Here's the story so far cold calling with the demosite model - really need help, any ideas ?

by farkry
47 replies
Hi everybody, we've been cold calling advertisers from the local paper (& any biz cards/ads we see around town with crappy or no sites) for about a month offering a demo website build which I've been doing in wordpress.

It's been an education ...... so far 19 demo's built, one one for a painter & decorator who disappeared off the face of the earth, dead phoneline & deleted hotmail address .... :confused:

One gardener who met with us & was very keen, promised to drop off the cheque but ........ no sign yet, even after more promises on the phone.

An Indian takeaway who was interested but couldn't afford the payment yet, even when I said he could pay £600 in 6 £100 installments TEARS !!!

Another gardener who just never got back to us ...... And hung up when we called him back after building the demo.

We have sold one site to a heating engineer & his wife ..... Apparently the original wordpress theme with feature boxes & a header was too complicated, they wanted a "simple brochure site" the wordpress default theme which I customised for them was then apparently "too simple".

I had to create them html frameworks in frontpage (it this 1998?!?) which they then said they don't like because the text is in a main white frame which apparently looks like a word document ...... I gave them the deal of the century by charging £150 for build & lifetime hosting including domain (I had to get that first sale!) & it looks like they will be a complete PITA for ever

I did meet with a car dealer this morning who currently pays £80 per week to list on autotrader & I quoted him £250 build including domain + £10 per month hosting & maintenance, he seemed keen but ...... Need to see if he drops off the cheque tommorow as promised ........

I sent out 8 more demos this morning which I built over the weekend so hopefully, we'll get some action there but really .... This process needs to be refined, I know the theory is sound but can anybody help with these things specifically.

  • The small traders are hard to get money from, any recommendations for identifying timewasters before I even phone them ? Presumably the landscapers & local builders in the papers aren't the most reliable targets ?
  • When I have a meeting, any recommendations on closing ? every meeting says they want to buy but they seem to flake afterwards. I can only take cheque at the moment, working on a merchant account for cards so I can take payment immediately but that's looking like a pain to setup. Reccomended payment solutions anybody ?
  • Documentation - I've heard some offliners say that these small businesses are spooked by contracts but if I get somebody in the office & they say yes ...... this experience tells me that I should get a signature, does anybody have a contract/SLA template that will work for the demosite model ?
  • Once somebody is interested it's a struggle to get their company info for about page etc, any suggestions ? Do you guys have the cust write their website text & supply to you or do you do it all for them ? any suggestions for generic page text ?
I think that's about it for the moment, I'm sure I'll think of more things which I can add to this thread soon.


I'm on this full time at the moment so really really need to get the system down, if I don't ramp up the sales soon it's penniless hobo time & I ain't goin out like that !!!!!


All help appreciated, I can also do SEO for local businesses but despite what many say on WF, getting things off the ground involves focus so all my energy is on cold call > demosite at the moment. If anybody can advise local SEO sales strategies I can run alongside this then that would be appreicted too.


Also, here's a tip. If you don't need any specific WP plugins for running this biz model, I found some great software that you can use to knock up a nice looking site real quick. web plus from serif software, it's free, I only found it yesterday but put together X2 of the demosites in a jiffy.


Thanks in advance everybody !
#calling #cold #demosite #ideas #model #story
  • Profile picture of the author StevieJK
    Congrats on the first efforts! Nice work.

    i would also like to hear what the seasoned marketers who use demosites have to say to your questions.

    Anyone?
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  • Profile picture of the author zacsmith
    Perhaps one problem is that you seem to be requiring the business owner to "drop off" a check. One more thing for them to do...

    Follow up in person to collect the check. It's a great opportunity to build the relationship, as opposed to just showing up for money.

    Just my $.02.

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    • Profile picture of the author farkry
      Originally Posted by zacsmith View Post

      Perhaps one problem is that you seem to be requiring the business owner to "drop off" a check. One more thing for them to do...

      Follow up in person to collect the check. It's a great opportunity to build the relationship, as opposed to just showing up for money.

      Just my $.02.

      gary
      True, I'm working on setting up a merchant account at the moment & I need to see if Google checkout will be a useful solution here as well. I guess in the meantime I should always offer to collect the cheque rather than wait for them to pick it up.
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    • Profile picture of the author mojo1
      Congrats on putting the pedal to the metal in your web design and cold calling efforts.

      With all of the consistent work you're putting into your business, I'm sure you will have a positive breakthrough soon.

      By the way, do you mind sharing more about your new website building software discovery, it sounds very interesting.
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      • Profile picture of the author farkry
        Originally Posted by mojo1 View Post

        Congrats on putting the pedal to the metal in your web design and cold calling efforts.

        With all of the consistent work you're putting into your business, I'm sure you will have a positive breakthrough soon.

