Watch For Our New Website, Coming Soon: CGOTV.ORG

Yesterday, I met with a small group of our most dedicated and active sales people for the purpose of crafting a strategy to go and get our share of the massive amount of political dollars that will be spent between now and election day in November on voice broadcast and get-out-the-vote calls.  Those present included myself, Gordon Clarke, Keith Hanson and Keith Harrison. Ryan Jessop is also a part of this spearhead group, but he lives in Montana so I didn’t invite him to attend.

In keeping with our discussions, we’re creating a new website this week:  http://cgotv.org. You won’t find anything there today because we haven’t yet uploaded any files. But we did reserve the domain name and I created the space on our company web server for this new site. The URL is an acronym that stands for Conservative Get-Out-The-Vote (CGOTV.ORG). Since this is a marketing effort with a political cause, we chose to set it up as an organization rather than a normal commercial website. We also decided that if we’re going to enter the political arena, we would do so in support of a cause about which everyone in ownership and management is passionate:  Conservative values for America. We’ll make a profit selling our services, but at the same time, our philosophy will be to provide the best services at a price far below that of the competition as our contribution to furthering the cause that we believe will preserve the America in which we believe. We are all determined to do our part to ensure that the current President has only one term in office, so the country can begin healing itself from all the damage he has already caused.

We’ll provide discounted services to political parties and candidates who’s political values are consistent with basic conservatism as we understand it. Our emphasis will be to sell  predictive dialing services because this is by far the most cost-effective service we offer. But we’ll also offer robocalling, surveys and our new VMD services. We studied numerous competitor sites and got a number of good ideas about how to present ourselves. Surprisingly NOBODY out there in the voice broadcast or call center industry has declared themselves to be a CONSERVATIVE company, focused on rendering services exclusively for that political cause. But there ARE some voice broadcast firms that focus on Democrat and Liberal causes. Now “our side” has an ally (“us!”) in this particular form of media! We have made the affirmative decision to only provide our political services to promote the cause in which we so strongly believe, so don’t expect to find any Democrat or Left-leaning Clients sending political messages from our servers. If any liberal or left-wing Clients request our services, we will politely decline to provide service to them because this is a cause-based effort.

Since this is a limited-time promotion, we are controlling the the sales efforts (somewhat). Any Associate is welcome to join us to make these political sales. However, we will be selective and only accept those who are willing to put in the necessary time and effort. Naturally, the public will have full access to the website, which will be announced in both our public and private blog sites by the end of the week when the site is deployed. If you are interested in joining this sales effort, please contact either myself or Gordon Clarke our Director of Business Development (801-253-6365) directly. We are assigning geographical territories for this effort so we don’t confuse the prospects with contact from multiple Associates. We welcome inquiries and offers of help from all who wish to join us.

The goal is to have our new HTTP://CGOTV.ORG website up and running before start of business next Monday, February 27, 2012. Keep watching this blog for related announcements.

In Today’s News: New FTC Rules Against “Robocalls”

Well, this morning’s news programs all carried the “big news” that now, the dreaded, evil robocalls will finally come to an end! Great news! The FCC is coming to the rescue of millions of Americans who simply cannot tolerate an unsolicited call on their PHONE! Oh the horror!

I got a couple of emails this morning from customers who were concerned about this dramatic news story. There was a problem with the story:  It is NOT news.  There’s simply nothing “new” about it.  Both the FCC and the FTC had been charged with regulating pre-recorded calls sent through the phone system. This is one of the many services of GroupCaller™ our flagship product.  For many years now, the FTC has been enforcing the very same rules cited in today’s “big” news stories on this subject. The only real difference now is that the FCC has the authority to regulate “INTRA-state” calls, whereas the FTC could only regulate and enforce “INTER-state” calls.  Other than that, I don’t see any change at all.

