Client WANTS Mobile ready site - just not from me

37 replies
I have been trying to break into the offline market by offering to build mobile optimised sites for local businesses.

The response and the level of interest has actually been very good and promising, BUT, in every instance so far I have been told that building a mobile version of their site is an excellent idea, but that they want to speak to their "regular" website designer first and if they can't help, they will then be happy to deal with me.

There have been a number of variations on this response, like the fact that they are very happy with their main site and want the same people to do the mobile one, or that they "feel bad" to go somewhere else because of the relationship they already have with the original website designer, etc...

I imagine, that this is a very common response and would like to ask some warriors who are far more experienced in this than me, what might be a good way to counter this objection and hopefully close the sale with otherwise, a very keen client.

Vlad
#client #mobile #ready #site
  • Profile picture of the author olauno
    Offer to work in conjunction with their web designer, and you will probably get business from the designer himself. A few web designers I have dealt with are not doing mobile and some don't see the change in the industry, others have been wanting to but are busy doing graphics, design, etc.. Otherwise move on there are others who want your business.
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    • Profile picture of the author mikeyman120
      Originally Posted by olauno View Post

      Offer to work in conjunction with their web designer, and you will probably get business from the designer himself.
      This is a great idea. Give them your business card and have them call their web guy to have them call you and work out a deal. Say you sell mobile sites for $397. You could give their web guy say $100 or whatever to recommend you to do the mobile site. Just ask their webguy - "do you know how to make a mobile compliant site" and that should stump them. Either they already know or get a template or have to learn about creating mobile sites so it may be in their interest to partner with you for quick profits. They could then sell their own clients on mobile knowing they can get an easy commission while you rake in the profits.
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  • Profile picture of the author Vlad Shelest
    That's a great approach olauno and I'll try that but as you say, there are probably countless others who will want my business. Maybe I've just been unlucky to have only come across people that prefer to use their web designer first.

    Vlad
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  • Profile picture of the author globalpro
    Look at it this way.

    If you have a client you are doing a mobile site/related work for and you have a good working relationship with them, then someone came along with an offer for a FaceBook page, wouldn't you want your client to see if you could do it first? I know I would at least want first right of refusal.

    At the same time, you never know. Things could go belly up with the person they are working with and because you made the initial contact, they could end up getting back to you to carry on for them.

    One thing is for sure, they will never contact you, if they don't know you are there.

    Thanks,

    John
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    • Profile picture of the author Vlad Shelest
      I agree with you John completely, I am all for Client/Provider loyalty and that's why I found it difficult to work around this.

      Vlad
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    • Profile picture of the author ElenaEn
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      • Profile picture of the author midasman09
        Banned
        In "Sales" and "Marketing" I learned LOONNGG ago to;

        "Offer something NO ONE ELSE CAN!"

        So...re: Mobile Websites;

        What can YOU offer that their "regular web guy" CAN'T?

        One idea is to set up a "Mobile Site Directory" for your Town...where the Mobile Sites are hosted on YOUR server....so you are in control.

        Then...create a "Business Directory". There's many WSO's and posts here about how to set this up...I'm sure.

        Example:
        Services - Retail Shops - Professionals - Restaurants - Medical Clinics - Dentists...etc

        (with my Restaurant Directory I arranged restaurants Alphabetically according to cuisine (BBQ, Greek, Italian, Mexican, Thai...etc)

        So....when I phone a Restaurant offering to build a Mobile Site for his restaurant to be in MY Directory....and there's a mention (there usually isn't) of...."I'd like my web guy to provide the Mobile Site!" I simply state that I have my own web designer.

        However....if you are offering something that almost ANY "techie" can provide....why....should they want you to do this? What can YOU offer that their "regular web guy" can't?

        So....come up with something UNIQUE and DIFFERENT.....or....keep blasting away. It's then becomes the old saying, "TOSS ENUFF STUFF AGAINST THE WALL....SOME OF IT'S GOTT STICK!"

        Don Alm....preferring to offer Stuff that others can't
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        • Profile picture of the author SoCalMarketing
          Originally Posted by midasman09 View Post

          In "Sales" and "Marketing" I learned LOONNGG ago to;

          "Offer something NO ONE ELSE CAN!"

