How to avoid "meeting" with potential clients?

by D37
55 replies
I'm wondering how I can avoid meeting up with potential clients all the time. Meeting up with them takes a lot of time and I always find that nothing productive comes out of it. Everything can be done over the phone/skype. I can understand if a potential client wants to meet up for a couple thousand dollar job, but I'm talking about work that I'm billing a couple hundred for.

I was thinking that if I mentioned to the potential client that I charge $150 per hour to meet in person then they may think twice about meeting.

Any thoughts?
#avoid #clients #meeting #potential
  • Profile picture of the author HBurner
    You can tell them; "We can have our first meeting on skype and it has all features, voice chat/video chat so if first online meeting is productive, we can have another actual meeting to close the deal."
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  • Profile picture of the author O0o0O
    Have you considered hiring a few experienced telemarketers? They are really good at qualifying the leads. THen all you have to do is go in and close the deal.
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  • Profile picture of the author KabanaSoft
    With that kind of attitude, you will fail 100% of the time. Go ahead and tell a potential client you charge $150/hr to meet in person before you have even landed a contract, that will probably be the last time you talk to them.

    If nothing productive comes out of your meetings, then your not saying the right things to a. build trust, and b. to make them not only want, but need your services.

    I've landed clients both in person and over the phone. For the ones i met, i generally only had to meet them twice, and usually the 2nd time was to pick up a check. And then a 3rd time to pick up the last check when everything was done. Everything in-between is easily handled by email / phone / teamviewer.

    For the ones i've got over the phone, it was much more work (i.e. 3-5 phone calls) to get them to sign and send a check...wonder why? Its all about trust. When you meet in person, its much easier to build trust and rapport than talking over the phone...think about it, would you hand over your money to someone you met or someone you've talked to on the phone?

    I think you need to focus on honing your people skills when you meet potential clients in person. If its a low dollar job and you don't want to meet, then you will need to have a good portfolio of experience and results that you can show them to build the necessary trust that will get them to commit to your services over the phone. Until you get there, you will need to find ways to make your meetings more productive.
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    • Profile picture of the author D37
      Originally Posted by O0o0O View Post

      Have you considered hiring a few experienced telemarketers? They are really good at qualifying the leads. THen all you have to do is go in and close the deal.
      I have thought about it, but I'll probably get a telemarketer in the future.

      Originally Posted by KabanaSoft View Post

      With that kind of attitude, you will fail 100% of the time. Go ahead and tell a potential client you charge $150/hr to meet in person before you have even landed a contract, that will probably be the last time you talk to them.

      If nothing productive comes out of your meetings, then your not saying the right things to a. build trust, and b. to make them not only want, but need your services.

      I've landed clients both in person and over the phone. For the ones i met, i generally only had to meet them twice, and usually the 2nd time was to pick up a check. And then a 3rd time to pick up the last check when everything was done. Everything in-between is easily handled by email / phone / teamviewer.

      For the ones i've got over the phone, it was much more work (i.e. 3-5 phone calls) to get them to sign and send a check...wonder why? Its all about trust. When you meet in person, its much easier to build trust and rapport than talking over the phone...think about it, would you hand over your money to someone you met or someone you've talked to on the phone?

      I think you need to focus on honing your people skills when you meet potential clients in person. If its a low dollar job and you don't want to meet, then you will need to have a good portfolio of experience and results that you can show them to build the necessary trust that will get them to commit to your services over the phone. Until you get there, you will need to find ways to make your meetings more productive.
      Well I don't mean that the meetings are completely unproductive. I meant that customers tend to waste my time and therefore very little gets done. Unfortanetly a lot of people don't value others time.

      My mentor who makes over 15K a month in offline marketing rarely meets with anyone and does most sales over the phone. I was just curious as to what everyone else thought about meeting clients.
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      • Profile picture of the author RentItNow
        Originally Posted by D37 View Post

        Well I don't mean that the meetings are completely unproductive. I meant that customers tend to waste my time and therefore very little gets done. Unfortunately a lot of people don't value others time.
        I have been thinking about this a lot myself. My worst pet peeve in the world is what you said above. It was actually how I used to screen potential tenants...do they value your time to be on time and not continuously reschedule? Not only screening tenants but in life in general I TOTALLY judge someone by their respect for my time as much as theirs. It's worked for me in MANY circumstances. The ones that waste your time are a life drain, time drain and because of that a money drain.

        I have both types of customers. The ones that pay me well and consistently do not have time to waste just like myself so we both agree to use email/txt etc. The ones that need that weekly meeting for a $200 site, I just raise my prices to equal the time it takes me running back and forth with them.

