6 FAQ I Wish I Knew When I Started in Offline Marketing

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***Disclaimer: Everyone’s mileage will vary. This is simply a thread about my experiences with the hope that someone can get “one tip” from it. This is not meant to be a blueprint/WSO. ***

Q1: Who to target?

A: I started off with the usual suspects…the industries you hear over and over again. What I learned was the: plumbers, dentists, chiropractors, realtors, catering companies, HVAC, electricians, roofers, lawyers and the carpet cleaners of the world are too competitive. I have clients in most of these industries now, but starting out there are better choices out there. IMO, ad/PR agencies, web design firms, movie theaters, storage units, optometrists, tax accountants/CPAs, veterinarian services (vaccines), insurance agents, and mortgage brokers are better to go after. I worked in advertising and PR for 10 yrs before I went out on my own, so that is why I have agencies on the list. Most are so far behind with stuff like SEO and social it is absurd…so they are inclined to meet with you and tend to meet with anyone that contacts them (they all LOVE meetings…it prevents REAL work). Web designers, if you give them a commission, can hand deliver you clients left and right. Movie theaters are great targets for social media, and nobody is going after them. Vet services that offer vaccination clinics “offsite” are EASY sells, as nobody is going after them (hint: autoresponder).

Q2: How much do I charge?

A: What a nightmare! I struggled between figuring out what their lifetime value of a customer was, to finding out what they paid the last clown, to worrying if I left money on the table…or was I too much??? Good times. Welcome to offline marketing. To further complicate matters, I did new business pitches, for over 10 years, for an ad agency pitching Fortune 500 companies, so the pricing structure I was used to seeing was grossly offensive compared to these smaller local markets. AND my first client was a big, national chain, so my point of reference couldn’t be more complicated. I struggled, BAD, after the first one (which was luck). What I learned was to use a $500, $1000, $2000 “package” system. I vary it a bit, but this has worked the best for me. The $500 system is a small SEO package OR a small social media package. The $1000 is both. The $2000 package is the social, SEO, mobile, kitchen sink AND my VA will make you coffee on every other Thursday. I load up the $2000 package and sell that package 5-1 to any other package, which surprised me (at first).

Q3: What contract/agreement to us and terms (how long)?

A: Boy did I screw this part up, REALLY bad. Again, I came from a background where 1-5 year term/14-page contracts were the norm. Thinking I was smart, I tried 12, 6, 3 month terms = FAIL! Now, I use a month-to-month contract, which forces me to perform, manage expectations better, and seem less of a threat to “try me.” I also started with a 3-page contract that I got on a “free law” site or somewhere (I don’t recall…maybe a forum). In return, I lost my second prospect with this contract. This prospect had been burned by another SEO & PPC company, and now had zero faith in these types of services (very common). I got him all the way to the last leg, coaxing him every step of the way, only to have him see three pages of terms and conditions and bail. Unless you pay an attorney for an ironclad contract, and you go to court and have an ironclad attorney, the reality is you still have a 50-50 chance and protecting yourself. I now leverage a one page “agreement” rather than a contract. Sounds like semantics, but one is a little CYA/a marketing tool, and one is a legal document. Being month-to-month lowers the risk to the prospect. I just make sure it has three key points (other than the usual stuff):

1) They will give me ALL logins for EVERYTHING I need to work on within 24 hrs.
2) Confidentiality/Non-compete
3) If their “web guy” or slightly tipsy owner makes changes to files and tanks SEO rankings, I get to have small children throw stones at them.

Q4: Overcoming “do you have any references.”

A: No. I then tell them references aren’t in their best interest, and I firmly believe that, as no two clients are the same (needs, goals, current rankings, timeframe, competition, etc). More importantly, in the early stages, I made the mistake of actually using a successful client as a reference to get the prospect. It turns out, my referenced client was a direct competitor of his brother-in-laws company. Not. Good. If you read between the lines, asking for references means you failed to adequately convince them of what you can do for them. Solution? Give them a sample of your services. If it is SEO, rank a video on page one for a long-tail keyword or something similar to “demonstrate” your abilities. It’s worth it. I then “market” my month-to-month “performance based” agreement to reduce their apprehension. Show, don’t tell.

Q5: Why should we use you? Do you have a guarantee?

A: At first, I had some cheesy “elevator pitch” for why to use me. Lame. I thought it was decent too. I used to say, “I help businesses invest $1 and get $2 in return.” I had a slick little formula, that I used to respond to the predictable “how” question, but the reality is it just got me further and further away from closing. Now I simply use the sample work (page one of Google video, the mobile website I whipped up, or getting some low quality followers on Facebook or Twitter (via Fiverr). Combine my sample work, the month-to-month agreement, and responding to their reference question by asking them if they were ever burned by someone they checked references on (they will say yes, and most likely the last company) = low-risk. As for the guarantee, I simply tell them “no good company will guarantee a page one result” and then reference the Google video about it, and tell them their goal isn’t page one of Google anyway…it is making the phone ring. Let me make the phone ring, my way, or fire me. Your only risk is one month and I already demonstrated I could perform for YOUR business (e.g. the video), etc. Important to note that I position the video page one as “let me show you what I can do” instead of “I will rank a video on page one of Google.”

Q6: What to do after they say no?

A: I used to quit and move on. Numbers game, right? Now I am like that crazy ex-girlfriend and stalk you until you say yes to something. My funnel looks like this once they express interest with the typical (how much is this going to cost me). We are now dating, rather you know it or not.

1) Submit the $500, $1000, $2000 packages. If no:
2) Find the one service they showed the most interest in and sell it for $250. Then I over deliver and give them a “teaser” of their second favorite service…for free, and then get them into the $500 pkg, and try upgrading every month to bigger package after that. If no to $250 package:
3) I quickly rank a “lead capture” site in their business (now that I already did the keyword research) and try and lease it to them for $200 a month before I offer it to the competition. If no:
4) I put them in my autoresponder and e-mail them once a week an important stat (people love numbers…use infographics) about one of the proposed services (to educate them the importance of it) and/or something their competition is doing until they sign. If no:
5) I ask, “Do you like me now”…”what about now”…”now?”….until they think I am handsome. J
It is hard enough to get someone to express interest, so you MUST close them. Coffee is for closers.
#faq #knew #marketing #offline #seo #social #started
  • Profile picture of the author Bruce NewMedia
    Jason, imo that is one terrific outline of much that an offline marketer needs to do.