          So...re: Mobile Websites;

          What can YOU offer that their "regular web guy" CAN'T?

          One idea is to set up a "Mobile Site Directory" for your Town...where the Mobile Sites are hosted on YOUR server....so you are in control.

          Then...create a "Business Directory". There's many WSO's and posts here about how to set this up...I'm sure.

          Example:
          Services - Retail Shops - Professionals - Restaurants - Medical Clinics - Dentists...etc

          (with my Restaurant Directory I arranged restaurants Alphabetically according to cuisine (BBQ, Greek, Italian, Mexican, Thai...etc)

          So....when I phone a Restaurant offering to build a Mobile Site for his restaurant to be in MY Directory....and there's a mention (there usually isn't) of...."I'd like my web guy to provide the Mobile Site!" I simply state that I have my own web designer.

          However....if you are offering something that almost ANY "techie" can provide....why....should they want you to do this? What can YOU offer that their "regular web guy" can't?

          So....come up with something UNIQUE and DIFFERENT.....or....keep blasting away. It's then becomes the old saying, "TOSS ENUFF STUFF AGAINST THE WALL....SOME OF IT'S GOTT STICK!"

          Don Alm....preferring to offer Stuff that others can't
          Absolute words of wisdom here... offering a different/unique product or service that is turnkey and ready is a great idea.
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  • Profile picture of the author Quentin
    That's really interesting as I have only heard that from a few clients out of over 700 now.

    Maybe it is the niche you are targeting or perhaps you are not doing the right research.

    Anyway which ever it is my response is that obviously your web guy is not keeping you up to speed on all the latest developments and we can manage your site for you and add a mobile site to sweeten the deal.

    Quentin
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  • Profile picture of the author LeeMark
    Of course, that's a very nice idea. In think the owner's business will grow more and their will be more flexibility in the whole business operation.
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  • Profile picture of the author Vlad Shelest
    Thank you ElenaEn, midasman09 and Quentin for your thoughtful and detailed responses. Your excellent advice is very much appreciated and will be acted on

    Thank you guys for some brilliant ideas!

    And Quentin, I am particularly happy to hear that given the breadth of your experience, the response I've been getting is NOT a typical one. I am indeed going to have a good look at my prior research.

    Vlad
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    • Profile picture of the author CageyVet
      Sometimes it is better to not even go after business that need a mobile website to compliment their desktop website. Instead, go to Google places for your niche and area, then find business that show up with no web presence at all. This way you can be their "web guy" from the beginning.

      Plus I find it quite a bit easier to get these types of clients to buy a reasonably priced mobile website, then a moderately or highly priced desktop site since there are more buzz words to sell the mobile site. Then once the mobile site is done and to their liking, you can add-on sell them on QR codes, coupons, desktop sites, social media etc etc and get these no-website businesses into the Interverse(Internet Universe)
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  • Profile picture of the author Vlad Shelest
    That's also a great idea CageyVet to seek out clients without web presense at all! Surprisingly, there are still plenty of businesses out there with no websites.

    Vlad
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  • Profile picture of the author naqikhan
    Hello Vlad,

    What's your observation? Businesses are more interested in having a compact version of there website for smartphones or they really need interactive android and iphone apps!

    Thanks
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    • Profile picture of the author Vlad Shelest
      Originally Posted by naqikhan View Post

      Hello Vlad,

      What's your observation? Businesses are more interested in having a compact version of there website for smartphones or they really need interactive android and iphone apps!

      Thanks
      In all honesty, I don't have a broad enough sample of what these small businesses want to make an intelligent conclusion, but so far, overwhelmingly they seem to be interested in a mobile-ready website that can be accessed via a smartphone.

      Vlad
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  • Profile picture of the author Techono
    Hi Vlad, Thanks for this thread.
    Having read the posts above, I agree with all of them, however, You will have to find
    how YOU "come across" with your sales spiel and knowledge. Not having a "dig" here,
    just trying to help.
    Also, being a "newcomer" to mobile sites etc, most business owners will be reluctant to deal with you (or any other sales person, me included) that comes along, even if you setup an appointment beforehand.

