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HOT TOPIC Can't seem to sell our social media services

DougRMR

New Contributor
Apr 19, 2019
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Hope you guys are doing well.

I'm stressed out. It's been about three months since I started our social media management agency (where I live this stuff still hasn't even begun to poke its head. In other words, we could easily stand out on that niche). However, I'm running into a lot of trouble. That trouble can be summarized in one sentence:

We can't get the close.

This can be broken down into three parts:

1. Pricing Complaints: Despite the fact that what we're doing is basically a full time job, especially considering we're also creating all of their ads and content and offering weekly analytics. I know the customer is always right and we've tried to set lower prices but still, our leads flake.

2. No Portfolio/Experience: This one is the most frustrating one because it's a Catch-22. Without experience we can't get hired, but if we don't get hired we won't ever get experience.

3. Ignorance on the Subject: Our leads just apparently don't seem to grasp how much social media can change their business. This one is 100% on us. We have never tried to sell anything to anyone ever. We're just babies in terms of the sales world, so on the positive side, our reunions with potential clients have been a HUGE wake up call. People just don't care about statistics or numbers, they care about getting their problems solved... Yet, we just can't convey it in a way that the customer thoroughly understands and gets excited by it.


I seriously don't know what to do. We've gotten leads by cold calling establishments or just by the fact that they're family or friends, but we do these for free. I've been thinking of doing a side hustle (we've done some wedding videos before, so we could start doing that again) and learn more about social media marketing through that venue, while still making a decent amount of cash.

If anyone needs more details on our sales pitch and how our client reunions go, I'd be more than happy to write them. I just don't know what to do other than keep doing trial and error with our leads. Thanks in advance.
 

Digamma

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Your problem is that you can't sell, as you yourself say.

1. Pricing Complaints: Despite the fact that what we're doing is basically a full time job, especially considering we're also creating all of their ads and content and offering weekly analytics. I know the customer is always right and we've tried to set lower prices but still, our leads flake.
3. Ignorance on the Subject: Our leads just apparently don't seem to grasp how much social media can change their business. This one is 100% on us. We have never tried to sell anything to anyone ever. We're just babies in terms of the sales world, so on the positive side, our reunions with potential clients have been a HUGE wake up call. People just don't care about statistics or numbers, they care about getting their problems solved... Yet, we just can't convey it in a way that the customer thoroughly understands and gets excited by it.
How are they supposed to pay the price you ask if they don't understand the value of what you sell?

Why on Earth are you lowering your price?

2. No Portfolio/Experience: This one is the most frustrating one because it's a Catch-22. Without experience we can't get hired, but if we don't get hired we won't ever get experience.
This isn't a real issue.

It's an objection that just means they are not sold on your service.

If you know your problem is sales... go fix it.


That said, there is also the possibility that your offer sucks instead.

What are your market and your offer?

Are you sure you are offering your service to people who actually need it?

Are you sure you are asking a price they can afford?
 

steelandchrome

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Why not create the end product for a few mid level customers and give it to them for FREE and show them how to use it. Tell them that this is just an example of what you can do for them and it is your FREE gift to them to keep and use with no strings attached. Then tell them that you are so confident that they will love your offer that if they agree to sign whatever your agreement is within 14 days or 30 days or whatever you see fit that you will give them a free month of service for every 3 months paid upfront. Get them to be your experience and portfolio for FREE and then you can use them to sell to higher level clients that you have done work for companies X, Y, and Z and are excited to work with you as well.

Do not ask them if they would like to get the free service, just deliver it to them!

Also, if they are telling you that you are not solving a pain point then why would they pay you? What pain points do they have? Have you asked them straight out "What is the biggest problem your social media faces today?" or "If your social media could be doing one thing for you that it is currently not, what would that be?" Take that info and assume others are having that same problem and go solve it. If you don't know how to solve it then this probably isn't something you are ready to be charging money for at this time.
 

RazorCut

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Change your model. If you can't get them to sign for a service because you cannot show them a portfolio or demonstrate your experience then sell them on something then cannot ignore.

Lets face it all businesses want is more custom. That is their problem and if you want to win them over you have to solve it for them in a way they feel in control and comfortable about. They don't care about the medium, they just won't want to spend their hard earned money on something they feel is a risk. However give them a sure thing where they cannot lose and it becomes a no brainer for them.

Remember, for a successful business transaction to take place both parties need to feel they have benefited.

So.....

Create the leads themselves and sell them those. You can then continue with that arrangement or, by demonstrating your ability to do the job they were sceptical over, it will be easier to sell them on a more traditional footing as you are now a known and trusted party that brings value to their business.
 