    It's funny too, a lot of the decisions you arrived at, such as pricing, contracts and follow-up are so similar to where I ended up at. You might have disclaimed at the start of the post this was not a 'Blueprint' offline wso', but to me, it would make a damn good one. Thanks!
    _____
    Bruce
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Dittberner
      Originally Posted by brucerby View Post

      Jason, imo that is one terrific outline of much that an offline marketer needs to do.

      It's funny too, a lot of the decisions you arrived at, such as pricing, contracts and follow-up are so similar to where I ended up at. You might have disclaimed at the start of the post this was not a 'Blueprint' offline wso', but to me, it would make a damn good one. Thanks!
      _____
      Bruce
      Thanks for the kind words, Bruce. It takes a few mistakes to get everything to "click," but if I can save someone just one step...the post was worth it.
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      • Profile picture of the author kiwichamp
        Jason - thanks so so much for sharing this. You have more than likely helped me to avoid a lot of frustration and heartache as I start out on this venture.

        This is excellent training!!
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        • Profile picture of the author Jason Dittberner
          Originally Posted by kiwichamp View Post

          Jason - thanks so so much for sharing this. You have more than likely helped me to avoid a lot of frustration and heartache as I start out on this venture.

          This is excellent training!!
          You're welcome, and very kind of you to say. Best of luck starting your new venture. It can be very rewarding.
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  • Profile picture of the author areevez
    i learned a lot from this seriously, thanks for posting and i agree with @brucerby
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  • Profile picture of the author lingo
    This one post answered so many questions for me and has made me rethink my structure. Loved the part about moving down the offerings but then moving them back up to the bigger packages.

    Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author dilnaj
    I've been having issues with getting started in Offline Marketing but this clears so much up. One of the best posts I've read, thanks man.
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  • Profile picture of the author big steve
    Awesome thread Jason..just about to start off in Offline marketing so it was good to read some of your experiences. Cheers.

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author stoaf88
    I never post "Thanks" posts but thats all I have to say here. Real great guide thanks again!
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  • Profile picture of the author kfira
    very nice post....you gave me some good ideas
    thank you
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  • Profile picture of the author Molad
    Thanks for this post.

    There is lot of good information here that helpd me clear up some confusion.
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  • Profile picture of the author allegrity
    Thank you for sharing this information! Very insightful.
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  • Profile picture of the author JoePNY
    Thanks, Jason

    I was wondering about the pricing structure myself. I see other marketers who have similar pricing tiers (Starter, Moderate, Dominate) and I was thinking of doing the same for my business.

    Great post and thank you for sharing!
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  • Profile picture of the author Russell Hall
    Jason,
    you could have made a WSO out of this info.
    Nicely presented,... relevant and actionable!
    Nice share,... thanks!

    Best regards,
    Russell Hall
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Dittberner
      Originally Posted by Russell Hall View Post

      Jason,
      you could have made a WSO out of this info.
      Nicely presented,... relevant and actionable!
      Nice share,... thanks!

      Best regards,
      Russell Hall
      Thanks, Russell. I've gotten about 15 PMs that said the same thing. I love WSOs, and buy about three a week, but I just wanted to try and give a few tips out there and hope it saved someone some time.

      Everyone has been really kind in the replies and PMs, so that's enough for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author jr1228
    Fantastic tips. Thanks, Jason! I particularly like #3 of Q3
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  • Profile picture of the author bridgells
    You're a natural writer Jason. I really enjoyed reading your informative post. Thank you. Bridget
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  • Profile picture of the author rolltide
    Thanks Jason. I would love to see what all is offered in that 2k package. Also, how are you prospecting?
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Dittberner
      The $2k package really does vary based off of the industry and need. I've sold it for $5k and also for $1,500. I mostly position it as "let me handle and make the phone ring" without any commitment of "X" amount of keywords and "x" amount of backlinks and this type of stuff. I simply look at their business, find holes, and address those first to get quick results. Getting a plumber a sweet Twitter page and doing his Tweets isn't going to make his phone ring.

      I don't do a lot of prospecting anymore. Prospecting isn't fun. I work off of referrals mostly, which works because I ask for them A LOT. I think a lot of people are shy to do that, but asking (consistently) works. How many times have you been excited to refer your dog walker, dentist...whatever to a friend or family member? People love to do it. It makes them feel smart.

      Quick Ninja Tip: After you get some success with a client (the early success), take a screenshot of their rankings and go to Kinkos (or other) and have it blown up and frame it (something nice) and give it to the client. They hang it in their office and when they meet with people, people ask about it and next thing you know you have a referral. I did that with a chiropractor, who hung it in his "consultation room."

      I got the idea after watching that graffiti movie about that Bansky guy and saw them BLOWING UP their artwork. It works.

      With that said, and to answer your question, I use the method in my signature (I like people that already know what they want) and video e-mails I make with Jing when I do prospect.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Grant
    I still think using a package-based pricing scheme is one of the best ways to leave money on the table.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Dittberner
      Originally Posted by Mike Grant View Post

      I still think using a package-based pricing scheme is one of the best ways to leave money on the table.
      No question about it...for bigger clients. For the smaller "usual suspects," a package system works well (even if it isn't the best solution). They get targeted by EVERYONE, so you very small window of having their attention (if you get it at all).

      Ideally, you go in, learn all you can about the business (and most importantly how much they spent in advertising/marketing) and make a price model based off of that information.
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      • Profile picture of the author munneetree
        Originally Posted by Jason Dittberner View Post

        No question about it...for bigger clients. For the smaller "usual suspects," a package system works well (even if it isn't the best solution). They get targeted by EVERYONE, so you very small window of having their attention (if you get it at all).

