Just Need To Get This Off My Chest...

57 replies
Ok, I know this is a forum, not a blog, and if I probably shouldn't be b*tc*ing about things here...but God, I just can't help it...

See, the other day, someone from the forum actually contacted me and asked me to help with his product launch...

He had this product(Which I believe and know will sell) that he wanted to put up for sale on Clickbank, but he didn't know where to begin in terms of creation, marketing and launch.

Naturally, after I had done my pre-requisite checks, I told him that I would help him... for a fee and percentage profit-sharing of course...

After a couple of 2 hour long Skype calls in which I pretty much laid out the entire creation/launch/marketing blueprint for him, he agreed to go ahead and so I gave him 2 options for payment wise:

1) $3000 and 10% residual profit-sharing
2) $5,000 and 5% residual profit-sharing.

He chose to go with Option 1, but negotiated for $2,000 upfront instead, which I agreed simply because I saw the potential in his product. Hey, I went all way out and even offered to be the affiliate manager for the affiliate program as well.

Just so you know, the $2,000 is meant to go direct into my pocket. The set-up costs of his product inclusive of web-design, etc etc were projected at a maximum of $1,200 which is not inclusive inside the $2K upfront.

This fella agreed and told me that he would wire $1,500 first and the balance $500 as the launch process was smoothly underway. Fair enough I told him.

I sent him my bank details for the wiring, but to my horror, 2 days later, he sent me an email.

Basically the email stated that YES, he is very interested in launching the product, YES he will engage my services for sure, BUT he told me he could not afford to wire the initial agreed $1,500.

WTF!!!!!!!

Ok fine, granted that not everyone has $1,500 to spare to launch a product, but hey, you don't promise someone and then fail to deliver on that promise later. I mean, he should have at least checked his figures first right???

Anyway, moral of the story(imo), is that if you are a Product Launch Manager/Affiliate Manager like me, you might wanna think of charging even for Skype consultancy.

I suspect that there are tons of people like this guy, who just wants free advice and a thorough plan for himself. Despicable if you ask me...

Product Launch Management and Affiliate Management are a decent, honest-to-God business, and managers shouldn't be taken for a joyride like that.

You have been warned...so protect yourselves!!!

Hope this helps to warn all present and future launch/affiliate managers. Good Luck!

Regards
Lazy Bryan
#chest
  • Profile picture of the author petevamp
    Thats just nuts maybe you should have offered him another offer from the start. Something like you get 100% for x sales then the 5-10% after that. Then atleast he gets the product launched and you get all of your investment back out of the whole ordeal.
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  • Profile picture of the author nzsandy
    That is crazy. You would think that this guy was trying to also build up a reputation. This won't do him any favours. If he couldn't afford it, he should have had the decency to be upfront and say so from the start and you could maybe have worked out another arrangement with him.
    It amazes me how some people can do things like this and still sleep at night.

    Sandy
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  • Profile picture of the author GuerrillaIM
    Boiled down, you had a 2 hour sales call with a guy, he said he would buy, but didn't.

    What I find funny is the fact that just because this guy didn't buy something that he was not contractually obliged to, everyone thinks he should have trouble sleeping at night?

    Who is the risk on in this venture? Your customer! Even if your launch totally bombs you would still make your fee.

    If I were you I would stop blaming the customer and look at how I could improve my lead qualification and sales process. Just because you give someone some "free" advice, doesn't mean they are indebted to you and "owe" you the business.

    Sorry to be blunt but it sounds like you are new to sales in general, or you would not be horrorfied by someone not buying from you.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mister Bryan
      Originally Posted by GuerrillaIM View Post

      Boiled down, you had a 2 hour sales call with a guy, he said he would buy, but didn't.

      What I find funny is the fact that just because this guy didn't buy something that he was not contractually obliged to, everyone thinks he should have trouble sleeping at night?

      Who is the risk on in this venture? Your customer! Even if your launch totally bombs you would still make your fee.

      If I were you I would stop blaming the customer and look at how I could improve my lead qualification and sales process. Just because you give someone some "free" advice, doesn't mean they are indebted to you and "owe" you the business.

      Sorry to be blunt but it sounds like you are new to sales in general, or you would not be horrorfied by someone not buying from you.
      Ok, granted that he was not contractually binded by some legal documents/contracts to engage my launch and affiliate management services, he still should not have given the go-ahead and promised to release funds when he didn't have the funds in the first place.

      The bottom-line is: never promise what you can't deliver. First rule in any sales. and just so you know, I'm not new to sales. I've been in the IM industry for close to 5 years now, and while $1,500 can be made in 2 weeks with my niche businesses, it is still money and promises are still promises, and they are meant to be kept.

      Regards
      Lazy Bryan
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      • Profile picture of the author GuerrillaIM
        Originally Posted by Lazy Bryan View Post

        Ok, granted that he was not contractually binded by some legal documents/contracts to engage my launch and affiliate management services, he still should not have given the go-ahead and promised to release funds when he didn't have the funds in the first place.

        The bottom-line is: never promise what you can't deliver. First rule in any sales. and just so you know, I'm not new to sales. I've been in the IM industry for close to 5 years now, and while $1,500 can be made in 2 weeks with my niche businesses, it is still money and promises are still promises, and they are meant to be kept.

        Regards
        Lazy Bryan
        Selling products via IM is not the same as selling something one on one with someone. I am a bit confused by your post to be honest. It sounds like you offered him a fee to launch his product. You have not launched his product, so as far as I can see you have only lost out on the time it took to arrange the agreement.

        When I said you sound new to sales, I did not mean the IM business, I meant dealing with selling something on a one to one basis. It would be an ideal world if every time you had the opportunity to pitch someone they bought, but in sales you have to write off a certain amount of time working out agreements that fall by the wayside.

        There are loads of reasons why people say yes and then don't go ahead. Yes, one is that he was a freebie seeker, but another is that he just did not see enough value to part with his cash and saw the "I have no money" excuse as an easy way out without having to give his real motive.

        When I was running a team of sales people, I always got them to respond to "I have no money" with "Is it just the money?". This continued negotiations, and 9 times out of 10 it wasn't just the money that was the problem, and if it was, there is always ways to raise finance for someone

        I know a lot of people will disagree, but $1500 is not a lot of money to lay hands on if your truly believe something will make you a return. So the question I would ask myself is why isn't he moving heaven and earth to get this money? What part of the deal sounds risky to him?

        I wonder if you offered to reverse the risk would he close, i.e. "If you don't make back at least my fee then I will give you a 100% refund". Would you offer this, if not, why not?

