A got a rather stingy client who dosent want to invest

23 replies
Recently a friend of a friend came to me to set up a website for her selling antiques and ebooks that she had written.

She is pretty frazzled at what she wants her business model to be at all; I mean she was pretty much all over the place, from a personal blog to *maybe* setting up an eBay store, or *maybe* using ecommerce software.

I really have no idea about her inventory because she has yet to clarify whether she just wants to get rid of some stuff she has or if she will be reselling like the SMC network.

Well, I am not knowledgable about marketing the antiques niche, but I suggested article marketing, Google Adwords, CPA networks, putting ads in the local newspapers and printing up flyers.

She says that she probably won't be able to write two articles a week and when I said that she would have to invest additional money (seperate from my fees of designing her site and scripts necessary for payment processing and fulfillment reception) into Adsense, she became upset with me, stating that what she pays me should be an all-inclusive package.

Because she never gave me any real information she wanted I quoted between $500 and $1300 to have a complete website setup ready to start making sales and an additional $60-100 a month managing adsense and submitting articles to 50+ directories. I don't think that she has any clue what ROI is or what investment means at all ...

Any advice for a stumped warrior? :confused:
#client #dosent #invest #stingy
  • Profile picture of the author George Wright
    Drop her.

    George Wright
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    "The first chapter sells the book; the last chapter sells the next book." Mickey Spillane
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    • Profile picture of the author Spinethetic
      Originally Posted by George Wright View Post

      Drop her.

      George Wright
      I've seriously considered that, but hence at the moment I am in need of money so frustratingly I must be as modest as I can and try to work with her, which usually goes against my business attitude because I really hope that future clients are not like here.

      Client relationships were so much more simpler when I was just designing websites and layouts
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      • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
        Originally Posted by Spinethetic View Post

        I've seriously considered that, but hence at the moment I am in need of money so frustratingly I must be as modest as I can and try to work with her, which usually goes against my business attitude because I really hope that future clients are not like here.

        Client relationships were so much more simpler when I was just designing websites and layouts

        Move on to another prospect anyway.

        You will kill yourself trying to work with a client who has no idea what she wants to do and no real business (no income and no turnover = no business...never be fooled into thinking otherwise).

        You may help some prospects from zero to build a business but the best prospects have a far more definite idea of what they want to acheive and usually already come from a successful business background...in other words they're not dreamers....they're experienced doers.

        Working with this client is likely to eat up weeks of time and energy that would be far better invested in getting new clients.

        I'm guessing within 20 miles of where you live there are dozens of businesses who'd be thrilled to hire you for your help in using the internet to increase their sales and profits.

        Kindest regards,
        Andrew Cavanagh
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    • Profile picture of the author MacFreddie
      Banned
      Originally Posted by George Wright View Post

      Drop her.

      George Wright

      Like George said, drop her.

      Do NOT chase business, EVAR!
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob Thayer
    As the online marketing expert, shouldn't YOU be the one telling her what she needs to do? I would consider her antiques and her ebooks as two separate businesses and approach them differently because they will likely use two completely different advertising models.

    As far as the article writing goes, why is she writing them? Shouldn't you be offering that service as well? You can always outsource it and build it into your price quote.

    The reason she was upset about the Adsense thing is probably because she wants to be able to budget accordingly for her marketing. She doesn't want some runaway costs involved. You should have included the Adwords budget in your monthly fee.

    You have to remember that most of these off-line business people are clueless as to how Internet marketing works, so of course they're going to be "frazzled" at what they want to do. They hear about blogs and think that might be what they need to do. They hear about ecommerce stores and think that might work for them. As the expert, it is on you to determine what her most likely routes to success will be. Sit down with your clients, learn as much as you possibly can about their business, then suggest a course of action that makes sense for their particular market and USP.
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  • Profile picture of the author Liz Morgan
    Scatterbrain - move on, by dropping clients you don't want to work with, you'll ultimately become more profitable, because you'll save your most valuable commodity, time.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rachel Rofe
    I've got to say move on too.

    I know you need the money but by accepting that you're just inviting other crappy clients into your life.

    John Carlton once told a story (loosely translating here) about how he REALLY needed money at one time - like, super-desperation mode. He took on a client he wasn't a huge fan of but needed the money and asked for a deposit to get started.

    The client ended up sending him less than agreed, saying something like he thought John would work harder if there was a "carrot at the end of the stick".

    John ended up ripping up the check and dumping the client and he said once he did, tons of opportunities came to him.

    That kind of stuff usually happens in my life as well - definitely not trying to get into LOA, etc, but I definitely think you attract what you accept.