        Ideally, you go in, learn all you can about the business (and most importantly how much they spent in advertising/marketing) and make a price model based off of that information.
        Hi Jason, you hit on one of the keys to getting a business person's attention. The way you presented the 6 FAQ, in conversational style, made it easy for all of us to see how you handled everything on the fly and learned from it. The key to getting inside the mind of your prospect is to find out as much as you can about his/her business, before the first call or meeting. Let them see you have done your homework, know something of the business they are in, then let them talk about themselves. As they talk you can pick up their interests and concerns and use them to build your case.
        Leslie
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  • Profile picture of the author mikemcghee
    Thanks Jason, this info is GOLD. Just curious, do you have your clients on auto-bill?
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  • Profile picture of the author Voasi
    The $2k package really does vary based off of the industry and need. I've sold it for $5k and also for $1,500. I mostly position it as "let me handle and make the phone ring" without any commitment of "X" amount of keywords and "x" amount of backlinks and this type of stuff. I simply look at their business, find holes, and address those first to get quick results. Getting a plumber a sweet Twitter page and doing his Tweets isn't going to make his phone ring.
    I think a lot of Warriors would benefit from you telling a case study of how you help a business "find holes, and address those first to get quick results."

    Newbies might not be so green on techniques that don't cost an arm and a leg to get results that can be used to show extreme value out-the-gate.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Dittberner
      Originally Posted by Voasi View Post

      I think a lot of Warriors would benefit from you telling a case study of how you help a business "find holes, and address those first to get quick results."
      It's a great question. There is no "cookie cutter" answer as every business is different. With that said, I usually begin by calling the business and acting like a customer...at three different times/days and also sending an inquiry through their website. 9 times out of 10, the sales funnel will be flawed. I simply present my experiences to the owner and give some common sense solutions (e.g. answer the phone by the second ring instead of the 50th...change your VM to something more helpful...set-up an autoresponder letting people know that you at least got their message, etc.) Simple stuff like that can not only be addressed quickly, but adds credibility to yourself as a "marketing consultant" and not just an SEO guy or whatever you sell. This way, while you are taking 60-90 days to rank #1 for that tough keyword and they are getting 14 e-mails a day saying, "I can get you #1 on Google in 53 min for 900 keywords" by everyone and their brother, you have a little breathing room/credibility to build on.

      Hope that helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author jrobconsult
    Excellent info Jason. I have a question about pricing. If they choose a package, such as the deluxe one, are they paying you $2,000 for a one time fee and a monthly fee also?
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Dittberner
      Originally Posted by jrobconsult View Post

      Excellent info Jason. I have a question about pricing. If they choose a package, such as the deluxe one, are they paying you $2,000 for a one time fee and a monthly fee also?
      I also have a down payment, in addition the monthly pricing (which fluctuates). If you are going to do month-to-month, like I do, you need that "extra" up-front cash to make sure they are committed to working with you. A lot of businesses balk at it, but I simply tell them that it is to cover some upfront costs for setting up systems and research.

      Don't get too hung-up on this pricing structure. I simply provided it to give someone a starting point. You'll want to tweak it based off of your services, area serving, and competition levels...and then gut instinct.
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  • Profile picture of the author italiandude
    Great post. New people can learn from others mistakes.
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  • Profile picture of the author mcconnon12
    Nice! Thanks for sharing.
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  • Profile picture of the author JustMint
    Jason,

    This is gold - thanks for sharing (and "Thanks" given). There really are some great observations here. I look forward to staying in touch with you and sharing some offline adventures.
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  • Profile picture of the author Noel 100K
    In my experience in getting my first offline client came down to --- JUST DO IT
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    • Profile picture of the author Amir Luis
      Originally Posted by Noel 100K View Post

      In my experience in getting my first offline client came down to --- JUST DO IT

      Don't think... Just Do....

      agreed....

      @ Jason....

      Thank you for your entertaining post. Lot's of nuggets in there. I really appreciate it.
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  • Profile picture of the author LasseKohau
    Excellent post,

    LASSE
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    • Profile picture of the author rixlo
      It takes a lot of trial and errors to find solutions. I appreciate the FAQ and answers. It helps to speed up the process. Thanks,
      ric
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  • Profile picture of the author kmalikis
    Dude! that was an INCREDIBLY valuable post!!! you made a lot of friends just by taking the time to share.

    Well done!

    Kamran
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    • Profile picture of the author JBaszile
      Thanks so much for the clear information and real world examples. This was better than some offline products I've purchased.
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  • Profile picture of the author rolltide
    This is an awesome thread..Thanks for writing it!
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  • Profile picture of the author Kyrool
    Thank you Jason for this wonderful post, I'm been reading alot on offline marketing and your FAQ has been very much appreciated. Cheers!
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  • Profile picture of the author wordydiva
    Thanks for sharing those useful tips. Now I just need to find some small children, stones, and someone to help me perfect the crazy ex-girlfriend routine .
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    • Profile picture of the author JoshP
      Thanks for the great read Jason. I now need to revise my marketing agreement to include the line:

      "If their "web guy" or slightly tipsy owner makes changes to files and tanks SEO rankings, I get to have small children throw stones at them."

      You wouldn't believe how many times that their "web guy" has gone in and reversed everything I did for their on-site SEO, and then have them turn around and complain that their rankings are starting to drop.
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  • Profile picture of the author jwpdad
    Jason,

    This is great stuff, thanks for such a helpful post.

    Originally Posted by Jason Dittberner View Post

    I used to quit and move on. Numbers game, right? Now I am like that crazy ex-girlfriend and stalk you until you say yes to something.
    I think too often it's easy to fall into the trap of "hey, can't win 'em all, just move on." While it is true that not everyone you present an idea to will become a paying client, stopping too soon can potentially cut you out of a lot of earnings, and as you say, referrals once you have established a quality relationship with a client.
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    • Profile picture of the author sjohn
      This is a great source of information. Thanks for sharing.
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  • Profile picture of the author BlogDiva
    Jason, you have really given me a lot to think about, especially with the package pricing. I think i am going to make some adjustments to what I offer.
    Thanks for sharing all of these great tips!
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  • Profile picture of the author cuttingedge
    Thanks Jason for your advise and insights on offline marketing and specifically for who to target as I will be getting into online marketing.

