what is the minimum one must know before you sell yourself offline?

27 replies
I am moving offline, and can get a decent amount of clients right off the bat.

I see threads about don't sell yourself as a service provider if you do not know how to actually deliver.

What is the consensus on the bare minimum one must know how to do yourself before heading offline?

Bearing in mind the ease of being able to outsource very easily.

I think I can deliver on everything I promise but maybe I promise to little. So lets list the things that are essentials to know.
#minimum #offline #sell
  • Profile picture of the author Vanessa Reece
    Hey Cathy

    I went from IM coaching to consultancy on recently (in fact offer a hybrid from time to time) and my main thing was that I could confidently promote my clients and get them results in via the services I felt I could do.

    I know everything thing can be outsourced but here is the thing - in the early days I want to be sure I get the results and I do the work because it's my name on the line. Plus I need time to build up a trusted outsource network. Maybe I'm over thinking it but it feels right in my gut.

    I did have some tester consultancy clients who I asked to be my guinea pigs and used the many of the same IM tools that you probably know anyway and asked for feedback. Once I knew they'd increased their profits or achieved their goal I felt very cool with offering various things like web set up, opt-in set up, fb and twitter promotion, e-product set up and the like.

    Everyone would be different I suppose Cathy but if you can set up a site and offer maybe some other promotional services that would be cost effective and profit growing then I think you'd be fine.

    Right now I'm dealing with two clients who were ripped off badly with bad sites and no knowledge of marketing from those they chose to put their money with. That is the shame of it all (they need to start almost from scratch) - lots of sharks who know nothing about marketing. At the core I think you have to have the sense that their business is your business and you care about it. I don't give a hoot if people think that comment is a fluffy one. I do care if my clients get results and what they want.

    Plus - I must add that my new clients are keen to know strategy and have me implement that. I write reports for everyone - even my coaching clients. It helps everyone know what is what and it adds value to the service.

    Lastly Cathy you will come across people that don't even know how to set up a facebook or twitter account - for them this may be a golden service. It's the lil things we take for granted many offline businesses just have no clue about.

    Hope that insight helps.

    V

    P.S

    Others may have different responses Cathy but judging my your posts on here you're one smart cookie and I feel very confident you'll be great at offline marketing.
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    • Profile picture of the author chris916
      You should be confident that you know what is required for on and off page SEO and know how to implement such measures. If you don't think you can do that, you are not ready.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dexx
    The minimum you should know?

    1) What is you know/do that can help them
    2) Why they should hire you over the other dozens of people that approach them daily
    3) Your own target end goals/desires

    There's many other areas (of course), but if you don't know the answers to those 3 areas then there's no point even talking to a business owner.

    ~Dexx
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  • Profile picture of the author mattlaclear
    Great question Cathy. The minimum I look for when starting a new endeavor is simply, "Can I help this person overcome their problem?". If I can answer yes to that question then I know I'm ready to start helping customers and clients.
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  • Profile picture of the author visimedia
    it's simple. Just do whatever what your customers want, promise something that you think you can do it, then that's it. Right?

    Marketing = give what your customers want.

    It's that simple

    =)
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      Originally Posted by visimedia View Post

      it's simple. Just do whatever what your customers want, promise something that you think you can do it, then that's it. Right?

      Marketing = give what your customers want.

      It's that simple

      =)
      And if you can't do what they want, go find a WSO about it.
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      • Profile picture of the author kuzmo1
        I still don't know everything but the because of the power of the internet, the right answer is only seconds away.

        Always keep things simple. Don't use terms which are too technical without breaking it down. Your client has to fully understand what you have to offer and what you can do to enhance the business.

        If you can portray all of this with a smile, you will go far!
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  • Profile picture of the author Alfred Shelver
    There are times when speaking to the layman that I feel all knowledgable but then I get on here and some of you very smart people make me think that I may need some more learning.

    I agree though if you can fill the customers need you know enough I like the definition
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  • Profile picture of the author Voasi
    I've worked with business owners that didn't know one thing about SEO or online marketing, yet grew there company to doing $250k a month in billings. If you know the process and can find someone competent to do the work and who has a good track record you're set.

