The "realities" of offline = do you sell offline?

36 replies
I remain amazed at some things here...and I truly wonder how many people actually do work "offline" with (small) business owners?

There seems to be a huge tendency here to underestimate the intelligence of business owners....hello - they are running a business and if they are in business more than a year they have some smarts right?

If you don't "know how" to do something why would you try to sell a business owner on "your" services? I have seen people here get hired to freelance "market" or build a website and they have NO idea what they are doing? Ouch

I also see people try to make a buck by selling things to business owners that don't make sense....way overpriced. Many times the person yapping about it is just trying to sell a "wso" to others here....an example of this is trying to say that biz owners will pay you $495 a month to "claim and maintain their yelp page" >>. what a joke


I see people who are so eager to get others to "sell" for them on commission...when what they offer sucks and really why would anyone bother to "sell" it? Some of these (on paper only) ideas are just not saleable.

Also...if you are in another country and don't speak English well, why would an American with any sales skills want to go out and waste their time, gas, etc selling for you? Heck if I wanted to do that I could hire people off fiverr and elance and make all the money

If you can't "sell" it yourself...maybe it is NOT saleable

Not every idea is a good idea...face it...and business owners are not stupid...repeat that again.

The other thing I find odd around here is that when people are pushing their (on paper, pie in sky) "plan" they fail to take into account that small biz owners are hard to pin down, quirky...often have no idea what their password is, don't have their graphics files, they sit down to do business and "their biz" interrupts (my best example - I was sitting with a pizza shop owner when a fire broke out in his kitchen!)

My advice to people who want to work offline is simple : want to cold call? afraid? then go get a part time job in a phone room and learn the skills


want to sell in person offline? then sign up as an independent rep with a company or two (non conflicting)....offer some "real" things like printing or ad space or whatever....and sell your own stuff too if it is ok (non conflict)....you may at least learn sales skills...get your foot in the door...and learn what it is really like to deal with small biz owners
#offline #realities #sell
  • Profile picture of the author Peter Lessard
    For me this is a very timely post. For some reason in the past few months I have had a higher number than usual of people pitching me idea where they want me to be their partner because what they think is missing is "you just need to sell it".

    Problem is their ideas do NOT deliver adequate value to the end client. You simply cannot overcome that.

    Now don't get me wrong I am a marketer. I LOVE building funnels, relationships and massaging someone towards sales that require education and time BUT as far as I am concerned no amount of sales pitch is going to overcome the idea just being plain stupid, too expensive or not delivering value.

    As you said with your example of claiming the Yelp page, sure you may be able to hard sell some people on doing that but if you are truly not delivering value and your only claim to fame is being able to talk anybody into buying anything you will not last long. Even if you do last long at it, its not the kind of life I want.

    Much easier and much more gratifying to actually find something people need/want and that delivers positive ROI. When you combine solid marketing with something that almost sells itself life is good.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by Peter Lessard View Post

      For me this is a very timely post. For some reason in the past few months I have had a higher number than usual of people pitching me idea where they want me to be their partner because what they think is missing is "you just need to sell it".
      I get the same thing.

      But it isn't "Just sell it", it's really, "Just provide the service". The selling is 90% of the effort. Almost all the skill is in the selling.

      Have you ever bought a $20 book? How much do you think the author gets?

      About $2. But didn't he do all the work? He wrote the whole thing. Why doesn't he get 90% of the money? Because the selling is the real work. Books have to be promoted and sold. And services need to be sold.


      Someone says to me, "I got this great deal. It's an internet service I sell. I get 20% of the money, and all I have to do is sell the darn thing".

      I'm thinking, "What? If I sold that service for $5,000...I'd just find someone to fulfill for $1,000...and keep the rest."

      Even great IT guys are essentially talents that can be hired. It's technical competency. But selling? That's where the real work is. That's what hard.

      "You just need to sell it" is like saying, "Here is a large rock. There, all you need to do is carve it into a statue. Let's split the profits 50/50."

      Anyway, back to work for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mav91890
    I completely agree FreebieQueen. I have become so disenchanted with the run of the mill, wage slave jobs that lead to nowhere at worst and a life of mediocrity at best. I'm 24 and I finally realized that if I want to have a life of significance and of financial freedom, I need to become a master salesman. Selling is everything in life and if you can become great at it, you can truly write your own ticket.
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelWinicki
    Originally Posted by Freebiequeen1999 View Post

    I remain amazed at some things here...and I truly wonder how many people actually do work "offline" with (small) business owners?

    There seems to be a huge tendency here to underestimate the intelligence of business owners....hello - they are running a business and if they are in business more than a year they have some smarts right?

    If you don't "know how" to do something why would you try to sell a business owner on "your" services? I have seen people here get hired to freelance "market" or build a website and they have NO idea what they are doing? Ouch

    I also see people try to make a buck by selling things to business owners that don't make sense....way overpriced. Many times the person yapping about it is just trying to sell a "wso" to others here....an example of this is trying to say that biz owners will pay you $495 a month to "claim and maintain their yelp page" >>. what a joke


    I see people who are so eager to get others to "sell" for them on commission...when what they offer sucks and really why would anyone bother to "sell" it? Some of these (on paper only) ideas are just not saleable.

    Also...if you are in another country and don't speak English well, why would an American with any sales skills want to go out and waste their time, gas, etc selling for you? Heck if I wanted to do that I could hire people off fiverr and elance and make all the money

    If you can't "sell" it yourself...maybe it is NOT saleable

    Not every idea is a good idea...face it...and business owners are not stupid...repeat that again.
    No, they're not stupid.