Primeperiwinkle

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Oh man you just hit a button I didn’t realize I had..

I’ve literally been in over thirty groups FULL TO THE BRIM of marketing, SEO, fb ppl since November. NOT ONE of them speaks the language of a small business owner. It’s effing sad really because if I find someone I like I tell everybody I freaking know. They complain to their peers, they complain about their bottom line, they complain about clients.. all without ever really explaining what they do right.

I’ve found a total of six ppl who I know without a shadow of a doubt can deliver, four of whom are actually cool.. but none of them have EVER actually presented what they do to me in a way that made *me* want to buy.. and I buy anything. I love throwing money at crap. It’s sad. I just can’t wrap my head around spending that much money.. I just can’t.

My point is they just. don’t. care. enough to even attempt to work with poor little pathetic business owner me. *roll eyes here

They’re so convinced that what they do is a no-brainer that they’re condescending instead of helpful, prideful instead of caring, neglectful when they could be insistent and they back down when they could be pursuing. They don’t want to learn my language, my needs, my goals, my life. Most ppl don’t. They assume that they understand my business issues but they don’t.

No one is focused on the GREY AREA of small businesses. We’re too much hassle. We need business education. We don’t understand scale. We don’t run things efficiently... and on and on and on.

If you are in fact offering a service that could revolutionize someone’s business (which is what every freaking marketing person says)... you need to get off your high horse and get down to their level. Find out what they’re afraid of and help!

Just FYI, I’m preaching to myself here too. My business can change ppl’s lives but if they don’t believe or come find me I’m kinda like “okay dude, have a nice life!” So.. most of what I just wrote I need to apply to myself first. Like I said, you just hit a button.

Q: What is it that you ACTUALLY do for a small business?
A: You make their phone ring!

Q: Do they ACTUALLY need you?
A: ???????

Of course they do! But they don’t know it!

Marketers treat this relationship like dating. “Oh I’m so HAWT and that sexy lil business should luuuuuv me, I’ll go try to get her number!”

Seriously. It’s pathetic.

In your case it’s like a virgin hunting to get laid. Sad. So sad. Lol.

But that’s ALL wrong.

Stop thinking of it like dating and start thinking of it like HELPING sick ppl who have no clue what healing could be like. Help people more!

Seriously dude, I cannot comprehend what my life would look like if my phone was ringing off the hook. But god forbid I admit this on a forum full of successful business owners.... ugh! I’m gonna write a thread about this.

I would LOVE to hand over digital marketing to somebody else. I would LOVE to hand over web design to someone I could trust.. but from what I can tell? They only care about themselves! Or they SUCK.

Preach more. Preach better. Explain more. Explain better. Be enthusiastic. Care more.

Go meet them where they’re at.
 

RazorCut

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OP
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DougRMR

New Contributor
Apr 19, 2019
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14
Oh man you just hit a button I didn’t realize I had..

I’ve literally been in over thirty groups FULL TO THE BRIM of marketing, SEO, fb ppl since November. NOT ONE of them speaks the language of a small business owner. It’s effing sad really because if I find someone I like I tell everybody I freaking know. They complain to their peers, they complain about their bottom line, they complain about clients.. all without ever really explaining what they do right.

I’ve found a total of six ppl who I know without a shadow of a doubt can deliver, four of whom are actually cool.. but none of them have EVER actually presented what they do to me in a way that made *me* want to buy.. and I buy anything. I love throwing money at crap. It’s sad. I just can’t wrap my head around spending that much money.. I just can’t.

My point is they just. don’t. care. enough to even attempt to work with poor little pathetic business owner me. *roll eyes here

They’re so convinced that what they do is a no-brainer that they’re condescending instead of helpful, prideful instead of caring, neglectful when they could be insistent and they back down when they could be pursuing. They don’t want to learn my language, my needs, my goals, my life. Most ppl don’t. They assume that they understand my business issues but they don’t.

No one is focused on the GREY AREA of small businesses. We’re too much hassle. We need business education. We don’t understand scale. We don’t run things efficiently... and on and on and on.

If you are in fact offering a service that could revolutionize someone’s business (which is what every freaking marketing person says)... you need to get off your high horse and get down to their level. Find out what they’re afraid of and help!
This is the whole reason why I wrote my post, though. I just can't seem to "get down on their level". Remember, I've never done sales in my life and imo it's much more harder than doing the marketing job itself.

My question to you, then, is how exactly do I explain it "down to your level" without being condescending? I try relating as much as I can to the customers but I'm obviously doing something wrong, or else we'd have a much better track record.

