Don't be an idiot - What I learned from a client

19 replies
I am a noob. I didn't choose this life, it just became necessary. I was laid off unexpectedly and I thought, "What am I good at". Well, I have been involved with some kind of web development and online marketing as a successful hobby for 15 years. I figured I would help other businesses figure it out and get paid to do it (hopefully)

I thought a good way to get my foot in the door is by selling mobile websites. Truth is, my experience has taught me one truth. For a start up business it is not the BEST that survive - it is the BEST SALESMAN that survive. This is tough because I am a better web marketer than I am a salesman - but sometimes we have to fake it till we make it, right?

I have some sales experience, but I also know that I get extreme social anxiety on cold calls. I have even had panic attacks. So I decided to take a chance and hire a cold caller. I didn't want an obviously outsourced $3 garbage caller representing my business; so I hired a kid with some phone experience for $9/hr plus bonus opportunities. They only work 10 hours a week (as my budget is pretty small). In the first week they got me 4 appointments. 2 turned out to be duds, 1 turned out to be somewhat promising and 1 was a very, very hot lead.

I have quoted prices based on what I have read here, but to be honest I though "There is no way people are paying that kind of money for a mobile website" But when I told my prospect the price and showed them the mockup they said it sound great (for those wondering, the price was $547 for a 9 page mobile website).

Long story less long, this first client experience made me realize a few things:

1. Even small mom & pop businesses are spending good money on advertising. This tiny hole in the wall restaurant is spending $500/month on SMS marketing. The $547 price tag for a mobile site was a NO BRAINER - especially when I told them how many people were searching for businesses like their on a mobile phone.
2. If you charge too little, they will think something is WRONG. They aren't dumb - they know quality costs money. Quote $99 for a mobile website and they will start to think you are the .99 store of mobile. I don't think most good leads want discount deals - they want a good product with GOOD SUPPORT.
3. Don't undervalue your maintenance fee. TO be honest, I thought a monthly fee would turn off buyers. The first thing this guy asked was "What about maintenance?" I quoted him $29 per month. I WAY undershot it. I am offering 4 updates a month - and I should of quoted no less than $49/$99 per month.

I know not every business owner will react the same as this guy - in fact, we had to sort through a few hundred businesses before we found this guy - but we are offering a quality product that will help his business at a fair price. This really is a win-win situation.

I hope my story is inspiring and helpful to some out there. I started this a week ago and am a perfect example of how simply showing up is half the battle.

Sadly, there is no time to celebrate. I have a mortgage to pay - so I better find another client.
#client #don’t #idiot #learned
  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    Originally Posted by mrjosco View Post

    2. If you charge too little, they will think something is WRONG. They aren't dumb - they know quality costs money. Quote $99 for a mobile website and they will start to think you are the .99 store of mobile. I don't think most good leads want discount deals - they want a good product with GOOD SUPPORT.
    It's very true. Price has a lot to do with the perceived value of the product or service you are offering. Price things too low and you look kind of desperate or they will not think the quality is there.

    As you correctly said, people are actually willing to pay for quality and those business owners that aren't are not the ones you want to be dealing with anyway.

    I can tell you from years of experience that it is always the people who purchase your cheap products that drain the most of your time and resources. It's the people who purchase your premium priced products that you hardly ever hear from. They are your best clients.
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  • Profile picture of the author kebertt
    It's great to hear that you're having some success with your telemarketer!

    Would be interested in hearing your overall experience down the road. I know many IMers who went the route you didn't, and hired that $3/hr telemarketer and had awful experiences.
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    • Profile picture of the author mrjosco
      Originally Posted by kebertt View Post

      It's great to hear that you're having some success with your telemarketer!

      Would be interested in hearing your overall experience down the road. I know many IMers who went the route you didn't, and hired that $3/hr telemarketer and had awful experiences.
      Thanks! It is still too early to tell if it will be a profitable relationship, but so far so good.

      We are only 10 hours or so in. He has generated about 5 leads, but only 1 was really good, 1 was so-so and the rest are DOA.

      But 1 in 5 beats 1 in 400 - which is what the full numbers likely are.

      I try to call when I have a chance - but preparing for and following up on leads takes a ton of time. Then, I have to actually create a product when I do get a sale. That means I don't have any time for prospecting myself. To be honest, I am not sure how anyone does it without help.

      I don't have a big budget. I haven't been planning and saving for this adventure - it just happened.

      But I can write articles at night to pay for the work my telemarketer does during the day. This lets me follow up on leads, build my business and fulfill orders.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andy Lemos
    The offline can be a tough experience at first. But it looks like your on right track. Keep pushing man.
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  • Profile picture of the author DexterGallagher
    Use VA's to create your mockups/demo mobile sites and the full blown sites too, concentrate on calling folks up and following up - it works
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  • Profile picture of the author bwh1
    Selling is an exchange.

