Overview: In this episode of Digital Conversations with Billy Bateman, we are joined by John Preston. John teaches how to use messenger for network marketing, prospecting and conversion. He give us four tips to getting started using Messenger. He talks about asking questions, focusing on the customer, keeping it simple and constantly improving your flow.
Guest: John Preston– Prior to conversational marketing John owned an in personal trainer gym and a small online personal training business. He got into network marketing in January 2017 looking to make money online. Quickly finding success he stumbled on Many Chat and Facebook messenger. He integrated that into his process and quickly found clients. He created a Messenger agency, SuperStar bots and has worked to revolutionize the industry.
Billy: All right everyone, welcome to the show today. Today I have the pleasure of being joined by John Preston of superstar bots. John thank you so much for joining us.
John: You are very welcome. Thanks for having me.
Billy: Before we get into network marketing you got a very interesting background. I want to have you tell the audience a little bit about yourself. How you got into chatbots and using them as agency and what you guys do at superstar bots.
John: I’m going to take you back to probably January 2017 which in the marketing world that’s decades isn’t it. I had an in person personal training gym. So, we have a warehouse space which is just for personal training clients. And I had a small online PT business as well. Now my daughter is quite severely disabled, and I saw some quite big health complications and I was spending weeks out of the year stuck by the hospital bed with pneumonia or something like this. And I was really starting to think you know if I’m not going into work, I’m not getting paid, so I need to transition into online.
My previous way of doing this was the traditional form of Facebook ads to a landing page to give me an email into an active campaign. It was okay. It was starting to make some money, but I stumbled across Messenger marketing and Many Chat in 2017. So as far as message marketing is concerned that’s kind of really early days. And I used Messenger within that same process. Instead of going to the landing page and email we actually went to Messenger instead and use that kind of immediate opt in and retargeting. Compared to my previous campaigns it was something like, I only use a 400-pound, 500-dollar ad spend. I brought 15 grand back within six weeks from beside a hospital bed. So, I’m thinking this is pretty good.
When I started telling people that I was doing this, they were saying John, can you set this up for me. Can you show me how you’re doing this? So, I started then creating Messenger funnels for other fitness businesses and actually stopped doing it for myself. All of a sudden, I’m actually working as a Messenger agency.
It was never the plan to do that but that’s what happened. As my agency grew, I started taking on other types of businesses, other types of clients. Charities and casinos and whatever and less and less fitness. Over the years the businesses really transitioned massively from that initial just me doing my own business into the network marketing industry mostly now. So SuperStarbots and deeper marketing group that we have now are all very much focused on the network marketing industry. And hopefully revolutionize the industry in giving people tools that they never dreamt of a possible. Giving a really professional way of people to grow and scale the businesses and actually get their prospective.
Billy: Awesome. I’m sure most people know what network marketing is but for those that don’t know can you just give really high-level overview. What would network marketing be?
John: Network Marketing, also known as MLM so you would have a company that people who are not employed by the company, but they buy in to be a business owner within that company. You see Herbalife would be one and Juice Plus. There are thousands of them. Kripto or Forex trading or gold or there are thousands of these businesses. Back in the fitness days I knew nothing about it, and it had quite bad reputation. But some of the people I’ve met some of that some of the things. I’ve seen people doing are amazing within this industry. I think it’s really come a long way since the keys in a bowl round at some stranger’s house days.
Billy: Yeah no we’re based here in Utah, so we have we have a lot of MLM’s based here. There’s the good and the bad with each of them. But there is a lot of good with it. Before we dive into what you’re doing with Messenger marketing for network marketing, I’m going to ask you if you were going to look up John Preston online using your social profiles, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, what’s one thing that we wouldn’t figure out about you?
John: I don’t think there’s a great deal to hide. If you actually look me up on Facebook it’s just endless wall tall Tiger King right now. I don’t think there’s a great deal to hide and if you do find it then you’ll have to message me privately.
Billy: I mean I love the Tiger King as well. So, before we get into it, do you think Carole did it?
John: Yeah, I think some tigers were well fed that day.
Billy: So do I, actually. We’ll see what happens there but let’s get into the meat potatoes of this. Okay so you got it you found this niche helping people that are in the network marketing space use Messenger marketing. What’s the overview? How are you helping him use Messenger marketing to grow their businesses?
