Custoer Doesn't Do Email, But Wants to Use CC to Pay for Offline Biz. Any Merchant Account Solution?

19 replies
Small business owner asked me to build a site (which is completed) and wants me to host their website monthly and would like a monthly payment plan.

The challenge is, they're so computer illiterate that they only "heard about" Google or Yahoo and of course never heard anything about Paypal. They don't do email either.

I don't have any offline merchant account and don't want to create one that requires upfront fee or expensive monthly fee, only because I am charging this business $20 monthly and nothing else.

Is there anyway I can help them without them setting up an email? I don't want to go the route of creating an email just to use Paypal to deposit their money into mine -- I am afraid Paypal will see it as a manipulative Cash Advance tactic or something against their rules.

Any creative idea?
#account #biz #custoer #email #merchant #offline #pay #solution
  • Profile picture of the author jensrsa
    What type of product are they dealing with? If they deal with products that nedd response and delivery etc. they need to have contact with their clients.

    You can still set up email using cellphone or blackberry - that way they get notice as soon as something happens and they do not operate in the dark

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[88633].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Michael Chris
      PayPal has a program where you can take CCs offline under certain terms that might be helpful. (Maybe even via cell phone?) The name escapes me at the moment. Log in to your PayPal account and look under the navigation for sellers tools (or whatever).

      Internet Business Is Like An Onion... It Has Many Layers... And Sometimes It Stinks.
      Cook it for awhile in some nice butter or olive oil and you might be onto something!

      Money is Attracted to Movement (aka Action)
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[88639].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Michael Chris
        This seems like a pain for $20... can't they just cough up the $240? (Or break it down to 6 months, or 3 months at a time and give you cash or check.) Anyway, the PP option may not be worth it unless you are encountering this often.

        Internet Business Is Like An Onion... It Has Many Layers... And Sometimes It Stinks.
        Cook it for awhile in some nice butter or olive oil and you might be onto something!

        Money is Attracted to Movement (aka Action)
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[88648].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Michael Chris
        Originally Posted by Jeff Hope View Post

        I know this will sound harsh, but as they say, business is business. Does this prospective customer bring anything to the table other than $20/month? In the way of contacts, possible future business, etc?

        If not, I personally wouldn't bother with them unless they want to prepay say 6 months at a time or more. Experience tells me they'll be more hassle than they're worth. They will be totally dependent on you for everything, and will not want to pay anything beyond the $20/month.

        See, great minds think alike... and post at the same time.

        Internet Business Is Like An Onion... It Has Many Layers... And Sometimes It Stinks.
        Cook it for awhile in some nice butter or olive oil and you might be onto something!

        Money is Attracted to Movement (aka Action)
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[88652].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Takuya Hikichi
          I am thinking of the same. Just maybe charge yearly upfront or take it down.

          They run a pizza restaurant.

          Maybe I'll look into the Paypal option mentioned above, if not, they need to pay me upfront and should they cancel before contract is up, I'll prorate them or something.

          Thank you everyone, but if there is anything else none of us thought about, yet, please add your comment.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[88665].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author ctutt
            Seems pretty unamous to me. Think! It's a marginal client. No matter how much you would like to help them, if they can't or won't comply with your VERY LOW FEE requirements, then you MUST write them off as clients. As simple as that!
            Charles Tutt
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[88794].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author jjpmarketing
              As a consultant this is where you need to show them some tough customer love. Educate them why their options are limited for $20 per month. Let them know how much average merchant accounts cost, and how beneficial having a Paypal account in addition to email is.

              In fact if they are worried about spam, most free email accounts like Hotmail, Yahoo, etc. will allow you setup the filtering so that they will only receive email from people in their address book. If they don't use email that much this is their best option.

              That way it guarantees you get your money every month, and it doesn't pose an additional headache for you as a consultant. Also educate them on how having email with an autoresponder service could increase their business by automatically sending out coupons to customers on that list... much like Pizza Hut, Papa John's, etc. do.

              If they are old fashioned... and reluctant to add technology to their business then you need to have a firm hand and guide them where they need to be. Not only will this make you look like a better consultant, because you are providing them what they need... and not just what they want... and you aren't a yes man.

              You have to know when to say no to your customers.
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[88816].message }}
              • Profile picture of the author Chris Lockwood
                They want a website but won't use email? This is the dumbest thing I've heard of in a long time.
                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[96211].message }}
                • Profile picture of the author jjpmarketing
                  Originally Posted by Chris Lockwood View Post

                  They want a website but won't use email? This is the dumbest thing I've heard of in a long time.
                  Not really. Some businesses still just want a web 1.0 site to function as their business card on the web. It will simply list an about us, services, contact info (usually just the address and phone number... maybe a fax number), etc.

