Mailing out screenshots instead of showing demos?

by Cybria
14 replies
Hello everyone. Well recently I took the leap when it comes to cold calling local businesses asking if they'd like me to create a website for them. I didn't get a single person who was interested out of the 80 or so I called. I have been reading more today on this forum, and from all indications demos can really help to close the deal.
While I didn't get any appointments, I did have one business owner ask me to send him literature in the mail. Well I didn't have anything to send him, but from reading the threads today, I got the idea to send him something like the attached letter. Can I get some feedback on it please, as in would this be something viable to do for more than just one prospect in place of cold calling? Not that I am trying to wiggle out of making calls (okay, maybe I am, just a little...), but also my theory is that I'd get more bites if I put an image in front of people immediately. Side note: I know the little blue screenshot example isn't the best design...I just put it there for illustrating purposes. I have no marketing experience other than the calls I made...I'm still getting my feet wet when it comes to IM.
Thanks for any constructive input.
#building #businesses #demo #local #post #send #websites
  • Profile picture of the author farkry
    Hey congratulations for just getting down to making calls, I'm putting together a similar system at the momement but what we're going to do is call those who have no websites or dated ones & offer to build a "mock up" for them to look at. I'd essentially just install wordpress in a subdomain on my site > Lay on a premium theme & perhaps replace the header or image with one related to their niche (plumber or builder image etc) & add their address (20 - 30 minutes work) ...... wait a few days (don't want them to think it's too easy) Call back being all like ... pheww, i worked my A** off building this demo just to prove I can do you a good job & then go from there, if they want it they pay up & we complete the site, if not .... delete demo, keep them in the CRM & call back in a couple of months. We'll aim for 10 demo reuests a day & look at closing 2 out of those 10....... That's the plan anyway, going by all i've read on the forum this seems a reasonable way to start but I'll keep you posted on results.
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    • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
      Originally Posted by farkry View Post

      (20 - 30 minutes work) ...... wait a few days (don't want them to think it's too easy) Call back being all like ... pheww, i worked my A** off building this demo just to prove I can do you a good job & then go from there, .
      I would never in a million years suggest you ring any business back and talk waffle, these people have been in business for many years in most cases and are less impressed by people talking crap - just never go there for any reason.

      The Op does the client want a better website - or do they want more customers / clients ? / look around for some wso's on finding clients that need websites and how to market to them and it will all be good as you move forward.
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      • Profile picture of the author tomlee80
        Originally Posted by tryinhere View Post

        I would never in a million years suggest you ring any business back and talk waffle, these people have been in business for many years in most cases and are less impressed by people talking crap - just never go there for any reason.

        The Op does the client want a better website - or do they want more customers / clients ? / look around for some wso's on finding clients that need websites and how to market to them and it will all be good as you move forward.
        Thanks for the tips tryinhere (I'm Farkry's Tele-Sales Guy). I would stress that waffle is certainly what I intend to avoid. I've watched several video courses which have really helped. Today is only the 2nd full day I've been on the phones and I've managed to pass 3 website mock up requests to Farkry out of say 12 calls. I'm logging all my "Yes,Maybe" customers into a CRM system called Zoho which is proving to be a bit slow and clunky and am working on streamlining the admin side of things between calls. This involves emailing the details of the customers website demo request to FarKry (I'm putting a form into place on outlook for this) and logging the details and call back schedules for each customer. I'm the outbound sales guy and Farkry is the website builder in our operation.

        Congratulations Cybria on getting 80 calls out there, that's the sort of daily outbound I want to achieve! Keep focused and don't lose faith. BTW when sending out literature I'd gauge the prospects interest by agreeing with them to follow up the literature request over the phone after sending the email. In terms of fear of outbound calls I totally understand. Best way I cope with this is by reminding myself that I'm providing a service that I believe will help them! If a customer blows me away then I just accept that and move on. At the end of the day if you put yourself in the clients shoes and someone said to you that they'd like to build you a website you wouldn't be offended right? Another tip here is perhaps to provide them with some free advice - I advised one guy who was about to hang up on me how to claim his business on Google Maps. He paused then requested I email him some information on our service. May be a slim chance of a sale but him giving me his email (I hadn't asked for it) was better then just being hung up on! Think how you're going to be different from any other sales call then use it to your advantage!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    "Send me literature" is a put-off from someone who is not really interested.

    Websites--especially mobile sites--should be the easiest sale in the world.

