You did a great job, so why do we need you anymore?

23 replies
On another forum, a poster presented this problem. Consider this scenario: let's say you are an SEO vendor, but it could be almost any service. You do such a good job for a client (like getting them ranked in 6 months when you said it would take 12), they question why they need you around anymore, and now want a hefty discount because your "fee is too much."

What would you do?
#anymore #great #job
  • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
    Say "bye". You were paid to do a job and you did it. They will call you when they need you again.
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    • Profile picture of the author mentat47
      Originally Posted by wolfmmiii View Post

      Say "bye". You were paid to do a job and you did it. They will call you when they need you again.
      Good answer. After all, there are other fish in the sea.
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      • Profile picture of the author savidge4
        Ive done.. I do.. and I will do SEO. "Maintenance" is a crap concept. and not a leg I would want to stand on in any way. Usually in my SEO contracts there is more a focus on the performance ( incoming traffic vs conversion ) than anything else. I understand this is not the "Norm" for the industry.

        So to look at what is the norm.. its usually a list of x amount of keywords ( that are usually lame ) and to get them in high ranking positions. the terms usually state something like it can take 12 months to see results ( and this is another crap concept - with the caveat it depends on the target terms ).

        So we are now discussing someone that has stated it will take up to 12 months and we are going to get these X terms ranked. Is it a time contract, or a performance contract? I would say that it is a performance contract. you said you could list these X terms, you did.. thanks have a nice day.

        Again generally speaking the terms of these contracts are that it will take 12 months, and its $400 a month. And for that fee we are going to rank X terms. No where is it stated that the payment is $4800 and the payments are being broken into 12 equal payments. ( I have seen more than a ton of SEO contracts and can think of 1 time I have I seen this wording )

        My personal model is generally I will do SEO for 3 months ( So I am basing my service on time ) Within that 3 months, work will be completed to meet goal X. IF Goal X is not met, then there are financial ramifications on my end of the contract. ( the loss of 1 months payment, or in cases the whole set of payments )

        This is a clearly defined contract not only in outcome, but it defines time as well. There is a TOTAL price given, and how that price is being broken into payments. Usually 1/2 down and 1/2 on completion.

        The SOLUTION to the OP's original inquiry is to stand by the fact you met the goals.. and to move on. The lesson that needs to be learned is how to better write a contract and how to better define what is owed and for what and with what payment terms.
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  • Profile picture of the author O0o0O
    If they are smart, they would know that they would need your services continually. If they hire someone else for cheap, the new company could be doing a whole different method, and they could destroy their rankings due to the algorithm detecting changes in off site SEO growth.
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  • Profile picture of the author nmwf
    A professional vendor is responsible for his/her deadlines whether they're beat or not. In this case, the vendor underestimated his/her abilities. That's not the buyer's fault, so the buyer shouldn't have to pay for something that was, in a sense, already purchased.

    What the vendor could do is quit, as wolfmmiii (damn -- 3 I's??? LoL) suggested OR continue providing some semblance of the same service at a cheaper cost OR provide other services of equal value.

    That is, if the client is worth it. I wouldn't give up so quickly as there *could* be some hidden opportunities between now and the contract's actual deadline.
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  • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
    I wasn't saying quit. I was simply saying that if you were hired to do a job and got done early, your job is done. If they don't want to keep u around, say "bye". When they need you again, they will hire you again.
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    • Profile picture of the author nmwf
      Originally Posted by wolfmmiii View Post

      I wasn't saying quit.
      Huh? What do you think "bye" means? Unless this person is an employee (i.e. a contractor), terminating a contract, quitting, and saying "bye-bye" is the same damn thing.

      #seriouslynotinthemood
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      • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
        Originally Posted by nmwf View Post

        Huh? What do you think "bye" means? Unless this person is an employee (i.e. a contractor), terminating a contract, quitting, and saying "bye-bye" is the same damn thing.

        #seriouslynotinthemood
        Re-read the OP, genius..

        He said he took on a job and finished early:

        like getting them ranked in 6 months when you said it would take 12
        There is nothing to "quit" - the job is done. Where did I say anything about terminating a contract?

