I'm mad and I'm not going to take it anymore....

26 replies
So, I'm semi-retired now. I only do work on occasion for direct referrals of long term clients with a minimum monthly fee of $1,500. (I sold my entire business 4 months ago).

I had a client that was a new business that was referred to me from a past customer. I didn't really want to take them(I hate working on new websites) so I quoted an outrageous price to them, $2k a month. They took it without blinking. And we're talking this is a ridiculously low competition phrase to rank. They signed a nine month agreement. The problem is this is one of those PITA clients, they only want you to answer the phone on Saturdays and Sundays. Most of my weekends are spent in Disney or at football games, spending time with the fam. So, anyway they "fired" me. Stopped answering any types of communications. Meanwhile I had them ranked in the top 10 for a bunch of their phrases which of course they owe me money for.

So this is what I did, I found 6 of their top competitors. Ones that were advertising on Yelp and Adwords and I sent them a package, fedex overnight, $33 a piece. Here is the front page letter I sent them:

Excuse my French, but quite honestly I'm pissed off.

My name is Marcos, I'm just a normal guy that happens to do SEO on the side. I did work recently for blankety blank. Check out the results I attached to this letter. To put it in plain English, I took their site from nowhere on Google to almost every search phrase being on the first page of Google, and just a few more months of work and they would have been golden. For instance if you search for blanky-blank-blank they are the top of the page (blankblank.com). Rather than honor their contract, they chose to stiff me. They owe me over $12,000. As they are refusing to answer phone calls, texts or emails chances are I'm not going to get paid.

Let me put it simply, I want to work for you as close to free as I've ever done because quite frankly I'm angry and pissed off. I do great work, I've been doing this for over ten years and if you want good help in this area it takes a lot of expertise and a lot of careful work, but I provide results as you can see on the printouts I provided. Sadly blank from blankster-blank chose not to deal with me honestly, they instead chose to try to steal my work. If I'm going to be out $12,000 then the least I can do is help his competitors so that he gets no value out of the work I did for him that I will not be paid for.

What I charged him almost $18,000 to do, I think I can do for you in about 3 months at the cost of $1,400, and I'm not even sure that will cover my costs. I'm basically working for free here, but as I'm sure you know when you get good and angry you'll work twice as hard to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Give me a call, I'm not much of a sales guy. Let's figure out a way so we both can win. (999) 999-9999

Thanks,

Marcos
I then attached 3 screenshots showing them what the first page of google looked like, and how I basically had a 1 box on two searches dominating the first page, and the other business had only been open 30 days. I put a post-it note on the first screenshot saying:
I'm angry. This is a lot of work I've done for free. Call Me 999-999-9999
I marked up the screenshots with pen. It's not fancied up or photoshopped. I then sent them the reports from Serpfox where we went from nowhere to #1, #3, #11, etc.

I overnighted them on Tuesday to the top 6 of his competitors. Total cost roughly $200 or so. 3 of them called me on Wednesday. I called the others on Thursday. I talked to all of the business owners but 1. I got 4 of them to sign up, and 3 of them asked for additional services. Total checks, $14,000. Total of all contracts closer to $25k or so. We're redoing some websites, one of them has 5 locations so we're doing work on each location, etc. I happen to know this field very well, as I have had over 20 clients in this field over the years. Most of my clients businesses are in the $2-5MM gross per year, so it's bigger than your average plumber.


That's an interesting bit of psychology. A lot of successful people when you really get to know them have a lot of drive from FU's/revenge/"I'll show them" motivations. I guess this letter appealed to them, even if it was a little "angry".

Now the only problem is I have work I have to do(or rather contract out), and I'm supposed to be retired, man the wife is going to be angry.

Just thought you all could enjoy a Friday afternoon pick-me-up. Get ticked off, and get more customers.
#$25k #anymore #mad #made #ticked
  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    Originally Posted by MRomeo09 View Post

    That's an interesting bit of psychology. A lot of successful people when you really get to know them have a lot of drive from FU's/revenge/"I'll show them" motivations. I guess this letter appealed to them, even if it was a little "angry".

    .
    I wonder if you realizes the phenomenal impulse you tapped into. These other guys probably hate your former client. And you tapped into that as a strong justification to give you money.

    I almost wish a client wouldn't pay me, so I can try it out.