    But you sound like this: "Hey, wanna buy a website? It's $500."

    That's what prospects hear. And almost everyone selling websites sound like that.

    Prospects don't understand "mobile sites"; the idea is frightening, they are skeptical it can do anything for them, and "that's too much"--compared to what, I don't know...but that's the knee-jerk reaction.

    You need to learn how to create value in the prospect's mind.

    Give away a demo, give away screenshots, and all you're doing is giving your prospect a free education. And they'll take what you gave them and disappear...off to get it at the lowest price.
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  • Profile picture of the author Benjam1n
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    "You become what you think about most of the time" - Think BIG!!

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    • Profile picture of the author MickYoung
      Originally Posted by Benjam1n View Post

      No offence, but if I got a leaflet looking like that, I would throw it in the bin. Anybody, computer designer or not, could design a basic leaflet similar to that on microsoft word in about two minutes, it's not really selling your services.

      (in my opinon) If you're going to send something out, it will need to impress the owner and it would need to be much more eyecatching than that.
      You gave absolutely no insight as to what Amy could do, this forum is to help people, not to knock them down and run off.

      Amy I would build a number of Wordpress sites as demo sites, screenshots IMO are crap and won't get you anything, you have to hit your customers from every angle possible.

      I use a lead generation software package, I email, snail mail, text and call ( after ive done the previous 3 ) but you know what if you throw enough mud at a blanket some of it will stick and the calling is so much easier when they've seen an all singing all dancing website.

      I started out like you and almost gave up until I realised its a numbers game, I now sell 10 website design and first page of google listings per week, I also ask my customers for 5 referrals, now I know they probably will give me 3 and at least one will buy so I've just doubled my sales.

      It's all about the numbers.

      I hope this helps
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      • Profile picture of the author somacorellc
        Originally Posted by MickYoung View Post

        Amy I would build a number of Wordpress sites as demo sites, screenshots IMO are crap and won't get you anything, you have to hit your customers from every angle possible.

        It's all about the numbers.
        Agreed. Pre-building some demo sites can be helpful but I'd limit yourself to only a couple if you can help it. Once you start selling you'll be able to build up a portfolio that you can reference on your own site. I currently have 12 real-world sites on my website that I've done, and it helps customers see the kind of site they're going to get.

        Don't be discouraged by your calls today. It can only get better. I made 18 calls today and have two appointments, one tomorrow and one Monday. Not everyone here does the appointment thing, you can try to phone close but I like meeting people and it's a nice excuse to get out of the house.

        Here's what I say more or less when I call:

        "Hi, my name is Mike - I noticed you're a new business here in [city]. I'm not exactly sure who to talk to, but I run a small web company here locally and all I do is help out new companies with websites. Who can I talk to about that?"

        Edit: I know they're a new company because I get a list of them every week from infousa.com.

        Protip: Jason Kanigan - kaniganj on the WF (and in this thread!) has some awesome information if you're looking to expand on and get serious about cold calling. Click some links in his profile and you'll be right as rain in no time.
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  • Profile picture of the author EmmaWilliams
    I prefer videos as this pretty much provide your potential customers an idea of what you have to offer. If it pleases them, they will definitely check your professional website to know more about your business.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cybria
    Thanks for all the input. So the general consensus is that screen shots are no good and the actual demo site is better....so based on that and a few other things I am going to revamp my approach for cold caling:

    Business owner: Hello?

    Me: Hi, my name is Tiffany and I'm a web designer from the area. I'm just calling local businesses and I was wondering if you've thought about getting a website for your business?

    B. Owner: No thanks, I'm not interested.

    Me: Well I'm sure your business could benefit from a website in a lot of ways. So if it's okay with you, I'd like to create a demo website for you to see and if you like it you can let me know. If not then that's fine too. What do you think?

    B. Owner: Well....

    Me: There's no obligation at all. It's just that there are more people online than ever now and every business should be where their customers are, right?

    B. Owner: Well okay.

    Me: Great. So can I have the email address where I can email you once I've finished the demo website:

    B. Owner: (Gives email address)

    Me: Okay I will get that out to you right away. Thanks for you time.

    B. Owner: You're welcome. Bye.

    Should the business owner say that they already have a website, I can ask them if they have a method for capturing emails, or if they get much business from their website. And then I offer a solution to those if they say "no," and then offer to email them a link to the demo.