        Btw, I think it matters about your local too. I am from Ontario as well and when I lived in Toronto, people did not waste my time with 'meetings' cause they knew they were paying me to sit, drive, blah blah. BUT, in the smaller city I live in now, everyone wants that hand-holding. I try to mitigate it on some. If they are paying me a $1000 a month, sure I will drive across the city for you! A one time fee of $200? Forget it!
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    • Profile picture of the author Kumaris
      Originally Posted by KabanaSoft View Post

      With that kind of attitude, you will fail 100% of the time. Go ahead and tell a potential client you charge $150/hr to meet in person before you have even landed a contract, that will probably be the last time you talk to them.

      If nothing productive comes out of your meetings, then your not saying the right things to a. build trust, and b. to make them not only want, but need your services.

      I've landed clients both in person and over the phone. For the ones i met, i generally only had to meet them twice, and usually the 2nd time was to pick up a check. And then a 3rd time to pick up the last check when everything was done. Everything in-between is easily handled by email / phone / teamviewer.

      For the ones i've got over the phone, it was much more work (i.e. 3-5 phone calls) to get them to sign and send a check...wonder why? Its all about trust. When you meet in person, its much easier to build trust and rapport than talking over the phone...think about it, would you hand over your money to someone you met or someone you've talked to on the phone?

      I think you need to focus on honing your people skills when you meet potential clients in person. If its a low dollar job and you don't want to meet, then you will need to have a good portfolio of experience and results that you can show them to build the necessary trust that will get them to commit to your services over the phone. Until you get there, you will need to find ways to make your meetings more productive.

      I'm no expert (yet) but I agree! Can't expect positive results.. or ANY results.. if expect clients to just pay you for .. well.. nothing!
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  • Profile picture of the author wiseme11
    First, what is your business services provide to this clients? How can you charge your client per hour 150 unless you are a professional services provider. For example, insurance agent..they could have to travel from one point to another just to collect monthly premium as low as $50 per customer. they don't even charge for any fee. This is service. I cannot comment much because you did not disclose your profession here. Potential want to meet you face to face just for on simple reason...get to know you better .
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  • Profile picture of the author racso316
    You could qualify them better when you contact them.

    I don't know about you, but I personally wouldn't hand ANYONE a $X,XXX check or more to someone I haven't built rapport with, haven't met in person, and haven't had a feel for. Would you?

    That's the exciting part, man. Meeting the business owner, educate them, find their profit leaks, come up with a solution and collect the check. If that customer will bring you a high ROI for your time, I would say every meeting is worthy.

    Even if you don't come out with the check. You will hone your skills with the consultation and get better everytime.

    Back to the question, you can qualify them better. Send them or mail them a questionnaire and tell them to fill it up by a certain time, and that you'll pick it up by then. If they do, and the questionnaire shows them the value you offer, you might have an easier time closing them. If they don't fill it up, then you know they're not commited or don't see the value in your services and most likely the deal won't close.
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  • Profile picture of the author beeswarn
    Original poster has a valid point. When you're prospecting a lot you can get bogged down quickly by tire-kickers. One meeting can take you off the phone for three hours and cost you a lot of money.

    I found two ways to avoid time-wasting meetings: (1) ask one for the order on more time (2) give them referrals and tell them to call them
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  • Profile picture of the author David Miller
    Originally Posted by D37 View Post

    I'm wondering how I can avoid meeting up with potential clients all the time. Meeting up with them takes a lot of time and I always find that nothing productive comes out of it. Everything can be done over the phone/skype. I can understand if a potential client wants to meet up for a couple thousand dollar job, but I'm talking about work that I'm billing a couple hundred for.

    I was thinking that if I mentioned to the potential client that I charge $150 per hour to meet in person then they may think twice about meeting.

    Any thoughts?
    How dare they think they can me with you? After all, what do they have to offer besides money? Sheesh....the nerve of some people!

    You hold your ground buddy!
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  • Profile picture of the author wieserd
    Banned
    Hey!
    Why don't you just make the potential customer, to a real customer?

    Send him an offer.
    If he wants to talk, refuse.
    Say it is your offer.

    Make everything via email.
    Why should you travel?

    If the customer really wants to see you, tell him, that it's a lot of time, and you charge 50$ for driving to them, unless of course he signs the contract.

    Tipp: Just DON't drive!
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  • Profile picture of the author TyErickson
    You are thinking only about you. You can accomplish the same goal but think about them too...

    'Bill, I know you are probably super busy. I know I sure am. I have a lot of cool tools that allow us to have a meeting without being face to face. This will save us both a lot of time but still let us get to know each other better. Would you be open to that?'
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    • Profile picture of the author Deidra Renee
      Originally Posted by TyErickson View Post

      You are thinking only about you. You can accomplish the same goal but think about them too...

