Making the Sales, Customers Aren't Following Through

13 replies
I'm stumped. We are making new website sales that are associated with monthly SEO and marketing fees for 12 months after the website is complete.

I get customers that are hot to trot and want to make the downpayment, so once they do I send them a checklist for the new Wordpress website then they drop off the face of the earth. I send them emails and call them and they just don't continue with the effort.

Questions:
1. Why would they pay if they don't want a website?
2. How can I get them to follow through with the web design info I need to complete their site?
3. How can I change the process to avoid this problem?
4. Do you have a better methodology?
5. What is the best source for traffic you have found (related but not directly)

Thanks for your input.
#customers #making #sales
  • Profile picture of the author IdeaFool
    One thing that has long been the bane of salespeople is "Buyer's Remorse." It's the phenomenon wherein a person has bought something and then starts thinking about what other ways the money spent could have been used. Return departments experience this every day.

    One way I have learned to combat this is to IMMEDIATELY give the customer some part of the service he has stated he wants. In your case, I would immediately put up a basic website on my server that does not yet have the DNS pointed to it. I would CALL the customer and show them the work you have done. Then I would set up a PERSONAL interview to fill out the checklist. I would never leave it up to customer to take time out of their day to fill out something. I would however ask for an appointment time whether via chat, phone or in person (preferably in person) to document the customer's needs and wants. Making every element of your business personal will, in my opinion, set you above the rest.

    I have worked with a number of companies who have absolutely NOTHING good to say about website designers. The complaints are always the same: The designer charged a fortune; The designer took months to build the site; The designer wouldn't listen to what I wanted; The designer rarely answered my emails or phone calls and took forever to get me an answer once I actually made contact.

    People want personalized service. Period. I have long believed that a company that is not customer oriented is doomed to fail.

    Just my .02 pesos, but I hope you found it useful.

    Respectfully,

    Shawn
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  • Profile picture of the author redlegrich
    I've had this problem too. It's one of the reasons I hate doing websites, it's just a big pain in the butt. While I think IdeaFool has good thoughts, they just are not economical. A personal interview, I think not. It costs you too much of your valuable time that should be used for site building. Or, simply build in the cost of a face to face, but that makes your bid too high I suspect.

    Personally, I'd place the onus on the client to get this done. Build a contract that specifies response time frames and time lines. It takes effort and expense to get the process going and a wire frame together. If you sit around for weeks or months it takes time to get going again, which is money out of your pocket. I would place a restart penalty in the contract so your time is paid for.

    Yeah, I know this isn't really great customer service. But a smooth flow of give and take is critical for getting a well done site completed and if the client drags it out let them pay for it. Great customer service is everyone's suggestion, but I will tell you this, no one wants to pay for it so protect yourself and keep good records of what goes on.
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    • Profile picture of the author professorrosado
      I think we may be forcing the client to think our way. We are the ones with the experience and the know how. Websites are daunting to the people you may be selling to.

      When you buy something (spend $500) I think I would expect something to play with, bells & whistles and the like. Just like our fellow warrior said above, they should have something to drive with at this point - we can discuss the extras later.

      We need to think like a buyer. You spent $500 for a website what do you expect to happen? For me, I want the whole thing up and running and what's left should only be small details that I can begin learning myself and then making a decision and telling you how I want the final detail to be done.

      FUNNY: I had to edit this post because I look back at the previous ones and I'm trying to figure out how I got that $500 figure? Don't see it. But the rest is my sentiment.

      What your experience seems to indicate, is that there is something not equating for the buyer between your pre-sales communication and the post-sale one. Re-visit the message pre-sale and the post-sale experience in the buyers perspective. Simple is better - a lesson that I myself must learn!
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    • Profile picture of the author Vrs
      Even with a list a lot of business owners are going to be confused trying to navigate Wordpress. For anyone who hasn't done internet marketing it's a whole new world.

      Plus, they're busy. I can easily see them 'giving it a go', getting bogged down trying to figure out some technical aspect, and then putting it off for another time because they've got a lot of work to do. And you know how easy it is to procrastinate when you've got other things pressing you and you remember how hard 'that website thing' you tried was.

      Just a thought. It may not be a rejection of your services at all. And maybe not even buyers remorse. It could be as simple as they can't figure it out and keep putting it off.

      Just another way to look at it. It's possible.

      [Sorry, I just reread and saw you didn't say it was Wordpress. The same principle still may apply though]
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  • Profile picture of the author MaxReferrals
    Don't send the checklist. Get the answers by phone when you rec the downpmt.
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    • Profile picture of the author sparro
      Originally Posted by MaxReferrals View Post

      Don't send the checklist. Get the answers by phone when you rec the downpmt.
      I totally agree with MaxReferrals. I sell giant companies and the due diligence process requires a ton of data collection by the seller. It would take weeks If I did not control the timeline by setting up calls to review the checklist with them. I think going through it at time of downpayment will save you time and money in the long run.
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  • Profile picture of the author IdeaFool
    I must respectfully disagree with redlegrich. Losing the sale is not economical; doing what is necessary, within reason, to keep the sale and make income is most certainly economical. Regarding the time involved to conduct an interview and walk the customer through the checklist, how much time is KnowJack spending trying to save the sale by attempting to contact the wayward customer? If one has to spend an extra hour to save the sale, is not the cost/benefit in one's favor.

