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EXECUTION Deaf and Daft, getting my first sale

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jpanarra

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I have to say thank you,


This is one of the reasons that I frequent this forum.. the people here are genuine and always open to help.


This actually gave me a pretty good boost and got a lot done over the last few hours.


So, Thank you and as always, I will keep pounding away
 

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First off, @jpanarra, you are an inspiration to all of us.

I have mad respect for your attitude towards life.

You worked your a$$ off.

You learned a ton of new skills.

Yet, the results are not as expected.

Are you in for a little thought train?

What if...?

What if you stopped cold-calling?

What if you stopped cold-emailing?

What if you stopped learning more technical skills?

What if you stopped building stuff? (Thread: Stop "Building" Stuff)

What if you just stopped everything you have been doing for a moment? (Thread: Stop)

What if you spent your money on diesel and coffee? (Thread: "Spend your money on diesel and coffee")

What if you just helped people? (“Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you.” - Mother Theresa)

What if you helped your friends/family/personal network with something they struggle with today?

What if you turned the equation around?

What if you went to your potential clients first and asked them what they need?

What if you got paid to learn to help them?

What if you got paid to build a business that helps their businesses?

What if you are good enough ALREADY? (Thread: You already know enough)

What if you walked your OWN pace?

What if...?

I have been struggling and I am still struggling with very similar problems.

I had somebody ask me these and similar "What if"-questions not so long ago and it helped me tremendously.

I hope they help you too.

Although we call it the FASTlane, it takes a hell lot of patience to get THERE.

Try to relax and take a step back.

Give your brain some space to connect the dots.

And hang in there.

I believe in you.

P.S.: Feel free to PM me so we can talk on Skype, if you wish to do so.
 

jpanarra

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Hey all,

Still moving forward.. Just started a new thread about gaining traffic. Its somewhat of a Hybrid between a Case Study/Progress Thread/Notes that I hope will help me and others on here.

Getting Website Traffic (Affiliates and Beyond)

I closed a sale for a website and they said they’re mailing the check today so that’s some money in the bank. Also, my Agency said they have a really hot lead that’s ready to close as well.. so That’s more good news.

I know that I still have tons to learn, looking forward to sharing it with you when I do learn them!


JP
 

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This sucks,



I finally took a good look into my finances because I'm back down to 0 dollars in the bank for my business. I still have that check in the mail from that one sale I made MYSELF but I had to figure out where was I bleeding out. The truth is that I haven't gotten enough sales from my agency so I made the decision to let them go because I need to pay for my accountant which is undeniably more important.



Turns out over the past 2 months I've almost poured 1k into upwork to yield very little results so it was an expensive lesson for me to learn. I've made much better returns when it's my own time invested in the business. I'm reading through Cashvertising all the while taking notes which I might share on here too on how to improve my copy/sales letter to people and am going to try and start from the bottom up.



I do have my affiliate website but its still an infant in terms of traffic and conversions. Knowing better now, I might've had a better turnout if I spent my 1k on google adsense or something rather than upwork.



Not to burn Upwork, but I feel like you really need to have the wheel already turning and a number of Standard Operating procedure that produces results by following the steps. Then you can hand it over to some freelancer on the interent and you'll be able to follow if they actually followed the SOP or not based on the historical results of said SOP. Honestly, I jumped the gun and was not ready for this stage in my business. It was a good experience and I hope I got more out of it over the long run.



This really opened my eyes to a few things so I'm going to go through my bank statements and stuff and see if there's any dangling fat that needs to be trimmed out to improve my fiscal situation.
 

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This sucks,



I finally took a good look into my finances because I'm back down to 0 dollars in the bank for my business. I still have that check in the mail from that one sale I made MYSELF but I had to figure out where was I bleeding out. The truth is that I haven't gotten enough sales from my agency so I made the decision to let them go because I need to pay for my accountant which is undeniably more important.
[...]
Is it undeniably more important? Do you really need an accountant if you aren't bringing in revenue?
Speaking as an accountant, there is very little I can do for you if you aren't bringing in any revenue (I'm obviously not your accountant, so I am using "you" in the generic sense here).
 

jpanarra

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Is it undeniably more important? Do you really need an accountant if you aren't bringing in revenue?
Speaking as an accountant, there is very little I can do for you if you aren't bringing in any revenue (I'm obviously not your accountant, so I am using "you" in the generic sense here).

