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Unread 12th Oct 2011, 06:48 PM   #1
Andrew Mitchell
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How I landed my first of 6 current SMS clients.. it is possible!!
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Hey All,

I've been absent from the forum for a couple months as I have focusing on building my SMS business, which is going fairly well so far. Since july, I have landed 6 clients, three restaurants, a liquor store, a bar, and a nail salon.

I wanted to share some tips on how I got over the hump and landed my first client, which was the liquor store:

At the liquor store, I was at the cash register paying for a bottle of Malbec, and I noticed that they had a flier next to the register promoting their bi-weekly wine tasting. After paying, I asked the cashier if I could talk to the owner/manager about the wine tasting. The owner was around and had some free time to talk.

I ended having a friendly conversation making small talk for a few minutes about the wine tasting with him. Towards the end of the convo, I asked him about how he promoted the wine tastings. He told me that he basically puts up fliers in the store about a week before the tasting, and also sends out an email a few days before the tasting.

At this point, I mentioned that I have a mobile marketing biz, and gave him a brief rundown of the benefits sms marketing. Since he mentioned that he has an email list, the fact that text messages get read at a 90% clip compared to only around 5% for email really resonated with him. I offered to give him a free trial of sms services to promote the upcoming wine tasting, which was 12 days away, which he happily accepted.

When I got home, I set up a keyword for the store, and then made up about 250 business cards for the cashiers to give to customers which had the keyword and shortcode that I had made for the store on it. After about a week, all the cards were given out, and I had 53 optins. I then sent out a text blast the morning of the wine tasting.

As a result, the owner told me that he had 44 people show up for the tasting, which was about about 15 or so more than he usually gets and he was really happy. I now manage his SMS campaign, for which I charge $247.00 a month. Over the last four months, the owner has seen a steady increase in subscribers(he now has 278) and most importantly sales. I send out on average 10 texts per month, which works out to 1.5 per week. And thats how I got my first client!

Here are a few points to take away from this:

- Look for places that you visit on your daily travels throughout the week that you may have some familiarity with already. This can ease your nerves of approaching biz owners, as they may already know you.

- Businesses that have email newsletters are good to target, as you can explain huge open rate advantage that SMS has over Email

- Look for businesses that have special events, ie the wine tasting, and offer to promote it for free. I suggest giving yourself at least 10-14 days time to do this to build up a decent number of opt-ins.

I hope this helps you guys out. I know first hand that it can be nerve wrecking when you first start out to find offline clients, but once you nail that one, you get a huge confidence boost.

Cheers,

Andrew
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Unread 12th Oct 2011, 07:18 PM   #2
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Re: How I landed my first of 6 current SMS clients.. it is possible!!
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Andrew- Thanks for sharing your story with us. It's encouraging to see that this can really work. Looking forward to hearing more about your success!
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Unread 12th Oct 2011, 07:20 PM   #3
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Re: How I landed my first of 6 current SMS clients.. it is possible!!
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Thanks for sharing your story.
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Unread 12th Oct 2011, 08:34 PM   #4
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@trafficsniper and @terry- no problem. What I have found is that its not only about taking action but making a plan of action and THEN taking action. If u guys need any help with your biz hit me up and Ill do whateva I can to help you out
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Unread 12th Oct 2011, 08:44 PM   #5
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Better info than the couple of WSO's I bought this week......thanks man. Any way of getting in touch, as I'm new around here? Email?
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Unread 12th Oct 2011, 08:48 PM   #6
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Re: How I landed my first of 6 current SMS clients.. it is possible!!
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@aussieguy you can email me at protools13@gmail.com I'd be happy to help.
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Unread 12th Oct 2011, 10:38 PM   #7
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Re: How I landed my first of 6 current SMS clients.. it is possible!!
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Andrew- which SMS provider are you using?
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Unread 13th Oct 2011, 09:00 AM   #8
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Im using txt180.com
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Unread 13th Oct 2011, 09:19 AM   #9
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Re: How I landed my first of 6 current SMS clients.. it is possible!!
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Thanks for sharing. This is an inspiring story.