I would love with all my heart to help a small business, but I first need to get through their doors. Sometimes they seem downright enthusiastic but when we follow up, they just ghost us.
 

Spikeroo

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Aug 17, 2011
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I'll start with your experience problem. I'd run a special or even offer someone a free 2 weeks worth of service. It gets you experience, and shows that small business owner what you have to offer and the value it can bring.

Second, I quote Diagamma, "How are they supposed to pay the price you ask if they don't understand the value of what you sell?" Offer a free 2 weeks service, ( you'll just have to bite the bullet ) and closely monitor the amount of income you generate from your service. You have to see it from a consumer perspective. Ask yourself, is hiring this company going to make me enough money to keep them around? How much is it really going to make me in the long run.

By offering a free service you have 3 ways of benefit. 1 that company is more prone to use you in the future if your services are worth it, 2 you have a frame of reference on how much revenue you can make a business using your service, and 3, you get the experience/review which is vital to a starting company.
 

Primeperiwinkle

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This is the whole reason why I wrote my post, though. I just can't seem to "get down on their level". Remember, I've never done sales in my life and imo it's much more harder than doing the marketing job itself.

My question to you, then, is how exactly do I explain it "down to your level" without being condescending? I try relating as much as I can to the customers but I'm obviously doing something wrong, or else we'd have a much better track record.

I would love with all my heart to help a small business, but I first need to get through their doors. Sometimes they seem downright enthusiastic but when we follow up, they just ghost us.
Ok. I have a business. If I add 20 ppl a week I could add another seven thousand a month in revenue. Surely a fb marketer could help me. What’s your solution?

You’re gonna say to hire you. Yay. I might before this convo is done. Lol.

INSTEAD. Tell me a story. Most small business owners are desperate for more time. We don’t want to be crazy busy because we are already stretched thin, but we want more business.. so you gotta craft a story that engages my heart and my senses. Sell me on a vision of me doing so well I can increase my prices, choose clients I like, have prestige in my community, make an impact, etc.

Fascinate by Sally Hogshead shares seven main reasons people buy. Here’s a quick overview.

Figure out which of those would appeal to me as a business owner. Put me in the future surrounded by it because of YOU.

Not your stupid fb ads, those confuse me.
Not some special I’m gonna hafta offer, that annoys me.
Not by being a better marketer, I don’t wanna.

YOU are gonna do the work.
YOU are gonna solve my problem.

Show me my problem. I think it’s cash. It’s not. It’s that I don’t know how to delegate, focus, or care more about the important things instead of stupid little bs that I worry about that’s obviously not getting me anywhere.

I NEED someone to care about me. Show me that you do. Ask questions. Ask me about my business. Ask me why I’m terrified of spending money.

Figure out that I’m *really* afraid of responsibility.

Feel free to try in this thread. A good rant always clears my mind... lol
 

Sadik

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This is the whole reason why I wrote my post, though. I just can't seem to "get down on their level". Remember, I've never done sales in my life and imo it's much more harder than doing the marketing job itself.

My question to you, then, is how exactly do I explain it "down to your level" without being condescending? I try relating as much as I can to the customers but I'm obviously doing something wrong, or else we'd have a much better track record.

I would love with all my heart to help a small business, but I first need to get through their doors. Sometimes they seem downright enthusiastic but when we follow up, they just ghost us.
Hey Doug, It would help the posters here trying to help you if you gave an example. Tell us the last business you pitched to. What was their business? What did you pitch to them? What was their response?
 

broswoodwork

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What @Primeperiwinkle and @Sadik said. I'm dying to know what you can do for us, and how much it costs, myself? If nothing else, it'll be good practice for presenting "yes, i must have this" value.
 

Tourmaline

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This is the whole reason why I wrote my post, though. I just can't seem to "get down on their level". Remember, I've never done sales in my life and imo it's much more harder than doing the marketing job itself.

My question to you, then, is how exactly do I explain it "down to your level" without being condescending? I try relating as much as I can to the customers but I'm obviously doing something wrong, or else we'd have a much better track record.

I would love with all my heart to help a small business, but I first need to get through their doors. Sometimes they seem downright enthusiastic but when we follow up, they just ghost us.
This is called 'The Curse of Knowledge'. I forget where I learned about this term, but a quick search brought up stuff like this:

In essence, you need to work on your empathy and really understanding your customer's viewpoint so you can get out of your head and speak to them through their eyes!
 

Paul David

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You can offer performance based services. Although only ever do that for a product that’s been validated.

That’s if you’re doing e-commerce and not lead ads for services.
 

