Getting Local Clients

19 replies
I want to start selling my web design and seo services. Is there still an opportunity for money to be made selling these kinds of services to local businesses? Anyone who knows about this kind of thing care to share some ideas or point me in the right direction of some good info on how to get started?

Much Love
#clients #gettin #local
  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    Originally Posted by AlexGeorge View Post

    I want to start selling my web design and seo services. Is there still an opportunity for money to be made selling these kinds of services to local businesses? Anyone who knows about this kind of thing care to share some ideas or point me in the right direction of some good info on how to get started?

    Much Love
    There are tons...tons of threads just bursting with exactly what you need to know...and you're in the right forum, and the right section.

    Last year I netted a low six figure income doing a service that includes what you propose...and that's pretty part time.

    Use the search feature and type in "local seo" or "offline marketing"..you'll be busy learning for weeks.

    You hit the Mother Load.
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    • Profile picture of the author kemdev
      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      Last year I netted a low six figure income doing exactly what you propose...and that's pretty part time.
      I've been meaning to ask you...

      I know you do SEO video work. I assume most of your clients already have websites. Do you put the videos on their site for them as well? Do you ever optimize/re-design a clients site if there's a clear need?
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by kemdev View Post

        I've been meaning to ask you...

        I know you do SEO video work. I assume most of your clients already have websites. Do you put the videos on their site for them as well? Do you ever optimize/re-design a clients site if there's a clear need?
        All my clients already have a website. It isn't a condition of the sale, but they all do. I don't work on their website. That service is not offered at all.

        I create a new website, post the videos there (among lots of other places) and link to their original website (the one I didn't build.) I may use the first website as a template, and use the same colors, logo, format...but it's a new website with all original content.

        If they built their site themselves, I'll also post the videos on their original site, but that's all I'll do. I'm not a website guy...or an SEO guy. What I do works very well for clients trying to get local business.

        I sell one program. I provide a great looking website (although I know a specialist could do better), and I create a blog, videos, and other content...to give Google plenty to list from different sources.

        But I don't work on an existing website. Frankly, it's faster to simply build a new one. Now they have two websites that can show up on page one of a Google search. I link almost all the video and written content to both websites, theirs...and the new one I built. This gives the original website a boost in rankings too (I know you know that)

        And to be frank, I got tired of talking to whoever built the first site, trying to work with them. So I just don't give that as an option.

        I'm not recommending that approach to the OP, but it's what I do.
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        • Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

          And to be frank, I got tired of talking to whoever built the first site, trying to work with them. So I just don't give that as an option.
          Exactly what I do. I shifted to this approach years ago. Makes life SO much easier. Never have to talk to some dweeb that wouldn't know a profit-pulling site if it him in the gonads. I'm moving too fast to have to deal with all that.
          Signature
          Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
          - Jack Trout
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          • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
            To the OP;

            When I meet a business owner (especially at a networking event) and they ask what I do, I say "I create leads and sales for small businesses that already have a website." (I got that little gem from James Hickey).

            They say "How do you do that?"

            I say "Before we go any further, do you have customers that tell you that they found you online?"

            They say "Yeah, how did you know?" (That always kills me). More likely, they say "Yeah, And?"

            I say "Would you like more of them?" and I book an appointment.

            And I won't answer any more direct questions about what I do, until we meet at the appointment. they now have an itch...and they want it scratched.

            But I don't scratch for free. There. That's real, and it really works.

            I may add "Every day, in your town, there are between ten and a hundred people looking for what you sell. I help make sure they are finding you when they go online"

            Originally Posted by kemdev View Post

            This is incredibly true and somewhat advanced.

            Saying, "I can bring you more leads and sales, is that what you want?" isn't the same as saying, "Most consumers using smart phones to search for local services need help right now, but they can't find your number online. Do you want these easy-sells calling you or your competitors?"

            Both have the same end-result: more sales. But example two raises curiosity (why can't they find me? how can I fix this?), whereas example one generally leads to skepticism.
            Kemdev; I wrote the above post before you posted this...and posted it a second too late. Maybe I should have waited a few more seconds, eh? Anyway, It's what I say to new prospects. There is more, but it's said several other places here.
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  • Profile picture of the author kemdev
    Mr. George,

    You're going to get A LOT of different responses to this question. Sadly, most of the information is going to come from e-book peddlers and Warriors who think they know everything, but still have yet to sell anything substantial.

