10 minutes of research + 1 phone call = $499

41 replies
So here's my story; I'm a 22 year old university student from Australia and currently work part-time at a department store. A few months ago I hurt my lower back doing some Olympic lifts and was told today that I need to take a week off work in order to let it heal properly.

Now, with no work for a week and it being the university holidays, I figured I would use this time to make some cash from offline marketing. Yesterday, as I was walking to my chiropractor appointment (who I have a meeting with on Thursday about a website) I jotted down each small business that I saw as they were potential clients.

Today, when I was sent home by the doctor from work, I hopped on the net and started researching those businesses. 6 minutes later I found a business with a website that wasn't displaying correctly. I spent the next 4 minutes researching car wash (client is a car detailing place) website templates, found a suitable one and gave the manager a call (name and number was on the existing site).

He answered the phone and this is how the conversation went;

Him: Welcome to "insert business name" this is Julius
Me: Hey Julius how are you mate? Listen, my name's Scott and I'm a freelance web consultant. I stumbled across your website this morning while doing work for another client and saw that it's not actually displaying correctly. Did you know this?
Him: No
Me: Yeah instead of taking up the full width of the page, your site only takes up about a quarter and you can't read the menu or your promo codes.
Him: Haha we don't really worry about the site. My kids wanted to make it so I let them but yeah, we don't bother with it.
Me: Your kids didn't do too bad of a job haha, how old are they?
Him: Both are 15
Me: Fair enough. Listen Julius I wont take up much of your time. I've completed a preliminary redesign of your site so that it actually displays correctly and will enable you to capture more leads. If you're interested I can send it to you at your "admin@businessname.com.au" address so you can take a look. Sound good?
Him: Oh really? Yeah sure.
Me: Alright I'll send it by close of business today. Thanks Julius. I'll be in contact soon.

So after this I sent him a screenshot of the template. I told him that if he liked it, I will give it to him for free. He sent a reply saying he "love(s) it". I replied asking him to give me 48 hours while I get it ready. I then told him that I can merge all of his existing content onto the new site, install it and set up a GP listing all for only $499 instead of my usual $799.

He then called me, gave me his credit card details and I charged him $200 upfront, and will charge him $299 once everything is finished.

So I'll be collecting $499 in 48 hours, from 1 client, which I got through 1 phone call and literally 10 minutes of research. Yes, this might be luck, but I like to think that my natural personality and selling skills had a little bit to do with it.

So guys just get out there and make those calls/send those emails. You have absolutely nothing to lose by doing so and a whole heap to gain. Every thanks in the world goes to this thread http://www.warriorforum.com/offline-...knowledge.html and John for inspiring me.
#$499 #call #minutes #phone #research
  • Profile picture of the author paulie888
    Great post, Scott! I think offline opportunities are all around us at the moment, and we just need to open our eyes to the possibilities out there whenever we get out of the house, and also when we talk to friends and acquaintances. It's so easy to miss these opportunities if you don't have the proper mindset and knowledge about what can be done for local businesses, many of which are completely clueless when it comes to internet marketing.

    Are you charging them a one-time fee for the Google Places listing, or will you be asking for a monthly maintenance/upkeep fee?

    Paul
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    • Profile picture of the author Scott Kennedy
      Originally Posted by paulie888 View Post

      Great post, Scott! I think offline opportunities are all around us at the moment, and we just need to open our eyes to the possibilities out there whenever we get out of the house, and also when we talk to friends and acquaintances. It's so easy to miss these opportunities if you don't have the proper mindset and knowledge about what can be done for local businesses, many of which are completely clueless when it comes to internet marketing.

      Are you charging them a one-time fee for the Google Places listing, or will you be asking for a monthly maintenance/upkeep fee?

      Paul
      I don't think I'll ever be able to walk down a street without taking notes again lol. I'm charging them a one off fee and will talk to them about a package which includes GP upkeep once everything is finished. This business doesn't spend a lot on marketing and is skeptical of the internet so I'm taking it in baby steps.
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      • Profile picture of the author Hopp
        Originally Posted by Scott Kennedy View Post

        I don't think I'll ever be able to walk down a street without taking notes again lol. I'm charging them a one off fee and will talk to them about a package which includes GP upkeep once everything is finished. This business doesn't spend a lot on marketing and is skeptical of the internet so I'm taking it in baby steps.
        Great story. Good luck landing them as a long term client!
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        • Profile picture of the author TE2
          Hey Scott,

          In PayPal there is a "Request Money" tab. All you need is their email address to send them an invoice.