    Alternatively, if you're skill set is in one particular area, you can just focus on that. For instance, I know guys that are really good at coupon marketing - so they stick to only offering that service to clients and pass off clients to myself for any online related stuff. I know other guys who focus on USP development - and offer my services to clients and just mark it up. You know what you know and you know what you don't know so just find someone who knows what you don't know and knows it well and put your mark up on it.
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  • Profile picture of the author mr2monster
    Simple answer: More than your prospect.
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  • Profile picture of the author sandalwood
    Cathy,

    You should know how to help the business owner increase his/her profit. Period. Take my field for example. I own a multi-line insurance agency. If I met you at a party and you told me what you wrote in your post and I asked how you could increase my bottom line, what would you tell me?

    Be aware that I already have 25 insurance companies giving me free market advice, literature and almost anything else I want within the law. I'm not the only biz owner in this situation so again, how can you increase my bottom line?

    Answer that and you won't lack for clients.

    Have a great day.

    sandalwood
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  • Profile picture of the author vndnbrgj
    I think it is important to have a good understanding of what you will be offering.
    I have to agree with "V"
    You don't have to become an expert. But you should at least know how to get the job done yourself.
    Say you outsource something, and they get busy with other clients. What do you do? What if they fail to deliver after they have been paid?
    I just think there are too many "What If's" to not know.

    I am looking at starting a medical billing company. I don't know a thing about medical billing. Sure I can hire people that have experience but, ultimately it's my name and reputation on the line. So, instead, I am choosing to get a degree in the field.
    I don't plan on doing any of the work myself, but at least I will know enough to know what to look for.
    Plus, what do you do if you run into an educated client. It happens. Doesn't happen often, but it does happen. Then you look like a deer caught in the headlights because you are supposed to be the expert, yet have no idea about the product/service you're offering.

    Hope this makes a little bit of sense.
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  • Profile picture of the author LiquidSeo
    Originally Posted by Cathy Shelver View Post

    I am moving offline, and can get a decent amount of clients right off the bat.

    I see threads about don't sell yourself as a service provider if you do not know how to actually deliver.

    What is the consensus on the bare minimum one must know how to do yourself before heading offline?

    Bearing in mind the ease of being able to outsource very easily.

    I think I can deliver on everything I promise but maybe I promise to little. So lets list the things that are essentials to know.

    It all boils down to net new customers/sales. If you can deliver this, than you will be a very welcome vendor!
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    I would say the minimum one must know to sell a website or an offline service is.... (drum roll please) ....

    "A web designer".

    If you can explain the benefits of a 5 page website, and you know a webdesigner who can fulfill, then you know enough.

    Honestly, look all over the WF right now... new offliners success stories are happening everyday.

    I have 3 or 4 people at my own forum who just last week made their first offline sales... happens every week with new people popping up all the time. You know how they do it?

    By just jumping in and canvassing business owners.

    You know a webdesigner?

    Can you canvass and find a business that needs a website or other offline service?

    Bingo.

    We have a win win situation!

    The sooner you start, the sooner you find out for yourself... OR, you can just follow my threads and see a trail of people right here on the WF, who are doing it starting from scratch right before your very eyes and making their first sales. Some are starting out with questions that arent even as educated as the ones you are asking.

    As we say in Nashville "The proof is in the pickin"... if you know someone who needs a web service, and you know someone who can perform it... Congratulations, you can be an offline services broker.

    Even better if you can design by yourself.

    Originally Posted by mgtarheels View Post

    More than your prospect.
    Woop. There it is.

    Originally Posted by Dexx View Post

    The minimum you should know?

    2) Why they should hire you over the other dozens of people that approach them daily

    ~Dexx
    Dexx, I love you man, you're beautiful, but I keep hearing you say this over and over, and I have to tell you its the kind of question that leads to analysis paralysis.

    You or I will never see a day when SOMEBODY out there doesnt have a tighter pitch than we do.

    So Lets look at it.

    "why should you hire me over the tons of more qualified people that will forever, perpetually, until the end of time as we know it, be coming in here approaching you with better pitches than mine..."?

    ...another drum roll...

    "Because Im standing here asking you, and if you say NO Im just gonna go next door ask somebody else".

