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LaneMan

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I just started working full time on my web development business and I don't have much money to spend on PPC, so I decided to go visit small businesses at their location and try to sell websites that way.

The problem I can't figure out how to get past gatekeepers or how to get the owner's attention if he's too busy. All I'm looking for is a phone number so that I can schedule an appointment.

I've never sold anything before because I'm an introvert and I've been a rat in the 9-5 race my whole life.

Appreciate any help.
 

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sparechange

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You may be able to look up peoples numbers on LinkedIn, or send out some emails. Or try finding out the names of people and tell the gatekeeper you are here to see ___ Act super confident and stern, dropping their name might help a bit.
 
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LaneMan

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You may be able to look up peoples numbers on LinkedIn, or send out some emails. Or try finding out the names of people and tell the gatekeeper you are here to see ___ Act super confident and stern, dropping their name might help a bit.
Great idea, I'll do that.

One problem is, the businesses I'm target often have zero online presence, not even on social media. I think I'll go and approach some of them to try and learn something
 

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I just started working full time on my web development business and I don't have much money to spend on PPC, so I decided to go visit small businesses at their location and try to sell websites that way.

The problem I can't figure out how to get past gatekeepers or how to get the owner's attention if he's too busy. All I'm looking for is a phone number so that I can schedule an appointment.

I've never sold anything before because I'm an introvert and I've been a rat in the 9-5 race my whole life.

Appreciate any help.
What about going on local workshops to learn something other businesses want to learn? (Make sure you go there to learn, not to pitch.)

Also, who already has your customers? Can you talk to them and create a win-win where they refer you to their clients?

Stuff in here might help:
> HOT TOPIC - Andy's Inbound/Sales Braindump
 
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LaneMan

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What about going on local workshops to learn something other businesses want to learn? (Make sure you go there to learn, not to pitch.)

Also, who already has your customers? Can you talk to them and create a win-win where they refer you to their clients?

Stuff in here might help:
> HOT TOPIC - Andy's Inbound/Sales Braindump
I've been looking for workshops and meetups for a while now and will start attending them now that I have some spare time.

Thanks for the resources Andy. I really like your YT channel as well, learned a lot about adwords.
 

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Thanks for the resources Andy. I really like your YT channel as well, learned a lot about adwords.
Oh cool. Glad they helped. I’ll create a couple of new channels soon. One dedicated to Google Ads, and one for my ramblings about sales and marketing and business.
 

kleine2

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@LaneMan One way to do this that I've seen before is to find websites that have problems or really don't look good on the internet and then reach out and offer them a few tips on what they can improve and then offer your services.
Another way could be to find those offline businesses that don't have a website and then call them and tell them that you noticed that they don't have a website and explain how customers are looking for them online and now a days it's pretty affordable to put together a nice professional website and you are happy to help them if they would like to have a professional website.
 

alexkuzmov

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I just started working full time on my web development business and I don't have much money to spend on PPC, so I decided to go visit small businesses at their location and try to sell websites that way.

The problem I can't figure out how to get past gatekeepers or how to get the owner's attention if he's too busy. All I'm looking for is a phone number so that I can schedule an appointment.

I've never sold anything before because I'm an introvert and I've been a rat in the 9-5 race my whole life.

Appreciate any help.
What do you mean by web development business?
Can you share a bit more about your services?
That would help us provide better advice.
 
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LaneMan

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Oh cool. Glad they helped. I’ll create a couple of new channels soon. One dedicated to Google Ads, and one for my ramblings about sales and marketing and business.
Could use more Google Ads tutorials because they keep changing the interface. For example, the new smart mode is kinda confusing.

@LaneMan One way to do this that I've seen before is to find websites that have problems or really don't look good on the internet and then reach out and offer them a few tips on what they can improve and then offer your services.
Another way could be to find those offline businesses that don't have a website and then call them and tell them that you noticed that they don't have a website and explain how customers are looking for them online and now a days it's pretty affordable to put together a nice professional website and you are happy to help them if they would like to have a professional website.
That's what I was planning to do too.

What do you mean by web development business?
Can you share a bit more about your services?
That would help us provide better advice.
Well it's simple, I build websites and ecommerce apps for small businesses.
 

Andy Black

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Could use more Google Ads tutorials because they keep changing the interface. For example, the new smart mode is kinda confusing.
Don't use Smart Campaigns. Just don't! : )

I'll create more Google Ads videos soon.