          PayPal also recently added some new features:
          1. You can create custom invoices and save them as templates
          2. Track contacts using their new address book
          3. Manage/track invoices and payments
          Regards,

          John

          ps - Congrats on taking action and your success. It's always a learning process.
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  • Profile picture of the author Always-A-Warrior
    Originally Posted by Scott Kennedy View Post

    He then called him, gave me his credit card details and I charged him $200 upfront, and will charge him $299 once everything is finished.
    Great job Scott but one question. How did you collect his credit card info?. I'm sure he didn't just give you his card number and pin. Just wondering.

    I'm into local marketing as well.
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    • Profile picture of the author Scott Kennedy
      Originally Posted by Always-A-Warrior View Post

      Great job Scott but one question. How did you collect his credit card info?. I'm sure he didn't just give you his card number and pin. Just wondering.

      I'm into local marketing as well.
      Originally Posted by JasonTai View Post

      Very interesting. I have the same question as Always-A-Warrior. And do you write up a contract and E-mail it to him ? Just wondering how you go about making sure he is good for the last $299 once you have invested your time into the project. All and all though sounds awesome
      He gave me his card type, card number, expiry, name, CCV and address it was linked to (business card). I then did a normal Paypal transaction using his credit card to pay for my services.

      As this is my first paying client and he is the sole owner, I didn't use a contract. I have no doubt that he will pay after everything is completed and in the event that he doesn't, the emails I have which state that he will pay money in return for my services is a form of contract which I can enforce legally if it ever came to that (Australian law).

      In the future I will get a cut and paste contract drawn up.
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      • Profile picture of the author paulie888
        Originally Posted by Scott Kennedy View Post

        He gave me his card type, card number, expiry, name, CCV and address it was linked to (business card). I then did a normal Paypal transaction using his credit card to pay for my services.

        As this is my first paying client and he is the sole owner, I didn't use a contract. I have no doubt that he will pay after everything is completed and in the event that he doesn't, the emails I have which state that he will pay money in return for my services is a form of contract which I can enforce legally if it ever came to that (Australian law).

        In the future I will get a cut and paste contract drawn up.
        Scott, did you initiate this payment at home from your own computer, presumably with the same IP address that you regularly use to log into your own Paypal account?

        Paul
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        • Profile picture of the author Scott Kennedy
          Originally Posted by paulie888 View Post

          Scott, did you initiate this payment at home from your own computer, presumably with the same IP address that you regularly use to log into your own Paypal account?

          Paul
          Sure did. How is it different than processing a normal phone order with a credit card?
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      • Profile picture of the author Ron Kennedy
        Well done Scott for taking action while some of us are still procrastinating

        Originally Posted by Scott Kennedy View Post

        He gave me his card type, card number, expiry, name, CCV and address it was linked to (business card). I then did a normal Paypal transaction using his credit card to pay for my services.
        Are you sure that this is allowed mate? I'd tread carefully if I were you.

        Best wishes

        Cliff
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      • Hi Scott

        Well done.
        BTW - One thing that you could have done with the card and the paypal account is to trigger a multi payment on the first entry.

        All you would need to do is let the client know that you were doing it.

        So first payment would have been $200.00 and the the multi payment would be 1 X $299.00 at the timeframe you selected - lets say 3 days, 1 week whatever.

        Hope that helps for your next customer.

        It lets them know that you "really are in business" and you get your back-side protected too.

        Regards

        Bronwyn and Keith
        Originally Posted by Scott Kennedy View Post

        He gave me his card type, card number, expiry, name, CCV and address it was linked to (business card). I then did a normal Paypal transaction using his credit card to pay for my services.

        As this is my first paying client and he is the sole owner, I didn't use a contract. I have no doubt that he will pay after everything is completed and in the event that he doesn't, the emails I have which state that he will pay money in return for my services is a form of contract which I can enforce legally if it ever came to that (Australian law).

        In the future I will get a cut and paste contract drawn up.
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  • Profile picture of the author JasonTai
    Very interesting. I have the same question as Always-A-Warrior. And do you write up a contract and E-mail it to him ? Just wondering how you go about making sure he is good for the last $299 once you have invested your time into the project. All and all though sounds awesome
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  • Profile picture of the author jacquic
    Scott, excellent story! I love how positive you were with this, and I hope it will inspire people who are afraid to take that step to just give it a go.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Rayment
    Hey Scott
    This is a really great post. It just shows how important is just to be natural and talk to people about the way they you can help them. Well done!
    Mark
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  • Profile picture of the author krzysiek
    Hi Scott,

    Good on ya. I'm trying to get off my feet with this stuff too, loving the Uni holidays.

