How to tell a prospect thier site sucks?

89 replies
Ok, normally I am pretty good at writing and wording things but my brain is working on very little sleep and I just need some ideas to get my wheels turning on how to let a potential prospect know that their site needs an overhaul without ticking them off. I know it should be obvious but people can sometimes tend to get protective of their stuff.

Thanks in advance
#prospect #site #sucks #thier
  • Profile picture of the author tigerbait
    Not sure I would tell them their site sucks.... maybe ask them if their site reflects the image they want to portray to their visitors...

    "So, Mary, I was checking out your website... and I was curious if it reflects the image you want portray to your potential customers"...

    If it's a sucky site, they're going to likely say... "uh... no not really, but it's a website"

    then you can ask them if they'd like it to more accurately reflect the image they want to portray.

    Who's going to say NO to that?
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    • Profile picture of the author azurews
      Originally Posted by tigerbait View Post

      Not sure I would tell them their site sucks.... maybe ask them if their site reflects the image they want to portray to their visitors...

      "So, Mary, I was checking out your website... and I was curious if it reflects the image you want portray to your potential customers"...

      If it's a sucky site, they're going to likely say... "uh... no not really, but it's a website"

      then you can ask them if they'd like it to more accurately reflect the image they want to portray.

      Who's going to say NO to that?
      Sorry guys...I started this post then had to run out for a bit.

      Thanks tigerbait, that is a great alternative to saying your site sucks. I was kind of thinking along those lines but couldn't put it into words.
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    • Profile picture of the author rwhunni
      Originally Posted by tigerbait View Post

      Not sure I would tell them their site sucks.... maybe ask them if their site reflects the image they want to portray to their visitors...

      "So, Mary, I was checking out your website... and I was curious if it reflects the image you want portray to your potential customers"...

      If it's a sucky site, they're going to likely say... "uh... no not really, but it's a website"

      then you can ask them if they'd like it to more accurately reflect the image they want to portray.

      Who's going to say NO to that?
      Great advice. I will have to keep your words on file for when I have to tell a client the same thing.
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  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    I have made MORE money by telling people their website sucks, than I have telling people they have a nice website. And yes... I have literally told them their website sucks.
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    • Profile picture of the author tigerbait
      Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

      I have made MORE money by telling people their website sucks, than I have telling people they have a nice website.
      Sounds like she's prospecting cold, and maybe not so much a warm lead. Do you mean, you'll send out cold emails or cold call and tell someone their site sucks?
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      • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
        Originally Posted by tigerbait View Post

        Sounds like she's prospecting cold, and maybe not so much a warm lead. Do you mean, you'll send out cold emails or cold call and tell someone their site sucks?
        Yes. I will cold call, mass email, direct mail, with a big headline or saying, YOUR WEBSITE SUCKS! Granted, that might not be for everyone, and I don't say it to EVERYONE... I say it though, often too. Why? Because my main focus isn't the sale immediately, my focus is to get their attention.

        Mr. Jones, do you know WHY your website sucks? and listen.... they'll give you their own reasons why it sucks even if they thought it was the greatest website in the world.

        After they ramble off a few things.... Well, it also sucks BECAUSE, the code isn't compliant, it isn't optimized for search engines, you have no social media integrated, it looks like it was created in 1996... worst of all, your customers probably feel the same way. Do you see the need in a better, more current, better optimized website Mr. Jones?

        Tell a woman she's ugly, and she'll obsess over why you think that, and would love the esteem boost of you building her back up after that initial blow. LOL. (disclaimer: wear a cup or be far enough away from "field goal distance")

        Seriously, might seem crazy, might get people pissed at you, but it's going to stick with them. Guarantee it!
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        • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
          Originally Posted by Nathan Robinson View Post

          I once told a couple people in emails that their website looked un-professional, I got 3 full page responses of them flipping out on me for saying that haha "You know nothing about my business. Who are you to say we are un-professional, how dare you" blah blah blah When I said nothing about their actual business and just the website. People get offended so easily.

          Definitely gets their attention but didnt work for me. That was only about 10 emails too.

          Still trying to figure out the best way to about it as well. Like said above "Your website could use some sprucing up" or something like that sounds like it would work well.

          For the hell of it I might try sending out a couple of "YOUR WEBSITE SUCKS" messages and see what kind of response I get.
          10 emails is not enough, try 2,000. Mass emailing, not individually.

          Here is the last response couple response I got from a company that were initially mad and then were self conscious before the end of the email and turned into a $3,000 sale and 1K/mo seo. These emails were literally, 15 minutes apart.

          Nathan,

          I don't appreciate the random email about how much our website sucks. We work very hard to stay on top of our industry and take pride in the work we do. Just because a website design firm thinks our website is below average doesn't mean our customers feel the same way. If you wish to gain our business and others like ours, you should study our industry a bit more.

          Thank you,
          Kristin ********
          Owner of *************
          Nathan,

          I took another look at your email and I apologize for my initial reaction. I'm starting to think what you mentioned makes sense. I never thought of our website as a 24 hour employee like you said, and it really isn't doing a good job representing my company.

          I took a look at your packages available and I think the $2999 package looks like it would fit my needs the best. I have a TV ad and a lot of print materials going out in about 4 weeks, is there a way we could have this complete by then?

          Please give me a call as soon as you're available, I'd like to get this going and would also like to talk to you about your "SEO" options listed on your website. Please call me at 636-###-####

          Thank you,
          Kristin ********
          Owner of *************
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          • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
            Originally Posted by Nathan Robinson View Post

            Wow that is something else, interesting. Really cool to see, thanks for sharing!

            Oh and I know 10 is not enough, I was bored at someones house and was just sending random emails that day and got those 3 responses.

            Question about the mass emailing though, have never done it but do you actually know their websites suck? Or do you just blast it out to anyone that has a website? Through a scraper or something?
            Something you don't realize... what you did, you consider a failure, but it is a huge success. You managed to get a 30% response rate... That's great.

            I scrape yellowpages and stuff like that, but no, I don't always know if their website sucks. I have had redesign projects from people who had REALLY great websites LOL.

            It's funny though, because MOST people are unhappy with their website. It doesn't look the way they want, it isn't optimized, it's too hard to update, their previous guy disappeared, it isn't bringing customers... and the list goes on. They can have an excellent looking website, but all it takes is a seed to be planted and they are like a self conscious school girl looking for approval. LOL
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        • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
          Originally Posted by Nathan Robinson View Post

          their website looked un-professional, I got 3 full page responses of them flipping out on me for saying that haha "You know nothing about my business. Who are you to say we are un-professional, how dare you" blah blah blah When I said nothing about their actual business and just the website. People get offended so easily.

          Definitely gets their attention but didnt work for me. That was only about 10 emails too.

          Still trying to figure out the best way to about it as well. Like said above "Your website could use some sprucing up" or something like that sounds like it would work well.

          For the hell of it I might try sending out a couple of "YOUR WEBSITE SUCKS" messages and see what kind of response I get.