Mr992

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Nov 29, 2016
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What's your outreach method?

How many cold calls did you make? How many cold emails did you send? Is your script good enough? Are your emails even getting to their inbox or finishing up in the spam? Did you reach out to everybody you know to get started? Did you try to partner up with established agencies so they give you experience/portfolio and you give them clients?

It looks like you just have no idea what you're doing. So, of course, you are failing. Be a better entrepreneur and do your homework.
 

Brian Fleig

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Feb 19, 2018
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I take issue with something you said. You said you have no sales experience? You never sold anything in your life? Wrong. You have sold probably every day of your life. You sell yourself to other people virtually every day but you do it subconsciously. You do it not by sounding sincere and enthusiastic but by Being sincere and enthusiastic.
It makes no difference what product you are selling people are buying YOU. Make sure your "pitch" is your own words not something canned that a copy writer came up with. People don't respond to what you say they respond to how you make them feel.

That's been my experience, your mileage may vary.
 
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OP
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DougRMR

New Contributor
Apr 19, 2019
13
8
14
I'll start with your experience problem. I'd run a special or even offer someone a free 2 weeks worth of service. It gets you experience, and shows that small business owner what you have to offer and the value it can bring.

Second, I quote Diagamma, "How are they supposed to pay the price you ask if they don't understand the value of what you sell?" Offer a free 2 weeks service, ( you'll just have to bite the bullet ) and closely monitor the amount of income you generate from your service. You have to see it from a consumer perspective. Ask yourself, is hiring this company going to make me enough money to keep them around? How much is it really going to make me in the long run.

By offering a free service you have 3 ways of benefit. 1 that company is more prone to use you in the future if your services are worth it, 2 you have a frame of reference on how much revenue you can make a business using your service, and 3, you get the experience/review which is vital to a starting company.
Will definitely do the first few weeks free. Thanks for the feedback
 
OP
OP
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DougRMR

New Contributor
Apr 19, 2019
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I take issue with something you said. You said you have no sales experience? You never sold anything in your life? Wrong. You have sold probably every day of your life. You sell yourself to other people virtually every day but you do it subconsciously. You do it not by sounding sincere and enthusiastic but by Being sincere and enthusiastic.
It makes no difference what product you are selling people are buying YOU. Make sure your "pitch" is your own words not something canned that a copy writer came up with. People don't respond to what you say they respond to how you make them feel.

That's been my experience, your mileage may vary.
Thank you for putting this in perspective. I was going into a sale with a "script" ready, I wasn't being authentic, or at least, not as much as I could be. Thanks for the feedback
 
OP
OP
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DougRMR

New Contributor
Apr 19, 2019
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What's your outreach method?

How many cold calls did you make? How many cold emails did you send? Is your script good enough? Are your emails even getting to their inbox or finishing up in the spam? Did you reach out to everybody you know to get started? Did you try to partner up with established agencies so they give you experience/portfolio and you give them clients?

It looks like you just have no idea what you're doing. So, of course, you are failing. Be a better entrepreneur and do your homework.
Surprise surprise lol of course I'm new. Thanks for the feedback, anyways.
 
OP
OP
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DougRMR

New Contributor
Apr 19, 2019
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Hey Doug, It would help the posters here trying to help you if you gave an example. Tell us the last business you pitched to. What was their business?
For sure. So the last business I pitched to was a food truck. We went to his spot and the owner was busy cooking. He said he was willing to hear us out while he worked. I can't exactly remember what I opened up with, but I'm pretty sure we started with a little bit of conversation, then I went straight to his pain points. Asked him what were the biggest problems he was having with social media and he told me it was that he had no time (which is something other establishments have told us time and time again). He worked about 12 hours a day and his wife (who apparently is part of the business) apparently doesn't understand social media well.

What did you pitch to them?
So I honed in on that. I told him that with a team, he could focus 100% on his product and we would focus 100% on his advertising. Which, in all honesty, would be easy because: a. His business had just started, so the budget would be much lower b. His truck spot was actually very good, near the metro and right in front of a car wash which would be good for lunch breaks and c. He had never done anything in terms of advertising, ever, so anything would have been an improvement. I told him all of the above.

He seemed very enthusiastic and was very fascinated by the concept of targeted ads. We had our statement of work with us and we gave it to him. He told us he'd check with his wife and all seemed good.

Fast forward about five days later and I made a follow up call. Asked him if he had looked it over and what were his thoughts. The first thing he told me was the pricing. He told me he wanted nothing more but to do it and that he was checking with his wife on how they could budget the cost. We charged $1000 for two months, and while on the call I offered him we would cut down the price to $700, and left him with that. Again, he told me he would check with his wife.

