An Imprint of Inteltab - Established 2002
The sales process at Ablesites uses two distinct types of sales approach and this reflects both the effort and involvement of the person in the sales process.
These are Introducers and Sales Agents.
The vast majority of this web page relates to the work of the sales agent, because that is far more involved than the role of introducer. The intention is the same in both cases: the selling of the product (the Ablestites website) but the amount of involvement of each of these roles is very different indeed. While the sales agent will follow the prospect through to actually close the sale, the introducer will simply make the introductory phone call and make a note of the prospect's email, to be followed up that same day, only if the prospect has given permission that this can be done.
All sales agents wil start off as introducers, so everyone should read all of this page.
The descriptions of the product (the website) on this page are exactly the same for both introducers and sales agents.
The sales agent, it will be assumed, has some kind of demonstrable track record in sales. The sales agent will be familiar with the product, with the web design industry in general, and will be able to close the sale. This will involve far more effort than the introduceer, therefore the sales agent will get a greater commission per sale.
The introducer's role is much less involved, and therefore introducers will earn less commission per sale than the sales agent. However, this does not mean that introducers will make less in, say, a day, than the average sales agent. In fact, the introducer will probably earn more, and with less effort. This is because the introducer will be contacting far more people than the sales agent in the same amount of time.
The role of the introducer is just as important as the role of the sales agent. Selling is a numbers game, and this is reflected more in the work of the introducer than in the work of the sales agent.
In both cases, sales agents and introducers will be paid a percentage of the sale if and when a sale is made as a result of their contact with the buyer. If no sale is made then no commission is payable.
Sales agents get 25% of the total sale. Introducers get 5% of the total sale. (It should be noted that introducers will contact over 15 times as many people as the sales agent, so the difference in pay will not be as much as it appears; in fact it is expected that the introducer will earn more in the same amount of time.) Both sales agents and introducers are deemed to be self-employed and will handle their own tax, VAT and National Insurance, where applicable.
All sales agents, as well as everyone involved in the sales process, will start as introducers. Progression to sales agents will be made solely on merit.
The role of the introducer will be to make the initial contact with the prospect. This will usually be from a directory such as Yell.com, although other leads may be supplied. Introductions may be made in any practical way, including word of mouth and social media. But in all cases the process is very similar.
The introducer will ask to speak directly with the owner of the business. The business will typically have a website which has been designed by one of the old directory type companies, such as Yell.com, who used to dominate sales before the Internet age, and which now charges unrealistically large sums of money to design and 'host' business websites.
Here we have the first and easiest way in: the business owner will be paying a large sum of money for having his or her website with the directory, which the directory describes as 'hosting', though it is nothing of the sort. The business owner may be being charged £75 a month or more for his website, plus additional money in advertising every month. Our research has shown that this advertising is very inaccurate, however, so that typically a business may be paying for advertising in the next county or even a different UK region altogether which the business cannot possibly service!
The old style directories seem to have the old mindset related to traditional advertising, and it may be more of a 'scattergun' approach than the precision approach that Internet companies have developed with such models as pay-per-click advertising, which can be strictly fine-tuned to areas as specific as postcodes, and triggered by specific keywords (and which also have what are known as negative keywords, which prevent ads from showing in places where they would not be appropriate); such fine-tuning is just not possible in print advertising and is very difficult in other media. This is where the old directories have an immediate disadvantage, and their customers are paying highly for it.
Also, we have found that such directories tie in advertisers to 12-month contracts which it is very expensive to break out of. Typically 60 day's notice is required to stop the contract, otherwise a new 12-month contractual cycle is automatically started which has the same onerous penalties if the contract is stopped. And so it goes on and on.
The quality of these directory websites is usually very poor. Based on templates and lacking originality from one site to the next, they will be designed for traditional screen sizes and will look terrible in mobile phones, tablets, etc. They will be very unresponsive in any medium except desktop or laptop. Sometimes the business phone number will be partially obscured by garish graphics, poor layout, etc.
