In light of some recent events that have taken place I wanted to write a post sharing my experiences of what you should expect as realistic results in your offline consultancy business.
There are many people out there who will make outlandish claims as to the results they get from different techniques they try or just make up. There are a variety of reasons why people do this; from just wanting attention to trying to position themselves as an expert so they can sell you services, mentoring, coaching, etc. Let me be clear: just because somebody is selling offline services, mentoring or coaching, that does not mean they are scamming you. In fact, there is a ton of value that can be gained by having an offline mentor or a coach-- so long as they know what they are talking about and not just telling you vague, untested, general advice. Make no mistake about it though; there are always a few bad apples out there who are trying to make a quick buck by taking advantage of unsuspecting newbies. One was just recently outed, but you can bet that he (yes, upon further investigation by multiple Warriors, she is a he) will be back.
From my personal experience, here is what you can expect from having your own offline marketing business.
If you are consistently closing one deal a day, you are doing very well. Better than 98% of the people out there. Can you close more than one deal a day? Of course. Seminars and networking events can be a great way to get new business and can land you a few new clients at a time. The reality though is that it takes quite a bit of effort to put together a seminar and get people there. Nobody I know is holding daily seminars where they are consistently getting 4 or 5 new clients every day. Even if you aren't getting a sale a day that does not mean you are a failure in this business. For some high ticket services (large SEO campaigns, Reputation Management) you only need to get a sale or two a month to make a very good living.
As for the number of clients some people claim they have, I've found that having more than 50 active clients gets to be too much to handle for any one individual. Obviously some people can handle a little more and some can't even handle half that, but if somebody is saying that they are acquiring 900 new clients a month, be very skeptical of their claims. The reality is that a lot of small business owners are needy. Far from being a stereotypical owner who is a multi-millionaire, many of them are struggling to make even $50k a year for themselves. They look to you as the expert to help them bring in new business and will constantly call asking questions, needing advice, or wanting help. They are your client and if you want to sell them additional services in the future, you need to be there for them.
Of course there are also some clients that are hands off. In those cases though you need to be following up and checking in with them at least once a month, if not more frequently. If you want to be successful in offline marketing you can't look at your clients as one and done. Even after you get that first sale you need to nurture the relationship so they will buy more from you in the future. Trying to nurture over 50 relationships takes up a large part of your day and will become too much to handle.
It is important to keep realistic expectations for your business. When you are just starting out you are not going to close 5 deals a week. In fact, you probably won't even close 5 deals in your first month. Don't be discouraged by this though. Everybody who has achieved even mild success in offline marketing has gone through what you are going through. It's a struggle. It's a grind. It is not easy money, no matter what some people will have you believe.
In terms of keeping what I call my BS Detector up, to avoid people wanting to take advantage of you being new to this business, common sense is your best friend. If somebody guarantees to build you a million dollar business in 3 months for only a $2997 coaching fee, use your head. Why would somebody who has the ability to do that help you out for only 3 grand? The kindness of their heart? No... without fail they are scamming you. There is never a guarantee that a business will work out. You can have the best laid plans and all the financing you need and it is still not guaranteed. I know this from personal experience of raising $500k from Angel Investors and then being out of business 2 years later. Does this make me a failure? No, it makes me experienced.
Further, beyond just outlandish guarantees, be aware of obviously false claims. I read a recent "Exclusive Invite" to buy a Private Label Website Business that said, "I think you will agree, I could easily charge $10,000, $20,000 or more just for the Power Point presentation, after all, the presentation alone is like an ATM machine." Now think about this... $10k for a PowerPoint presentation?! If that didn't send up red flags like fireworks on the 4th of July, then I have a few bridges to sell you.
Lastly, if you are going to buy something online, whether it is a PDF, eCourse, or coaching/mentoring, make sure the payment processor you use to make your purchase will offer refunds if you do end up getting scammed. Never fax a blank check (even if you write void on it) over to a stranger online making outlandish claims. This has the potential to completely drain your bank account and your recourse is a lot less than if you had used PayPal, ClickBank, or even your credit card.
I wrote this post not to call out anybody specific (that's already been done), but to help people who are new to offline marketing have realistic expectations. It can be extremely discouraging to hear somebody say they are getting 10 new clients every day when you are spending all day long working your tail off just to get one client. Don't be discouraged. The Warrior Forum is a fantastic resource to learn new tips and techniques and there are plenty of Warriors out there who are willing to help where they can. There is plenty of free advice you can find and plenty of WSO's with absolute gold in them. Yeah, there are some not-so-good WSO's, but the great thing about WSO's is there is a review system which fosters accountability.
Please keep your responses to this post clean. From all the e-mails and PM's I've received over the past 24 hours, I know there are some strong feelings about recent events, but this post is to help out newbies set some parameters for what they can expect in their offline business and how to avoid getting taken advantage of.