    Me? I have nothing to sell, and I do this full time. Here's my advice...

    1) Define a target market

    • You're probably going to skip over this and say - "My target market is anyone who wants a website!" No, no, no, no, no. You're target market will depend on the type (ie. quality) of service you're selling and how you plan to go about selling. For instance, my target market is small businesses (contractors, used car dealers, galleries, etc...) who want to make more money from their website than what they pay me. This includes those without sites, and those whose sites are not profitable.
    • My target market has no problem spending $1,000+ for a single website. Why? Because my target market doesn't want things done cheap, they want things done right. They pay me my figure because I'm good, and I offer things no one else in my area does.
    • Ask yourself, "How good am I?" If you can't put together a website that looks great, converts, and draws people to it... your prices are going to be on the cheaper side, and rightfully so.
    • Everyone will tell you that you need to charge more for your services. Literally, everyone here. But there's this little thing called value. Big value = big prices. Little value = little prices. So be completely honest with yourself about your abilities. This will help you better fit into the type of market you should be in. If you're not honest with yourself (or your clients) about your abilities, you're going down a bad road... one not easily recovered from.

    2) Build a list of high quality prospects

    • This is actual work, but shouldn't take more than an hour or two.
    • If you have a piece of software that collects thousands of random names, you're not doing this right.
    • If you 'pay' for a list without narrowing down what types of businesses you're going after, how many employees they have, their annual income level, whether they have a website or not (ie. your target market).... you're not doing this right.
    • If you collect a list of only email addresses, you're not doing this right.
    • If you're just starting out, a list of 50-100 high quality prospects should be fine. Personally, I like to get my lists from the YellowBook. But that's not the only source - there's also businesses you've heard of before, billboards, online directories, etc... Use your head to collect your list.
    • Your list should have few columns: contact name, business name, telephone number, email, website (yes or no), next contact, and notes.

    3) Have conversations (ie. start selling)

    • Don't listen to anyone who tells you otherwise - the phone is the quickest, easiest, and most effective way to go about this. You're just starting out - it costs nothing but your time. What could be better?
    • Don't sell.
    • Seriously, don't try to sell.
    • Forget all the sales threads on here, forget searching online for 'how to cold call,' forget reading books on sales for right now.
    • THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO IS CALL EACH BUSINESS AND SEE IF THEY HAVE A NEED FOR YOUR SERVICE. This is called sorting, or qualifying your prospects. Don't ram your offer down their throats. Don't beg them to buy. Don't give them a million reasons why what you're offering is the best thing since sliced bread. Simply call each business on your list and ask if they 1) have a website & 2) if that website is consistently sending them business.
    • Most will answer YES to the first question. Most will say, "A little bit here and there" to the second. If they say YES to both, ask if they would like to get more. That's it.
    • If there's a need for what you have, set up a meeting. In person is better.
    • Call each prospect as many times as necessary until you get a firm NO.

    I'm not going to go into detail about how you should set the meeting or what you should say once you're there. Honestly, there's too many variables and you need to figure that out on your own. What I will say is this... there's virtually nothing you can do for your (soon to be) business that will yield better results than the above process.

    Sure, there's meetup groups and direct mail and loads of other things you can do to get clients. Some of those other things might even be BETTER than the above process.

    But for right now - you're just starting out. This process will help you understand your market, how they talk, and what they want to hear. This process will take you from zero action to a working plan.

    And amidst all of that learning, you're gonna make sales.

    Hope this helps someone.
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    • Profile picture of the author Matthew North
      Originally Posted by kemdev View Post

      Mr. George,

      You're going to get A LOT of different responses to this question. Sadly, most of the information is going to come from e-book peddlers and Warriors who think they know everything, but still have yet to sell anything substantial.

      Me? I have nothing to sell, and I do this full time. Here's my advice...