We’re an FTC-compliant shop. That means, in all respects we endeavor to comply with all the FTC rules and regulations pertaining to all our services. When making voice broadcast calls, we only calls phone numbers on which written permission was given to make such calls. Naturally, the available list is limited. There are “only” about 50 million such numbers in the USA after subtracting duplicate numbers and all of the numbers in the national Do Not Call registry .  “ONLY.” Naturally, there are many, many people making pre-recorded commercial soliciations by phone with the use of similar equipment and software, but without the requisite written consent. I’m sure that’s what led the FCC to copy the FTC’s rules. A number of these operators (mostly very small companies, I suspect) only made such calls within their own state. This would effectively render the FTC rules unenforceable, assuming the small operators could afford legal counsel to fight a prosecution.

As far as we’re concerned, today’s big announcement does not affect us in the least. We’re already in compliance on the FTC rules, which makes us automatically in compliance of the FCC rules.  Here is a story from CNN that you can read for yourself.

Also, it appears this year, a great deal of our marketing emphasis will be geared toward our newly rolled-out Hosted Call Center which uses the Predictive Dialing mode of GroupCaller™.  Since this mode only utilizes live operators, these rules won’t apply to that service anyway.  Please feel free to contact me if you should have any further questions on this news story.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day is an exciting day for me here! We just rolled out two new items in the company store:  The USA Residential List and the Start-Up Campaign.  Of course, I’ve been accused of being an eternal optimist, but there’s good reason for that. Three times in my life, I started a company from scratch – and built them into multi-million dollar companies. The smallest was doing about $1.5 million a month when I sold my interest at the ripe old age of 29, and the largest was doing about $2.5 million a month when we were destroyed by a government prosecution, which ultimately led to my own personal and financial devastation and a lengthy recovery that has been ongoing now since 1998.  But this year of 2012, I still predict, will be the year that I begin to financially recover, and the year that this company finally begins to sell a real product to real customers. In fact, we’re already doing it NOW, having closed our first MVBL sale at the beginning of January! I really do expect in the coming few months, you’re going to see an unprecedented turn-around for GlobalTmail™.

 Two Weeks Left To Solve Tough Problems

Well, the problem is simple: Lack of Cash. The solution is within our grasp, but it won’t be easy. I won’t have much time for sales and marketing, but I “must” find some time for it, because that’s the only solution to the problem.  But much of my time the rest of this week will be spent doing a combination of tough things:  Fighting off the termination of the company Internet connection later this week, preventing the shut off of electricity and gas for my home (and the company office – both scheduled for shut-off this week), negotiating with the Prudential because I cannot make the house payment, trying to prevent our shiny, new, powerful GroupCaller™ servers from being taken offline because we cannot pay the lease invoice tomorrow (that’s right, subject to disconnect TOMORROW – YIKES!), and negotiating with Verizon Wireless because I cannot pay the cell phone bill (it’s big … almost $500 for 2 corporate phones).

Having said that, this morning I believe I made arrangements to last one more week before the GroupCaller™ servers are taken offline. Now, we have to use that time wisely, to make money for ourselves and our agents! I’m working feverishly to make that happen.

I also have at least 2 other small potential clients I’m trying to get through to this week and collect their money. I hope to collect $1000 to $1200 from them (collectively), which will help pay some of the smaller bills.

The thing I’m most excited about though, is the Start-Up Campaign. Finally, for the first time, we have a simple method to sell a campaign to a new customer. The nature of running voice broadcast. VMD or other campaigns is that it takes a substantial amount of detailed planning to run a single campaign. Our job here, is to make that process ultra-simple for the the new Client. This new store item does that. For a single, small payment of only $600, a new Client can be up and running their campaign within a day or two. Combine this simple and inexpensive campaign with the completely new Predictive Dialing mode we just rolled out, and we’re ready to conduct a very aggressive B2B (business-to-business) direct sales campaign. I have 3 and possibly 4 people who are willing to get on the phone and start making calls beginning tomorrow. We’re having our 2nd training session today at 4 pm. The reason this is SO exciting is that I believe we have something of very high value to sell, for a very low, yet very profitable price, to new customers (over the phone). We’ll use our own predictive dialing mode to make these sales. This means we have a HUGE list to call, and need a couple more good, professional, telephone sales people.  KNOW ANYBODY? If so, contact me directly because I have two FULL-TIME SALES POSITIONS OPEN RIGHT NOW!  Call my cell phone at 801-599-8482 if you know of anybody who wants full time work as a Proxy agent for us. Experience is definitely required for this position.