You worked on the relationship first. Then asked if you could help. A simple often over looked selling style.

Don't go in guns blazing with your superhero cape on. Be nice. Let them talk. offer help.

Bravo!

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Unread 13th Oct 2011, 10:18 AM   #10
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Nice strategy, making a connection with the business owner is always a good tactic for getting clients.




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Unread 13th Oct 2011, 07:52 PM   #11
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Re: How I landed my first of 6 current SMS clients.. it is possible!!
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I know it sounds cliche, but when you can just go to a business and be yourself and build up a little comfort level, it goes such a long way toward landing the client. Thanks for the kind words everyone!
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Unread 13th Oct 2011, 10:47 PM   #12
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Re: How I landed my first of 6 current SMS clients.. it is possible!!
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Originally Posted by vanilladutch13 View Post

I know it sounds cliche, but when you can just go to a business and be yourself and build up a little comfort level, it goes such a long way toward landing the client. Thanks for the kind words everyone!
Vanilla,

Congrats on doing what most won't... TAKING ACTION!!! We have been saying for years that it takes action to create results. Warriors could learn a ton from your post, keep up the work and we cant wait to hear this time next year when you have 50 clients.

To your continued success my Friend.
Regards,
Robert

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Unread 13th Oct 2011, 11:32 PM   #13
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Re: How I landed my first of 6 current SMS clients.. it is possible!!
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I love your business card approach to gaining opt-ins!!

If your potential client already has an email list, make sure they email their subscribers to encourage them to opt-in also. Supply your client with that information as soon as you have his keyword and SMS package ready. This will build a much faster list at the begining.

A QR code can be added into the email so that smart phone users can scan it and be taken straight to a mobile landing page or mobile website with much more information.

It can even take them to a opt-in form where they can enter even more information such as RSVP.

An even better way is sending out MMS text messages where you can use up to 500 text characters with an image, just an image such as a coupon, or even a short video. You would charge your client more for that service. At our text messsage service, if it cost you .04 per SMS text message, it will cost you 3 times that or .12 per MMS text message. But you will see a larger response rate.

Local Mobile Text Messages your SMS and MMS text message service provider. Our packages start at $25. Take a FREE 10 day trial. 29 tutorial videos. Bulk SMS &, MMS image and video messages, Email Marketing, IM Marketing, Social Networking, Voice Broadcasting. ALL FROM ONE PLACE!!
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Unread 14th Oct 2011, 07:30 PM   #14
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Re: How I landed my first of 6 current SMS clients.. it is possible!!
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Hey is it possible you can show me the designs you made up?
and who paid for these?
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Unread 15th Oct 2011, 01:35 AM   #15
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For the liquor store that you are charging $247/mo which package are using with txt180.com? I ask because you mention that you send an average of 10 blasts a month and if the customer has 250+ subscribers then that would at least 2500 SMS for that month not including the SMS that come in from the optins and would be way over the two packages (500 and 1000) that txt180.com offer.

Did you set the limit of how many SMS are included in the $247/mo fee that you are charging and anything over is charged at X amount per SMS? Do you use the same pricing for the restaurants and salon? Do you charge any setup fee at all?

By the way for the liquor store the SMS content that you send is to remind the people of upcoming wine tasting days twice a week correct? So that would be at least 8 SMS blast a month right? What sort of ROI is the liquor store owner getting by using your service with the $247 monthly fee? How much does he make per customer that comes to the wine tasting? I assume he is getting a good return from his $247 monthly investment.

Also for your restaurant clients what strategy are you using to get opt-ins form their customers? Are you advising the client to offer a discount on the customer's bill or a free drink to opt-in to receive weekly specials? Do you put up signs at the place or have cards on the table indicating a discount?