So the business owners you approach may well be wanting to get out of their relationship with their directory, but they don't know how.
Then you phone them up and tell them that they could have a website which costs less than £500, is better than their existing website, and won't cost them a huge monthly fee. £500 is seven month's worth of 'hosting' charges at £75 a month, so they will be in profit after seven months and they will be free of their nightmare contract forever after that.
We will levy a maintenance charge of £10 a month, which will cover things like any phone or email support, and monitoring of the site when it comes to SEO and visibility in the search engines. Also there will be hostong fees for the new website (real hosting this time). There are two hosting options, one costing about £3.50 a month and the other costing about £6.50 a month. (Both these are U.S. companies, so exchange rates will fluctuate.) There is an optional extra charge for an email autoresponder service which is equivalent to about £14 a month. Apart from these there are no monthly charges whatsoever.
SEO packages cost more and are dealt with separately, but these, in their turn, will cost less, and be far more targeted, than the advertising that these businesses are having to pay for now.
There will be people who will be suspicious of all sorts of things. Some people will be so sick of the words 'website' and 'hosting' that they just put the phone down. It will not be plain sailing. You may have to speak to 20 people before you get one who likes what you are saying.
But for those who seem to be interested, the introducer should ask them, "Can I send you an email with more information?"
If they agree to this then make a note of the email address and send it to GSG (that's me) with details of name, website and phone number. This should be in the following format in a text file:
It is important that the prospect must give you permission to do this, for legal reasons.
If, in due course, this person eventually buys a website from us then you will get 5% commission, which will be £24.75 for a standard site costing £495. This will be paid on the last day of the month immediately following the month in which the sale was made, the customer’s payment being valid. This delay is in case of clawbacks and refunds due to the customer deciding to pull out of the sale and claiming statutory consumer rights (which, of course, need to be adhered to and over which we have no control).
This is a high-quality website which is affordable to all businesses and offers a real online presence which will enable even one-person operations to compete robustly in the marketplace. It has a lead-gathering function. This is a low-cost high-quality solution to anyone who provides a service and who is serious about making their business successful.
The basic website costs £495 + VAT. There are several optional extras the customer may choose to have if needed.
The terms ‘website’ and ‘site’ are interchangeable and mean the same thing.
The website is responsive to all Internet-enabled devices (looks great whether in mobile phone, laptop, desktop, tablet or any other device, size or format). The site offers the latest in website style and usability, and will be instantly attractive to business owners and managers. It is totally cross-browser compatible.
Business owners will be most interested in the bottom line for their business, and the return-on-investment (ROI). Ask the prospect: how much is a new customer worth over the lifetime of the business relationship? (The £495 price tag will be a drop in the ocean for most businesses by comparison.)
1. Its cost has been reduced from £925 to £495 as a special promotion to increase our customer base; nominally when prospects are contacted, this special price is said to be held down for one week only. Buyers of the website will only pay for what they want. Fancy extras are not bundled in for businesses who don't need them or want them.
2. New clients get a FREE domain name if they register a .com domain with our recommended hosting service. (You can also register a .co.uk domain for £0.99). We will do keyword research for customers to determine the best domain name for their website. The domain name is usually based on the nature of the business and the location (see separate sheet on domain names).
3. The website is at the cutting edge of design, written in the latest HTML5 and CSS3. It is responsive on all Internet-enabled devices and looks great in mobile and laptop, desktop and tablet. No matter what type of device your website is being seen on, it looks brilliant and sharp, and has been tested for its attractiveness to customers. It looks appealing, and also businesslike & functional.
4. The website includes search engine optimisation (SEO) which is hard-coded into the structure of the website. This is the part of a website that people usually pay thousands for; but in this case it is coded into the website as an important integral part of the site according to the keyword search term that the business wants to be found for.
5. The site includes customised access to social networking and business networking accounts associated with the customer's business. These include Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. Additional connectivity may be added to whatever networking accounts the client wishes. Access to each of these accounts is by prominent buttons in the footer of each page of the site.