        If there is risk on this guy and money is tight, how can you blame him for being cautious with his cash?
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        • Profile picture of the author theverysmartguy
          Originally Posted by GuerrillaIM View Post


          I wonder if you offered to reverse the risk would he close, i.e. "If you don't make back at least my fee then I will give you a 100% refund". Would you offer this, if not, why not?
          That is the same as setting up a website for someone, doing all the SEO that you can do to get good ranks, and then guaranteeing sales, and if you don't recoup said amount then you get your money back.

          His service from what I understand is payment for the amount of time in setting it all up and getting the product launch running. He said nothing about guaranteeing sales. Which is the same type of service if you were building someone a website, and then getting the ranks for it as well.

          Anyways, that is just my thought on it.

          -- Jeff
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        • Profile picture of the author theemperor
          Originally Posted by GuerrillaIM View Post

          I wonder if you offered to reverse the risk would he close, i.e. "If you don't make back at least my fee then I will give you a 100% refund". Would you offer this, if not, why not?

          If there is risk on this guy and money is tight, how can you blame him for being cautious with his cash?
          I agree with this - I read the OP and in the back of my mind I was thinking "is this a service I could buy" "should I PM this guy because I might want help with a launch"

          Then I saw the price tag! Jeez!

          On one hand, I agree, it isn't a lot of money if you get it back in 30 days time or whatever from the launch.

          However I would have to really know that the person selling me this can launch a product with the ease that a chef can boil and egg, and not only that - that this person can teach me, a newbie to do it.

          If you are a good sales person maybe he wanted to buy then spoke to his wife or whatever and was convinced out of it.

          I'm no salesman but I agree it is good to find out why, ask more questions, or even just give him a free ebook to get him started with your name all over it so he might come back.

          The other aspect is he offered a good product for you to launch, with 10% revenue on the table. You expect him to believe in you and part with $3000. You say you believe in him, but if that is the case how come you didn't do it for free and 30% say. If you knew the product was good and would sell this seems sensible to me.
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          • Profile picture of the author NewbiesDiary
            Originally Posted by theemperor View Post

            I agree with this - I read the OP and in the back of my mind I was thinking "is this a service I could buy" "should I PM this guy because I might want help with a launch"

            Then I saw the price tag! Jeez!

            On one hand, I agree, it isn't a lot of money if you get it back in 30 days time or whatever from the launch.

            However I would have to really know that the person selling me this can launch a product with the ease that a chef can boil and egg, and not only that - that this person can teach me, a newbie to do it.

            The other aspect is he offered a good product for you to launch, with 10% revenue on the table. You expect him to believe in you and part with $3000. You say you believe in him, but if that is the case how come you didn't do it for free and 30% say. If you knew the product was good and would sell this seems sensible to me.
            Totally agree

            I gotta say that I'd be concerned with a product launch manager that says he can make $1500 in 2 weeks. I would expect (at $5k upfront) that my launch or affiliate manager is able to do that in much less time - at least one week, but pref still less.

            Someone approached me recently to help them setup a membership site in an offline niche that should really go beserk! It's a damned fantastic idea. I said I'll do the website site and share marketing ideas and they'll bring their experience in the market - plus will pay for the setup costs. I'm not charging them an upfront as I'll get 50% of the profits.
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      • Profile picture of the author ryan_acidhedz
        Originally Posted by Lazy Bryan View Post

        Ok, granted that he was not contractually binded by some legal documents/contracts to engage my launch and affiliate management services, he still should not have given the go-ahead and promised to release funds when he didn't have the funds in the first place.

        The bottom-line is: never promise what you can't deliver. First rule in any sales. and just so you know, I'm not new to sales. I've been in the IM industry for close to 5 years now, and while $1,500 can be made in 2 weeks with my niche businesses, it is still money and promises are still promises, and they are meant to be kept.

        Regards
        Lazy Bryan
        I would have to agree. Going through the phone calls is one thing, but saying you will pay for someones services, then coping out is foul play.

        If he couldn't pay he should have either said so, or kept on negotiating in order to get a deal set down that he could afford.
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        • Profile picture of the author NicheMayhem
          For me as a soon to be prospective customer of this exact thing, an analogy comes to mind...

          Say I walked into a car dealership interested in leasing a truck to haul my "business stuff" around while I was on a business trip around the area selling my "business stuff" for the next 6 weeks. The truck had all kinds of fancy shelves and places to hang my signs, other trucks which would advertise my signs around the areas I hadn't been to yet, and maybe even a big disco ball which extends out the side to attract customers over to bask in disco fever.

          The salesman lays out the details in front of me which requires x amount of dollars up front and then x amount of commissions each week based on the amount of sales I was making selling my "business stuff"....then across the street I see a sign go up in front of another dealership saying "hey, we got the same truck, we'll go with ya on the trip and not only that pay us nothing up front but give us more in sales, the more you make the more we make, what ya think disco stew?"

          I'd get the hell up, walk across the street and say "howdy fella, let's talk"

          Now if the other salesman followed me over there and said "hey prick, I spent all that time telling you bout our truck and this is how you repay me?" ...I'd smack him and never go back there again, I might even go as far as to recommend to all my friends to not go there as well. In sales you take the good with the bad and make sure your the best deal on the market, or else. Isn't it that simple?

          After pondering a few things, although I previously agreed that I would rather pay out a little more up front and keep more of the profits for MY product on the back-end, just as MR. CDarklock pointed out. Having a manager who was receiving higher commish instead of more cash at the getty-up would should and certainly could translate into many more copies of my product being sold, just as a motivational factor.

          So, it all comes down to that pitch being as good as it can be since I can just as easily walk away too and go across the street. BUT...as a prospective customer should I feel bad for the original salesman? I think not, that's just life. If you provide a service, I would think me as the customer of that service should be more important then the time or hassle you may have to go through to win my business. Even if your truck has less miles and a disco ball...there might be a truck available across the street with even LESS miles and TWO disco balls...ever think of that?

          While you got them right there and ready, you believe in the product, you have used your expertise and experience to formulate how much potential the product has, I would think you might go ahead and bend over backwards to make it worth your while instead of dismissing any possibility at all because your terms weren't met.
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  • Profile picture of the author nzsandy
    That is what I was meaning. The person in question either has no morals/ethics or just plain doesn't care. Whether or not the OP is new to sales is irrelevant. We all expect people not to buy, but to commit like this and then pull out is not the same as not buying.

    Sandy
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    • Profile picture of the author Mister Bryan
      Originally Posted by nzsandy View Post

      That is what I was meaning. The person in question either has no morals/ethics or just plain doesn't care. Whether or not the OP is new to sales is irrelevant. We all expect people not to buy, but to commit like this and then pull out is not the same as not buying.

      Sandy
      Sandy,

      You are such a dear! Thank you for supporting my case.Really appreciate it lots.

      Regards
      Bryan
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      • Profile picture of the author Jason Moffatt
        You'll most likely find that you'll close better deals and have much more quality clients if you do start charging for those consultations.