    When you submit your packages, are you presenting highest package first with lower cost packages presented after they reject?

    In sales I've always started with highest price and went from there. Looks like most marketers start with low price and go up.

    What's your opinion, start high or start low?

    Bob
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    • Profile picture of the author Angela Marshall
      Great post Jason.

      These were all questions and concerns that I had about approaching clients when you're brand new to offline marketing.

      Thank You.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Dittberner
      Originally Posted by cuttingedge View Post

      Thanks Jason for your advise and insights on offline marketing and specifically for who to target as I will be getting into online marketing.

      When you submit your packages, are you presenting highest package first with lower cost packages presented after they reject?

      In sales I've always started with highest price and went from there. Looks like most marketers start with low price and go up.

      What's your opinion, start high or start low?

      Bob
      It's sort of a gut call. Usually, I start at the bottom price, and then work my way up. It's also in how you present it. I seem REALLY bored when I talk about the small pkg, and then get more excited about the $1k package, and then work in a lot of "can't you see the benefits" or "I'm sure you have seen your competitor use this one..." for each line item on the $2k pkg. It's a confidence thing.

      Surely someone is reading this laughing, or saying, "Yeah right" but I am telling you it works. I also have really generic names for the first two and then have a really cool name for the big package.

      It's the little things...when you add them ALL up that make a big difference. Each "little thing" by themselves, is ineffective...but combined, they just work.

      Two people make the same dinner...one adds salt, one doesn't. Salt by itself isn't anything special, but combined with the meal and 9 out of 10 people pick the meal with salt.

      Be salt.
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      • Profile picture of the author cuttingedge
        Originally Posted by Jason Dittberner View Post

        It's sort of a gut call. Usually, I start at the bottom price, and then work my way up. It's also in how you present it. I seem REALLY bored when I talk about the small pkg, and then get more excited about the $1k package, and then work in a lot of "can't you see the benefits" or "I'm sure you have seen your competitor use this one..." for each line item on the $2k pkg. It's a confidence thing.

        Surely someone is reading this laughing, or saying, "Yeah right" but I am telling you it works. I also have really generic names for the first two and then have a really cool name for the big package.

        It's the little things...when you add them ALL up that make a big difference. Each "little thing" by themselves, is ineffective...but combined, they just work.

        Two people make the same dinner...one adds salt, one doesn't. Salt by itself isn't anything special, but combined with the meal and 9 out of 10 people pick the meal with salt.

        Be salt.

        Will try the smaller price and see what kind of reaction I receive as I work up to higher price.

        What I used to see is shock at a high price, even though in this case your showing how all the add on techniques are driving traffic to their business. When you start showing the less expensive prices, they are more receptive to these charges and are more inclined to buy. It also encourgages them on higher priced packages as they want the benefits they will recieve from them so they still might buy a higher priced package.

        Thanks for answering and in getting me to think of different options.
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  • Profile picture of the author jgant
    Fantastic. Great stuff. Thank you for sharing. Concrete and solid advice.

    I particularly liked the info about the highest priced packages sell more often, target beyond the usual suspects, cleverly pursue those who say no, and put together simple documents for clients.
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    • Profile picture of the author escribe
      Thanks for posting such a detailed post Jason. Wish I knew some of what you posted sooner. I had a prospect who seemed interested at first, but when I showed him my pricing, she said it was more than expected. He was a small company just opening so he had nothing -- no logo, no website... nada.

      I told him we could work with his budget but he never got back to me. How do you avoid being pushy, and avoid looking desperate, but still push enough in a situation like this in order to get the client/sale?
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      • Profile picture of the author escribe
        Jason, just read your last point on what to do if they say no. That answers my question. Your suggestion simple, yet brilliant! Thanks for sharing your experience. This post will help a lot of Warriors.
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        • Profile picture of the author BradleyC
          Jason,
          I've been marketing to local businesses for 25 years specializing in two key areas ... business automation systems and then putting in place innovative, result-oriented marketing to grow their business. I added online products and services to my portfolio about 10 years ago.

          My point is, when it comes to selling to offline businesses, I know what I'm doing. Your post is one of the absolute BEST POSTS I've ever read on the WF for selling products to offline businesses. You obviously get it!

          Great post! Kudo's to you! And thank you for so eloquently sharing what you did.

          Your post should go down as one of the all time best posts for those people who sell online products and services to offline business. Well said, very well said!

          Bradley
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          ~ 25 Exciting Years of Marketing To Local Businesses ~
          << Learn NEVER BEFORE REVEALED strategies: MarketingToLocalBusinesses.com>>
          << Biggest Lead Generation Mistakes That Are COSTING YOU DEARLY!>>
          Agency Management Systems
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          • Profile picture of the author BradleyC
            I use a database system that's been custom written for this market place of selling online products & services to offline businesses. The system does a lot! One of the features that I really like a lot is the following fields I can capture ...



            When I'm talking to prospective businesses I just enter in the appropriate fields what they need, have an interest in, etc. Then I just add them to that marketing campaign. I can setup the codes for the lookup tables so I can use this the way I run my business.

            For example, we have 3 levels of SEO (Website Optimization in the choices above). Therefore, for customers we have C1, C2 and C3. That way I can see at a quick glance when I'm on a customers record what they have. Cross-selling and up-selling just became extremely easy.

            I can run a query of all businesses with a C1 package and then send them an upsell marketing piece regarding SEO Level 2 and/or 3.

            The things I can do with this automation system is just simply unbelievable. Email marketing and direct mail, both of which I can mail merge in any of the fields, postcard marketing, and it even has a special window and features to do mailer follow-up calls or even cold-calling.

            It's a very powerful system. More importantly, it's totally 100% customized to this business! There's no way off-shelf systems will give me the kind of functionality and results this system does.