6. The website comes with a free HTML editor for the client's own use, which means they can change the wording and other details on the site whenever necessary and without special knowledge. The editor is super-easy: if they can use a word processor then they can edit their website. This is in complete contrast to most websites, where the coding is so esoteric that the site owner has to pay the web developer money every time they need to make a small change to the wording, etc. So this is yet another huge advantage among the many other huge advantages that Ablesites offers their clients over other website design services.
A good selling point is that we can offer customers a professional logo for a maximum outlay of only £20. This is because we have access to an international database of professional graphic designers who specialise in business logos. We can offer customers a choice of logos within our own source of supply (but not outside this source of supply). Of course, the client may already have a logo or may not want one, for whatever reason.
7. The website will have a lead-gathering function (the basic version without the option of an Aweber subscription will be able to gather customers' email addresses only; with the Aweber subscription - cost an extra $194 annually- the site will gather name, email addresses and phone numbers). In return for their name, number and email address, the prospect’s customer gets a free report about the benefits of using this service as opposed to others in the area, and also any special offers going. This is a leads magnet! It is much harder to get new clients/customers than to retain existing ones. This lead-gathering function pays for itself very quickly. Ask the customer how much his client/customer is worth over the lifetime of the business relationship. That is the value per customer, which will likely be more than the cost of the site!
8. a secure website certificate: this means that the whole website is of a high standard of security. It should also be noted that SSL sites will enjoy a higher place in the search result listings.
9. Optional Google Pack and Local SEO is available to increase the potency of the leads-gathering function and to attract even more customer/clients in the local area where the business operates (if it is a local-based business, which it usually will be).
Optional extras are always available for the website if wanted and if they enhance the reach of the business. These include:
The website has something for all types of business and is infinitely upgradeable. Clients can start with the basic website and then add the extras as and when they are needed. The website can expand as the client's business expands, and the same is true of the hosting which comes with it.
Every website needs to be hosted. It is the hosting service which enables the pages of the website to be uploaded to the Internet and it is the hosting company’s server which contains the website. Ideally, hosting should be flexible and be able to grow as the business grows, starting at about £6.50 a month for the InMotion Business Pro package. Hosting comes with cPanel, which is the web industry Gold Standard in flexibility and ease of use. We also offer Bluehost hosting, which is also high quality but is cheaper at about £3.50 a month. (All prices are estimates from the original US dollars.)
Hosting is an extremely important aspect of having an online business; it is the backbone of any online business. Website owners want to be able to do things quickly and at all hours of the day, 24/7 and 365 days of the year. They want to be able to talk to a technical support expert who speaks English as their native language and who is properly qualified, and available when they need to speak to them 24/7 and 365. Customers certainly do not want an overseas call centre staffed by poorly trained part-timers who do not know what they're talking about and who may give advice which turns out to be disastrous. Unfortunately that’s what most hosts provide; but not the ones we recommend!
New clients will not have to learn by the mistakes that 95% of other online businesses make, because they won't need to. The path we lay out before them is free from the pitfalls that other businesses succumb to because they're being advised by people with only one or two years' experience, if that.
We can provide for clients many things that only industry 'insiders' can get; we can also source wholesale industry rates while other people are paying high street prices. With over 20 years in the web design, SEO and hosting industry we give our clients the benefit of our knowledge so they can be sure they're getting the best deal for the lowest possible outlay, yet with quality which is never compromised.
At present we recommend two hosting services: Bluehost and InMotion. Bluehost is the cheaper of the two but InMotion offers more facilities and provides much better technical support. Of course, clients don't need to follow our recommendations; they can choose their own host, and some may already have a hosting account which has provision for several websites within one account, in which case it would be perfectly reasonable for them to remain as they are. But if customers do choose alternative hosting we would not be able to vouch for their standards of service (especially if their host did not offer cPanel as standard). We would not be expected to provide any technical support for hosting, in any event, as the hosting company would be responsible for this. (Paying slightly more for much better tech support with InMotion would be better for customer peace of mind.)