        I've gotten so many emails from people asking... "Can I pick your brain for a little bit"?

        My reply is almost always... "Sure, for $500 an hour".

        It weeds out the non serious people right away. And the folks who are serious seldom balk at the fee because they know what they are getting in return. Those are the kind of people you want to work with in my opinion.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mister Bryan
          Originally Posted by Jason Moffatt View Post

          You'll most likely find that you'll close better deals and have much more quality clients if you do start charging for those consultations.

          I've gotten so many emails from people asking... "Can I pick your brain for a little bit"?

          My reply is almost always... "Sure, for $500 an hour".

          It weeds out the non serious people right away. And the folks who are serious seldom balk at the fee because they know what they are getting in return. Those are the kind of people you want to work with in my opinion.
          Hey Jason,

          You know what? You are absolutely right on this. But as with most businesses, we gotta start small. And that's what I'm doing with my product launch management business. When I get more referrals, more glowing recommendations and become a sough-after product launch manager, I'll then have the ability to command higher prices.

          Thanks for the tip anyway! You just gave me another product idea.

          Regards
          Lazy Bryan

          Originally Posted by GuerrillaIM View Post

          Maybe I misunderstood this. Did he agree to pay you $1500 + 10% comm for a 2 hour skype call?
          The few 2hour Skype calls were a consultation, where he brought his product to me and I formed a creation/marketing and launch blueprint customized for him. I even told him to add more to the product to so that we can charge higher prices for it. I gave him one hell lot of tips as to how to improve product quality etc etc. Essentially, I gave away my brain.

          After 3 Skype calls, and after I made the offer, we agreed upon $1500 and 10% residual sales.

          The $1500 are my fees for being the anchor man and seeing the launch from birth to completion as well as being his affiliate manager. I will be organizing everything and making sure everything runs well and smooth and most importantly, that my client is satisfied.

          Regards
          Lazy Bryan

          Originally Posted by theverysmartguy View Post

          That is the same as setting up a website for someone, doing all the SEO that you can do to get good ranks, and then guaranteeing sales, and if you don't recoup said amount then you get your money back.

          His service from what I understand is payment for the amount of time in setting it all up and getting the product launch running. He said nothing about guaranteeing sales. Which is the same type of service if you were building someone a website, and then getting the ranks for it as well.

          Anyways, that is just my thought on it.

          -- Jeff
          Hey Jeff,

          You are spot on! However, one thing about this product launch business is that when you as the product launch manager has a percentage profit sharing scheme in the product, you'll obviously want to do a helluva good job. Why jeopardise your own additional income stream?

          Of course, I would NOT tell him that sales are guaranteed. Nothing of such is possible. We could have the best-est product set up, complete with sales and product flow, web-design etc etc, but when it comes to marketing, if the client refuses to part with money for stuff like PPC etc, what can I as the Product Launch Manager do? Nothing.

          Regards
          Lazy Bryan
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        • Profile picture of the author Scott Ames
          Originally Posted by Jason Moffatt View Post

          I've gotten so many emails from people asking... "Can I pick your brain for a little bit"?

          My reply is almost always... "Sure, for $500 an hour".

          I would have to charge $500 for the first 5 minutes since my brain would be empty by that point.
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          Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. -Winston Churchill

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  • Profile picture of the author jdwfg4
    It seems like people have just gotten scammier lately, maybe due to the economy. I've had quite a few situations like this or much worse. Now, I usually ask for references from reliable sources, ad networks, affiliate networks, etc and make sure to get a specific contract in place no matter how trustworthy the person seems.
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  • Profile picture of the author GuerrillaIM
    Maybe I misunderstood this. Did he agree to pay you $1500 + 10% comm for a 2 hour skype call?
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  • Profile picture of the author bryce
    Okay so the OP says he is starting small, and in an earlier post he mentions that his original quote to the customer was $5,000 and 5% or $3,000 and 10%. I am wondering if this is actually "small" and how many hours would be spent on the project to earn the $5,000?

    Bottom line is that no formal agreement was in place, although some would argue that a verbal contract was formed. This is always very difficult to prove when State or International boundaries are involved.

    And just to add my 2 cents about anyone charging a rate of $500 an hour to "pick their brains" - no matter how big they are, that would never happen! There is no fast lane to internet wealth, and if the self-proclaimed gurus are earning that sort of money, then anyone can do it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mister Bryan
      Originally Posted by bryce View Post

      Okay so the OP says he is starting small, and in an earlier post he mentions that his original quote to the customer was $5,000 and 5% or $3,000 and 10%. I am wondering if this is actually "small" and how many hours would be spent on the project to earn the $5,000?

      Bottom line is that no formal agreement was in place, although some would argue that a verbal contract was formed. This is always very difficult to prove when State or International boundaries are involved.

      And just to add my 2 cents about anyone charging a rate of $500 an hour to "pick their brains" - no matter how big they are, that would never happen! There is no fast lane to internet wealth, and if the self-proclaimed gurus are earning that sort of money, then anyone can do it.
      Having studied under famed IM'ers like Frank Kern, John Reese, Andy Jenkins, and Jeff Walker, I think $3,000 or even $5,000 for that matter is a pretty reasonable price. I've seen fellow graduates of Jeff Walker's Product Launch Manager training charge upfront prices in the range of tens of thousands.

      Alot also depends on the type of product that is being launched, or at least for me, if based on my experience, the product in question has the potential to gross very highly in sales, I'll lower the upfront and make up for it in the profit-sharing scheme.

      I'm NOT planning to sue the dude who did this. I just want to warn all future/current product launch managers to be wary.

      Regards
      Lazy Bryan
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      • Profile picture of the author bryce
        Originally Posted by Lazy Bryan View Post

        Having studied under famed IM'ers like Frank Kern, John Reese, Andy Jenkins, and Jeff Walker, I think $3,000 or even $5,000 for that matter is a pretty reasonable price. I've seen fellow graduates of Jeff Walker's Product Launch Manager training charge upfront prices in the range of tens of thousands.
        Well again all I can say is that to me (as a customer) it would not matter who you had trained under. What I would want an assurance of is that whatever I spent with you, I was going to get back, at least. I mean, these rates are phenomenal and I would not simply take your word for it, that you could create a successful launch. As far as others charging tens of thousands of dollars, "charging and getting are two entirely different things"

        Let me ask you this! If I were to spend $5,000 and give you an entitlement of 5% of gross sales, what guarantee do I have? You see, when I pay my lawyer $360 an hour, he is using every trick in his book to make sure that I am completely protected, and he also itemizes his invoice. What items does $5,000 cover, and at what individual rate?