I already have brought in revenue over the past few months, and i have more money coming in soon. Its the matter of cash flow and current sales status TODAY. I projected to have more money coming in this month than I actually did. The thing with websites its actually low volume sales but high cash reward. I also decided to sign an contract with my accountant for the year so its a large upfront payment as opposed to a monthly thing.
 

CareCPA

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Gotcha. Just playing devil's advocate here.
We often continue doing things the way we have been, without analyzing the necessity of them.
 

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This sucks,

It definitely does.

I have been there myself and it just hurts.

But it is just another bump in the road.

I know you will turn around the situation very soon again.


I jumped the gun and was not ready for this stage in my business.

Great lesson there.

So did I and I am still prone to it.

What will you do differently next time?


if there's any dangling fat that needs to be trimmed out to improve my fiscal situation.

Yep, cut it out.

All unnecessary expenses off the table!

You won't believe how much money goes to waste on things you don't realize.


Keep moving, don't stop!

Take a step back if you have to.
 

jpanarra

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Gotcha. Just playing devil's advocate here.
We often continue doing things the way we have been, without analyzing the necessity of them.

And I thank you for that! It wasn't a easy decision for sure.. but it had to be done.
 

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jpanarra

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......and time. Fast is a relative term here. It's 3 - 10 years vs. 40+.

@jpanarra

Fully aware, that's why I'm sharing everything on here.. I'll admit that I'm down atm..

but I'm far from being out

I know my time will come and I feel like my knowledge and ability to give more has gone up immensely and I intend to continue till the market agrees with me.
 

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The truth is that I haven't gotten enough sales from my agency so I made the decision to let them go because I need to pay for my accountant which is undeniably more important.

Is it undeniably more important? Do you really need an accountant if you aren't bringing in revenue?

I second what @CareCPA said here.

I've spoken often here of the benefits of a good accountant. They can save you money in finding ways to reduce your tax burden, they can save you TONS in opportunity costs, they can save lots of headaches (I'd rather get a root canal than do my own accounting haha, and I consider preserving my mental health to be well worth the cost)

But,

Sales > Accounting...every day of the week.

Is there an actual, quantifiable, bottom-line improving benefit to hiring this accountant?

If yes, hire him/her.

If no, then don't, and account for your income, expenses, and balances yourself. (especially true if you are operating as a sole proprietor)

Just my .02 cents.
 

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How on earth did I miss the post on your FTE?

At any rate, it sound to me like you're making progress, and learning by making mistakes is kinda the name of the game.

Rep +++ for sticktoit-iveness
 

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Its been some time since I've posted on here. I wish I had a major success story to tell you but the reality is that nothing major got accomplished in the past month. However, I've learned a good amount about myself and how being consistent is really a major challenge.

I have been into this for 8 months now and counting, I have 2 clients at the moment but I have not broken the 1k barrier in a single sale just yet.



I'm currently reeling from the repercussions of a procrastination wave, what happened here is that one of my kids got really sick and even had to attend to hospice care for some time. At the time I dropped everything I was doing and focused on my children, and rightly so. The major issue is what happened after my kid recovered and went home and my routine and commitment got thrown under the bus. I wasn’t sending as much emails as I used to, I didn’t call people that didn’t respond. I kept telling myself I'll do it tomorrow.



Now about 2 weeks later, I'm sitting here about to wrap up a few projects with no sales to work on. Instead of being disappointed in myself and questioning why I didn’t do it. I'm starting to recognize that there is a natural cycle of productivity and procrastination. I was wondering maybe others experience the same as I would. What would happen is that I have a major boost in productivity and then it'll diminish and eventually become the opposite and once I'm in a rut

I over criticize myself and that inhibits me from moving on and getting back on the horse.



What needs to change to make myself even more better/more efficient is to build a system of sorts that can help me move through the lower dips of the wave and continue to press on. I'll be working on that this weekend.



Funny thing, you know you see all of those accountability that pop up on here, I never bothered to join one because the most important person that keeps me accountable and moving forward is myself. If I'm not honest with where I'm at, I'll never improve so this is me accepting my mishap and trying to improve myself to be a better entrepreneur.
 

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I'm currently reeling from the repercussions of a procrastination wave, what happened here is that one of my kids got really sick and even had to attend to hospice care for some time. At the time I dropped everything I was doing and focused on my children, and rightly so. The major issue is what happened after my kid recovered and went home and my routine and commitment got thrown under the bus. I wasn’t sending as much emails as I used to, I didn’t call people that didn’t respond. I kept telling myself I'll do it tomorrow.