      'Bill, I know you are probably super busy. I know I sure am. I have a lot of cool tools that allow us to have a meeting without being face to face. This will save us both a lot of time but still let us get to know each other better. Would you be open to that?'
      Exactly. If you let them know up front that the *meeting* will be a phone meeting, skype, etc.. they should have no problem. I completely disagree that you HAVE to meet someone in person to build rapport or collect a check. (I'm sure I will get a few *hate mail* for saying that..as usual lol)
      And yes, I've bought a few things over the phone from a telemarketer before.

      I do agree that the person should trust that you can deliver on your promises..period.

      I have only been on 2 face to face meetings in about 14 months! But, I let them know up front that all details will be discussed over the phone. Instead of just going in for the close, you could ask if they would be available to discuss the matter in more detail via a phone call tomorrow morning at 9 am. This way they know the *meeting* is a phone meeting (or skype or whatever)

      If you run into someone who refuses to do business unless you meet with them, then it comes down to how bad do you want it. You have to be willing to do what you have to do to get to where you want to be. But it is my OPINION that it can be done over the phone.

      Telemarketers at callcenters don't meet people face to face. I took credit cards over the phone all the time from business owners when I sold them ad space on a refrigerator magnet, never once did I have to set up a face to face meeting. This is the same situation, except you get to keep all of the profits.

      But as I said a lot of people will disagree, oh well, this is what I do. If it ain't broke don't fix it. If you have to go on face to face meetings to get money and build rapport, then do that. If you can do phone sales, do that. You have to do what works for YOU, not what works for everyone else.
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    • Profile picture of the author A790
      Originally Posted by TyErickson View Post

      You are thinking only about you. You can accomplish the same goal but think about them too...

      'Bill, I know you are probably super busy. I know I sure am. I have a lot of cool tools that allow us to have a meeting without being face to face. This will save us both a lot of time but still let us get to know each other better. Would you be open to that?'
      This sums up the thread.

      I meet with potential clients regularly. Before meeting I qualify them via e-mail/phone to ensure that they are the right type of client for me, then I meet with them.

      Building relationships is the heart of business. Don't abstain from meeting your potential clients because "nothing ever comes of it". This tells me that you need to work on your product presentation, sales skills, or relationship building skills- perhaps all three.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sharyn Sheldon
    You said you have a mentor. Why don't you ask him for advice? Isn't that what he's there for? If you trust him, then you should listen to him.

    As others have said, you need to qualify your leads before you meet with them. Have some questions prepared that will help you qualify them. I can't tell you the questions since I don't know what services you're selling. You might also ask about how many other vendors the prospect has already spoken to, if only to give you an idea.

    Also, think beyond the "small" job. Is this someone who could potentially give you more business and referrals? More services you could offer if you impress them on the first one? Maybe they are someone who has a lot of contacts that he could refer you to.

    You are building a relationship, not selling a one-off job. If you do it well and build trust, you can get referrals even if that person doesn't buy from you. Don't burn all your bridges from the start!
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  • Profile picture of the author Seantrepreneur
    Wow, I agree with what a lot of people have been saying here. If you truly want to succeed offline your going to have to get used to meeting people in person. That's way we call it "offline".

    I absolutely love meeting with people offline because it gives me a chance to make them like me. Once someone connects with you they will not only want to work with you but they will refer a lot more business. As mentioned about, I would never give someone a check for $1,000 plus without ever meeting them. While I'm sure there are a lot of people who would (I have some clients I've never met face to face), the vast majority are going to want to meet with you. If you can get someone to pay you $150 an hour just to meet with you, which is about what a high level consultant with 20+ year experience charges, I'll personally fly out to where you live and pat you on the back. Not really, but you get what I'm saying.

    I think you should sit down and ask yourself "How bad do you want it?". Only you can answer that question. If it's not bad enough to sit down with a potential client and "waste" an hour or two, I think you should make the switch to online marketing.

    Hope that helps!

    Sean
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Clearly there is something wrong with your sales process.

    Meeting in person should be very effective. But as long as you have a consistent and effective sales process, you'll be able to advance the sale over the phone or in person.

    Your job as a salesperson is to get in front of people, one way or another!

    As far as I'm concerned, the chance to get in front of a qualified prospect is the most important thing I could be doing--much more important than fiddling with marketing literature, building a list, or anything else...the chance of generating revenue NOW is high.
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  • Profile picture of the author believemarketing
    i would rather meet and see them face to face anytime of the day than close them on phone....

    imo when people agree to see you, you are privileged of their time and access... it is a big opportunity...
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    • Profile picture of the author David Miller
      Is it my imagination or does it seem like there are more and more threads popping up, the subject of which is much like this one? Off the top of head I can think of two other threads very similar to this. In one thread, the op is disturbed that prospects don't understand how valuable he is.

      I know that it's the nature of many of us to want to jump in and give some sage advice if we have it. Some of us try to impart an understanding of sales and marketing so they can better manage their business and learn how to master the art of sales.

