Frustrating situation with my first client... :(

by zannix
38 replies
Well I'm renting out a website for a small business that is selling evening dresses. I closed them by walking in, asking about their business and telling them that I could try to help them out by making a small website and then ranking them for keywords that will bring in potential customers.

I also said, let's give it a free month, see what happens and then we'll decide.

The business owner is an elderly lady, in her 60s or 70s and she gladly took me on my offer. I proceeded to make the website, she loved it, a month went by and when I called in she said that she didn't notice a big increase in customers or calls, so she's not really sure about the purchase (it is true that this particular month was very bad weather-wise, it was snowing like hell, etc.)

Well I said alright... she stopped me right there and said... thank you, oh and, the page you made for my business will stay, right? I said no, unfortunately the page will be rented out to someone else...

That's when she asked me to give it another month and see what happens. April is a month when people buy evening dresses for proms and stuff, and, since she was my first "client" ever, I agreed...

When the month passed by, I contacted the business but her employees told me she's taken off to USA for 2 weeks and that she wasn't there. At this point, I was starting to feel a bit "played" so I told them that my hosting package is going to expire within 2 days and I am either going to let it expire and they will lose their rankings quite quickly, or rent it out to another business.

The 2 female employees told me they couldn't make the decision for her, and she'll be back in 2 weeks. I stayed tough and said well I'm sorry, I can't keep paying for it myself and just as I was about to leave, one of the employees said: "Tell you what, she should call in tomorrow morning, and I'll ask her about it, could you call tomorrow morning to see if we can proceed with payment?" - I smiled and said: Sure, why not.

Tomorrow I came in and collected the payment, the business owner must have seen some benefit of the website after all I assume (there were 800 visits to the site all targeted for evening dresses in *city*)

Well after that month has passed, I came by again, brought a nice small report with me, greeted the business owner, asked about her trip to America, we had a really friendly chat, she seems like a good person, and I said I'd just leave my bank acc number so they can just go to the bank and pay instead of me coming to pick it up every month. They agreed, I left them my details and everything seems fine. I also told them that the date of payment would be 14th of every month, which the business owner accepted.

Now, I have a strange "gut feeling" that they don't really take me seriously... I don't know if that's because I'm young (21), is it because I wear braces and I'm still in college, or is it because I charge them for this service only $80/month. Could be all of the above.

Anyway, today is the 14th, it's the evening and I haven't received their payment yet. I'm going to call in tomorrow and settle this once for all. I want them to understand that I'm offering a service that is PROFITABLE for them and not to appear as someone who begs for their money (although I feel like that atm).

But they're just "smiley" old ladies who don't know anything about internet and I guess I understand them... but I don't really know how I should tell them that, if they don't pay on time, it's not business, it's... nothing.

Anyway, appreciate your thoughts on this... I'm a bit confused atm.

Zannix
#client #interesting #mine #situation
  • Profile picture of the author icansurpriseu
    My assumption is that old people does not trust young ones so easily, even after this much service you provided, the old lady playing with you instead of accepting that your website is making them sales.

    whats more you need is a good set of rules make the first month as free or make a discount to your service and take 100% service charge without fail from the second month, if they are not will to accept discontinue you service with them and grab another person.. that it how you build a name in society
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  • Profile picture of the author massiveray
    It doesn't sound like a very professional operation, I mean do you have contracts? Are you sending an invoice or just showing up for a cheque? What do you wear when you go to collect?

    If you want to be taken seriously then you have to look the part, show yourself some respect and they will too.

    I'd also look into your prices, $80 seems pretty low for the visits etc.

    Look into getting a VOIP number that has tracking on it, and forward it to her business that way you can track everything, you know exactly how many calls she's getting, you can then make an informed decision to charge her by the lead or for a flat monthly fee, it'll make your reports much more valuable aswell, as it shows exactly what business you're generating for her rather than just how many visitors your site gets (which is useless information if they are not calling her).

    Just a few things to think about if you want to make a genuine go at site rental.