Stop back here by the end of the week. I’ll have more insider info posted throughout the week.  It’s a wild ride, but well worth it in the end!

VMD Beta Ready Today – 70% Off First Campaign!

NOTE TO READER: This is a re-print of the public blog article I posted this morning. I include it here for your convenience so you don’t have to visit both sites.

Today we are releasing the Beta version of our Voicemail Drop system (VMD), and you can run your first campaign for a whopping 70% OFF!. This great new service allows the user to send a voicemail to cell phones without ringing the telephone! Unlike voice broadcast or telemarketing, the “intrusion factor” is completely gone! Since people don’t even hear their phone ring, they just check their voicemail at a time that’s convenient to them! “Problem solved!”

There have been numerous studies conducted regarding the social phenomenon that has caught fire during the past decade: Indirect Communications. Unlike in the past when people preferred to communicate directly with phone calls, face to face visits or even personal letters to one another, in today’s age, the most popular forms of communicating have become texting, instant messaging, email and dropping messages on Facebook walls. All these communications methods have something in common: they are not “direct” and no instant response is expected or wanted.

This analogy shows “why” I’ve had such a positive response when describing the VMD to business owners and colleagues. So many times, we just want to leave a message rather than engage in a conversation. The VMD does just that. You can send one message at a time or thousands or even a million or more.

Keep in mind, this is the beta version. We didn’t invent the VMD concept. But I discovered there are only 4 or 5 other companies offering this service, so we’re definitely in the running to be a major provider of this kind of service. I have studied the competitors and compared them to our service. I believe ours is on a par with theirs regarding functionality, even in the Beta edition. One thing I discovered though, is that NONE of them are honest about the reality of using the service. The descriptions on their web pages leave the unmistakable impression that the service works impeccably and that most if not all messages are delivered as expected.  Not so.

Not one of them can guarantee 100% delivery of messages or anything close to it. This has resulted in negative reviews by customers who expect it to “always” work when the truth is there are a significant number of things that can go wrong. Some of the most obvious reasons for failed message delivery are:

  • Mailbox full
  • Noise or static on the line
  • Busy signal
  • Failure to detect the voicemail (“no” telephony software is perfect at detecting voicemail)
  • Cancelled voicemail service
  • The phone line was transferred to another phone
  • Voicemail service that operates differently than the “norm”
  • Sending messages to non-cell phones
  • Disconnected or non-assigned phone numbers in the database

There are other anomalies, but the fact is, our tests show the maximum amount of successful message deliveries we have seen is 70%. In real-world deliveries on larger databases with this Beta release, I expect to see less than 50% successful delivery rate.

But before you think there is something WRONG with this picture, stop and think. Compare this to normal Voice Broadcast. In our live call transfer mode of voice broadcast, only about 4% of the calls we make are ever played to a live party, for many of the same reasons as above. But in voice broadcast, it’s much easier to simply hang up before the message even begins to play. This is where the VMD comes in handy:  MOST people will listen to all or most of their voicemail messages. Because of this, the coverage with VMD should be far higher than with Voice Broadcast.

Try this service for yourself at a huge 70% savings.  Just go to our online store where I just posted the new Start-Up Campaign.  This is the fastest, easiest way to set up your campaign and get started.

 

What The . . . . Cold Calling Is Back?

Yep, that’s right! Although our primary services have been the various forms of voice broadcast (call-transfer, Interactive Voice Response and now the VMD), we have always had the capability of using GroupCaller™ as a sophisticated call center with live agents calling live recipients. We did this for the first time this week with huge success!