It should be noted that our target market is the small business owner who has been talked into getting a website designed and hosted by Yell.com. These websites are template-based poor quality designs, usually three of four pages, and look terrible when viewed in mobile or tablet devices. In addition, the Yell.com customer will be paying at least £75 a month which Yell.com describes as 'hosting', which is patently ridiculous bordering on negligence. The Yell.com customer will have been talked into having a 12 month contract under these conditions, with a 60-day withdrawal notice period. If not cancelled, the contract simply extends into another 12 months of the same. Yell.com customers, who are our target market, will be looking for ways to get out of this nightmare, but do not know where to go. We are there to help them, of course. But be advised that they already respond to words like 'website' and 'hosting' with an automatic hostility, so care should be taken to inform them that our service will remove this double whammy of bad quality and high expenditure from their business lives.
We are looking for:
Agents will be self-employed and work can be done from home or from a suitable place. This will suit many people who have home or family commitments. A Voip-enabled virtual phone handset will be supplied, which takes the effort out of dialing numbers. All telecoms costs will be paid for by AbleSites.co.uk. Voip accounts tend to have very low tariffs; alternatively, a Virgin Media (or similar) account with a no-cost daytime calls tariff would be even better, as costs would be zero (apart from calls to mobile phones which are not Virgin Mobile).
All sales agents are deemed to be self-employed and will look after their own tax, VAT (where applicable) and expenses, etc. Any costs or overheads incurred for items such as advertising or publicity will be paid for by the sales agent, though paid advertising is not recommended as it should not be needed. All such expenses and overheads will be tax-deductible in any event.
Although this is mainly a telesales role, there is nothing to stop sales agents gaining customers by means other than the phone. Social media would also be a good source of leads. There are many USPs about this website product (see above) and sales agents will find that different USPs will work best in different media and contexts.
Paid advertising and publicity is not recommended. If the sales agent chooses to pay for advertising or publicity then this will be paid for by the agent. The product is very attractive and should not need paid advertising: it has unique selling points and it has a much-reduced price.
Potential customers will either not have websites yet, or they will have a listing on Yell.com (possibly with a Yell website) or a similar directory. These small businesses are very easy to target because Yell offers such a poor website "design service" which they say costs about £500, but will usually cost up to £4,000 because of their aggressive sales tactics. Yell customers pay a lot of money for hosting with Yell; much more than they would pay for good quality hosting of a legitimate site. So sales leads from Yell.com are easy to come by: just go to Yell.com, enter a business type, enter any town or city, and go through the listings. Some listings will not have a website at all. Others will have expensive and yet poor quality Yell-designed template-based websites. In both cases it will be easy to show that Ablesites offers a far better solution at a far cheaper cost. (But beware of the initial reaction to the words 'website' and 'hosting', which will be to scream and slam the phone down.)
Another way to identify Yell websites is to do a Google search for "web design by Yell" followed by an occupational word like 'accountant' or 'baker'. The "web design by Yell" footprint is endemic to all Yell.com designed websites. Have a look at any of the websites that come up in the listings. If you were that business, would you be happy with that website as your corporate image? Would you be happy paying £75 a month for 'hosting' it, as opposed to £6.50 a month?
Phone them and ask them if they'd like a website of their own which generates new business for them, for less than £500. The chances are that they have never heard of such a thing before. But beware, as ever, of their initial Pavlovian yelps!
A telephone script is available if needed, and ready-made emails are available and should be used at the various stages of the sales funnel process. Web pages have links to the next web page in the sequence, if such a sequence is 'natural'. In other cases email have links in them to various stages of the sales funnel. Emails should always be used in conjunction with phone calls. If emails bounce, a phone call will be needed to ensure that the email is received safely. It will be apparent whenever such emails bounce, as the rejection message will end up in your inbox. In such cases phone the prospect back and ask either for a better email address or ask them to 'whitelist' your own email address.
For a PDF chart of the complete sales funnel right-click here and select Save or Save As depending on your operating system.
For a text file of the email series right-click here and select Save or Save As depending on your operating system.
