Google My Business - Client Screwing Me Over, What to do?

7 replies
My business has been all about helping local businesses get more attention online and getting them clients. I usually charge around $500 a month for Roofers, Law firms, CPAs, etc. I am good at it and all my clients love what I do for them. Most of them don't know anything at all about the internet and I just do it all for them. My veterinarian offered me a barter deal to cover the cost of my dogs visits, (I have 3 dogs) if I would help him get phone calls from prospective clients, he wouldn't charge me for my vet visits. At the time he had nothing except a bad website so I fixed that, optimized it, and then set up a GMB page for him, I am the admin of it and the only one who has ever had access to it. He got one of those packaged vet websites that allows his people to buy heart worm pills and such from it so I stopped messing with the website and focused mainly on optimizing his Google My Business page, I visited and photographed them treating dogs and cats, etc.Opitimised the GMB and did a great job of it. Here's the thing, he gets no calls from the website but I do get them between 250 and 300 calls a month from the GMB that I set up and maintain!!! He's doubled his business over the last few years with all the calls. Then, he decided to get a new partner - another vet who pushed him quit doing our barter deal because she didn't seem to understand the value of all those calls coming in. I never abused my arrangement with him always thinking that in the future when my dogs get older is when my barter will help me the most. I doubt that I have cost him over $1500 in the 7 years we have done the barter. I was blindsided by him telling me one day that he didn't want to continue and blamed it on his new partner. So right now he's still getting the benefit of all my work and great optimization, updating articles, and around 300 calls a month and I get nothing. So here's my question Can I shut down the GMB page? I would like to know the best way for me to shutdown the GMB page and see if they will miss those 300 calls month I am getting him. Then maybe I can start it back when they miss all the calls I'm getting them. I guess I could just delete the page? Or what? I Need some good advice from someone who had been in my position. Someone suggested that I just change the phone number so I did an experiment and changed the number to a Line 2 account I had. About 30 mins later I got a call from Google asking to speak to the person who is the new partner. I work with Google a lot so don't want any trouble - said they had the wrong number and changed it back asap. Does anyone have any experience with something like this? Please advise me as to what I can do to stop them from reaping the benefits of my hard work? I'm assuming that if I just shut the page down, they might get a call from Google as well but not sure about that. Thanks for any help.
#business #client #google #screwing
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    Correct me if I'm wrong.

    For seven years you have had free pet care for 3 dogs by bartering with your vet and providing him with leads?

    The veterinarian no longer wants this arrangement so told you he was cancelling - and now you want to hurt his business if you can.

    That's what I'm getting here. I don't understand the 'blindsided' reference -- any barter deal can be canceled and 7 years is a long time. Unless you had a long term legal contract, he had a right to cancel the deal.

    "Someone suggested"... tells me you are talking about this or posting this in multiple places. I'd say let it go....you had a good arrangement for years and that has ended. Walk away, leave the work you have done in place...move on. Don't be petty and spiteful - it won't reflect well on you or on your own business.

    I have one dog and I KNOW I spend over $1500 in 7 years on her. You can list every thing YOU did for the vet...but don't know how much of his time you used. If you 'don't want any trouble' - be professional and let it go.
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    • Profile picture of the author mcrocken
      You're right. Thanks for the advice. I will just get a great review from him and let it go.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    Very smart move on your part. The anger is normal and human - managing it to your own benefit and coming out as a 'nice guy' is a choice you make. Good for you!
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  • Profile picture of the author savidge4
    Originally Posted by mcrocken View Post

    Please advise me as to what I can do to stop them from reaping the benefits of my hard work? I'm assuming that if I just shut the page down, they might get a call from Google as well but not sure about that. Thanks for any help.
    Just an added... you normally charge... and in this instance you bartered. What do you do with your "Paying Clients" when they say "hey we dont need you anymore" or "hey, we cant afford you any more" or "Hey we got a new partner and we are going to discontinue"

    Losing a client is a part of doing business... it happens... to some more so than others... but none the less, even I lose clients. It just is what it is.