    Some of the people I have talked to, have said that they have never heard of me before, so they prefer to deal with someone they "know".
    So, I apologise that my name isn't Harvey Norman, Myers, Sony, Panasonic, Bunnings, Woolworths/Big W/Target, Optus/Telstra/Vodafone/3 etc (you get the picture) and ask them not to engage anybody else until my name is "Known" to them, and do they promise to buy from me then?".

    Well, Laugh ? I almost do. It is a bit rude I know, but if everyone was like this, there would be monopolies all around us.
    So, don't let it get you down.

    Find out first, who their "web guy" is (if possible), then approach them, and do a deal, or if they do, do mobile sites, offer to work with them (or not).

    I am in the process of contacting all web providers/hosts in the local area and making deals with them. (They may even give you a few names to start off with).
    This way, if a customer of yours says they want to deal only with their web guy, you ask who he/she is, and (if contact has been made) you can honestly say,
    "yes I know Justin/Cleopatra etc and we are working together on this"

    If the customer still declines to deal with you, tell the Web guy, and he/she may contact the customer to give a bit of positive feedback about you, or just tell the customer that they will do a site for them, engage you to do the mobile site and pay you your share.

    Also, I do NOT have 30 day accounts. I ask for Cash/cheque in advance, so if the customer goes bust, you have not worked for a loss. And YES, that includes the BIG companies that automatically expect an account.
    (use their petty cash money to pay you).
    or
    Give the customer a 1 week free trial, then hit them for the money.

    Hope to have helped
    Mark
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  • Profile picture of the author coffeecashnow
    Hi,

    Very informative post with good ideas.

    I agree that people with no web presence at all could be the way to go, but I read many times that you should look for people who spend on advertising already. So maybe it'd be a good idea to look in the newspaper and magazines and see if some ads don't mention a website.
    That would give prospects with no web presence but who spend money on advertising.
    Just an idea, don't know if you can find that easily...

    O.
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  • Profile picture of the author Vlad Shelest
    Some fantastic ideas guys, really appreciate all the suggestions! Special thank you to Techono, it's always extra nice to hear from fellow Aussies.

    I am going to try a few of these strategies and at least I feel much better armed in dealing with this particular client objection.

    Vlad
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  • Profile picture of the author Techono
    Thanks Vlad, Happy to help.
    Another idea I am working on is: have a look at a business website on your PC.
    Does it look good, appealing etc? If not, offer to revamp the site for them, with the
    assistance of a webmaster, and include a Mobile site for the price. You can then have
    both sites on YOUR server, bringing in at least 2 forms of income.

    Or offer the Website services anyway. The customer generally appreciates an
    "all in one" go to guy. The web site can be monitored by your host company, and if there is an issue, you can check it on the mobile site. Call the host, get them to fix it. Or just outsource, if you like.
    You don't have to be an "Ace" in websites and hosting either. (Outsource)
    But be an expert in Mobile sites. Know your products completely.
    If you don't know an answer to a question, you can say that you will find out, and get back to them. However, One missed question can lose the decision.

    Thanks
    Mark
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  • Profile picture of the author zoro
    Along with your Mobile Site service, offer them something else of High Perceived Value. This could be a Facebook Fanpage, QR Code, or SMS Marketing. Give them a Free 30 Day Trial. Usually after 30 days they are hooked.
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  • Profile picture of the author WebMarketingDiva
    Vlad - I'm going to disagree w/ those that say to go after a business that has no web presence. I've built websites for businesses...and they are a pain in the you know where!

    Target those that have a site, but not a mobile site. That way, you're not having to create new content, just re-purpose the existing content.

    To overcome the objection... simply check back with them in a week or so and see if their web designer has done anything yet. Most likely, they haven't. Pre-build a mobile site for them (they are quick and easy to do) and show it to them. Tell them you'll give it to them for free, you'll just charge them a hosting/maintenance fee of $29 - $49/month.

    Get enough of these clients, and you've got automatic income coming in without too much work... maybe an update here or there.
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    • Profile picture of the author tobyddd
      Originally Posted by WebMarketingDiva View Post

      Vlad - I'm going to disagree w/ those that say to go after a business that has no web presence. I've built websites for businesses...and they are a pain in the you know where!

      Target those that have a site, but not a mobile site. That way, you're not having to create new content, just re-purpose the existing content.