    In regards to the credit card, it could likely potentially be seen as 'illegal' or whatever, as technically the card is his and he must initiate the payment I believe, not you. Also, PayPal records your IP when you log in to your accounts, then if you charge someones credit card from your home PC, it looks like you have a 'possibly' stolen credit card and you're paying yourself whatever you see fit.

    We know it isn't this way, but you need to look at other possibilities to charge them via CC. There is, I believe, an option within PayPal (if you have a merchant account I think?) to enter in a clients details and charge them X amount. Don't hold me to this, but I believe there is this option. For next time, you should try to use a different method though, as I am talking from experience, if you give PayPal a reason to freeze your account they will do it, and boy is it a hassle trying to get funds unlocked, etc. Even had to threaten them and tell them I will take them to small claims after they would refuse to unlock funds for a friend, on going for 3 weeks..
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Rayment
      A way round this would be to create a pay now button in paypal, put into an e mail and the client can then just click and pay. Takes away any potential for misunderstanding.
      Mark
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    • Profile picture of the author Scott Kennedy
      Originally Posted by krzysiek View Post

      Hi Scott,

      Good on ya. I'm trying to get off my feet with this stuff too, loving the Uni holidays.

      In regards to the credit card, it could likely potentially be seen as 'illegal' or whatever, as technically the card is his and he must initiate the payment I believe, not you. Also, PayPal records your IP when you log in to your accounts, then if you charge someones credit card from your home PC, it looks like you have a 'possibly' stolen credit card and you're paying yourself whatever you see fit.

      We know it isn't this way, but you need to look at other possibilities to charge them via CC. There is, I believe, an option within PayPal (if you have a merchant account I think?) to enter in a clients details and charge them X amount. Don't hold me to this, but I believe there is this option. For next time, you should try to use a different method though, as I am talking from experience, if you give PayPal a reason to freeze your account they will do it, and boy is it a hassle trying to get funds unlocked, etc. Even had to threaten them and tell them I will take them to small claims after they would refuse to unlock funds for a friend, on going for 3 weeks..
      Originally Posted by markie1r View Post

      A way round this would be to create a pay now button in paypal, put into an e mail and the client can then just click and pay. Takes away any potential for misunderstanding.
      Mark
      Ah crap. Many thanks for the heads up guys.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    Hey Scott!!!!

    Rock n Roll! Good for you on your first sale!

    Taking credit cards over the phone and manually typing the numbers in yourself is a normal prcatice... thousands of people do it every day.

    There are several merchant processors including Authorize.net that will provide you with an online portal just for that very purpose.

    There are a ton of ways to process checks and credit cards over the phone if you google around, or ask at the TMF, alot of people there do it everyday... I recommend auth net... or if you are using homestead they offer one as well...

    Im not sure if its legal with paypal or not, but I dont see why it shouldnt be... def check into it.

    Awesome job on the sale man!!

    Celebration time!

    "This is the day of independence for all the munchkins and their descendants" !!
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  • Profile picture of the author krzysiek
    Hi John,

    I think it depends on how he did the transaction. I wouldn't call it illegal at all, just that if he did it the 'wrong' way with PayPal, then PayPal themselves might see it as illegal (and then give him trouble for it). That's all I meant with my statement, not that what he actually did was illegal - as technically, the guy willingly handed over his credit card information

    I think what Scott was referring to (and I could definitely be wrong for assuming here) is that he did not log into his PayPal, but rather paid himself (his PayPal account) while not logged in, as a 'non PayPal account holder' as some people do when they don't have PayPal accounts and pay with a credit card. I think that doing this might seem a little fishy to PayPal, even though it is not. The correct procedure I think would be to use the Pay Now button generated from within PayPal, or some alternative where you are logged in to your account.

    But again, maybe he was logged in to his own account and did it the right way, or maybe not. Either way, good on him for actually calling! I think that, potentially, that little retail job he has may not stick around for too long. Hopefully this opened some doors for him!
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    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
      Originally Posted by krzysiek View Post

      Hi John,

      I think it depends on how he did the transaction. I wouldn't call it illegal at all, just that if he did it the 'wrong' way with PayPal, then PayPal themselves might see it as illegal (and then give him trouble for it). That's all I meant with my statement, not that what he actually did was illegal - as technically, the guy willingly handed over his credit card information

      I think what Scott was referring to (and I could definitely be wrong for assuming here) is that he did not log into his PayPal, but rather paid himself (his PayPal account) while not logged in, as a 'non PayPal account holder' as some people do when they don't have PayPal accounts and pay with a credit card. I think that doing this might seem a little fishy to PayPal, even though it is not. The correct procedure I think would be to use the Pay Now button generated from within PayPal, or some alternative where you are logged in to your account.