I'm NOT knocking cold calling - it works when done right. My preference though is to "Help the people in motion" (Amy Hoy). I believe that "Sales is a screening process" (Blaise Brosnan). I don't want to convince someone to use my services, I want to speak to people who, at the very least, already want the service I provide and are figuring out who they'll engage with. Ideally I want to speak to people who already want to hire me specifically.

Did you listen to this chat I had with @Kak?

Or maybe this chat?



I'm sure @Fox has a load of tips too.
 

alexkuzmov

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Well it's simple, I build websites and ecommerce apps for small businesses.
This might be counterintuitive, but a good place to find clients is your competition, sort of.
Its worth networking with other people which provide similar services as you.

For example, a marketing agency might have requests to build websites, but they either outsource that, defer to other businesses or simply reject clients.
You want to be the one who they defer to.

Just an idea worth looking into, I`ve found a few clients this way.
 

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Odysseus M Jones

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Do some roleplays with family or friends, it really helps to develop your skills.

On a cold call, first thing is get their attention.

What's your proposition, how do they benefit from dealing with you?
Condense that into an opening question.
"What if I could show you how to make a million dollars?"

Legend has it that a successful telesales began with "F-off" & took it from there.
It got their attention.
 

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Zig Ziglar
 

Andy Black

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This might be counterintuitive, but a good place to find clients is your competition, sort of.
Its worth networking with other people which provide similar services as you.

For example, a marketing agency might have requests to build websites, but they either outsource that, defer to other businesses or simply reject clients.
You want to be the one who they defer to.

Just an idea worth looking into, I`ve found a few clients this way.
^^^ This.

"Who already has your clients?" (Jay Abraham)
 

alexkuzmov

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^^^ This.

"Who already has your clients?" (Jay Abraham)
To be honest I was surprised at that, but people are really happy to defer work.
They look good infront of the client and you get paid.

I`m not really a sales guy, so I resort to other methods for finding clients.
 

Walter.LV

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Hey Lane Man! I'm not much of cold caller and didn't see any real results with cold emailing too.

I'm testing an organic marketing strategy on Facebook and Linkedin.

The idea is to create a "profile funnel" - to optimize it for your marketing. Add a relevant bio, your link to your services offer landing page, etc.

The next step is to join relevant groups - small business owners, online marketing for businesses, etc.

Then start engaging in group discussions and add value to the group. Demonstrate that you're an expert and show how you can help. Post relevant posts about common struggles and how to overcome them.

You'll see that people start adding you as a friend and you can also start adding business owners and start building a relationship with these people.

Once you've added the business owners to your friends list, reach out to them. Now this is the tricky part, as you don't want to just blatantly pitch them and try to get on a call. So to be honest, I haven't figured this part out yet (i.e. how to start a conversation that will lead to sales)

Occasionally you'll find people looking for website building services, you can pitch them immediately and get on a call. I've got a few strategy sessions scheduled with this and I find it a bit easier than cold calling and cold emailing.
 

Ma.Gico

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If I was just getting started again, here's how I would go about it.

  1. Find a notable company in a larger industry with a poorly designed website.
  2. Find the decision maker and "try" to get authorization to redo their website... TOTALLY FREE OF CHARGE. If they like it, they can use it.
  3. If you can't find the decision maker, DO IT ANYWAY.
  4. Redesign the website.
  5. Make sure it is your best work, and a clear improvement over the original website.
  6. Email the entire upper management the link of the new website -- reiterate that it is FREE and that you will change anything they want.
  7. Once they see the work and realize it is FREE, they will probably accept it.
  8. Now you have your first client -- giving you the ability to say "We recently redesigned XXX's website." -- giving you social proof with a notable company. Now you can look to start charging. If not, repeat.
  9. The above can be done for APPS as well. (I noticed you didn't have a mobile app?)
  10. At some point, it will become easier and easier to find paid work.
  11. Pick color of Lamborghini. ;)
This may help
 

sparechange

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This may help
Honestly, how many people would actually go through the process of redesigning a website for free?

This is one of the reasons MJ is successful.
 
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LaneMan

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Honestly, how many people would actually go through the process of redesigning a website for free?

This is one of the reasons MJ is successful.
I was lucky enough to have had 2 paying clients when I started but I think I focused on the wrong thing.

I designed good looking websites but I didn't do anything about getting traffic and solving real business problems.
 

Andy Black

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I was lucky enough to have had 2 paying clients when I started but I think I focused on the wrong thing.

I designed good looking websites but I didn't do anything about getting traffic and solving real business problems.
Some businesses just want a good looking website. Something they can be proud of and tell people the URL, maybe via giving out their business card at an exhibition.
 

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Andy Black

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Honestly, how many people would actually go through the process of redesigning a website for free?