        By the way, do you mind sharing more about your new website building software discovery, it sounds very interesting.
        No sweat dude, try this, you'll have live sites looking good in no time.
        Free Website Design Software – WebPlus Starter Edition from Serif

        It's pretty sweet, let me know how you get on with it.
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  • Profile picture of the author SoCalMarketing
    While I have not used demo sites as a strategy.. I have sold SEO and Webservices as well as many other services so perhaps I can share with you some insight on the process I have used, and hopefully that may help you. It seems to me you may not be targetting your efforts to the right prospect.. by putting your offer in front of the RIGHT prospect you literally overcome 90% of the problem. Your description of the experiences you have had seem to indicate you don't have viable prospects. If someone can take the time to nit-pick your site on the minutia, they are not focused on the bigger picture MAKING SALES and that may be why they can't afford to get a new website and pay you.. they are not real business people.

    I would offer this as an alternative: Setup several service sites.. plumber, dentist, heating and air conditioning, etc. Rank the sites on google and get some traffic to them.. then send out offers to business owners who may be on page two or three of google and show them that your site is ranked on page1, and is getting some traffic already. Nothing gets a business owner salivating more than showing them that you literally have money waiting for them (in the form of new customers).. you can make the same offer to three or four businesses competing in the same arena, let them know you are making the offer to them and their competition... and watch them trip over themselves to give you a check first to buy the site you have already built and ranked.. no more nit-picking your design either... they will be buying results! and THAT is the money maker.. I have done this, it works, I speak from experience.

    Hope that helps... good luck!
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    • Profile picture of the author farkry
      Originally Posted by IMnewbie63 View Post

      While I have not used demo sites as a strategy.. I have sold SEO and Webservices as well as many other services so perhaps I can share with you some insight on the process I have used, and hopefully that may help you. It seems to me you may not be targetting your efforts to the right prospect.. by putting your offer in front of the RIGHT prospect you literally overcome 90% of the problem. Your description of the experiences you have had seem to indicate you don't have viable prospects. If someone can take the time to nit-pick your site on the minutia, they are not focused on the bigger picture MAKING SALES and that may be why they can't afford to get a new website and pay you.. they are not real business people.

      I would offer this as an alternative: Setup several service sites.. plumber, dentist, heating and air conditioning, etc. Rank the sites on google and get some traffic to them.. then send out offers to business owners who may be on page two or three of google and show them that your site is ranked on page1, and is getting some traffic already. Nothing gets a business owner salivating more than showing them that you literally have money waiting for them (in the form of new customers).. you can make the same offer to three or four businesses competing in the same arena, let them know you are making the offer to them and their competition... and watch them trip over themselves to give you a check first to buy the site you have already built and ranked.. no more nit-picking your design either... they will be buying results! and THAT is the money maker.. I have done this, it works, I speak from experience.

      Hope that helps... good luck!
      Many thanks dude, I have heard of & appreciated the value in this strategy before, I just had to pick an offline strategy & focus on it & the demosite model is what seemed most appropriate. I've been focused on calling during office hours & building demo sites at the weekend, I'm going to start building the demos at night and working on the pre-ranked rental sites at the weekend. I already have some domain names I've registered with this in mind but it takes a little time so I figured if I can call a biz owner back with the demo after 1 week, I can just be like want it or not ? = quicker money.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Don't do any work until you get a deposit or payment.

    Don't give them the demo link until you're on the phone with them, so you can hear their LIVE reactions. You will hear things you never would otherwise.

    You need to get better at qualifying your prospects. Right now you're chasing everything that moves.

    In the Indian case, that's quite common: their culture is a warrior & bargaining culture, so they will try to wear you down--even though they probably have more money in the bank than the rest of us ;-)
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    • Profile picture of the author farkry
      Originally Posted by kaniganj View Post


      Don't give them the demo link until you're on the phone with them, so you can hear their LIVE reactions. You will hear things you never would otherwise.
      That my man ...... is a GREAT IDEA, thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author farkry
    Well ..... we called the car dealer & after his initial excitement ....... he's having second thoughts. I'm starting to wonder how anybody makes this work ..... I'm feeling pretty deflated really & I need to get some cash in the bank :-(
    Is there anybody out there who is managing to get this to work ?
    I really could do with some help with this now, any suggestions appreciated.
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    • Profile picture of the author tumbi
      I haven't done the demosites method before but my strategy is very simple, i don't do any work until and unless i have some money in my hand except for the research on the prospect.
      I would call them, tell them about my services and arrange a meeting. I go meet with them i show my other clients websites not a demo website, so the work is already done.
      And believe me if you mention other real businesses websites which you have done, selling is very simple. You just need one client's website to start with and when your client list starts to grow, you have more websites to show to future prospects.

      My strategy
      - Offer them facebook page for free (now timeline Cover too)
      - Sell them email/text marketing - They see results very fast
      - charge them less for the website but lock them in for SEO.
      - Take Deposit

      If they give following excuses
      1) First show me what you will do for me
      2) I want to see your ideas about my business
      3) I am running this much $XXXXX business, i won't runaway with your $XXX, you will get your payment you just do the work.

      My experience, they are not worth your time and effort.

      I have clients who have paid me $250 deposit when i only asked for $200 because they wanted the work urgently.