      1) Define a target market

      • You're probably going to skip over this and say - "My target market is anyone who wants a website!" No, no, no, no, no. You're target market will depend on the type (ie. quality) of service you're selling and how you plan to go about selling. For instance, my target market is small businesses (contractors, used car dealers, galleries, etc...) who want to make more money from their website than what they pay me. This includes those without sites, and those whose sites are not profitable.
      • My target market has no problem spending $1,000+ for a single website. Why? Because my target market doesn't want things done cheap, they want things done right. They pay me my figure because I'm good, and I offer things no one else in my area does.
      • Ask yourself, "How good am I?" If you can't put together a website that looks great, converts, and draws people to it... your prices are going to be on the cheaper side, and rightfully so.
      • Everyone will tell you that you need to charge more for your services. Literally, everyone here. But there's this little thing called value. Big value = big prices. Little value = little prices. So be completely honest with yourself about your abilities. This will help you better fit into the type of market you should be in. If you're not honest with yourself (or your clients) about your abilities, you're going down a bad road... one not easily recovered from.

      2) Build a list of high quality prospects

      • This is actual work, but shouldn't take more than an hour or two.
      • If you have a piece of software that collects thousands of random names, you're not doing this right.
      • If you 'pay' for a list without narrowing down what types of businesses you're going after, how many employees they have, their annual income level, whether they have a website or not (ie. your target market).... you're not doing this right.
      • If you collect a list of only email addresses, you're not doing this right.
      • If you're just starting out, a list of 50-100 high quality prospects should be fine. Personally, I like to get my lists from the YellowBook. But that's not the only source - there's also businesses you've heard of before, billboards, online directories, etc... Use your head to collect your list.
      • Your list should have few columns: contact name, business name, telephone number, email, website (yes or no), next contact, and notes.

      3) Have conversations (ie. start selling)

      • Don't listen to anyone who tells you otherwise - the phone is the quickest, easiest, and most effective way to go about this. You're just starting out - it costs nothing but your time. What could be better?
      • Don't sell.
      • Seriously, don't try to sell.
      • Forget all the sales threads on here, forget searching online for 'how to cold call,' forget reading books on sales for right now.
      • THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO IS CALL EACH BUSINESS AND SEE IF THEY HAVE A NEED FOR YOUR SERVICE. This is called sorting, or qualifying your prospects. Don't ram your offer down their throats. Don't beg them to buy. Don't give them a million reasons why what you're offering is the best thing since sliced bread. Simply call each business on your list and ask if they 1) have a website & 2) if that website is consistently sending them business.
      • Most will answer YES to the first question. Most will say, "A little bit here and there" to the second. If they say YES to both, ask if they would like to get more. That's it.
      • If there's a need for what you have, set up a meeting. In person is better.
      • Call each prospect as many times as necessary until you get a firm NO.

      I'm not going to go into detail about how you should set the meeting or what you should say once you're there. Honestly, there's too many variables and you need to figure that out on your own. What I will say is this... there's virtually nothing you can do for your (soon to be) business that will yield better results than the above process.

      Sure, there's meetup groups and direct mail and loads of other things you can do to get clients. Some of those other things might even be BETTER than the above process.

      But for right now - you're just starting out. This process will help you understand your market, how they talk, and what they want to hear. This process will take you from zero action to a working plan.

      And amidst all of that learning, you're gonna make sales.

      Hope this helps someone.
      Follow this, seriously. This is how I and most people here I assume got started. This is all you need, and a headset.

      I will make one minor point on prospecting sorting, there is a step which comes before and is what makes the prospect give you an honest answer to how their website/marketing is working out for them.

      It's raising their curiosity, and truly answers their WIFM question they'll be asking throughout the call.

      Instead of saying we can increase your leads and sales blah blah advantage this that, which is what they hear 99% of the time. Think about what are your best kept secrets and make them curious by mentioning the benefits without describing the feature itself.

      This will create the open loop of tension that will sustain their attention throughout the call. You want them to ask 'What is it?' Only once you've done this can you say your opening lines are effective.

      Because you don't know what you don't know.

      It's very simple and obvious, but it's an effective way for the prospect to OPEN UP because they now see the value in talking with you.

      Let me show you some examples of using curiosity:

      Did you know that Mercury tooth fillings or root canals are dangerous for your health and responsible for many diseases and health issues?

      Or that Emu oil (especially Golden Emu Oil) is the best anti-ageing skin moisturiser in the world, and is much more effective than the most expensive over the counter products sold?