          It might seem like semantics to you, but there is a huge difference
          between telling someone that there website is un professional
          vrs saying, your website sucks

          saying unprofessional hits home on a personal level, that requires defending.

          saying some thing they own sucks, is also on a personal level, but it is something
          they have probably said a few times themselves, and they hear from their friends and family.
          .. so while it might sting for a moment, its acceptable, because it rings with truth

          instantly creating a rapport
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    • Profile picture of the author Puta
      Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

      I have made MORE money by telling people their website sucks, than I have telling people they have a nice website. And yes... I have literally told them their website sucks.
      Yeah I agree. If you tell a business their website sucks then they are going to be a LOT more concerned about getting a better one.
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    • Profile picture of the author socialbacklink
      Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

      I have made MORE money by telling people their website sucks, than I have telling people they have a nice website. And yes... I have literally told them their website sucks.
      Yep. I tell them it sucks. I usually also will ask them if it's getting them the results they need. Most of the time they say no. Make the sale easy.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rollmodl
      Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

      I have made MORE money by telling people their website sucks, than I have telling people they have a nice website. And yes... I have literally told them their website sucks.
      Good one. Don't beat around the bush.
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      • Profile picture of the author Brandon Tanner
        Instead of telling someone that their site sucks, I think a better strategy is to ask them if their site is generating the kind of business that they hoped it would. The majority will say either "no" or "I don't know". Then you can explain to them how redesigning or changing certain elements of the site will likely increase their conversion rate / leads.

        Most business owners could care less what their site "looks" like, so long as it's consistently bringing them new business.
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        • Profile picture of the author nyk24
          Found this old thread and boy am I glad I did I almost talked myself out of saying in my sales letter - "your site sucks."

          Heres My Headline and first paragraph:

          "I don't mean to burst your bubble but your website sucks! And it's costing you money."


          We don't mean to offend you and, yes, we don't know your business. However, we know web design. And we hate it when we see an underperforming website.


          I am also going to attach a burst baloon to the letter for added effect!


          Still working on my copy for the body of the letter. Would you ask for an appointment (free website consultation) or go straight for the sale?


          How have people got on with this "website sucks" headline? Is this tactic still working for you IamNameless or have you found something a bit more "eye catching"?








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  • Profile picture of the author massiveray
    In cold email prospecting, I say "it looks like your site could use some sprucing up".

    Gets the job done.
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    • Profile picture of the author azurews
      Originally Posted by massiveray View Post

      In cold email prospecting, I say "it looks like your site could use some sprucing up".

      Gets the job done.
      Sprucing up is a good alternative too, just not sure if it is too close to saying your site looks bad....gonna ponder on that one a bit maybe I can work it in somehow.
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    • Profile picture of the author njs7227
      Originally Posted by massiveray View Post

      In cold email prospecting, I say "it looks like your site could use some sprucing up".

      Gets the job done.
      That's a nice way of putting. I have a handyman who dates a friend of mine, so I guess he's a friend. My friend built him one of those ugly free sites - I mean, really ugly, with a capital U - with Dreamweaver and he is so proud of her for her "talent" at being able to build a website. When I tried to diplomatically talk to him about it, he said, Oh, E--- built our site, I don't need anything.

      You don't know how badly I wanted to say "THAT ugly thing?????" But I let it drop. Sometimes you just have to let it go. I'm going to do video marketing for him.
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  • Profile picture of the author tigerbait
    There's nothing wrong with telling a warm prospect or a client their site sucks after trust has been built... but I don't believe the first contact should be "your site sucks". In fact, I think it'd more often piss potential prospects off.
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  • Profile picture of the author EnzoBlaque
    Originally Posted by azurews View Post

    Ok, normally I am pretty good at writing and wording things but my brain is working on very little sleep and I just need some ideas to get my wheels turning on how to let a potential prospect know that their site needs an overhaul without ticking them off. I know it should be obvious but people can sometimes tend to get protective of their stuff.

    Thanks in advance
    Well telling them their site sucks, and in those words.. May just help you stand out of the crowd.. Remember, business people are humans too.. A little humour will always be well received.

    Just explain the short comings of their current website, and then juxtapose that with the positive effects a properly structured design will have on their company.
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  • Profile picture of the author azurews
    Yes. I will cold call, mass email, direct mail, with a big headline or saying, YOUR WEBSITE SUCKS! Granted, that might not be for everyone, and I don't say it to EVERYONE... I say it though, often too. Why? Because my main focus isn't the sale immediately, my focus is to get their attention.

    Mr. Jones, do you know WHY your website sucks? and listen.... they'll give you their own reasons why it sucks even if they thought it was the greatest website in the world.

    After they ramble off a few things.... Well, it also sucks BECAUSE, the code isn't compliant, it isn't optimized for search engines, you have no social media integrated, it looks like it was created in 1996... worst of all, your customers probably feel the same way. Do you see the need in a better, more current, better optimized website Mr. Jones?

    Tell a woman she's ugly, and she'll obsess over why you think that, and would love the esteem boost of you building her back up after that initial blow. LOL. (disclaimer: wear a cup or be far enough away from "field goal distance")

    Seriously, might seem crazy, might get people pissed at you, but it's going to stick with them. Guarantee it!
    I wish I had your nerve Iamnameless, but I don't think I could ever do that. But is sure cracks me up. I would love to hear the exchange on that one.

    I once told a couple people in emails that their website looked un-professional, I got 3 full page responses of them flipping out on me for saying that haha "You know nothing about my business. Who are you to say we are un-professional, how dare you" blah blah blah When I said nothing about their actual business and just the website. People get offended so easily.

    Definitely gets their attention but didnt work for me. That was only about 10 emails too.

    Still trying to figure out the best way to about it as well. Like said above "Your website could use some sprucing up" or something like that sounds like it would work well.

    For the hell of it I might try sending out a couple of "YOUR WEBSITE SUCKS" messages and see what kind of response I get.
    Ya Nathan, that is exactly what I am afraid of. But it would be interesting to see the results on your messages
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    It's true: tell them.

    This guy has made a career of telling people "Your Marketing Sucks." (click)

    Not a bad read, been quite a few years now.

    Same thing that Nameless shows: they get pissed initially, but if they stay on the line or have time to think about it, the smart ones begin to think differently. And those are the customers you want.

    Are you worried about offending people?

    Let me ask you this: are rapidly angered people fun to work with? Are easily offended people good judges of things? Are defensive people going to spend money on you?
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  • Profile picture of the author azurews
    Same thing that Nameless shows: they get pissed initially, but if they stay on the line or have time to think about it, the smart ones begin to think differently. And those are the customers you want.

    Are you worried about offending people?

    Let me ask you this: are rapidly angered people fun to work with? Are easily offended people good judges of things? Are defensivoe people going to spend money on you?
    Jason, I understand where your coming from, it is just not in my nature to tick people off. I am one of those 'keep everyone happy' people. It actually sucks cause it doesn't do me any good in the long run. It's pretty bad when your own mother tells you to toughen up!


    10 emails is not enough, try 2,000. Mass emailing, not individually.

    Here is the last response couple response I got from a company that were initially mad and then were self conscious before the end of the email and turned into a $3,000 sale and 1K/mo seo. These emails were literally, 15 minutes apart.
    Iamnameless, that is awesome! It's amazing how the attitude changed so fast.
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    • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
      Originally Posted by azurews View Post

      I am one of those 'keep everyone happy' people.
      You cannot make everyone happy, its impossible.

      Don't worry, it will only take a few clients taking advantage of you,
      or a employee stealing from you, or your supposed friends mooching
      off of you all the time.... Before that hide thickens up.

      Nice guys / gals finish last.