So I was planning on doing one last follow up call and this time if he still wasn't bought in, I'd offer a free two or three weeks and then he'd get to decide if he got any value from it. That was the last sales pitch itself.

It's worthy to note, that the constant answers I get from business owners on their problems are almost always time and price. The time saving part is a pain point we can hone in, easily. In terms of price, however, I feel like we could convey our services in a better way so that they don't feel it's a risky investment.

So that's the general breakdown. We're going to have a reunion tomorrow with a yoga club owner and I'm planning on giving them a free gift as a way for them to think it over. Let's see how that goes
 

CareCPA

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[...]

It's worthy to note, that the constant answers I get from business owners on their problems are almost always time and price. The time saving part is a pain point we can hone in, easily. In terms of price, however, I feel like we could convey our services in a better way so that they don't feel it's a risky investment.

So that's the general breakdown. We're going to have a reunion tomorrow with a yoga club owner and I'm planning on giving them a free gift as a way for them to think it over. Let's see how that goes
This will always be your challenge. As a business owner, there are a lot of scummy marketers out there. If you tell me it's going to take 3 or 4 months to see results, and I need to pay you for those 3 or 4 months on blind faith, you need to convince me that I'm going to get results.
If you're charging this food truck $500 a month, how much more does he need to sell? Not only to pay for your services, but to make the extra work worthwhile? Does he even want to sell that much more?

There is a constant struggle in marketing - you guys want everyone on a retainer, and business owners only want to pay for results. If you can figure this out, the rest becomes easy.
 
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DougRMR

New Contributor
Apr 19, 2019
13
8
14
What's your outreach method?

How many cold calls did you make? How many cold emails did you send? Is your script good enough? Are your emails even getting to their inbox or finishing up in the spam? Did you reach out to everybody you know to get started? Did you try to partner up with established agencies so they give you experience/portfolio and you give them clients?

It looks like you just have no idea what you're doing. So, of course, you are failing. Be a better entrepreneur and do your homework.
We're still focusing on cold calls while we're working on our website, which will obviously have a sales funnel. So right now, no cold emails, I'd much rather get the owner on the phone and let them vibe it out.

In terms of reaching out to EVERYONE I know, no. I still have lots of friends I haven't checked up on to see if they have a business. I have talked to a lot of the ones who do, though, but they are flat broke, so we offered our services for free. Most of these friends went full ghost, however, and as of now, I don't even know if they still have their business running.

I haven't tried to partner up with established SMAs, though I've tried contacting them, just to see what I find. Like I mentioned in my original post, where I live SMAs are almost non-existant (I've looked them up and find close to nothing and the ones that I do find, seem to be unreachable) So no success. Buuut I have definitely tried to partner up with startups so that we get mutual benefit from our services.

That's about it
 
OP
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DougRMR

New Contributor
Apr 19, 2019
13
8
14
This will always be your challenge. As a business owner, there are a lot of scummy marketers out there. If you tell me it's going to take 3 or 4 months to see results, and I need to pay you for those 3 or 4 months on blind faith, you need to convince me that I'm going to get results.
If you're charging this food truck $500 a month, how much more does he need to sell? Not only to pay for your services, but to make the extra work worthwhile? Does he even want to sell that much more?

There is a constant struggle in marketing - you guys want everyone on a retainer, and business owners only want to pay for results. If you can figure this out, the rest becomes easy.
Again, thank you for this insight. I hadn't really thought of it from the perspective of how much he makes in his food truck work. Goes to show how much I have to learn in getting into the business owner's head.
 

welshmin

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Oh man you just hit a button I didn’t realize I had..

I’ve literally been in over thirty groups FULL TO THE BRIM of marketing, SEO, fb ppl since November. NOT ONE of them speaks the language of a small business owner. It’s effing sad really because if I find someone I like I tell everybody I freaking know. They complain to their peers, they complain about their bottom line, they complain about clients.. all without ever really explaining what they do right.

I’ve found a total of six ppl who I know without a shadow of a doubt can deliver, four of whom are actually cool.. but none of them have EVER actually presented what they do to me in a way that made *me* want to buy.. and I buy anything. I love throwing money at crap. It’s sad. I just can’t wrap my head around spending that much money.. I just can’t.

My point is they just. don’t. care. enough to even attempt to work with poor little pathetic business owner me. *roll eyes here

They’re so convinced that what they do is a no-brainer that they’re condescending instead of helpful, prideful instead of caring, neglectful when they could be insistent and they back down when they could be pursuing. They don’t want to learn my language, my needs, my goals, my life. Most ppl don’t. They assume that they understand my business issues but they don’t.