For those of you who don’t already know, the industry term for this kind of calling is “Predictive Dialing.” This term has been around for about 20 years and it simply means the ability to predict, with some degree of accuracy, the length of time between hanging up on one call, and answering the next call. Without explaining how it works, the effect is this:  Agent completes one call and within a minute or less, is talking to the next person. This ensures that agents on the phone spend their time talking and not dialing, hearing busy signals, listening to answering machines, listening to the phone ring, etc. It’s extraordinarily effective at keeping phone agents efficient.  That’s why every large company worth its salt uses a call center (or contact center as they’re often referred to) for their customer service, sales and tech support divisions.

Market Position

We’re in a completely unique position to provide high-end call center capability to small and mid-sized companies, even individual business people like mortgage brokers, insurance agents, contractors and direct sales people at a price that will fit their budgets. Normally, it costs a huge amount for this type of calling capacity. But under our new Rate Tables, small companies can have a big-company call center capacity for as little as less than $50/month (with an average of a few hundred a month to run a fully functional, full-featured call center). That’s an unheard-of low cost!

Powerful Marketing Tool Ready

We have now added Predictive Dialing to our product mix. This may just be the most powerful marketing tool we offer. Certainly, it carries by far the best capability to drill down into a tight geographical marketing area and maximize the depth of contacts within a specific database. Whereas the live transfer style of voice broadcast is less stressful, it also has a response rate that’s very small by comparison, and thus requires a very large database for a company to continue using it year-round for sales and marketing.  Usually, voice broadcast is most suitable for nationwide campaigns on products that have near universal appeal (i.e. maximum database size).

But with Predictive Dialing, even the smallest of companies can focus their marketing efforts on a limited geographical area and use the system successfully on a continuing basis. Why? Several reasons:

  1. It takes only 4 to 6 phone lines to keep one agent busy talking to prospects continually throughout their shift. But with voice broadcast, we need 60 lines per agent to transfer just 2 to 5 calls per hour.
  2. The system completely stops dialing when there are no agents available. This means it walks through the database much slower, yet we actually talk to MORE people in the same time. This mode ensures that EVERYBODY who answers the phone is passed immediately to a live person. We actually get to talk to EVERYBODY who answers the phone, not just those who hear the recording and press 1. In voice broadcast, we only talk to about 1% of those who answer, and that’s on a well-tested sales script. Here it’s closer to 7%.
  3. Regulatory compliance is much easier and results in a database many times larger – essentially everybody in America who is NOT on the Do Not Call list can be legally called. Not so with voice broadcast – only those who give written permission can call, and the opt-in database is very expensive – $25,000 for the entire thing, or $950 per million records. We just ordered the entire USA Residential Databse of 278 million records.  We can use this to call about half of the residential phone numbers in America (b/c the other half are on the DNC list).  It also comes with a lot of demographics so we can now pick out more specific lists for our customers to call, making their campaigns far more effective.
  4. Even the smallest companies or individuals can hire an independent contractor as a cold-call sales person to work out of their home and make sales. This opens the door for all small companies to establish a dynamic, ongoing, powerful call center working exclusively for them. With so many people out of work, and even more praying for a job they can do AT HOME, the odds of recruiting many high-quality sales people is very high.
  5. The Predictive Dialing system can be controlled and operated by the Client in complete stand-alone mode once the campaign is set up and the database loaded. Clients can simply log in and make their calls. Not so with our other operational modes.
  6. And to round it all out, the predictive dialing platform is more stable, predictable in functionality, and works without problem, whereas the other systems tend to require much more maintenance and the personal attention of you-know-who.

In short, we just flung the doors wide open for perhaps the most powerful feature of GroupCaller™, predictive dialing.