                  But yeah it is kinda dumb in this web 2.x world.

                  People are getting to the point of wanting email, phone, and chat support.
                  {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[96221].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Keith Boisvert
        I agree with Jeff. I have clients that pay me monthly and do not want to use paypal or any form of online payment.

        I, however do have a checking account. They pay me a month in advance for services(hosting/autoresponder).

        If all you are harnessing is $20 a month and they don't even want email...and you don't want aggrevation...collect money a year in or bank check so you can just cash it anywhere.

        Mark you calendar and touch base with them in eleven months with a letter which is also an invoice...for another year.


        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[88658].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Chris Lockwood
    Dennis, email is much older than the web, even Web 1.0.

    People were using email in the 80s, long before the web existed.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[96244].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author jjpmarketing
      That may be so... but still yet most small businesses that are brick and mortar don't use email. Reason being... a lot of small businesses have little use for email... at least in their eyes. They only want to be contacted by phone. They don't understand the importance of email marketing to potential clients. A lot of IT Consultants are also uneducated in the effect an email marketing campaign can have on a business... especially the ones performing work on these businesses computers. They only care about their computers... and not about their marketing.

      You would not believe the number of small businesses that don't even have a server. A lot of these companies are still doing peer to peer networks if they have a network at all. They don't want to invest the time or money required for a server. And this doesn't necessarily have to be a cash strapped company either. Some very successful companies just don't see the need for a server even when it is put in plain english for them.

      Although email is a different story... it is all the same. Some people just don't want to deal with technology. It can be something as minor as email or as major as a server. They prefer to keep things simple.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[97571].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author JeffH
        I'm not sure how cheques by fax work, but check out this:

        Collecting Recurring Payments (how about a membership site?)

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[97623].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Shane Hale
          I would pitch him on partnering you in for a percentage of online sales you check email or charge him more for a upsale email admin type of thing. If not cc machine brick and mortar would suffice.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[97631].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Takuya Hikichi
            Thanks everyone,

            I'll figure something out and I knew I was going to be told go get them email account or not worth the money to get involved (not in for the money), but I just want to help these people out.

            They're old school, mom & pop, slow pizza restaurant just happy that their first customers walked in with their downloable PDF coupon I set it up (IM effect?) But for now, they're dealing with a customer like me who can't spell "Customer" in subject line correctly.

            Soon they'll be talking "Scarcity Tactic", "Social Proof", "Back-end", "Launch" and WSO of course.
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[97641].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author tommygadget
    I am tempted to say get an email address for him. Send PayPal invoices to that email. Use his CC number and pay them. Otherwise, give him the boot.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[97646].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author George Wright

    Charge them $600 instead of $240 and take it out in Pizza and Beverage. They will be glad to do it because they pay less than $240 for $600 worth of pizza and drink.

    Now you can do one of three things (maybe you can think of more)

    Treat all of your friends to a BIG pizza party and when they ask what you did to have such a great party you explain the joys of Internet Marketing to them. Have some How To CDs ready for them at a discount of course.


    Never worry where your next meal is coming from because when you need to grab a bite, money or shopping time or prep time will not be an issue. And if they have other things on the menu like chicken and salad so much the better. If they deliver, now you can stay at your Internet Business while they prepare and bring you your food. (Can you imagine the great picture for your site, Pizza boxes stacked to the ceiling with the headline. Who Else Wants to Make Millions While You Eat $600 worth of "free" Pizza in Your _________ (insert the appropriate attire for your target market, i.e. Pajamas/Sweats etc.)

    And 3... Drum Roll Please ......

    Use a portion of their facility for an Internet seminar and have locals sign up for your (what ever you have for them to sign up for)

    Bonus Suggestion

    give a Warrior Party and invite Vegas Vince. He will draw in more Warriors from all over the place. Of course that will cost more than $600 but I think Vince will throw down the short fall. If not I understand Kevin Riley and perhaps Michael Tracey can work it off in the Kitchen.

    George Wright P.S. OK I went a little overboard but I mean it about the food, did you see my post, "$200 worth of dead chickens?"
    "The first chapter sells the book; the last chapter sells the next book." Mickey Spillane
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[97678].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Takuya Hikichi
      Funny George, thanks, I'll show them this thread, if they know how to click on links.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[97690].message }}

Trending Topics