      To overcome the objection... simply check back with them in a week or so and see if their web designer has done anything yet. Most likely, they haven't. Pre-build a mobile site for them (they are quick and easy to do) and show it to them. Tell them you'll give it to them for free, you'll just charge them a hosting/maintenance fee of $29 - $49/month.

      Get enough of these clients, and you've got automatic income coming in without too much work... maybe an update here or there.
      Understand where you are coming from here - but the chances are that people who don't have a web presence are generally smaller businesses and don't require big sites. 4-5 page WP based website, locally optimised can be a nice ice breaker to further business - Google Places, Facebook Fanpages, Marketing, etc

      I suppose it depends on what your skill set is - but the hosting/maintenance fee model is one I'm pursuing next year - albeit with more than just a mobile website income - handed my notice in for a job I've had for 16 years and my final day is this Friday - it just can't come soon enough
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Anderson
      Originally Posted by WebMarketingDiva View Post

      Vlad - I'm going to disagree w/ those that say to go after a business that has no web presence. I've built websites for businesses...and they are a pain in the you know where!

      Target those that have a site, but not a mobile site. That way, you're not having to create new content, just re-purpose the existing content.

      To overcome the objection... simply check back with them in a week or so and see if their web designer has done anything yet. Most likely, they haven't. Pre-build a mobile site for them (they are quick and easy to do) and show it to them. Tell them you'll give it to them for free, you'll just charge them a hosting/maintenance fee of $29 - $49/month.

      Get enough of these clients, and you've got automatic income coming in without too much work... maybe an update here or there.
      That's a bit too cheap!!!! Even just for that.

      Hit your clients up with fees that can sustain your business. I understand that some is better than none and that you can work on "volume" to get the ball rolling but I totally disagree that you do that.

      You start doing this and you'll always be the "cheap" provider who can no longer provide!!
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      • Profile picture of the author Vlad Shelest
        Originally Posted by Jason Anderson View Post

        That's a bit too cheap!!!! Even just for that.

        Hit your clients up with fees that can sustain your business. I understand that some is better than none and that you can work on "volume" to get the ball rolling but I totally disagree that you do that.

        You start doing this and you'll always be the "cheap" provider who can no longer provide!!
        That's sound advice Jason and while I know that's deviating from my own topic here slightly, what do you think are reasonable one-off or ongoing fees for building mobile sites and related services?

        Vlad
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      • Profile picture of the author Techono
        Originally Posted by Jason Anderson View Post

        That's a bit too cheap!!!! Even just for that.

        Hit your clients up with fees that can sustain your business. I understand that some is better than none and that you can work on "volume" to get the ball rolling but I totally disagree that you do that.

        You start doing this and you'll always be the "cheap" provider who can no longer provide!!
        Hi Jason and Vlad, and other Savvy persons,
        I find it difficult to agree with the comments made by Jason, saying the hosting price is too cheap.
        Maybe I'm getting too old or silly, but I find the $29 to $49 per month, just about right. (could go up a bit more though, say $69 per month.)

        I have hosting in Australia for $240.00 per year. Unlimited bandwith, Unlimited disk space, 5 domains, Multiple sites and so on. So that works out to be $20 per month.
        Which is not a great amount. Most businesses would be paying a similar amount.
        I'm not saying "go cheap", but about $49 is fine. Any more than that, might lead to some resistance.

        So charging the above host/maintenance fees is quite reasonable, Plus the price of the mobile site. Then, you can charge for extra's like QR codes etc.
        Having the mob site for free, then charging for the hosting, I would keep the price in the upper region of $49/$59/$67 The last price is a bit high, and you could lose the customer. Besides, If you charge $49 per month for hosting and your Cost is $25/month, your first paying customer pays your cost with some cream. Times $49 by 5 customers (to start) = $245. A profit of $220.
        Which would also redeem your domain cost. (about $15.00 each) Total $40. Now times that by a minimum of 100% =$80. So you are in front by $165.

        I realise there are other associated costs, so work out the costs, add 100% = is YOUR minimum amount to cover the expenses + any taxes.
        Do a business plan, to save yourself some hair pulling and tears. Believe me, I am almost bald from my stuff ups.
        Above all, Do NOT think you are doing the customer a favour, by having a cheaper price than the guy "down the street". A lot of people will take your generosity,
        and use it to their advantage, by "screwing" you down in price.