I hope your kid is ok now, and don't beat up on yourself about the procrastination. You aren't a procrastinator. You're a guy that temporarily procrastinated because he had more important shit going on.

Good to hear from you!
 

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I over criticize myself and that inhibits me from moving on and getting back on the horse.

This is going to sound harsh - it's not meant to. I just recognise similar behaviour in myself. The problem a lot of us have is that we're fearful of change and what could happen if we jump in feet first... so our minds find something to fill the space in time when we could be doing something. In a lot of cases that's exactly what you're talking about. We beat ourselves up so we don't feel strong enough to do anything. Basically, we're the parents who hold their kids back and the friends who find the negatives in everything we want to do because they're intimidated by it and embarrassed they're not doing the same.

You, @jpanarra, are more than enough and I love you for that confession about accountability. I've never been able to really benefit from it because I would lie about what I was doing / manipulate what I'd set as my goals so it looked like progress was happening when there was none.
 

jpanarra

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I hope your kid is ok now, and don't beat up on yourself about the procrastination. You aren't a procrastinator. You're a guy that temporarily procrastinated because he had more important shit going on.

Good to hear from you!

Thanks, I've noticed that I have a tendecy to label myself a procrastinator at the highest degree. I relate to this comic strip... Which is not a good thing in the first place.




However, I am figuring out what works and moving away from that procrastination label. This is me trying to identify that its actually a cycle of ups and downs, I just had a Down moment now I'm working my way up again and will be even better than my last UP Cycle.

This is going to sound harsh - it's not meant to. I just recognise similar behaviour in myself. The problem a lot of us have is that we're fearful of change and what could happen if we jump in feet first... so our minds find something to fill the space in time when we could be doing something. In a lot of cases that's exactly what you're talking about. We beat ourselves up so we don't feel strong enough to do anything. Basically, we're the parents who hold their kids back and the friends who find the negatives in everything we want to do because they're intimidated by it and embarrassed they're not doing the same.

You, @jpanarra, are more than enough and I love you for that confession about accountability. I've never been able to really benefit from it because I would lie about what I was doing / manipulate what I'd set as my goals so it looked like progress was happening when there was none.

Not harsh at all, No bullshit talk is the best type of talk. The funny thing is that its not the fear of jumping in and the change. Because I've already jumped in and had a certian degree of success, what is really stopping me i think is the amount of work that has to go into things and my mind just kinda goes "bleh" as opposed to "f*ck yeah" at the time.
 

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what is really stopping me i think is the amount of work that has to go into things and my mind just kinda goes "bleh" as opposed to "f*ck yeah" at the time.

Which is why everybody and their brother wants to "follow their passion" because it may not get you anywhere, but boy does it feel good.

Remember that the passion will come as you make progress.

Go out and triple the number of clients you have, then try to say your mind goes "bleh"

:)
 

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Hey,


Been some time since I’ve posted on here… Still moving slowly but moving along. I got 3 websites to build at the moment. The interesting thing is that one of those sites, I made the sale via text messaging.


I decided to try a new approach instead of cold calling people, I’ll try and text that number first and see if I get a response or it’s shutdown because it’s a landline. One of them happened to answer and we went back and forth talking about the pros and cons of a website and why he should consider one. That one closed a few days ago.

What has to happen now regarding this is that I’m using my personal number right now and don’t want to get that number everywhere I’m looking into Whatsapp the free textmessaging software that allows me to text via pc and smartphone and see if I can send texts through that. Then I’ll need to come up with a nice short way that’s still polite to reach out and try to get responses.

I believe this might be an appealing approach because people usually get defensive or avoid contact when it comes to emails and phone calls. Where texting is much more conditioned to be a comfortable form of communication. I’lll keep you guys posted on this.
 

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I'm not sure if it's been mentioned yet, but one place you could check for leads is Craigslist. A lot of contractors think about setting up websites and most don't have them. You could go to the service section and send an email with some good copy and an attachment listing income benefits, not to mention reputation in it of what a good website will bring them.

You probably won't get tons of money since they'd typically just need a basic website but it'd be worth the practice and build up your portfolio to higher paying clients.