        Even the $2,000 that you finally agreed on with this customer - why would he need to spend the $2,000 with you, with no recourse, and if their were recourse on what grounds could he take it? Do you "product launch managers" have measuring sticks as to what you will and will not achieve for the customer?
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Let me guess ... I'll bet it was the forex guy who first contacted me my email and asked me to help him launch his new forex product ... I declined. He then created no less than 4 Warrior Forum profiles and got all his threads deleted and finally banned.

    I had a bad feeling about this guy just from my initial email contact with him and it grew after seeing his posts and threads before deletion.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mister Bryan
      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      Let me guess ... I'll bet it was the forex guy who first contacted me my email and asked me to help him launch his new forex product ... I declined. He then created no less than 4 Warrior Forum profiles and got all his threads deleted and finally banned.

      I had a bad feeling about this guy just from my initial email contact with him and it grew after seeing his posts and threads before deletion.

      You're damn right!
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve_gts
      Can I help you put this all into perspective, in relation to sales in all (or most) other service based industries, in which I have been involved for about 15 years.

      My main business is software sales, with a typical solution price of about £8k, this includes software, consultancy services, support etc, here is a typical breakdown of what it takes to close a sale.

      1. We spend about £1k per month on advertising to generate the enquiries - bear in mind that this enquiry fell in your lap anyway.

      2. I spend time qualifying the enquiries by phone to asses their likelyhood to buy and identify needs.

      3. An online demonstration, this usually takes about an hour.

      4. A face to face meeting and demonstration, this can be all day as I could have up to 4 hours travel each way. Plus for the larger systems I have to spend time preparing appropriate data to demonstrate.

      5. I prepare and submit a proposal. In some cases I know they are looking at 3 different systems, so throughout this process my chances of winning the deal could only be 1 in 3.

      6. SOMETIMES they buy! to be precise, on average about 40% place an order.

      Under no circumstances do I consider it a done deal before I have a signed order and deposit cheque in my hand, neither are they under any obligation whatsoever until they have signed and returned that order.

      Perhaps you have been exceptionally lucky up to now, but you need to appreciate that selling services can take a fair chunk of your time. The only way this can be recouped is to build it in to your pricing.

      I'm NOT planning to sue the dude who did this.
      That's because you have no grounds to sue!

      I must admit, if I were him, I would not have agreed to any up front payment, it would have to be based on returns, with just actual (not labour) overhead costs paid for as you went along. If you can do what you think you can, that should not be a problem as you will easily get the return on the time you invested, and probably been able to push for a better deal on that basis.
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  • Now you must feel good my friend, we all know this is part of the business and we're thankful that you share your experience.
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  • Hi Bryan --

    From my experience, that is just part of doing business. I have had (what I thought were clients) -- and discuss for a period of time, and nothing came of it. Then I've had other people where we've developed quite a good relationship.

    And no, you probably should not charge for the fee -- but -- you can definitely reduce the amount of time you are willing to talk, and then say that after that you need to charge. Basically the same way a lawyer works -- 30 minutes free, after that it is charged.

    If you charge up front, you won't get a chance to talk to prospects because they don't know you.

    Also -- for this specific example -- you have to remember -- he has no clue who you are. The 'deal' you arranged with him puts 0% risk on your end, and 100% risk on his side. You could take the $2k and run, and simply do not deliver. How does he know you are actually going to do anything of value?

    Originally Posted by Lazy Bryan View Post

    Ok, I know this is a forum, not a blog, and if I probably shouldn't be b*tc*ing about things here...but God, I just can't help it...

    See, the other day, someone from the forum actually contacted me and asked me to help with his product launch...

    He had this product(Which I believe and know will sell) that he wanted to put up for sale on Clickbank, but he didn't know where to begin in terms of creation, marketing and launch.

    Naturally, after I had done my pre-requisite checks, I told him that I would help him... for a fee and percentage profit-sharing of course...

    After a couple of 2 hour long Skype calls in which I pretty much laid out the entire creation/launch/marketing blueprint for him, he agreed to go ahead and so I gave him 2 options for payment wise:

    1) $3000 and 10% residual profit-sharing
    2) $5,000 and 5% residual profit-sharing.

    He chose to go with Option 1, but negotiated for $2,000 upfront instead, which I agreed simply because I saw the potential in his product. Hey, I went all way out and even offered to be the affiliate manager for the affiliate program as well.

    Just so you know, the $2,000 is meant to go direct into my pocket. The set-up costs of his product inclusive of web-design, etc etc were projected at a maximum of $1,200 which is not inclusive inside the $2K upfront.

    This fella agreed and told me that he would wire $1,500 first and the balance $500 as the launch process was smoothly underway. Fair enough I told him.

    I sent him my bank details for the wiring, but to my horror, 2 days later, he sent me an email.

    Basically the email stated that YES, he is very interested in launching the product, YES he will engage my services for sure, BUT he told me he could not afford to wire the initial agreed $1,500.

    WTF!!!!!!!

    Ok fine, granted that not everyone has $1,500 to spare to launch a product, but hey, you don't promise someone and then fail to deliver on that promise later. I mean, he should have at least checked his figures first right???

    Anyway, moral of the story(imo), is that if you are a Product Launch Manager/Affiliate Manager like me, you might wanna think of charging even for Skype consultancy.

    I suspect that there are tons of people like this guy, who just wants free advice and a thorough plan for himself. Despicable if you ask me...

    Product Launch Management and Affiliate Management are a decent, honest-to-God business, and managers shouldn't be taken for a joyride like that.

    You have been warned...so protect yourselves!!!

    Hope this helps to warn all present and future launch/affiliate managers. Good Luck!

    Regards
    Lazy Bryan
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    • Profile picture of the author Mister Bryan
      Originally Posted by InternetSuccess001 View Post

      Hi Bryan --

      From my experience, that is just part of doing business. I have had (what I thought were clients) -- and discuss for a period of time, and nothing came of it. Then I've had other people where we've developed quite a good relationship.

      And no, you probably should not charge for the fee -- but -- you can definitely reduce the amount of time you are willing to talk, and then say that after that you need to charge. Basically the same way a lawyer works -- 30 minutes free, after that it is charged.

      If you charge up front, you won't get a chance to talk to prospects because they don't know you.

      Also -- for this specific example -- you have to remember -- he has no clue who you are. The 'deal' you arranged with him puts 0% risk on your end, and 100% risk on his side. You could take the $2k and run, and simply do not deliver. How does he know you are actually going to do anything of value?
      Well, without trying to sound "scammy", everything on the Internet is risky. True, I could have just taken the $2K and disappeared, but launching a product of your own is a business on its own and as with any business, a certain level of risk is unavoidable.

      If he didn't trust me, then I don't see the need to throw a "smoke grenade" over my side and try to smoke me out by promising to wire money over to get the ball rolling.