        We could chat all day about fees and charges to the customer, suffice to say, you can make it (as mentioned previously) as perceived value.
        For example: To customer: "hosting costs $69 per month, however, as we are
        expanding rapidly and working to become your preferred host, we have an early bird special of only $49 per month, with an upfront price of $XXX for the mobile site"
        (You get the picture.)

        Maybe we should open a "sales" thread.

        Mark.
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  • Profile picture of the author Vlad Shelest
    I love your approach WebMarketingDiva. You've hit the nail on the head when you say that creating mobile sites is a great deal easier than trying to build full websites as well. Even if a lot of that work is outsourced, it can still be a pain.

    Vlad
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  • Profile picture of the author s1brett
    Originally Posted by Vlad Shelest View Post

    I have been trying to break into the offline market by offering to build mobile optimised sites for local businesses.

    The response and the level of interest has actually been very good and promising, BUT, in every instance so far I have been told that building a mobile version of their site is an excellent idea, but that they want to speak to their "regular" website designer first and if they can't help, they will then be happy to deal with me.

    There have been a number of variations on this response, like the fact that they are very happy with their main site and want the same people to do the mobile one, or that they "feel bad" to go somewhere else because of the relationship they already have with the original website designer, etc...

    I imagine, that this is a very common response and would like to ask some warriors who are far more experienced in this than me, what might be a good way to counter this objection and hopefully close the sale with otherwise, a very keen client.

    Vlad
    Hi Vlad

    I have the same issue. I don't just lead with the mobile website. I say something along the lines "I've done a small demo to show how you can get more customers by marketing to their mobile phones"

    Then when I am in front of them I can show them text marketing (to get clients on database) and show them an example of the mobile site.

    That way you are not limiting yourself to a face to face battle with their current web guy, and you can get your mobile site in the back door

    QR codes and apps also good to have in your tool chest
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  • Profile picture of the author s1brett
    Originally Posted by Vlad Shelest View Post

    I have been trying to break into the offline market by offering to build mobile optimised sites for local businesses.

    The response and the level of interest has actually been very good and promising, BUT, in every instance so far I have been told that building a mobile version of their site is an excellent idea, but that they want to speak to their "regular" website designer first and if they can't help, they will then be happy to deal with me.

    There have been a number of variations on this response, like the fact that they are very happy with their main site and want the same people to do the mobile one, or that they "feel bad" to go somewhere else because of the relationship they already have with the original website designer, etc...

    I imagine, that this is a very common response and would like to ask some warriors who are far more experienced in this than me, what might be a good way to counter this objection and hopefully close the sale with otherwise, a very keen client.

    Vlad
    Hi Vlad

    I have the same issue. I don't just lead with the mobile website. I say something along the lines "I've done a small demo to show how you can get more customers by marketing to their mobile phones"

    Then when I am in front of them I can show them text marketing (to get clients on database) and show them an example of the mobile site.

    That way you are not limiting yourself to a face to face battle with their current web guy, and you can get your mobile site in the back door

    QR codes and apps also good to have in your tool chest
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  • Profile picture of the author scottyg
    Vlad, I will say "OK then it looks like I can't help you. I'm very interested in this industry, can you tell me which one of your competitors I should approach?"
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    • Profile picture of the author Vlad Shelest
      Originally Posted by scottyg View Post

      Vlad, I will say "OK then it looks like I can't help you. I'm very interested in this industry, can you tell me which one of your competitors I should approach?"
      A little cheeky, but I like it!

      Vlad
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    • Originally Posted by scottyg View Post

      Vlad, I will say "OK then it looks like I can't help you. I'm very interested in this industry, can you tell me which one of your competitors I should approach?"
      With this approach, he might as well change his name to: "Vlad the Impaler". He'll get far better results.
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      • Profile picture of the author Vlad Shelest
        Originally Posted by AustralasianLadyBoy View Post

        With this approach, he might as well change his name to: "Vlad the Impaler". He'll get far better results.
        Ha ha, now THERE is an option I haven't explored yet! I wonder what mobile market in Transilvania is like...