      In the past I've tried to do that when I thought perhaps I could share some experiences that may help. In the past month while doing this, I've been told that salespeople are all liars, we come from some dark place, our only goal is to extract money and the customer can just rot. Most recently I've been told to "shut up" because I suggested someone needs a business plan if they expect any level of success.

      So now I view these threads differently. I still want to read them but now my motivation is different. Thanks to threads like this I see how my prospects and clients may be treated by others in our profession. It gives me that extra bit of enthusiasm to make a few more cold calls because I know there are so many others that can't be bothered.

      So to all the ops who have posted threads like this, and to all of you who believe that the only customer worth having and the only prospect worth speaking with are those that understand that they have to do business your way or the highway, I can't thank you enough.

      I think it's great that you've got your pride. I have my pride as well, and the added bonus of income.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jay Rhome
        Originally Posted by David Miller View Post

        So to all the ops who have posted threads like this, and to all of you who believe that the only customer worth having and the only prospect worth speaking with are those that understand that they have to do business your way or the highway, I can't thank you enough.

        I think it's great that you've got your pride. I have my pride as well, and the added bonus of income.
        Now I understand your point here and you put it nicely :p, and while I agree that some people choosing this field need drastic changes in their attitude and improvements in their people skills, advices such as

        'Bill, I know you are probably super busy. I know I sure am. I have a lot of cool tools that allow us to have a meeting without being face to face. This will save us both a lot of time but still let us get to know each other better. Would you be open to that?'

        or

        "you could ask if they would be available to discuss the matter in more detail via a phone call tomorrow morning at 9 am. This way they know the *meeting* is a phone meeting (or skype or whatever)

        If you run into someone who refuses to do business unless you meet with them, then it comes down to how bad do you want it. You have to be willing to do what you have to do to get to where you want to be. But it is my OPINION that it can be done over the phone."

        are right on target as well. Face-to-face equals more results and more possible pay IMO, BUT, you can do a lot more volume over the phone and screen sharing, and "offline" doesn't have to mean "local".

        My 2 cents
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  • Profile picture of the author newseller
    Banned
    Meeting with people that are a waste of time is good practice for the real ones and you never know when the time-wasters will be disappointed by someone else and come back to you.
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    • Profile picture of the author David Miller
      @Jay Rhome - My point isn't so much about a choice between face to face or phone. Nearly everything I do is on the phone. I think far to much emphasis is placed on the face to face model and because of this a lot of money is left on the table.

      What I was really trying to get at is that there's an attitude from some lately that leaves me (I can only speak for myself) with the feeling that these folks think the prospect has to prove themselves worthwhile. Just look at this statement from the op:

      "I was thinking that if I mentioned to the potential client that I charge $150 per hour to meet in person then they may think twice about meeting."

      Now what is it that he's conveying by even thinking this is something to say? If you rephrase it, he's saying "prove to me that you're worth my time." If this is the kind of thinking thats happening, there is no way even the most skillful of salespeople could hide that attitude from the prospect.

      He also says: "Meeting up with them takes a lot of time and I always find that nothing productive comes out of it."

      I can't even begin to express how bizarre a statement that is. Now I fully agree that most things can be done on the phone, but as I read his post, what I'm seeing is that if nothing is going to come out of meeting, he may as well have nothing happen on the phone.

      Clearly he believes that the reason nothing comes out of these meetings is the prospects inability to be dazzled by his overwhelming skills.

      Now for his own sake, I'm hoping that since he's willing to meet for jobs that he feels meet his income expectations, turn out to be closed deals.

      I have no doubt that if the op (D37) responds to this post, he will proceed to berate me for not knowing what I'm talking about and he makes loads of money. I hope that is the case. I would like to see everyone earn what they are worth. But logic and common sense tell me that can't be the case.

      If you bring an attitude such as is on display here to a small deal you can't close, how are you going to close a big deal. I realize that I'm knocking down his reality, which is that it's the prospects fault.
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      • Profile picture of the author HypeText
        Originally Posted by David Miller View Post

        @Jay Rhome - My point isn't so much about a choice between face to face or phone. Nearly everything I do is on the phone. I think far to much emphasis is placed on the face to face model and because of this a lot of money is left on the table.

        What I was really trying to get at is that there's an attitude from some lately that leaves me (I can only speak for myself) with the feeling that these folks think the prospect has to prove themselves worthwhile. Just look at this statement from the op:

        "I was thinking that if I mentioned to the potential client that I charge $150 per hour to meet in person then they may think twice about meeting."

        Now what is it that he's conveying by even thinking this is something to say? If you rephrase it, he's saying "prove to me that you're worth my time." If this is the kind of thinking thats happening, there is no way even the most skillful of salespeople could hide that attitude from the prospect.

        He also says: "Meeting up with them takes a lot of time and I always find that nothing productive comes out of it."

