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I said: "The website is $3000". They said: "Too expensive! I was thinking $500!"

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maxkoss

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Hey guys! Just wanted to share with you my sales meeting conversation that took place yesterday and ask for your opinion.

So, I got referred to a medical office by a fellow doctor I worked with earlier. They were interested in creating a website for their medical office. We arranged an in-person meeting and started the conversation.

I'm using the SPIN selling technique (huge shoutout to Rob O'Rourke for introducing this book in his videos). I'm starting the conversation with situational/informational questions to learn about the business. I learn that the medical office has been working for 12 years and never had a website / Instagram / Facebook. I'm digging deeper and trying to uncover any issues and frustrations they have by operating a business without any web presence.

I discover that they are struggling by the fact that there is no place where they can list all their services and tell about them to their clients. The second thing I uncover is that they are struggling to keep track of the clients and they would love to use an online booking functionality. Also, they would love to attract the right clients who can afford their services. They were listening to me very carefully and I felt like they were understanding the value I was offering.

To keep the long story short I summarize all the things we talked about and say: "Considering this, this and that your website is going to be $3000. Are you comfortable with this price?". They said: "Oh, this is too expensive! We were thinking it's gonna be in a $500 — $1000 range." And then they started to ask why is it so expensive. I explained to them that they can definitely find a website for $500 but it's not gonna be the same website as a $3000 one. I tried to explain again that for this $3000 we are going to build a website that can bring them real results and make their work easier, not just pretty blocks and images. But they insisted that this is too expensive and all I do is moving blocks from one place to another and this is easy to do.

They said that they have to think about it and they will call me in a week. I felt very disappointed by this meeting because at some stage of the conversation I felt like I'm doing well and they trust me and understand the value I bring. And after they said $500 I felt like it's almost impossible to bring it back to $3000.

Do you guys have any advice on how to deal with these scenarios? Does anybody have this kind of conversation with their clients? Maybe you see any mistakes I made during the conversation? Just wanted to hear your opinion!

Thank you!
Max
 

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Kid

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Welcome to the forum Max!

I don't know if you've been around here - if not read Andy Black and Fox posts.
I don't remember exactly but i think it was Andy who said that he
vets clients based on how they see him:as a value vs. as a cost (among other factors).

This client definitely sees you as the cost and he won't be a good fit.
Move on and be grateful that you don't have to work with him.
 

UnderdogStrategy

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It sounds like you did great, thanks for sharing your discovery conversation, it's insightful to see how you found out several needs throughout the talk.

Allow me some questions.

What's the difference between your $3000 website and the $500-$1000 they were thinking about?

You said the 3k website would bring them real results. What are those real results? How the website can bring these results?

"Make their work easier". How?
 

maxkoss

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Welcome to the forum Max!

I don't know if you've been around here - if not read Andy Black and Fox posts.
I don't remember exactly but i think it was Andy who said that he
vets clients based on how they see him:as a value vs. as a cost (among other factors).

This client definitely sees you as the cost and he won't be a good fit.
Move on and be grateful that you don't have to work with him.
Thanks, Kid! I'll definitely check out on Andy Black!
 

Itizn

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I would probably move on.
You can try and follow up with them if they never get back to you.

However the fact they were a referral ontop of the effectiveness in which you demonstrated your value should suffice.
 

maxkoss

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What's the difference between your $3000 website and the $500-$1000 they were thinking about?

You said the 3k website would bring them real results. What are those real results? How the website can bring these results?

"Make their work easier". How?
Thanks for your reply!

  1. For me, the main difference between a $3000 website and a $500 one is the thinking process.
    For $3000 I'm going to try to build as much trust as possible with potential clients by thinking about their behavior and presenting the information in the right order and professional manner. So it would be very easy for them to take action after visiting the website.

  2. 3. The results might be:
    — a clear picture of what they offer, how it works, and how to take action, so they can stop answering all these questions on the phone and email. (saving time and building trust)
    — they can stop manually tracking all the customers, schedule and transactions by implementing Online Booking on their website. (saving time and reducing workload and stress)
    — they can start competing with other businesses in their niche by having a properly built web presence (getting new clients)
 

Devampre

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Sounds like they are concerned/uncertain as to how a website will actually get them results. This can be tough as they have never had a website or any social media before. I believe a deal can still be made if you wish to pursue this project, but it is also okay to refuse a project if you simply cannot do it for less than $3000.

I will say that I sometimes do the cheaper jobs, but it depends on the clients/situation. If they are someone who is well connected and can give you referrals and a good testimonial it could be worthwhile. But, sometimes a project isn't worth it. I'm still figuring this all out too.