    Make sure you lock in the contract, month to month payers suck and take up way too much of your valuable time.
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  • Profile picture of the author Adwizard
    Zannix... it is the collections part that is frustrating you so this is what you do...
    1. Print out report showing all the visitors that you've gotten and ask them out of (800 hot prospects I think you said), how many are they capable of selling. Let them know that you wouldn't begin to put a number on that because you don't know what their selling skills are! When put this way the prospect will always take the high road and pick a overly high number.
    2. Tell them you need to set them up on a monthly recurring credit card payment simply because it's such a small amount monthly the expenses of billing is not worth it. Even suggest to them a quarterly payment of $240.
    3. If they balk at any of your suggestions just let them know with a smile that the current arrangement just isn't working for you and say to them still with that smile "I'm really sorry that this isn't working for both of us because I really enjoyed you ladies, but could you tell me what other dress shop in town would like to have the extra business this site generates, and what the owners name is?"

    Remember something here... a business owner is usually more motivated by the fear of loss than by what they have to gain! They don't want their competitor to get not one single customer from something that they could have!!!

    Another thing to remember for future sites is perhaps you should get your own number that you can forward to them with a little recorded message playing to the business that says something like "this call brought to you by zannix". It's actually not to late to even use the number on their site.

    Hope that helps,
    Ed
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  • Profile picture of the author Tamer
    My suggestions (for your next client)...

    1- Increase the price little bit...
    Old guys (and many non tech savvy) "hear" that this type of services, costs thousands.

    2- Establish a real company... an LLC... ask someone
    to create a good logo for you... make some business cards, ...etc...

    establish yourself as a young businessman... instead of just "young"

    3- Use a Contract there are many packages in WSO section that that include service contracts.

    The idea is NOT to make them tied by a contract... the idea is to represent yourself as a real business taking care of the paper works... etc..

    At least suggest the contract to them, if they say no, you may or may not work with them on "friendly" basis (it's up to your own judgment).

    4- Send a paper invoice (before or after) you collect your payment (depending on wither you invoice them first... or they pay you then you send them the "paid" invoice).
    again this just shows that you're a business (even if it's really a one-man-show).

    Well.. that's all for now,

    Good luck

    Tamer
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  • Profile picture of the author I_AM
    Do everything listed above & use paypal to create a 30 day trial and subscription, so that you won't have to chase them down. If clients don't play by your initial rules dump them. Some clients aren't worth having.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bill D.
    Originally Posted by zannix View Post

    The 2 female employees told me they couldn't make the decision for her, and she'll be back in 2 weeks. I stayed tough and said well I'm sorry, I can't keep paying for it myself and just as I was about to leave, one of the employees said: "Tell you what, she should call in tomorrow morning, and I'll ask her about it, could you call tomorrow morning to see if we can proceed with payment?" - I smiled and said: Sure, why not.
    As you get used to making deals, you've got to get to the position where you make them come to you. The attitude you need to have is that they should be calling you to see if you still have a spot for them, NOT one where you have to keep going back to see if they are ready.

    But hey, you got the money. Congratulations. Just keep developing your sales process.
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  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    It's because of the braces that they don't take you seriously.

    And the fact that you're basically selling 800 clicks at 10 cents a pop. How much would they pay Google for the keywords?
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    • Profile picture of the author zannix
      Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

      It's because of the braces that they don't take you seriously.

      ....
      Well then I'm pretty much screwed, aren't I?
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  • Profile picture of the author vndnbrgj
    I agree with most of what was said above.
    Since this was your first client, you should be able to use FreshBooks to send an invoice to your client. I think the first 3 are free, if I remember correctly.
    Get a local number. Go to CallFire or something similar. It's $1/month, but you have to pay 3 months up front. So, it's $3. Then, it's $0.05/minute.

    Or, you could have someone set you up with Twillio for a cheaper per min cost. Or something similar.

    This way you have analytics and number tracking to bring to someone else.

    I would walk away from this client. $80/month isn't worth the hassle to chase someone down every month. Just tell them you don't think the two of you are a good fit and that you wish her the best.