        I can't even begin to express how bizarre a statement that is. Now I fully agree that most things can be done on the phone, but as I read his post, what I'm seeing is that if nothing is going to come out of meeting, he may as well have nothing happen on the phone.

        Clearly he believes that the reason nothing comes out of these meetings is the prospects inability to be dazzled by his overwhelming skills.

        Now for his own sake, I'm hoping that since he's willing to meet for jobs that he feels meet his income expectations, turn out to be closed deals.

        I have no doubt that if the op (D37) responds to this post, he will proceed to berate me for not knowing what I'm talking about and he makes loads of money. I hope that is the case. I would like to see everyone earn what they are worth. But logic and common sense tell me that can't be the case.

        If you bring an attitude such as is on display here to a small deal you can't close, how are you going to close a big deal. I realize that I'm knocking down his reality, which is that it's the prospects fault.
        David, I agree with you 110%! on everything you said...

        I guess that may make me about 10% more unknowledgable than you in the eyes of the OP!
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Clough
    The more you meet with people face to face, the better! You will get use to it. I started in sales in the 70s and 80s, when we had no skype, internet or email. After you do this for a while, you'll grow to love it.

    People are people, and really like to put a face to the service you are offering....and it builds much more credibility!

    .)(. x 20.....that symbol is an old sales term from a guy named Tom Hopkins. Meet 20 people "belly to belly a day, and you will succeed. *You may start smaller, to get use to it.

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  • Profile picture of the author junioreality
    You can have the client go to a url with a presentation of your service with a buy now link. However, I don't see meeting up a waste of time if you have a good presentation and sales pitch. Even if the potential client doesn't buy into what you got to offer after a meeting, you can still follow up periodically with more offers. I have experienced occasionally in the past that a *no* now doesn't mean it will be a *no* later.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    What oh what is wrong with qualifying your prospect over the phone...

    ...and then meeting with them to demonstrate your solution, answer specific questions, and close the sale?

    Fact is, most people are terrible at qualifying.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jay Rhome
      @David Miller - yes I certainly agree

      Originally Posted by kaniganj View Post

      What oh what is wrong with qualifying your prospect over the phone...

      ...and then meeting with them to demonstrate your solution, answer specific questions, and close the sale?

      Fact is, most people are terrible at qualifying.
      I know I was terrible at qualifying in my first sales jobs in the past. That's why the attitude shift is needed by many. Instead of feeling "you're wasting your time" if you don't make a sale, learn to qualify, and even in the meeting you do NOT close - and they'll still happen!!! - at least you get better and hone your skills.
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    • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
      Originally Posted by kaniganj View Post


      Fact is, most people are terrible at qualifying.
      your right, most are. Its too bad. because if you can do it properly
      you build a bond of trust so strong, you can ask for anything.

      not that you need too, because you already know what they have to spend
      and how they need to spend it.
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      • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
        I'd suggest that you start charging for a service in the thousands of dollars so it's worthwhile for you to meet in person.

        Getting a lead to the point where they WANT to meet you in person is often the most costly thing you do.

        By bailing out and only charging in the hundreds of dollars for a service you're seriously cutting down on your potential income and putting yourself on a treadmill where you have to bring in an inordinately high number of clients just to make a living.

        On top of that your service to each client is not likely to be stellar if you're only making a few hundred dollars from each.

        When you're charging in the thousands of dollars you can afford to take the time to really service each client to the best of your ability.

        Kindest regards,
        Andrew Cavanagh
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  • Profile picture of the author believemarketing
    read alan weiss' book 'million dollar consulting'... it helps alot...

    in the mean time, watch this...
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  • Profile picture of the author D37
    Wow thanks for all the responses. Some good information here. I'm relatively new to the offline thing. I'm glad that I'm getting help from an awesome mentor. Some very interesting perspectives in here. The service I'm working on is something that will be cheap, but can serve the masses very well and should not require an in-person meeting. I really don't mind meeting people in person all that much and I'm pretty good with meetings. Most of the business I've received has been from referrals and so I'm thinking that could be a reason as to why everyone wants to meet. I do have to work on being better on the phone, that is for sure.
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    Thank you to everyone on WF for all the great information, help, support, and kindness you have all shared!

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  • Profile picture of the author digichik
    You may want to keep in mind, since the beginning of the recession, many businesses are overwhelmed with telemarketing phone calls, so being willing to meet them face to face may give you an edge. Face to face also allows you to read them completely, and build some kind of rapport with them. Many business owners want to know they are dealing with someone local, and put a face with a name.

    I'm a phone pro from way back, but I have been finding more success with meeting with clients lately. I'd rather do everything by phone, but sometimes you have to go with the flow. Besides, getting out of the office is fun sometimes and I do like meeting new people.