Asking Questions About the Customer
John: If you take a step back to any form of marketing then you need to really get your prospective customer to understand what their pain points are and why what you have fulfills their need and solves that problem. This is where Messenger marketing is just, there’s no the platform like it. Because certainly when we talk network marketers the old way of doing was, you’d get in touch with somebody and then you send them a presentation. Which some of these things are an hour long. Would you sit through an hour presentation? I mean hopefully pick out the points that are relevant for you and then come back to someone.
By using Messenger marketing. By working in a different way. We have the opportunity to bring somebody into your Messenger system, your chat system and say to them. Hey, where are you now? What situation are you in right now? And then, can you tell me why that’s an issue for you? Why do you feel that you need to change this? And then, what would it take, if you’re going to put a number on that monthly figure, how much will it take extra per month to solve this problem? Then you can repeat back to them what they said.
You told me that you’re working part time and you’re not earning enough to take the family away on holiday this year. You can’t get away with the wife and kids. To help solve this situation an extra $500 a month is going to really make a difference to you. And then the next thing is, if I could show you an opportunity which would help you achieve this, would you be open to it? And we found through an awful lot of testing, through cold traffic, that the conversion rate on that is huge.
If they get to that part where they’ve answered the questions of where they are now, why it’s a problem and what it would take to change it. About 65% convert and say, yes, I want to know about this opportunity. Which for cold traffic that’s huge. That’s a really big number. And you’ve not even mentioned what it is because that’s really not relevant. Rather than going there and sending all this information, you’re asking them why they want to do it. And then ask if they’re open to it and then you can provide them with the information. It’s a real simple system but it changes that prospecting journey and turns it on its head because it’s not send information, it’s ask questions. That’s why the chat platform is so powerful.
Billy: It makes sense especially on Facebook because if you are in network marketing, you’re trying to leverage your personal network. If you can just automate that using Facebook Messenger to ask questions and see if there is an interest and if it does it make sense why that would be a powerful channel. And with the right testing and figuring out what works and what doesn’t it would be highly effective.
John: It would. And another benefit as far as the business owner is concerned is that, well there’s a couple. You were probably turned down quite a lot. It’s not for everyone. If you send this out to ten people, how many people are going to want to get involved? There might just be one of them but you’re not wasting your time on people who don’t have the time, don’t have the money, uninterested, looking for something else. And can then just spend your time working on the people who are going from a cold lead or a warm lead to hot lead because they told you why they want to do this, and they said they are interested.
You’re finding out in real time that they want to speak to you. It gives you the time. If all you’ve got to do is feed people in every day to the front and the top of your funnel. Then you’ve just got to take over you’re your system has qualified them.
Billy: Now let me ask you a question, when you’re sending these message sequences, I’m not an expert on the rules of what Facebook allows and what it doesn’t, but are you sending them from a bot persona or from if I’m Billy and I’m selling health supplements, does the message come directly from Billy?
Tell Them It’s a Bot
John: We usually state right from the start that this is an automated assistant. So were marketing digital virtual system. We say right from the start this is a digital virtual system that helps me out because of this. This is how it’s helps; we can get through this but then you can choose if you want to take this any further. People are absolutely fine with it. I know that some state in the U.S. you must by law state that it’s a bot.
Billy: Yeah, and as we’ve been working with bots more on a company’s website, we’ve always found that the best way to engage is if it is a bot, make it hyper clear that it’s a chat bot. I’m not a real person. Once it’s a person, make it clear, I’m taking over for the bot here. So, you’ve got a real person now.
John: I’ve not had anyone whose had a problem with going through that bot conversation, unless they’re trying to pretend to be human and you get busted. That’s when you got a problem.
Billy: I agree. The funny thing that we found when we engage with clients is not across the board but often. When some businesses is new to using a bot they will say well can we make it make people think it’s a person? They think that, they’re not experts in this, and often they think that would be best if we make this persona, that’s Mary in marketing or sales, but Mary’s chat bot. We’ve even let him run, where it’s permissible, let them try it out for a little bit. And said like this is probably not going to work but it’s your business so we’ll run the experiment and test it. And it never does better than just saying, I’m Crusty the bot or I’m the sales bot.