    And they're tight with the dollar.

    I'm working in a retail niche where the average business does over 1/2 a mill per year, and they'll fight you tooth & nail over $399 a month for "done for you" marketing services.

    I read here about folks trying to sell $1,500 a month web site services and I'm wondering what prospects with unlimited budgets are these folks talking to.
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    • Profile picture of the author daniyal100
      Originally Posted by MichaelWinicki View Post

      No, they're not stupid.

      And they're tight with the dollar.

      I'm working in a retail niche where the average business does over 1/2 a mill per year, and they'll fight you tooth & nail over $399 a month for "done for you" marketing services.

      I read here about folks trying to sell $1,500 a month web site services and I'm wondering what prospects with unlimited budgets are these folks talking to.
      Can't be explained better..
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    • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
      Originally Posted by MichaelWinicki View Post

      No, they're not stupid.

      And they're tight with the dollar.

      I'm working in a retail niche where the average business does over 1/2 a mill per year, and they'll fight you tooth & nail over $399 a month for "done for you" marketing services.

      I read here about folks trying to sell $1,500 a month web site services and I'm wondering what prospects with unlimited budgets are these folks talking to.
      Often the niche does determine the amount of cash businesses are willing to spend towards outsourcing various services.

      I work for one client that pays excess of 1500 monthly for my consultancy services but they sell products between $6800 and the average is $22k per sale.

      They have a facebook specialist that they pay similar amounts to.

      They have a web designer they pay similar amounts to just for maintenance.

      They have a feng shui consultant they also pay similarly

      they also spend about the same on domestic flights each month....

      ...notice a pattern?

      Many smaller businesses that will argue with you over $399 monthly are quite happy to pay Google $1000 + much like they were prepared to pay $10 -20K for Yellow pages in the past.

      You need to ask yourself "why would businesses pay Google $1000 Plus but they won't pay me $399?"

      I'd say it could be because Google brings the heat if you know how to maximise Adwords...

      ...and...

      ...the results are measurable.

      PLUS you can test and change things in an instant.

      There are plenty of consultants who manage adwords accounts in the thousands of dollars each month and they are not charging $399.

      The thing is to become good at what you do so that you can confidently charge a higher price and understand how to sell the client on the value you will deliver.

      One great example of a consultant who does know his stuff and I expect has no shortage of clients is Justin Roff-Marsh Ballistix | Sales Process Engineering

      Justin gives away a lot of good free content because he understands that you get paid to Implement. When you become a proficient implementer of the services you offer and you build a reputation for delivering results you can choose what you want to charge and who you want to work with.

      Just take a look at his Managed SPE service.

      I'd almost suggest that the person who is charging $399 for some marketing service is in the no-mans land of positioning.

      You would be better going in and saying you charge $12K to fix such and such and you can do that in 3 - 6 months. then you can say charge a maintenance charge that is in the range you are promoting.

      Business owners are scared of recurring billing but if you have a proven product (google) the recurring fees are easily justified.

      Anyone with experience in business knows that most things that make a big difference cost a significant investment.

      Want to dabble in radio spend $5k for starters easily.

      Want to have a quality website designed that converts traffic with secure shopping, data management system etc etc expect $10K plus if you are doing something serious.

      We have a designer and coder on team and although we can knock out template websites quickly it really does take work ,,,constant work....to design, custom code parts and set up shopping sites of any significance.

      Even when we are redesigning our own sites we incur some serious wage costs.

      There are a multitude of budget solutions out there but are they making any money?

      If they are, it is because they have serious cost advantages over you.

      Sure there are plenty of people trying to read what a small business owner will pay for marketing but most of these people come across at rank amateurs so business owners quibble about the price....

      ...it's just they don't trust you or they think what you are offering is BS.

      If you position yourself to compete with the multitude of cold calling people who tout their SEO, offer Page 1 ranking, etc , etc....

      ...you position yourself for a world of pain.

      Sure cut your teeth on Nickels and Dimes but once you got something that works step up and charge business prices for business services.
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by Oziboomer View Post

        Often the niche does determine the amount of cash businesses are willing to spend towards outsourcing various services.

        I work for one client that pays excess of 1500 monthly for my consultancy services but they sell products between $6800 and the average is $22k per sale.

        They have a facebook specialist that they pay similar amounts to.

        They have a web designer they pay similar amounts to just for maintenance.

        They have a feng shui consultant they also pay similarly

        they also spend about the same on domestic flights each month....


        ...notice a pattern?

        Many smaller businesses that will argue with you over $399 monthly are quite happy to pay Google $1000 + much like they were prepared to pay $10 -20K for Yellow pages in the past.
        .
        Very strong stuff. Once you knew what the prospect is spending in marketing, and where they are spending it....your prices can fit in there nicely.

        In no way am I saying to charge more, because they are used to paying more. I'm saying it's easier to sell a more comprehensive service, if they are already paying 5 other people the same amount every month.


        I was once talking to a mattress store owner, and he told me that he spent $5,000 a month in newspaper advertising. That's not even a lot for many small retail stores.

        I said something along the following lines;
        "If you are making money on the newspaper, I wouldn't change a thing..Are you generating a profit from the newspaper ads?" Him; "Yes"

        Me; "Do you think newspaper readership is increasing, or decreasing?" him, "Decreasing"

        "Are you getting less people going online, or more people going online to shop?" "More. Lots more".