      And there are few clients who paid the deposit on the first day, but i had to do a lot of extra work to get my final payment, and you know what, those are the clients i don't pay too much attention too..

      You are already ahead of many people, you are actually taking action, so it's a law of nature when you work hard to achieve something you will reap the benefits one way or another.

      I hope my strategy would help you landing some clients, and good luck with it.

      Cheers
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    • Profile picture of the author farkry
      Originally Posted by kaniganj View Post

      What specifically is he having second thoughts about?
      He had doubts about the suitability of using a website since he's a bit of a technophobe.

      on a plus note I found some good contracts for uk web design Website and Internet Contracts | Templates by SEQ Legal
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    ...why did he want to talk with you in the first place, then?

    "Sir, I get the impression that you don't like technology much; would you say that's true?"

    "So I imagine you really wouldn't care to keep up this site yourself?"

    "Mmhmm. Now, if I was taking care of all of it, and you didn't have to do a thing and it didn't cause you any trouble, would that ease your mind?"

    "And if it was bringing you new business, and you could see for yourself that it was? Would that matter to you?"

    "And would you say that lots of people are using the internet these days to find things they want to buy?"

    "So do you believe that it's more important that you don't really like technology, or that people would really use your website to find you and lead them to doing business with you?"

    Qualify qualify qualify.

    It seems incredibly stupid to me how some people ignore how things actually work in favor of their own prejudices. I suppose we all do this from time to time, but it's the big things like this where it really gets to me.
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    • Profile picture of the author farkry
      Originally Posted by kaniganj View Post

      ...why did he want to talk with you in the first place, then?

      "Sir, I get the impression that you don't like technology much; would you say that's true?"

      "So I imagine you really wouldn't care to keep up this site yourself?"

      "Mmhmm. Now, if I was taking care of all of it, and you didn't have to do a thing and it didn't cause you any trouble, would that ease your mind?"

      "And if it was bringing you new business, and you could see for yourself that it was? Would that matter to you?"

      "And would you say that lots of people are using the internet these days to find things they want to buy?"

      "So do you believe that it's more important that you don't really like technology, or that people would really use your website to find you and lead them to doing business with you?"

      Qualify qualify qualify.

      It seems incredibly stupid to me how some people ignore how things actually work in favor of their own prejudices. I suppose we all do this from time to time, but it's the big things like this where it really gets to me.
      Yeah, it was a real surprise. I used a wordpress auto dealer theme & showed him the vehicle upload page, he agreed it was simple. I specifically played up the fact he can update vehicle listings himself so he wouldn't need to ask us to do all the updates. He didn't mention his technophobia at our meeting .....

      I feel like i need to re-think the strategy & re-launch the process.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Call him back and ask those questions!

    "Just had a quick couple of questions for you, because I was confused about the result of our last meeting."

    The worst he can say is "I'm not interested." And that's fine; he qualifies himself Out. Though you could ask, "Why not?"

    Don't leave things so unclear.

    Perhaps he doesn't WANT to do the updates himself. Did you ask?
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  • Profile picture of the author Roger Mayne
    These demo sites you're building... are they on their own domains, or are you using subdomains?

    When you build them, why not use generic names, like cardealerbucks. That way, if your first prospect doesn't want to purchase it, you've built it so generically that you can just contact other car dealers and offer it to them. Also, in the meantime, you can start building links to it and SEO'ing it to get it ranked.

    This way, you're not chasing your tail building sites here, there and everywhere, plus you are proving you can rank sites thus showcasing your expertise on both fields - web design and web marketing.

    If the site ranks well, perhaps you can offer leads or rent it out?
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    • Profile picture of the author farkry
      Originally Posted by kaniganj View Post

      Call him back and ask those questions!

      "Just had a quick couple of questions for you, because I was confused about the result of our last meeting."

      The worst he can say is "I'm not interested." And that's fine; he qualifies himself Out. Though you could ask, "Why not?"

      Don't leave things so unclear.

      Perhaps he doesn't WANT to do the updates himself. Did you ask?
      We will call him back & get some more details, we don't really want to get into doing all updates for him because it's a time suck but I guess we can charge him more monthly that way, not sure if I want to get drawn into that level of support. I'll have to think abot that.

      Originally Posted by Roger Mayne View Post

      These demo sites you're building... are they on their own domains, or are you using subdomains?

      When you build them, why not use generic names, like cardealerbucks. That way, if your first prospect doesn't want to purchase it, you've built it so generically that you can just contact other car dealers and offer it to them. Also, in the meantime, you can start building links to it and SEO'ing it to get it ranked.

      This way, you're not chasing your tail building sites here, there and everywhere, plus you are proving you can rank sites thus showcasing your expertise on both fields - web design and web marketing.

      If the site ranks well, perhaps you can offer leads or rent it out?
      I'm building them in subfolders on a domain I own, I am going to start just building generic templates so I don't have to keep building the demosites. I also have some industry/location domains for the pre-rank site rental model but I kind of see that as a bit of a seprate process so I've focused on the cold call demosite model ...... I need to build sites on those domains I've got so I have a secondary process as backup.