    If she wants to stay, it's the full year up front.

    Walk away or get walked on... Your choice.
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  • Profile picture of the author mrcghill
    You should do everything listed above and also tell the client that your company's invoicing system is attached to your companies marketing tools so be sure to pay within 30 or the system will shut itself down. I know its not true but let them think it is. That way will never have any issues about chasing them for a payment
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    • Profile picture of the author zannix
      Originally Posted by mrcghill View Post

      You should do everything listed above and also tell the client that your company's invoicing system is attached to your companies marketing tools so be sure to pay within 30 or the system will shut itself down. I know its not true but let them think it is. That way will never have any issues about chasing them for a payment
      Well I "sort of" told them the same thing. I told them that the hosting package for their website has to be renewed every month (although it's every 3 months by Hostgator, but they don't know that) and if they don't pay on time, the hosting shuts off, the site becomes unavailable and it slowly drifts down the SERPs). Still, like it means nothing to them.

      I think I'll "simulate" hosting expiration today and take down the homepage temporarily, call in and say what's going on. See what happens from there.

      Thank you all for giving me suggestions, I really appreciate them.

      Zannix
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  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    Can you share, why you don't just go to their competition, and find someone who will pay you without all this hassle?
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    • Profile picture of the author zannix
      Well honestly, I don't know... perhaps because they're my first client and I would feel bad losing them I guess. If I already had 5 paying clients and had troubles with the 6th one, I'd be a lot quicker about it, it's just a matter of attitude I think.
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      • Profile picture of the author Breakinglink
        Originally Posted by zannix View Post

        Well honestly, I don't know... perhaps because they're my first client and I would feel bad losing them I guess. If I already had 5 paying clients and had troubles with the 6th one, I'd be a lot quicker about it, it's just a matter of attitude I think.
        Yea, I really do get how you feel. But this isnt like its your first girlfriend or even your first love. You want to hold onto them the same way people want to hold onto the first dollar they made in a new business.

        My opinion, you bill them tomorrow. If they have not paid then you set a contract up with another company the same day. This time you have the benefit of knowing what they are getting for it (around 800 clicks a month) and you MUST charge a bit more.

        People who do not understand the psychological aspect of pricing will only believe that is greedy. Take two pairs of shoes, one is 9 dollars and the other is 90 dollars.

        Lets say you have 3,000 in your hand. The shoes are pretty much similar but the 90 dollar pair are name brand. Which do you pick? More often than not it is the 90 dollar pair. You assume you have gotten more value for your money.

        Often charging someone a good deal of money helps them succeed by prompting them to act according to their best interest and help themselves along.

        As with the shoes, if you decided to get both which would be your "play shoes" and which your "school shoes"? The more expensive pair will be better kept for longer.

        View your pricing that way and it will help you accept pricing at a higher point.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eddie Spangler
    Well here is a big chance to set the tone of your career.

    Tell her you need more money or at least several months in advance because she obviously doesnt want to pay on time and/or doesnt respect you. Honestly she probably doesnt even realize how many of her sales are coming due to your efforts, they always think its something else, especially if they have no idea how this interwebs thing works.

    If you are really getting 800 visits a month you have something pretty valuable and should not have a problem getting someone else to take the site.
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    • Profile picture of the author zannix
      OK - Update - I just called in, I was really polite. I spoke to the business owner lady and told her that I'm calling about the website, that the registration is due to today and that I still haven't received any funds to my account, and asked whether there was a problem?

      While I was saying that one sentence, she was trying to interrupt me "I know, I know, i know" - well anyway, then I let her speak and she said that she hasn't yet been to the bank and doesn't know the balance and that she'll "see" today.

      Well I said again that I mentioned twice before that the billing date is before the 15th of each month and she says she knows, she knows, yes, yes... etc.

      I then told her alright, that I'm just letting them know the date again so that it doesn't happen the next month again, because it leads to awkward situations like this.