        Me "You're spending $5,000 a month on Newspapers. You should keep that, until it no longer produces a profit. And for the same amount, one time, I will make sure you are the dominant local presence on Google. And it will last as long as you are in business, with just a minimal monthly fee for updates. In other words, for a one time fee of $5,000...you'll be the go to guy for mattresses online in your area. Is that what you want?'

        And he just said "Yes", and we were done.

        Now, if he would have said that he spent $500 a month on newspaper advertising (or any other one media), I would have broken my fee into monthly installments. But he was used to giving reps $5,000 a month.

        The questions I bolded, were very important. They set up the idea that he needed to change something, because the consumer was shopping in a different way, now. And I needed him to hear himself say that more people were going online.

        "feng shui " That made me laugh....but never in front of a client.
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        • Profile picture of the author MichaelWinicki
          Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

          Very strong stuff. Once you knew what the prospect is spending in marketing, and where they are spending it....your prices can fit in there nicely.

          In no way am I saying to charge more, because they are used to paying more. I'm saying it's easier to sell a more comprehensive service, if they are already paying 5 other people the same amount every month.


          I was once talking to a mattress store owner, and he told me that he spent $5,000 a month in newspaper advertising. That's not even a lot for many small retail stores.

          I said something along the following lines;
          "If you are making money on the newspaper, I wouldn't change a thing..Are you generating a profit from the newspaper ads?" Him; "Yes"

          Me; "Do you think newspaper readership is increasing, or decreasing?" him, "Decreasing"

          "Are you getting less people going online, or more people going online to shop?" "More. Lots more".


          Me "You're spending $5,000 a month on Newspapers. You should keep that, until it no longer produces a profit. And for the same amount, one time, I will make sure you are the dominant local presence on Google. And it will last as long as you are in business, with just a minimal monthly fee for updates. In other words, for a one time fee of $5,000...you'll be the go to guy for mattresses online in your area. Is that what you want?'

          And he just said "Yes", and we were done.

          Now, if he would have said that he spent $500 a month on newspaper advertising (or any other one media), I would have broken my fee into monthly installments. But he was used to giving reps $5,000 a month.

          The questions I bolded, were very important. They set up the idea that he needed to change something, because the consumer was shopping in a different way, now. And I needed him to hear himself say that more people were going online.

          "feng shui " That made me laugh....but never in front of a client.
          You hit the nail on the head at the very beginning... Niche has A LOT to do with it.

          I think it also comes down to what kind of business you're building yourself and what type of client you're looking for and are you looking to create a "boutique" type of marketing firm that works with just a handful of clients (which is perfectly fine) OR are you looking to build something bigger that is going to require a greater influx of clients, who constitute a variety of spend levels.
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        • Profile picture of the author Joe Stewart
          Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

          Very strong stuff. Once you knew what the prospect is spending in marketing, and where they are spending it....your prices can fit in there nicely.

          In no way am I saying to charge more, because they are used to paying more. I'm saying it's easier to sell a more comprehensive service, if they are already paying 5 other people the same amount every month.

          I was once talking to a mattress store owner, and he told me that he spent $5,000 a month in newspaper advertising. That's not even a lot for many small retail stores.

          I said something along the following lines;
          "If you are making money on the newspaper, I wouldn't change a thing..Are you generating a profit from the newspaper ads?" Him; "Yes"

          Me; "Do you think newspaper readership is increasing, or decreasing?" him, "Decreasing"

          "Are you getting less people going online, or more people going online to shop?" "More. Lots more".


          Me "You're spending $5,000 a month on Newspapers. You should keep that, until it no longer produces a profit. And for the same amount, one time, I will make sure you are the dominant local presence on Google. And it will last as long as you are in business, with just a minimal monthly fee for updates. In other words, for a one time fee of $5,000...you'll be the go to guy for mattresses online in your area. Is that what you want?'

          And he just said "Yes", and we were done.

          Now, if he would have said that he spent $500 a month on newspaper advertising (or any other one media), I would have broken my fee into monthly installments. But he was used to giving reps $5,000 a month.

          The questions I bolded, were very important. They set up the idea that he needed to change something, because the consumer was shopping in a different way, now. And I needed him to hear himself say that more people were going online.

          "feng shui " That made me laugh....but never in front of a client.
          Great post, Claude!

          I'm in the process of writing a new phone script to test and this was an excellent reminder to ask prospects exactly what they're already paying for advertising and break it down by service so I'll have a much better idea of what to charge them without leaving money on the table.

          I recently read where someone said to adjust your price accordingly depending on their average ticket size, and that does make sense, but only to an extent and not in all areas or all markets.

          Example, a company in a big city may be charging more or less for a product or service than a small business in a town 50 miles away from the big city.

          Also, high ticket products and services are great, but I also know that some business owners offer products or services where they focus heavily on repeat business, sales on the backend, etc and their lifetime customer value may be even higher than the high ticket "one and done" business.

          Thanks for the reminder. :-)

          On another note, personally, if a business owner balks at a fair price after I've explained things thoroughly, I can't see myself working with them anyway, at least not long term. Some people will consume a lot of your time and give you a lot of stress. I've experienced that for years in most industries I've been in and heard that this one is no different. The guy who's paying the least is the one that wants the most.