      I spent years trying to prove that statement wrong... Well unfortunately its true.
      Now i am an ass, and business has never been better
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    • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
      Originally Posted by azurews View Post

      Jason, I understand where your coming from, it is just not in my nature to tick people off. I am one of those 'keep everyone happy' people. It actually sucks cause it doesn't do me any good in the long run. It's pretty bad when your own mother tells you to toughen up!
      I'm sure you'd be a killer support agent... in fact, if you ever think about moving to Illinois I need someone to handle the calls of the people I piss off. LOL. Job opening available!
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  • Profile picture of the author azurews
    You cannot make everyone happy, its impossible.

    Don't worry, it will only take a few clients taking advantage of you,
    or a employee stealing from you, or your supposed friends mooching
    off of you all the time.... Before that hide thickens up.

    Nice guys / gals finish last.

    I spent years trying to prove that statement wrong... Well unfortunately its true.
    Now i am an ass, and business has never been better
    Hell Ken, been there done that, by the time I toughen up I will be dead! lol


    I'm sure you'd be a killer support agent... in fact, if you ever think about moving to Illinois I need someone to handle the calls of the people I piss off. LOL. Job opening available!
    Be careful what you wish for, I might be due for a move soon. haha
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Pretend you're putting on a play, and "Can I tell you something?" (Pause for Yes) "Your website sucks." are the lines you're saying.

    That's the level of involvement you need to get to feeling. Your personality is not on the line. You are not trying to make people happy or unhappy. You are merely saying the line. And it's a line that has the purpose of getting a response.

    Since you already know there are only going to be two responses:

    "FU! My site's great! Get the hell outta here!"

    or

    "...Yeah, you're right..."

    what do you have to lose? Treat it like a science experiment.


    When you're driving, do you worry about what other people think? Say someone zooms up behind you when you're already driving 5 miles over the limit, and wants you to speed up because they want to continue zooming along. (No matter how fast I drive, someone always wants to go faster.) Do you not want to disappoint them, and so drive faster?

    I don't know that person. I'm not going to get a $200 or whatever speeding ticket for them. I don't owe them anything.

    In sales, it's very helpful to start disassociating yourself from what is happening. It's just one person talking to another. So what if they get upset? What can they do to you, exactly? And an important part of selling is having the strength to ask the uncomfortable question...knock the prospect out of their comfort zone. Make them feel uncomfortable. From there, they have to take action to return to comfort.
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  • Profile picture of the author azurews
    Disassociating yourself is an aspect I need to work on. I often think to myself that I am going to pretend (to myself) to just be a sales employee that way I am not as personally invested in the responses I get...yet I get on the phone and that all flies out the window. I guess I need to learn to play better head games with myself lol
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  • Profile picture of the author econnors
    I like the idea of seeing whether a person angers quickly to determine if they are a good client or not. We all want clients that we can be 100% honest with and that we feel will be 100% honest with us. Sounds like a fun qualifying technique. :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author Yetisam
    If You want to go for the softer approach go with this

    The Praise sandwich ( I hate it but)

    Tell them something nice - I like the colour
    Tell them what's bad - your site sucks
    Tell them something nice - its great you have a facebook share button

    It can be seen a a weaker way to do it but it will work on some customers

    Sam
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  • Profile picture of the author goldog
    I often use an implement. Its not me suggesting you have a crappy site. But an analysis of your on and off site metrics indicate your site sucks... These are the areas I would look at...

    I'm a fixer.

    (website) Grader.com
    (offsite) Getlisted.org
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    • Profile picture of the author azurews
      @Yetisam and goldog

      Those are both great ideas to use. I actually had never heard of the sandwich technique but that is a great method.

      Using the grader tool is also another great idea. That way it kind of takes the 'blame' off your shoulders. Combining both of them could be an awesome way to get through to the prospect.
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      • Profile picture of the author azmodien
        Don't tell them that their site sucks. Tell them why YOUR site would be better.

        Or tell them it's not their fault that their site is lame. Things are changing too fast for most people and old site designs have become obsolete. They should to get on board with you if they don't want to be left behind.
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  • Profile picture of the author piney94
    How about..."your website design is pretty bad...I can help you improve it so much that I can guarantee you more business just by changing the look of it."
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  • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
    Be very very careful.

    You don't know who created that site...it could be their wife, son...they might have done it themselves.

    And it's quite likely they had a lot of input into the creative process so they have a lot of emotional energy invested in that site.

    Usually it's best if you can find something positive to say about the site (I like the color in the header...did you choose that?)

    The focus on talking about strategies that can help them bring in more sales and profits.

    Get the focus OFF the actual site and onto using direct response strategies that will help them make more sales.

    "It doesn't look as pretty but we've found that this works better at converting visitors into customers who spend money..."

    Kindest regards,
    Andrew Cavanagh
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  • Profile picture of the author Ant Marshall
    I always ask them if they've had an increase in clients from it. If the answer is no, I then start my pitch and tell them why they need me.
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    If you haven't made money online yet then just send me a PM and let's see what we can do together.

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  • Profile picture of the author azurews
    @azmodien I probably wouldn't even go as far as saying mine would be better but like you said tell them why.

    @piney94 I wouldn't even have the nerve to say it is bad but giving ideas on how it can be improved is a good tactic

    @Andrew You make a good point, though I would never have to worry about that since I would never come straight out and say it's bad...I am not quite that gutsy lol. But you do make a good point about who the designer of the current site might be.

    I have been researching the past few hours and I must admit, I have come across some sites that I really wouldn't have a problem saying they are bad....they are that bad, so you know its bad lol.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rearden
    If you Youtube "Claude Diamond Cold Calling" there's a good video on how to do the "Your Website Sucks" approach.
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  • Profile picture of the author contentwriting360
    Banned
    Hello azurews,

    It's so nice to see an active discussion in this thread.

    IMHO, I won't focus on how to say that my prospect's website sucks. Rather, I will focus on how to make this customer believe that I can handle the things that they have missed as to why they're not getting the volume of sales that they've envisioned to get.

    We need to be careful, humanly-sensitive (a sensitivity that is enough for me not to overly-react defensively or offensively), responsible, and selective to the words that we say whenever we deal with existing and prospective clients. Yes, it's true that there are some people who would still take it nicely even if you're using bold and tactless words, but how many are they? How many are those who will respond nicely and who will most likely lend their ears to you if you know how to empathize and use kind words? I think, we don't need to make a case study with that just to find out the numbers.

    I have learned so little about so many things in Internet Marketing. This exposure is a gift in such a way that I can come prepare for the possible thoughts and presumptions of the people whom I will be talking to. Here comes the power of being preemptive.

    Entrepreneurs, marketers, and networkers like us can use the ability to "think ahead of what the other person will be thinking of" as a powerful weapon to bag the business. But what if our potential customers are applying the same preemptive technique on us? What if they already have a conclusion in mind on what we're currently saying right before we finish talking? I know it's ridiculously embarassing when your potential customer acts and talks as if he or she knows everything about what you are yet to say. The truth hurts but some people are like that. You and I may not be able to change the behavior or mentality of these people. What you can change is your marketing strategy on how to deal with these people.

    This reaction of people is a behavioral pattern. When you didn't get what you wanted to get, you get angry because that's your pattern of behavior. Since there are patterns, we already have an idea what may happen next. Needless to say, as entrepreneurs, we need to know the patterns of responses of our target customers.

    Have you ever met someone who's acting like hey-I'm-a-busy-person-and-I'm-not-interested-on-what-you-do-and-on-what-you-say type of person? Do your customers have this attitude of formulating a conclusion in mind about what your company does even if you're not yet done explaining the entirety of what your company really does?