        Yeah, sucks when that happens - doesn't it.

        #welcometoschoolson
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        • Profile picture of the author Dannn36
          Claude is right, it should be presold about the importance of not only achieving the rankings, but the process of maintaining those rankings.

          But you really shouldn't be limiting the scope of you what you can do. As a marketing consultant, the idea of being hired for a "job" as a vendor, and then having the mindset that you are done is laughable.

          If they are using a medium such as SEO because they understand the value of higher rankings (maybe its a dentist in Las Vegas), then you should constantly be showing them what else you can do. You can always target more and more keywords, and then focus on obtaining more real estate for the money keywords. For most, SEO is just a vehicle for exposure, and more leads.

          Assuming they hired you for SEO, you can also show them other avenues to bring in new business. SEO is working very well for them, great. How about pairing it with Facebook Ads, Adwords, Craigslist (depending on the niche), Video SEO, Direct Mail, Setting up Joint Venture relations, Re-activating / up-selling old customers, setting up an e-mail newsletter, and so forth.

          Those who make the most money in this industry know that we don't just 'settle' or in a fellow warriors words "quit" after you rank them #1 for "Las Vegas Dentist" and wait for them to come back to re-rank it.

          If you were hired to rank them for Las Vegas dentist related keywords, and do it, you've already proven yourself. They should not be saying to you "your fee is too much", but "what else can you do?".

          Use the low cost service to sell your premium service. For $500 a month, I generated you $5,000 worth of business (proved yourself). For $5,000 a month, I can generate you $30,000 worth of new business.

          At the very least, get a referral out of them!
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          • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
            Originally Posted by Dannn36 View Post

            having the mindset that you are done is laughable.
            How is it "laughable"?? When you quote a job as a consultant, you generally quote it based on performance with milestones and tasks that need to be complete.

            When those milestones are met and tasks are complete, the job is done. The client isn't going to want to continue paying you for 12 months after you've completed the job in 6.

            If you are continuing to charge your client even though the agreed upon task is complete, you are ripping your client off.

            Now, with that said, if you simply signed an open-ended 12-month contract with no milestones or specific tasks to complete, that's a different story - but that's not what OP said.
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            • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
              Originally Posted by wolfmmiii View Post

              How is it "laughable"?? When you quote a job as a consultant, you generally quote it based on performance with milestones and tasks that need to be complete.

              When those milestones are met and tasks are complete, the job is done. The client isn't going to want to continue paying you for 12 months after you've completed the job in 6.

              If you are continuing to charge your client even though the agreed upon task is complete, you are ripping your client off.

              Now, with that said, if you simply signed an open-ended 12-month contract with no milestones or specific tasks to complete, that's a different story - but that's not what OP said.
              wolfmmiii,

              Sounds like you are coming from an "experienced" based position, as opposed to "theory" or "opinion" that is so common here.

              That's like speaking a different language around these parts.

              It's the reason for the "disconnect".
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              • Profile picture of the author Craig McPherson
                Originally Posted by Ron Lafuddy View Post


                Sounds like you are coming from an "experienced" based position.
                Wolf is one of a handful I really take notice of.

                He knows his stuff here.
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                • Profile picture of the author DABK
                  There will always be people who kill a great thing, business owners who get fed up with paying for SEO or some other marketing even though it's working.

                  That said, you get hired to do a job.

                  If you want to be hired in perpetuity, you have to agree to that in the beginning.

                  I've been offered SEO proposals where they'd rank me for 10 keywords within 3 months, then they'd do maintenance. And I laughed... Because the keywords they were going to rank me for, if you spit in their direction, they maintain their position.

                  I offered SEO proposals that I wanted to go on for months and months. My maintenance was not of the keywords but of the momentum, so to speak. Once I reach the original goal, rank them for a handful of keywords, I do maintenance that includes making sure they don't lose positions and adds new keywords.

                  I've offer to triple the number of people who would call of their website. And, when I do, the job's done, there's no reason for them to keep paying me... Though, the payment is a flat sum, split into 3 or 4 monthly payments... If I finish tripling their calls in 1 month, they still pay me... If it takes me 7 months to triple, I don't get paid beyond month 3 or 4.