This is one of the reasons MJ is successful.
The best part of what MJ suggested? Don’t ask for permission. Just do it and tell them after.

You could spend hours cold calling businesses offering to do them a website for free. You may be surprised at how hard you have to “sell” FREE to people because they won’t trust it.

Or you could pick a likely candidate and JFDI - in the same time it took you to get permission from someone.


I like to think of a sliding scale of perceived value:

1) Pay me to show you how to do it. (Courses and classes for the DIY folks.)

2) Pay me to do it for you. (DFY services.)

3) Pay me to do it with you. (Done With You (DWY) coaching.)

(I think 2 and 3 could be swapped for different businesses. I put DWY after DFY because I like getting people to realise how much their time is worth.)

4) I’m doing it anyway.

5) I’ve done it already. You want it?

I think 4 and 5 are badass.
 

Lyinx

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@LaneMan One way to do this that I've seen before is to find websites that have problems or really don't look good on the internet and then reach out and offer them a few tips on what they can improve and then offer your services.
Another way could be to find those offline businesses that don't have a website and then call them and tell them that you noticed that they don't have a website and explain how customers are looking for them online and now a days it's pretty affordable to put together a nice professional website and you are happy to help them if they would like to have a professional website.
[/QUOTE]
I've gotten 100's of emails and phone calls about "fixing my website" hopefully someone will actually show up at my door, and know what they're talking about, they'll have a job on the spot (maybe, depends how busy we are)
Most people reach out to me, and I never call or email back.
I've reached out to a few people, but they always want to "move me over to their system" which is great for them because then I'm their hostage... but I'm not doing that, I will maintain controls to hosting, DNS, marketplace platform, and other things as needed, because I won't be held hostage!
(notice the pain points?)
 
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LaneMan

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@LaneMan One way to do this that I've seen before is to find websites that have problems or really don't look good on the internet and then reach out and offer them a few tips on what they can improve and then offer your services.
Another way could be to find those offline businesses that don't have a website and then call them and tell them that you noticed that they don't have a website and explain how customers are looking for them online and now a days it's pretty affordable to put together a nice professional website and you are happy to help them if they would like to have a professional website.
I've gotten 100's of emails and phone calls about "fixing my website" hopefully someone will actually show up at my door, and know what they're talking about, they'll have a job on the spot (maybe, depends how busy we are)
Most people reach out to me, and I never call or email back.
I've reached out to a few people, but they always want to "move me over to their system" which is great for them because then I'm their hostage... but I'm not doing that, I will maintain controls to hosting, DNS, marketplace platform, and other things as needed, because I won't be held hostage!
(notice the pain points?)
[/QUOTE]

That's interesting. I actually built a custom system and I take care of hosting, emails, etc because my system is kinda proprietary.

I didn't think that people would see this as a problem.
 

xmartel

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Canada, eh!
I run a decent sized construction business and I get solicitation calls daily from guys like yourself and other small construction business owners trying to get sub work from me.

It's at the point that I don't answer the phone or return their call unless I know the number, and I delete all the emails that come through without response.

Everyone has a generic message about wanting work, or wanting to "have a conversation about my needs.." blah blah.

And speak of the devil, I just got another call from an electrician as I was writing this. He did a piss poor job in his message. He won't be getting a call back.

I know some people are going to think this is rude of me. They took the time to call, so why can't I extend the courtesy of letting them know that I don't have work for them.

But when you get to a certain size, you don't have time to return all these messages. I like being courteous to people, but I can't afford to be wasting time returning calls when I've got a business to run.
And I would also argue that it's not courteous wasting my time doing a crap job trying to get my businesses. If you want me to invest time in a return call, then invest time in reaching out with some value and professionalism.

There's only 2 ways anyone has ever got a message or call back from me.

1. I just happen to really need exactly what they were selling at that moment.

For example, years ago my trim carpenter was no longer available and I got a message that day from a trim carpenter looking for work. He got called back. He did good work. And now he still works for me.

This is based on the pure luck that you call at the exact moment the owner is experiencing a pain that your service solves.

But you can't do a shotgun approach hoping for luck to strike. This leaves option 2 has the best in my experience.

2. Guys have sent me an email, (so that I can process it when I have time instead of an interruption by phone), and the email clearly and succinctly tells me what value they provide and includes a quote with real numbers that I can dive into without needing to reach out to them.

For example, the electrician that just called me should drive by one of my job sites. And without trespassing on my property, evaluate the home from the street and send me a quote for that home with a brief description of the quality work they do and their experience.