    And I must strenuously disagree with redlegrich's contention that "no one wants to pay for [customer service.]" I have found that the average consumer will absolutely pay for better customer service. A case in point is Harrods of London. When you buy a suit there, not only will you be treated to drinks and snacks, but your shoes will be shined, and you are treated extremely well.

    Often web design is expensive (too expensive, in my opinion), and the more a person pays, the more service they expect. And, if the level of service goes above and beyond what the customer expects, the chance for great reviews, word-of-mouth, and testimonials skyrockets. I, for one, absolutely require stellar customer service from everyone with whom I do business. I am required to give great customer service, and, therefore, I expect it. If I don't receive it, you can bet that not only will I let my displeasure known, but I will also not do business with that establishment again.

    I am not advocating "giving away the shop" to the customer when offering service, but a little more than just sending a checklist and hoping the customer gets back with you may be in order. If spending an hour to walk a customer through this checklist (and increasing the chances of locking in that customer, btw) is "not economical," then perhaps paying someone on fiverr $5 to do it would not wreck the bid price.

    I'm just passing along my experience. Most business owners with whom I have contact absolutely cannot stand web designers. The reason for this comes down to one thing: Poor Customer Service. As I stated above, the business owner paid a LOT of money and received horrible turnaround times and abysmal, if not non-existent, communications.

    I firmly believe that a full-service (and I emphasize "service") web design firm could slaughter its competition and command a higher price-per-service simply by treating its customers with the utmost respect. The competition, unfortunately for them, often value their time over that of their customer's and believe that spending the time necessary to provide excellent service is not economical.
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  • Profile picture of the author jrod014
    I think either having the checklist ready in case they do make the down payment woul help. That way you can get the info you need asap. It also shows you're ready to work and mean business.

    Or, you can set up another face to face meeting when the down payment is made.

    Jerry
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  • Profile picture of the author JustSomeWarrior
    What the hell is in your checklist?

    I'm surprised that no one else has actually asked this. I couldn't even begin to tell you what is turning them off unless I knew the before sale discussion and after sale checklist.
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  • Profile picture of the author Creativegirl
    Originally Posted by KnowJack View Post

    I'm stumped. We are making new website sales that are associated with monthly SEO and marketing fees for 12 months after the website is complete.

    I get customers that are hot to trot and want to make the downpayment, so once they do I send them a checklist for the new Wordpress website then they drop off the face of the earth. I send them emails and call them and they just don't continue with the effort.

    Questions:
    1. Why would they pay if they don't want a website?
    2. How can I get them to follow through with the web design info I need to complete their site?
    3. How can I change the process to avoid this problem?
    4. Do you have a better methodology?
    5. What is the best source for traffic you have found (related but not directly)

    Thanks for your input.
    This is not uncommon, and what makes web design a pain in the butt as said above. Bottom line don't sweat it, move on to serious clients.

    You can try a project schedule to control the timeline and outcome, but if there is no pain (loss of money) they may delay or disappear.

    Cover yourself in the contract, the deposit and timeline. Add that final payment is due in 30 days or when the site goes live, whichever occurs first (meaning you get paid whether they follow through or not, or you have legal grounds to collect).

    Look for ways to solve their pain, and offer it when and where needed.
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  • Profile picture of the author SiteSmarty
    I don't use contracts for web design. Here's how I do it:

    - 50% down to start
    - I do the site on a development site
    - When all is said and done, I bill the remaining 50%
    - Then I move the site to the clients server

    I communicate with clients as much as possible. If it gets to the point where the client doesn't engage, I just leave everything as is and move on until they contact me.

    When they contact me I move on with their site as planned. So far it's always worked out for the client and myself.
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  • Profile picture of the author professorrosado
    One of the greatest sales techniques I ever studied (offline) was that of asking the buying questions all throughout the initial interview - by the time the client signed on the dotted line, you had ALL the info you needed.

    Incorporate the checklist into your discussions - you put the rest together.
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    • Profile picture of the author midasman09
      Banned
      I haven't seen "my" answer...so I'll chime in here!

      What you are doing is "letting your potential client CONTROL"!

      Here's how to "turn the tables where..... YOU are IN CONTROL!"

      I call it..."Appealing to their GREED GLANDS!"

      This goes to...."DOMAIN NAMES!" You offer a good service of creating a website for someone....WHOOPEEE-FIZZ! There are thousands who can create a website for them.

      Then what? I'm assuming you tell your prospect that you will use ALL the right "KeyWords"....and give him some BackLinks so he has a semblance of a chance to have a good position. Matbe even toss in some SEO stuff.

      Then what do you do about the Domain Name? If his business is "Johnson Construction"....do you register www.JohnsonPlumbing.com? or something with HIS name in it?

      Bah! Humbug! Offer him something that will make his GREED GLANDS POP! A Name that he will WANTto have....BEFORE his competitor. And, if he chooses NOT to go ahead with YOU building a site for him....tell him you will contact 6 of his competitors. ONE will take your service AND Domain Name!

      How about "www.TacomasBestPlumber.com"....or...."wwwBestPlumberInTacoma.com"

      A Name he will DROOL over!....HUNGER for...and can't wait to have it up and running so he can start getting biz away from his competition!

      All the other stuff mentioned above is fine....BUT....if you can offer something that gets his Greed Glands twanging....he won't be able to get your money to you...fast enough!

      Don Alm....Greed Gland Twanger from waaay back
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