I forget who first said it, but there is a saying that goes something like, "The clients who pay the least are often the clients who are the most difficult to work with." I believe there is some truth to that.
 

Brrr

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Honestly, when it comes to small businesses and websites, you got to pitch it as an ROI decision and explain how a good website is going to pay for itself. And I say this as a business owner that got a £2500 website for £500 as it was a friend that did it, only now do I see the value of it, but I was being very stingy beforehand.

For my website, there was relatively small consideration on getting the aesthetics right, but he nailed the SEO and the ease of use from the point of view of the customer. Also, a good web designer will suggest the best tools to improve your business so you get a sort of online consultancy along with the site itself and suggestions on the next steps for you to take to improve your online presence.

In this particular case, I would have angled towards building an email list of clients, automatic reminders and as you mentioned online bookings. Pricing the different features might also have helped break down the costs in the mind of a client. Or maybe it might have been worth your while to throw together a WordPress in an afternoon for $500.

On the other hand, don't feel too bad for losing clients that want to underpay for your services. I turn down events more often than not, sometimes clients make out that they are doing me a favour by letting me go to their tiny event and only have to pay them 15% of my takings. No thank you, let me do a wedding that pays upfront, rain or shine, instead.

As I always tell my staff, let the other business have the bad customers.
 

maxkoss

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I forget who first said it, but there is a saying that goes something like, "The clients who pay the least are often the clients who are the most difficult to work with." I believe there is some truth to that.
I totally agree with you! Cause if they don't understand the value and what they are paying for they always gonna have a lot of questions and suggestions. And the project can take months to finish.
 

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maxkoss

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On the other hand, don't feel too bad for losing clients that want to underpay for your services. I turn down events more often than not, sometimes clients make out that they are doing me a favour by letting me go to their tiny event and only have to pay them 15% of my takings. No thank you, let me do a wedding that pays upfront, rain or shine, instead.

As I always tell my staff, let the other business have the bad customers.
Thank you for your response! Cause sometimes it seems that you have to hold for every potential customer!
 

Brrr

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Thank you for your response! Cause sometimes it seems that you have to hold for every potential customer!
At the start, you have to, unfortunately, you are the one doing all the shit jobs everyone else said no to, but as you progress being able to say no is definitely something you get to do more. Just make sure that you debrief with yourself what you would have done better, make some notes on it and move on.
 

UnderdogStrategy

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For me, the main difference between a $3000 website and a $500 one is the thinking process.

If I put myself in a biz owner shoes this argument does not sound that solid (I want understand what you mean with thinking process).

Also, I believe someone who does websites for $500 can put together a professional site with the content in the right order, so disqualifying the cheaper competitors it's not the best route (you don't show the value for them in this way, it feels defensive imho).

— they can start competing with other businesses in their niche by having a properly built web presence (getting new clients)
True, but you get new clients having a marketing activity along side the website, for example SEO or Advertising.

Do you offer something like that?

If yes, you can actually talk numbers and those are unbreakable arguments.
 

maxkoss

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If I put myself in a biz owner shoes this argument does not sound that solid (I want understand what you mean with thinking process).

True, but you get new clients having a marketing activity along side the website, for example SEO or Advertising.
By thinking process, I mean creating a Unique Sales Proposition, finding why clients have to choose them over their competitors. Finding their ideal clients portrait and target them directly on the website...

I don't offer SEO but I send my clients to my friend who does that.

When it comes to marketing and SEO I think that first of all you have to have something to market. Cause in the end the customer doesn't care if he found your website in the 1st place on Google or the 5th. The question is if they trust the website or not. Does it look like a generic template website or does it look like the business care about their web presence and their customer experience?

Am I wrong in my opinion?
 

jpl

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Working in sales myself, during negotiations it always helped me to add value rather than trying to justify my price.

I am telling customers something like „I can’t offer you a discount on that product but how about in addition to what we’ve discussed I am going to add feature xyz to your website for just $99, for that alone I usually charge $999.“ (numbers of course depend on the price you’ve told them before).
 

Process

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Do you have existing clients you’ve built sites for that you can point to their results?

Going high ticket is great and all... but don’t be cocky. it is easier when you have a ROI or even finished result/testimonial you can show. (Especially for the same industry)

Example:
  • sold an insurance guy a website for In that price range, I did no selling.
  • He was referred to me by another agent, I just woke up to the text and did a quick zoom call. I made a high offer hoping he wouldn’t want it.
  • The whole thing was very take it or leave it since I didn’t really have time to do it. Also I don’t enjoy working with insurance agents. They’re often cheap.
  • I prefer certain contractors who do recurring and SaaS services.
  • When I first started, Getting my first few was tough, it took lots of follow up calls and visits.
  • Many of my first clients were shown high end options but settled for $1200ish options.
  • Everyone I’ve built a site the last year for has requested it.