      Well that was it... in my opinion, they could have easily avoided this by taking me just a bit more seriously. I do not feel ashamed asking for money, I think they should be ashamed as a business who can't pay $40/month to have the #1 website ranked on Google for their industry, wouldn't you agree?
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan B Rusu
    You need to get her on automated billing asap. Get her CC information and charge her monthly. The best option is a merchant acct w/ authorize.net. Alternatively, paypal works also. Just get it automated is crucial.
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  • Profile picture of the author zannix
    To be frank I know little about automated billing. I live outside USA and my client is not internet-savvy so I don't know if any of the above services would serve me? Also, someone here mentioned WSO contracts, they're also in English language - of no use to me.

    But I guess you do make a good point - I must inquire about this automated payment options. Should I ask around about this in my bank or? Thanks!
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    • Profile picture of the author Cringer
      Sounds to me like she's too busy fulfilling orders thanks to your work than she is to run on down to the bank to pay you

      Ask her is it tte time or the money that's the issue. Find out specifically. If it's the money then you could suggest some staff training to her to help improve their front end sales skills.
      Is it the time that she simply can't find in order to get to the bank? Then offer to save her some time - ask her to pay 6 months in advance. That way she will save an hour a month from going to the bank. Or automatic payment.

      Either way these are excuses. Either get her on automatic payment or offer her suggestions to the reasons why she isnt paying on time. If you are bringing her value then there's no reason why she would not want to pay you on time. Ultimately if it's causing you to go around in circles then look elsewhere. You can always say a competitor made contact with you through the whoislookup and made you an offer... That might get her thinking straight.
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  • Profile picture of the author craftziner
    In addition to all the above - make sure you're getting all the good reporting available to your efforts. If you plan to go the polite way, I would suggest that you see if you can find the conversion rate on your efforts (by how much their sales has increased, etc.). No harm in asking because they owe you anyway. Anyone who understand business would see the value of your work already. Besides, some of these stats are going to be valuable when you go to your next client.
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  • Profile picture of the author agkfl
    Word of advice,

    Old people are shady business owners, and can play the game. Remember lots have been in the game a LONG time. She knows what she is doing, she would not do this if her supplier was face to face with her, and would not give away free dresses to customers on a promise to pay sometime next week..

    IMO, treat her like any other purchaser. Don't feel sorry for her being old, they play games too. Take this from a young 30 year old vet here doing b2b sales.
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    • Profile picture of the author zannix
      Originally Posted by agkfl View Post

      Word of advice,

      Old people are shady business owners, and can play the game. Remember lots have been in the game a LONG time. She knows what she is doing, she would not do this if her supplier was face to face with her, and would not give away free dresses to customers on a promise to pay sometime next week..

      IMO, treat her like any other purchaser. Don't feel sorry for her being old, they play games too. Take this from a young 30 year old vet here doing b2b sales.
      You know that crossed my mind a couple of times. They may smile and be open and talkative, but maybe it's just their way of trying to "soften my rules". Women...
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      • Profile picture of the author jimbo13
        She doesn't need to go to the bank to pay you initially.

        All businesses have something called a cash register with erm cash in it.

        They also have a petty cash tin usually out back to pay for coffee, tea etc

        Bit unlikely she can't get her hands on £50 ($80) in a few seconds.

        It is the 15th today. Just get the cash today or pull the site from her and be done with it.

        I would just yank it from her anyway, sounds like too much effort for in this case zero reward.

        Dan
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  • Profile picture of the author malia
    Women like her who have stores typically have them because they needed something to do, a retail store is a legitimate business in the eyes of their peers and family and it provides social interaction. They tend to not really be good business owners. Id even wager that she doesn't have a POS system and probably writes her receipts in a carbon receipt book. I have business associates who are manufacturers and sales reps and it's typical they don't even have a handle on their inventory let alone their customers. It all comes from memory and relationships, with no systems.

    Therefore there's a lot you can sell a business like that but not an owner like that. Also they tend to be very cash strapped-- it's the nature of an inventory based small business.

    I don't think you got played because of the braces, I think it's because you dont know anything about the market you're targeting-- like most like you who solicit us.