    Speaking from experience, your answers to these three questions are most likely affirmative - a big and an exclamatory "YES!" Now, let's discuss on how you can change your current rebuttles to these behavioral patterns. If these people have behavioral patterns, we can also have a pattern on how to response to them.

    Let me introduce the "Feel," "Felt," "Found," and "Anything Else" formula. This formula will reveal the real reason why your potential customer is rejecting the business that you offer. Your goal is to have this customer run out of excuses and get his nod for your business. Here's a scenario:

    Andrew does not have a business. He wants to have a business and he has good funds to establish a business but he is not equipped with the right disciplines in handling a business. Carlo invites Andrew to attend his online seminar on how to manage a content writing business but Andrew said that he already knew how to manage a content writing business because his fellow Warrior has the same business. Here's how Carlo may respond following that pattern.

    "Hi Andrew! I understand how you FEEL. When I was in your case, I also had a fellow Warrior who offers web design services and I FELT the same understanding that all web design service providers have the same techniques. However, through my case studies, I FOUND the things that most failed to accomplish so their clients' websites will generate more sales. Now, if I were to disclose to you the techniques that most failed to accomplish in web designing, is there ANYTHING ELSE that stands between you being successful in your dream business that you can do by putting your time and investment with my web design services?"

    Andrew may be saying another excuse. Simply repeat the "FEEL, FELT, FOUND, and ANYTHING ELSE" pattern until Andrew says the real reason why he's hesitant to try your web design service. The "ANYTHING ELSE" part will make your potential customer run out of reasons or excuses of not trying your web design service. Take a look at this "ANYTHING ELSE" application assuming that we have mentioned the "FEEL, FELT, and FOUND" patterns.

    "Andrew, if I could reveal to you the reasons why I'm a sought-after web designer, if I could tell you how I've made my former clients increase their sales up to 30%, if I could just make you sit back and relax while sales are coming in, if I could _________________, is there ANYTHING ELSE that will make you half-hearted in believing me that your website needs an overhaul?"

    You will see in this pattern that Andrew will really tell you the truth why he is hesitant to try your web design services. Maybe he has zero knowledge in designing his website because it wasn't him who managed the development of that website. Maybe he is ashamed to tell you that he needs 100% support for the first 2 to 3 months after you completed the overhauling process. All of the possibilities will be revealed. This pattern will help you come up with counter offers and real-time rebuttals to the rejections of your prospects with your web design services.

    I do hope this helps, in one way or the other.
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  • Profile picture of the author beeswarn
    Amplifying what Ken is saying in post#16 above. You can say "You could really use a better presentation," or "It looks like it was built on a Mac."
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  • Profile picture of the author Mav91890
    Nameless, that is freaking amazing, lmao!
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  • Profile picture of the author LordArcher
    Contentwriting360 : That was a gret sharing.. Thanks.. I learn somthing from it..
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    • Profile picture of the author contentwriting360
      Banned
      Hello LordArcher,

      You're very much welcome! We're actually happy to contribute to posts like this. See you around.


      Originally Posted by LordArcher View Post

      Contentwriting360 : That was a gret sharing.. Thanks.. I learn somthing from it..
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    Guys guys guys, you're all hitting this from the wrong angle!

    The KEY FACTOR is getting them to admit to YOU that their site sucks!

    Obviously this requires some carefully crafted email copy or phone or face time.

    But trust me its WAY more powerful when they openly admit to you that their site sucks big balls!
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  • Profile picture of the author JoeRockefeller
    Worked for me about 3 weeks ago. I was on the phone with a client who wanted a simple 1 page revamp. I started talking to them about "internet marketing secrets". She was looking to spend like $300 based on what she had seen from craigslist etc..

    I was giving her great information over the phone and they told me that they really appreciated my honesty and help. That's when I asked her, "Can I be brutally honest with you?" She said, "Of Course". To keep it short, I told her that her logo was horrendous and her website really stunk. After a few more minutes of conversing, she was all in for a complete branding revamp, name change and website. It went from $300 - $10K by pretty much telling her what they had sucked.

    The key here is that it did. I had built the trust in them because I was telling them the truth. Now with a complete brand revamp and website, she was so excited to begin again. She was absolutely blown away and re-energized. I gave her a new direction and she was pumped. In turn she also referred me to 2 other potential leads.

    People react differently to things. Business owners are people just like us and you have to adjust accordingly. Some will react well, others well... move on.

    My .02
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  • Profile picture of the author abelamorales
    I believe that Jason also mentioned asking the prospect, "Is it okay if I be totally honest with you?" If they reply yes, then you say, "Your websites sucks."

    Sometimes it takes telling the prospect their website sucks before they really want to take action and do something about it.

    @JoeRockefeller, that's a great case-study! Congratulations on a great deal.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
      LOL I stay away from asking that question. To me it implies that I may have not been totally honest with you previously. = )

      Great how we all have different perspectives on things.

      Originally Posted by abelamorales View Post

      I believe that Jason also mentioned asking the prospect, "Is it okay if I be totally honest with you?" If they reply yes, then you say, "Your websites sucks."

      Sometimes it takes telling the prospect their website sucks before they really want to take action and do something about it.

      @JoeRockefeller, that's a great case-study! Congratulations on a great deal.
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  • Profile picture of the author Humbee360
    I would be interested in hearing about this issue because I have a client that created what they feel is a good website but it is really bad, they are a serious multi million dollar business but run by a family, I learned a long time ago that when you go into "kill" an old website that you have to be careful because often it was done by the owner.

    So it is a challenge to find a way to convince them that what they have is not working.
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  • Profile picture of the author JoeRockefeller
    @Humbee360 - You can bring in a little twist to an old adage. If you needed to have a facelift done, you wouldn't do your own facelift would you? I replaced brain surgeon for the obvious cosmetic reasons.

    He is probably great at what he does, which is why he has created a multimillion dollar company, but that doesn't make him the slightest bit inclined to know what it takes to make his website succeed. If something major went wrong with his plumbing, who would he call? A Plumber. If his electricity failed him he would call an electrician. If something is amiss with his website, he needs to call a web designer/internet marketer.. etc You get my drift. Let a professional handle it.

    There is great value in a website. It is a virtual representation of the company, 24/7. If it doesn't look good, odds are the poor image that his company is representing is a detriment to his sales.

    A large portion of today's consumers (depending on his industry and demographic) go online to gather information to make an informed decision. I do all the time. If I go to a site that looks like it is from 1998, or doesn't look like the company took any time with it, it looks very unprofessional and I won't purchase anything from them. I pitch them to make there site better

    A company website is it's virtual business card. It needs to represent the same quality as the business does. 24/7 Virtual Assistant. If the site isn't helping you sell. It ain't working! The website needs to help generate income/ leads / sales simple as that. If you can get him to understand that fact you might have him.

    Another note for Family businesses is that they usually end up being great clients because they are usually the most loyal. If you end up getting the job, make sure to take care of them because they will come to you for everything.

    Other Notes:

    A) Sometimes we can't see what's right in front of our very own faces, that's why we need mirrors.
    B) The site isn't created for him, it's created for his clients!
    C) Show him the value of having a professionally done website!

    Hope this helps.