      On another note, here's the process chart I've just amended taking your suggestions on board. Take a look & see what you think.
      Attachment 12549
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    MHO only:

    The demo site model sucks period. Its not efficient. If they cant look at a few work samples and make a decision, then Im not going to jump through hoops and weeks of chasing them down.

    Its just not an ergonomic model... Unless its a HUGE contract on the line I wouldnt do it, unless I was going with the bower method, which basically forces recurring payments unless someone cancels. Even then you are getting the "close" up front and the credit card numbers.

    Frankly almost ANYONE will take a demo site, it just seems like a recipe for spinning your wheels.

    I think it works as an exception but, as a "rule", its not ergonomic.

    With your work ethic you could do alot better just closing at the point of the meeting.

    Another exception might be if its a 20k job. Sure, in that case throw up a couple of pages for free to earn that business, but not for volume sales (anything under 1k).

    My brother does the demo model for his mini seminars (workshops) , but he also makes 10k or more for every mini seminar he closes... so its worth it in that case.

    Ps. My brothers motto is "If you dont even charge for your own time, then how is a business owner going to trust you to accomplish profit for HIM"?
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    • Profile picture of the author farkry
      Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

      MHO only:

      The demo site model sucks period. Its not efficient. If they cant look at a few work samples and make a decision, then Im not going to jump through hoops and weeks of chasing them down.

      Its just not an ergonomic model... Unless its a HUGE contract on the line I wouldnt do it, unless I was going with the bower method, which basically forces recurring payments unless someone cancels. Even then you are getting the "close" up front and the credit card numbers.

      Frankly almost ANYONE will take a demo site, it just seems like a recipe for spinning your wheels.

      I think it works as an exception but, as a "rule", its not ergonomic.

      With your work ethic you could do alot better just closing at the point of the meeting.

      Another exception might be if its a 20k job. Sure, in that case throw up a couple of pages for free to earn that business, but not for volume sales (anything under 1k).

      My brother does the demo model for his mini seminars (workshops) , but he also makes 10k or more for every mini seminar he closes... so its worth it in that case.

      Ps. My brothers motto is "If you dont even charge for your own time, then how is a business owner going to trust you to accomplish profit for HIM"?
      Hi John, thanks for this, I know you have a lot of experience and I value your input. It's true, I do need to refine the model somewhat. Also, I've heard mention of this Bower method before but not come across the specific details of how this works, I did do a forum search but there's lots of threads with no mention of it in the title. Any chance of a direct link to an explanation of how the Bower method works please ? Thanks.
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      • Profile picture of the author John Durham
        Originally Posted by farkry View Post

        Hi John, thanks for this, I know you have a lot of experience and I value your input. It's true, I do need to refine the model somewhat. Also, I've heard mention of this Bower method before but not come across the specific details of how this works, I did do a forum search but there's lots of threads with no mention of it in the title. Any chance of a direct link to an explanation of how the Bower method works please ? Thanks.

        Hang on, trying to find the link. I will post it here for free for you, and anyone else who wants it.

        Honestly though, just outright selling is the best. With the bower method, you make just as many calls to get a sale, but there is no upfront cash only monthly residual... I have done alot of different types of phones sales in my time, and the loss leader style does work, but in recent years I have found that just outright selling is more ergonomic (which is a word that cant be over used IMO, coming upon age 43).

        Let me find that download page...

        BTW, while we are on this, interestingly... Do you know I can post this here and give it to the whole warrior forum for free, and people will still buy it off my web page?

        Big world....big numbers... people get swayed too easily by the small numbers.

        The relatively small number of people who download it from this page will not effect the number of people who buy it each month... isnt that interesting to learn?

        People are too easily intimidated about being abundant. No harm will come to you for it... Okay again, back to finding that link.


        Update. Bower Formula attached to this post for downloading. Enjoy. I hope you are inspired at best or amused at least!
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  • Profile picture of the author Lori Kelly
    First, congratulations for working hard and giving this a try. You'll never know if something works until you try it.

    Making mistakes and learning along the way is part of the process.

    I make a call, and if the potential client is interested, I put a demo site together. During this phone call, I ask the client if he/she is available next week (usually 3-5 days away because I don't want them to know how long it takes to get the site together).

    When the client says he is available next week, I ask him if I can come by and see him on Wednesday around 10 am. I get a date and a time to meet him.

    I call the day before our meeting to confirm the time.

    I show up at the meeting (always a few minutes early) and then show him the demo. Then we talk about it and I show him my simple one page contract.

    If I leave that office without a check and a signed contract, I take the site down while I'm sitting in my car in the parking lot.

    If the potential customer does not want a website, I send her a card, thanking her for her time and should she want a site in the future or know anyone else who does, to please keep me in mind.

    Good luck farkry. You CAN do this!
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    • Profile picture of the author farkry
      Originally Posted by Lori Kelly View Post

      First, congratulations for working hard and giving this a try. You'll never know if something works until you try it.

      Making mistakes and learning along the way is part of the process.