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Unread 15th Oct 2011, 11:10 AM   #16
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Get Chad Wyatt's SMS Plugin. You'll save so much money. It'll cost you $25 to run their service all month long. (Plus $5 for hosting, $1 for for the phone number.)

Free Web Design from Neodism.
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Unread 15th Oct 2011, 01:38 PM   #17
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Re: How I landed my first of 6 current SMS clients.. it is possible!!
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Originally Posted by mrtrance View Post

For the liquor store that you are charging $247/mo which package are using with txt180.com? I ask because you mention that you send an average of 10 blasts a month and if the customer has 250+ subscribers then that would at least 2500 SMS for that month not including the SMS that come in from the optins and would be way over the two packages (500 and 1000) that txt180.com offer.

By the way for the liquor store the SMS content that you send is to remind the people of upcoming wine tasting days twice a week correct? So that would be at least 8 SMS blast a month right? What sort of ROI is the liquor store owner getting by using your service with the $247 monthly fee? How much does he make per customer that comes to the wine tasting? I assume he is getting a good return from his $247 monthly investment.
txt180 has a 2500 message plan that costs $38/month. And the 278 optins came over a period of about 4 months. As far as the other messages, some times I only send one blast a week for them, sometimes two, so it varies but its never more than 2 per week. I currently have the 2500 plan at $38/month and then I buy 5,000 messages that dont expire which is $150.The ROI is great as the liquor store is pretty big and they actually have wholesale prices so when he sends a blast for a discount it gets a great response. The wine tastings also make him some good money as well. For this particular client since it was my first, I did not charge a setup fee, however for my new clients I do charge a $99.00 set up.
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Unread 15th Oct 2011, 03:16 PM   #18
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Re: How I landed my first of 6 current SMS clients.. it is possible!!
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This was awesome info! Which city are you doing it in?
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Unread 15th Oct 2011, 03:22 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by vanilladutch13 View Post

txt180 has a 2500 message plan that costs $38/month. And the 278 optins came over a period of about 4 months. As far as the other messages, some times I only send one blast a week for them, sometimes two, so it varies but its never more than 2 per week. I currently have the 2500 plan at $38/month and then I buy 5,000 messages that dont expire which is $150.The ROI is great as the liquor store is pretty big and they actually have wholesale prices so when he sends a blast for a discount it gets a great response. The wine tastings also make him some good money as well. For this particular client since it was my first, I did not charge a setup fee, however for my new clients I do charge a $99.00 set up.
So then for this and other clients you say that for $247/mo fee they get up to 2500 text messages correct? Do you inform them that if they go over their limit there is a overage charge per text or do you not charge them and just cover the cost with the $150 5000 text package?

With txt180.com service do you have just 1 account and for each new client you get you just get a new keyword added to the account and the shortcode will still be the same for all clients? For each new keyword do we get a new 2500 text package with it or would we need to setup a totally new account for each client...so it would $38/mo for 1st account, then 2nd client $38/mo, and so forth correct in order to get 2500 text package for each client?

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Unread 15th Oct 2011, 05:03 PM   #20
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Re: How I landed my first of 6 current SMS clients.. it is possible!!
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Originally Posted by Maddaloni View Post

This was awesome info! Which city are you doing it in?
Thanks Maddaloni, Actually im in NYC as well! I got 4 Clients in Rockland County, 1 in BK and 1 in Jersey.
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Unread 15th Oct 2011, 06:28 PM   #21
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nice! keep doing what your doing, never ventured into sms, gave me some reason to do so!
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Unread 15th Oct 2011, 06:47 PM   #22
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congrats and thanks for sharing. It sounds from your post like you are one sending out the texts on the client's behalf, is that right? Doesn't txt180 have a whitelabel setup where your clients could set up their own txt campaigns?

i'm about to get into this and looking at various options, just trying to figure out what's best.
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Unread 15th Oct 2011, 10:48 PM   #23
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Thank you, Andrew. Very good information. I especially enjoyed the tips about visiting places that you frequent. This is good advice for people that have trouble with cold calling. Keep up the great work.