            Check it out at www.offlinemarketercms.com. And yes, I'm the developer of it (15 years in the design and making). It goes into product launch on July 25 for 5 days.

            Bradley
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            ~ 25 Exciting Years of Marketing To Local Businesses ~
            << Learn NEVER BEFORE REVEALED strategies: MarketingToLocalBusinesses.com>>
            << Biggest Lead Generation Mistakes That Are COSTING YOU DEARLY!>>
            Agency Management Systems
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    • Profile picture of the author Vrs
      Wow - this is one of the most practical threads I've seen on the forum.

      You answered my most burning questions as I'm finally going out in the field tomorrow.

      If you ever do a WSO I'm in!
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    • Profile picture of the author Zara Marie
      Great tips but I think offline marketing is harder than online. One is plugging your services for people limited to your region only. Unlike online marketing, you can have clients from other side of the world. Also, you can gain easy recommendations from other people you knew online - easier than on offline.
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      • Profile picture of the author keepitsimple
        Marvelously laid out post, Jason. What I glean from this is that you have reduced a rather erratic 'system' down to a petty precise manageable system for client aquisition and servicing. One of the big obstacles facing anyone entering the 'offline niche' is putting the whole thing together as a system. It usually starts with: "What should I offer as a first service?"

        I spent a lot of time flapping about until I reduced my activities into a simple system...which I continue to adjust as things are never static.

        I also like your pricing structure and method of delivery.

        Cheers
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    • Profile picture of the author bolaji
      This is super-helpful, Jason!

      Thanks a lot.

      Bolaji.
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    • Profile picture of the author wally247
      Thanks a lot for sharing, this is great stuff!
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  • Profile picture of the author benbro
    That's powerful stuff Jason. Never would have thought about veterinarian or storage units. But it makes sense especially seeing as how so many people overlook these types of businesses.

    Re: the pricing-I totally see where you're coming from on going by your gut instinct. There are some local businesses that might laugh someone out of there if they were talking about anything less than 5k; whereas you have others that are a lot more price sensitive.

    Thanks for a profound post, you've given me lots to consider.
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  • Profile picture of the author MyBizMastermind
    Originally Posted by Jason Dittberner View Post

    ***Disclaimer: Everyone's mileage will vary. This is simply a thread about my experiences with the hope that someone can get "one tip" from it. This is not meant to be a blueprint/WSO. ***

    Q1: Who to target?

    A: I started off with the usual suspects...the industries you hear over and over again. What I learned was the: plumbers, dentists, chiropractors, realtors, catering companies, HVAC, electricians, roofers, lawyers and the carpet cleaners of the world are too competitive. I have clients in most of these industries now, but starting out there are better choices out there. IMO, ad/PR agencies, web design firms, movie theaters, storage units, optometrists, tax accountants/CPAs, veterinarian services (vaccines), insurance agents, and mortgage brokers are better to go after. I worked in advertising and PR for 10 yrs before I went out on my own, so that is why I have agencies on the list. Most are so far behind with stuff like SEO and social it is absurd...so they are inclined to meet with you and tend to meet with anyone that contacts them (they all LOVE meetings...it prevents REAL work). Web designers, if you give them a commission, can hand deliver you clients left and right. Movie theaters are great targets for social media, and nobody is going after them. Vet services that offer vaccination clinics "offsite" are EASY sells, as nobody is going after them (hint: autoresponder).

    Q2: How much do I charge?

    A: What a nightmare! I struggled between figuring out what their lifetime value of a customer was, to finding out what they paid the last clown, to worrying if I left money on the table...or was I too much??? Good times. Welcome to offline marketing. To further complicate matters, I did new business pitches, for over 10 years, for an ad agency pitching Fortune 500 companies, so the pricing structure I was used to seeing was grossly offensive compared to these smaller local markets. AND my first client was a big, national chain, so my point of reference couldn't be more complicated. I struggled, BAD, after the first one (which was luck). What I learned was to use a $500, $1000, $2000 "package" system. I vary it a bit, but this has worked the best for me. The $500 system is a small SEO package OR a small social media package. The $1000 is both. The $2000 package is the social, SEO, mobile, kitchen sink AND my VA will make you coffee on every other Thursday. I load up the $2000 package and sell that package 5-1 to any other package, which surprised me (at first).

    Q3: What contract/agreement to us and terms (how long)?

    A: Boy did I screw this part up, REALLY bad. Again, I came from a background where 1-5 year term/14-page contracts were the norm. Thinking I was smart, I tried 12, 6, 3 month terms = FAIL! Now, I use a month-to-month contract, which forces me to perform, manage expectations better, and seem less of a threat to "try me." I also started with a 3-page contract that I got on a "free law" site or somewhere (I don't recall...maybe a forum). In return, I lost my second prospect with this contract. This prospect had been burned by another SEO & PPC company, and now had zero faith in these types of services (very common). I got him all the way to the last leg, coaxing him every step of the way, only to have him see three pages of terms and conditions and bail. Unless you pay an attorney for an ironclad contract, and you go to court and have an ironclad attorney, the reality is you still have a 50-50 chance and protecting yourself. I now leverage a one page "agreement" rather than a contract. Sounds like semantics, but one is a little CYA/a marketing tool, and one is a legal document. Being month-to-month lowers the risk to the prospect. I just make sure it has three key points (other than the usual stuff):

    1) They will give me ALL logins for EVERYTHING I need to work on within 24 hrs.
    2) Confidentiality/Non-compete
    3) If their "web guy" or slightly tipsy owner makes changes to files and tanks SEO rankings, I get to have small children throw stones at them.

    Q4: Overcoming "do you have any references."

    A: No. I then tell them references aren't in their best interest, and I firmly believe that, as no two clients are the same (needs, goals, current rankings, timeframe, competition, etc). More importantly, in the early stages, I made the mistake of actually using a successful client as a reference to get the prospect. It turns out, my referenced client was a direct competitor of his brother-in-laws company. Not. Good. If you read between the lines, asking for references means you failed to adequately convince them of what you can do for them. Solution? Give them a sample of your services. If it is SEO, rank a video on page one for a long-tail keyword or something similar to "demonstrate" your abilities. It's worth it. I then "market" my month-to-month "performance based" agreement to reduce their apprehension. Show, don't tell.