      But again, maybe he was logged in to his own account and did it the right way, or maybe not. Either way, good on him for actually calling! I think that, potentially, that little retail job he has may not stick around for too long. Hopefully this opened some doors for him!
      Yeah I understand. I let my biz partner into my pay pal one day and they shut me down due to different IP... it would make sense that pay pal should have a solution for phone sales though you would think. Its a fairly standard need for biz people.

      Even when I managed a retail store people would call in and give me their credit card over the phone to reserve things...

      It would shock me if paypal hasnt covered that base.
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      • Profile picture of the author lewiswharf
        Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

        it would make sense that pay pal should have a solution for phone sales
        They do but not for Website Payments Standard. You would need Pro.
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        -Lewis

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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    You dont have to do it, but for your own protection, one way to make sure the client doesnt call pay pal saying they didnt authorize... is to say during the close "This part of the call may be recorded..." Just another thought.

    But back to the point: AWESOME JOB MAN!!!!!!!!
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    • Hey John

      Just like you to be "thinking ouside of the box"...LOL

      Yeah that would work though.

      Regards

      Bronwyn and Keith
      Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

      You dont have to do it, but for your own protection, one way to make sure the client doesnt call pay pal saying they didnt authorize... is to say during the close "This part of the call may be recorded..." Just another thought.

      But back to the point: AWESOME JOB MAN!!!!!!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jake Gray
    Personally, I wouldn't bother with PayPal Pro. I'd just recommend getting a merchant account. Save yourself the time and effort.

    Jake
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  • Profile picture of the author thomburlington
    Hi Scott,
    I am going to have to invoice and receive payments from offline clients with credit cards as well, but I think the simplest way really is with Paypal, and a Web Payments Standard account is quite sufficient and secure. To do it in a clients office from their computer, all you would need is to access your Paypal account and create an invoice and send it to them and they could pay withing 5-10 minutes while you are there.
    In advance you could have already set up a template for 2 or more payments through :Create Invoice / Invoice Settings " menu.
    Your customer would respond to the email they receive, and go through Paypal's secure payment process.
    Regards, Thom
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  • Profile picture of the author amenwolf
    inspirational story..

    I kinda got stuck on offline marketing... could be cause my sales pitch sucks.. truly have no idea..... everybody's asking for credibility..
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  • Profile picture of the author luane
    I think you should be applauded for taking the initiative you did, didn't give up, was very diplomatic about his children's efforts on his website and went after this with GUSTO! Good for you! Paypal also offers a subscription (for a monthly fee) where you have a button on your website and once Paypal has their credit card info, they bill them automatically - easy, smeezy if you like Paypal.

    Again, congrats on a great job with your new offline client. Most people don't even consider a car wash business! Awesome!
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  • Scott- That is great to hear man. I run into business owners on a regular basis that become clients simply by striking up a conversation. I know relating this story for others will help them take action as well.

    Cheers!

    Steve
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    Some times you just have to take life by the throat and shake a little more out.

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  • Profile picture of the author class451
    nice post indeed. with a proper mindset and enough knowlegh, anyone can make the path easy to came money in his/her account.
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Kennedy
    Many thanks for all the paypal tips guys. Here's a little update;

    I billed the client the final $299 and am charging him $100 a month for GP and site upkeep for 3 months. After he gets some new clients (which I know he will) I will renegotiate my price.

    Today I called approx. 9-13 businesses. They ranged from bookkeeping services, chiropractors, accountants, restaurants and psychologists (pick up the yellow pages, flipped to a random page, called 2-3 numbers). A few numbers were disconnected, 2 places had their managers absent, the rest didn't answer or didn't sound professional (answering the phone with "Yes?!" or "Hi.") However, I got 2 good leads. 1 from an accountancy firm about a redesign of their site and another from a chiropractor about a site design.

    I didn't mention any prices and the chiro said they weren't interested in a site at the moment. I told them that I am trying to build a portfolio of clients and as such, wont charge them for the site if they like it. However, I will charge them for content creation, listing, hosting, upkeep and GP creation. I believe my face-to-face skills and the quality of my designs will enable me to make at least $1200 by Wednesday next week.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
      Originally Posted by Scott Kennedy View Post

      Many thanks for all the paypal tips guys. Here's a little update;

      I billed the client the final $299 and am charging him $100 a month for GP and site upkeep for 3 months. After he gets some new clients (which I know he will) I will renegotiate my price.