A $1200 guy was who referred me to him btw... he loved his colleague’s great looking, user friendly website. So he asked who made it and that led back to my phone 8:00 am in the morning.

Moral of the story, don’t underestimate the value a good track record will serve. It will pay dividends years later and get you rolling in the beginning.
 

Alxf

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Hey check this video out, value based pricing

View: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RFk8ZmIDrFM

I remember watching this video some time back.. and I think it's bullshit. It treats this negotiation as some kind of chess match, where you are trying to outmaneuver and convince your opponent. Think about it - when was the last time, in practice, that you have managed to fundamentally change someone's mind or approach to a situation?

Some people want stuff that's good (value based), and others want stuff that's cheap (price based).

You can't convert the second group into the first. "Selling" is a huge waste of time and energy that could be better put to use to find and qualify potential customers who *know* that they have a problem, *want* to solve it, and want a *good* solution from a reliable provider.

The more money I have made, and the more serious I am about solving a problem, the *MORE* I want to pay, not *less*. Why? Because it's important to me that the problem is solved well. Find people in the same position, not the ones who are f*cking around.

They are out there!
 

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Thanks for your reply!

  1. For me, the main difference between a $3000 website and a $500 one is the thinking process.
    For $3000 I'm going to try to build as much trust as possible with potential clients by thinking about their behavior and presenting the information in the right order and professional manner. So it would be very easy for them to take action after visiting the website.

  2. 3. The results might be:
    — a clear picture of what they offer, how it works, and how to take action, so they can stop answering all these questions on the phone and email. (saving time and building trust)
    — they can stop manually tracking all the customers, schedule and transactions by implementing Online Booking on their website. (saving time and reducing workload and stress)
    — they can start competing with other businesses in their niche by having a properly built web presence (getting new clients)
This is exactly what you should have said to them.
 

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I discover that they are struggling by the fact that there is no place where they can list all their services and tell about them to their clients. The second thing I uncover is that they are struggling to keep track of the clients and they would love to use an online booking functionality. Also, they would love to attract the right clients who can afford their services.
1. No place where they can list all their services and tell about them to their clients.
2. They're struggling to keep track of the clients and they would love to use an online booking functionality.
3. Want to attract clients.

If you provide solutions to those three requests, how much value would they be getting in return. Would it help them save or earn more than $3,000?
 

BizyDad

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And after they said $500 I felt like it's almost impossible to bring it back to $3000.
I think you only made one actual mistake.

So I just want to amend this statement...

After you agreed you could do it for $500, it's impossible to bring it back to $3,000.

They originally gave a budget range of $500 to $1,000, to that you could have probably gotten them up to $1,200 or $1,500. Heck maybe you could have gotten them all the way to $3,000. You certainly should have gotten $1,000.

But not after you told them that $500 is possible. At that point that was all they were willing to pay.

You could have said the basic website would be a thousand. But if they wanted feature x you'd be willing to do that for $1500, and in the sales meeting feature x was something that was important to them, and if they wanted feature x and feature y it'll be the full $3,000

One thing that I do in my sales meetings is I ask if they've gotten other quotes, I also ask what their budget is for the project.

This way I usually have an idea of their expectations before I present the price. If I'm going to give them a price of substantially higher than their expectations, then I can at least soften and explain the value of it.

One final thought on ferreting out the budget. A lot of people will say something like "I was hoping you would tell me what the budget was". To that I usually throw out a figure significantly higher than what I'm thinking in this manner... In this sales meeting I might have said, okay so if I told you the the cost was $5,000 would that be a shocking number to you or would that sound like a deal?

I like to throw out the higher number, that way when I eventually throw out 3K I sound much more reasonable. It's a framing technique in sales.

If they say "I don't know" to that question, then you legitimately know that they are not shocked by it and likely even have the ability to pay it, but they don't want to divulge that information.

Final thought. Sounds like you're just starting out, congrats on getting out there and conducting the meeting. The more these you have the more you'll learn and the better you'll get. And if you really need the business to build a portfolio, go ahead and do it for the $500 and be happy that you closed the deal.

So many people can't close the deal.

Hope that helps.
 