    BoooYAH! Thats what Im talkin about. Im not gonna stand here and rend my bossom or unveil my pride as a man, jumping through hoops to prove to you that Im somehow more qualified than everyone else on the planet...

    NO!

    Here's what Im gonna do Sir, Im gonna make you an offer, and if you dont like it.... (Get Ready)

    IM STILL GONNA BE IN BUSINESS TOMORROW JUST LIKE YOU ARE!

    Hows that sound? No hard feelings. Are you interested in my offer or not?

    .
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    • Profile picture of the author Alfred Shelver
      John When I wrote this thread I really was hoping I would get an answer from you, When this fell off the first page I had decent feedback but no John Durham reply. Thank you and you did not disappoint.

      Some may feel that you are too lenient on newbies, I think you are spot on . In the little time I have been exploring offline I realized there are still a multitude of businesses without any online presence. Well I feel that I do know enough so here I go in to the big offline world.

      With google and the WF as my help desk


      Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

      I would say the minimum one must know to sell a website or an offline service is.... (drum roll please) ....

      "A web designer".

      If you can explain the benefits of a 5 page website, and you know a webdesigner who can fulfill, then you know enough.

      Honestly, look all over the WF right now... new offliners success stories are happening everyday.

      I have 3 or 4 people at my own forum who just last week made their first offline sales... happens every week with new people popping up all the time. You know how they do it?

      By just jumping in and canvassing business owners.

      You know a webdesigner?

      Can you canvass and find a business that needs a website or other offline service?

      Bingo.

      We have a win win situation!

      The sooner you start, the sooner you find out for yourself... OR, you can just follow my threads and see a trail of people right here on the WF, who are doing it starting from scratch right before your very eyes and making their first sales. Some are starting out with questions that arent even as educated as the ones you are asking.

      As we say in Nashville "The proof is in the pickin"... if you know someone who needs a web service, and you know someone who can perform it... Congratulations, you can be an offline services broker.

      Even better if you can design by yourself.



      Woop. There it is.



      Dexx, I love you man, you're beautiful, but I keep hearing you say this over and over, and I have to tell you its the kind of question that leads to analysis paralysis.

      You or I will never see a day when SOMEBODY out there doesnt have a tighter pitch than we do.

      So Lets look at it.

      "why should you hire me over the tons of more qualified people that will forever, perpetually, until the end of time as we know it, be coming in here approaching you with better pitches than mine..."?

      ...another drum roll...

      "Because Im standing here asking you, and if you say NO Im just gonna go next door ask somebody else".

      BoooYAH! Thats what Im talkin about. Im not gonna stand here and rend my bossom or unveil my pride as a man, jumping through hoops to prove to you that Im somehow more qualified than everyone else on the planet...

      NO!

      Here's what Im gonna do Sir, Im gonna make you an offer, and if you dont like it.... (Get Ready)

      IM STILL GONNA BE IN BUSINESS TOMORROW JUST LIKE YOU ARE!

      Hows that sound? No hard feelings. Are you interested in my offer or not?

      .
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      • Profile picture of the author The Kid
        Originally Posted by Cathy Shelver View Post


        With google and the WF as my help desk
        Don't forget John's site now. The Telemarketing forum is an awesome resource for those looking to go offline.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dexx
      Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

      Dexx, I love you man, you're beautiful, but I keep hearing you say this over and over, and I have to tell you its the kind of question that leads to analysis paralysis.

      You or I will never see a day when SOMEBODY out there doesnt have a tighter pitch than we do.

      Heh, no worries, I think I should have clarified a bit of what I was implying.

      What I was saying is that the OP needs to be able to explain the benefit SHE will be able to provide the prospect that other competing companies can't do (or don't really mention they do).

      Otherwise she basically just opens herself up to price-negotiations etc.

      Sure there's the off-chance that the prospect might just go with her because she's right there and they are ready to take action...

      But I've typically found business owners (when introduced to an idea for the first time) will look at their options first...including what else is out there...unless the marketers makes it clear that THEY have something that won't be easily found elsewhere.

      Of course someone might say "well there's nothing he can offer that someone else can't just offer as well," in which case the OP needs to take a look at her business and do something TO make her business stand-out in the eyes of the prospect.