      Oh well...guess it's just my luck to have met someone like that. Anyway, hope this is a lesson for other Warrior Members out there.

      Regards
      Lazy Bryan
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      • Profile picture of the author Jason Moffatt
        Hey Bryan,

        Another thing you may want to consider is to drop the "Lazy" part of your name around here. I don't know anybody that gets jazzed up to work with a lazy guy.

        Might want to give that some thought.
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        • Profile picture of the author Alan Petersen
          Hey Bryan,

          Sucks about the deal falling through but I remember that dude from his posts and you're much better off not having done business with him. It's worked out better for you!

          And I must agree with Jason. As a product launch manager, you need a more professional user name especially one that does not have "lazy" in it.

          You can open a ticket with the help desk and they'll change your user name. I would suggest using your real name especially since you're offering services.

          Right or wrong, I would write you off instantly as a PL manager or affiliate manager because I wouldn't take you serious with that handle and I would not take the time to get to know you better.

          From these posts you sound like a good guy who has been trained by the best but your user name here makes erodes that - it's a first impressions kinda thing.
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        • Profile picture of the author ozduc
          My initial thought after reading the OP was WOW!
          After 2 days you are in shock because the guy said he couldn't afford your upfront fee right now but still wanted to a)launch the product and b) still use your services and here you are torpedoing the guy.
          If your service is so great and you stated you really believe in the product, why would you not re-negotiate a deal that would be beneficial to both of you? At that point if he really didn't have the money then a bigger percentage of the gross may have actually been a better deal for you.

          I have to ask how many product launches have you actually done for clients, not for yourself? And out of those how many were a success?
          Just because you take a course from a guru it doesn't mean you can actually deliver. From what I am reading in these posts it seems like you haven't really had that much experience with consultations with clients or you would realize that not all consultations lead to sales as has been pointed out already and coming on a public forum to torpedo a potential client is not really a good way to start a consulting business.
          If I were to discuss a potential JV with someone I certainly wouldn't want the details to be made public nor would I vilify a potential client because he couldn't afford my service right now.
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        • Profile picture of the author NicheMayhem
          I find this thread to be especially interesting as I am gearing up to launch my first product very soon. As it nears completion and I am buttoning up the final details I have been pondering the prospect of contacting a reputable marketer to aid me in creating the biggest mega super launch of all time. Originally, I was thinking I would pay an up front fee and grant this person a percentage as the sales come rolling in. After reading through this thread, I am leaning towards my own comfort and assurance by negotiating a higher percentage payout as we go rather then an up front fee. It would seem, me as the product creator, I have already invested the most time by creating the product and of course I am in it to win it by making a return on my time which was invested primarily in the product creation phase. Just because I talk to someone a few times or for a few hours does not closely compare to the weeks of research, graphic creation, brainstorming and effort that went in to creating the product.

          The profit potential for all involved, in my opinion, is more relevant to the quality of the product and resides more on the creator to have created something good rather then an experienced representative which was hired to do a specific task. Then again, there are some people who could sell canoes in the middle of the Sahara I guess, but how do I know I am speaking to the right person who will benefit my product the most? There is no way of knowing, but I would hope there would be consideration on both sides of the deal as far as time invested and what its worth to come on-board.

          In this case it seems there may be some funny business going on with the person looking to launch but to me, I think I will be leaning more towards letting the sales do the talking instead of my upfront cash in hand. After all as the creator I am the one with the right to dictate what is done with my hard work. The manager who is able to take the reins and do their best to sell my product efficiently would be more inclined to do a good job if the entirety of their compensation fell on nothing but sales being made.

          Not my intention to hijack this thread or anything but after reading through, my opinion has changed as far as the pitch which I will ultimately go with on hiring on a marketer to aid me in selling my product. No upfront fee, motivation for developing sales by establishing a written agreement and a higher percentage of each sale to be paid out sounds much better. Matter of fact, it sounds just like the Clickbank affiliate program itself, isn't product launch and management nearly the same as affiliation?
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          • Profile picture of the author ozduc
            Originally Posted by NicheMayhem View Post

            Matter of fact, it sounds just like the Clickbank affiliate program itself, isn't product launch and management nearly the same as affiliation?
            Not at all. A good product launch manager will be responsible for actually getting you a bunch of good affiliates on board prior to your launch, plus a whole lot more.
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          • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
            Originally Posted by NicheMayhem View Post

            Matter of fact, it sounds just like the Clickbank affiliate program itself, isn't product launch and management nearly the same as affiliation?
            The great unspoken secret: simply putting your product on clickbank will not bring you hundreds/thousands of affiliates eager to sell for you
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          • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
            Originally Posted by NicheMayhem View Post

            After reading through this thread, I am leaning towards my own comfort and assurance by negotiating a higher percentage payout as we go rather then an up front fee.
            If you believe in a product, you expect it to sell a whole lot of copies.

            If you operate a business for profit, you argue for the option that will make you the most money.

            So as a potential JV partner, I definitely want a higher back-end payout.

            But as the product creator, YOU should want to give me a higher up-front payment.

            Imagine that your product will sell 500 copies at $100. That's $50,000. You should prefer a $5,000 up-front payment with 5% on the back end ($7,500) over a $3,000 payment with 10% on the back end ($8,000). In fact, you should prefer a $10,000 up-front payment with NO back end.

            Because imagine that I can sell 1,500 copies of your product instead of 500. Now we're looking at $5,000 + 5% = $12,500 or $3,000 + 10% = $18,000. (And you're definitely better off with the $10,000 up-front payment.) Now, if I thoroughly believe I can do this, I'd really rather just have a straight 15% on the back end.

            So let's do a little math here.

            No JV gives you $50,000.
            JV for $10,000 leaves $90,000 for a $40,000 profit.
            JV for $5,000 + 5% = $12,500 leaving $87,500 for a $37,500 profit.
            JV for $3,000 + 10% = $18,000 leaving $82,000 for a $32,000 profit.
            JV for 15% = $22,500 leaving $77,500 for a $27,500 profit.

            The question on your end needs to be whether you're going to throw away $27,500 because you can't have $40,000.

            The question on mine is whether I'll throw away $10,000 because I can't have $22,500.

            Both of us are looking at a basic decision of who gets that $12,500. And when you come right down to it, you've got a lot more invested in this than I do. You've spent weeks on product creation, and I can triple the impact of your product. If you don't JV with me, someone else will, or I'll release my own product. I'm not attached to your product or its outcome.

            So it's a lot easier for me - or any potential JV partner - to just walk away.
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            • Profile picture of the author NicheMayhem
              Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

              If you believe in a product, you expect it to sell a whole lot of copies.

              If you operate a business for profit, you argue for the option that will make you the most money.

              So as a potential JV partner, I definitely want a higher back-end payout.

              But as the product creator, YOU should want to give me a higher up-front payment.