No one is focused on the GREY AREA of small businesses. We’re too much hassle. We need business education. We don’t understand scale. We don’t run things efficiently... and on and on and on.

If you are in fact offering a service that could revolutionize someone’s business (which is what every freaking marketing person says)... you need to get off your high horse and get down to their level. Find out what they’re afraid of and help!

Just FYI, I’m preaching to myself here too. My business can change ppl’s lives but if they don’t believe or come find me I’m kinda like “okay dude, have a nice life!” So.. most of what I just wrote I need to apply to myself first. Like I said, you just hit a button.

Q: What is it that you ACTUALLY do for a small business?
A: You make their phone ring!

Q: Do they ACTUALLY need you?
A: ???????

Of course they do! But they don’t know it!

Marketers treat this relationship like dating. “Oh I’m so HAWT and that sexy lil business should luuuuuv me, I’ll go try to get her number!”

Seriously. It’s pathetic.

In your case it’s like a virgin hunting to get laid. Sad. So sad. Lol.

But that’s ALL wrong.

Stop thinking of it like dating and start thinking of it like HELPING sick ppl who have no clue what healing could be like. Help people more!

Seriously dude, I cannot comprehend what my life would look like if my phone was ringing off the hook. But god forbid I admit this on a forum full of successful business owners.... ugh! I’m gonna write a thread about this.

I would LOVE to hand over digital marketing to somebody else. I would LOVE to hand over web design to someone I could trust.. but from what I can tell? They only care about themselves! Or they SUCK.

Preach more. Preach better. Explain more. Explain better. Be enthusiastic. Care more.

Go meet them where they’re at.
Ditto.

Here's the big takeaway - "Stop thinking of it like dating and start thinking of it like HELPING sick ppl who have no clue what healing could be like. Help people more!"

Diagnose their problem.

Maybe start by surveying your target market, offer to pay them for them filling in a quick survey if you have to. Like 5 questions max. You might find yourself pivoting or changing your message entirely.
 

welshmin

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Feb 4, 2016
138
262
171
27
Brisbane, Australia
For sure. So the last business I pitched to was a food truck. We went to his spot and the owner was busy cooking. He said he was willing to hear us out while he worked. I can't exactly remember what I opened up with, but I'm pretty sure we started with a little bit of conversation, then I went straight to his pain points. Asked him what were the biggest problems he was having with social media and he told me it was that he had no time (which is something other establishments have told us time and time again). He worked about 12 hours a day and his wife (who apparently is part of the business) apparently doesn't understand social media well.



So I honed in on that. I told him that with a team, he could focus 100% on his product and we would focus 100% on his advertising. Which, in all honesty, would be easy because: a. His business had just started, so the budget would be much lower b. His truck spot was actually very good, near the metro and right in front of a car wash which would be good for lunch breaks and c. He had never done anything in terms of advertising, ever, so anything would have been an improvement. I told him all of the above.

He seemed very enthusiastic and was very fascinated by the concept of targeted ads. We had our statement of work with us and we gave it to him. He told us he'd check with his wife and all seemed good.

Fast forward about five days later and I made a follow up call. Asked him if he had looked it over and what were his thoughts. The first thing he told me was the pricing. He told me he wanted nothing more but to do it and that he was checking with his wife on how they could budget the cost. We charged $1000 for two months, and while on the call I offered him we would cut down the price to $700, and left him with that. Again, he told me he would check with his wife.

So I was planning on doing one last follow up call and this time if he still wasn't bought in, I'd offer a free two or three weeks and then he'd get to decide if he got any value from it. That was the last sales pitch itself.

It's worthy to note, that the constant answers I get from business owners on their problems are almost always time and price. The time saving part is a pain point we can hone in, easily. In terms of price, however, I feel like we could convey our services in a better way so that they don't feel it's a risky investment.

So that's the general breakdown. We're going to have a reunion tomorrow with a yoga club owner and I'm planning on giving them a free gift as a way for them to think it over. Let's see how that goes
Something that might work if you are looking to discount, start with the higher pitch (if you are sure it will have a positive ROI for them).

For example, my PPC agency we start at $2k per month and a $2k setup fee. If the potential client objects to the price, say you'll be able to discount it (in my case, $1500 per month and we'll halve the setup fee) but only if we can make a decision within the next 24 hours.

After 24 hours that discounted price is gone.

This gives them a chance to look at their finances, to speak it over with partners, wives, accountants, etc.

Point is, start high because once in a while you will get that big sale. And for the rest, you are basically just discounting to the price you wanted anyway.


