3 Keys to building a Bot That Converts with Niel Reichl
Overview: This week on Digital Conversations with Billy Bateman our guest is Niel Reichl head of marketing at BottBott industries. He explains how to build a sales funnel that converts using carefully timed customer surveys, embracing negative customer feedback and asking premition to collect personal information.
Guest: Niel Reichl – Niel got into chatbots in an effort to support himself and his family. He worked for Mary Kathrine Johnson and learned to use chatbots. Now Niel helps $3M and up per year Business Owners increase their average monthly revenue by 20% using automated sales funnels provided they meet the requirements and follow each step to the dot. He works as the head of Marketing at BottBott Industries which is located in the Philippines.
Billy: Welcome to the show today. Today I’m joined by Neil Reichl, head of marketing at Bott Bott Industries. Neil thanks for joining us.
Niel: Super welcome man.
Billy: Today we’re going to talk about using Messenger for sales funnels but before we get into that tell us a little bit about yourself. How you got into using bots.
Niel: Probably this is the most sorry story that you’ve ever heard for this morning. I mean you’ve been doing a lot of the interviews and you’ve been hearing a lot of stories but how I got into it was purely desperation. I was a content writer before. A freelancer. I was just trying to literally make ends meet because i got laid off in 2015 and then three weeks after that with a pregnant wife we lost the baby. So it was really tough for me but then I got into content writing. Outsourcing over here is kind of popular. So that’s the thing that I did a while we were coping up. And trying to start my own business with online marketing and then but the competition was really tough. I got to a certain extent when it comes to copywriting. I had some good breaks but then again competition was really tough.
There was this one specific prospect that I got on a phone call with and he said, holy cow I mean you’re saying you’re charging $175 an hour but you’re from the Philippines… so what gives. I was like okay. So then Andrew Warner I mean the guy who started this all with Messenger bots. He sent out an email and me being the lurker that I am, being on his list for several years. I said okay why not jump on this.
I started learning head on and then I found out about his first habit, the most successful one. Who’s now the owner of Bot Academy, Mary Katheryn Johnson. I approached her, started talking to her, stalking her looking for jobs which she always refused because I said I want to work for free just to learn. Then she said no no no that’s not the way to go. You really want to work, you gotta get paid. And I mean I saved enough to hire her as a coach. She hired me eventually to do some of her books for her clients and right now I’ve worked with multi billion dollar companies over here in Manila. I’ve also worked with the little tiny small businesses and clients variant. It’s been amazing. Literally it’s been amazing.
Billy: Awesome man it’s an interesting journey. I think a lot of us here in the bot space just stumbled into it. Over the last couple years but I’m glad you were able to find a niche and have your own business here. I met Mary a few weeks ago. She’s amazing. Tell us a little bit about what you do for Bott Bott Industries. What’s your niche? What do you guys do for your customers?
Niel: Your listeners would hate me for this but my niche was anyone who would be willing to pay. That was the niche I had before. Until later on after a lot of pulling of teeth, a lot of bills that I had to pay and deadlines. I suddenly realized, okay in order for me to really get my groove and for clients to see the value that I can deliver I should go for high value clients. I focused on brick and mortar clients in modern lines who were paying at least 10,000 USD a month in terms of rent, for lease. Why I need that much is for foot traffic. The big gap there was that hey you guys are spending this much did you know that you could leverage that more by using digital marketing.
So it wasn’t just chat bots but it was more of a digital marketing in general. Chatbot was more of a demonstration especially with a QR code. It wasn’t even the QR code back then was the Messenger scan code. Which is really clunky but I mean it worked. From there on I started to focus, okay if a client comes up to me telling me, hey can you help me sell this thing. The first thing I asked is have you sold this before without me and if they say yes how many times?
How many units of this thing have you sold before? If it’s at least 100, let’s talk. Otherwise you gotta figure out first if that thing really converts. If that’s an offer that converts. Later on since I’ve made the focus I’ve been invited to Facebook headquarters over here in Manila and then started to speak with these multi billion dollar companies. That’s it that’s the niche that I eventually stumbled upon after a lot of teeth pulling.
Billy: Well that’s good. So your niche is creating sales funnels. What are your three, what’s your process when you’re creating a sales funnel at a high level? Everyone has their own process, what’s yours when you’re creating one for a client?