    With love,
    Rachel
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  • Profile picture of the author Spinethetic
    Well, I had told her that since she dosent think she would be able to write an article or two a week, since I cannot write an article for all the money in the world I could outsource to a writer, but she was immediately concerned with the returned quality, saying that it wouldent sound like her language and that 'what would some writer know about antiques' etc ...

    I told here that it would be best to setup two different sites, an ecommerce system for antiques and then another domain comprising of different squeeze landing pages for each ebook giving out the first chapter and then running a series of followups to sell the digital format and upsell for a physical printed spiral-bound but "no i dont want to have to deal with list marketing" even after I told her it could be completely automated and she would never have to deal with it.

    I have sat down with her twice so far, and this is all I've gotten from her. I told her what would be the best way to sell her antiques and her ebooks, but yet I keep having this bad taste in my mouth.
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  • Profile picture of the author AidanKay
    The customer isn't always right. Remember that.
    Plus, you're the one who knows what they're talking about - she shoudl be listening to you.

    It's like going to a vet and telling them how to fix an animals broken leg. They're not going to listen to you, and you're the customer.

    She needs to learn her place. And realise that you know what you're talking about.

    Cheers,

    -Aidan.
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    Contact me on here to get started.
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    • Profile picture of the author Spinethetic
      Originally Posted by AidanKay View Post

      The customer isn't always right. Remember that.
      Plus, you're the one who knows what they're talking about - she shoudl be listening to you.

      It's like going to a vet and telling them how to fix an animals broken leg. They're not going to listen to you, and you're the customer.

      She needs to learn her place. And realise that you know what you're talking about.

      Cheers,

      -Aidan.
      Yes exactly.

      I may meet with her one last time and really assert what MUST BE DONE in order for 'X' 'Y' and 'Z' to happen, if she even knows what her goal is, else I'll just make her site and charge a one-time flat rate and be done!

      THank yo all for your input
      Ross Vaughn
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason_V
    Yes, you need to come up with an exact strategy of what you think she needs, why she needs it, and exactly how much it's going to cost her. Meet with her, and go over it. If she starts to object about your plans, if they're unreasonable objections, tell her the price just went up $25. The more she does this, the more the price is going to keep going up. If you lose her, oh, well. This may just get her to knock off her antics.
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    "When you do something exactly wrong, you always turn up something."
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    • Profile picture of the author chtfld
      I've been there and it's tough, especially when you need the income at the time - but in the long run, it's always worth dumping those people that give you headaches. Not only do you save time (precious, precious time), you save yourself a whole heck of a lot of stress.

      I don't know about you, but I'd rather be stressed about finding more work (something I can control), than stressed about trying to figure out how to make a problem client happy (something that's very hard to control).
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  • Profile picture of the author JonTuckerUSA
    Decide what you would do if you were in her position (i.e. it was your antique business) but you still had your expertise in internet marketing. Basically, how would you increase sales if this was your business and not hers.

    Draft a summarized marketing/business plan of how you would run this marketing campaign / business as if it were yours. Include enough detail so she can see how the pieces of the puzzle come together but not enough that she can do it on her own...even though I doubt she wants to sit down to learn web design, SEO, etc.

    If you can present a plan that (1) will work since you're an expert in marketing (2) she understands how it works and (3) shows actual results so she can see the $X,XXX in cost will get her $XX,XXX in sales, then you're more likely to close her.

    When I encounter a client that is overly concerned with cost, my final step is to show the results, I explain that this is what it's going to cost (and I'm the expensive kid on the block in most cases), and then leave the ball in their court. 75%-80% of the time, I end up getting the sale.

    Trying to "sell" someone that is thinking only about costs is pretty difficult. Get them to see the bigger picture and they'll either come around or not go anywhere in their business. You don't want to have a time-drain selling someone that isn't going to ever put adequate resources towards their biz.
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    • Profile picture of the author BrashImpact
      All i can say, George Wright said it perfectly. Heres my 2 cents, how much time, energy and resources will you use chasing to satisfy this particular client. What would happen, and what would the ROI be if you used the same resources to procure new clients. The choice is yours, i can tell you, its a losing proposition and will cost you far more revenue in the long run by trying to get her that it will be dropping her like a hot tater.

      Money loves Velocity, and money loves speed. Right now you have no velocity or speed, make some tactical adjustments to your long term strategy and go make some bank.

      Talk to some business owners TODAY, 2MOROW and the next day. Repetition is the mother of skill. Adopt the Millionaire Maverick Mindset and the profits will roll.

      Good Luck either way, no matter what you decide.
      Regards,
      Robert Nelson
      "The Maverick Motivator"
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael James
    Time to say NEXT!

