Turning a "No thanks, Leave me alone!" Into a "YES Please, Where do I sign up!?" As the majority of you will already know the aim of the game in any business is to turn a lead into a paying client.. this is generally a lot easier said than done! Depending on the type of lead you have acquired the level of conversion will differ, for example if you have a very hot lead like someone who has requested specific information through your site or else where then the chances are that they are already on the hook and ready to commit (we love these type of leads!), however most of the time you will have to fight for that sale.. I want to tell you all about a recent local client of mine, actually the guy is my neighbor too.. his name is "Mal" or "Big Mal". Big Mal owns a butchers in my local area here in Ireland, he sells the usual sausages, burger meat, steaks, ribs and so on, he also supplies local hotels etc with whole sale food - this is where he makes the majority of his money I learned through talking with him. Big Mal is completely old skool.. the dude does not use the internet and he certainly never contemplated putting his business online, I guess he had the mind set of "I'm just a local small business what use is the internet to me" which is silly as local small businesses are prime candidates for moving to the online arena. Anyway myself and Big Mal get on pretty well, his kids take our dog for a walk regularly and his wife and my fiance would speak a lot, hes a good guy.. He's always been interested in what I do, I think it fascinates him that I can "make money out of thin air" as he puts it (as I said the dude is clueless) and the fact that a young 27 year old lives next door in the same sort of house which has taken him all his life to pay for and drives a better car than him intrigues him, so he'd always be asking "hows the work this weather" to which I would reply "aye steady Mal, steady" we would never get into specifics as it would go way over his head.. The best way I found to explain it to him or most people irl was like so "Ok so guys come to me that sell lets say beer, he's from Ireland just like us.. now when people type into Google beer in Ireland that guy wants to be the first site in Google, if he is the first site he gets the majority of the clicks/traffic which he then sells his beer to".. Big Mal was able to grasp that much. So around the middle of November past I had called into his butchers to pre-book our Christmas turkey and ham from Big Mal, we got to chatting like we always do the usual "how's the family" "weathers terrible lately" "how's the work" and so on... Big Mal was telling me that they where very busy at the minute with Christmas coming up however he dreaded the new year coming again as he knew business was going to slump. So I suggested to Big Mal that he get himself online as I have done countless times in the past.. a website, fb page, some advertising and some SEO.. I've suggested this to him many times before and as always he blew me out - he didn't see the bigger picture or the potential that was right at his finger tips! I decided I'd had enough of Big Mal's lack of knowledge.. seeing is believing so I would show him! TIME TO BRING HOME THE BACON... I left the shop and told Big Mal nothing about my plans.. When I got home I got straight to work on a plan of action for promoting Mal's butchers, firstly I needed some unique selling point as butchers are a dime a dozen it's not hard to find one so why should anyone pick Big Mal over the 1000s of other butchers.. I did a bit of research on Mal's business and what he sells, to my surprise I found out that Big Mal isn't so slow after all he had one product which none of the other butchers in our area sold "Halal Meat" the only problem was no one fucking knew he had it, I later found out he was losing money with this because as I say no one knew he had it.. Halal meat is used a lot by Indian and Islamic restaurants here plus bought by individuals living in Ireland for their homes as well as Irish folks buying it too, the real money though is in supplying whole sale to the restaurants. So here was Big Mal sitting on what could potentially be a gold mine for him.. if only he knew how to get the word out eh? So there it was I had my unique selling point - I got to work.. I set Big Mal up with a basic WP site, list of his products with prices, about us page, contact and so on. I made a separate page for the Halal Meat information, I really went to town with this page lots of info and pictures. Keep in mind Big Mal still has no idea what I've been up to! I went ahead then set up his fb page and even a twitter (big Mal tweeting about his new sausages would be comical I thought), then I got to work on some keyword research... Everything was going smoothly the keyword and competition research soon showed me that these Halal keywords where going to be a walk in the park to rank as there was literally zero competition for them in Ireland - great stuff! I instructed my team to get to work, I'd already instilled great onsite SEO when building the pages - guys onsite SEO is one of the most important factors in ranking these days make sure you get it right from the start it'll save you a serious amount of time and hassle on down the road.. With the low competition we noticed with the good onsite done a few of the keywords naturally landed on the second page and bottom of the first page. My team spent around 6 weeks building links to the site I made for Big Mal, nothing major here few press releases, citations, Q&A sites, some quality profiles on high authority sites then backed up with a few HQ Web 2.0s.. It really didn't take much to get these easy keywords ranking. So around 5-6 weeks in we had the majority of these keywords on the first page, again Big Mal still has no clue what I'm up to. The site wasn't monetized in any way it was basically just information about Big Mal's business, what he sells and so on.. There was no address and no contact details - I decided to wait until I had the Halal terms ranking before changing this situation. Once the Halal keywords where ranking and I seen the site was getting some steady traffic I changed things up.. I added Big Mal's business address and phone number but still I said nothing to him.. Around 4 or 5 days after adding his details to the now ranked site I decided to take a visit to the shop and do a little bit of fishing to see if any leads had come through.. So I get there we do the usual "nice weather" "how's the family" and so on.. We get to the "How's work" part, I tell him the usual "aye steady Mal, steady".. he then turns around and says something like "some gobshite has put me on that internet of yours now too" I thought to myself shit he doesn't sound impressed here.. so I replied "yeah what's that now?" He gos on to tell me he's been getting calls from restaurants looking for a Halal Meat supplier and the calls are from all over Ireland not just our local area! He actually was genuinely pissed about this hah so I reply to him "shit I wonder who would do such a thing (lol) I don't understand though isn't that a good thing?", he gos on to explain to me that yes it was a good thing but the reason he was pissed is he had to tell a lot of them no as he didn't have enough of the product to sell! God almighty you can't win huh.. I tell Big Mal that perhaps he ought to look into expanding things a bit then, for once and to my surprise he actually agrees with me. Another week passes.. I meet Big Mal in our street as I'm getting out of my car to go into the house, he looks happy and excited this time. He proceeds to tell me that after our last conversation he got onto his suppliers and was able to secure enough of the product to service the majority of these "random" internet fueled callers! He was even now talking about branching out into the UK as a few of the restaurants had put him onto their relatives that ran similar restaurants across the pond. I never seen this big guy so happy since all of my time living beside him.. I think now is the perfect moment.. I spill the beans and told Big Mal all about what I'd done and that I'd done it to show him the potential the internet can offer even small local guys like him, his face went bright red then a huge smile he just chuckled and laughed "aye you where right Tommy boy you where right" he couldn't thank me enough and tbh it gave me a nice feeling to help this guy out as he'd always been a stand up guy to us. A FULL 360 FROM NO WAY TO YES PLEASE!! Since then Big Mal has become a full time client of mine, we are now in the process of overhauling his entire site and working on branching out into the UK with SEO now targetted towards there not just locally in Ireland. As well as Big Mal now being a paying client I've been spoiled with good Free meat for the past month or so - Big Mal has been looking after me well! Here is a screenshot of Big Mals rankings, I've shared this on our thread too... So there you have it.. I wanted to share this experience of mine to show you guys that NO is not always the final answer - I know this is not always possible if you went around doing this all the time you would end up broke.. but now and again a gamble really does pay off, take a leap of faith now and then - go out of your way for people, show what is really possible first hand and soon enough they'll show you the green $$$!