    I have an online retail business and a brick and mortar store and it gets annoying. I was once tempted to write a post to the offline forum because business owners can see through it and only respect those who "get it".

    Let me give you an example. Last month an insurance agent trolled the mall (my store is in a mall) representing himself as an experienced agent who could put together a great package. He opened with asking IF we had insurance. He was clearly new and inxpereienced because otherwise he would know that you can't even get a commercial lease without insurance and if you're in a walk in commercial situation you typically need more insurance and an umbrella policy. Insurance is an area where I'm not well versed but I'd never give my business to someone who didn't know at least that because any decent agent would walk in knowing exactly what I needed (these leases are common) and would have led with asking me about my renewal date and if I was happy with what I had or if I was neglecting liability outside the scope of the lease.

    So my point to you is that she's not that great of a retailer (or else her tracking would be better) but that doesn't mean she's not experienced when it comes to things like this. And it becomes really easy to tell who gets it and who doesn't. You should pick your niche and learn it from the business owners perspective because then you know what to offer.

    You have to look at what their industry is teaching them that they should be doing and offer that. It's hard for me being a retailer because I don't think retailers are bad clients but you have to pick ones with enough cash flow because I'm constantly told thats the biggest problem with retailers as clients - inventory and payroll sucks up all their cash flow.

    I think that the retail market is great for this type of marketing but if you don't learn it from their perspective you don't know the right things To offer and if you don't know the right Offer you won't attract the best clients.


    Excuse typos, using a phone
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    • Profile picture of the author zannix
      Originally Posted by malia View Post

      Women like her who have stores typically have them because they needed something to do, a retail store is a legitimate business in the eyes of their peers and family and it provides social interaction. They tend to not really be good business owners. Id even wager that she doesn't have a POS system and probably writes her receipts in a carbon receipt book. I have business associates who are manufacturers and sales reps and it's typical they don't even have a handle on their inventory let alone their customers. It all comes from memory and relationships, with no systems.

      Therefore there's a lot you can sell a business like that but not an owner like that. Also they tend to be very cash strapped-- it's the nature of an inventory based small business.

      I don't think you got played because of the braces, I think it's because you dont know anything about the market you're targeting-- like most like you who solicit us.

      I have an online retail business and a brick and mortar store and it gets annoying. I was once tempted to write a post to the offline forum because business owners can see through it and only respect those who "get it".

      Let me give you an example. Last month an insurance agent trolled the mall (my store is in a mall) representing himself as an experienced agent who could put together a great package. He opened with asking IF we had insurance. He was clearly new and inxpereienced because otherwise he would know that you can't even get a commercial lease without insurance and if you're in a walk in commercial situation you typically need more insurance and an umbrella policy. Insurance is an area where I'm not well versed but I'd never give my business to someone who didn't know at least that because any decent agent would walk in knowing exactly what I needed (these leases are common) and would have led with asking me about my renewal date and if I was happy with what I had or if I was neglecting liability outside the scope of the lease.

      So my point to you is that she's not that great of a retailer (or else her tracking would be better) but that doesn't mean she's not experienced when it comes to things like this. And it becomes really easy to tell who gets it and who doesn't. You should pick your niche and learn it from the business owners perspective because then you know what to offer.

      You have to look at what their industry is teaching them that they should be doing and offer that. It's hard for me being a retailer because I don't think retailers are bad clients but you have to pick ones with enough cash flow because I'm constantly told thats the biggest problem with retailers as clients - inventory and payroll sucks up all their cash flow.

      I think that the retail market is great for this type of marketing but if you don't learn it from their perspective you don't know the right things To offer and if you don't know the right Offer you won't attract the best clients.


      Excuse typos, using a phone
      I admit I haven't spent days analyzing her busness perspective, but in the end it all comes down to customers walking in and buying evening dresses in her store. And the best way to attract those customers (other than wishing they see the store and walk in) is marketing. And one of the best ways to market to a targeted audience is using SEO as a part of internet marketing strategy, so I don't think that represents a problem here.