      Repositioning her solutions, repackaging her services, systematizing her delivery, etc. something to stand out from the competition...otherwise she's just another "me too" marketer that is bound to struggle more than she needs to.

      Or she could play the numbers game and hope her conversion numbers are enough to keep her motivated...

      But to each their own =P

      ~Dexx
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    I love what Og Mandino says "I will call on TEN prospects, while the failures are yet making grand plans to call on their first".

    Maybe there's other ways... conversion means nothing to me... Sales at the end of the day is what matters. If I have 5 sales at the end of the week, and another has higher conversion but only ONE sale... then Im not worried about conversion rates.

    It only takes a couple of hours to set 3 appointments... there is no shortage of them as Cathy mentioned. Its not like we are running out of businesses to call on and so we have to be afraid of burning up all our leads.

    In short:

    I personally dont care to talk till Im blue in the face, dress up in a 3 peice suit, and go out trying to convince people of the lie that "Nobody else can do for you what I can" , or that "Im a big deal"...because its not true, alot of people can do what I can...

    (I use this as a selling point, to make the guys coming in with big parades seem less legit personally).

    In reality the same fully optimized site Im gonna charge them $1000 for, Im gonna come back here to the warrior forum and have someone else design for $250. Fact.

    Theres more un employed webdesigners in this world that will do a nice optimized 5 page site for $200 than I can count... they are much less rare these days than un employed salesmen.

    Despite that, some will come in with HIGHLY polished pitches, demographics charts and try to charge you $5000 for the same quality of website Im gonna build for you...with virtually ZERO difference in quality.

    "Im just gonna tell you sir, this is what Im offering, if you want someone to do a job for you without a bunch of big extravagant parades, and keep your design cost under $1000... then Im your man. If not , thank you for your time".

    In the end, business owners like to deal with people who will just do the job without a bunch of extravagant BS along the way. They dont want to be impressed as much as they want someone to just quietly and efficiently get the work done.

    Your sales presentation is what helps them determine if you are that person or not. "No Frills, no overboard presentation... You need a website, lets just get ur done sir, and get you online". We can chit chat and rub elbows later.

    In my experience small business owners like that. Also in the experience of many people I know who are currently adopting that strategy after years of feeling they weren't "good enough" yet.

    After just taking some simple "action" and forgetting all the preconceived notions that they have to present themselves as a rocket scientist...the notions that have held them back and made them hesitate from taking action... they are now reporting paydays finally.

    Finally instead telling their spouses "I am making alot of progress this week"... They are now saying "I made MONEY this week honey"!

    Action. Just take it. Prove it for yourself. You will get more polished along the way... but you will never gain any confidence or sales until you jump in.

    With all the big names like Andrew Cavanaugh and others out there selling reports on how to do offline I could easily have said "I dont know how I can prove Im as good as they are yet, and I cant put anything out until I can prove why my report is as good as theirs...", but I heard Steven Waggenhiem say "Just write it, dont worry if its rough, and put it out there for Gods sake".

    And now I have a TOP selling report, however rough, I wrote in in 24 hours just like Steven said, it has changed 100 lives.

    Go out there and do it.

    Lots of people will say "dont"... lots of people will say "Dont take John Durhams advice, he is too lenient on newbies"... but those people will have you BROKE next month still trying to convince yourself of your worthiness, maybe even next YEAR (which is next month ironically ).

    Be lenient on YOURSELF... and go take action and get better as you go along, but for Gods sake make some sales in the process.

    Okay enough of the soap box. Mucho amor to all.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alfred Shelver
      If your post is anything to go by which by all accounts took you a few minutes, anything you write in 24 hours should be pulitzer material.
      Great writing

      Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

      And now I have a TOP selling report, however rough, I wrote in in 24 hours


      Dexx thank you for your reply and your detailed thoughts.

      I have no problem cold calling in fact I love meeting new people so cold calling pays me to do that.

      I believe I will have a unique selling point, me .... Kidding.

      I will definitely take your thoughts to heart because if I can increase my conversion along with presenting to more people all the better for my bottom line.
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      • Profile picture of the author John Durham
        Originally Posted by Cathy Shelver View Post

        If your post is anything to go by which by all accounts took you a few minutes, anything you write in 24 hours should be pulitzer material.
        Great writing





        Dexx thank you for your reply and your detailed thoughts.