          Actually, Perry Marshall mentioned a guy that used to fire the bottom 10% of his employees every year and he's taken a similar approach with clients. It really comes down to the 80/20 rule. If someone's a pain in the neck to begin with, you can be pretty certain that they'll be that way over the long term, as well.
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          • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
            Originally Posted by Joe Stewart View Post

            Great post, Claude!

            I'm in the process of writing a new phone script to test and this was an excellent reminder to ask prospects exactly what they're already paying for advertising and break it down by service so I'll have a much better idea of what to charge them without leaving money on the table.

            I recently read where someone said to adjust your price accordingly depending on their average ticket size, and that does make sense, but only to an extent and not in all areas or all markets.
            .
            I would never adjust my price, because of their average ticket sale...or how much they make.

            But I might make it a monthly charge, instead of a lump sum. For example, I have three different ways to pay me for one service;

            $5,999 lump sum, and then $199 a month after that....or
            $1,699 a month, for four months, and then $199 a month. or
            $699 a month, for a year, and then $199 a month.

            If they are paying several advertising reps $500-$800 a month, I'll quote the $699 a month.

            If they are used to paying $5,000-$6,000 a month, I'll quote the lump sum.

            Almost any way to advertising, in any media, is going to be $500 a month or more.

            But I get why guys sell different packages of services, at different price points.

            If someone asks me, up front, what the price is, I tell them the lump sum. If they don't explode in front of me...I can then ease the pain, by offering longer terms. But I always want the painful stuff out there first.
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        • Profile picture of the author sconer
          Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

          I was once talking to a mattress store owner, and he told me that he spent $5,000 a month in newspaper advertising. That's not even a lot for many small retail stores.

          I said something along the following lines;
          "If you are making money on the newspaper, I wouldn't change a thing..Are you generating a profit from the newspaper ads?" Him; "Yes"

          Me; "Do you think newspaper readership is increasing, or decreasing?" him, "Decreasing"

          "Are you getting less people going online, or more people going online to shop?" "More. Lots more".


          Me "You're spending $5,000 a month on Newspapers. You should keep that, until it no longer produces a profit. And for the same amount, one time, I will make sure you are the dominant local presence on Google. And it will last as long as you are in business, with just a minimal monthly fee for updates. In other words, for a one time fee of $5,000...you'll be the go to guy for mattresses online in your area. Is that what you want?'

          And he just said "Yes", and we were done.
          "And for the same amount, one time, I will make sure you are the dominant local presence on Google. And it will last as long as you are in business, with just a minimal monthly fee for updates."


          I'm just curious what you do as part of this monthly update and what do you charge? Those reoccurring monthly fees are what I am after.
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          • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
            Originally Posted by sconer View Post

            "And for the same amount, one time, I will make sure you are the dominant local presence on Google. And it will last as long as you are in business, with just a minimal monthly fee for updates."


            I'm just curious what you do as part of this monthly update and what do you charge? Those reoccurring monthly fees are what I am after.
            just $199 a month, it's deducted from their Credit Card automatically. For that, we maintain their website (the one we built), add links to their videos and website every month. Add comments to their Youtube videos. Pay for the domain name, hosting, maintaining their listings on Google, Yelp, etc.

            And it also covers any minor changes they want us to make.

            It's usually less than 30 minutes a month. I let my employee do it.

            The client can cancel any time, and we just stop work.
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            • Profile picture of the author 9999
              just $199 a month, it's deducted from their Credit Card automatically. For that, we maintain their website (the one we built), add links to their videos and website every month. Add comments to their Youtube videos. Pay for the domain name, hosting, maintaining their listings on Google, Yelp, etc.

              And it also covers any minor changes they want us to make.

              It's usually less than 30 minutes a month. I let my employee do it.

              The client can cancel any time, and we just stop work.
              Hey Claude, I know you have been selling this package for years now, just wondering if you are still actively selling them and how it is going?
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              • Profile picture of the author sconer
                Originally Posted by 9999 View Post

                Hey Claude, I know you have been selling this package for years now, just wondering if you are still actively selling them and how it is going?
                It sounds like a great sale. I'm just curious what kind of links Claude is adding to the video and website each month.
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    • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
      Originally Posted by MichaelWinicki View Post

      No, they're not stupid.

      And they're tight with the dollar.

      I'm working in a retail niche where the average business does over 1/2 a mill per year, and they'll fight you tooth & nail over $399 a month for "done for you" marketing services.

      I read here about folks trying to sell $1,500 a month web site services and I'm wondering what prospects with unlimited budgets are these folks talking to.


      Michael,

      I agree that business owners are not stupid.

      I think you need a breakthrough client who is on the same page as you with respect to
      business growth.

      I think that when you are talking to prospects and establishing the value and ROI of your services,
      you need to qualify them based on their belief, savvy, ambition, and desire for more business.

      Do they think they can go from $500,000 a year to $550,000, or whatever their next milestone is?

      Do they want to?

      Are they thinking it will take one or two more staff members and not sure they want that additional responsibility, time, and payroll?

      Will it mean more hours for them?

      Are they ambitious and wanting to open two more stores?

      Do they have key staff members resisting growth because it means more work without much more reward? (I run the show at my hotel. I could add another $100,000 to revenues the next 12 months. I'm reluctant because I want a lot more salary or bonus, don't think I can get the owner to add another staff member, don't want to work much harder than I am, and don't want to increase the value too much because I want to buy the hotel.)