John: I think the very best bot funnels that I’ve seen are there to facilitate that human contact at the right time. Rather than pretend it’s human or try to do the whole sales process some people want to go through FAQS or whatever people can have the information instantly. They don’t need to speak to somebody. They don’t want to speak to somebody. If they want to speak to somebody it can be to say, okay how would you like to speak to someone? On the phone, you want to chat to a live agent on here. What works for you? So, you can you can give people the contact that they want at the time that they want it.
So even with the sort of funnels that we do, we’re not trying to close within the bot because I think these things sit very much at the top of the sales funnel. Often the people within the businesses we work with are given extensive training that once we give you this lead this is the next step. It’s not trying to close it’s build a relationship, its nurture but that’s a human size.
Billy: I think for in most cases the closing is best done with the a human. You mentioned when we were talking about this play that you had some work with on boarding new people as well. Could you dive into that just a little bit?
John: We’ve gone through one of our systems. Again, this is the diva system. Which is a central opt system, so nobody needs their own Facebook page they, don’t need their own house manager account. It’s a very central system. We started off by doing these on individual pages. We would install this on a business owner own business page. I know we’ve spoken for something we were very much marketers with some technology, but you wouldn’t believe how nontechnical some people really are.
And it’s down to well just send us a video in a voice note will put all this in place for you. How to do that, how do I record a voice note? How do I send you a video? All of this it just grinds to a complete halt if that on boarding procedure isn’t really simple and really user friendly and you can do it in as few clicks as possible.
We created a system where it was all central. They don’t need pages; they don’t need anything. We just need a Facebook account and the phone, and it can be up and running within 2 minutes now prospecting. That has been absolute game changer. The fact that people don’t need to have any sort of technical knowledge, they just need the phone, take a selfie that’s about all you need to do and all the rest of the contents plugged in there for you.
Billy: Well that’s great. You can get people just up going. You’ve developed this system for prospecting and onboarding. I love it. Where are you seeing your best success and somewhere, because we’ve all failed as we’re innovating and trying this. What’s a play you tried you’re just like I would not recommend somebody do this play again.
John: Oh I’m just trying to think of all the mistakes.
Billy: Well you just have to give us one John.
Keep your Prospecting Process Simple
John: Well we massively overcomplicated the whole flow, the whole journey to start with. It worked, it did okay but it was it was giving people too many options and taking it down too many paths and too much content on the way to actually hand over to the human. We stripped it back and actually found that simple effective flows which get people from A to B in the right time are by far the best ones rather than trying to be showy. As chat marketers, as bot builders the temptation is to make it too many bells and whistles, but it doesn’t need it. So, we’ve stripped things back, made it simple. And it works, just works.
Billy: I agree are most of our biggest mistakes that we’ve made a building bots are also. We got too complicated and too many secondary paths and actions and goals that somebody can do. I don’t know if you know Hans Van Dam but I had a conversation with him. He pointed out that every time you build a bot you really should design it that 80% of your people are going to go down this main goal that you’ve got. And you have your secondary paths but if you’re dropping significantly below 80% going down the main goal you probably need to rethink how you designed this chat bot and maybe you need to create a second bot if you have enough interest for this other this other goal.
John: That makes perfect sense. I think as we’ve gone down this road kind of version 7/8 of what we actually originally started with. It just gets stripped back and stripped back until it just does what it’s supposed to without diverting people off to different paths where they don’t need to go or that they probably weren’t interested in in the 1st place.
There are things that you can put in there on the technical side that actually again just simplify everything. Building into these systems where you’re creating your custom audiences and making those dynamics you just never have to do them again. Those sorts of things which don’t affect the customer journey but make the business owners life way easier. Those are the sort things he could concentrate on integrated.
Billy: I agree. Getting the right people into the funnel. After you’ve got a good funnel that’s the next the next challenge. How do I get the right people in here?
John: People keep on doing these things. We’re on version six or something like there will be version Seven and be version eight, and version nine. Keep on refining keep on going back and see where you can improve the language or the text or if you have another two, three percent clickthrough on this message.
Billy: Well John, thank you so much for joining me and before I let you go how do people get ahold of you if they want to continue the conversation and learn more?
John: You can either go to LinkedIn and find me on that, I’m just under john Preston or you can go to superstar box and contact the page there. Or you can also find me on the Many Chat U.K. marketing group.
Billy: Alright, thank you again, and we’ll chat later.