Just Got My First Client!

15 replies
Hello everyone,

As much as I love online marketing, I'm more passionate about consulting and helping local businesses get more customers through reputation management (Yelp, Google Business, etc.). After months of going through training programs and learning how to prospect the right way, I finally got my first client! The guy actually said he wasn't interested at first, but when I told him about the service I offer and how it can help his business tremendously, he said he was interested in learning more and he wants to talk with me next week.

My plan is to set up a Yelp listing for him free of charge to get my foot in the door and then later on offer my Google Business service for $599 a month. What are your thoughts on this overall plan and should I lower or raise the price? I know that many reputation management services charge thousands of dollars. Any and all advice is welcome.
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  • Profile picture of the author SARubin
    Congratulations on making progress with your business venture.

    But, we really need to start with a reality check...
    (This may not be what you want to hear... but it is what you "need" to hear)

    By the sounds of it... You don't have a client, yet.

    Only after the two of you come to an agreement (either written, or verbal), and only after they give you money (at least a retainer) do you then have a client.


    What you have is an interview with a "potential" client.

    Now, it's up you which way this interview goes...

    It can end up being "the business owner interviewing you, as a potential service provider" or it can be "you interviewing him as a potential client."

    I cannot tell you which way to go. I can only say that I personally prefer the latter option. But being your first potential client, I completely understand if you choose to be the interviewee.



    So, now that we've gotten that out of the way...


    Sure, offering someone a free sample (in this case, a free Yelp listing) is an OK way to get your foot in the door.

    But what most business owners are going to be interested in, is the return on their investment.

    So give him some idea of what that listing will do for his bottom line. It sounds like you've already planted the benefit seed in his mind (which got you the interview in the first place) So I recommend expanding on that angle as much as possible. (about the benefits of a solid online reputation)


    I also do NOT recommend lowering your price, unless your business plan is to be a low priced service provider (and you don't mind working for pennies) Just remember... If you place a low value on your own self worth, the world will never raise your asking price, for you.

    Besides, what's expensive to one person, is reasonably priced to another person.


    Also, if the industry standard is thousands of dollars per month, then you're already offering a bargain at $599 (assuming you know what you're doing)


    If you do want to offer a first time client discount, then I'd consider using a standard "price anchoring" technique to set the pace.


    An example would be something like showing a standard industry fee of $1200 per month, but then offering a 50% discount for the first 3 months ($599 per month)

    After 3 months (and if you can verify that your service is actually producing any tangible results) you can then offer to continue your service for the normal fee.

    If he starts to hesitate, remind him of the benefits of good online reputation management, and show him the increasing (good) results you've gotten for him over the past few months.

    Also, show him the proof of the much higher prices from your competitors, so by comparison it looks like he's getting a great deal from you.


    Of course, this all hinges on you being able to provide evidence of ROI (because rhetoric and hype will only get you so far, if the numbers don't verify any results)


    Anyway, there's a couple ideas for you to consider.


    I wish you the best of luck.

    All the best,
    SAR

    Originally Posted by sunshne721 View Post

    Hello everyone,

    As much as I love online marketing, I'm more passionate about consulting and helping local businesses get more customers through reputation management (Yelp, Google Business, etc.). After months of going through training programs and learning how to prospect the right way, I finally got my first client! The guy actually said he wasn't interested at first, but when I told him about the service I offer and how it can help his business tremendously, he said he was interested in learning more and he wants to talk with me next week.

    My plan is to set up a Yelp listing for him free of charge to get my foot in the door and then later on offer my Google Business service for $599 a month. What are your thoughts on this overall plan and should I lower or raise the price? I know that many reputation management services charge thousands of dollars. Any and all advice is welcome.
    Signature
    "It all boils down to psychology, and numbers"
    SARubin - Direct Response Copywriter / Advertising and Marketing Aficionado
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    • Profile picture of the author sunshne721
      Originally Posted by SARubin View Post

      Congratulations on making progress with your business venture.