    Q5: Why should we use you? Do you have a guarantee?

    A: At first, I had some cheesy "elevator pitch" for why to use me. Lame. I thought it was decent too. I used to say, "I help businesses invest $1 and get $2 in return." I had a slick little formula, that I used to respond to the predictable "how" question, but the reality is it just got me further and further away from closing. Now I simply use the sample work (page one of Google video, the mobile website I whipped up, or getting some low quality followers on Facebook or Twitter (via Fiverr). Combine my sample work, the month-to-month agreement, and responding to their reference question by asking them if they were ever burned by someone they checked references on (they will say yes, and most likely the last company) = low-risk. As for the guarantee, I simply tell them "no good company will guarantee a page one result" and then reference the Google video about it, and tell them their goal isn't page one of Google anyway...it is making the phone ring. Let me make the phone ring, my way, or fire me. Your only risk is one month and I already demonstrated I could perform for YOUR business (e.g. the video), etc. Important to note that I position the video page one as "let me show you what I can do" instead of "I will rank a video on page one of Google."

    Q6: What to do after they say no?

    A: I used to quit and move on. Numbers game, right? Now I am like that crazy ex-girlfriend and stalk you until you say yes to something. My funnel looks like this once they express interest with the typical (how much is this going to cost me). We are now dating, rather you know it or not.

    1) Submit the $500, $1000, $2000 packages. If no:
    2) Find the one service they showed the most interest in and sell it for $250. Then I over deliver and give them a "teaser" of their second favorite service...for free, and then get them into the $500 pkg, and try upgrading every month to bigger package after that. If no to $250 package:
    3) I quickly rank a "lead capture" site in their business (now that I already did the keyword research) and try and lease it to them for $200 a month before I offer it to the competition. If no:
    4) I put them in my autoresponder and e-mail them once a week an important stat (people love numbers...use infographics) about one of the proposed services (to educate them the importance of it) and/or something their competition is doing until they sign. If no:
    5) I ask, "Do you like me now"..."what about now"..."now?"....until they think I am handsome. J
    It is hard enough to get someone to express interest, so you MUST close them. Coffee is for closers.
    Thia has helped me soooooo much! Thanks for the post.
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  • Profile picture of the author maricelu
    It is a great idea to sell high-price packages, especially if you're in a JV with someone and you want both to have profits. Hovewer, I have one question. Me and my business partner would want to start an offline business. Do you think it is good to contact clients by offering a freebie ( commercial video on youtube + article campaing ) and then approach them with this high-ticket items? Also, I think to include in my packs some more service.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jack Zenert
    Great advice
    Best are the 'one page agreement' is really a marketing tool!
    and
    if they express interest - keep at them!!
    Thanks
    Jack
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  • Profile picture of the author Eddie Spangler
    Nice insights. Thanks for the post.
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    • Profile picture of the author Q-Man
      Great post Jason, very informative. Thank you so much for sharing your true-life business experiences!

      Q-Man
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  • Profile picture of the author steveperch
    Hi Jason,

    This is an awesome outline. I especially appreciate your advice on not going after the overfished niches. Although I have gotten a few clients from there, I agree ... it's time to move on.

    I'm curious about your 500/1000/2000 packages. Are these packages recurring? If they are one off's how do you sell recurring packages?

    Thank you!
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  • Profile picture of the author Murlu
    Thank you for the great insights Jason.

    I'm making a move for an offline business launch around in the area I just moved to and I believe I have all the skills required to really make an impact but I do realize the one thing I lack in is the actually face-to-face interaction with fellow business owners. This gave me a lot of information on how to hit them on the terms the want to hear
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Dittberner
      Originally Posted by Murlu View Post

      Thank you for the great insights Jason.

      I'm making a move for an offline business launch around in the area I just moved to and I believe I have all the skills required to really make an impact but I do realize the one thing I lack in is the actually face-to-face interaction with fellow business owners. This gave me a lot of information on how to hit them on the terms the want to hear
      Thanks for the PMs/questions (I think I answered them all), and for letting me know this thread got revived.

      Also thanks to Rus for his feedback. Great stuff.

      Murlu, I wouldn't give it a second thought. Meetings with clients are fact finding missions, so you are doing a lot of listening. Ask GOOD questions.

      Like the "agreement" I also use a one page questionnaire. I know a lot of the ones floating around are 8 zillion pages, but keep it focused and specific is a theme to keep.

      Consider a business (first) meeting to be just like a job interview where you're selling yourself more than your capabilities. Your resume/sales letter convinced them enough to meet with you, now they want to make sure you aren't crazy, you are likable, and you're not some computer jockey emailing him them from your Mom's house.

      This is also why I like to do a free service first. I now have some "social proof" of my abilities. Testimonials are cheap and pretty worthless. Go read the WSO testimonials: "this guy knows his stuff" -- read: thanks for the free WSO copy or "insert joke of a testimonial here" = thanks for the review copy.

      Just because your neighbor said you are good at walking dogs (because you walk a Chihuahua), doesn't mean you can walk a 150 lb Mastiff.

      Each business is a different animal...so show them what you can do for THEM and you will make your life that much easier.

      Best of luck.
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      • Profile picture of the author tsgeric
        Originally Posted by Jason Dittberner View Post

        Just because your neighbor said you are good at walking dogs (because you walk a Chihuahua), doesn't mean you can walk a 150 lb Mastiff.
        That's a small Mastiff!

        Seriously, though, thanks for sharing these wonderful insights, very helpful for those of us considering getting started in offline marketing.
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  • Profile picture of the author webgladiator
    Very nice outline/Q&A mini-thesis...LOL! And yes you could have turned this into a WSO and made bank! But, I really appreciate warriors who share their experiences for us all to learn from and hopefully avoid mistakes while garnering useful information to make us better at what we are striving to do!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    I like how in your contract eventually grew to 1 page! Business owners are really afraid of contracts that look like legal documents!