      I make a call, and if the potential client is interested, I put a demo site together. During this phone call, I ask the client if he/she is available next week (usually 3-5 days away because I don't want them to know how long it takes to get the site together).

      When the client says he is available next week, I ask him if I can come by and see him on Wednesday around 10 am. I get a date and a time to meet him.

      I call the day before our meeting to confirm the time.

      I show up at the meeting (always a few minutes early) and then show him the demo. Then we talk about it and I show him my simple one page contract.

      If I leave that office without a check and a signed contract, I take the site down while I'm sitting in my car in the parking lot.

      If the potential customer does not want a website, I send her a card, thanking her for her time and should she want a site in the future or know anyone else who does, to please keep me in mind.

      Good luck farkry. You CAN do this!
      Hi Lori, thanks so much for this I'm really feeling the pressure on this at the moment and all help is appreciated, I've already picked up one extremely challenging client (my first & only so far) so I know I need to really figure out the kinks in the process. I'm also really interested in Greg's questions, what do you say about payment prior to the meeting and also ..... I'd really really love to know what's in your contract, I had to download a contract pack & the smallest I've managed to make it so far is 7 pages & that's not including specifications about the email & hosting service. I was feeling pretty sick with the whole idea just 10 minutes ago but you guys have renewed my faith. All your help is so earnestly appreciated, Please keep it coming, I want to end this thread with profit & happiness no matter how long it takes. BIG LOVE TO ALL YOU HELPFUL WARRIORS !!!!!
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      • Profile picture of the author Lori Kelly
        Originally Posted by farkry View Post

        Hi Lori, thanks so much for this I'm really feeling the pressure on this at the moment and all help is appreciated, I've already picked up one extremely challenging client (my first & only so far) so I know I need to really figure out the kinks in the process. I'm also really interested in Greg's questions, what do you say about payment prior to the meeting and also ..... I'd really really love to know what's in your contract, I had to download a contract pack & the smallest I've managed to make it so far is 7 pages & that's not including specifications about the email & hosting service. I was feeling pretty sick with the whole idea just 10 minutes ago but you guys have renewed my faith. All your help is so earnestly appreciated, Please keep it coming, I want to end this thread with profit & happiness no matter how long it takes. BIG LOVE TO ALL YOU HELPFUL WARRIORS !!!!!
        First, limit yourself to the extremely challenging clients.

        Why?

        In going through my local paper, I noticed an ad for a restaurant. They've been open for a few months. I checked the internet, no website.

        Perfect.

        I call and ask for the owner.

        Got the owner.

        Asked if she had a website.

        No, she doesn't but many people told her she should have one.

        Great.

        I asked her if I could put something together for her and she was very excited. She KNOWS that she needs a website. That's one hurdle I don't have to knock down.

        I'm meet with her tomorrow.


        Your AGREEMENT should only be one page.

        Think about it, what would you do if someone asked you to sign a 7 page contract? No doubt you'd have to take it home and read it, right?

        Don't give the customer an objection - "I'll have to take some time to read this contract."

        This is a simple process. A simple agreement works just fine for me. And it can for you too.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Good, Lori!

    You show them the demo site with you in the room to hear the live feedback.

    Then if adjustments are necessary, you hear about them and can act on them quickly, right?

    Your method is 100% correct...protects you from scammers...prevents you from sharing technical expertise with people you shouldn't...and drives the sale by getting you a Yes or a No NOW. Well done.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lori Kelly
    Thanks Jason.

    I definitely prefer that the first time a client sees the demo is with me present. I like to see their reaction and then we just start talking. Actually, I ask questions and do a lot of listening.

    I could revise the site in front of the client but I don't do that. They don't need to know how it works or how long it takes.

    I make notes on a legal pad, tell the client the changes will be done that afternoon (or the next day if it's late in the day), get the contract signed and a check in my hand.

    It helps to establish a rapport/relationship with the client too - they trust me to change the site and know we can work together to get it just right.


    I have been on a few calls where the client starts with the objections - not enough money right now, will think about it, and my favorite (not) I just might do my own site.

    That's fine.

    I'm not selling websites. I'm helping people grow their business.

    After I discuss the value of a site - how the client can recoup the cost (profit from client's average sale), etc. and they don't see the importance of the site or still have the same objections, I'm done. Move on to the next customer.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
      Originally Posted by Lori Kelly View Post

      Thanks Jason.

      I definitely prefer that the first time a client sees the demo is with me present. I like to see their reaction and then we just start talking. Actually, I ask questions and do a lot of listening.

      I could revise the site in front of the client but I don't do that. They don't need to know how it works or how long it takes.

      ...

      I'm not selling websites. I'm helping people grow their business.

      After I discuss the value of a site - how the client can recoup the cost (profit from client's average sale), etc. and they don't see the importance of the site or still have the same objections, I'm done. Move on to the next customer.
      Awesome. This is key stuff, people. For everyone selling websites, SEO, SMS, facebook fan pages, reputation management and more...see this and start using it.
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    • Profile picture of the author mojo1
      Originally Posted by Lori Kelly View Post

      Thanks Jason.