    @abelamorales - Thanks - Sometimes you just say the right things. When you figure out what those things are and at the right time, that is when good things happen. The Truth Works,

    My .02
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  • Profile picture of the author AlexTee
    The best way is to educate them using third party sources. That way if they attack the source they are not attacking you.

    But remind them that the source is a valid one and that's why you are contacting them.

    You were curious if they were aware of the recommended changes suggested by trade magazines in their industry.

    They will probably say they don't know and ask …"what are they?"

    Now you can say the web site suck

    It sucks because__________ according to abc magazine.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bayo
    Ask if they'd like to know the truth about how to [fill in the problem statement here]?

    Ask if you can be as brutally honest as someone they know and trust would be.

    Tell then their website sucks and here's why...

    They'll appreciate your honesty and being candid with them. If they don't and it ends up not turning into a piece of work for you then that's fine because the best clients are those that KNOW they have problems and are motivated to have them solved by professionals who are NOT AFRAID to tell them what needs to be said.

    (What if you went ahead and didn't tell them and you did some work that they thought was fine but you knew 'sucked' and then as a direct result they didn't get results? It would be your problem)

    A Doctor would never couch the truth -- OK, they might not say your physique 'sucks' but they sure will tell you that you're carrying like '2 spare tires around your waist' and you need to get rid of them or else..

    You get my drift!

    Bayo
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  • Profile picture of the author azurews
    Sorry guys, I have been trying to stay focused and haven't responded lately. You all do bring up very good points and I do appreciate all the great advice I have received!

    @Rearden I am going to check out the "Claude Diamond Cold Calling" approach.

    @contentwriting360 I love your concept of FEEL, FELT, FOUND, ANYTHING ELSE. I am going to see how I can work that into my presentation. Thank you for such a detailed post!

    @Rus Sells How do you get them to admit that?

    @JoeRockefeller That is amazing! Congrats on your success. I did notice that you didn't bring up the subject until you had somewhat of a repoire going but your strategy reminds me of what Rus Sells does.

    @abelamorales That is true but I think you need to have a decent repoire first.

    @Humbee360 Yes that is a fine line to walk.

    @AlexTee Using third party resources is a great alternative to getting them to see the light.

    @Bayo You do make a good point but usually the doctor doesnt call us on the phone to tell us we are fat so I would have to be a bit diplomatic or save it for a presentation when meeting with them.
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  • Profile picture of the author rajat2k2k
    Very nice thread and lot of useful info here for off liners. I actually sent sweet emails telling the owner that their website could be better. From this discussion I am guessing I will try the straightforward approach.
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  • Profile picture of the author EmmaPowell
    IMHO you let them arrive at that conclusion without forcing it too much

    Ask them open questions eg:
    So how many leads is your site generating for your business?
    Do you track and measure results?
    What is the main purpose of you site? To get them to call? Oh..... where IS the phone number????
    How long is the average user spending on your site etc etc....


    Exposure flaws in their site without insulting them - remember they may have built it themselves or the good ol' "friend" so don't bag it out =)
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  • Profile picture of the author Niks24
    Well the best way is to show some quality sites and bring them some feelings from inside that there site is outdated and is needed to be revamped totally.
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    • Profile picture of the author Gotham
      Ask what their goals are.

      Start with compliments, however small.

      Then begin addressing how best to fulfill their goals.

      Note: Most of the above involves listening.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      I always start asking questions with a small compliment to get the answers coming;
      "Well, it looks like someone did alot of work on this site, who did it?"
      Then listen until they wind down.
      "Do you mind if I make a few suggestions?"
      This helps keep you from ticking them off by insulting their website their brother in law built for free.
      "I see alot of smart people build sites like this. But what was your goal with this site?" You will eventually get "I want more customers" or "I want my website found"

      Then you can say "Well, this website won't give you that for this reason..." (And then tell them one or two things the website lacks)

      Eventually you'll hear them say "Well, it was built 3 years ago by my idiot brother in law. I know it sucks, what can I do?"

      The key here is that you want them telling you what they think before you tell them what you think.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aarron
    What you could do instead of writing and physically telling them "YOU SUCK" is to send them an email with a video attached, in this video you could have a similar site that looks great (maybe another client of yours, or maybe their bitter rival...either or would suffice).

    Then in this video you could show them parts of the other site that you think would work better in their site (in other words use the video as a kind of "nudge nudge, wink wink - your site needs a face lift" kind of message to them).

    You could also screen grab of their website and use that as the link to the video, with Jing or any other software you like yourself. Heck you could even do a screen grab of the actual video you have made making sure you start it with the screen recording their website so they can physically see that there is a video of their website....I think that would grab their attention.

    Just an idea though

    Have a great rest of day!
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  • Profile picture of the author RD Phoenix
    I like to compare what they are doing with their competitors who are doing things much better, and emphasize that the competitor has more authority because they are doing things online more professionally.
    But as said above you do need to build a bit of trust first, and the easiest way is to give good info and make suggestions based on what is working and how easy it would be to do the initial small tweaks.
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  • Profile picture of the author maricelu
    Tell them specifically why it sucks. Ask how many customers they get from their site, ask if they track their results and offer them your expertise to make it better than it is now, add them on other services like Google Places, Facebook, etc. and setup a tracking number for all this internet stuff, send reports weekly or montlhy and they will be happy.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
      OK however as I've maintained in this thread. If you get them to admit it sucks then you can ask them why "they" feel that way.

      What is it about your site? Let them tell you! They already have an idea of why, then you can confirm it for them.

      See what's happening here psychologically?

      Originally Posted by maricelu View Post

      Tell them specifically why it sucks. Ask how many customers they get from their site, ask if they track their results and offer them your expertise to make it better than it is now, add them on other services like Google Places, Facebook, etc. and setup a tracking number for all this internet stuff, send reports weekly or montlhy and they will be happy.
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      • Profile picture of the author Wade_Wells
        There's a way to accomplish this with tact and without putting the prospective client into an immediate defensive position, while subtly letting them know that their site can be better.

        I don't do web design as a service anymore, but back when I did, I used the following:

        Your website is most often the first impression customers have of your company. If you were to interview tomorrow with a Fortune 500 company for a $250,000 per year job, would you show up in shorts, flip flops and a short sleeve shirt with flower print? Jeans and a nice shirt? Perhaps an old suit or skirt that fits too snugly with unpolished shoes?

        No. Most people would have a fresh new suit, ironed shirt, haircut, manicured nails, clean and well groomed. Why? Presentation. We want to look our best and we want to prove that we are the type of person for this $250,000 per year job. We dress for success.

        The same holds true of your website. It should be dressed for success. In the 90s, you could build it and "they" would come. Today, your site can easily be lost in a sea of search engine results. And if your site is ranking in the top five for it's keywords, how it looks is absolutely the most critical aspect of your online presence.

        Here's why: Let's say a user does a search in google for a keyword phrase and your site comes up at position 2. The user is going to click on position 1, take a look, then probably back out and next, click on position two which is your site.

        Why is the customer going to leave and continue going down the list? What can you do to prevent that user from clicking the back button, and spending a little more time on your site and finally, convincing the user that they must purchase a service or good from your site?

        One, having a very attractive site that is easy to navigate, not cluttered and the top fold is used to "capture" the user's attention and make them want to read more.

        An attractive design can engage the user with thoughts of "wow, this site really looks good" Coupled with that first fold of information. Does that information communicate a problem/solution the user is needing resolved? If so, the user is more inclined to continue reading past the top fold because 1) you have an attractive site and 2) he has found something of interest. The first steps of establishing credibility.