    But learn a lesson about spelling out exactly is and isn't included in your packages.
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    • Profile picture of the author IdeaLady
      To quote Monty Python, "Run away!"

      I know that it can be hard to turn down what appears to be a real, live customer, but you need to get as far away from her as you can, as fast as you can. You will spend a lot of time, for very little money (if you get paid what you are owed) and neither of you will end up happy.

      At one point, when a customer was giving me fits, I hung a sign near my phone. It said:

      "Never try to teach a pig to dance. It doesn't work and it annoys the pig."

      You are trying to teach a pig to dance.
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  • Profile picture of the author thunderbird
    Been there, done that. If anyone is like that with me, I drop them like a hot potato.

    Originally Posted by Spinethetic View Post

    <snip>

    ...when I said that she would have to invest additional money (seperate from my fees of designing her site and scripts necessary for payment processing and fulfillment reception) into Adsense, she became upset with me, stating that what she pays me should be an all-inclusive package.
    <snip>
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    Project HERE.

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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Carl Kelly
    If you didn't disclose to her the complete cost of doing business upfront, then you've failed because after all, YOU are the expert selling her YOUR services, she is not. Of course, that information doesn't help you this time, but use it as a learning experience for next time.

    If you are fretting this, then refund her and move on. It will save you a lot of headaches. And remember, despite your need for cash, chasing money often ends in disaster.
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  • Profile picture of the author Spinethetic
    Update,

    After showing results of Adsense campaigns and the split-testing that I've done for a couple past clients, she gave in. I also showed her some direct mail pieces that I've designed and she decided to use direct mail as well.

    It seems to me that she is pretty d#$n controlling, in fact, it may sound bad for me to say this but I think that she may have a sort of nuerological issue that makes her think the way she does :S

    At first I was under the impression that she was trying to reel marketing knowledge from me so that she could bypass me and try to do it all herself LOL! .

    A while back I had a client actually do this; I made his entire website, all snazzy lookin and whatnot, and the whole time we were talking on phone, email and Instant messanger he was always asking me how to use Adsense and how to make forum signatures and so forth.

    Well after I completed his website and he payed me, we ceased to communicate for exactly 350 days (10 days before his domain expired), when out of the blue I get this email saying "Oh in all this time I've only made two sales etc etc ..." Come to find out he had spend about $300 over the course of the year *trying* to learn IM, hoping for "The Definitive and Comprehensive Laymen's Guide to Marketing Your Business Online in 24 hrs"

    A couple days later I recieved a PayPal deposit of $900 (my original draft fees for marketing his website) with a note attached saying "Let's do it your way, market my site!!!

    he he he, some people are just ... well ... interesting

    ~Ross
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  • Profile picture of the author ikontent
    Spinethic :

    My take on this - do you know what YOU are offering to sell, and how it relates to what she wants to buy? There may be a match, or there may not.

    Let's use cars / transport as an example.

    You can make money operating a limo service. Everything taken care of, the customer pays a premium price for peace of mind.

    You can make money renting cars by the day. Customer pays for the rental + gas, you take care of everything else.

    You can make money running a used car business. You provide the car - the customer pays for the car, the gas, the future maintenance and everything else.

    Now here's the kicker - if you try to run all these together, you won't make money. The customer looking for limo service has very different needs and expectations from someone looking for a cheap clunker. He/ she won't walk into a used car lot looking for limo service. If he / she does, you're better off pointing them at a suitable provider, rather than trying to do it.

    Back to your question. Do you offer a "full service" "get your biz online" package? Or is your offer "web design and development"? Or just " install and customize"?

    Now - does her expectation match with your offering? From what you've said, it looks like she's looking for a "turnkey do it all" whereas you're offering something like a DIY kit.

    The way I handle it with my customers - I use the car analogy, tell them what I'm offering is the equivalent of a car rental. If they want limo, it costs MUCH more - and if they want that, I point them at one of my friends who does this. He manages the client - gives me the rental contract + a fee to cover the referral; and it works better for all of us.

    OTOH - I've also had clients who realize that the cost for full service is a lot more than they want to pay, and that they're willing to get off their butts to do the after-works. In which case, I get the rental contract my way.

    Either way - this saves me time, money and headaches.


    PS : There is the occasional prospect who insists on limo service at rental prices. At that point, I drop the prospect; it just isn't worth it. Write it off as an unrealistic customer, and move on.
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    I agree with Andrew.

    I predict she will eat up 20 times the amount of effort she pays you for doing, and that time rightfully belongs to you - to go out and get other, better business.
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