earned back a hundred. And every one person, I kid you not, that ops in to our sales funnel is now worth $130 to the business.
Could you imagine what you could do if you know that every new email would end up in revenue for the business as $130? You would be able to impact so many more people because you would have the resources to get out there and really share your message. And each and every one of you listening, I know that the world needs what you are throwing down. So please do the world of service and just get out there and have these conversations because it is going to make you bulletproof in comparison to your competitors.
I know in my case, sure, there’s a lot of people that teach Facebook ads, but I will out content every single one of my competitors because I understand my audience’s needs so intimately and I care to serve them at that level that those competitors don’t have nothing. That probably wasn’t proper grammar, but they don’t have anything on the long-term vision that we have for our community. So please know that your community needs that from you too.
So I’m giving you permission to show up, to feel empowered, to go have these conversations. And even if you’re feeling like, but Bond, I’m an introvert, just take the fear out of it. And you’re like, cool, that’s a great thing to say, but not such a great thing to do. And then the way that I like to think of how do you take the fear out of it, is just think of every conversation as ones and zeros, data, just feedback.
If you ask somebody about, “Hey, is this offer a fit for you,” and they say no, all that is is feedback on the conversation that you had to that point, them as a fit for the ideal audience. And then reflect on those no’s and say, “How can I do it better next time?” Because them saying no has nothing to do with me, but it is an opportunity for me to reflect, take that feedback, and get better in the process.
Chantal: As you talked through that, I had a visual in my head with those ones and zeros that you’re talking about. I’ve never heard it phrased that way, but it’s such a great way to set our mindset if we are, as you say, a bit introverted and not that comfortable in having these conversations. And the other thing that you mentioned earlier, and I just want to reinforce it, you were talking about the fact that you use ManyChat as kind of that connection tool, but then you actually had your own voice in a recording, inviting them to leave feedback.
And I actually didn’t know that was possible to do that, and I love that because it creates that familiarity between you as the business driver and owner and your customer. So I love that strategy as well to be able to implement that little voice message to our customers.
Amanda: It just feels like you’re scaling the unscaleable when you do that, right? Like so many people think about this one to many model, but it’s like, how can you make each and every person feel like you’re speaking directly to them? And it’s just those little things. It’s doing these little things over and over again. It’s having the voice messages and it’s going to make all the difference in their experience.
Chantal: Amanda, just to get to what I think is probably the conclusion of this case study, because I think that a lot of people will be wondering where you went to from here, because you did mention that all of this happened before you really started investing and spending on Facebook ads. So what was that catalyst when you went from that $112 spend, and I think you mentioned that now you’re at like $1,000 spend for six figure in sales. What was that transition period into going into the ad spend and rather than, I’m guessing that you said, first of all the ads were like, hey, invitation to chat. What was the phase two of the advertising? What did that look like?
Amanda: Whoa, this is a good one, and we’re actually in the process of this now because I took it slow and steady. I took every piece of feedback along the way. So the phase that we’re in now is so exciting because we’ve created so much revenue that now it’s time to invest back into the system. So I have an incredible team working alongside me to now work in their genius zones to create content that speaks to people so effortlessly.
So now that we know that it works, it’s a matter of getting it in front of more people. It’s a matter of making the copywriting just sing so that once you hit the page you’re like, oh my gosh, this is a no brainer. It’s a matter of going back to our email sequences and making sure that all roads point to that entry point of getting people into this product. So that process is the thing that’s going to take it from the six figure range to the seven figure range. It’s really just saying, “Okay, this works.”
We understand our messaging better than anyone else out there. Now it’s time to get out of my own way because I know that I’m the bottleneck in this moment. If I tried to do all these things myself, I would burn myself out. So now it’s a matter of saying, “What do we need next for the strategy system?” We need more articles, more podcasts, more guest posting, more XYZ to hit our goals. Okay, so if we need those things, how do you do it?