      On the other hand, do they want to stay at about $500,000 a year and just want some current web presence because it's just an expected thing?

      Do they enjoy their current life?

      Are they looking forward to retirement?

      Do they see that more revenue would help them hire a key person so they can spend their time
      on the things they really want to spend their time on?

      I've had prospects who went under instead of to their next milestone because they did not
      have the realization, ambition, vision, or savvy to go for the next level.

      Anyway, maybe try to get at these personal things when you talk to prospects.

      Dan
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      • Profile picture of the author MichaelWinicki
        Originally Posted by bizgrower View Post

        Michael,

        I agree that business owners are not stupid.

        I think you need a breakthrough client who is on the same page as you with respect to
        business growth.

        I think that when you are talking to prospects and establishing the value and ROI of your services,
        you need to qualify them based on their belief, savvy, ambition, and desire for more business.

        Do they think they can go from $500,000 a year to $550,000, or whatever their next milestone is?

        Do they want to?

        Are they thinking it will take one or two more staff members and not sure they want that additional responsibility, time, and payroll?

        Will it mean more hours for them?

        Are they ambitious and wanting to open two more stores?

        Do they have key staff members resisting growth because it means more work without much more reward? (I run the show at my hotel. I could add another $100,000 to revenues the next 12 months. I'm reluctant because I want a lot more salary or bonus, don't think I can get the owner to add another staff member, don't want to work much harder than I am, and don't want to increase the value too much because I want to buy the hotel.)

        On the other hand, do they want to stay at about $500,000 a year and just want some current web presence because it's just an expected thing?

        Do they enjoy their current life?

        Are they looking forward to retirement?

        Do they see that more revenue would help them hire a key person so they can spend their time
        on the things they really want to spend their time on?

        I've had prospects who went under instead of to their next milestone because they did not
        have the realization, ambition, vision, or savvy to go for the next level.

        Anyway, maybe try to get at these personal things when you talk to prospects.

        Dan

        You make some great points!

        And yes the more clearly the prospect can state their goals for business growth, personal development, income growth, the more likely they are not just open for but actually looking for precision-guided help getting them what they want- and willing to pay a good buck for it.

        Most though aren't nearly that in tune with their goals.

        What most brick & mortar business owners/managers are going to give you is:

        "We simply want to do more business" (or some off shoot of that).

        Now you can say, "OK, we'll not work with those folks and will only go for those that have a clear plan of what they want their business to look and perform like".

        And the lead generation math may work in specific niches. But in many niches it may not- the lead generation math may simply not work.

        So then you're left with (hopefully) getting a few high-potential clients at a high dollar value, intermixed with a bunch of folks that want to grow their businesses but aren't to the level (however you define it) where they'll spend 4 figures a month to do that BUT they'll spend $200 or $400 or $600 AND you proceed to try "coaching them up" to the point where it sinks in and they want an even more targeted plan for their business and will spend much more to achieve it.
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        • Profile picture of the author Freebiequeen1999
          Michael I agree...
          as we were saying on another thread here....
          bringing in leads all day long won't do much good if the frontline employees are not good on the phone, don't follow up on the leads, if the sales people can't close

          In a pie in the sky world - the world of the wso pushers - every business owner would sit down with hours to spare, a complete plan, budget, his employees would go along with everything, everyone would give us the details, the graphics, access to everything.. would have a good sales team

          in the real world? LOL LOL LOL

          Lots of times the wife, the partner, etc has to be "consulted"....they have a "contract" with someone else....they can't get access to their own graphics or lost them....their employees may not like change or are just incompetent....they may actually not have good business plan or product to start with?

          One thing I try to steer away from is the desperado that is going down the tubes and trying a last ditch effort.
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          • Profile picture of the author MichaelWinicki
            Originally Posted by Freebiequeen1999 View Post

            In a pie in the sky world - the world of the wso pushers - every business owner would sit down with hours to spare, a complete plan, budget, his employees would go along with everything, everyone would give us the details, the graphics, access to everything.. would have a good sales team
            Agreed.

            To find clients that?

            -Aren't in the middle of a daily "fire" whom you can actually spend some quality phone time with
            -Have a clear understanding of what they want from their business and can quantify it
            -Have a staff that will follow through with suggestions or plans that you have in order to help the business grow
            -Have the financial resources to pay you

            Yeah, in every niche no doubt you have some that can do all that.

            But the very vast majority of them have "warts" of some kind that you're simply going to have to work with... And maybe you can make them into the "perfect" client and maybe you can't but many times the math dictates that you at least have to try.
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            • Profile picture of the author Freebiequeen1999
              Originally Posted by MichaelWinicki View Post

              Agreed.

              To find clients that?

              -Aren't in the middle of a daily "fire" whom you can actually spend some quality phone time with
              -Have a clear understanding of what they want from their business and can quantify it
              -Have a staff that will follow through with suggestions or plans that you have in order to help the business grow
              -Have the financial resources to pay you

              Yeah, in every niche no doubt you have some that can do all that.

              But the very vast majority of them have "warts" of some kind that you're simply going to have to work with... And maybe you can make them into the "perfect" client and maybe you can't but many times the math dictates that you at least have to try.
              So true...

              personally I try to roll with the punches, go with the flow...but...experience has shown me that in my case the one thing I can't deal with anymore is a client with totally unreal expectations.