For building a website, this would be even easier for someone, as a drive-by of my internet property is quite simple.

Then follow up, as this method isn't guaranteed to work on the first attempt. I'm still a busy guy.

This approach certainly takes more time. But I guarantee it works way better than any other method anyone has ever tried with me.
 

Andy Black

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I run a decent sized construction business and I get solicitation calls daily from guys like yourself and other small construction business owners trying to get sub work from me.

It's at the point that I don't answer the phone or return their call unless I know the number, and I delete all the emails that come through without response.

Everyone has a generic message about wanting work, or wanting to "have a conversation about my needs.." blah blah.

And speak of the devil, I just got another call from an electrician as I was writing this. He did a piss poor job in his message. He won't be getting a call back.

I know some people are going to think this is rude of me. They took the time to call, so why can't I extend the courtesy of letting them know that I don't have work for them.

But when you get to a certain size, you don't have time to return all these messages. I like being courteous to people, but I can't afford to be wasting time returning calls when I've got a business to run.
And I would also argue that it's not courteous wasting my time doing a crap job trying to get my businesses. If you want me to invest time in a return call, then invest time in reaching out with some value and professionalism.

There's only 2 ways anyone has ever got a message or call back from me.

1. I just happen to really need exactly what they were selling at that moment.

For example, years ago my trim carpenter was no longer available and I got a message that day from a trim carpenter looking for work. He got called back. He did good work. And now he still works for me.

This is based on the pure luck that you call at the exact moment the owner is experiencing a pain that your service solves.

But you can't do a shotgun approach hoping for luck to strike. This leaves option 2 has the best in my experience.

2. Guys have sent me an email, (so that I can process it when I have time instead of an interruption by phone), and the email clearly and succinctly tells me what value they provide and includes a quote with real numbers that I can dive into without needing to reach out to them.

For example, the electrician that just called me should drive by one of my job sites. And without trespassing on my property, evaluate the home from the street and send me a quote for that home with a brief description of the quality work they do and their experience.

For building a website, this would be even easier for someone, as a drive-by of my internet property is quite simple.

Then follow up, as this method isn't guaranteed to work on the first attempt. I'm still a busy guy.

This approach certainly takes more time. But I guarantee it works way better than any other method anyone has ever tried with me.
Love this.

And what would you do if they sent you a link to a brand new site they'd built for you offering it to you for free?
 

xmartel

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Canada, eh!
Love this.

And what would you do if they sent you a link to a brand new site they'd built for you offering it to you for free?
I read back through the thread, you must be referring to MJ's idea.

If someone did that to me, and I had a crappy website, I'd jump all over it. That would be massive value that would be hard to pass up.

I'd also be inclined to hire them for additional work, give them a great reference, and help pick out the colour of their lambo provided I get a ride in it...

To the OP, I would also add that don't expect everyone to jump on this even though it seems like a no brainer for the business owner to take. You may have to do this a few times.

Some business owners are blind to how crappy their site is. They may have built it themselves and thinks it's perfectly fine and don't want the hassle of switching to a new one.

Others may see the value, but are scared off by the hassle/complexity of migrating and integrating a new website. To get past this barrier you could offer migration services as an up charge. Or offer this for free as well, especially with the first couple to get your feet wet.

Money isn't the only cost to something. There's also the time and stress cost that people sometimes don't want to pay.
 

Andy Black

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Money isn't the only cost to something. There's also the time and stress cost that people sometimes don't want to pay.
Exactly. Which is why many people don't want to engage with a provider even if they're offering services for free. Not only do they wonder if the service provider will do a good job or flake, but they're also worried about the time and effort required.
 

Lyinx

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hosting, emails, etc because my system is kinda proprietary.

I didn't think that people would see this as a problem.
I would. Your target business may not see it that way.
For me, at the very least, I want to have access to dns servers so that I can turn it away from a website that went rogue if the dev ever went south on me.
Had my last dev die on me, middle aged man, you would never have known.
He had everything on his server, and a lot of things in his name, luckily we things were in my name so I was able to get everything with the help of one of his friends before the server went offline.
Love this.

And what would you do if they sent you a link to a brand new site they'd built for you offering it to you for free?
See above, control is very important to me, for obvious reasons.
 

Odysseus M Jones

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I run a decent sized construction business and I get solicitation calls daily from guys like yourself
Slight thread derail.
At what point will you delegate these tasks?
If your company is decent sized surely you've admin etc that have authorisation & autonomy for small purchases such as websites jobbers etc
Shouldn't a boss work on his business not in his business?
Yes Andy I know you like coal.
 

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