      (Both examples are true btw)

      Note that I haven't explained HOW Mercury is bad for your teeth or health or WHY Golden Emu Oil is the best anti-ageing skin moisturiser. I've only spoken about threats, or benefits. Now you're probably tempted to Google my claims to find out because you are curious enough to find out why.

      This is called creating the need, and without it you will run into many people that COULD BE very interested prospects if you had made them aware of what your products can do for them, and in a way that doesn't show your hand completely.

      You want them to give you permission to ask them a few questions, qualify and THEN you can truly sort them for a further discussion or the junk heap.

      Most will lie to get you off the phone because you aren't engaging their curiosity enough from the very start. Generically promising more sales and leads isn't going to cut it; these are clichés, not benefits.
      Signature

      I have no idea what I'm doing.

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      • Profile picture of the author kemdev
        Originally Posted by Matthew North View Post

        Most will lie to get you off the phone because you aren't engaging their curiosity enough from the very start. Generically promising more sales and leads isn't going to cut it; these are clichés, not benefits.
        This is incredibly true and somewhat advanced.

        Saying, "I can bring you more leads and sales, is that what you want?" isn't the same as saying, "Most consumers using smart phones to search for local services need help right now, but they can't find your number online. Do you want these easy-sells calling you or your competitors?"

        Both have the same end-result: more sales. But example two raises curiosity (why can't they find me? how can I fix this?), whereas example one generally leads to skepticism.
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        • Profile picture of the author shockwave
          Originally Posted by kemdev View Post

          This is incredibly true and somewhat advanced.

          Saying, "I can bring you more leads and sales, is that what you want?" isn't the same as saying, "Most consumers using smart phones to search for local services need help right now, but they can't find your number online. Do you want these easy-sells calling you or your competitors?"

          Both have the same end-result: more sales. But example two raises curiosity (why can't they find me? how can I fix this?), whereas example one generally leads to skepticism.
          ....LOL! just hope nobody asks you to tell them exactly how many people are looking for their services on a smart phone vs. how many are looking for their services on a desktop!
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          • Profile picture of the author mojo1
            Originally Posted by shockwave View Post

            ....LOL! just hope nobody asks you to tell them exactly how many people are looking for their services on a smart phone vs. how many are looking for their services on a desktop!
            If you have an actual lead gen site in their particular industry that's ranking well in the serps AND a FREE Statcounter.com account, you can generate Browser reports which breaks down the percentage and type of devices including mobile devices (will even tell the smartphone types w/percentages for: iphone, android,chrome, iemobile, docomo,etc.) that have visited your website.

            Again, the aforementioned sales rebuttal will work nicely if you have a lead gen site that's getting leads/opt-ins and you're looking to rent or sell.
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            • Profile picture of the author shockwave
              Originally Posted by mojo1 View Post

              If you have an actual lead gen site in their particular industry that's ranking well in the serps AND a FREE Statcounter.com account, you can generate Browser reports which breaks down the percentage and type of devices including mobile devices (will even tell the smartphone types w/percentages for: iphone, android,chrome, iemobile, docomo,etc.) that have visited your website.

              Again, the aforementioned sales rebuttal will work nicely if you have a lead gen site that's getting leads/opt-ins and you're looking to rent or sell.
              Good point Mojo, I think you can do that with Analytics too - assuming you already have a site.

              My point was really just a sarcastic jab at that damn Keyword Planner tool - which has taken away our capability to actually show someone how many searches something is getting on a desktop vs. mobile.
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    • Profile picture of the author madhanraj
      Originally Posted by kemdev View Post

      Mr. George,

      You're going to get A LOT of different responses to this question. Sadly, most of the information is going to come from e-book peddlers and Warriors who think they know everything, but still have yet to sell anything substantial.

      Me? I have nothing to sell, and I do this full time. Here's my advice...