You could also setup a landing page to capture emails and leave business cards everywhere with the link printed on it, as well as a link in the email you send. The goal is to capture emails of people that may be interested not try to make a sale. One mistake I made previously is trying to make the sale with an ad, the better way to approach it is building a list of interested people and communicate with them via email from time to time. I don't try to sell the first time anymore. Just getting the information is valuable and that way you don't come off as a just another salesperson.

If it's a good fit the purchase will come in time.
 

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Hey all,



I've been doing ok with making sales and trying to make different approaches to close some stuff.



I admit that I'm lacking in the social media department and need to put myself out there more and sharing stuff with the public.



After sometime, I'm starting to consider a change of pace by making websites for myself rather than others. I will not be stopping my current approach because its bringing in some cash but I'm breaking even on a lot of fronts.



Now What I want to try and focus on is e-commerce. I've already read a number of threads from the heavy hitters like @biophase , @Walter Hay and @Ecom man If you're interested in doing e-commerce those guys' threads are where you need to go..Also, I've already subscribed to the storecoach website and read along on others. I



I was thinking maybe I'll set up a friendly competition thread if someone wants to participate and see how well they can do.



I have done e-commerce stores in the past and failed miserably with a dropship approach, but that was because I didn’t understand how POs work and set things up on the website poorly which led to a poor UX experience and crashed and burned.

I built an affiliate website recently now I'll share it on here www.shuffleboardoutlet.com and worked on SEO, Adverts and other digital marketing tactics, after some time I got solid feedback that the website was weird because once you checked out it takes you to amazon and people are thrown off by it and doesn’t really register. Also traffic is relevantly low even if its 3 months into it's life.



I'll start the thread sometime soon and hope to give drop shipping another shot. I'm short on funds so I can't really do Import/Export at the moment. I am way more confident in my marketing abilities and web development/design to make the stores happen and be successful.

I'm not sure if it's been mentioned yet, but one place you could check for leads is Craigslist. A lot of contractors think about setting up websites and most don't have them. You could go to the service section and send an email with some good copy and an attachment listing income benefits, not to mention reputation in it of what a good website will bring them.

I have scouted craigslist and gotten weird replies and things are shady like 90% of the time so I'm avoiding it atm. I do have a decent portfolio of 13 websites under my business so, its the matter of closing bigger and newer clients that's my major challenge at the moment. Appreicate the great advice tho!
 

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Hey all,



Making progress, looking back on my older posts and reflecting on my skills. My web development skills has really improved over the past year working on different software and programming.


I've started the path onto e-commerce some time ago like I mentioned in the last post, but I've been rolling up my sleeves and really diving into the niche research end of things. I haven't settled on one yet, I've been logging them down and writing different ideas.

I usually suffer from impulsive decisions so I'm not going to jump onto the first thing I see that seems promising which was the case with the shuffleboard website and I believe that my mistake there was the price tags of the shuffleboard tables and the small group of people that already have the table already pays attention to amazon.



I have been contacted by a user that is interested in the compeition idea I mentioned, and I offered to start a new thread so we can update our progress and everyone can join in on the fun as well.



I have subscribed to storecoach.com recommended by @Fox a while ago. I will be taking my time doing this stuff and trying to do each 'chapter' per week so I can limit myself and control my pace to make sure I nail things down and do them right.



So right now, I'm focused on the first step, choosing my niche.
 
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jpanarra

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Hey All!



I Know I started a new thread about e-commerce here so I'll keep this short.



I'll still update my freelancing conquests on here regularly. I'm still writing email and gathering leads on a daily basis. Cold Calling every morning, right now I have 3 people's interest and we are writing emails back and forth. Wrapping up one website project at the moment and hopefully will be over before the week's out.

I've raised the bar on my website prices and Its' helped me justify my web design skills. Its all about the grind right now, To be honest, there is nothing exciting about the grind,but its a real thing that happens where you face this thing where your mind wants to go "is it worth it?" and swings back and forth between Yes and No.

I've already past this point because its become integrated in my morning routine to write 3 emails to web prospects and try to call them around lunch time.(perks of being deaf, I can eat and chat on the phone :rofl: )
 

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Website design has picked up,

This is all due to higher volume calling and emailing.. I've been traditionally doing 2-3 emails and calls daily which hasn't given me much success, but in the past week I've upped the ante to about 10-15 daily. i already know i can keep the routine so I can push the volume a bit more. In this week alone, I already pulled in possibly 2 websites for this month and set one for next month.