              Imagine that your product will sell 500 copies at $100. That's $50,000. You should prefer a $5,000 up-front payment with 5% on the back end ($7,500) over a $3,000 payment with 10% on the back end ($8,000). In fact, you should prefer a $10,000 up-front payment with NO back end.

              Because imagine that I can sell 1,500 copies of your product instead of 500. Now we're looking at $5,000 + 5% = $12,500 or $3,000 + 10% = $18,000. (And you're definitely better off with the $10,000 up-front payment.) Now, if I thoroughly believe I can do this, I'd really rather just have a straight 15% on the back end.

              So let's do a little math here.

              No JV gives you $50,000.
              JV for $10,000 leaves $90,000 for a $40,000 profit.
              JV for $5,000 + 5% = $12,500 leaving $87,500 for a $37,500 profit.
              JV for $3,000 + 10% = $18,000 leaving $82,000 for a $32,000 profit.
              JV for 15% = $22,500 leaving $77,500 for a $27,500 profit.

              The question on your end needs to be whether you're going to throw away $27,500 because you can't have $40,000.

              The question on mine is whether I'll throw away $10,000 because I can't have $22,500.

              Both of us are looking at a basic decision of who gets that $12,500. And when you come right down to it, you've got a lot more invested in this than I do. You've spent weeks on product creation, and I can triple the impact of your product. If you don't JV with me, someone else will, or I'll release my own product. I'm not attached to your product or its outcome.

              So it's a lot easier for me - or any potential JV partner - to just walk away.

              Ahhh, I am humbled by and appreciative of your response. Such brilliance on this forum, but before my nose gets all brown... You better have one helluva resume for $10k! There is a voice in my head that would literally beat me senseless with worry if I paid out that kind of money with no real guarantee of it actually working out to be as beneficial as your figures suggest. Oh wait, that's my wife's voice.

              Seriously though, I do see exactly what you are saying, to pay out up front and receive the benefits of a marketer with some pull for affiliates and what not, to come on-board with incentive rather then me receive less of the eventual net free n clear would in fact be better for my overall interests...ding. Thanks for that.
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              • Profile picture of the author Mister Bryan
                If you ever hire ANY product launch manager or affiliate manager to do the "hard work" for you, please bear this in mind:

                Just because the PLM or AM has a good track record with launching other products to a degree of considerable success doesn't mean your product will do just as well.

                Alot depends on the product that is in question. Think about it, if I had the money to burn and I hired say, Jeff Walker the man himself to do a launch for me, but the product is either some re-hashed PLR or just some other crap that I bought the resale rights to, you think that will sell?

                Just because Jeff Walker has done launches that bring in gazillion of dollars doesn't mean he can do the same for me in this case, which is why, in one of the earlier modules of PLM, he drove across the importance of choosing our clients to work with.

                Best Regards
                Lazy Bryan
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                • Profile picture of the author GuerrillaIM
                  Originally Posted by Lazy Bryan View Post

                  If you ever hire ANY product launch manager or affiliate manager to do the "hard work" for you, please bear this in mind:
                  I think your problems came from the fact he didn't hire you. You had a 2 hour discussion about what you would do if he did hire you, and then felt cheated after he changed his mind and didn't go ahead.

                  It sounds like you gave away a lot of info for free during that process. 2 hours is a long time for a sales call, so I can understand why you feel miffed. I used to sell adwords consultancy and clients always tried to get the info out of me so they could try and do it themselves. I lost a few clients at first giving away too much too soon.

                  In the pre-payment consultation period you need to identify what you will be doing, provide proof you can achieve this, and leave the "how" to after payment is received, or possibly never, depending how you work. Clients are generally interested in the benefit, and if they want to know how to do your job then that is coaching, and most people charge for that.

                  Also, if the only proof you can provide is that you were trained by a "big name" and consider this to justify your fee, then you need to re-think your pitch. That should be part of the pitch definately, but if your asking for that sort of money you need to show proof you have done this before and it has worked.

                  Whatever happens, you need to agree prices first and take deposit or written commitment before you over invest.
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                  • Profile picture of the author Mister Bryan
                    OK,

                    Let's get this straight once and for all:

                    I'm pissed for 2 reasons:

                    1) He could tell me that he was looking for a brief outline or proposal before we started talking or anything...

                    2) After the talking was done, he SHOULD NOT have agreed verbally to hire me and begin work by wiring over money, esepecially since he NEVER INTENDED to anyway.

                    From what I hear about this guy from other Warriors who had conversations with him, he's a "fraudster", so no loss really.

                    Regards
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                    • Profile picture of the author ozduc
                      Originally Posted by Lazy Bryan View Post

                      OK,

                      Let's get this straight once and for all:

                      I'm pissed for 2 reasons:

                      1) He could tell me that he was looking for a brief outline or proposal before we started talking or anything...
                      Why should he do that when you are willing to sit there and give him the farm for 2 hours for free?

                      Originally Posted by Lazy Bryan View Post

                      2) After the talking was done, he SHOULD NOT have agreed verbally to hire me and begin work by wiring over money, esepecially since he NEVER INTENDED to anyway.

                      From what I hear about this guy from other Warriors who had conversations with him, he's a "fraudster", so no loss really.

                      Regards
                      He may be a fraudster and he may not, that is not the point. If you continue to lay all the blame on him for your failure to run your business in such a way to protect yourself from people like this then how can he be to blame. You keep defending your post like you are right and he is wrong and a scammer that took you for a ride, instead of taking a step back, look at it from a learning perspective and moving on, being more careful in how you do your consultations in future and how much information you divulge prior to getting a WRITTEN contract and a deposit in hand. There have been some great suggestions so far on how to do it better but you seem to be missing those points and just focusing on the fact that you are still pissed at him for leading you on. If anything you should be pissed at yourself for allowing it to happen. get over it and learn from it. As i said in an earlier post, posting stuff like this on a public forum is not doing yourself any favors for future business as a PLM or consultant.
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                    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
                      Originally Posted by Lazy Bryan View Post

                      2) After the talking was done, he SHOULD NOT have agreed verbally to hire me and begin work by wiring over money, esepecially since he NEVER INTENDED to anyway.
                      I really want to emphasise that THIS is the huge one for me.

                      Once you say "let's do this, I'll send money" - I'm working on our project. I will turn down other work and other offers to make sure I have all the time and resources I need to work on it. I will, without hesitation, spend my own money on tools and services I need to do the job because I know you're going to pay.

                      Because once you say that, in almost all cases, you are then legally obligated to pay. And if you don't, I have all the recourse of the law at my disposal.

                      Think about that the next time you're tempted to promise someone money you don't have.
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                      • Profile picture of the author xatsmann
                        Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

                        I really want to emphasise that THIS is the huge one for me.