      However, explaining that to her is another thing. She may not be internet savvy but I trust she knows the principles and importance of marketing? Then again, I'm not even sure of that, since they don't advertise anywhere but only via some coupons that get handed out infront of highschools prior to proms, etc.

      She did tell me (when we first met) that the business was doing bad. I felt that. That's why I wanted to help. And I'm 99% certain I'm actually helping them with this website because when I made the site, I wrote that the store also offers a service of "borrowing dresses", which was my mistake (because they didn't) and a day after, someone came in asking whether they could borrow a dress. That was a lead. It came from a website I made. And if that one came just 4 days after the site creation, imagine how many of them actually came later on.

      I understand that the times are bad, that small local shop owners aren't rich, but gosh, $80?
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  • Profile picture of the author Mav91890
    I look extremely young. I'm 21 and am mistaken for anything from 13-18. I grew out a goatee, so that helps a bit.

    Honestly the client you have sounds like a nightmare to me. I would rather deal with older gentlemen than older women.

    Like others said, if they don't want to play ball and pay automatically every month just tell them you will break it off and go to their competitor (respectfully).

    I wouldn't be playing all those bull**** games for $80 a month. All the trips you are making would cost as much with gas and your wasted time.
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  • Profile picture of the author I_AM
    Have you gotten paid yet?

    Are you willing to let this client go, and offering it to one of her competitors? I would simply give her a time deadline, and if payment isn't met drop her as a client. Let her know that.

    I have an A-Hole that I'm doing the same thing with. He's been promising to pay his invoice since Saturday, but hasn't paid yet. He wants me to start work, but I don't do ANYTHING for free unless it was my idea. If he can't pay today, I'm dropping him.

    Don't be afraid to drop clients and demand that they play by your terms. You didn't get in business to be crawling on your knees and begging to be paid.
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  • Profile picture of the author malia
    I understand that the times are bad, that small local shop owners aren't rich, but gosh, $80?
    It's not about the $80 amount, it's about the WHEN of the $80. Yes, it seems insignificant, but from what you wrote she doesn't even bank online. So paying you could mean bouncing a check for her inventory. She doesn't have a grasp on her cash flow, this is what I mean by characteristics of her business. It could be $80, $800 or $8000. But anyhow.

    No, she likely does not know the principles of marketing. A lot of them start these businesses because of some relationship to what they sell. Maybe someone close to her got married, or she likes wedding, a lot of them have those business because they LIKE what they sell, not because they know how to SELL it to others.

    My point to you is that retail is not a bad model, but she is a horrible customer. If you learned about the niche you were targeting (or even selected a niche), you would be able to spot the bad ones. It really seems like you went for what you thought would be low hanging fruit.

    In closing, you're frustrated that she's behaving in a way that's pretty typical for business owners like herself. To steal a phrase from Simon Cowell, that's like getting mad at the cow for mooing.
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  • Profile picture of the author malia
    Oh and one last bit of advice. Drop her as a client. Giving her a deadline won't turn her into a good client. Sure you will get your $80, but the entire relationship will be like this. You'll be right back at it your next billing cycle. Chalk it up as a lesson learned.
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    • Profile picture of the author zannix
      Malia,

      Every single thing you said about this business owner is correct, really. She does seem like someone who started the business because of the relationship to what she sells, she does write receipts on a piece of paper, she doesn't do online banking, and all the other things.

      You're absolutely right about that, you nailed it, I guess you really know these type of business owners, eh? Are you definitiely positive such clients will stay that way and that I should just avoid them? If so, how to reckonize them in the future? Just look for ones that are more sophisticated in the way they handle their business, look for ones that are already marketing, perhaps younger business owners who know a thing or two about the internet, and have ambitions to expand the business?

      Thank you so much
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      All you can do is all you can do - Art Williams
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    • Profile picture of the author DWolfe
      From the amount of time and effort you are putting in on this one client you should be getting paid ASAP. It is time to drum up more business with the time and effort you are wasting with her.