    Keep in mind you never know, that few hundred dollar client could turn into a thousands of dollars client or refer you to one. Don't be so quick to dismiss them.
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  • Profile picture of the author sizzlemediauk
    MAte,

    You want them to become your client or not! $150 for meeting? Don't you think it is too much, in-fact $1 too is much, you are not a doctor, right! I am sure you are joking!
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  • Profile picture of the author s62731
    $150 is not unreasonable to ask just for meeting up with someone. BUT, if you cant sell anything worthwhile to them in person, there is no way they will pay $150 to talk with you.

    You have 2 problems:
    1, Your a crappy salesman
    2, Your product isn't worth much

    I used to be HORRIBLE at selling, but I have worked hard over the last few months, and now I am a one call closer.

    I can close 2 people a day into thousands of dollars (over 12 months)

    Now, I am not saying this to brag, but to show you that it is possible!

    You CAN close on the phone, and should NEVER have to meet up with someone in person, unless you are asking for more than $5k, anything less can be done over 2-4 phone calls!

    Want to make a ton of money? Learn how to sell!!!

    And if you say: "cold calling isn't my thing" or "I dont want to learn how to sell"

    THEN GET OUT OF THE BUSINESS!

    It is a tough world out there and only the tough can reap the rewards.

    If you really want success, learn how to close. That is how money is made.

    This may be some tough love, but if you have people wasting your time, you are not demanding their respect. You are not showing your authority or expertise.

    Can you imagine if someone tried to waste Donald Trumps time, do you think he would put up with it?

    NO!

    So practice, practice and practice, until you can sell like a god.
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    • Profile picture of the author Deidra Renee
      Originally Posted by s62731 View Post

      $150 is not unreasonable to ask just for meeting up with someone. BUT, if you cant sell anything worthwhile to them in person, there is no way they will pay $150 to talk with you.

      You have 2 problems:
      1, Your a crappy salesman
      2, Your product isn't worth much

      I used to be HORRIBLE at selling, but I have worked hard over the last few months, and now I am a one call closer.

      I can close 2 people a day into thousands of dollars (over 12 months)

      Now, I am not saying this to brag, but to show you that it is possible!

      You CAN close on the phone, and should NEVER have to meet up with someone in person, unless you are asking for more than $5k, anything less can be done over 2-4 phone calls!

      Want to make a ton of money? Learn how to sell!!!

      And if you say: "cold calling isn't my thing" or "I dont want to learn how to sell"

      THEN GET OUT OF THE BUSINESS!

      It is a tough world out there and only the tough can reap the rewards.

      If you really want success, learn how to close. That is how money is made.

      This may be some tough love, but if you have people wasting your time, you are not demanding their respect. You are not showing your authority or expertise.

      Can you imagine if someone tried to waste Donald Trumps time, do you think he would put up with it?

      NO!

      So practice, practice and practice, until you can sell like a god.
      I agree..and I also think that closing over the phone is harder than closing in person. A lot of people need to think about that before they try to avoid meeting people.

      You will have to do a lot more and really get your skills together before learning how to close over the phone, it's not THAT hard but if you're avoiding face to face meetings because you think sitting at home talking to people is super easy, you will be in for a surprise.

      I know a lot of times people make it seem like you call 30 businesses and now you're $500 richer, but that's not the case (all the time.) Yes, I can make a sale a day, but that's after going through hundreds of PITCHES, not just DIALS and it's a difference between pitches and dials..something else people don't understand.
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      • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
        Originally Posted by Deidra Renee View Post

        I agree..and I also think that closing over the phone is harder than closing in person. A lot of people need to think about that before they try to avoid meeting people.

        You will have to do a lot more and really get your skills together before learning how to close over the phone, it's not THAT hard but if you're avoiding face to face meetings because you think sitting at home talking to people is super easy, you will be in for a surprise.

        I know a lot of times people make it seem like you call 30 businesses and now you're $500 richer, but that's not the case (all the time.) Yes, I can make a sale a day, but that's after going through hundreds of PITCHES, not just DIALS and it's a difference between pitches and dials..something else people don't understand.
        I get bored easily... you have no idea how many times in person or on the phone, that I'm just ghosting until I find myself wondering what the person has been saying for the past 5 minutes.

        I understand the OP's position, as long as it isn't a position of laziness or convenience. I close over the phone 95% of the time, and I find it to be quite simple. I think the reason people don't go for the close over the phone is because they try too hard to be something or someone they aren't. It's normal for me, and I'm surprised it isn't normal for you guys... maybe that is why I'm able to do it well, because I feel it's normal and my clients get that feeling from me as well.
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        • Profile picture of the author David Miller
          "It's normal for me, and I'm surprised it isn't normal for you guys... maybe that is why I'm able to do it well, because I feel it's normal and my clients get that feeling from me as well."

          @IamNameLess - That is probably the most meaningful statement in this forum, and certainly the single most meaningful statement in this thread!