    I ALWAYS have a prospect hold a previously signed contract, usually one for what I call full boat services, I'll refer to why in a moment tgough.

    The reason why I have prospects hold a contract signed by another business owner is because its not threatening to them, some one else signed it!

    I sit right next to them with a blank one in my hand, (the one they are about to sign) and go over each part with them, always pointing to the one they are holding.

    Its signed, its initialed, its stamped, its got writing all over it, its harmless. = )

    Full Boat contract! Ha this is the best part. So lets say for example that you provide 7 services in total. You always have the prospect hold a contract that you signed with some one else who got all 7 services.

    Now, your prospect might have only been interested in 3 of those services.

    The whole time they are holding the contract they have staring in their face a contract that has 7. They can see each one initialed by both parties and they see the 3 that they asked you to come talk to them about.

    Any one see it coming?

    Its an up sell that they sell themselves because many many many times they stop and say...what's number 6? Twitter marketing? Can you explain that, is that something we can use? Listen carefully to what they say, did they say WE or I?

    If they start using the word "WE" your already on the team btw.


    In reference to the referral list, I got asked for one a lot so I stopped bringing them. Asking for referral list's is a sign you didn't convince them but its also a crutch to evade having to make a decision to just go ahead and hire you.

    My standard and only response to being asked about a referral list is something like this.

    Mr. Business owner, a referral list is merely the best hand picked everything went absolutely perfect clients. Do you think that gives a fair representation of any business? What I mean is this, its not the number of happy customers a business has that measures how good a business is, what measures the character of a business is how they handle unhappy customers. Do they just ignore them? Do they make it right, even if customer remains unhappy? So, no..you don't get a referral list, but what you DO get is our word that if your unhappy it will get taken care of.

    Great post and I got some nice things out of it as well!
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  • Profile picture of the author Retziki
    Thanks for the helpful tips.
    They are really helpful,especially the contract/agreement part.
    I’m starting in the offline business part time and I ‘ve been trying to figure this out.
    I think the one page agreement is the best way to go.
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  • Profile picture of the author zphil
    Wow Jason this was very interesting and informative, you've shared some really good helpful bits of information here. I think it is very generous and thoughtful of you.
    Thanks Man zphil
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary Grosschadl
    Great offline marketing tips...thanks...Gary
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  • Profile picture of the author Wilding
    Sounds like you really grinded hard there. Well at least you have it waxed now. Congrats!
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  • Profile picture of the author joefalk
    Thank you very much for the FAQ Jason! Very interesting!
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank M
    Hey Jason,
    Nice Job - great points - thanks for sharing them.
    I've just developed a new mobile/social system for local businesses (still in pre-launch) but I don't consider myself a sales person.. so your points are well taken.

    Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts!
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  • Profile picture of the author KBRMS
    Great post. Always over deliver your services, and help the client.

    Rick
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  • Profile picture of the author jrod014
    Thanks for posting, I really like the answer to Q5.

    No good reliable SEO campany can guarantee first page rankings. I usually say "I'm not google, yahoo or bing. I cant control how they rank websites BUT I do know what is working for me and my clients now. I also stay up to dat on all search engine news and follow the google webmaster blog to ensure quality."

    Something along those lines. It usually works.
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  • Profile picture of the author link82
    Originally Posted by Jason Dittberner View Post

    ***Disclaimer: Everyone's mileage will vary. This is simply a thread about my experiences with the hope that someone can get "one tip" from it. This is not meant to be a blueprint/WSO. ***

    Q1: Who to target?

    A: I started off with the usual suspects...the industries you hear over and over again. What I learned was the: plumbers, dentists, chiropractors, realtors, catering companies, HVAC, electricians, roofers, lawyers and the carpet cleaners of the world are too competitive. I have clients in most of these industries now, but starting out there are better choices out there. IMO, ad/PR agencies, web design firms, movie theaters, storage units, optometrists, tax accountants/CPAs, veterinarian services (vaccines), insurance agents, and mortgage brokers are better to go after. I worked in advertising and PR for 10 yrs before I went out on my own, so that is why I have agencies on the list. Most are so far behind with stuff like SEO and social it is absurd...so they are inclined to meet with you and tend to meet with anyone that contacts them (they all LOVE meetings...it prevents REAL work). Web designers, if you give them a commission, can hand deliver you clients left and right. Movie theaters are great targets for social media, and nobody is going after them. Vet services that offer vaccination clinics "offsite" are EASY sells, as nobody is going after them (hint: autoresponder).

    Q2: How much do I charge?

    A: What a nightmare! I struggled between figuring out what their lifetime value of a customer was, to finding out what they paid the last clown, to worrying if I left money on the table...or was I too much??? Good times. Welcome to offline marketing. To further complicate matters, I did new business pitches, for over 10 years, for an ad agency pitching Fortune 500 companies, so the pricing structure I was used to seeing was grossly offensive compared to these smaller local markets. AND my first client was a big, national chain, so my point of reference couldn't be more complicated. I struggled, BAD, after the first one (which was luck). What I learned was to use a $500, $1000, $2000 "package" system. I vary it a bit, but this has worked the best for me. The $500 system is a small SEO package OR a small social media package. The $1000 is both. The $2000 package is the social, SEO, mobile, kitchen sink AND my VA will make you coffee on every other Thursday. I load up the $2000 package and sell that package 5-1 to any other package, which surprised me (at first).

    Q3: What contract/agreement to us and terms (how long)?