        Vlad
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  • Profile picture of the author robcrusoe
    Hi Vlad

    My 2 cents.
    I'm relatively new to mobile, but I'm having some success pitching to hotels here in the UK.
    A good start is to find a friend that knows a business owner that you don't. Try your pitch on your friend. If they "get it", ask them to set up a meeting for you with their friend, the business owner, without giving too much away.
    Do all the research you can on their existing site. If its a bit dated, chances are their webmasters won't be mobile savvy.
    Build a demo before you go.
    I tend to pitch high - £1500 for a mobile site, but a special offer this time of £600. We call this " mates rates".
    First pitch I did was to a hotel owner who was quite tech savvy. I showed him 2 things:
    Local google mobile searches for hotels. Then I showed him the demo of his own site. He was blown away, but tried not to show it.
    In the end I gave him a 2 month free trial. Did he buy after that? Of course he did.
    Know your bottom line, price high, and be prepared to make concessions.

    All the best

    Rob C
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    • Profile picture of the author tobyddd
      Originally Posted by robcrusoe View Post

      Hi Vlad

      My 2 cents.
      I'm relatively new to mobile, but I'm having some success pitching to hotels here in the UK.
      A good start is to find a friend that knows a business owner that you don't. Try your pitch on your friend. If they "get it", ask them to set up a meeting for you with their friend, the business owner, without giving too much away.
      Do all the research you can on their existing site. If its a bit dated, chances are their webmasters won't be mobile savvy.
      Build a demo before you go.
      I tend to pitch high - £1500 for a mobile site, but a special offer this time of £600. We call this " mates rates".
      First pitch I did was to a hotel owner who was quite tech savvy. I showed him 2 things:
      Local google mobile searches for hotels. Then I showed him the demo of his own site. He was blown away, but tried not to show it.
      In the end I gave him a 2 month free trial. Did he buy after that? Of course he did.
      Know your bottom line, price high, and be prepared to make concessions.

      All the best

      Rob C
      Just out of interest - how big was the mobile site you pitched at for £1500? i.e. number of pages, and did that price include any kind of hosting or maintenance fee?
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  • Profile picture of the author cgallagher93
    Originally Posted by Vlad Shelest View Post

    There have been a number of variations on this response, like the fact that they are very happy with their main site and want the same people to do the mobile one, or that they "feel bad" to go somewhere else because of the relationship they already have with the original website designer, etc...
    In order to flip this objection around, you need to plant seeds and get your prospective client thinking like this:

    "OK, so the current desktop version of my website works great, but I can see that this mobile thing is the way forward. If my current web designer was so great, why haven't they already pointed me in the direction of this? These guys seem very forward-thinking, and perhaps it is time for a change. Let's give them a shot!"

    My personal style of selling is to accentuate the benefits of my product or service but to be slightly vague in terms of describing the actual features of the product. This gets your prospect asking lots of questions, and provided you can answer all of his/her questions, you will come across as a "guru" and someone in the know, and that's someone they're likely to want to invest in.
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  • Profile picture of the author Casino Hire
    In my experience it is rare that someone with a good website, would use someone else to build a mobile site. If you know what you are doing the mobile site is far easier than the main site, so it would be easy for them to hand it to the company they already TRUST. that is the key word in this equation TRUST. As there are so many cowboys and rip off merchants in this game
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  • Profile picture of the author daviddunford
    Hey Vlad,
    It's certainly not an easy game breaking into someone's 'trust' circle when they already have someone else on the scene. I think the idea here is to promote yourself as a 'mobile' marketing expert. Sure their designer could whip something up for them but they may be missing out on what you are offering.

    I was sitting down with a new client the other day and he said that another person contacted him 3 times with information about getting a site together for him however I won the contract for a complete 'marketing package' as we didn't talk just design - we were talking about what he wanted out of his site and marketing efforts.

    This was the key that closed the door, as I explain that I'm a marketer first and designer second.

    Even if they have someone else building their site for them, make sure they know that you're a marketer and your primary interest is in bringing them more business not just putting some fancy looking pages together.

    Explain the benefits of how you'll be winning them new business and what that will do to their botom line rather than going over the 'features' of your proposed site like the majority of your competitors will do.

    I trust you're getting some value here on the forum through the many great comments that have been posted.
    Regards,
    David.
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