          What this statement means is that if you're able to make the prospect feel like what you're asking them do is nothing out of the ordinary. Making them feel as though saying yes to your offer is the "normal" and "natural" thing to do.

          Could you imagine the opposite: The prospect says, "yes" and the salesperson says, "are you sure?"

          I don't know if anyone else gets the value in this, but I do, and I thank you for the reminder....it helps!
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          The big lesson in life, baby, is never be scared of anyone or anything.
          -- FRANK SINATRA, quoted in The Way You Wear Your Hat
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    Lots of great replies in this thread and the
    thing I think I take the most issue with is
    that you said that when you meet with some
    one they just take up and waste your time.

    Has it occurred to you that you allow them
    to waste your time?

    Has it occurred to you that you might actually
    need an attitude adjustment towards people
    in general, especially prospects and customers?
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  • Profile picture of the author Danielm
    As for others pointing out the time issue. Just tell the client you have X amount of time. If you sit down and say, "OK, I've got just about 45 minutes blocked off so let me ask you some questions so I can narrow down the best options I can provide you" or phrase it however you want, at least they know you aren't there for story hour and you have a timeline so you can stick to it.

    There are probably threads on this forum with lists of good questions to ask potential clients, it can help you stay on track if you need a good guideline.

    Also, as mentioned above, if your mentor is making 15K a month on offline clients and you really respect them and they never meet with clients it seems like that might be a good place to start for the answer you want.
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  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    There is an important thing in this thread that I don't think many people are getting.

    1.) If you're avoiding meeting with potential clients in person because you don't like to meet people, then it is a problem.
    2.) If you're avoiding meeting with potential clients in person because you're TOO busy then it is a good problem to have.

    The question is, can you afford to blow off a couple hundred? I have clients over the country that I close over the phone, it is one of the reasons I don't really try to go after the local market. Since I have gone for the local market here, I close about 90% over the phone.

    If it just annoys you to meet with clients then you need to change your outlook. If you are just too busy to be able to justify meeting over a couple hundred, then maybe its time to think about having a sales rep.
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    • Profile picture of the author RentItNow
      Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

      There is an important thing in this thread that I don't think many people are getting.

      1.) If you're avoiding meeting with potential clients in person because you don't like to meet people, then it is a problem.
      2.) If you're avoiding meeting with potential clients in person because you're TOO busy then it is a good problem to have.

      The question is, can you afford to blow off a couple hundred? I have clients over the country that I close over the phone, it is one of the reasons I don't really try to go after the local market. Since I have gone for the local market here, I close about 90% over the phone.

      If it just annoys you to meet with clients then you need to change your outlook. If you are just too busy to be able to justify meeting over a couple hundred, then maybe its time to think about having a sales rep.
      I think it is always important to have that first face-to-face so you can size each other up. I am never too busy to create that relationship with them at first. But after time, #2 comes into play.
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      I have no agenda but to help those in the same situation. This I feel will pay the bills.
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  • Profile picture of the author swilliams09
    This is the good part about having an office. I can offer clients the option to come by and meet me. But I have no problem going to meet with someone, especially if it's a lucrative deal.

    Also meetings are for new clients. Established clients can be handled with phone calls and email and the occasional meeting when proposing new services. I like face to face because it establishes trust. I think part of building a local business is being part of the local business community and around here they do business with people they know.

    As for time wasters, make a time limit. I had a guy drag out 3 hours in talking about all the things he wanted to do and all of the work he wanted done. We went over his websites, his graphics, his commercials the whole media works. When it got time to discuss prices he waffled. Asking around I found out that this is his MO. He talks big game then tries to get you to work for nothing as he's a local celebrity. Now I keep all of my meetings to a half hour when out of the office.
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    • Profile picture of the author Eddie Spangler
      Originally Posted by swilliams09 View Post

      This is the good part about having an office. I can offer clients the option to come by and meet me. But I have no problem going to meet with someone, especially if it's a lucrative deal.

      Also meetings are for new clients. Established clients can be handled with phone calls and email and the occasional meeting when proposing new services. I like face to face because it establishes trust. I think part of building a local business is being part of the local business community and around here they do business with people they know.

      As for time wasters, make a time limit. I had a guy drag out 3 hours in talking about all the things he wanted to do and all of the work he wanted done. We went over his websites, his graphics, his commercials the whole media works. When it got time to discuss prices he waffled. Asking around I found out that this is his MO. He talks big game then tries to get you to work for nothing as he's a local celebrity. Now I keep all of my meetings to a half hour when out of the office.
      I wonder who this could be:confused: Oh yeah!
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      Promise Big.
      Deliver Bigger.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
    Originally Posted by D37 View Post

    I'm wondering how I can avoid meeting up with potential clients all the time. Meeting up with them takes a lot of time and I always find that nothing productive comes out of it. Everything can be done over the phone/skype. I can understand if a potential client wants to meet up for a couple thousand dollar job, but I'm talking about work that I'm billing a couple hundred for.