Well, you can spend more on Facebook ads. Oh, awesome. Now we’re starting to branch out to those colder audiences, warm them up, get really high value audience first, like customer first, focusing value added content in front of them. Then get them into our sales funnel and our sales process, which we know, get this, converts at 10 percent. That’s not being facetious. That’s me telling you my actual conversion numbers.
Every 10 people that opt in to our sales process, we make a sale. And so it’s just taking that and taking it to the next level. So once you have the messaging, that’s usually what people struggle with. So if you take the time to do that conversational selling first, once you go to bring more traffic to it, it is easy peasy and you can get out of your own way. Start building a team to support you in those things so that you can carry your message further and faster.
Chantal: Amanda, I love that you talked us through that example, and as you were speaking through, I was thinking in the terms of if I was a gym owner, how do I apply that to my business? And I’m thinking, you know, I’ve got all in my business. I’ve got department heads, someone who looks after sales, someone who looks after marketing, after maybe I don’t know the group fitness, personal training. And to me, what I’m hearing is that this would give me an opportunity ( once I truly have that understanding) to actually start to sculpt all of those different departments and all of the service offerings.
Do I need to change the way that we actually onboard someone? Do we create programming that is a little bit more specific for our audience? So it’s utilising that strategy that you’ve just talked about and applying it to ourselves, either as a gym owner or let’s say as a personal trainer. Do I need to look at how I present my nutritional information about how I run my Facebook group? What type of information I share with my customers? So I think we can learn from that case study that you’ve just gone through and start to apply those principles to our own business. Does that sound right?
Amanda: That sounds so right, especially like as a gym owner, think about the opportunities that your sales force, whether it’s one person or a dozen people that are bringing in new clients into the gym, like being able to educate them on the true needs of that ideal gym goer. It’s going to make such a difference in how they show up to serve your clientele.
So if you can take the lessons that you’re learning, sculpt your sales training programmes, sculpt the education that you put them through, help to really changed the culture of how you do things, it is just going to make such an impact on your bottom line and your revenue when every single customer that you have feels like it’s tailored to them only because you talked to the 200 customers before that person to know exactly what they’re going through.
Chantal: Gold, absolute gold. Amanda, let’s wrap all of this up, Tell us three practical takeaways that fitness businesses can do to really master their conversational selling on Facebook.
Amanda: Oh, this one’s a good one. So first off is do it and do it consistently, right? Have those conversations. Whether you’re the inspired type that has 10 conversations at once and then none for a week, or the type that likes to have one or two a day, do it. The second thing is just remove that fear and really just remember that all of this is data and feedback that is going to shape the future of what your business looks like. So think of it almost like planting the future revenue seeds of tomorrow. If every single day or if every single week you are sowing those seeds, then you are going to reap the rewards from it.
And then third, with ads, with conversational selling, with business in general, just results will take time. So trust the process, go through it, and just keep staying steadfast in the vision that you have for your business. Because too many entrepreneurs give up right before that success is going to break through and become apparent. So don’t be that entrepreneur. Be the entrepreneur that stays with your vision held closely, head down, blinders on, and you will make such a difference in the end.
Chantal: Amanda, once again, you have absolutely delivered the goods. Thank you so much for joining us on this show once again. Now, if people want to get in touch with you, if they want to find out more about The Ad Strategist, they want to find out more about your ad strategy programme, what do they need to do?
Amanda: Let’s hang out on Facebook. That’s the perfect place to do it. I’d love for everyone to come on over to our Facebook page. It’s Facebook.com/theadstrategist. I answer all the questions and we have such a great community over there. If you’re looking to learn more about the Facebook ad side of things, I have great educational blogs and you can check that out at theadstrategist.com/fitnessbusiness.
Chantal: Yes. Sensational. Amanda, thank you so much. You go and enjoy your trip. We really appreciate you taking the time to join us once again on The Fitness Business Podcast. Thank you.
Amanda: Thank you so much for having me.
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