    Thanks so much for posting this. Very valuable example, I think.
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    • Profile picture of the author MRomeo09
      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      I wonder if you realizes the phenomenal impulse you tapped into. These other guys probably hate your former client. And you tapped into that as a strong justification to give you money.

      I almost wish a client wouldn't pay me, so I can try it out.

      Thanks so much for posting this. Very valuable example, I think.
      Yeah, I kinda wrote it fast and furious when I was very honestly angry. I'm not as angry today. Who knows if I tried it cold if it would even work... perhaps.

      I've always told people, that you'd be surprised how many successful business people are motivated by wanting to put their competitors into the ground, rather than the politically correct "I do it because I love it" crap. I know that their competitors were pretty ticked off by this new guy coming into town and kicking the crap out of their 20 year old businesses before they even opened up. One of their competitors was quite literally on the same block, and they were the first to call. And they spent about an hour talking about how sneaky and bad these "others" were, and how they would do anything to put them out of business. They liked that they were joining me in the big ol- FU party.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    That's a great story. What a great way to screw up a retirement. lol.
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  • Profile picture of the author aharrold
    Yeah, that's what I call the ultimate alpha move right there- I like it!
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  • Profile picture of the author shockwave
    Originally Posted by MRomeo09 View Post

    I overnighted them on Tuesday to the top 6 of his competitors. Total cost roughly $200 or so. 3 of them called me on Wednesday. I called the others on Thursday. I talked to all of the business owners but 1. I got 4 of them to sign up, and 3 of them asked for additional services. Total checks, $14,000. Total of all contracts closer to $25k or so. We're redoing some websites, one of them has 5 locations so we're doing work on each location, etc.
    Nice move. But now that you have 4 more plumbers in the same city, isn't that a bit of a conflict of interest?

    Aside from the additional services 3 of them requested, don't all of them want you to do what you did for the guy that screwed you over to begin with right?
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Let us know the results...this may work with prospects who understand SEO already and aren't afraid you'll do the same thing to them.

    I know you had a reputation here long before I arrived, so it will be very interesting to see how this works out.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    This worked because due to your anger you let yourself be real and honest. Perhaps a bit negative at least IMO but otherwise perfect.

    Hopefully you and others will take a lesson here. You sell far more when you stop "selling" and start being real.

    Sales is not nearly as complicated as people make it out to be. Selling is Simple The hard part is learning to master its simplicity and the subtle variations within the process. People forget that hard does not have to mean complicated.
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  • I remember Tom Hopkins saying many high achievers are simply trying to prove somebody wrong. That revenge is a powerful motivation, and those high achievers could go even higher the day they free themselves of it.
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    • Profile picture of the author MRomeo09
      Originally Posted by shockwave View Post

      Nice move. But now that you have 4 more plumbers in the same city, isn't that a bit of a conflict of interest?

      Aside from the additional services 3 of them requested, don't all of them want you to do what you did for the guy that screwed you over to begin with right?
      Not really, my interest and their interest if for them to be on the first page, and for "our" enemy to not. They get that I normally charge around $20k for these types of services, and now I'm doing it for a little over a thousand bucks. Do you think they expect exclusive service? I tell them straight out it won't be. However, it's a big city with lots of "burroughs", I did sell them on exclusives outside of the area- which is why 4x1400 < $25k

      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

      Let us know the results...this may work with prospects who understand SEO already and aren't afraid you'll do the same thing to them.

      I know you had a reputation here long before I arrived, so it will be very interesting to see how this works out.
      Should work, I've dominated entire first pages before. Not sure why it wouldn't work in this case. But of course anything is possible. In this particular niche it really shouldn't be very difficult at all.

      Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

      This worked because due to your anger you let yourself be real and honest. Perhaps a bit negative at least IMO but otherwise perfect.

      Hopefully you and others will take a lesson here. You sell far more when you stop "selling" and start being real.

      Sales is not nearly as complicated as people make it out to be. Selling is Simple The hard part is learning to master its simplicity and the subtle variations within the process. People forget that hard does not have to mean complicated.
      Yeah, I definitely let the anger get a hold of me. I'm a professional. I've been doing this a long time, it's difficult to deal with customers who cut all lines of communication. In truth, they probably only owed me around $2k all in all. The rest of the work I hadn't done yet. But they just couldn't see the benefit of my experience in trying to help them.