      If she is in her 60's & 70's she may have no clue how the web site works.

      The Internet not is part of her generation. The Internet has been around your entire life time not hers.
      Compare that to people that grew up before the Automobile. Imagine riding horse's all your life and some one showed up with a car. Would you know how to drive it or even know the value of it ?

      Same thing with this business if they do not understand web-sites they do not know the value of it. They may never understand the value and your time would be well spent moving on.

      FYI: Somebody mention all business have cash registers. Thats not true, wedding dress usually cost a fair amount of Money so the majority of purchases are most likely going to be paid by Check or Credit Card.
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  • Profile picture of the author webdave
    It wouldn't hurt to tell her that you have been contacted by one of her competitors and they offered to pay 3 months upfront to get the listing.
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  • Profile picture of the author yohanaton
    Totally understand the frustration...
    I would agree with the thoughts above...
    1. Set up a proper company
    2. Charge much more
    3. Explain that if they aren't interested in investing their business, no problem you have their competition that would like to rent the site.
    4. Set up an automatic payment
    5. Send them reports with stats at least once a month. (Possibly simplify it for them.)
    6. Keep payments one month ahead of service.
    7. Non-payment will mean the site is available for another tenant.
    Best of luck...
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  • Profile picture of the author AllThingsLuxury
    They may be old, but they were young once. They sound like they are playing you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ryan Cassidy
    I'm 16, and I find it does have a little to do with age. You may want to protect yourself with a small contract next time, however you have demonstrated that you can carry out the service. You're being played, and I personally only take payment upfront because of this problem.

    Take 2 small deposits across each month if possible. They won't pay you everything upfront, but you will have something to protect you and the next time you visit them, they'll be obligated to pay the other deposit.

    Personally, I wouldn't say charge more. Don't work for slave rates however, and if you aren't going to charge much more you should be able to demonstrate the value and benefits in the service that you are offering to the business.
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  • Profile picture of the author malia
    I'm not sure if dwolfe is referring to me because I mentioned a POS system which is NOT a cash register. A cash register is a key system with a cash drawer and a receipt printer. A POS is always software based and runs on a computer, tablet or similar computerizes device. A cask register only prints out a long tally on the receipts and the end of the day a POS system has built in reporting and usually customer management features.

    A retailer that has not made the move to a pos system is probably not a good bet for a client because it's unlikely they are tracking anything let alone understand the importance of lead generation. At a bare minimum a POS system helps track and manage their inventory and if they can't understand the importance of doing that, how are you going to help them?

    So I would say if you are going to target retailers that would be the bare minimum you should look for. And yes she is going to stay that way because of her age. If she were younger she work be more malleable. She probably had inventory in the back room she doesn't know about. She is just not set up for success. We call them prehistoric retailers and they really are not focused on growth and profitability. You would really be surprised now they think.

    I know a lot about them as I said from friends who are sales reps manufacturers and I have one friend who is a regular features speaker at a prominent industry trade show's classes for retailers. Don't get me wrong there are savvy "mom and pop" retailers but she's not one of them. I don't think you're going to get far with them from what my friend who does the classes/seminars tells me.

    You nEed people who know they need it, know they should be doing it, have some conceptual understanding of what it is but cannot do it themselves or doesn't have the time to bother with it and can't justify hiring someone even part time to do it. They don't go to an agency because they want big campaigns and long term commitment.

    There's a good Dan Kennedy no BS book about small business grass roots marketing, reading it should give you some perspective.
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    • Profile picture of the author DWolfe
      Originally Posted by malia View Post

      I'm not sure if dwolfe is referring to me because I mentioned a POS system which is NOT a cash register.
      .
      No, I was talking about this line

      "All businesses have something called a cash register with erm cash in it"

      Just pointing some thing out, not calling the poster out. We use a credit card machine here in a Family business. Most customers whip out the credit cards to pay there bill. A few use checks, a very small minority ever pay cash.
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  • Profile picture of the author malia
    Excuse those horrible typos. Still on a phone
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