    I was thinking that if I mentioned to the potential client that I charge $150 per hour to meet in person then they may think twice about meeting.

    Any thoughts?
    If your time is consumed by these consultations which could otherwise be used to be a lot more productive and profitable, simply don't offer them. I wouldn't charge $150. This will send out a bad message in contrast.

    Stick to your guns and run your business how you want to run it.


    Daniel
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  • Profile picture of the author tdpubs
    Originally Posted by D37 View Post

    I'm wondering how I can avoid meeting up with potential clients all the time. Meeting up with them takes a lot of time and I always find that nothing productive comes out of it. Everything can be done over the phone/skype. I can understand if a potential client wants to meet up for a couple thousand dollar job, but I'm talking about work that I'm billing a couple hundred for.

    I was thinking that if I mentioned to the potential client that I charge $150 per hour to meet in person then they may think twice about meeting.

    Any thoughts?
    I'm not sure how long you've been working with offline clients but here's the deal. Many of your clients will need to feel that they can trust you. In order to get that sense of trust they might need to take some time to get to know you. If you feel that they are wasting your time I understand but hear me out on this one. Many of your biggest and smallest clients will want the same thing from you. A sense of safety in making a decision to invest in another human who is going to significantly improve their profit margin. If that does not give you a sense of mission or make you feel how important your job is to a person's livelihood then I cannot see much of a future for you in the business. For many of my clients, this is more than hiring someone to fill a position, its having someone that they can talk to about their business who is not their employee or their family member. You can be a refuge for some and even a lifesaver for others.
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  • Profile picture of the author paul_1
    Meeting with clients builds trust. At least I have a chance to get off my desk for a while... I suppose I wont be doing actual meetings everyday...
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  • Profile picture of the author George Kelly
    I know of at least 3 local offliners where I stay that would snap your fingers off to get to the stage where there sick of meeting leads
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  • Profile picture of the author sabreena
    Hello,

    Thanks you all for your comments i learn a lot from here...
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  • Profile picture of the author Teez
    This is an oversimplification but read between the lines and you'll see why it makes sense to meet NEW/Potential/Prospects customers.

    Our parents invest in us because they Raised us so they Know us

    So they want the best for and from us.


    Same principles apply to the business world

    Ok Mr/Mrs Business Owner you want to meet me cool.

    Mr/Mrs business owner meets me.

    Now knows me

    Loves my solution(cos IT BRINGS VALUE)

    So will invest because he/she wants the best of what I have to offer.

    Like I said its an oversimplification but still a true reflection.


    ''Can't be Scared of Rejection on the Quest for Perfection''
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    My first stab at success is the Nike Air Yeezys this is what made me believe.

    You can't be scared of rejection on the quest to perfection.

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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Bucker
    I wish I had something to add but David Miller, iamnamless, russ sells, jay rhome, and many other hit the nail on the head. Reread their input.

    As long as you are pointing the finger at someone else you dont have to change.
    To support David Millers point sales people who want the customer to do it their way are a dime a dozen.
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    • Profile picture of the author PattC
      A lot of people, including myself, are nervous about meeting clients in person, but it's all part of personal development. Get with your mentor, and get his take on this.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Bucker
    A big standing ovation to David Miller, Iamnameless, Jay Rhome, Rus Sells and many others.
    Read their input over and over. As David said, sales reps that want the customer to do it their way are a dime a dozen. As long as you are pointing your finger at someone else, it only means you don’t have to change.
    You don’t have to meet face to face but do not be closed off to it or any other condition a potential client may ask of you that is reasonable
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  • Profile picture of the author ex9to5guy
    meeting in person is essential. Most offline clients are not going to really start to trust you until they can attach a name and a face. If you cant meet up in person they will find someone who will. The only time i would say over skype or phone is if you have been referred but until then do what makes the business owner comfortable.
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  • Profile picture of the author Doran Peck
    Ok I'm not buying the wasting your time thing. The inner cruxt of the matter is that you afraid to do it. Plain and simple.

    There's nothing wrong with that. it is a genuinely scary thing.

    ...at first.

    Here's the thing. You life would be 10 times easier and you would make 100 times the profit if you would just go talk to them. Devising all these things to avoid doing that is just going to cripple and limit your potential.

    This whole approach needs to be scrapped...its outright lousy. Its sissy business. Tom foolery. A dead end road. You will make it insanely easy for your competition to come in and roll you out the door quicker than lickety split.

    They will be the ones face to face building the real relationship.

    There's no way around it...you just have to do it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Usmile
    You may tell your client to discuss some essential details on phone/skype and finalized it the moment you will see each other, explain them your point of doing so and for sure they will understand.

    or

    You may hire a reliable personnel to do the meeting on your behalf.
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