    I know you feel as though you got the short end of the stick here... BUT it wasnt the best deal in the world - for YOU. $6000 a year for the last 7 years would have paid a whole lot of vet visits... but in trade, you undervalued what it is you are offering - and here you are feeling shafted.

    A raving review and go after another vet that understands your value and get the $500 a month.

    Think of this as a lesson in understanding your value, and the ACTUAL cost of providing your service - for less than what you are worth.

    I have been there done that, and will do it again... a lesson at times I struggle with. Seeing the short term gain and not the long term haul - and the cost associated with it.

    With a smile on your face, take the lesson and go on with life all the better from the experience!

    Hope that Helps!
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  • Profile picture of the author DABK
    McCrocken, what you say tells me you do not charge(d) enough.


    You always want to charge high enough that you think you benefit and low enough that the client think they benefit.


    But, if you're thinking that they're going to benefit for a long time from the 300 calls a month and want to stop that, you're really saying you gave waaay too much value in relation to what you received.


    You wrote that you thought the biggest benefit would come to you when the dog got older... Well, your dog is 7 years older than it was at the beginning, which, in dog years, it's a lot. So, you benefited (part of what you're not taking into account here, it seems to me, is chance. For all you and the vet knew at the beginning, your dog could have been an outlier, requiring 3 times the visits most dogs do (loss to the vet), requiring fewer (loss to you).


    Because of that, the deal is not as unfair to you as it struck you at first.


    It still does not eliminate the idea that you may have not charged enough (among other things, I am betting you did not take into account that your skills would improve significantly over the years and, therefore, your results).


    Another thing to keep in mind, when I, or anyone else, hires a marketer, I'm not looking for things that stop working the second I stop paying... Except with ads, if you only manage ads.


    You do not do that in real life, either... If you buy a car for cash, you do expect it to work after they cash your check. If you pay it off in 5 years (and it was new), you'd be pissed off it stopped working the day you got the title paperwork.


    So, when you make long-term agreements, build in a review (or an increase in pay to you... perhaps by tying things to the number of calls... as in, if year one they average 30 calls a month and year 2 they average 40 a month, year 3 they pay you x% more... There are, obviously, many variations... The point is, it should make you feel you get enough from them while making them feel they get enough from you).


    By the way, 300 calls at $500 is 1.67/call, which, if they convert only 5% of those calls into buyers, their acquisition costs are... The point is, you can get a good idea of how much value what you do gives them... You know their prices, you know the number of calls, you can guess (you could actually find out... some clients might share their numbers)... And, then, you'd have an easier time raising your prices. Maybe.
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  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    Dear Mr/Mrs Vet

    I have enjoyed our working relationship over the last several years. It has allowed me to discover several helpful techniques that are useful in getting customers for a veterinarian. Since I now have an opening for a vet in our area, it will give me a jump start on what works. Thanks again. If you need anything in the future feel free to reach out.

    (wrote that off the top of my head, but it's the idea I'm trying to convey)

    Good advice from everyone so far.

    They may decide they don't want you to work for someone else in the area
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

      Dear Mr/Mrs Vet

      I have enjoyed our working relationship over the last several years. It has allowed me to discover several helpful techniques that are useful in getting customers for a veterinarian. Since I now have an opening for a vet in our area, it will give me a jump start on what works. Thanks again. If you need anything in the future feel free to reach out.

      (wrote that off the top of my head, but it's the idea I'm trying to convey)

      Good advice from everyone so far.

      They may decide they don't want you to work for someone else in the area
      Strong idea.

      Similar; I was going to say that you should just go to a different vet, anywhere, with the results you can show them. Forget about barter. Just charge the monthly fee.

      What do you have right now? A proven service that demonstrates what you can do for vets anywhere. That's an asset you can use to sell any other vet.

      My advice is really to just get a recommendation letter from them. One that doesn't mention that it's barter, and then use that in further marketing to other vets.
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