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rpeck90

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I explained to them that they can definitely find a website for $500 but it's not gonna be the same website as a $3000 one. I tried to explain again that for this $3000 we are going to build a website that can bring them real results and make their work easier, not just pretty blocks and images. But they insisted that this is too expensive and all I do is moving blocks from one place to another and this is easy to do.
At this point, you lost and should move on.

-

I've found there are 3 types of buyer, each with a different price band they are comfortable with: -
  1. Convenience buyers ($)
    Highly price sensitive - will typically purchase regularly but will base the majority of the purchase decision on its convenience. The minute the transaction is no longer such, they will find another vendor.

  2. Impulse buyers ($$)
    Willing to spend more, but still quite averse to spending a "lot" on a product/service. Typically buying because it will enhance their experience. These buyers are typically quite emotive about the purchase.

  3. Equity buyers ($$$)
    Want to spend a large amount on a product/service because of the underlying "equity" it will provide. This is where brands reside.
-

Your issue stems from trying to charge "equity" prices to "impulse" buyers.

To them, "making a website" is a simple process which requires about 10 hours in front of a screen and minimal coding skills (most "professional services" seem to justify people's lives through the amount of time they bill for).

The best thing you can do in that situation is compile a detailed proposal of exactly what they need (not what you think they need, what their logo might be) - specific, detailed, information about the services and platforms required to automate their business the way they want. For example, a good service you may want to introduce them to is SimplyBook.me.

You then itemize the proposal, saying that "API integration will have to cost $x, XYZ will cost $y". You put a total price at the end (maybe add something like a service charge or amendments charge or whatever) and say that's what they need. Don't mention anything else.

Deliver the proposal as a printed document and say that's what would be required to get their business working as they want. The proposal should act as a bulwark for any future negotiations they may have, as they'll likely be talking with agencies (who are trying to rip them off).

-

This: -

a) positions you as an authority (not some guy who happens to be able to code HTML)
b) endears you to their trust (most agencies overcharge and are woefully incompetent)
c) justifies the higher price you'd have to charge to create a solution that actually works (for the long term)

ONLY after elevating their viewpoint of the project (from an impulse purchase to an equitable investment) will you be able to ever hope of justifying a higher price. And even then, if you're going to be using a premium theme on Wordpress, you have bigger problems.

Much more I could add but that's the crux of the issue.
 

Ing

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Imo it depends much of the empirical business knowledge of the buyer.

When I have much e commercial experience and know, that the homepage can easylybe a success, if it is good, than I pay what is charged .

When I have never made the experience that a hp makes any money, I will not pay that. Its my fear to loose.
 

CoderSales

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Hey guys! Just wanted to share with you my sales meeting conversation that took place yesterday and ask for your opinion.

So, I got referred to a medical office by a fellow doctor I worked with earlier. They were interested in creating a website for their medical office. We arranged an in-person meeting and started the conversation.

I'm using the SPIN selling technique (huge shoutout to Rob O'Rourke for introducing this book in his videos). I'm starting the conversation with situational/informational questions to learn about the business. I learn that the medical office has been working for 12 years and never had a website / Instagram / Facebook. I'm digging deeper and trying to uncover any issues and frustrations they have by operating a business without any web presence.

I discover that they are struggling by the fact that there is no place where they can list all their services and tell about them to their clients. The second thing I uncover is that they are struggling to keep track of the clients and they would love to use an online booking functionality. Also, they would love to attract the right clients who can afford their services. They were listening to me very carefully and I felt like they were understanding the value I was offering.

To keep the long story short I summarize all the things we talked about and say: "Considering this, this and that your website is going to be $3000. Are you comfortable with this price?". They said: "Oh, this is too expensive! We were thinking it's gonna be in a $500 — $1000 range." And then they started to ask why is it so expensive. I explained to them that they can definitely find a website for $500 but it's not gonna be the same website as a $3000 one. I tried to explain again that for this $3000 we are going to build a website that can bring them real results and make their work easier, not just pretty blocks and images. But they insisted that this is too expensive and all I do is moving blocks from one place to another and this is easy to do.

They said that they have to think about it and they will call me in a week. I felt very disappointed by this meeting because at some stage of the conversation I felt like I'm doing well and they trust me and understand the value I bring. And after they said $500 I felt like it's almost impossible to bring it back to $3000.

Do you guys have any advice on how to deal with these scenarios? Does anybody have this kind of conversation with their clients? Maybe you see any mistakes I made during the conversation? Just wanted to hear your opinion!

Thank you!
Max
A few points here.

1.) The previous client that you helped, what was the price of that project? Was this around the $3,000 or $1,000 mark? The saying "birds of a feather..." comes into play here.