      We could analyze this thing to death. The reality is I'm a pretty good sales person. I'm quite good at building rapport. What this letter did and my subsequent approaches is put me on their side of the desk. Anytime you can do that you're going to be a lot more effective. I closed 66% of my contacts, that's obviously insane. But I also know the marketplace. I know their psychology. I know that if you get on their side of the desk against the enemy that you're halfway home.

      Most of the time when it's so hard to sell to people. You're on one side of the desk, and they are on the other side of the desk. You're both trying to convince the other side of the desk that your side is better. He's trying to tell you he doesn't need you, can't afford you, doesn't really understand what you're doing, etc. You're trying to convince him that he needs you, he can't NOT afford you, and he'll be better off with what you provide than not doing anything.

      What I effectively did is put myself on his side of the desk. How dare that jerk come in here and steal from me(my $12k), steal from you(he's taking your business). Let's team up and between us, let's kick this guys rump back to Romania or wherever he came from. The sales conversation is way different on his side of the desk.

      Make sense?
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      We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up ... discovering we have the strength to stare it down. - Eleanor Roosevelt

      Your opinion of yourself becomes your reality. If you have all these doubts, then no one will believe in you and everything will go wrong. If you think the opposite, the opposite will happen. It’s that simple.-Curtis Jackson- 50 Cent
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by MRomeo09 View Post

        Do you think they expect exclusive service? I tell them straight out it won't be. However, it's a big city with lots of "burroughs", I did sell them on exclusives outside of the area- which is why 4x1400 < $25k
        I was wondering how you handled that too. Nicely done.

        Yeah, if I run into a second client in the same business in the same city, I optimize for a suburb, or series of suburbs. Everyone knows what's happening.

        I even call the first client and explain what I'm doing. If it's a smaller city, I've turned down 2 clients because I knew I'd trample on the first client's results.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Lee
    They immediately saw the value in what you offered, and franky I'm sure they liked your honesty. On top of that a chance to crush their competitor at the same time. I love it. But even this circumstance I don't know if I could do it personally. What if it gets back to that client, and they decide to go on a reputation killer rampage? Whether what they say is true or not, it's going to show up in the serps and I don't know if it's worth the risk. Either way, you got bigger balls than I lol. Congrats on turning that situation around.
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  • Profile picture of the author lunarninja
    Very cleaver what to bring in a deal.

    -Lunar Ninja

    Not agreeing with your anger but just the interesting way it worked.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheCG
    Hmmmmmmmmmm....trying to figure out someway to get a client to screw me over next week....
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  • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
    Just make it up - "One of your competitors (I'm not going to say who) stiffed me on my payment and violated our contract - I want revenge."

    Almost the same effect. Might work just as well?
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  • Profile picture of the author xichabodx
    It's reasons like this I only SEO MY sites/pages...not those owned by other people. As you know, Marcos, it's much easier to replace those highly-ranked spots with your new clients vs. having to compete with your previous efforts.

    Good luck shoving them off page 1!
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    • Profile picture of the author MRomeo09
      Originally Posted by xichabodx View Post

      It's reasons like this I only SEO MY sites/pages...not those owned by other people. As you know, Marcos, it's much easier to replace those highly-ranked spots with your new clients vs. having to compete with your previous efforts.

      Good luck shoving them off page 1!
      When I sold my company, we had to value things completely different. The contracts I had for consulting(SEO, PPC, "internet marketing") were worth a heck of a lot less than what I got for sites I owned that I did lead-gen/site rentals.

      I solved the retirement issue. Just sold off all of my contracts to the new owner of my biz. I got $7,500. And now I'm done with the whole deal, and can go back to my hammock. Happy wife, happy life.

      Marcos
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      We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up ... discovering we have the strength to stare it down. - Eleanor Roosevelt

      Your opinion of yourself becomes your reality. If you have all these doubts, then no one will believe in you and everything will go wrong. If you think the opposite, the opposite will happen. It’s that simple.-Curtis Jackson- 50 Cent
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  • Profile picture of the author jpmt
    Can I hire you?
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    I think that anger is a strong motivator and because you made the other people see a common "enemy" they chose to take advantage of that and you now have more money but you also have work to do. Well I am sure you'll be able to use the extra cash and if it's only short term and manageable, then your wife won't mind. Buy her something nice.
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  • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
    Great story.