              I sort of "sniff out" the real desperate ones who are trying some last ditch efforts to shore up a biz with problems....I stay clear of those who try to set unreasonable time limits, conditions, "performance" stuff that only benefits them. No thanks
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    • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
      Originally Posted by MichaelWinicki View Post

      No, they're not stupid.

      And they're tight with the dollar.

      I'm working in a retail niche where the average business does over 1/2 a mill per year, and they'll fight you tooth & nail over $399 a month for "done for you" marketing services.

      I read here about folks trying to sell $1,500 a month web site services and I'm wondering what prospects with unlimited budgets are these folks talking to.
      Well MOST businesses that are worth targeting are doing much more than 500k/year. That really isn't very much.

      Those businesses also aren't in retail.
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      • Profile picture of the author MichaelWinicki
        Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

        Well MOST businesses that are worth targeting are doing much more than 500k/year. That really isn't very much.

        Those businesses also aren't in retail.
        No question different niches are going to offer different pros and cons.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by MichaelWinicki View Post

      No, they're not stupid.

      And they're tight with the dollar.

      I'm working in a retail niche where the average business does over 1/2 a mill per year, and they'll fight you tooth & nail over $399 a month for "done for you" marketing services.

      I read here about folks trying to sell $1,500 a month web site services and I'm wondering what prospects with unlimited budgets are these folks talking to.
      It isn't how much business they are doing. It's how much they are used to paying for similar services.
      If the company does no advertising at all, you have to sell the entire concept of advertising, then you have to sell the entire concept of online advertising. Then you have to sell the entire concept of giving you money to do it for them.

      But, if they are already paying 5 other people, an average of $800 a month, each, to promote their business....a sale should be far easier....because they are used to paying this money.

      I don't even ask how much business they do in a year.
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      • Profile picture of the author MichaelWinicki
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        It isn't how much business they are doing. It's how much they are used to paying for similar services.
        If the company does no advertising at all, you have to sell the entire concept of advertising, then you have to sell the entire concept of online advertising. Then you have to sell the entire concept of giving you money to do it for them.

        But, if they are already paying 5 other people, an average of $800 a month, each, to promote their business....a sale should be far easier....because they are used to paying this money.

        I don't even ask how much business they do in a year.
        Oh I never ask how much business they are doing per year either but based on several factors I can deduce a ballpark figure.
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        • Profile picture of the author savidge4
          Originally Posted by MichaelWinicki View Post

          Oh I never ask how much business they are doing per year either but based on several factors I can deduce a ballpark figure.
          WOW... I am sure others will be more elegent with the wording here, but if that is the case then you are not pre-qualifying enough. I go a step further and ask little mom and pop types "When was the last time you got paid?" if the answer is last week, then I will ask.. "how much are YOU ( the business owner ) pulling out of this per year?"

          When it comes right down to it.. the money you are asking for.. comes out of that number right there.. how much the owner is pulling from the business. I cant tell you how many times, what I thought were semi successful business' had owners that weren't paid in months... and in cases years... and were up to their eyeballs in debt trying to keep everything going.

          Simply put... if you don't ask the questions... how will you know if they are a match for your service from a financial perspective or not?
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          • Profile picture of the author MichaelWinicki
            Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

            WOW... I am sure others will be more elegent with the wording here, but if that is the case then you are not pre-qualifying enough. I go a step further and ask little mom and pop types "When was the last time you got paid?" if the answer is last week, then I will ask.. "how much are YOU ( the business owner ) pulling out of this per year?"

            When it comes right down to it.. the money you are asking for.. comes out of that number right there.. how much the owner is pulling from the business. I cant tell you how many times, what I thought were semi successful business' had owners that weren't paid in months... and in cases years... and were up to their eyeballs in debt trying to keep everything going.

            Simply put... if you don't ask the questions... how will you know if they are a match for your service from a financial perspective or not?
            We qualify by asking how many employees the business has, where it's currently advertising, and what size the store is.

            On top of that in the lists we pull we set the minimum sales at a 1/2 mil per year.
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            • Profile picture of the author savidge4
              Originally Posted by MichaelWinicki View Post

              We qualify by asking how many employees the business has, where it's currently advertising, and what size the store is.

              On top of that in the lists we pull we set the minimum sales at a 1/2 mil per year.
              It sounds good.. I get where you are coming from. But 500k is really not all that much. are they keystoning their marker up? there goes 50% each employee at $10 an hour works out with insurance and the like to $30k a year we will say there is 3 employees. there is 20% more. Rent? $24k a year ( $2000 a month ) assorted other insurances $2000 a year. Electric bill what $4000 a year? Company cars.. yada yada yada and pretty soon.. I just walked off dang near $400,000 right there... and those are I am sure low ball numbers.

              I am not saying you are wrong... I am simply pointing out a few additional questions places you with a better understanding of a financial fit between what you are offering and what they can afford.
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              • Profile picture of the author MichaelWinicki
                Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

                It sounds good.. I get where you are coming from. But 500k is really not all that much. are they keystoning their marker up? there goes 50% each employee at $10 an hour works out with insurance and the like to $30k a year we will say there is 3 employees. there is 20% more. Rent? $24k a year ( $2000 a month ) assorted other insurances $2000 a year. Electric bill what $4000 a year? Company cars.. yada yada yada and pretty soon.. I just walked off dang near $400,000 right there... and those are I am sure low ball numbers.

                I am not saying you are wrong... I am simply pointing out a few additional questions places you with a better understanding of a financial fit between what you are offering and what they can afford.
                Oh I understand what you're saying.