      I definitely prefer that the first time a client sees the demo is with me present. I like to see their reaction and then we just start talking. Actually, I ask questions and do a lot of listening.

      I could revise the site in front of the client but I don't do that. They don't need to know how it works or how long it takes.

      I make notes on a legal pad, tell the client the changes will be done that afternoon (or the next day if it's late in the day), get the contract signed and a check in my hand.

      It helps to establish a rapport/relationship with the client too - they trust me to change the site and know we can work together to get it just right.


      I have been on a few calls where the client starts with the objections - not enough money right now, will think about it, and my favorite (not) I just might do my own site.
      Great feedback Lori.

      Quick question for you and others who've mastered this demo site model.

      What would you suggest for consultants who are not local and simply can't conduct face to face follow ups in order to experience the first hand client reaction?

      The one thing that comes to mind would be some sort of webinar setup be acceptable? If so, does anyone have any recommendations?

      Update****
      Answered my own question. I'm too am determined to make this model work and found a site called showscreen.com that offers an instant screen sharing service which doesn't require the business owner to download any webinar software on their computer.
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      • Profile picture of the author beeswarn
        Farkry, you are aggressive, hard-working and you have balls. After reading this thread I swear that, if you were in the U.S., I would offer you a job right now selling for me.

        You just need to find a good product or service to sell and you'll be in very good shape in a few months. In fact, I'm also glad you don't live here. I don't want to have to compete with you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Hard Boiled Greg
    Hello Lori,

    Thank you for a glimpse into your process. Do you tell the client ahead of time that you'll be expecting a check at the meeting? If not, how do you ask for the payment? A simple "I'd like a check now please"?

    Also, could you share a sample of your contract?

    Thanks again,

    Greg
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    • Profile picture of the author Lori Kelly
      Originally Posted by Hard Boiled Greg View Post

      Hello Lori,

      Thank you for a glimpse into your process. Do you tell the client ahead of time that you'll be expecting a check at the meeting? If not, how do you ask for the payment? A simple "I'd like a check now please"?

      Also, could you share a sample of your contract?

      Thanks again,

      Greg
      Hi Greg.

      I do tell the client how much it is up front (the regular cost is $X, but for local businesses, I am offering a special price of $X). In my opinion, it is important that the client feels like they are getting a bargain or a discount.

      I'm doing one helluva good site for an extremely affordable price. So I don't justify my services for the fee. I already know the value.

      The price is discussed when I bring out the agreement - that's the best time because it's in the agreement. [Note - I don't use the word "contract." I think that word is intimidating to people and believe the word "agreement" is more appropriate. ]

      Me: Mr. Smith, I'll give you some time to look over the agreement. As you can see, it's a very simple agreement. If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.

      [wait while client reviews agreement]

      Some clients wanted a few things changed. No problem. Make the revisions, we each initial the changes.

      Mr. Smith: The agreement looks fine, I just sign here?

      Me: Yes, and I'll sign it too. I brought two copies so that we can each have a signed one.

      Mr. Smith: Sounds good. I'll have some changes after I meet with my partner/wife/dog.

      Me: That's no problem. Just give me a call or send me an email after you have had a chance to go through the site and want to make revisions.

      If you want to pay by check, that's fine or I accept credit cards too. [Notice here, I'm not asking a question but rather, making a statement.]

      Mr. Smith: I'll pay by check, who do I make it payable to?

      Done.



      I'd rather not post my form agreement here but I can tell you a few things I use:

      1. I title it simply "Agreement".

      2. I list the parties (me and client).

      3. Then I state in the first paragraph "for good and valuable consideration, the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, the parties agree to..."

      4. Client pays me a one-time non-refundable fee of $X.

      5. Hosting is $X a month. I send monthly invoices, client agrees to pay them same by the 10th day of each month.

      6. The agreement can be terminated at any time, in writing, by providing a 30 day written notice of termination of services. [Note: The only thing that can be canceled is the hosting. I'll already have my money for the site.]

      7. In the event of non-payment by the client, I have the right to take the site down and am under no further obligation.

      8. Client gets 3 revisions. Additional revisions are at the rate of $X per hour.

      9. A notices paragraph - stating the name and address of me and client.

      Date for each party.
      Signature line for each party.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    Farkry, attached bower method to above post for you. Here it is again. Hope I didnt offend any demo site model people. Im just offering my own perspective... Can be wrong obviously. I would rather point you to safety than to tell you what a great business model is there currently, but, again, I could be missing some things.
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  • Profile picture of the author Hard Boiled Greg
    Farkry and Lori,

    With respect to the hosting and maintenance monthly fee. What are you including as far as maintenance goes? Are you limiting it to a certain number of hours or something similar? Or is it left open?

    Thanks,

    Greg
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  • Profile picture of the author Doug Slaton
    Firstly, let me wish you all the best in your efforts!

    I don't do the demosite model per se but my process could be considered close to it. I became very frustrated with the back & forth of web design and my system evolved to a while you wait situation. Since you're quickly cranking the site, why not do it in front of them.