    I think the most important part of your copy was that you gave your prospects
    a "reason why". A reason you should give them such a great deal.

    That's vital if you're offering a highly valuable service or product at
    a discounted price because if you just offer a discount without a
    reason why their first thought will be "what's wrong with it?"


    Kindest regards,
    Andrew Cavanagh
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  • Profile picture of the author bluecoyotemedia
    This is a classic!!!! thank you for sharing this.
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    If you don't mind me asking, how are those other plumbers assured that you're actually the guy who made those results happen?
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    • Profile picture of the author MRomeo09
      Originally Posted by misterme View Post

      If you don't mind me asking, how are those other plumbers assured that you're actually the guy who made those results happen?
      I've found that Fedex brings with it a certain assumption that there are cheaper ways to deliver a pile of bullshit.


      Half of the businesses were aware of the new location(as I said one business shared the same physical address), and they were aware that they went from a business that didn't even exist to prominence online.

      My mailing looked like a letter I wrote directly from me to you. It didn't look mass produced. It looked like someone(a very pissed off someone), took it and marked it up and wrote notes all over it. It was a jumbled mess, that was almost designed to ignite their curiosity.

      Most of my conversations were about 20 minutes long, they were very curious about the new business, who they were and what their plans were, etc. Much of it was rapport building, and value creation. I never got the question "how do I know you actually did that?"
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      We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up ... discovering we have the strength to stare it down. - Eleanor Roosevelt

      Your opinion of yourself becomes your reality. If you have all these doubts, then no one will believe in you and everything will go wrong. If you think the opposite, the opposite will happen. It’s that simple.-Curtis Jackson- 50 Cent
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      • Profile picture of the author aross
        Wow! Makes me think twice... I recently fired my seo guy, he was a freelancer I hired on freelancer.com so I don't know if that was a bad idea from the start... Anyway I only let him go because he kept getting too personal, ie. wanted an advance because of some muslim holiday thing going on in his village. I don't make excuses for not paying on time, not even my employees ask for advances so needless to say he lost all credibility with me. Now I hope he doesnt go and perform close to free services with my competitors... "crossing fingers".

        On the other hand, I would have done the same thing you did. I get calls from my customers over the weekend, they keep calling Saturday then Sunday, I get a bad feeling about those immediately! I back off and send a "we do not have the resources to take care of you" letter as soon as I can. I know big business people would hate me for picking and choosing my customers but I am like you, I want family and fun time on the weekends! I dont care if I loose money from it...
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      • Profile picture of the author tigerbait
        Initial Post:

        Originally Posted by MRomeo09 View Post


        I overnighted them on Tuesday to the top 6 of his competitors. Total cost roughly $200 or so. 3 of them called me on Wednesday. I called the others on Thursday. I talked to all of the business owners but 1. I got 4 of them to sign up, and 3 of them asked for additional services.


        That's an interesting bit of psychology. A lot of successful people when you really get to know them have a lot of drive from FU's/revenge/"I'll show them" motivations. I guess this letter appealed to them, even if it was a little "angry".

        Now the only problem is I have work I have to do(or rather contract out), and I'm supposed to be retired, man the wife is going to be angry.

        Just thought you all could enjoy a Friday afternoon pick-me-up. Get ticked off, and get more customers.
        last post:

        Originally Posted by MRomeo09 View Post

        I've found that Fedex brings with it a certain assumption that there are cheaper ways to deliver a pile of bullshit.

        Of course my mailing actually didn't work. Not a single person called, I had to break through the gatekeepers at each location to talk to the decision maker.

        Not trying to nit-pick here, but did 3 of the businesses really call you the next day? Or....?
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  • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
    The pitch is not desperate not needing their business, an attractive approach for clients. however, I don't think you need to do the steep discount. Just tellem you were stiffed at your regular price and you are extra motivated to build competitors business. I think most would still go for it.
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  • Profile picture of the author focusedlife
    Damn! That's just an awesome story even if one were to make it up.

    Perfect way to get other clients if you do work up front...simply tell them it was for blankity-blank.

    Thanks for the share and I believe its true...nature/the universe works in mysterious ways.

    Regards

    Los
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