      But, we really need to start with a reality check...
      (This may not be what you want to hear... but it is what you "need" to hear)

      By the sounds of it... You don't have a client, yet.

      Only after the two of you come to an agreement (either written, or verbal), and only after they give you money (at least a retainer) do you then have a client.


      What you have is an interview with a "potential" client.

      Now, it's up you which way this interview goes...

      It can end up being "the business owner interviewing you, as a potential service provider" or it can be "you interviewing him as a potential client."

      I cannot tell you which way to go. I can only say that I personally prefer the latter option. But being your first potential client, I completely understand if you choose to be the interviewee.



      So, now that we've gotten that out of the way...


      Sure, offering someone a free sample (in this case, a free Yelp listing) is an OK way to get your foot in the door.

      But what most business owners are going to be interested in, is the return on their investment.

      So give him some idea of what that listing will do for his bottom line. It sounds like you've already planted the benefit seed in his mind (which got you the interview in the first place) So I recommend expanding on that angle as much as possible. (about the benefits of a solid online reputation)


      I also do NOT recommend lowering your price, unless your business plan is to be a low priced service provider (and you don't mind working for pennies) Just remember... If you place a low value on your own self worth, the world will never raise your asking price, for you.

      Besides, what's expensive to one person, is reasonably priced to another person.


      Also, if the industry standard is thousands of dollars per month, then you're already offering a bargain at $599 (assuming you know what you're doing)


      If you do want to offer a first time client discount, then I'd consider using a standard "price anchoring" technique to set the pace.


      An example would be something like showing a standard industry fee of $1200 per month, but then offering a 50% discount for the first 3 months ($599 per month)

      After 3 months (and if you can verify that your service is actually producing any tangible results) you can then offer to continue your service for the normal fee.

      If he starts to hesitate, remind him of the benefits of good online reputation management, and show him the increasing (good) results you've gotten for him over the past few months.

      Also, show him the proof of the much higher prices from your competitors, so by comparison it looks like he's getting a great deal from you.


      Of course, this all hinges on you being able to provide evidence of ROI (because rhetoric and hype will only get you so far, if the numbers don't verify any results)


      Anyway, there's a couple ideas for you to consider.


      I wish you the best of luck.

      All the best,
      SAR
      Thanks for your advice and feedback, I really appreciate it. I understand that I don't actually have a client yet, I'm just glad that he wants to get on the phone with me. Since this is my first potential client, my goal during the call is to explain how my service can help his business and why he would benefit from having a Yelp listing set up. As far as payment goes, I've seen some reputation management companies charge as much as $5k to $10k per month. Like you said it might be a better idea to offer a discount first and later on charge full price.
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  • Originally Posted by sunshne721 View Post

    Hello everyone,

    As much as I love online marketing, I'm more passionate about consulting and helping local businesses get more customers through reputation management (Yelp, Google Business, etc.). After months of going through training programs and learning how to prospect the right way, I finally got my first client! The guy actually said he wasn't interested at first, but when I told him about the service I offer and how it can help his business tremendously, he said he was interested in learning more and he wants to talk with me next week.

    My plan is to set up a Yelp listing for him free of charge to get my foot in the door and then later on offer my Google Business service for $599 a month. What are your thoughts on this overall plan and should I lower or raise the price? I know that many reputation management services charge thousands of dollars. Any and all advice is welcome.
    What you have is an appointment, not a client. Why are you offering something for free?

    If you offer something for free, you don't have your "foot in the door"...what you have is a person that is used to you giving them services for free.

    Your appointment (if he keeps it) is your foot in the door.

    Take SARubin's advice.
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    • Profile picture of the author sunshne721
      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      What you have is an appointment, not a client. Why are you offering something for free?

      If you offer something for free, you don't have your "foot in the door"...what you have is a person that is used to you giving them services for free.

      Your appointment (if he keeps it) is your foot in the door.