    Yes, they may see how quick and easy it is for you but at the same time they're impressed (in my experience) with your skill in doing it. Another benefit is they take some responsibility for the creation and throwing away 'their' efforts isn't something most folks want to do. Plus you then get to 'strike while the iron is hot' and close the prospect right then and there.

    As was mentioned don't call it a contract and keep is short. I just call mine a Letter of Agreement and it's only 2 pages long. I always mention to the client that it mainly spells out what I will provide.

    I take a business check or will even send them to PayPal for a PayPal subscription if they can't afford the whole price. Most times I get a business check and I'm on my way.

    Guess a difference would be I go in and say here sign this, then do the work, then get paid. Your model might require going in and doing the work, then closing them, then here sign this and finally getting paid.

    Once again much success with your efforts.
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  • Profile picture of the author agonce
    hey mate, any update on this? Were you able to close any deal since then? I want to start cold calling businesses with no websites, doing the demo site model and I'd like to hear whether it worked for you or not

    thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author Lori Kelly
    @agonce, why are you waiting? What works for someone might not work for you. What works for you might not work for someone else.

    Stop waiting. Start calling.
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    • Profile picture of the author agonce
      Originally Posted by Lori Kelly View Post

      @agonce, why are you waiting? What works for someone might not work for you. What works for you might not work for someone else.

      Stop waiting. Start calling.
      I wish I could answer that to myself too ... I am just too scared to cold call, but once I see someone was successful doing it, I immediately get pumped up to start calling. I'm also working on the script a little, but I am definitely definitely starting to cold call, if not today(its almost 1pm here where I am,so its lunch time, I guess), tomorrow

      Can you please give me some feedback on this script? I know its hard to tell whether it will work or not without trying it, but I just want some feedback, if you were to hear it, what would you do:


      Hi there, I was wondering if you can help me out.
      We are a web design company here in ____(City). I noticed you don't have a website. Do you know who is the person I should talk to about that?
      If the gatekeeper responds first, they will re-direct me to the right person...

      Hi BOB, I noticed that you are a new business in the city and that you don't have a website. Is that something that you've given a though to?

      Shut up and see what they say, if interested, cool I'd like to create a demo website for your business and then email the link so you can check it out. Can I have the email address please.

      If they want more information, I will still say I want to make a demo website for them so they can see whether they like it or not, if not interested, move to the next one

      Am I on the right track here? Let me know if you have any suggestion, I really appreciate your input!

      Agon

      p.s. The leads I will be calling are fresh, new businesses, just opened, so I'm guessing there will be at least a few who will WANT a website without wondering why they need one. :rolleyes:
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      • Profile picture of the author Lori Kelly
        I know it's scary to call but you will see how much easier it gets the more calls you make.

        You'll do fine.

        A great time to call is this afternoon. People had a nice lunch, you're ready.

        Change your opening. You are not asking anyone to help you out.
        You are calling to help the business owner.

        You: Hello. Can I talk to the owner please?
        Them: Sure, hold on. Can I tell him who's calling?
        You: Yes, my name is agonce.
        Them: Can I tell him what this is regarding?
        You: Yes. I am a website developer. I'll just need two minutes of his time.
        Them: Okay, hold on.
        Or
        Them: He's not available.
        You: Okay. Can you tell me what time would be a good time to call back?
        Them: Later this afternoon.
        You: Great, and what's the owner's name?
        Them: Mr. Smith.
        You: Thanks. Have a good afternoon.


        Now, you get the owner on the phone.

        (By the way, there are many scripts on this forum. I'll try to find the links and post them for you.)

        Hello. My name is agonce. I am a web design company here in ____(City).

        Good = Hi BOB, I noticed that you are a new business in the city and that you don't have a website. Is that something that you've given a thought to?

        Shut up and see what they say, if interested, cool I'd like to create a demo website for your business and then email the link so you can check it out. Can I have the email address please.

        TAKE NOTES WHEN THEY ARE TALKING. Remember to write down everything you can. If they mention they like to go fishing, write that down. Write down everything!

        (Note: are you calling in an area where you can meet in person? If yes, don't send the link to the demo, say: "It will take about three days to create a demo site. So let's see.... today is Tuesday. Any chance you have some time on Friday to get together?)

        If they want more information, I will still say I want to make a demo website for them so they can see whether they like it or not, if not interested, move to the next one
        If they want more information, give it to them.
        Just be courteous and professional.
        If they ask how much it is, tell them.

        Agreed. If they say no, thank them for their time and hang up.

        That's great you're calling new businesses.

        I don't spend time trying to convince someone they need a website. I do say a few things but I will not waste my time trying to convince someone who is dead set against getting a site.

        I called a local business owner here.
        Said my opening stuff.

        I said something like are you interested in having a website for your business?

        He said "NOPE, DON'T NEED ONE, DON'T WANT ONE. How's that for you?"

        I wanted to say that's great that you have so much business you can't handle anymore!

        But I thanked him for his time and told him to have a great day.