        If your site is bland, half thrown together, the user is more likely to click back and keep going down the list. Why wouldn't they? Google has returned thousands of "hits" and every site is waiting in line for that visitor to get to and hope their site will capture them. At some point, the user is going to be captured. Would you rather they are captured on your site, or 3-4 results down the google page from you?

        Your site needs to stand out from the others. A user can easily go down the search engine results for 2-5, maybe even more, until they find something that grabs their attention. A good site design is part of that attention grabbing process and have the initial fold setup with just enough information to capture their interest, will keep them there longer.

        To the customer, I would explain that. Then I would let them know that based on the research I've done, their site is lacking a "wow" factor to keep visitors engaged. That the initial site was done well and has served it's purpose, but it's not time to take it to the next level with a more modern/attractive design that will actively engage their site visitors and encourage them to stay on the site longer. The longer they are there, the more trust is built and a greater possibility that visitor will purchase from you.

        Basically, it says "your site sucks, you need something better," but it's more diplomatic, gives recognition for what they've done to this point (we all like compliments), and tells them why having a better site is important (keeping visitors on their site, instead of clicking back and going down the list for pages on end).

        That's what worked for me.
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        • Profile picture of the author mrtrance
          Originally Posted by Wade_Wells View Post


          Your website is most often the first impression customers have of your company. If you were to interview tomorrow with a Fortune 500 company for a $250,000 per year job, would you show up in shorts, flip flops and a short sleeve shirt with flower print? Jeans and a nice shirt? Perhaps an old suit or skirt that fits too snugly with unpolished shoes?

          No. Most people would have a fresh new suit, ironed shirt, haircut, manicured nails, clean and well groomed. Why? Presentation. We want to look our best and we want to prove that we are the type of person for this $250,000 per year job. We dress for success.

          The same holds true of your website. It should be dressed for success. In the 90s, you could build it and "they" would come. Today, your site can easily be lost in a sea of search engine results. And if your site is ranking in the top five for it's keywords, how it looks is absolutely the most critical aspect of your online presence.

          Here's why: Let's say a user does a search in google for a keyword phrase and your site comes up at position 2. The user is going to click on position 1, take a look, then probably back out and next, click on position two which is your site.

          Why is the customer going to leave and continue going down the list? What can you do to prevent that user from clicking the back button, and spending a little more time on your site and finally, convincing the user that they must purchase a service or good from your site?

          One, having a very attractive site that is easy to navigate, not cluttered and the top fold is used to "capture" the user's attention and make them want to read more.

          An attractive design can engage the user with thoughts of "wow, this site really looks good" Coupled with that first fold of information. Does that information communicate a problem/solution the user is needing resolved? If so, the user is more inclined to continue reading past the top fold because 1) you have an attractive site and 2) he has found something of interest. The first steps of establishing credibility.

          If your site is bland, half thrown together, the user is more likely to click back and keep going down the list. Why wouldn't they? Google has returned thousands of "hits" and every site is waiting in line for that visitor to get to and hope their site will capture them. At some point, the user is going to be captured. Would you rather they are captured on your site, or 3-4 results down the google page from you?

          Your site needs to stand out from the others. A user can easily go down the search engine results for 2-5, maybe even more, until they find something that grabs their attention. A good site design is part of that attention grabbing process and have the initial fold setup with just enough information to capture their interest, will keep them there longer.

          To the customer, I would explain that. Then I would let them know that based on the research I've done, their site is lacking a "wow" factor to keep visitors engaged. That the initial site was done well and has served it's purpose, but it's not time to take it to the next level with a more modern/attractive design that will actively engage their site visitors and encourage them to stay on the site longer. The longer they are there, the more trust is built and a greater possibility that visitor will purchase from you.

          Basically, it says "your site sucks, you need something better," but it's more diplomatic, gives recognition for what they've done to this point (we all like compliments), and tells them why having a better site is important (keeping visitors on their site, instead of clicking back and going down the list for pages on end).
          Would this be too much for an email or direct mail piece to potential businesses that I find need to update their website design? Should I cut this up a bit and use only a small portion of it since it might be too long and attention span might not be there to read all of it?
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          • Profile picture of the author edman78
            "your site sucks" LOL!

            That's something I'd expect to come from a kid in a school yard seriously. Nameless may have scored a deal from that but how many did he lose? I guarantee most adults would just trash the email and never bite passing it off as immature. Like I said he scored a deal but how many people did he piss off? a lot I bet. I wouldn't risk having my business name tarnished by childish marketing tactics. We all know the various review sites out there where bad reviews can be left.

            Yes "your site sucks" is not going to make someone cry but it is unprofessional. Yes it will get them to open the email but there are other trigger words you can use without offending people and coming off as immature. Sorta like "Hey the date with your mom went well" LOL (sarcasm)
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            • Profile picture of the author DABK
              Most adults trash most emails and never bite passing it off as something or other.

              If the message Iamnameless is about something they care about, about fixing a problem they want fix, they'll 'bite.' I am assuming he's sent his message to people he chose well, not to random people.

              Instead of betting, let's ask Iamnameless what his conversion rates were. Was he happy with the results?

              Originally Posted by edman78 View Post

              "your site sucks" LOL!

              That's something I'd expect to come from a kid in a school yard seriously. Nameless may have scored a deal from that but how many did he lose? I guarantee most adults would just trash the email and never bite passing it off as immature. Like I said he scored a deal but how many people did he piss off? a lot I bet. I wouldn't risk having my business name tarnished by childish marketing tactics. We all know the various review sites out there where bad reviews can be left.

              Yes "your site sucks" is not going to make someone cry but it is unprofessional. Yes it will get them to open the email but there are other trigger words you can use without offending people and coming off as immature. Sorta like "Hey the date with your mom went well" LOL (sarcasm)
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          • Profile picture of the author DABK
            A long message that speaks about how to solve a problem I want to fix is not long.

            Change it to make it more meaningful to whoever you're sending it to, not to shorten it for the sake of shortening it. Shorten it because you can say the same with fewer words without losing anything.

            One change you could make, make it more specific. If you're sending it to chiropractors, make it specific to chiropractors.

            Originally Posted by mrtrance View Post

            Would this be too much for an email or direct mail piece to potential businesses that I find need to update their website design? Should I cut this up a bit and use only a small portion of it since it might be too long and attention span might not be there to read all of it?
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    This is why I just get them to admit their site sucks balls. We all know telling people their sites sucks is going to work sometimes and not work sometimes. So it can have a polarizing effect.

    There's no need to create this situation when all you need to do is lead the prospect into admitting it to you themselves.

    When they do that they are practically saying, REDO MY SITE PLEASE!!! HELP!



    Originally Posted by TheBlogger View Post

    I just tried it and got this:



    Wow, didn't expect to invoke such an email. It's true they get defensive, but I've just come back with another email explaining how I'm honest and don't mean to offend.

    Will be interesting. The "prospect" has a big company by the way and I'd love to help him out.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    ^ That's to much for me to try and comment on this early in the morning! LOL
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  • Profile picture of the author beeswarn
    Originally Posted by TheBlogger View Post

    Wow, didn't expect to invoke such an email. .
    Hang in there, Blogger, and remember: You're not the one whose website sucks.
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  • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
    I've always wondered why this is such a hard thing for some people to say.