    That's as far as phone calls go...if anyone has any ideas for what to put in a first contact email please let me know.

    I'll continue to look through the threads to find more ideas. I'm not comfortable with branching out into mobile sites just yet. I'd like to get a hang on regular websites first. Thanks again for the input guys.
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    - Tiff

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    • Profile picture of the author TheCG
      Remember that to do demos, you still only need one domain. Just put your demos on subdomains or subdirectories. This is what I do.

      Once you build a few generic ones all you have to do is clone it to another subdomain and customize it a bit with their business name, address, logo if you have it and so on. It shouldn't take but 15 or 20 minutes to get one set up for them.

      Let us know how it goes!
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    • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
      Originally Posted by Cybria View Post

      Business owner: Hello?

      Me: Hi, my name is Tiffany and I'm a web designer from the area. I'm just calling local businesses and I was wondering if you've thought about getting a website for your business?

      B. Owner: No thanks, I'm not interested.

      Me: Well I'm sure your business could benefit from a website in a lot of ways. So if it's okay with you, I'd like to create a demo website for you to see and if you like it you can let me know. If not then that's fine too. What do you think?

      B. Owner: Well....

      Me: There's no obligation at all. It's just that there are more people online than ever now and every business should be where their customers are, right?


      It's absolutely fantastic that you're taking action and I don't want to upset you but this is really really awful.

      You're making a few fundamental errors here that are going to make it difficult to get paid anything and if you do get paid it's likely to be a whole lot less than you're worth.


      # 1: "I'm a web designer from the area. I'm just calling local businesses and I was wondering if you've thought about getting a website for your business?"

      You're making this whole conversation about you right from the start.

      Do you really care about the business owners you're calling and THEIR business?

      From what you're saying all you care about is selling them a website. That's the first thing you say out of the gate.

      And the business owners you're talking to are most likely thinking "I have real problems to worry about. I don't need to help out this person who doesn't care about anything but herself."


      # 2: "No thanks, I'm not interested."

      Yes you got that part right. That's the response you can expect most of the time with this approach.

      A better start might be something like "Hi xxxxx, I'm hoping you can help me out." Low key and relaxed (practice it with some friends on the phone or in person).

      Then you could ask questions that get them to open up about their business.

      Or you could try this if you're really keen on giving them something free:

      # 1. Contact a business by phone, mail, email or in person telling them you'd like to have a short interview the owner for a website that reviews local businesses.

      (If they ask the review is listed free.)

      # 2: The review may be in the form of a short story about the business and its owner, it may be an online video, it may be audio, it may be text and pictures...whatever suits you and your skills.

      Keep it short and simple.


      # 3: When you're interviewing the business owner you can go slowly from asking questions about his business to more in depth questions about how his business is doing and what his high net profit lines are (tell him you won't put that in the review) and gradually lead the conversation where you want it to go.

      This gives you the opportunity to talk to business owners in a relaxed way and start mining information.

      At any point in the approach or conversation you can explain that you're an internet marketing professional who works with small businesses to increase their sales and profits.




      Finally don't be afraid to put some value on your websites and service.

      Sure you're willing to give them a business review on your site but if they want a website they should expect to pay.

      Giving clients free sites with "no obligation". Screw that!

      Your service has real value.

      A good site brings in real sales and profits.

      Have some pride in your work and be willing to tell people it's valuable upfront.

      "The review is my gift to you but if you want a site or one of my other services I am going to charge you for them. The good news is I help businesses like yours make real sales and profits so my service is an investment in getting some real sales."

      Kindest regards,
      Andrew Cavanagh
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  • Profile picture of the author mojo1
    Congrats Cybria,

    You are asking all the right questions which means success is just around the corner
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  • Profile picture of the author sublime311
    Also, remember you are not a sales person, you are web designer, there is nobody to blame you on that. But reality seems to be --- if you are going to do selling and closing, then you need to grab some books or education to teach these skills. That would be my recommendation.
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  • Profile picture of the author elitesalesgroup
    Hi Cybria.
    So good to see you've gotten started. Im going to PM you. I made 125 calls last week. 1 called me back paid and I'm working on his site now. Another said to please call her on Monday. A third said he wanted to talk today, I called but no answer.
    I think the demos work. My script is similar to yours but I am consistantly tweaking it. My biggest downfall was the time it took me to learn the duplication softwae and create the headers. I've outsourced the header work ( finally took some good advice ) and Ive training my family to help me with the demos.
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