Results Of First Predictive Dialing Session

The results speak for themselves.  The first Predictive Dialing campaign was conducted by Five Star Carpet Cleaning. He had never worked in a call center, done cold-call telemarketing or had experience of any kind with this type of sales and marketing. Yet in about 1:39 minutes of session time in his first attempt, we called 752 people on 6 phone lines and he got 4 positive responses. Of the 752 people, he actually spoke to 60. SIXTY PEOPLE IN ONE-AND-TWO-THIRDS-HOURS!  Eight were DNC requests, 48 said Not Interested, but the 4 are call-backs! That’s a rate of 7.79% that actually got the message compared to only about 2.97% getting the message in a voice broadcast campaign. But it gets even more dramatic when you consider the fact that fully 6.67% of the contacts on this first hour and forty minutes expressed interest as compared to 1.37% (about 70 of the 5,112 people getting the message) in the same client’s January statistics of calling. But the thing that impresses me the most is the fact that when compared to the total database size, we get far more bang for the buck with predictive dialing. With no preparation and and an agent with no experience, he got a 0.5% response compared to the total number of calls made. This can easily be raised to well over 1%, more likely to 3% or greater with an experienced sales person. But the positive response rate during January voice broadcast calls was 0.0493% (roughly 5 hundredths of one percent compared to one half percent). That’s TEN TIMES MORE positive response, and without any preparation or a well trained and experienced sales person. This could easily grow to 20 or 30 times more response from the SAME DATABASE.

Great Product Mix

As of today, I’d say we have a great product mix that can appeal to the majority of businesses out there. As a result, we’re fine-tuning our own sales pitch, and next Monday we’ll start using the Predictive Dialer mode of GroupCaller™ to sell the VBL and MVBL. Three of our experienced Platinum Remote Agents (Nathan Tyler, Keith Harrison and Ryan Jessop) plus our first MVBL (Keith Hanson) will spearhead the sales. We couldn’t ask for a better spearhead team!   To that, I plan to recruit at least 2 heavily experienced cold-callers to work under Keith’s MVBL license as well. With that promotion starting Monday, I expect we’ll finish out February with many new VBL customers, and maybe even an MVBL or two!  Keep watching, I’ll announce the new customers here.

 

February Goals

Our goal for this month is to add at least one MVBL customer and between 1 and 5 VBL customers (or more, if we can). This is a lofty goal, but I think it’s realistic. We have one MVBL customer right now who is actively running a campaign to locate and sell VBL’s (and hopefully, find MVBL’s as well). Although it’s frustrating that the progress always seems slower than I want, it’s also a blessing. I have discovered it is very time-intensive to get a new customer up and running successfully.

We have only 2 active Clients right now, but it’s all I can do to keep up with preparation for their campaigns, running their campaigns, reporting on the campaigns, developing & recording new scripts for their campaigns, discussing their campaigns with them, managing the databases for their campaigns and the list goes on and on.

Also, I have spent very significant time with our programmer, Yancy (India) working on solving a puzzle related to the VMD. It seems to work about 70% of the time. But we have one area code in particular that we have not been successful in consistently sending VMD messages to the test phone number without ringing that phone. We continue to experiment with different algorithms and techniques. So far, no success. We’re hoping to resolve that puzzle this week and send out the first VMD campaign this week.

Naturally, it is essential that I find better and far more efficient methods of dealing with new Clients. After all, at the present rate, we could not take more than a small handful of Clients and then my time would be all used up. We have known for a long time of the necessity of installing and using our fully-developed hosted solution, but as I have mentioned in previous articles, until we get an additional $5K to $6K over and above the current operating expenses, we cannot install it. Very frustrating, since it’s sitting there just waiting to be installed and used by our Clients. This application all by itself should alleviate 95% of my time involvement with these campaigns. Maybe more.

At any rate, it’s not all bad that I spend so much time working on the campaigns with Clients right now. We need the experience, and need to learn what really works for them and what doesn’t work for them.

One more thing, last Friday we arranged to acquire the complete residential database for the USA with some 278 million records. We think there are significant duplicates in this database. Nonetheless, it means we’ll have access to at least 140 million unique phone numbers covering every state. After subtracting the DNC numbers, I would estimate we’ll have some 70 million or so valid phone numbers to call. The primary use of this database to start will be for political calls and VMD campaigns.

So, we’re aggressively pursuing the sales goal for this month, which should bring in more than $10,000 in gross revenue to the company (more than half of which is paid out as commission & bonus). This is a very necessary goal to meet. The goal for the year is to establish enough regular customers that we have a stable business well before the end of the year (hopefully by Summer). This has been our objective for the past 3 years. This seems like the year we will actually achieve it, because this is the first year that we have had a viable service available to sell.