                And yes, they are "keystoning".

                Again 500K is our bottom threshold in pulling lists. Our range is $500,000 to $2.5mil per year in sales.
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                • Profile picture of the author savidge4
                  I personally sell CRO. When I went looking on how to exactly price my service it was a bit puzzling... no one says a price, and when you finally speak with someone, they want to set you up on a "consultation" that is usually $300 an hour. Really kinda makes no sense to me.

                  The other day..I got an e-mail from one of my "Competitors" ( we do the same thing, but they really are in a different league than myself.. they have worked with Apple and Microsoft and Google and the like. - I work for 500K a year companies LOL ) But it was a short but nice letter with a quick little pitch at the end. "If your business is profiting 1 million a month, give us a call - phone number" It was one of those awkward quirky moments where your jaw wants to hit the floor and you want to laugh so hard that you fall out of your chair.

                  The point is... They set the mark... its not about Gross... Its not about store size... its not about # of employees. It comes right down to... is there enough to afford me? As I see it that is the advantage of pre-qualification based on profit vs other variables.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Nguyen
    I sell offline and have been doing so since June 2012 and over the years what I've learnt is that you can sell all day long but if can't close, then you're just a professional conversationalist. I only really GOT it until last December 2014. Ever since then, my closing ratio has gone through the roof! and it's because I know how to close properly and apply the right pressure.

    I've pitched and spoken to many business owners and I'm telling you, they are NOT stupid. If you're selling ethically then the customer will question what value you bring to the table and this is where you show your A game.

    The customer wants an ROI with X spend and if you can't show it in anyway, no deal is going to be made. Managing a facebook/yelp, whatever account for $495pm might get you the deal for a month or 2 (if the owner is open minded / stupid) but sooner or later, if you can't translate that to leads, customers, enquires then you WILL lose this account. And before you say, "We got this amount of yelp visits or facebook likes" So what, show me the customers / increased enquiries.

    You have to understand the customers needs and devise a solution, but you still have to sell that solution. Before you even pitch, if you qualify right at the start, the customer will tell you everything that is required for a sale.

    Don't even start selling until they tick all the right boxes. I'll give you a good example. I had a lead from twitter come in and I started qualifying, asking deep questions.

    I found out from qualifying that she was also contacting other companies, and that her boss wanted a cheap solution (was too cheap for me), and that she was also seeing another company locally that she already is working with. All red flags to me, so I didn't even pursue the sale because the chance of landing that account was slim. On the other hand, there was another twitter lead. I also asked if he contacted anyone else and no one did. Come presentation time, his objection was "Got to speak to my wife". With a bit of sales pressure, he finally said yes...Because I believed it was the right thing to do.

    So as you can see, before you even sell, do they qualify and is the need there? Both cases above, I've saved time and money by putting my energy in the right places.

    Here's another tip. Just because you have a lead or enquiry, however large the potential account is, unless they fit your hoops, you don't move a muscle. Its not illegal to reject a lead btw.

    When I was at my day job, a few years ago, I was paid $23,000 annually and couldn't see a way out or a pay increase, so I quit and decided to write my own checks but I've only become a true salesman since Dec 14.

    Selling is everything in life, if you can't sell, you will be sold to all your life whether that is for money or an idea.
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    • Profile picture of the author sandalwood
      Originally Posted by Michael Nguyen View Post

      I sell offline and have been doing so since June 2012 and over the years what I've learnt is that you can sell all day long but if can't close, then you're just a professional conversationalist. I only really GOT it until last December 2014. Ever since then, my closing ratio has gone through the roof! and it's because I know how to close properly and apply the right pressure.

      I've pitched and spoken to many business owners and I'm telling you, they are NOT stupid. If you're selling ethically then the customer will question what value you bring to the table and this is where you show your A game.

      The customer wants an ROI with X spend and if you can't show it in anyway, no deal is going to be made. Managing a facebook/yelp, whatever account for $495pm might get you the deal for a month or 2 (if the owner is open minded / stupid) but sooner or later, if you can't translate that to leads, customers, enquires then you WILL lose this account. And before you say, "We got this amount of yelp visits or facebook likes" So what, show me the customers / increased enquiries.

      You have to understand the customers needs and devise a solution, but you still have to sell that solution. Before you even pitch, if you qualify right at the start, the customer will tell you everything that is required for a sale.

      Don't even start selling until they tick all the right boxes. I'll give you a good example. I had a lead from twitter come in and I started qualifying, asking deep questions.

      I found out from qualifying that she was also contacting other companies, and that her boss wanted a cheap solution (was too cheap for me), and that she was also seeing another company locally that she already is working with. All red flags to me, so I didn't even pursue the sale because the chance of landing that account was slim. On the other hand, there was another twitter lead. I also asked if he contacted anyone else and no one did. Come presentation time, his objection was "Got to speak to my wife". With a bit of sales pressure, he finally said yes...Because I believed it was the right thing to do.

      So as you can see, before you even sell, do they qualify and is the need there? Both cases above, I've saved time and money by putting my energy in the right places.

      Here's another tip. Just because you have a lead or enquiry, however large the potential account is, unless they fit your hoops, you don't move a muscle. Its not illegal to reject a lead btw.

      When I was at my day job, a few years ago, I was paid $23,000 annually and couldn't see a way out or a pay increase, so I quit and decided to write my own checks but I've only become a true salesman since Dec 14.