      1) Define a target market

      • You're probably going to skip over this and say - "My target market is anyone who wants a website!" No, no, no, no, no. You're target market will depend on the type (ie. quality) of service you're selling and how you plan to go about selling. For instance, my target market is small businesses (contractors, used car dealers, galleries, etc...) who want to make more money from their website than what they pay me. This includes those without sites, and those whose sites are not profitable.
      • My target market has no problem spending $1,000+ for a single website. Why? Because my target market doesn't want things done cheap, they want things done right. They pay me my figure because I'm good, and I offer things no one else in my area does.
      • Ask yourself, "How good am I?" If you can't put together a website that looks great, converts, and draws people to it... your prices are going to be on the cheaper side, and rightfully so.
      • Everyone will tell you that you need to charge more for your services. Literally, everyone here. But there's this little thing called value. Big value = big prices. Little value = little prices. So be completely honest with yourself about your abilities. This will help you better fit into the type of market you should be in. If you're not honest with yourself (or your clients) about your abilities, you're going down a bad road... one not easily recovered from.

      2) Build a list of high quality prospects

      • This is actual work, but shouldn't take more than an hour or two.
      • If you have a piece of software that collects thousands of random names, you're not doing this right.
      • If you 'pay' for a list without narrowing down what types of businesses you're going after, how many employees they have, their annual income level, whether they have a website or not (ie. your target market).... you're not doing this right.
      • If you collect a list of only email addresses, you're not doing this right.
      • If you're just starting out, a list of 50-100 high quality prospects should be fine. Personally, I like to get my lists from the YellowBook. But that's not the only source - there's also businesses you've heard of before, billboards, online directories, etc... Use your head to collect your list.
      • Your list should have few columns: contact name, business name, telephone number, email, website (yes or no), next contact, and notes.

      3) Have conversations (ie. start selling)

      • Don't listen to anyone who tells you otherwise - the phone is the quickest, easiest, and most effective way to go about this. You're just starting out - it costs nothing but your time. What could be better?
      • Don't sell.
      • Seriously, don't try to sell.
      • Forget all the sales threads on here, forget searching online for 'how to cold call,' forget reading books on sales for right now.
      • THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO IS CALL EACH BUSINESS AND SEE IF THEY HAVE A NEED FOR YOUR SERVICE. This is called sorting, or qualifying your prospects. Don't ram your offer down their throats. Don't beg them to buy. Don't give them a million reasons why what you're offering is the best thing since sliced bread. Simply call each business on your list and ask if they 1) have a website & 2) if that website is consistently sending them business.
      • Most will answer YES to the first question. Most will say, "A little bit here and there" to the second. If they say YES to both, ask if they would like to get more. That's it.
      • If there's a need for what you have, set up a meeting. In person is better.
      • Call each prospect as many times as necessary until you get a firm NO.

      I'm not going to go into detail about how you should set the meeting or what you should say once you're there. Honestly, there's too many variables and you need to figure that out on your own. What I will say is this... there's virtually nothing you can do for your (soon to be) business that will yield better results than the above process.

      Sure, there's meetup groups and direct mail and loads of other things you can do to get clients. Some of those other things might even be BETTER than the above process.

      But for right now - you're just starting out. This process will help you understand your market, how they talk, and what they want to hear. This process will take you from zero action to a working plan.

      And amidst all of that learning, you're gonna make sales.

      Hope this helps someone.
      Great advice
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    • Profile picture of the author 0oo0
      One call close everything
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8863314].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Thomas Michal
      Originally Posted by kemdev View Post

      • Simply call each business on your list and ask if they 1) have a website & 2) if that website is consistently sending them business.
      Again, a waste of time.

      You should only be calling people with out websites or really s#!t sites... one quick jump to yp.com can give piles of businesses that don't have a "website" link.

      Look I just saved you like hours of meaningless calls - your welcome.

      there are also databases you can get access to that show this data plus other variables like yellowpage ad spend etc...
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      • Profile picture of the author kemdev
        Originally Posted by Thomas Michal View Post

        Again, a waste of time.

        You should only be calling people with out websites or really s#!t sites... one quick jump to yp.com can give piles of businesses that don't have a "website" link.

        Look I just saved you like hours of meaningless calls - your welcome.

        there are also databases you can get access to that show this data plus other variables like yellowpage ad spend etc...
        When I first started trying to sell websites over the phone, I was a nervous wreck. And I quickly realized that bombarding prospects with features and benefits wasn't going to hack it like I thought it was. It wasn't until I started caring more about the prospect (rather than the product) that I began seeing real increases in my sales and appointments. If you already know how to sell - obviously you should sell. But the "not-selling" comment was directed to newbies.