How to Create a Sales Funnel
Niel: We always start off with the end. So let me give an example. The client spends around 15 thousand USD a month on rent. They’ve got 50 clients per day walking into their establishments. The thing that we did was instead of getting them new clients. What we did was we asked every particular client that they had and the customer that they had walking to their establishments to scan the code. We built them a list 1st. From building them a list within the survey, which I learned from the ask method and we found out what was the reason that they were visiting.
How many times were they visiting in a given month. We did giveaways in order for your customers to tell us how frequently they were visiting. Then what was the reason why? Where else have they been before, they became patrons Or they became advocates of this establishment? So list building and survey was the thing that we did. Then that’s only time that we started to scale it by creating a lookalike audience. Awesome so when you’re creating these sales funnels, what are your tips for people that are building the list, they’re doing this survey play and then creating a look like audience? It seems like hey that’s a great way to attack it. To begin, where do people make mistakes? What should they be wary of? And what should they definitely do?
Niel: The first if these are brick and mortar businesses that are also planning to tapping into clients, it would really help a lot that you are there. In the same place and study the behavior of how people would scan the code. How their team actually presents the scan code, the QR code right now, that we have. It really pays a lot. There are a lot of really basic nuances. At first we ask the clients just to scan the code after they make the payment. Then after like 15-20 tries it was like we observed that they were all in a hurry they just wanted to leave. They were really satisfied but they just didn’t have the time for the chit chat.
So what we did was while they were waiting for their appointments, we made sure that we put in at least a minute for them to sit in the lounge. That’s the time that we asked for them to scan the code. Really basic things but it did pay a lot. Because at first the client was like this isn’t working. They don’t want to scan the code. So the real question was when were you asking them to scan the code at which particular time. That was a tiny mistake in the eyes of many but it could have really caused a lot of pain on our end. We learned a lot physically observing customers especially with the QR code. That’s what we learned.
Billy: That’s really interesting and it makes sense. Like hey I’ve already bought whatever I’ve got, I don’t want to hang around and do this. In my mind I’m done if I’m a customer. But building in this minute or two where you’re just waiting, let’s do it right then. Timing is everything with the bots I’m sure you’ve seen that the order of what you ask people does make a big difference usually. It’s the same with this. So that’s that’s really interesting. How are you incorporating Messenger? You’ve got the QR code and they’re in there, how are you incorporating Messenger I’m guessing into the survey part of this?
Niel: Right after the code, the first thing we have is a conditional logic. Is this a new subscriber or not? If it’s a new subscriber we trigger the sequence asking them how was it, how satisfied are you? I can’t really get into the details with the copy but it’s just a satisfaction survey. Then after they complete it we also have a smart delay with conditional logic going to check, have we collected contact details already.
We know beforehand that this is rented property that we are in with Facebook Messenger so we grab contact details right away. So we ask for their phone numbers by SMS, we also ask for their email addresses and we even ask for their physical addresses. We didn’t have any idea at all that covid would be happening right now. Now that we have their physical addresses, it’s a lot easier for the client right now to even send direct Mail. Which makes them stand out. And the direct Mail just says this, hope you’re well during this thing that’s happening to us right now. We made sure that what the bot does is collect as much information as possible without annoying the subscribers. That was the most important thing that we had in mind with the sales funnels.
Billy: When people are creating the bot then, Niel. What are you seeing the mistakes people are making when they’re using these bots collect info into to learn more about their customers?
Niel: Sometimes it can be too aggressive. That’s what we learn. Especially the first part. And that’s where we incorporate that permission marketing everytime. Would it be okay if we ask you for your contact details? And put the reason behind it. So I always have this book right with me. It’s a Robert Guinness Book called Influence. All marketers know this is like the Bible for marketers. And then permission marketing plus the reason for asking certain things like the request. What’s the reason behind the request? So one of the biggest mistakes that we committed, I wouldn’t say for many marketers but for us particularly was that we came on too strong at the very start. But we were quick to notice this. You would see on your Facebook notifications on the page notifications.
She would say, stop asking me. As soon as we started seeing those messages, holy cow, fix the flow asking. Delay asking, let’s try to tweak it with a message. And then courtesy actually in technology changes the perspective from the subscriber. So we added, would it be alright for us to ask your contact details. The next message says the reason we’re asking is, in case Facebook shuts us down. That’s what we said Facebook shut this down. We would still have a way in order for us to reach you and tell you happy birthday. It’s all about the subscriber.