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Unread 16th Oct 2011, 09:33 PM   #24
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Re: How I landed my first of 6 current SMS clients.. it is possible!!
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Hey Andrew,

Thanks for sharing your experience. I was wondering how you handle the logistics of getting the messages for your clients? Do you come up with the copy that gets sent out or do they? Do they just email you with what they want send out, or call you? Do you ask they give you a certain amount of notice?

Thanks for any advice you have!
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Unread 17th Oct 2011, 09:07 AM   #25
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Great story...thanks for the share. I have my short code and marketing materials but have been dropping the ball on the phone calls...thanks for the motivation.
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Unread 17th Oct 2011, 12:59 PM   #26
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Re: How I landed my first of 6 current SMS clients.. it is possible!!
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Originally Posted by heresteve2 View Post

Hey Andrew,

Thanks for sharing your experience. I was wondering how you handle the logistics of getting the messages for your clients? Do you come up with the copy that gets sent out or do they? Do they just email you with what they want send out, or call you? Do you ask they give you a certain amount of notice?

Thanks for any advice you have!
The owner pretty much comes up with it, however in the beginning I usually give them suggestions as to what has worked in the past. In the end, they know their business better than me, especially the numbers, so whatever discounts and promotions they want to offer is exclusively their decision. As far as the copy, its pretty straight forward, there is only so much you can say in 160 characters after all
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Unread 17th Oct 2011, 01:03 PM   #27
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Congratulation Andrew on your success very motivation. This technique is worth all the effort.

Good Job

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Unread 17th Oct 2011, 03:32 PM   #28
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Could I get your feedback on this since I'm planning on starting my SMS service and want to use txt180:

So then for this and other clients you say that for $247/mo fee they get up to 2500 text messages correct? Do you inform them that if they go over their limit there is a overage charge per text or do you not charge them and just cover the cost with the $150 5000 text package?

With txt180.com service do you have just 1 account and for each new client you get you just get a new keyword added to the account and the shortcode will still be the same for all clients? For each new keyword do we get a new 2500 text package with it or would we need to setup a totally new account for each client...so it would $38/mo for 1st account, then 2nd client $38/mo, and so forth correct in order to get 2500 text package for each client?

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Unread 17th Oct 2011, 03:45 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by mrtrance View Post

Could I get your feedback on this since I'm planning on starting my SMS service and want to use txt180:
Mrtrance, im gonna pm you
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Unread 17th Oct 2011, 04:44 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by vanilladutch13 View Post

Mrtrance, im gonna pm you
OK. Thanks.

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Unread 17th Oct 2011, 08:57 PM   #31
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Congratulations Andrew, you have already accomplished more than many in your shoes! It's tough getting past 3-4 clients!

You have hit on a great way to offer something of value, free, to get a return. Love your ideas on offering to promote a single event free. This is so much better than giving someone a free trial or free 30 days! Another twist on this idea is to offer SMS/Mobile Website services to your local Chamber of Commerce, a great way to get in front of hundreds of other business owners.

Keep up the good work, and keep us posted. Thanks.

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Unread 20th Oct 2011, 05:29 PM   #32
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Congrats Andrew. I'm curious, how did you get your other clients? Was it through cold calling? I can't imagine a nail salon is an establishment that you frequent very often (haha).

Anyways, congrats on your success!

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Unread 21st Oct 2011, 09:09 AM   #33
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I really enjoyed your very inspiring story and all the responses. Just getting started myself and positive experiences and outcomes help keep me motivated.

I wish nothing but great success for you!!!
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Unread 21st Oct 2011, 10:07 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by B and B View Post

Congrats Andrew. I'm curious, how did you get your other clients? Was it through cold calling? I can't imagine a nail salon is an establishment that you frequent very often (haha).