    You have to understand for the avg person their OWN WORDS will be "my website sucks". So when you say "your website sucks", you're just telling them what they already think. Which is obviously good to build rapport.

    Don't say it in a nasty way, just in a casual matter a fact way. I'm always sure to mention at least 5-6 things immediately after saying this though. Just so they know I'm paying attention. Like "text is hard to read", "graphics are not professional", "no on page seo" etc etc.

    Moreso, if I see a person just got done spending some money on their site, and it looks decent, I'll say: "well the graphics look good, but its not optimized for conversions".

    Its VERY RARE I ever come across a site that stumps me. Where I look at it and go into a trance because things look so well done. That hasnt actually happened once yet when I really think about it.

    -Red
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  • Profile picture of the author vgvetter
    Be careful, the site may have been done by his daughter!

    Fact is we do not have one client that knows the difference between good and bad when it comes to websites. These people are too busy plying their trade to really care about the the things you know would make their site better.

    Our client's marketing dollars are divided between the BBB, Yellow Pages, Marketing Memberships, and some TV. (At $10.00/second, it doesn't take long for that to wear off).

    What our clients do care about is getting their money worth for the advertising $ spent. So what can we do to help with that? ....a few things.

    1. Track the site. We find many of the directories or marketing club memberships they purchased on a whim last year are sending little traffic, and the traffic sent is 100% bounce... Cut those costs. We find BBB membership for the most part pays off in terms of steady traffic.

    2. Incorporate some kind of benefit for site Viewers to become customers. Discounts for website customers. It's hard to track, but the owner will be able to tell if its working, and if it does, he will want more of the same.

    3. If the site is more than five years old, he's probably not taking advantage of a blog section, Video, RSS, social networking, newsletter subscription, SEO, and other features you could provide that he's probably missing now.

    4. If it's the content that bothers you, have a sit down and pick his brains. Almost all our guys know a LOT more about their business than they can put into words. They often overlook their latest accomplishments, new employees, training they have received, and lots of other stuff on which they have spent money to be able to better serve their clients. Many of our clients did learn the value of on site testimonials and before-after job photos. (Content should probably be #1).

    In short, what can you do for the guy that he's probably missing out on? When you're done you won't have to tell him ... He'll probably tell you.

    (Oh, yes... All above is an example of Vetter's second law... "talking about it is easier than doing it").

    Will be real interested in how this plays out.

    Vern
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  • Profile picture of the author bumgardner1
    I am sooooo glad I read this thread! I love it. In my experience you have to have the attitude to keep it up once the replies come in, but it's like nameless said, it plants the seed. Great stuff!!
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  • Profile picture of the author hayleyb
    in my opinion, just tell them straightly but with respectful manner..
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  • Profile picture of the author DiSossa
    I recently had a job interview and they asked me, what do you think of our website?
    And I said wel uuurhmm
    They said be honoust
    I said, it's kinda outdated

    They did not hired me
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    • Profile picture of the author Zen Warrior
      Not sure if I will tell people straight out...but, I can see how if you are nice about it, and then tell them why it does..suck...then it may be a positive.

      So, maybe I should test it
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  • Profile picture of the author azurews
    Wow! You guys crack me up. I can't believe some of you actually tried it. But hey if it gets results...You end up with a new customer and a business ends up with a better site. Everyone is happy...(except for the boss's daughter who made the original site, but she is out spending all the extra money you made her so I guess you can say she is happy too)

    In all seriousness, you all have given me a looot of great ideas to go with. I hope one day I can get to the point of being forward enough to tell someone their site sucks straight up, but I am not quite there yet.

    Thank you again!
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    • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
      Originally Posted by azurews View Post

      Wow! You guys crack me up. I can't believe some of you actually tried it. But hey if it gets results...You end up with a new customer and a business ends up with a better site. Everyone is happy...(except for the boss's daughter who made the original site, but she is out spending all the extra money you made her so I guess you can say she is happy too)

      In all seriousness, you all have given me a looot of great ideas to go with. I hope one day I can get to the point of being forward enough to tell someone their site sucks straight up, but I am not quite there yet.

      Thank you again!
      Follow my train of thought for a second..

      According to your avatar, you are a lady, well as a lady i am sure
      you have or had a husband / boyfriend.

      Lets use your hair as an example. Have you ever changed the color
      or had a new hair style, or just plain asked him if your hair looked
      ok as you were heading out the door ?

      You did that, because you want to put your best foot forward.
      You want to make sure you look acceptable, if not good.

      Ever had him say yes, and then you later found out it wasn't ?

      remember how that felt?

      and that's just your personal feelings,

      these potential clients are looking at you like the expert,
      and an expert is obligated to tell them certain things
      even if its uncomfortable to do.

      I submit, you are doing them a disservice if you DON'T tell them there site
      sucks.

      that's just the way i look at it. Who knows, maybe i am wrong.
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        From The Blogger;
        I just tried it and got this:

        Quote:
        Hi
        Thanks for your opinion. Sadly if you hadn't have come across rude and pretty much downright insulted my site then I would have been interested in a new web design as it is something I have contemplated.
        I know its free, I like free.
        I know the store is basic, its meant to be. We do less than 1% of our business online.
        Its straight forward and professional enough for what we do. No need for a complex website when essentially its only a contact and details site with a payment option to save on eBay fee's.
        Lastly credibility is not something I am worried about in the online world [deleted for WF]. Not too many [deleted for WF] get online. As previously mentioned it's only for the odd person looking that way.

        Perhaps you should alter the way you come across, instead of being so negative try focusing on what you can do to improve what is already there instead of putting down my own work.
        Just a thought which I'm sure will be dismissed.

        Thanks
        X


        Wow, didn't expect to invoke such an email. It's true they get defensive, but I've just come back with another email explaining how I'm honest and don't mean to offend.

        Will be interesting. The "prospect" has a big company by the way and I'd love to help him out.
        End of Blogger post.




        Um, did anyone learn anything from this? Imagine a client's kid just drew a picture of you. The proud parent shows you the picture...waiting for praise...and you say "Is your kid slow? This sucks! My kid is smarter and a better artist. By the way, would you like me to teach your slow child to draw a better picture?"

        Only a fool would do that. But I see some posts recommending doing almost exactly that.

        Many of these sites are built by loved ones, and sometimes themselves. If the site is really bad, they don't know it...or don't want to think about it...because a loved one built it.


        Praise them for having a website.
        Praise them for how much work it must have taken to build it.
        Ask them what the website is for.
        Tell them that most people do what they did with the website and are getting the same result.

        After they think you are a genius (Everyone agrees with you when you are praising them), you can add a few suggestions.

        If they say their site suck first, then you can agree with them. But even then I might say "Well, it isn't as bad as some I've seen. But nobody took the time to explain to you what a good website can do for you"

        See that last sentence?

        Their bad website is not their fault. It's someone elses. Now you can offer them help.

        The number one reason we don't make sales is because we killed the sale before it was born. Not the economy, not competition...us.

        Believe me, I've said worse things to a buyer (OK, they weren't buyers when I was done)...and I said it to their faces. But we can learn from these blunders.

        Added later; Don't be a "Yes man". Of course, you are obligated to tell him his site is worthless. But you can offer real advice without destroying any chance for a sale. You can be brutal after they decide that you are looking out for their best interest.
        You can be honest without making them look like a fool.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rearden
    He's not your market.

    Advisers are highly paid NOT because they are YES men.