Billy: That makes sense. It is a bot and people know that. But let the bot not be so robotic and a little more human, like hey I’m gonna ask you this and this is why. And people do respond better is something we’ve found as well. Give them the reason why, manage the expectation. Don’t just build a bot like a programmer would. Just like, what’s your name? What’s your email? At that point all you’ve done is put a form into a bot interface. But that’s interesting. Then with Facebook you’re kind of at their mercy all the time. You never know if they’re going to shut everybody down, if they’re gonna shut you down and why. They can kind of do what they want.
Niel: That’s very true and you said at the mercy. We’ve seen so many stories where the page was just shut down for no particular reason at all. It was 100% compliant. Always think like 3 steps ahead. So three steps for us are mobile number, email address, and physical address. Then we added the 4th one which is always collecting the subscriber’s birthday and we always use the birthday as a reason to get in touch with them.
Billy: That’s a great reason. I love it man. So is there, what else should I be asking you? I feel like you’ve got a lot of knowledge I don’t want to let you go before we get as much of that as possible. What have I not asked you, if this guy was really smart he would ask me about this?
Niel: I think the one thing that’s been really stopping me when I was first starting out was the hesitation. Worried that I might get rejected when I start offering this. I had to kiss a ton of rocks, literally a ton of rocks, loads of trucks but then I realized the power of actually profiling fresher prospects and then approaching them and asking them, is this something that you need, and then giving the option to say yes or no. Makes the sales conversation a lot easier. I think what really sets us apart is not the quality of the box that we built. There are a lot of awesome developers out there but who couldn’t really sell the thing. They have such a hard time.
Trying to open up their mouth and then just approach someone is like death to them right. Just being openly interested, one thing that is okay if there’s this one particular thing that I would like to be known for in this interview is this. If you’re listening to this and you’re a bot builder number one is build your dream list of 500. Make a list of 500 people and this should be entrepreneurs people who have a business. Whether it’s cold start off with warm 1st and then just start creating a demo bot create screenflow trade screen recording on your phone something like that. And just start asking, is there something that you would be interested in your business? You can reply with a yes, you can reply with the no, no hard feelings.
Then just start the cadence of building that habit of sending this message is over and over. If they say no don’t stop there ask them why. Okay no hard feelings I totally understand why it said no I just want to find out why. That’s where most people stop, they don’t ask why. If it’s a yes people celebrate and do the happy dance. Okay here’s the link but they don’t ask why. The why is the biggest thing in order for you to get more sales. Honestly that for me is what changed my sales game.
Billy: That’s a great point man. When you’re learning sales they always say, hey you know when you get rejected you should find out why. But so many of us get rejected and just move on to the next one. They must be an idiot or they don’t have a budget. Whatever it is we just chalk it up in our heads but when you do ask that why it is crucial to learning, okay what needs to change in the pitch in the future. Why was the value not enough for them to say yes. Because if they saw the value they would find some way to say yes.
Niel: And the relationship that you built even if it’s a no. I think that the number one thing that always happens here is that they know that you build bots, they know this is something that could help businesses and you become top of mind. For at any instance that they need someone because you created a good impression just asking them why their feedback, right. So this is the rejection that they faced before. So he’s gone we just said no and he suddenly gone right.
Billy: Are you doing that in your own bots? Where you are prospecting and people like hey get me outta here. Do you ask him like okay that’s great we can go away but will you give us some feedback on why we’re going to go away?
Niel: Yeah we always do. We learned this from Ryan Levik. He calls it the why do you hate me survey. But we don’t use those words anymore since it’s like super obvious and people are numbed already to it. But we just go approach them and say hey this is a live person and we just really want to find out what is it that pissed you off. We really want to learn from that.
Billy: Awesome man. Awesome, it’s been great having you on. If people want to get in touch with you and continue the conversation, what’s the best way for them to get hold of you?
Niel: The best way is to find me on Facebook. So that’s Niel Reichl. NIEL REICHL. Find me on Facebook, that’s where you can find me all day long.
Billy: Thank you so much and we’ll chat later.
Niel: Thank you too.