    You always have to ask what your worth and want to earn +10% (for negociation).

    I only discuss price when they give me some in exchange for it, or if I have less work to do by changing something.

    G.
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  • Profile picture of the author Igor Fridrihs
    Awesome! I also get experience offering mobile websites. And sure you must not price your job at low level. For some business owners it becomes suspicious.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    Great job so far but your still low on your pricing if you ask me. I charge $897 for a 5 page business card type mobile site with a monthly of $39. <-- Should probably be a little higher.
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    • Profile picture of the author mrjosco
      Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

      Great job so far but your still low on your pricing if you ask me. I charge $897 for a 5 page business card type mobile site with a monthly of $39. <-- Should probably be a little higher.
      I agree. My pricing structure isn't as fixed as it should be. Especially right now as I am more in 'survive' mode than 'build a business' mode. - but I am getting better, and my attitude is changing.

      I have come to a consistent price point of $297 for a five page mobile site. Additional pages are $30 each (assuming just content pages and nothing fancy)

      I think I am going to move that up to $347 now that I am starting to get clients and build a portfolio.

      I think my prices are fair related to my experience. As I learn my skill in both selling and running my business will increase - which will be the reason my prices increase.

      I am also in a position where I can't lose a sale over a few dollars. I know that would be good business - but that isn't where I am in life.

      All in all, I have a long way to go - but confidence in my pricing and product are growing and my prices are starting to match that reality.
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      • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
        Originally Posted by mrjosco View Post

        I agree. My pricing structure isn't as fixed as it should be. Especially right now as I am more in 'survive' mode than 'build a business' mode. - but I am getting better, and my attitude is changing.
        When you are in "survival mode" is when your pricing structure needs to be the most fixed. Otherwise you will start working for too little and not be able to support yourself.

        When every dollar matters is when you can't cut anyone a discount. Also every minute of your time matters so you don't have time to waste on people not buying so you are always ready to walk away to get to the next prospect. Remember to think about it that way.

        I always find it funny that when people most need the money and need their time free to make more money is when they are most likely to sell themselves short.
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  • Profile picture of the author atrbiz
    When I first started selling to local businesses I charged very low, and I thought I always had to keep the price LOW.

    However, my company is doing better now and we're charging much more for our web design/marketing services. We provide quality work and support so it works out.

    I'm soo happy those days are over when I charged on the low end.
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    • Profile picture of the author Amanda786
      Originally Posted by atrbiz View Post

      When I first started selling to local businesses I charged very low, and I thought I always had to keep the price LOW.

      However, my company is doing better now and we're charging much more for our web design/marketing services. We provide quality work and support so it works out.

      I'm soo happy those days are over when I charged on the low end.

      I agree! the most important thing in business is quality. If you are working hard enough then one day this hard work will give you success.
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      • Profile picture of the author Birlamedisoft
        In SEO, the most important fact is quality links. SO try to focus on that.
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  • Profile picture of the author 4webmaster
    The arguments on prices still have their detractors. To me, it varies, the other day I met a potential client who wanted a website (not mobile) so I proposed at an affordable price and suggest the mobile version for a small fee. He told me yes, but for less than $ 5.00 per month I have a business website with Godaddy, plus it makes the mobile version too for free. Then he continue: if you build my mobile and standard site with a 50% off your current price and I do not pay you monthly updates I take it!

    You could see my head boiling and ready to say him: WT.

    From my experience he's not the only kind of guy I met, there are worse.
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  • Profile picture of the author Canadianajones
    Thanks for sharing this valuable experience and lesson. It proves that people out there are looking for quality and most so have the budget. Maintenance fees are inderlooked in a lot of areas, and this is one area that all of us need to take into consideration and integrate into our program.
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  • Great post and thanks you for sharing your experience. It is very true that we should know what to charge and how to maximise revenue from our services with minimal effort and time spent on it. I think as business develops one will know better how to charge and keep customers to themselves!
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  • Profile picture of the author 4webmaster
    What will be a landing page (1 page) price with a form mail or just a simple mobile page. I've set mine to $150.00 is this cheap?
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve1776
    For less than $30 you can have the tools you need to sell mobile sites. I bought both of these and am extremely satisfied with both the product and the customer service. I am not an affiliate, just a satisfied customer. The seller of these products is WillR. See post #2 above.

    The products are:
    http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...ailable.html#1
    ($19.00)

    http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...00-sold.html#1
    ($9.97)
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    You can get anything you want if you help enough other people get what they want.
    Losers fail and quit. Winners fail until they succeed.
    Indecision is worse than the wrong decision. You can fix a wrong decision, you can't fix indecision.

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