2.) Also, you should have a refined vetting process. Meaning, learn how to qualify prospects before you talk to them. So for the next time referral, send them a Calendly link in order to get a time on your calendar and in that link have them fill out the 10 questions so you can get a feel for the prospect/project before you even talk to them. Here's a link with more information: https://help.calendly.com/hc/en-us/articles/226893168-Invitee-Questions
In those questions, ask the business, their position (you should only be talking to the CEO) why they are wanting to talk to you and monthly marketing budget. If they balk at this, it's been my experience those companies are low budget pain in the rear end clients OR very low budget. In other words, not worth the time. When you maintain a high criteria of who you work with and be selective, prospects can tell and respect it. And, hopefully you have good results you can show to back all of this up.

3.) During the consultation, good job with the SPIN method. Get to the 'why'. With what you provided, I just don't think they're a great fit. Picture working with them... for ~$500, they're already nickel and diming you for 'moving blocks here and there' and they haven't even signed the contract or paid the invoice yet. Imagine the first meeting to discuss revisions and implementations...

4.) Don't use a proposal. If you're spending the time to use a proposal, you're trying to sell. They should say "we have a deal" from that in person consultation because you've covered what they really need - a digital identity that conveys their services and attracts the clients that can afford (the irony here...) their services. That's where the questions from Calendly come into play because you can use that information in your presentation and by the time you present the price, they're already thinking of this as an investment rather than an expense. As it stands now, it sounds like this business owner still thinks of this as an expense under ~$1000.

5.) If they are saying $500-1000, they can do $1,500/3000 they just don't want to. Also, where did they get that price range from? This pretty much proves they are a price shopper buyer. Gross. Also, the fact that they have no digital footprint at all (no social or anything) says they don't see the value of your services. They've never invested in that before thus have never been through that process. Sounds like a bad lead.

If you really want to close this (I get it, we've all been there) call them back and say you can do it for $2,700 (or whatever reasonable rate you would take) provided they supply you copy & you get a 'yes' within 24 hours to get it secured on your workbench. Get everything on a Scope of Work so there is no scope creep and have them pay 100% upfront since you're taking a hit on the rate.

Otherwise blow them out and move on.
 

maxkoss

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If you provide solutions to those three requests, how much value would they be getting in return. Would it help them save or earn more than $3,000?
This is a very interesting question! I can not guarantee that they will save or earn more than $3000. But I'm pretty sure they will recoup their investment in the first week or two.
 

maxkoss

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This way I usually have an idea of their expectations before I present the price. If I'm going to give them a price of substantially higher than their expectations, then I can at least soften and explain the value of it.

I like to throw out the higher number, that way when I eventually throw out 3K I sound much more reasonable. It's a framing technique in sales.

Very interesting thoughts! Thank you!
 

maxkoss

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I've found there are 3 types of buyer, each with a different price band they are comfortable with: -
  1. Convenience buyers ($)
    Highly price sensitive - will typically purchase regularly but will base the majority of the purchase decision on its convenience. The minute the transaction is no longer such, they will find another vendor.

  2. Impulse buyers ($$)
    Willing to spend more, but still quite averse to spending a "lot" on a product/service. Typically buying because it will enhance their experience. These buyers are typically quite emotive about the purchase.

  3. Equity buyers ($$$)
    Want to spend a large amount on a product/service because of the underlying "equity" it will provide. This is where brands reside.
This is very useful info! Thank you!
 

maxkoss

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1.) The previous client that you helped, what was the price of that project? Was this around the $3,000 or $1,000 mark? The saying "birds of a feather..." comes into play here.
Usually, I sell in a $1500 — $2500 range. But this time I decided to raise the price since they were coming from a referral and I felt like I can really help them.
So for the next time referral, send them a Calendly link in order to get a time on your calendar and in that link have them fill out the 10 questions so you can get a feel for the prospect/project before you even talk to them. Here's a link with more information: https://help.calendly.com/hc/en-us/articles/226893168-Invitee-Questions
This is a very interesting trick! I'll check it out!
 

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Hi - I sent out some emails with the updates but I'll PM you now also, thanks. The issue is...
MARKETPLACE Not sure how to start? This free book will teach you how to build a successful web design business
Hi Fox. Starting the book and got through the introduction. Had a conversation with Andy Black...
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MARKETPLACE You Are One Call Away From Living Your Dream Life - LightHouse’s Accountability Program ⚡
Chris is super sharp and is aware of many facets of entrepreneurship and can help get your...

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