Do you have any case studies? If it's Social Media have you done some free work and gotten results already?
 

Jon L

Platinum Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Aug 22, 2015
1,033
2,552
671
Bellevue, WA
I read about half this thread. There's a lot of good advice here. Most of its focused on sales itself, which is good.

Your entire problem is your lack of skill in sales. Its not the fact that you don't have a portfolio. Its not that clients don't need or want your service, or that you're too expensive, etc etc etc. Its that you can't sell.

Sales is a skill that you can learn. It takes a lot of effort, true courage, grit, determination, belief in yourself, and a whole host of other things. But, you can learn it.

Most people think that sales primarily involves telling people about your product or service and asking them to buy. Like Prime Periwinkle said, that kind of sales rep turns her off. No one wants to hear how great you are. Instead, selling is about listening and meeting the genuine needs of your prospects.

Consider this imaginary conversation:

Hey George, this is Jon from xyz company. I was calling because I run a company that helps businesses like yours bring in more customers. We do it in a way where you can directly tie dollars spent to dollars earned from new and existing customers. Can I ask you a few questions about your business to see if we can help you?

I have just about 5 minutes and then I have to run out the door, but sure.

I've taken a look through your website and have an idea of the kinds of products you sell. From the way things look, your average customer probably spend about $50 per order, is that about right?

Its about $60, but that's pretty close.

I'm also guessing that at least half of your orders are from new customers.

Yeah that's about right. And its a bit frustrating. If we would get more repeat business, we'd be doing a lot better.

(Here's where you shut the hell up and let George talk)

Oh? Tell me more about that.

(Follow George down this rabbit hole. Let him talk for a bit and then say)

I just want to be conscious of your time. You said you needed to leave in about 5 minutes. Are you good for a few more minutes, or should we continue this some other time?

Yeah I really should get going. I have a dentist appointment to get to.

Ok, George, thank you very much for your time. Briefly, I do social media marketing, and I help draw existing customers back by engaging them where they're at (yada yada yada). I still have a few more questions for you before I can tell you exactly how I can help you, but I've been able to double the repeat business of clients with business similar to yours. Would this Thursday at this same time work for you?

That would be great.

...

See the difference? And, notice that I didn't say ANYTHING about how we can bring in new customers. I focused my discussion on what George was frustrated about. Later, I would ask if George also wanted new customers. He might, or he might not. He may have enough new customers.
 

welshmin

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Feb 4, 2016
138
262
171
27
Brisbane, Australia
I read about half this thread. There's a lot of good advice here. Most of its focused on sales itself, which is good.

Your entire problem is your lack of skill in sales. Its not the fact that you don't have a portfolio. Its not that clients don't need or want your service, or that you're too expensive, etc etc etc. Its that you can't sell.

Sales is a skill that you can learn. It takes a lot of effort, true courage, grit, determination, belief in yourself, and a whole host of other things. But, you can learn it.

Most people think that sales primarily involves telling people about your product or service and asking them to buy. Like Prime Periwinkle said, that kind of sales rep turns her off. No one wants to hear how great you are. Instead, selling is about listening and meeting the genuine needs of your prospects.

Consider this imaginary conversation:

Hey George, this is Jon from xyz company. I was calling because I run a company that helps businesses like yours bring in more customers. We do it in a way where you can directly tie dollars spent to dollars earned from new and existing customers. Can I ask you a few questions about your business to see if we can help you?

I have just about 5 minutes and then I have to run out the door, but sure.

I've taken a look through your website and have an idea of the kinds of products you sell. From the way things look, your average customer probably spend about $50 per order, is that about right?

Its about $60, but that's pretty close.

I'm also guessing that at least half of your orders are from new customers.

Yeah that's about right. And its a bit frustrating. If we would get more repeat business, we'd be doing a lot better.

(Here's where you shut the hell up and let George talk)

Oh? Tell me more about that.

(Follow George down this rabbit hole. Let him talk for a bit and then say)

I just want to be conscious of your time. You said you needed to leave in about 5 minutes. Are you good for a few more minutes, or should we continue this some other time?

Yeah I really should get going. I have a dentist appointment to get to.

Ok, George, thank you very much for your time. Briefly, I do social media marketing, and I help draw existing customers back by engaging them where they're at (yada yada yada). I still have a few more questions for you before I can tell you exactly how I can help you, but I've been able to double the repeat business of clients with business similar to yours. Would this Thursday at this same time work for you?

That would be great.

...