                  It has to do with how you define the scope of work. At some point, one thing ends and, if you've done a good job, you talk to them about doing something else, either something that builds on what you've done, or something new.

                  If you are good and they like working with you, they ask you, when the job they hired you to do is done, if you know of something else that would increase their bottom line.

                  If they ask you to go, you didn't do a great job or they don't like working with you.

                  Or, like I said in the beginning, they're not thinking clearly. Usually, it's the 1st 2.

                  You keep hearing about manage their expectations; you should manage yours too... Some things can be done forever but it must make sense to your client to keep doing them forever. With you.
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                • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
                  Originally Posted by Ron Lafuddy View Post

                  wolfmmiii,

                  Sounds like you are coming from an "experienced" based position, as opposed to "theory" or "opinion" that is so common here.

                  That's like speaking a different language around these parts.

                  It's the reason for the "disconnect".
                  Thanks. That is exactly right. I do lots of consulting work in real life. Too many wannabes on this forum who have no idea how things REALLY work.

                  Originally Posted by Craig McPherson View Post

                  Wolf is one of a handful I really take notice of.

                  He knows his stuff here.
                  Thanks Craig. I appreciate that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    Originally Posted by joe golfer View Post

    On another forum, a poster presented this problem. Consider this scenario: let's say you are an SEO vendor, but it could be almost any service. You do such a good job for a client (like getting them ranked in 6 months when you said it would take 12), they question why they need you around anymore, and now want a hefty discount because your "fee is too much."

    What would you do?
    That's handled in the presentation. The client needs to be reminded, in the sales presentation, that having high ranking, and keeping high ranking are continuous processes.

    In the presentation, it needs to be established that rankings aren't permanent. SEO is advertising. No company would ever say, "Well, we have the sales level we are happy with. Let's stop advertising".

    In my experience, if the say they don't need me anymore, it's because they have seen another presentation from another guru. I don't even try to save them, because you are competing with boredom. It's natural for clients to have shiny object syndrome.
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  • Profile picture of the author NeedBucksNow
    Why not try and get a testimonial of the work that you have done for them and possibly give them a huge discount for any referrals that they can offer you? Remind them that their rankings could drop without your services but you would love to bring on some new clients as well. Surely you have more than 1 person right and it sounds like he is happy with the performance that you have given him but is also wondering why he needs to keep paying. If he is happy, he will be back one way or another though and having his word of mouth could also do wonders for building up your business as well
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  • Profile picture of the author Barry Unruh
    It's intriguing that everyone latched onto the SEO "example" given by Joe...He didn't say "It is SEO".

    I have finished jobs long before deadlines for clients, and then explained to them I worked extra hours to make it happen. I "knew" they wanted the benefits as fast as possible, so I busted my hump to make sure it happen.

    I think the appropriate response would be to state, "I put a lot of extra time and effort into the project to get it done early, because I knew you wanted to start getting more business as fast as possible. I assume you preferred to start earning more money 6 months earlier, so I doubled my efforts to make it happen."

    That could be true for SEO, website design, installing a new network, revamping their accounting system, etc...

    It could have been solved early in the sales conversation with a simple question. "Would you like us to try to achieve the agreed upon results even faster, if we can?"

    And why do you need me any more? Because we can achieve even more....(Even with SEO, there is bound to be other keywords they would like to rank for.)
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Originally Posted by Barry Unruh View Post

      That could be true for SEO, website design, installing a new network, revamping their accounting system, etc...

      It could have been solved early in the sales conversation with a simple question. "Would you like us to try to achieve the agreed upon results even faster, if we can?"

      And why do you need me any more? Because we can achieve even more....(Even with SEO, there is bound to be other keywords they would like to rank for.)
      SEO kinda made the most sense... you wouldn't build a website and charge by the month per say.. I mean you could take 12 payments but that would have been made clear.