Earnings for sales agents will be solely commission based. Agents will enjoy 25% of all sales. This will be payable upon the customer's payment for the design and building of their site, which will be £495 plus whatever extras the customer has chosen, if any. This will be paid to the agent on the last day of the month immediately following the month in which the sale was made, the customer’s payment being valid. This delay is in case of clawbacks and refunds due to the customer deciding to pull out of the sale and claiming statutory consumer rights (which, of course, need to be adhered to and over which we have no control).
(Note: The 25% commission rate is not set in stone. For sales agents with a particularly suitable track record or ability to sell websites the commission rate could increase.
The customer may well opt for certain extras on top of the basic site design. For example, if the customer decides on the basic website plus an extra main content page (£70) and if they want the content to be written for both main content pages (an extra £35 for each extra content page) then that comes to £600. The customer will pay this before the website design is started. The sales agent will get 25% of this which is £150.00.
Part of the sales task is to persuade the customer to purchase the better of the two hosting options available, if possible. The more expensive option does provide the better service, especially with the quality of the technical support staff who are on call 24/7. The better hosting service (InMotion) pays on a sliding scale based on the number of sales in the month, while the other hosting service (Bluehost) pays a flat rate of $65 per sale. So revenue will depend on both the hosting company used and the number of sales per month (in the case of InMotion). The hosting company will typically pay either 30 or 60 days after the end of the month in which sales are made. The hosting services recommended are based in the United States and pay affiliate commission in US dollars. So the sales agent will be paid 25% of whatever that amount is, immediately after the money from the hosting company has cleared.
Example 1: InMotion Hosting pays $120 per sale for sales volumes between 21 and 30 sales per month (for total sales from all sources, not just the one sales agent in question). The sales agent will be paid $30 immediately after the commission from the hosting company clears, converted into pounds sterling at the prevailing exchange rate (about £23). InMotion’s commission page (as at 14 November 2019) states that, for sales in any given month, payment will be made on the 20th of the second month after the sale. So, for sales made at any time in January, payment will be made on the 20th of March following.
1 – 10 sales per month $50 per sale
11 – 20 sales per month $80 per sale
21 – 30 sales per month $120 per sale
31 + sales per month $ Not published
Example 2: Bluehost pays $65 per sale flat rate. The sales agent will be paid $16.25 immediately after the commission from the hosting company clears, converted into pounds sterling at the prevailing exchange rate (about £12.50). Bluehost says that payment will be made “approximately 45 to 60 days after the end of the month or other period in which they accrue”.
For every sale made, including the basic website, optional extras and hosting, sales agents should expect to get an average commission of about £150. Some customers may opt for only the basic website, and some customers will either already have hosting or will choose to host with a service not recommended here. The lowest amount an agent will be paid on a sale, therefore will be £123.75 on a basic £495 sale.
On the other hand, it should be expected that some customers will opt for multiple main content pages and other addons like a blog and a forum, together with a complete ecommerce package and the better of the hosting options. In cases like this the cost to the customer could be £900 or more, and the agent's commission will correspondingly be £225 or more. Commissions from individual sales of £180 and over should not be unusual.
From the type of lead sources, and considering the quality of the product (the website), the nature of the offer and the method of qualifying the leads, a ratio of 20:1 should be a conservative estimate (i.e. expect a better conversion rate than that). Sales agents should aim to make 7 to 10 sales per week once a callback and closing rhytm is established. Experienced agents should expect to make more. Clever use of social media may well result in bulk purchasing; such glittering prizes are left only to the sales agent's imagination!
Everyone will have their own way of working. But it is recommended that, whatever the source of the lead, contact information such as phone numbers and email addresses be entered into a spreadsheet. In this way the numbers and email addresses can be copied and pasted into the virtual Voip-enabled phone and the email client. The spreadsheet can then be used to further monitor the progress of each lead to its conclusion either to a sale or NFA (no further action). Sales agents are expected to keep accurate paperwork, and to invoice for all sales made at the end of each month.