        I have no problem cold calling in fact I love meeting new people so cold calling pays me to do that.

        I believe I will have a unique selling point, me .... Kidding.

        I will definitely take your thoughts to heart because if I can increase my conversion along with presenting to more people all the better for my bottom line.
        Agreed. I value Dexx thoughts as well and have learned alot from his posts. He is def a true player.... Im just big time ANTI "prove to me why I should do business with you". My answer is always, "Because if you dont its no big deal, I will go next door, and you can let someone charge you ten times the price for the same job. Just making the offer".

        You'd be surprised how many people LOVE that answer.
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  • Profile picture of the author paulie888
    Cathy, when you're first starting out it'd be best, in my opinion, to offer a fairly narrow and well-defined set of services that you absolutely know how to provide and/or outsource. I find that offering too many options when you're still new to the business tends to confuse your prospects, and it opens up a whole can of worms in terms of additional services and features that you may not yet feel comfortable with executing/providing.

    If your focus is on websites (I'd definitely recommend that starting out, as this is the easiest service to do yourself and/or outsource), just provide 3-4 packages initially, and not any more. Clearly define what you're offering with each package so that you handle customer expectations properly from the outset. (This is very important so as to avoid any misunderstandings later on.)

    Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author George Pitts
    I agree with alot of people on here. Just really keep your eyes open for alot of John Durhams advice and also other peoples stories. I found that you can learn alot from just reading what 0others are doing or have done. Wait for reviews on books before impulse buying. One of the things I did when I jumped over to offline was buy almost every book that came available and alot of them didn't help me at all.

    Lastly start to market what you know how to do NOW. This is something I did and it turned into a client that is gonna be long term and got more offers to do other things. Dont let anyone tell you that you cant learn on the fly. A wise man once said "you dont have to know something to offer it... You just have to know where to find someone that can" (John Durham). Thats what I did and it has paid off dramatically. There is still several things I have to learn and that I dont know but it wont stop me from marketing what I know and helping with other things that customers may ask for by finding someone who does it.
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  • Profile picture of the author RentItNow
    You can literally learn 5 things that would AMAZE almost any business owner you are going to encounter:

    1. Headline (read Perry Marshalls new stuff)
    2. Offer (read The Irresistible Offer)
    3. Call to Action (start noticing ones that get you to spend your money)
    4. Scarcity (not hard to figure out).
    5. Analytics and Adwords or AB testing (again perry marshall).

    The business owner already knows probably what works, you just have to give them direction and a system to keep getting results. The last one, testing is the most critical to be able to deliver but also the hardest to sell. Sell them on using Adwords to test the other 4. Google gives a huge free credit to test almost anything FAST.

    There are a few other free books and resources but literally anything you read about marketing puts you light years ahead of the average business owner.

    BTW, do u know how many local ads do not even have a headline? The bar is not too high.
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    I have no agenda but to help those in the same situation. This I feel will pay the bills.
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  • Profile picture of the author Luther Landro
    Simply, you need to know how to talk about the product you hope to sell. Being personable and having a good work ethic & professional persona is also critical.

    Lastly, have the right back-end or outsource who can do the actual grunt work. Ask the outsources to run you through their process.

    You don't have to be an expert in the product, but you should train yourself to talk like one.

    The right thing to do is to become an legitimate expert on the product so you can confidently speak about all its aspects. You'll close more sales this way.
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  • Profile picture of the author mjbmedia
    Cathy, great thread, great and honest question

    You have to be able to move the prospect from where they are now (likely missing out on tonnes of opportunities through lack of knowledge and/or fear of taking action) to where you KNOW they could and should be with your assistance.

    They want clients through the door, they want targetted visitors to their web pages, end of the day, they want more money in the bank account , you need then to be able to come up with various ways of them achieving that and know that , by self or outsourcing to reliable people, you can over deliver each and every time.

    Very few business owners are going to want to hear how its going to be done, so you dont need to know the technical details, they just want it done , process it down to simple steps , timeline it as best you can, let them know what to expect each step of the way (including problems and delays) , dont ever leave them in the dark , be open with unexpected issues.

    You need honesty, integrity, openess and a committment to success.
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