The Beginning: An IBM Business Partner Searches for a New Source of Sales Leads

teaching about WordPress plugins - Tulsa, OK
Doug Stewart's Workshop on Using WordPress Plugins to Get More Traffic to Your Website - Social Media Tulsa Conference

If you’ve ever picked up the phone and cold-called companies, schools, or municipalities trying to bring in new business, this might sound familiar.

In 1998 I was a salesperson for an IBM Business Partner. I sat at a desk facing a yellowish-beige wall all day.  I had a phone, a PC, a legal pad, and another salesperson sitting within an arm’s length to the right of me. I sold IBM printers.

What Happened When an IT Reseller's Lead Generation Process STOPPED Working

The IBM Business Partner I worked for, had one source of sales leads. And they had one process for turning those leads into sales.

At first, we would buddy-up to IBM reps. We would convince them we had a sure-fire way to close new printer sales in their accounts.

Selling was Easy. Until ...

We showed IBM reps how easy it was to find old printers on a lease in their accounts and help them understand these accounts could upgrade to a new printer while keeping their monthly payment the same or less. Then the IBM rep would find the targeted accounts in their territory, connect us with the right people, and we would close the deal.

The process worked like crazy, for a little while…

IBM - 1981 Poster by Paul Rand
IBM - 1981 Poster by Paul Rand
Choosing Web Design Firm Presentation
Choosing a Web Design Firm Presentation

Scrambling to Find a Reliable New Source for Leads

Our office was across the street from the IBM telesales center. Our sales team became well known because we closed deals left and right.

Soon the IBM reps we worked with, had fewer and fewer customers with older printers on high dollar monthly leases.

And there were fewer and fewer IBM reps who hadn’t already worked with us. The well was drying up.

The sales team, especially the high performers, let the business owners know something had to change. A new source for leads had to be found...

Management scrambled for a solution to this problem. One of the proposed solutions, was more cold calling. This was not what I signed up for.

The Search for a Website Design Firm that Understood Our Business

Next thing you know I’m sitting in a conference room with the company management.

We’re listening to a web design firm explain why they should build a website for us. They didn’t understand the business.

I volunteered to build the website. After hours.

Management agreed. And I went to work on it.

Restless Sales Staff & Whispers of Mutiny

Three of the company’s best salespeople decided they weren’t going to stick around and see what happens. They met with an investor and started their own business.

Another near-fatal blow for my employer.

Did management make the right decision agreeing to have me build the site? Was it too little; too late?

Mutiny - Pirate with Patch over Eye
Sales Staff Mutiny - Aaargh!
email request for proposal by Monday
Email Lead for Order Worth 7 Times my Average Sale Arrives

Internet Lead from a Big Company Hits My Email Box

One afternoon an email pops up in my inbox. It’s from the website I built. It’s from the top search engine rankings I earned.

Sallie Mae in Killeen, Texas filled out a form on the website. They were interested in a $70,000 printer with a maintenance contract.


I usually sold $5K – $10K printers. Here was a qualified lead from a big company. And it was 7 times the size of my usual sale.

The Story Gets Better . . .

Sallie Mae bought two $70K printers with maintenance contracts. One for their Killeen location and one for their Wilkes-Barre location. This was the biggest sale of my career.

It also proved the value of the websites and the SEO work I was doing.

IBM Business Partner Survives Sales Funnel Failure and Mutiny

The IBM Business Partner became DSC Web Services’ first client. They survived the 1998 mutiny. They survived the death of the old IBM printer lease replacement sales funnel.

In January of 1999, I went to the Dallas Lakewood branch of the Wells Fargo bank. I opened a business checking account. When the Sallie Mae commissions showed up, I deposited them for working capital. That’s how DSC Web Services was born. Thank you Sallie Mae.

Keeping Clients Happy through all of Google's Changes

SEO is more complicated and more technical than it was in 1999. There’s also more competition for those top Google spots than when I started DSC Web Services. It’s a challenge keeping our clients at the top. But we continue to keep learning and improving.

We're blessed to have many clients work with us for 15 years or more from both B2B and B2C industries.

Get Started With Your Own Custom SEO Road Map

You get a custom guide, a "road map," for your business with specific steps guaranteed to get you better search engine rankings.

Researched specifically for you by an SEO professional. You can either go through the guide yourself and take these actions or you can hire someone to do it for you. Either way, you are guaranteed to get better search engine rankings.

Who Will This Help the Most?

  • If you own a local, family-run business
  • If competitors in your industry are becoming more SEO and internet savvy
  • If you know you need to get better search engine rankings, but you don't know where to begin

To find out more about the Custom SEO Road Map, click on the button below.

Ricky Talkington

"I have been working with DSC Web for 18+ years. DSC Web Services has helped design and create over 10 websites. They are always there when I need them. They get things updated or fix my websites very fast. I highly recommend their services."

Mandy Vavrinak

"Doug has stepped in to tackle problems that other providers were unable to address or fix. He takes the time to educate when needed and he meets deadlines and timelines... making it easy for me to meet mine with my clients. He and his team have a deep and wide knowledge of all things web-related and they are my first choice for programming and internet marketing questions, projects and challenges."

Marty Q Smith - Affordable Trailer Sales

Marty Q Smith

"This is the very best web site builder in the US. DSC you are the BEST. Doug u are my hero."