    A: Boy did I screw this part up, REALLY bad. Again, I came from a background where 1-5 year term/14-page contracts were the norm. Thinking I was smart, I tried 12, 6, 3 month terms = FAIL! Now, I use a month-to-month contract, which forces me to perform, manage expectations better, and seem less of a threat to "try me." I also started with a 3-page contract that I got on a "free law" site or somewhere (I don't recall...maybe a forum). In return, I lost my second prospect with this contract. This prospect had been burned by another SEO & PPC company, and now had zero faith in these types of services (very common). I got him all the way to the last leg, coaxing him every step of the way, only to have him see three pages of terms and conditions and bail. Unless you pay an attorney for an ironclad contract, and you go to court and have an ironclad attorney, the reality is you still have a 50-50 chance and protecting yourself. I now leverage a one page "agreement" rather than a contract. Sounds like semantics, but one is a little CYA/a marketing tool, and one is a legal document. Being month-to-month lowers the risk to the prospect. I just make sure it has three key points (other than the usual stuff):

    1) They will give me ALL logins for EVERYTHING I need to work on within 24 hrs.
    2) Confidentiality/Non-compete
    3) If their "web guy" or slightly tipsy owner makes changes to files and tanks SEO rankings, I get to have small children throw stones at them.

    Q4: Overcoming "do you have any references."

    A: No. I then tell them references aren't in their best interest, and I firmly believe that, as no two clients are the same (needs, goals, current rankings, timeframe, competition, etc). More importantly, in the early stages, I made the mistake of actually using a successful client as a reference to get the prospect. It turns out, my referenced client was a direct competitor of his brother-in-laws company. Not. Good. If you read between the lines, asking for references means you failed to adequately convince them of what you can do for them. Solution? Give them a sample of your services. If it is SEO, rank a video on page one for a long-tail keyword or something similar to "demonstrate" your abilities. It's worth it. I then "market" my month-to-month "performance based" agreement to reduce their apprehension. Show, don't tell.

    Q5: Why should we use you? Do you have a guarantee?

    A: At first, I had some cheesy "elevator pitch" for why to use me. Lame. I thought it was decent too. I used to say, "I help businesses invest $1 and get $2 in return." I had a slick little formula, that I used to respond to the predictable "how" question, but the reality is it just got me further and further away from closing. Now I simply use the sample work (page one of Google video, the mobile website I whipped up, or getting some low quality followers on Facebook or Twitter (via Fiverr). Combine my sample work, the month-to-month agreement, and responding to their reference question by asking them if they were ever burned by someone they checked references on (they will say yes, and most likely the last company) = low-risk. As for the guarantee, I simply tell them "no good company will guarantee a page one result" and then reference the Google video about it, and tell them their goal isn't page one of Google anyway...it is making the phone ring. Let me make the phone ring, my way, or fire me. Your only risk is one month and I already demonstrated I could perform for YOUR business (e.g. the video), etc. Important to note that I position the video page one as "let me show you what I can do" instead of "I will rank a video on page one of Google."

    Q6: What to do after they say no?

    A: I used to quit and move on. Numbers game, right? Now I am like that crazy ex-girlfriend and stalk you until you say yes to something. My funnel looks like this once they express interest with the typical (how much is this going to cost me). We are now dating, rather you know it or not.

    1) Submit the $500, $1000, $2000 packages. If no:
    2) Find the one service they showed the most interest in and sell it for $250. Then I over deliver and give them a "teaser" of their second favorite service...for free, and then get them into the $500 pkg, and try upgrading every month to bigger package after that. If no to $250 package:
    3) I quickly rank a "lead capture" site in their business (now that I already did the keyword research) and try and lease it to them for $200 a month before I offer it to the competition. If no:
    4) I put them in my autoresponder and e-mail them once a week an important stat (people love numbers...use infographics) about one of the proposed services (to educate them the importance of it) and/or something their competition is doing until they sign. If no:
    5) I ask, "Do you like me now"..."what about now"..."now?"....until they think I am handsome. J
    It is hard enough to get someone to express interest, so you MUST close them. Coffee is for closers.
    Jason, as someone completely new to offline marketing and getting everything ready, I really appreciate this advice. I had been wondering who I want to target first and you've covered a lot of things here. Thanks!
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    • Profile picture of the author kingphish007
      Jason Thanks so much for this post. I really appreciate the no holds barred advice and step by step layout of your "pitch" and the follow up it takes to succeed.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rocket Media
    Valuable info here for seasoned marketers and beginners alike.
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  • Profile picture of the author MissPatty
    Clearly one (if not the absolute) best on offline marketing I have read so far on WF.

    Thank you so much for starting this thread and to those who joined in and gave extra practical information.

    Extremely useful thread!
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr Offline
    To the op, this is a very useful post!

    Thanks for posting this!
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    Shooting for stars

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  • Profile picture of the author Teravel
    3) If their "web guy" or slightly tipsy owner makes changes to files and tanks SEO rankings, I get to have small children throw stones at them.
    Being in your contract, do you specify the size, age and strength of these children?
    I'm sure for enough money, you could hire this kid (Six years old body builder - YouTube) to throw some stones... Could take a video of the event and have a highly entertaining video to share with future prospects, as a warning...
    Signature

    "Failure is feedback. Feedback is the breakfast of champions." -Fortune Cookie

    PLR Packages - WSO

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  • Profile picture of the author Internet Lawyer
    Banned
    Making over $250,000 yearly is much easier as a lawyer than as an internet marketer.
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  • Profile picture of the author annemarieb
    Thank you for such an awesome post. Best I've read here. Straight talk...very helpful!
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  • Profile picture of the author Justin Lavoie
    Quality thread, I will make good use of it ! Im about to go for offline businesses so this is the perfect timing.
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  • Profile picture of the author LiorN
    "Yor name is Levine?
    You call yourself a salesman you son of a b**ch?"
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    Our Actions Proves What We Really Belive In

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  • Profile picture of the author treka
    Wow that's a great post. As someone still starting out there are some nuggets in there to take away. A simple 'Thanks' just didn't seem to cut it in this case. The key point for me was the point about stalking them like a crazy ex. I have a local pizza place that REALLY needs my help but just cant quite see it yet. Thanks for making me try them a few more times......
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  • Profile picture of the author BarbaraP
    Treka, If that pizza place owner hasn't seen the light yet, land their competitor and start helping him/her sell more pizza. Bet the 1st guy's eyes open wide then.
    Many thanks to Jason's original post.
    Cheers.
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