                        Once you say "let's do this, I'll send money" - I'm working on our project. I will turn down other work and other offers to make sure I have all the time and resources I need to work on it. I will, without hesitation, spend my own money on tools and services I need to do the job because I know you're going to pay.

                        Because once you say that, in almost all cases, you are then legally obligated to pay. And if you don't, I have all the recourse of the law at my disposal.

                        Think about that the next time you're tempted to promise someone money you don't have.
                        Couple of things...one, I have the right to leave a laptop on the dashboard of my unlocked car on a busy street and if anyone tries to take it I can call the police. Yes, we all agree I have the right, but would I do it? No, I think that would be foolish. Should I be able to and not have it stolen? Yes, the laptop is my car and it is protected by law but just because one can do something doesn't mean one should do something.

                        Two, LB didn't do ANYTHING other than make a sales proposal. And obviously what you're willing to spend will depend on your history with the customer, the level of work, etc., etc....if you have no history with the customer that you don't know very well why would you do any work? While I agree with what you're saying in theory, CDarklock, I think it needs a strong dose of specifics to go with it.
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                        • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
                          Originally Posted by xatsmann View Post

                          While I agree with what you're saying in theory, CDarklock, I think it needs a strong dose of specifics to go with it.
                          If you promise that you'll do something, I trust you to do it.

                          Is there some reason I shouldn't?
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                          "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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                          • Profile picture of the author xatsmann
                            Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

                            If you promise that you'll do something, I trust you to do it.

                            Is there some reason I shouldn't?
                            Yes. The reason is that not all people keep their promises or their word. In ideal world, they all would do exactly as promised. I don't want to be cynical but I do want to be cautious. I don't know about you, but I often can't tell the trust worthy from the untrustworthy until I get to know a customer.

                            An honest customer not only won't mind any reasonable attempts to protect your assets but they will welcome it, as a person who is careful with their own property will likely be equally careful with my property, money and time.
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                    • Profile picture of the author John Taylor
                      Bryan,

                      Originally Posted by Lazy Bryan View Post

                      OK,

                      Let's get this straight once and for all:

                      I'm pissed for 2 reasons:
                      And that is a lot of your problem. It's bad business
                      practice to make decisions when you're angry.

                      Step back, look at what happened and then figure
                      out what you can do to prevent it happening in the
                      future.

                      You're so emotionally attached to your current stance,
                      you are failing to see the great advice being offered.

                      It doesn't matter who the guy you were dealing with
                      is. What matters is what you can control...

                      • How you market yourself and your services
                      • How you attract and select potential clients
                      • How you filter out the tyre kickers and time wasters
                      • When and how you close the sale
                      • How you structure a formal agreement

                      When you have a clearly defined sales process, you'll
                      make much better decisions.

                      John
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  • Profile picture of the author Woody C
    I was just listening to Dan Kennedy's Wealth Attraction Seminar yesterday and he was talking about billing for everything...upfront.

    This does numerous things.

    It shows that you are serious about your time and information. It informs the client that your time in valuable and that you value yourself and information in a way that demands to be paid first.

    It shows you that they are serious.

    It makes the client invested rather than just hearing what you have to say. They never have to take free advice seriously, but if they have money invested, then they better follow up.

    It's not so much about taking their money and not delivering. If you know you can deliver and you know how much your time in worth, then don't be afraid to start asking for it upfront.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonl70
    It sounds like you gave away too much for free..

    heck, the guy on the receiving end got a launch laid out for him that he would have otherwise had to pay several thousand dollars to learn how to do (PLF, mass control,etc). Consultations like you described are not cheap.

    In the future, ask for the money up front before giving away the goods
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  • Profile picture of the author Sarah Harvey
    I am not going to be mean by saying this, but before any person decides to hire a manager of any sort, they may ask several questions on how you intend to bring them business. Whether he has money or not, should not be the problem. Some people will want to know what they will be getting, but won't have the money for it and others will have money and say to go ahead with the projected plan.

    As a consultant you can give 30 minutes or 1 hour of free advice that will outline the general details. You then take as much notes as possible and then say you will contact him for a proposal. At this stage you create your proposal and what he can expect and then fax/email the proposal. Once the client agrees to the proposal and sign it, you can commence with more detailed information on what he can expect.

    With a standard contract you agree to a set fee upfront and the rest to be paid on completion. Therefore you are covering yourself if the client decides not to go ahead with your services. Also make sure you get the money before giving the client all the details. If the client is reluctant to pay, all you can do is outline the benefits of working with you and then politely offer testimonials or telephone numbers of other clients you have worked with. If after all that, he still does not pay then move on and find a new client. A time waster will find all the excuses in the world to not sign an official agreement or pay a certain fee upfront.

    The contract needs to outline everything in terms of hours worked, services performed etc. Don't give them a chance to say that you promised X Y Z... you only deliver what is in writing or else you will find nightmarish clients who will pay you and then expect you to deliver the world to them for a small fee.
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  • Profile picture of the author GuerrillaIM
    I am not sticking up for this guy who let you down in any way. But this is something that you have to get used to when working as a consultant.

    If you get your leads solely by referrals then you won't get so much of this, but if you advertise, cold call, or find business through fourms, then this will not be the last time it hapens to you.

    In any product or service I have provided, there is always a certain amount of time wasters who tell you they want something but don't come up with the goods. That is just sales for you. This is where skillful lead qualification and a polished pitch can help you identify things quicker without investing too much time.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mukul Verma
      Originally Posted by GuerrillaIM View Post

      Boiled down, you had a 2 hour sales call with a guy, he said he would buy, but didn't.

      What I find funny is the fact that just because this guy didn't buy something that he was not contractually obliged to, everyone thinks he should have trouble sleeping at night?

      Who is the risk on in this venture? Your customer! Even if your launch totally bombs you would still make your fee.

      If I were you I would stop blaming the customer and look at how I could improve my lead qualification and sales process. Just because you give someone some "free" advice, doesn't mean they are indebted to you and "owe" you the business.

      Sorry to be blunt but it sounds like you are new to sales in general, or you would not be horrorfied by someone not buying from you.
      I had a presale customer call me, talk to me for 30 minutes for a $30 product, gave him GREAT support, then he went elsewhere and buy it for $20 from a place in China that only had email support which wont respond. After he called me back for support since I was soo helpful.

      I told him straight, if you were my customer I would help you all the way til you got it done. Talk to the person you got it from.


      Originally Posted by Jason Moffatt View Post

      You'll most likely find that you'll close better deals and have much more quality clients if you do start charging for those consultations.

      I've gotten so many emails from people asking... "Can I pick your brain for a little bit"?

      My reply is almost always... "Sure, for $500 an hour".

