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About Mike Stodola

Mike Stodola is Chief Marketing Officer for Elite Capital Advisers and resides in Chicago, Illinois.

Mike is known as “the Jewel”. Mike told us about a story involving Mike and Dave Dee, next week’s guest. The epithet has stuck.

Contact: Mike Stodola – Elite Capital Advisers –

This episode is dedicated to thought, effort and attention to managing the leads you have generated. Most business owners don’t measure much, but plenty do measure leads and sales. Mike Stodola talks about the FIVE DROP OFF points between getting the lead and closing of the sale. It makes great sense to focus on the 5 drop off points to increase your results exponentially.

#1 You didn’t capture them!

The lead was generated, they turned up on your landing page, they called your phone, but they didn’t take any form of action. You have no way to follow up because you didn’t capture their details. You don’t even know you had them!

Mike referenced the company “Meet Edgar” who re-engineered their entire home page to capture contact information. Their home page is their best performing opt-in page. They really concentrate on maximising this step.

#2 They opted-in but drop off.

If they do come, they can opt-in, but don’t sign up for the webinar/ or next step. Maybe they called your restaurant for a reservation and they didn’t show up. They registered for your webinar and didn’t show up.

The drop-off rate on webinars is around 80% for a live webinar. Even higher for recorded webinars. Some of us think that signing for a webinar is all you need to get the provider to send the replay link to enable you to watch it at a time of your choosing.

With simple follow-up steps, you can increase the show-up rate to 40%.

They went to the landing page, they gave you their information, but failed to take the next step with them. A financial planner might offer a free lunch seminar, but don’t sign for a one-on-one appointment.

#3 They turn up, but don’t take next step.

The key thing here is taking micro steps. Micro-commitments can be they show up, then you ask one simple question, email address for the report, next screen, we’d like to send it to your home, give us your home address, next step is buy the book at a very low fee.

Counter-intuitive, because you get a drop off at steps 2 and 3, but the micro steps increase your buyer rate or acceptance with these micro-agreements.

Robert Cialdini’s laws of influence. Nice summary

#4 Conversion

They show up but they don’t buy whatever it you are offering. Mike refers you to Dave Dee’s advice on converting, especially webinars (or one to many selling).

#5 Don’t buy the package, buy but leave, buy don’t refer you

You don’t want to spend money and a great deal of work to attract new leads and customers, for them to attrite quickly, for them to leave quickly.

Many customers get a customer to make a sale,
smart businesses get a sale to make a customer.

It’s all about customer lifetime value. If you have a good upsell process you can make back the initial cost of attracting customers.

TIP: Capture customer data at the first step and every step.

So, does your receptionist view their job as answering your question, rather than that plus getting your contact information? Without it you are leaving things to fate or hope.

As a dentist, maybe they want opening hours, but your receptionist script could ask for their mobile number so they can send you an offer on teeth whitening for new patients. If you can get 20% compliance you have built a list that you didn’t have beforehand.

Where should we concentrate?

Drop off point #1.

The ‘lead generation magnet’. What can you offer that is of value to a new customer before they become a customer? Mike says if it doesn’t give you butterflies about offering it, then it probably isn’t going to be of value to the recipient.

If everybody took you up on the offer, it would be scary to you!

So, what can these lead generation magnets be?

  • Product
  • Report
  • Book
  • Video Trainings
  • Tickets to Events

How can you add value to the impending relationship, BEFORE you ask for anything more from them?

Report – The 7 Steps to XYZ…

If this becomes generic, then look for the TRANSFORMATION they really want and what is ONE quick win that will help them get there.

Mike produces an event planning excel sheet calculator for financial planners. It tells them predictably and reliably through different media, here’s the expected outcomes. They really like that, because they have never looked at the 5 Steps before. Or different media and how that effects their results.

Mike advises stores use a lead magnet that is not something they usually sell. Not something they could have bought from them. So, a clothing store might offer a travel umbrella. Something that is related to the market, but is a quick win.

Experiential lead magnets. Your 5-course meal is presented to you by the Chef of the restaurant.

This is about letting people peek behind the curtain because they like to know how things work.

Kevin mentioned the Northumberland Sausage Company –

Don’t underestimate the passion have for your business! Take a camera and record yourself doing what you do. It’ll show why/how you do what you do. Show them the process! It’ll help people take the next step.

Talking about Financial Planning Seminars, Mike advises you “Highjack authority”.

Authority is one of Cialdini’s 6 principles of influence. People respect authority. Mike’s example was he rents rooms for the financial planning sessions in a university to get referred/perceived authority!

You’d be speaking at a more prestigious location.

Authority is so key. Not your office – it screams I’m going to sell you.

Drop off point #2

Once details have been captured Mike Stodola recommends using micro commitments as you try get them to sign up. Once you have shown them some initial value, you provide another micro-step to getting them to the next step. A low barrier offer. Get on a webinar. How do you transition them from capture to next step?

Graham mentioned the inverted funnel – (gravity is not in favour of people going through a funnel) more about this from Marketing Experiments and their head man Dr Flint McGlaughlin.

In step one, what can you do to capture people who do not sign up on your landing page?

  • Retargeting – drive them back to your best content. Let them download the information without an email. Initially, you didn’t offer enough value.
  • Exit and Tempt – it comes up when the tech sees you are moving off the website. Offer them a different/change of offer. Maybe they just don’t want the offer you have made.Mike’s advice is golden here. Always try get information upfront. Most people are compliant. At the end, don’t ask the same offer. Give them multiple opportunities to say yes.

Kevin mentioned Frank Kern, more about him at

Point 3 – Cialdini’s laws of influence. People might agree to an appointment, but they don’t show. Study was done, people make appointment over the phone – they asked them that if they couldn’t make it to call them – they got cancellation calls and a better show up rate! People are compliant. – Cialdini spoke of commitment and consistency – that people do not like to back out of deals. They strive for consistency in their commitments.

Mike recommends we are all continuous students. He mentioned Dan Kennedy’s direct response marketing books. Mike speaks with such passion about marketing.

Mike Stodola wrote an article – Mike’s Marketing Mantra – how would he advise us on the next 100 days?

  • #1 Relationship with your list is everything – it is a huge compliment that someone has provided their contact details with you – how can you help these people? People want relationships with people.
  • #2 Value upfront and provide value again and again and again. Especially when people do not know us.
  • #3 Don’t be sure about asking for the sale once you have shown value. Make the sale a fun and interesting process.

Mike Stodola told us one his BIG TOOLS in estate agency was a monthly printed newsletter. Here’s his logic:

  • It had a lot of personality
  • It would tell stories about his vacations
  • He would have jokes and stories from other people in his life

People said why would anyone read that newsletter? Mike’s logic, Facebook wouldn’t exist, Instagram wouldn’t exist, social media wouldn’t exist if people weren’t interested in what you are doing personally. Those sites get far more hits than those with pure informational articles. People are interested in people.

Provide amazement! Truly overdeliver on the promise. Something they weren’t expecting. Mike recommends we check out Jimmy and Travis from Gravitational Marketing:

they plan to over-deliver.

Try a simple hand-written thank-you note. Provide an amazement factor.

Contact: Mike Stodola – Elite Capital Advisers –

The Next 100 Days Podcast is brought to you by Graham Arrowsmith and Kevin Appleby