    I've come across phoney's like this many times, in various industries while selling.

    He's probably lying to you about "considering" to make you feel bad.

    However, you could turn it around and take the authority angle and drive it home.

    He didn't just give you a one-liner... that's always good.

    Originally Posted by TheBlogger View Post

    I just tried it and got this:



    Wow, didn't expect to invoke such an email. It's true they get defensive, but I've just come back with another email explaining how I'm honest and don't mean to offend.

    Will be interesting. The "prospect" has a big company by the way and I'd love to help him out.
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      "Your website sucks! And it's costing you money" as the header on a flier, free report offends no body. Saying it face-to-face, after you established that you know what you're talking about and care about helping them, offends nobody.

      Doing it like Iamnameless, will offend. But it doesn't mean that the offended ones will not pay you to improve it or the non-offended ones will.

      The reasons some get offended might have to do with facts mentioned above (daughter built the site and daughter can do no wrong) and facts not mentioned above: what came before and after, how it was said.

      Alternative to 'your site sucks' that says the same, in non-offending way, "Your site leave money on the table. Here are 3 ways it does that:"

      @theblogger
      You got his attention. Why are you letting him get away?

      Dear x,

      Didn't mean to offend and, yes, I don't know your business. However, I know marketing and webdesign (or whatever it is you know). And I hate it when I see underperforming sites.

      I hate it more when business owners are taken advantage of.

      Since you will have someone redesign it, my philosophy compels me to draw your attention to 3 ways business owners go wrong when they redesign:

      1.
      2.
      3.

      Respectfully,
      your name
      link to your site
      phone number, etc.

      3 weeks later, you send them another message: If you have not redesigned your site, here's a link to an article on (some major publication) about that. Pay special attention to paragraph 4: it talks about xyz, which is a great way of doing x (or of getting into trouble doing x).

      (Better yet, send them to one of your articles that's on your site, and ask them to pay attention especially to paragraph 4)To the OP

      If you don't tell them their site sucks and they figure it out some other way, you lose stature, at least; the client and gain some reputation of not knowing your stuff.



      @theblogger

      As Iamnameless demonstrated, it can work. Can YOU make it work?
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by DABK View Post

        "Your website sucks! And it's costing you money" as the header on a flier, free report offends no body.
        Strong strong advice. I wish I had thought of it. In a flyer as a title, absolutely.

        [/QUOTE]Saying it face-to-face, after you established that you know what you're talking about and care about helping them, offends nobody.[/QUOTE]

        Very true. And people will respect your honesty and expertise if you are direct with them. But that first e-mail? the first minute of a meeting? I haven't found it to be as effective as selling.

        "Caring but firm parent" pretty much defines my relationship with clients. But I want to be the one deciding the interview is over, not them. So I'm softer until they trust what I say...or I decide they aren't worth the effort.
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  • Profile picture of the author bydomino
    When I am working to close a client for Offline SEO I know I am going to have to tackle their site. I always ask who built the site. When I find out that it's not a family member, I figure it is fair game and I will tell them their site is not doing them any favors. Usually when you hint to a client that their website isn't quite doing it, they quickly agree. This is something you can use to form a bond with your new perspective client, you both don't like the site.

    Now if the site was developed by a family member I still know that I have to tell him it's not a good site. I just need to get there from another angle. At this point, it's strictly business not personal so I go that direction. I sell them on my ability to do offsite SEO. I show them past clients and make sure they believe I am the expert.

    Once I have sold them I tell them, the first thing I have to do is create a website report and in the report tell them exactly what I would do to fix it or many cases, the fix is to scrape it and put up a new site. I have never had a client get upset with me when I'm trying to make them more money. I think the key to that last statement is that before I go after their terrible website, I make sure they know that I am here to help them and that they completely know and understand that I CAN help them. I do this by becoming the SME (subject matter expert) Once your client sees you as the expert they'll take just about anything you say in stride.


    I hope this helps,

    Airborne!
    Kevin
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  • Profile picture of the author azurews

    kenmichaels
    Follow my train of thought for a second..

    According to your avatar, you are a lady, well as a lady i am sure
    you have or had a husband / boyfriend.

    Lets use your hair as an example. Have you ever changed the color
    or had a new hair style, or just plain asked him if your hair looked
    ok as you were heading out the door ?

    You did that, because you want to put your best foot forward.
    You want to make sure you look acceptable, if not good.

    Ever had him say yes, and then you later found out it wasn't ?

    remember how that felt?

    and that's just your personal feelings,

    these potential clients are looking at you like the expert,
    and an expert is obligated to tell them certain things
    even if its uncomfortable to do.

    I submit, you are doing them a disservice if you DON'T tell them there site
    sucks.

    that's just the way i look at it. Who knows, maybe i am wrong.
    Funny you should mention the hair thing Ken, I have been a hair dresser for 27 years. And yes, most women will expect their spouse to give their opinion...but just a word of advice for you guys out there....tread very carefully and think before you respond or you could be in for a rough ride! Haha

    And come to think of it, most women are asking a question they already know the answer to. They just want confirmation. Because when you know it looks good you don't need to ask in the first place.

    But I agree with being obligated to let them know about how their site is affecting them.

    I have felt obligated to the point of telling one of my college professors his hair was uneven. It was driving me crazy all through class! He admitted his girlfriend tried to cut it. I got out my scissors after class and fixed his hair cut right there in the room! lol
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    • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
      Originally Posted by azurews View Post

      But I agree with being obligated to let them know about how their site is affecting them.

      I have felt obligated to the point of telling one of my college professors his hair was uneven. It was driving me crazy all through class! He admitted his girlfriend tried to cut it. I got out my scissors after class and fixed his hair cut right there in the room! lol
      You had the confidence to do that, because you were the expert.

      It is the same way with sales.
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  • Profile picture of the author volit
    I think the reality is for me anyway, I am not getting any responses to cold emails/letters, so I may as well try something totally new/different/offensive. Why not? It can't hurt. Maybe I get a reply out of it instead of continually getting ignored.
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    • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
      Originally Posted by volit View Post

      I think the reality is for me anyway, I am not getting any responses to cold emails/letters, so I may as well try something totally new/different/offensive. Why not? It can't hurt. Maybe I get a reply out of it instead of continually getting ignored.
      Not sure what you are doing but Craigslist works fairly well for web design leads. The key is to NOT post just to get your name out there. You need to put some time into your ads, study good copy from the likes of gary halbert, then find a few great copywriters on WF. Study their copy. Then start writing ads and posting them on CL.

      For about 4 weeks all I did was focus on how to write highly persuasive ads. HONEST ads. Ads that built proper credibility for my business. The more and more I worked on my copy, the more and more leads I got off CL. At this point I have it down to a science. I have a wealth of tested ads, I use them on CL and facebook, and its become like a turnkey for getting new business.

      I have tried emailing people directly from their sites before, and it does work but it takes too much time to personalize each email. Plus you need to do a lot of research on each person and its just not time efficient for me. Sometimes it takes me 2-3 hours just to write 1 single 1 page ad for CL but its like mining for gold. When you find ads that work well, you are set, leads come in, and you can just repost them anytime you need new clients.

      -Red
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  • Profile picture of the author MrFume
    You could also say : "Do you find your website generates you a lot of business?, I have some good ideas to really make it work like a machine!"
    You know, a lot of smaller business people have absolutely no idea what they are doing - and they like to think they do.
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