      If you are stuck in a monthly payment deal then yes the next option would be to go to them and say "Guess what good news! We have met all of our objectives! Would you like to sit down and discuss new objectives?" However.. the minute they are coming to you first? well you are a scum bag! LOL and you might as well pack your bags.
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  • Profile picture of the author Freebiequeen1999
    A lot of this idea of "ongoing" and "passive" income is simply something the gurus and snake oil salesmen push and promote. Most of them don't even work offline and their only online income that I see is continuously pushing get rich schemes and cross promoting their buddies get rich schemes.

    A prime example was the "guru" who put out the idea that you could get paid $500 to help a biz "claim" their Yelp page and get paid 300 to 500 per month to "maintain" it.Puhleeze LOL

    You may be able to sell a website with hosting and offer some sort of updates etc for a set price. You can def get paid to keep up people's social media, or write for their blog or create/maintain their email/database etc You can get paid t keep up adwords, and/or other forms of advertisement - create, split test ads, track the ads, suggest and try new ads etc.

    other things like design and set up? it can be finite...if they need future help they will call you again

    SEO? I don't know - some of it is kind of set up - like citations - on page seo. You can't keep doing it over and over.

    i totally despise the lying gurus who act as if biz owners are stupid. They aren't. Another thing - all this outsourcing (or fancy word arbitrage)....none of that is as easy as it seems. People aren't just waiting to hand you money.
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  • Profile picture of the author TrumpiaTim
    Most of these SEO / Adword positions tend to be for contracted periods, the best thing to do would be to anticipate this and either lock yourself in for a longer contract period or have other contracts signed at the same time so you are working multiple projects at any given time.
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  • Profile picture of the author GregtheWriter
    I think it depends on the service.

    I know many people make very good monthly income with SEO long after the work is done. One thing you may want to suggest to your client if it is SEO, say you were charging $500 a month, they're having a positive ROI with you, and then say they don't need you anymore...

    Just be up front and let them know you work exclusively with one business type per local area, and if they decide to not use your services anymore, you'll sell the service to their competitors since you obviously have proven you can do it.

    I've known a few businesses just pay people to make sure their competitor's don't get the talent that increased their ROI.

    And if do SEO with PBNs (though they're less effective now I hear) you could simply transfer those links to the new paying client.

    For web design obviously a one time deal except maybe hosting/domain, same goes with a lot of services like copywriting, or direct mailings etc etc.

    But I imagine a line like that works well for some kind of small (or even large) retaining/maintenance fee.
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    • Profile picture of the author Freebiequeen1999
      Originally Posted by GregtheWriter View Post

      I think it depends on the service.

      I know many people make very good monthly income with SEO long after the work is done. One thing you may want to suggest to your client if it is SEO, say you were charging $500 a month, they're having a positive ROI with you, and then say they don't need you anymore...

      Just be up front and let them know you work exclusively with one business type per local area, and if they decide to not use your services anymore, you'll sell the service to their competitors since you obviously have proven you can do it.

      I've known a few businesses just pay people to make sure their competitor's don't get the talent that increased their ROI.

      And if do SEO with PBNs (though they're less effective now I hear) you could simply transfer those links to the new paying client.

      For web design obviously a one time deal except maybe hosting/domain, same goes with a lot of services like copywriting, or direct mailings etc etc.

      But I imagine a line like that works well for some kind of small (or even large) retaining/maintenance fee.
      JMO - blackmailing a business is not going to work in the long run. I guess if you live in another state or country you could do that...but if you actually work "local" you may make short term money but not in the long run.

      Implying a threat of a competitor is digging a big hole for yourself IMHO


      You would be better off to offer a reduced "upkeep" rate and/or some other services

      I have had former clients come back with different needs,or want to start up stuff again, or refer others. I am fine with that. I don't own them...I don't know their personal problems. One guy had backed off and I was cool about it - when he called me back he told me of some devastating personal problems he had been dealing with - *wife/cancer - and things were looking up so he wanted to get back on track with my marketing services.

      He also just sent me a friend of his who needs some help.

      JMO - some of the stuff I read around here makes me go HUHHHHHHHHHHHH
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  • Profile picture of the author gupta78
    When you have done your part for which you was hired and you get paid. Its totally Clients choice if they want to keep you for the future jobs or try some else for batter budget saving and quality of work. There are more super Heros in the market than our perception.
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