      Today I called approx. 9-13 businesses. They ranged from bookkeeping services, chiropractors, accountants, restaurants and psychologists (pick up the yellow pages, flipped to a random page, called 2-3 numbers). A few numbers were disconnected, 2 places had their managers absent, the rest didn't answer or didn't sound professional (answering the phone with "Yes?!" or "Hi.") However, I got 2 good leads. 1 from an accountancy firm about a redesign of their site and another from a chiropractor about a site design.

      I didn't mention any prices and the chiro said they weren't interested in a site at the moment. I told them that I am trying to build a portfolio of clients and as such, wont charge them for the site if they like it. However, I will charge them for content creation, listing, hosting, upkeep and GP creation. I believe my face-to-face skills and the quality of my designs will enable me to make at least $1200 by Wednesday next week.
      Perfect Energy for this! You are a vibrational match to offline success if I have ever seen one Scott! Awesome!
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    • Profile picture of the author TE2
      Originally Posted by Scott Kennedy View Post

      [...]

      I didn't mention any prices and the chiro said they weren't interested in a site at the moment. I told them that I am trying to build a portfolio of clients and as such, wont charge them for the site if they like it. However, I will charge them for content creation, listing, hosting, upkeep and GP creation. [...]
      Sell the "sizzle" not the steak.

      They gave you an honest answer when they said they didn't want a website.
      So what do they want? How about customers?

      Customers are the sizzle and a website is the steak.
      What you need to pitch is getting them more customers.

      A website is only part of the marketing mix for local search.

      A less expensive approach for you would be to pitch a free setup of their Google Places page. Just do the basic claiming and information for them. Your first upsell is optimizing it. Next upsell is monthly maintenance of the page. And of course, Yahoo and Bing pages are part of the mix.

      Once you have demonstrated your expertise, then selling websites and such are much easier upsells.

      Regards,

      John
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  • Profile picture of the author Amir Luis
    Alright SCOTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Way to go bro....

    That is awesome... I love to hear this kind of stuff because that is the way that I got started in this business too....

    I just swallowed my fears... and picked up the phone.

    If you are going to continue on... You can always get the PayPal Pro account... as mentioned above. Then get a CannyBill.com account and set the API keys to access your paypal. It will send the client thier invoice and blah blah blah... while using paypal as your processor.

    If you email a "buy it now" you may or may not get paid. People get busy. People forget. People say... "I will do it later", then later never comes.You did well by getting the card over the phone.

    If you use Cannybill you can hire this stuff out... then have seperate log ins for each of your sales reps.

    That way you can track who is selling what... and you can manage your clients. If needed you can give your clients a client login so they can log in and pay invoices.

    Way to go on your first sale. I am sure it will be the first of many.
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  • Profile picture of the author humbledmarket
    Banned
    Thanks so Much. Been looking for a Script for Offline Marketing. Been doing online SEO for quite a while thinking of approaching offline markets.
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  • Profile picture of the author John-Galt
    This is absolutely GOLDEN my man, er.. mate! I mean. I have thought of a slightly similar method for my web design biz, which is pretty much finding horrible looking sites and offering them something fresh, but they are always like "well, what we have works for us and we are not interested in a redesign"
    BUT, with this twist, offing to show them a preliminary.... GOLD!
    You have made my day and set my mind to this.
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    • Profile picture of the author Scott Kennedy
      Originally Posted by John-Galt View Post

      This is absolutely GOLDEN my man, er.. mate! I mean. I have thought of a slightly similar method for my web design biz, which is pretty much finding horrible looking sites and offering them something fresh, but they are always like "well, what we have works for us and we are not interested in a redesign"
      BUT, with this twist, offing to show them a preliminary.... GOLD!
      You have made my day and set my mind to this.
      Thanks mate. If they say they're not interested you could also tell them that you are wanting to build a portfolio of clients and as such, are willing to give them the site for free. That should get them interested. Then when you have the face-to-face meeting, give them the site code and tell them have fun. Now, they wont have any idea how to add content or even upload the site to their server so you can charge for this. Charge them $xxx for merging their content, installing the site on their server etc.
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  • You could also Google a niche and go down the list to find sites that are ugly. Those businesses already have a site and obviously want it. And most likely, they are not getting the results they want.
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  • Profile picture of the author techlover
    FANTASTIC work, I am very inspired just reading this! Keep us all in the loop!
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  • Profile picture of the author jgant
    I use PayPal's virtual terminal which comes with a Website Payments Pro account. It's $35 CAD (I'm in Canada, but I'm sure there's similar options in Australia and elsewhere) and permits me to take CC payments over the phone, which I do all the time. It's well worth the monthly cost if you land more accounts like this.

    Way to go!
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