Anyways, congrats on your success!
Lol its actually one that my wife goes to...
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Unread 21st Oct 2011, 10:11 AM   #35
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nice share mate! congratulation for your succeed
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Unread 27th Oct 2011, 03:46 PM   #36
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this was very encouraging and informative, vanilladutch. Thank you for posting it.
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Unread 27th Oct 2011, 04:11 PM   #37
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Awesome! Good marketing ideas win, don't they? To a huge degree, it's NOT about the platform or the cost per message or per keyword... it's about the consultant. Listening to the real needs of the client and helping them to achieve that by addressing their actual neighborhood.

Truly well done!

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Unread 27th Oct 2011, 05:57 PM   #38
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Andrew, You are Da' Man!!! Great Job and thank you for sharing.

Best Regards,
Mike Allton
ASU Service, Inc.
The LAST SMS Platform You'll Ever Need! Easy Money!
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Unread 27th Oct 2011, 07:13 PM   #39
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Re: How I landed my first of 6 current SMS clients.. it is possible!!
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Andrew,

You "ROCK!" The hardest part of doing this business or any business for that matter, is simply, going out and doing it.

"ROCK ON!"
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Unread 1st Nov 2011, 08:36 PM   #40
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Re: How I landed my first of 6 current SMS clients.. it is possible!!
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Hi Vanilla,

Sent you PM, hoping you will respond!

Cplayers!
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Unread 3rd Nov 2011, 09:18 AM   #41
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Re: How I landed my first of 6 current SMS clients.. it is possible!!
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Shows what you get for actually going out and talking to someone. Cool story and thanks for sharing!

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Unread 7th Nov 2011, 10:59 AM   #42
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Re: How I landed my first of 6 current SMS clients.. it is possible!!
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I just wanted to say thanks for sharing this with us. It's very inspirational as well as informative. Keep up the good work
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Unread 7th Nov 2011, 11:04 AM   #43
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Re: How I landed my first of 6 current SMS clients.. it is possible!!
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I'm glad everyone is getting inspired from this post.

I was out to eat with the misses this weekend at a nice Greek resturant that was going through Renovation and I causally asked the server what they were doing with the place.

Turns out they were turning it into a cool night spot for drinks, karaoke, music, etc...and I subsequently spoke with the owner and got him in on a SMS plan to promote the new venue.

I gave him the first month free...it will build his list, he will see first hand how powerful it works...and then he's on board for the long term. =)

It's as simple as that people - it's not even "taking action" it's being personable and having a candid discussion on how your profession can help his business.

Try it next time you out on the town....get more clients, and grow your business.

Last edited on 7th Nov 2011 at 11:05 AM. Reason: Spelling
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Unread 7th Nov 2011, 05:48 PM   #44
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Re: How I landed my first of 6 current SMS clients.. it is possible!!
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I get asked all the time.. what is the best way to get local businesses to sign up for a SMS plan?

My answer is ALWAYS... Do what ever it takes to get a personal "Success Story"! There is no brochure, website, power point, etc. That can replace a good "Success Story"!

Now when Andrew talks to business owners, he can just tell his "Success Story" about working with the store down the street.

If you don't have a personal "Success Story" that you can share with your prospects... Do what ever it takes to get one... give away the service for Free... Pay the business owner if you have too... Spend every waking hour you have focused on getting results for that first business...

The "Success Story" you walk away with will be worth its wieght in gold, not to mention you are going to have a very happy client and like in Andrews case... A client that is more than willing to pay a price for your services that allows you to make a profit!

Great Job Andrew!

Chris Clements, Founder & CEO, YeeZ Mobile Inc.

The Most Profitable White Label / Private Label SMS Reseller Program available to Offline Marketers! Long Codes & Short Code Keywords, in one account! YeeZ Mobile's SMSResellerProgram.com
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