      Take SARubin's advice.
      Thanks for your feedback. I heard that a lot of offline marketers offer a small service for free to their clients to build trust and then they charge them later on. However, I honestly don't agree with this because I've had my share of getting paid very little or not getting paid at all working as a freelancer to put hours into a project without getting paid a dime in return. That's why I'm considering charging at a discount first and then charge the full price later on.
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  • Profile picture of the author instafamous
    I thought your niche was flipping domains. I think you posted earlier.
    ty. following
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    • Profile picture of the author sunshne721
      Originally Posted by instafamous View Post

      I thought your niche was flipping domains. I think you posted earlier.
      ty. following
      Thanks for replying. I used to sell a few domains here and there, but I realized that it was kind of risky. I also had a bad experience of buyers not paying, so I decided to move on and only focus on what I'm passionate about.
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  • Profile picture of the author animal44
    Freebie seekers will mess you about...
    You'll find that most serious business owners will accept that something worth having is worth paying for.
    You can give them more confidence by offering to take a post dated cheque promising to cash it only when they're satisfied.
    If they're not satisfied, then give them the cheque back and move on...
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    People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.
    What I do for a living

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    • Profile picture of the author sunshne721
      Originally Posted by animal44 View Post

      Freebie seekers will mess you about...
      You'll find that most serious business owners will accept that something worth having is worth paying for.
      You can give them more confidence by offering to take a post dated cheque promising to cash it only when they're satisfied.
      If they're not satisfied, then give them the cheque back and move on...
      Thanks for the advice. You're absolutely right and I've experienced that first hand while doing freelance work and marketing other products. I've never thought about your post dated check idea, I will definitely consider doing that. I was just thinking about the type of payment that I would accept and figured that a check would be safer since like you said, I can send it back.
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  • Profile picture of the author dana67
    Congratulations sunshne721. Keep working at it and I wish you much success.
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  • Profile picture of the author dylansmith22
    Congratulations and good luck sunshne721
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  • Profile picture of the author godsonechezona
    i kind of like your bold step. Try giving him something free (i learnt that from Tialopez social media course)

    The idea is great, but if he agrees to buy your service while not sell him starting with small fee.
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  • Profile picture of the author affmarketer101
    Congrats for new client. But as it's new, I think we should start small things in order charge them with little money for building trust.
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  • Profile picture of the author JosephMooryes
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  • Profile picture of the author PurePay
    Congratulations Sun!

    Sounds good that you lure them in with something free, then to put price on yourself after POC - Proof of concept.

    You will get a happier client that way till you start building a strong portfolio, i am doing the same thing with mine. Just launched two months ago and i am using a lot of man hours on helping with finding them processing and what not. I have not priced them for doing all the other things that way arrise, in case they will refer me to others.

    Whether the price is right or not, i can't say. It all depends on experience, success criteria and of course how many hours you have to put into it!
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  • Profile picture of the author helisell
    Like so many other posts asking for advice.....we never get to hear what actually happened?

    Of the various advice given which one did you opt for?

    How did that work out for you?

    Did the opportunity ever become a client?

    Wouldn't it be great to have a forum where people posted back to tell everyone what actually happened...what worked....what didn't...
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    Making Calls To Sell Something? What are you actually saying?
    Is there any room for improvement? Want to find out?

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    • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
      Originally Posted by helisell View Post

      Like so many other posts asking for advice.....we never get to hear what actually happened?

      Of the various advice given which one did you opt for?

      How did that work out for you?

      Did the opportunity ever become a client?

      Wouldn't it be great to have a forum where people posted back to tell everyone what actually happened...what worked....what didn't...

      Probably because nothing happened.

      There have been other threads discussing this...and the reasons why. Too numerous to get into.

      In any case, the number of actual DOERS here would be a pretty small group. Probably not worth chasing.

      My .02

      Ron
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  • Profile picture of the author Jesse Carr
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