        Start calling agonce. You'll see. It gets easier.
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  • Profile picture of the author J R Salem
    Nice thread. This system works well, but as others have said, beware of tire kickers.

    The key is first to garner interest in a website or mobile website, and THEN offer the demo.

    "Hey we are offering free website demos, to show you our work, interested?"

    "uh, sure, send it over."

    Will never work....

    "Yes, we noticed you don't currently have a website, have you considered one?" or "We noticed your website is not geared for mobile phones. Have you thought about the benefits of this?"

    "Uh, yeah I know I need to do something. I'll have to get back to y--

    "Actually, if you want, I can put together a free demo for you, showing you an idea I have for your company website. At the very least, its a start."

    "Yeah, actually that'd be great. Can you send it to blahbl@yahoo.com?"

    "Yep, and I'll follow up thursday, thanks."

    That is a good lead. And keep in mind, the free demo model still fails 70% of the time. Just like baseball though, if you succeed that 30%, you are an all-star.

    Out of every 10 qualified demo clients, you should close roughly 2-3. So if you are pushing out 10 demos a week, that could realistically lead to 8-12 website sales a month. Plus if you are doing the monthly residual, you are building that as well.

    Remember, in this business, 70% failure rate makes you good money.
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  • Profile picture of the author flightrisk
    can you use squareup? you can do phone in sales then just send them an invoice via invoice2go
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  • Profile picture of the author HypeText
    Lets get to the root of your problem....

    One, you are working hard...NOT Smart!

    Two, designing demo sites for every prospect is a dead end. It's going to eat up your time with ZERO return. Money you can make back, Time you cannot!

    Every business owner, regardless of how successful...knows that time is Money.

    By giving away your time you are literally giving away your Money as well.

    If you want to dazzle your prospective clients with your work...develop a portfolio and use that for Wow factor.
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  • Just in case you, anyone else is still using this model (which, by the way, can suck the life out of your bones if you don't find a niche quickly, stick to it, and then encourage the client references to start coming in...), I'd suggest you try Moonfruit.com for quick templated demo sites.

    I can knock out a sample website in about an hour if I just stick to creating 1 or 2 pages for them to get a 'basic idea'.
    Signature
    The-English-Webmistress is really Andrea, who went backpacking the world, accidentally landed in Panama, Central America, and never left. (Beaches! Mountains! Hot latin music! Piña Coladas!) She doesn't miss the London commute AT ALL...
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  • Just in case you, anyone else is still using this model (which, by the way, can suck the life out of your bones if you don't find a niche quickly, stick to it, and then encourage the client references to start coming in...), I'd suggest you try Moonfruit.com for quick templated demo sites.

    I can knock out a sample website in about an hour if I just stick to creating 1 or 2 pages for them to get a 'basic idea'.
    Signature
    The-English-Webmistress is really Andrea, who went backpacking the world, accidentally landed in Panama, Central America, and never left. (Beaches! Mountains! Hot latin music! Piña Coladas!) She doesn't miss the London commute AT ALL...
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  • Profile picture of the author koz
    Make it as easy for your clients to pay, don't burden them on that point also!
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    Bliss++ Timer Software - Plan SEO - Manage Clients, Build Websites, Do affiliate marketing, manage 1 or 10,000 people!

    Hot New Release For 2016 - Earn $23.50 Per Sale TODAY!
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  • Profile picture of the author farkry
    Hi everybody, I thought I'd give you all an update on my situation.
    The offline web design business didn't really work out for me in the end, it was built on the back of an IT support company that I was involved in & web design was the best fit solution for a spin off company so working for local clients designing websites wasn't actually the area where I am really passionate. I'm more interested in a fully online business & always have been. I'm going to be looking into the more traditional side of IM, affiliate marketing and list building to get some cash in the short term. I also have a couple of domains which I feel can make into popular online brands but will need some cash for development hence my shift in focus to affiliate marketing in the short term.
    I had to pay this months mortgage from my overdraft so that was wake up time for me but luckily I have already got myself a new job, I do software support & it pays well. So don't worry, after a month I will have paid off the overdraft & I'll be earning roughly double what it costs me to live. I should have the development funds for my domains soon & I'm not going to wind up homeless or anything.
    My business partner is going to continue running the IT side of the business without offering web design but perhaps I will come back to the whole offline thing at some point in the future.
    Stay tuned ...... I'm going to make it ........ I just spent a bit of time working on the wrong dream & the whole experience was still a valuable lesson for me, it will contribute to my future success.
    Now ....... Can anybody recommend a good affiliate marketing coach ?
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  • Profile picture of the author beeswarn
    Wow. That was the fastest give-up I've seen in a while. I'm embarrassed.
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    • Profile picture of the author farkry
      Originally Posted by beeswarn View Post

      Wow. That was the fastest give-up I've seen in a while. I'm embarrassed.
      Yeah, I understand how it looks but when you stand to lose your home there isn't much to be gained from just banging on hoping for the best. As I said, I gave it a shot right up to the point that I literally had no money left & it would be foolish of me not to secure my home & income especially when I can refill the savings bank & relaunch again in the future. We live & learn.
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