        Secondly - a lot (ie. most) of my work comes from businesses with bad websites and businesses whose websites aren't producing leads. This is actually a really big market in the web design niche. "Hours of meaningless calls" going after this market? You must not be in this business.
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  • Profile picture of the author shawnlebrun
    Originally Posted by AlexGeorge View Post

    I want to start selling my web design and seo services. Is there still an opportunity for money to be made selling these kinds of services to local businesses?
    Much Love
    Honestly... there will ALWAYS be opportunity for money to be made, in this niche and any niche.

    Opportunities are endless... you just have to make sure you do things in a certain way so that you succeed.

    For example, believing in your worth. Knowing you have something valuable to offer. Being willing to help others first, before expecting anything in return.

    But when you really think about it... a lot of the biggest money makers are simply improvements on an existing product/niche.

    so yes, you CAN make money in this niche... but whether you will is totally up to you, and doing things right.

    Like I tell clients, when they ask me if they can make money in a certain niche... I always say "I don't know."

    Because the truth is, you can make money in almost any niche... but you HAVE to get the marketing down right.

    IF indeed you have a good product and service that actually HELPS someone... then it's simply a matter of relaying that value to others.

    That's where your marketing comes in.

    You gotta get leads and eyeballs to see your stuff... but then you have to convince them that you're the right person for the job.

    That is all about positioning, your USP, showing how you're worth the investment, your past results, etc...

    Just remember, clients pay for results... so if you can show results, and prove that what you have can help someone... then "yes", you can make money.

    BUT.... if you do things "ho-hum" and don't learn how to really stand out and separate yourself from the pack... then you won't make as much as you want.

    Two web designers can start out on the same day... and 2 months later... one could be broke, without clients... and the other prospering and raking the money in.

    Same niche, same product/service... it's all about your positioning, getting leads, and doing a few other important things in a certain way.

    There's no shortage of opportunities... but my advice is... go with one that you enjoy and have passion for... and make sure it's one where people are currently buying in, and then your main goal is to get leads and prove you're the best.
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  • Profile picture of the author Thomas Michal
    Originally Posted by kemdev View Post

    • Don't sell.
    • Seriously, don't try to sell.
    Only do this if you feel like wasting time not making money.

    If you get someone talking and interested there is no better time to make an offer because you have them listening and interested

    (there is never a good time to buy anything, and they'll never know more about your product than they do at that moment)

    So when they say

    "I need to think about it..."

    all you need to say is...

    "Great, you sound like me, making sure you know everything before putting your hard earned cash in to something and luckily you're still on the phone with me and I can answer any questions for you what else would you like to know....").

    Buyers motivation wears off quickly, the moment you get off the phone with them they'll buy a website from the next guy who can close a deal.

    Some people just can't hack it in sales.

    Choose your own path, but I'd be skeptical of someone telling me not to sell.

    (I get what they're trying to say but those are the guys that lose deals to people like me because they can't close)

    We call them order takers.

    That's like telling a hunter not to kill the deer when they see it just let them know your out there hunting... it makes no sense.

    If you need sales help PM me.
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  • Profile picture of the author focusedlife
    @kemdev - AMEN!

    His words sound like those of an experienced offline marketer.

    I know I'm late to the party, but I can second his emotion without a doubt from my own experiences.

    About all I might add is to consider compiling your list of best referral and endorsement partners.

    An example I'll give:

    When I was first getting started I got a lot of dog trainers as clients (how cliche is that?).

    One time I solicited a local PPC advertiser, who regularly advertised his dog training business.

    Long story short...he gave me an ear, but his intrigue and desire for my service was to help him with his passion business....training other dog trainers.

    This guy was producing my best clients...

    In exchange for marketing help he referred me quite a few deals and even a franchise account that had franchising in 9 states...all of their marketing were to go through me (sweet payday).

    So from then on, I recognized the power and importance of helping and securing the endorsements of those that can send you your best targeted clients.

    Form alliances, ask for referrals...and be persistent.

    Hope that was helpful.

    Regards

    Los
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