      It weeds out the non serious people right away. And the folks who are serious seldom balk at the fee because they know what they are getting in return. Those are the kind of people you want to work with in my opinion.
      This is exactly how I do it, pre-paid, except at $300 an hour. It is not worth it if you have to chase for money afterwards.

      Cheers,
      Mukul
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      • Profile picture of the author ozduc
        Originally Posted by Mukul Verma View Post

        I had a presale customer call me, talk to me for 30 minutes for a $30 product, gave him GREAT support, then he went elsewhere and buy it for $20 from a place in China that only had email support which wont respond. After he called me back for support since I was soo helpful.

        I told him straight, if you were my customer I would help you all the way til you got it done. Talk to the person you got it from.

        Mukul
        \

        Missed opportunity there, you could have said yes I will give you support my fee is $30.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mukul Verma
          Originally Posted by ozduc View Post


          Missed opportunity there, you could have said yes I will give you support my fee is $30.
          True. If I had to support every customer (or my CSR), it would not be worth having our price (as I am sure most business's). A guy who spends 30 minutes before and dish's out $30 more, would require a lot, and I mean a lot more time.

          I forgot the mention, he is like well yo are Indian and I am Indian, so I figured you would help me. I personally think thats very narrow sighted thinking in business, help anyone, give your best service to any of your customers no matter where they are from.

          Cheers,
          Mukul
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  • Profile picture of the author J Bold
    Lazy Bryan the fact is you were lazy...

    As many already said, you didn't charge up front for the skype call. Of course, it was maybe just a one off joint venture for you and you don't have consulting services set up already, or a course teaching what you were going to do. Live and learn.

    I think anyone can learn a lot from this topic. First, learn to not give away your time and valuable knowledge if you don't know the person at all. Lot of poor business practices going on in our business and people will take advantage of you if you give them the chance. Next, perhaps there's a business for you, Lazy Bryan, in doing consulting like this for big payouts, and you could set up a course or consulting practice of this kind and make even more money.
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    • Profile picture of the author danny79
      3k up-front, plus a 10% profit share. is that REALLY the standard in your line of work? sounds excessive. speaking from a customer's standpoint, i would expect you to take more of a risk. a dead giveaway for a crappy salesman, is a guy who wants a small percentage in exchange for flat-fees. it demonstrates your lack of confidence in your own ability to rake in the sales. if you were so sure of your work you'd be more concerned about your %. chances are he either figured this out on his own, or someone whispered it in his ear before he canceled on you. just my 2 cents.
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  • Profile picture of the author xatsmann
    My two cents...

    I agree completely with Steve_gts--no one owes you anything until you have a signed agreement or check for the deposit or (preferably) both. Do you expect to get paid when you reply to an RFP (request for proposal)? Those can be quite elaborate as I've asked for several in the IT field and I've never had to pay for one yet, no matter how elaborate it was.

    Don't forget that someone allowed you to present your case over two hours of THEIR time as well. Some companies actually view being able to make a sales calls as a privilege and don't start the meter running as soon as they walk in the door.

    Second, you could easily do what most repair shops do--charge a flat fee for diagnosing the problem which is waived if you choose to get the item repaired at the shop. That way they get compensated for their time and the customer gets an estimate, if you feel you must get paid for every minute of your time.

    Third, while appreciate the fact that everyone on WM is professional and trying to make an honest living, I find it annoying the way some people here think that EVERY piece of information they give out is absolutely dripping with value and thus they should be paid for sharing ANY information. While it may be easier to have it someone with experience organize and present it to you, from what I have seen, most of the information, especially for a newbie, is available from other sources.

    Your goal should be to decide if you want to work with this other person AND then decide what you think you should be paid. Your reaction makes it sound as if you'd be perfectly happing with with anyone for just about any reason, e.g. "so your product isn't that good but we can make $50000 and you'll wire $3000 to me tomorrow, great." I'm sure you didn't mean it to come off like that but that's the impression someone could easily who doesn't read your orginal post carefully.

    It also doesn't look like you made any attempt to find out why wiring the money was the problem--as Guerrilla IM said, when people say its the money, that's often not the case--maybe the customer had an objection that you failed to cover or came up later? I don't think that means he was "asking for free advice or a plan for himself" as you claim, its your job as the salesman to overcome his or her objections--its not the customers job to simply hand over the money because you made a sales pitch, even if it does take some of your time and energy, after all the prospect asked for some help and you agreed to give it. If expected to get paid for said help you should have said so then, not afterwards when the client did not agree to buy your services.

    I also think that all the people here who think they are worth hundreds of dollars an hour to answer basic questions should get a grip. That's fine if you want to say that so that you won't be bothered by people seeking advice (although I wonder how many of these people were given help and advice at no charge when they were newbies, but that's another question for another day) but don't act like just because you earn some money on the Internet and are giving out basic information you should be making hundreds of dollars an hour because some IM guru does. That's like someone working as a cook in inexpensive diner expecting to get paid the same as a chef in a five star restaurant because they both prepare meals for a living.

    Finally, I also agree with ozduc who points out that the motives of the other person are irrelevant. I agree--if what they did is wrong, its wrong if they are considered one of the most moral people on WM or its right, even if they are universally disliked on WM. This is about business not friendship--you don't have to like someone to work with them.
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  • Profile picture of the author mattlaclear
    The more people I have call and "pick my brain" the more money I make. If you're upset one got away from you then work on filling out your pipeline a bit more. I have run a full service marketing company for over a decade and a half now and have gotten really good at identifying BS artists and people without any money to invest within the first 15 seconds of a call. When I do run into them I politely funnel them to one of my free training programs (that I designed with that very purpose in mind) and end the call within 2 minutes. As a result they usually walk away thinking I'm a pretty nice guy for giving them a little of my time AND for giving them free training. Just set up some Camtasia videos and share your knowledge with them that way. That way you build your credibility up with them to the point they'll do business with you when they do find some money. Then just fill your pipeline full of prospects that initially only wanted to "pick your mind a bit". You'll be amazed at the results if you do.
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  • Profile picture of the author eaglechick
    Bottom line is - a coin always has 2 sides. Unfortunately in IM it seems to be a "freebie" world. Sometimes I get so fed-up with all the e-mails I get giving me something for "FREE". I DON'T WANT FREE STUFF! What I do want is to pay for stuff that is going to make me sales and works.

    I agree, he should have at least been honest before he committed himself to pay. Believe me, my parents was in the construction business for 30 years and unfortunately the people they went out of their way to please and help was the ones that didn't pay. There is a few honest people that will appreciate what you do for them.

    But, It would help if the "guru's" stop giving away their most valuable info for "free" and from the start any newbie (and other IM guys) think it is acceptable practice and OK to get mostly everything in IM for free.

    IM is a different ball game and as mentioned it probably would have been better to share the revenue and expenses with him.
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