      Selling is everything in life, if you can't sell, you will be sold to all your life whether that is for money or an idea.
      Michael,

      Your point on selling is everything in life is being proven everyday this dumbass presidential sweepstakes is happening in the US. Unfortunately there are people who don't take any lessons from these wannabe peoples boss. That really is all the president looks at him(her)self as. No you are saying. Well sire, look at the big O's executive orders. They don't apply to average Joe citizen but everybody acts like they do. Why? Because they've been sold a BS package second to none. My point is if you want to sell, look at how the professionals are doing it. No better place to learn than from your masters.
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  • Profile picture of the author daniyal100
    Originally Posted by Freebiequeen1999 View Post

    I remain amazed at some things here...and I truly wonder how many people actually do work "offline" with (small) business owners?

    There seems to be a huge tendency here to underestimate the intelligence of business owners....hello - they are running a business and if they are in business more than a year they have some smarts right?

    If you don't "know how" to do something why would you try to sell a business owner on "your" services? I have seen people here get hired to freelance "market" or build a website and they have NO idea what they are doing? Ouch

    I also see people try to make a buck by selling things to business owners that don't make sense....way overpriced. Many times the person yapping about it is just trying to sell a "wso" to others here....an example of this is trying to say that biz owners will pay you $495 a month to "claim and maintain their yelp page" >>. what a joke


    I see people who are so eager to get others to "sell" for them on commission...when what they offer sucks and really why would anyone bother to "sell" it? Some of these (on paper only) ideas are just not saleable.

    Also...if you are in another country and don't speak English well, why would an American with any sales skills want to go out and waste their time, gas, etc selling for you? Heck if I wanted to do that I could hire people off fiverr and elance and make all the money

    If you can't "sell" it yourself...maybe it is NOT saleable

    Not every idea is a good idea...face it...and business owners are not stupid...repeat that again.

    The other thing I find odd around here is that when people are pushing their (on paper, pie in sky) "plan" they fail to take into account that small biz owners are hard to pin down, quirky...often have no idea what their password is, don't have their graphics files, they sit down to do business and "their biz" interrupts (my best example - I was sitting with a pizza shop owner when a fire broke out in his kitchen!)

    My advice to people who want to work offline is simple : want to cold call? afraid? then go get a part time job in a phone room and learn the skills


    want to sell in person offline? then sign up as an independent rep with a company or two (non conflicting)....offer some "real" things like printing or ad space or whatever....and sell your own stuff too if it is ok (non conflict)....you may at least learn sales skills...get your foot in the door...and learn what it is really like to deal with small biz owners

    so damm true.. I never understand people claim they can sell 3 crappy websites in 6 hours of cold calling at 2000$ each.. why on earth they spending all their time online to sell their crappy pdf for 9$ a pop.

    Dude come on don't be so damn bit**. If you already made trillions of dollars then don't beg for 9$ all day to everyone instead go out and enjoy life.
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    • Profile picture of the author Freebiequeen1999
      Originally Posted by daniyal100 View Post

      so damm true.. I never understand people claim they can sell 3 crappy websites in 6 hours of cold calling at 2000$ each.. why on earth they spending all their time online to sell their crappy pdf for 9$ a pop.

      Dude come on don't be so damn bit**. If you already made trillions of dollars then don't beg for 9$ all day to everyone instead go out and enjoy life.

      LOL....so true

      I also wonder "whatever happened to"....

      we have people fly in and out of here....often with crazy ideas....how did it go? what happened? gung ho...then on to the next idea

      some of them "hit and run"...never hear what happened
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  • Profile picture of the author jimmcdonald909
    The fact is if the business own is wealthy, not worried about money, etc...then spending big on a good service is a good deal to them and no problem.

    No matter how good the deal is, if they are broke or next to, they simply can't afford it.

    Paintings go for $20million+. If you can afford it great. But would an art dealer try and sell this to your "average Joe?"
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    • Profile picture of the author sconer
      Originally Posted by jimmcdonald909 View Post

      The fact is if the business own is wealthy, not worried about money, etc...then spending big on a good service is a good deal to them and no problem.

      No matter how good the deal is, if they are broke or next to, they simply can't afford it.
      This isn't the way it always works. The rich people are often more frugal with their money while the people without much money spend it easier.

      Also, business owners who are doing well can continue to do well without needing more customers to survive, while a business owner who is doing poorly desperately needs more customers and is more likely to spend their money (or borrowed money) to get those customers in order to survive.
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      • Profile picture of the author jimmcdonald909
        Originally Posted by sconer View Post

        This isn't the way it always works. The rich people are often more frugal with their money while the people without much money spend it easier.

        Also, business owners who are doing well can continue to do well without needing more customers to survive, while a business owner who is doing poorly desperately needs more customers and is more likely to spend their money (or borrowed money) to get those customers in order to survive.
        I am not saying they are spend crazy but if you try to sell a $10k service and they have a turnover of $25k...you are chasing your tail.

        If their turnover is say over $3million....then it's much easier and feesible.
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      • Profile picture of the author jimmcdonald909
        Originally Posted by sconer View Post

        This isn't the way it always works. The rich people are often more frugal with their money while the people without much money spend it easier.

        Also, business owners who are doing well can continue to do well without needing more customers to survive, while a business owner who is doing poorly desperately needs more customers and is more likely to spend their money (or borrowed money) to get those customers in order to survive.
        And they are the type of client you need to avoid i.m.h.o.
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