See the difference? And, notice that I didn't say ANYTHING about how we can bring in new customers. I focused my discussion on what George was frustrated about. Later, I would ask if George also wanted new customers. He might, or he might not. He may have enough new customers.
Solid!

Sounds like the most hated sales trainer in the UK haha
 
OP
OP
D

DougRMR

New Contributor
Apr 19, 2019
13
8
14
Do you have any case studies? If it's Social Media have you done some free work and gotten results already?
That's the problem, man. We have close to none. It's one of the reasons why I'm thinking of opening up another social media with a side hustle so we can gain some experience from it. But the little experience we've had is now lost to us because one of the business owners we worked with is not even working on their business anymore and one just straight up ghosted us before he even got off the ground. So we're technically at ground zero in terms of a portfolio.

However, we feel confident that the little stuff we did do showed improvement. It wasn't a sky-high ROI mind you, but immediately after doing some tweaks with our first "client", she immediately started seeing results, though, again, she sort off fell off the wagon.

And yes, we start with a high-ticket price and then knock it down a notch. However, since we're a fairly new company, we don't feel it's right to charge too much until we get solid results and a good portfolio.
 
OP
OP
D

DougRMR

New Contributor
Apr 19, 2019
13
8
14
I read about half this thread. There's a lot of good advice here. Most of its focused on sales itself, which is good.

Your entire problem is your lack of skill in sales. Its not the fact that you don't have a portfolio. Its not that clients don't need or want your service, or that you're too expensive, etc etc etc. Its that you can't sell.

Sales is a skill that you can learn. It takes a lot of effort, true courage, grit, determination, belief in yourself, and a whole host of other things. But, you can learn it.

Most people think that sales primarily involves telling people about your product or service and asking them to buy. Like Prime Periwinkle said, that kind of sales rep turns her off. No one wants to hear how great you are. Instead, selling is about listening and meeting the genuine needs of your prospects.

Consider this imaginary conversation:

Hey George, this is Jon from xyz company. I was calling because I run a company that helps businesses like yours bring in more customers. We do it in a way where you can directly tie dollars spent to dollars earned from new and existing customers. Can I ask you a few questions about your business to see if we can help you?

I have just about 5 minutes and then I have to run out the door, but sure.

I've taken a look through your website and have an idea of the kinds of products you sell. From the way things look, your average customer probably spend about $50 per order, is that about right?

Its about $60, but that's pretty close.

I'm also guessing that at least half of your orders are from new customers.

Yeah that's about right. And its a bit frustrating. If we would get more repeat business, we'd be doing a lot better.

(Here's where you shut the hell up and let George talk)

Oh? Tell me more about that.

(Follow George down this rabbit hole. Let him talk for a bit and then say)

I just want to be conscious of your time. You said you needed to leave in about 5 minutes. Are you good for a few more minutes, or should we continue this some other time?

Yeah I really should get going. I have a dentist appointment to get to.

Ok, George, thank you very much for your time. Briefly, I do social media marketing, and I help draw existing customers back by engaging them where they're at (yada yada yada). I still have a few more questions for you before I can tell you exactly how I can help you, but I've been able to double the repeat business of clients with business similar to yours. Would this Thursday at this same time work for you?

That would be great.

...

See the difference? And, notice that I didn't say ANYTHING about how we can bring in new customers. I focused my discussion on what George was frustrated about. Later, I would ask if George also wanted new customers. He might, or he might not. He may have enough new customers.
Thank you, man! This was extremely helpful.

Do you have any tips on what I can do on a first meeting with a client? Should I, say, move it towards the close or just let the customer vent or maybe even end the meeting with a free offer (maybe a social media checkup of some sort) ?
 
OP
OP
D

DougRMR

New Contributor
Apr 19, 2019
13
8
14
I have another question. If the customer asks for the pricing on the first meeting, should I be straight up and tell them the price? Or should I do something before that to soften the blow?
 

Jon L

Platinum Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Aug 22, 2015
1,033
2,552
671
Bellevue, WA
I have another question. If the customer asks for the pricing on the first meeting, should I be straight up and tell them the price? Or should I do something before that to soften the blow?
Price. For what? I do custom software. When they ask for a price, I tell them that I need more information. Then I tell them that I've done systems for anywhere between $500 and $400,000. Are you looking for a used Pinto, or a new Ferrari?

For you, you could use a similar tactic. When you get into asking them more questions, that is where you can shine. As you ask them questions, you can drop little (tiny) clues that you really understand them, their business and their needs.

You could also say that 'on average, I charge about xx percent of the new profit I bring into a business.' 'I don't price it that way, but thats what it works itself out to.'

Really, though, you can't give pricing until you really know what they need.
 

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