Hopefully, the cash inflow will help me with my finances and might start tipping the scale to pay for my e-commerce products,

Jason P.
 

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Hey JP here,


Been some time since I posted on here. I know its said over and over again. Working to sell is like running a marathon. I’ve heard over and over again the saying of “business is a marathon” I respectfully disagree, I think it’s harder.

For anyone who has run a marathon. The hardest part isn’t the marathon itself, the marathon is the end and you know it’s going to finish soon and you’ll be able to go home and recover and move on with your life. I would say its much more similar to training for the marathon itself, but the training never ends.

I’ll be honest with you, I’ve been struggling with cold calls. Rejection is not easy especially when you have a 3rd party in the middle of the conversation when you’re trying to sell. I’ve tried several different routes from emailing, to texting but the best return of my time is cold calling companies that have poor websites or even NO websites at all. Back to the analogy of training for a marathon.. Preparing for a cold call reminds me of the moments before I go out for a run. I dread it and I have a small routine before I do it, but once I’m into it I have to push through till I’m done. Then I’ll have to do it again the next day and the next until I find someone suitable to sell for me.

What helped me improve in the past 2 months is the practice of prospecting and preparing before I reach out to people. I look for businesses all over ranging from Facebook to google maps to try and find businesses. Then I rank them from 1-5 from how likely do I think they’ll be interested, this depends on a number of factors from personal experience. Then I set a power hour either at 8am or 9am and I call for an hour straight.

The time block helps immensely. I usually do maybe 10-20 calls a day now because of it. In the past I would tell myself 2-3 then that’s it and back to working on the computer. The truth is, I’ve gotten at least 5x more prospective warm leads just by introducing myself and offering to email them more information.


Two books that I just read that are helping my sales move forward are

Fanatical Prospecting ( about keeping your pipeline full)

And

SPIN Selling (great mind set about sales and how to approach them - thanks to @Fox for this one! Still reading this atm)

Got around to updating my website for the business as well, Arra Development featuring my portfolio with companies and people I trust.

Also, My Wife is getting into her own FL idea and I'm helping her with the product development and marketing plan.
 

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Hey JP here,


Been some time since I posted on here. I know its said over and over again. Working to sell is like running a marathon. I’ve heard over and over again the saying of “business is a marathon” I respectfully disagree, I think it’s harder.

For anyone who has run a marathon. The hardest part isn’t the marathon itself, the marathon is the end and you know it’s going to finish soon and you’ll be able to go home and recover and move on with your life. I would say its much more similar to training for the marathon itself, but the training never ends.

I’ll be honest with you, I’ve been struggling with cold calls. Rejection is not easy especially when you have a 3rd party in the middle of the conversation when you’re trying to sell. I’ve tried several different routes from emailing, to texting but the best return of my time is cold calling companies that have poor websites or even NO websites at all. Back to the analogy of training for a marathon.. Preparing for a cold call reminds me of the moments before I go out for a run. I dread it and I have a small routine before I do it, but once I’m into it I have to push through till I’m done. Then I’ll have to do it again the next day and the next until I find someone suitable to sell for me.

What helped me improve in the past 2 months is the practice of prospecting and preparing before I reach out to people. I look for businesses all over ranging from Facebook to google maps to try and find businesses. Then I rank them from 1-5 from how likely do I think they’ll be interested, this depends on a number of factors from personal experience. Then I set a power hour either at 8am or 9am and I call for an hour straight.

The time block helps immensely. I usually do maybe 10-20 calls a day now because of it. In the past I would tell myself 2-3 then that’s it and back to working on the computer. The truth is, I’ve gotten at least 5x more prospective warm leads just by introducing myself and offering to email them more information.


Two books that I just read that are helping my sales move forward are

Fanatical Prospecting ( about keeping your pipeline full)

And

SPIN Selling (great mind set about sales and how to approach them - thanks to @Fox for this one! Still reading this atm)

Got around to updating my website for the business as well, Arra Development featuring my portfolio with companies and people I trust.

Also, My Wife is getting into her own FL idea and I'm helping her with the product development and marketing plan.


Love the new website.

I highly recommend Smart Calling by Art S. It's at the top of my list for all of my sales books I've read throughout my career
 

jpanarra

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Love the new website.

I highly recommend Smart Calling by Art S. It's at the top of my list for all of my sales books I've read throughout my career
Will pick it up after i finish SPIN
 

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