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Where's my clients????
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dicon
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 7:49 pm    Post subject: Where's my clients???? Reply with quote

I've just started my own business designing website, web hosting etc. The problems i got is that i cannot persuade customers that they need a website. They either have no computer and i find it difficult getting past the "Website, dont make me laugh i havent even got a computer yet" stage or they think that thier business does not need a website..

Not that i wont someone to plan a perfect marketing strategy for me (but i wont stop if you want to) but i would like to hear from others who have over come the same scenario as me.

Please be gentle, because i can design websites great but i'm no sales man.

Thanks in advance
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bytech
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are just trying to break into a new market, I would recommend "providing something free". Doesn't have to be any web design specific service... Basically what you need to do is establish yourself as a professional that can be trusted, vs. a business man on a mission to make money.

Wether it is a regularly update news colum on your web site, with advice on becoming internet savvy, hosting an evening class at a local school to answer the basic questions about PCs, etc, etc.

There are many ways to do it, but the bottom line is establishing yourself as a service provider that can be trusted. Very much like one needs to establish themselves finacially before getting a bank loan. Just like the bank, the client needs to see something you've done in the past... they need to see it, and be able to trust it (IOW not very open to interpretation)...

My two cents in. Smile
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BernardErtl
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2004 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi dicon, welcome to the forums. Wave

If you have a moment, please complete your profile and sign in here.
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WealthCountry
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 29, 2004 7:09 am    Post subject: A way to break through (maybe) Reply with quote

Hi Dicon,

The difficulties you have are twofold.

1 - There's are expenses [time and money and aggravation] related
to getting a computer. This can be particularly intimidating for
a virgin.

2 - Even if they have a computer, they may be using it for things
other than internet, though that is much less common than it used
to be.

What you want to do is make these two hurdles as painless to
overcome as possible. You might create or obtain a report that
you can give away for free when you see these prospects. The
report might be something like: "Easily Increase Your Business
300% with Your Own Computer and Website."

Then in the report show how easy it really is for them to get the
machine and to have it set up for them. Make it extremely easy to
understand. Use largish fonts with lots of white space. Add a
liberal amount of high quality pictures [clip art - if good - is
probably OK].

Then at some point during your sales meeting with the prospect,
give them the free report. Tell them that if they have questions
you will answer them or get answers if you can't.

If you want to go farther, find someone at a local computer store
who will work with you to hold your prospect's hand [maybe even
work our a referral fee - where they give you a certain amount
for every customer you bring them].

If you can make a special deal with the computer store to create
limited time offers, that would also improve your persuasiveness.

Once they have the computer, figure out how to make the website
idea so natural, so easy and so potentially lucrative, that
they'd have to be the biggest dunces anywhere to pass it up.
[Don't call them dunces, of course.] Smile

Hope this helps a little bit.

Regards,
Bal Simon


PS - If you want someone else to write the report, I can do that.
Email me your interest and I'll give you a quote.

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aaron
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 29, 2004 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome, WealthCountry... Wave

Please put your web address in your sig file (rather than in your posts) - see the guidelines on advertising for details.

Thank you

Aaron
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Old Welsh Guy
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 29, 2004 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dicon, if you are getting this response then you are trying to sell to the wrong people IMO.

You have to pre qualify your prospects when you initially speak to them on the telephone, make sure that they WANT to see you before you spend your valuable time and money in seeing them.

Many people worry about losing a potential sale, but believe me, this is not the attitude to take. There are thousands of companies out there who want to market their services via the web, but do not know where to start.

Notice I said ‘market’? This is the word to use, as the Internet is NOT an advertising tool, it is pure unadulterated marketing.

When we started out I offered free inclusion in a directory, I called people up, told them who I was, told them I was building an internet-based directory, and offered them a free inclusion. I asked them if they would be interested in a FREE inclusion, if they said NO then the conversation would end, if YES then I took it further.

I would say to them, in order to make sure I put you in all the right categories, I will call to see you, and you can tell me what services you provide etc and then I will have a better idea. I would tell them that the text inclusion was free of charge, but they could upgrade it if they wanted to, but there was no pressure to do so, as I just want to get as many people involved as possible to make it a useful product.

Some would ask why I was doing it for free, and I told them straight, that some businesses were happy with the free inclusion, but if they started getting enquiries then they might well upgrade to a paid page, while others would want a paid page anyhow, and yet more would want a complete website built. I told them that it was a case of everyone winning.

I am not saying that this is the approach to take, but it worked for me, and it opened up a whole lot more doors. I eventually sold the directory to a company who sent it bust, and I am just about to have a push in setting it back live again. Although this time we are just handpicking sites to be included, and only accepting submissions that we feel are of benefit to the visitors.
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jrpublicity
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2004 6:53 pm    Post subject: Advice Reply with quote

There is some great advice in this thread. Just because your are ready to have your business start earning income doesn't mean it's going to be easy. I know from experience.

Jenna
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clientcenters
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2004 2:39 am    Post subject: Re: Where's my clients???? Reply with quote

dicon wrote:
I've just started my own business designing website, web hosting etc. The problems i got is that i cannot persuade customers that they need a website. They either have no computer and i find it difficult getting past the "Website, dont make me laugh i havent even got a computer yet" stage or they think that thier business does not need a website..

Not that i wont someone to plan a perfect marketing strategy for me (but i wont stop if you want to) but i would like to hear from others who have over come the same scenario as me.

Please be gentle, because i can design websites great but i'm no sales man.

Thanks in advance


Hi. I feel your pain. I was on the same boat as you not too long ago , which I just stepped out of the waters. Here's what I've learned to help save you the trouble:

-Not every business owner feels they need or want a website. You should brainstorm on stragities to help you figure out and target those businesses that do.Team up with a local business that compliments your service. For instance; hosting provider, domain name provider, computer repair shop, etc.

-Not everyone who needs a website are going to be business owners. Soon I will be offering my design services to my web hosting resellers so they can reseller my web design services to their customers. Basically I'm selling to people who know how to find more customers, more customers than one person can do at once. And they will request me for their services because they are already hosting resellers. Secondly, don't forget about musicians, organizations, etc. who aren't businesses.

- The pool is too small for all these fishes. Everyone seems to have found a way to offer web design services. Find something to set yourself apart. Recently, I have added on to the list of my services. For instance, I also design movie size posters. That also sets me apart because a film company ordered two poster designs from me recently, plus web design work. It really helps to offer more speacialized services, especially if you can do design work, you can probably do print design work. Or banners, logos, etc.

-It took me awhile for people around my area to start noticing my work. I'm dealing with a good handful of competing web companies out here who have more employees than me, more advertising money, etc. Don't let things like that discourage you. Just remember, learn how to set yourself apart from the local big dogs and soon you'll be running with them, then leaving them behind Very Happy

-Don't take rejection to heart if you decide to cold call people. Not everyone needs a website for a various number of reasons. Or maybe you should give them a reason to need a website? Fill the need. What type of serivces do they provide? A clothing store? Well ask them how they would like to go nation-wide, selling their clothing online, even in
their sleep. Let them know how having a website will increase their profits. If you talk money and figures, they will listen. Make sure you aren't calling them when they are busy and always ask if they have time to speak or when is a better time to call them back.

Hope this helps,
Tia
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DarrenC
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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2004 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm dealing with a good handful of competing web companies out here who have more employees than me, more advertising money, etc. Don't let things like that discourage you


I couldn't agree more! You have to learn from your competition, we spent two months planning the website before we even designed it - yes we intially changed the design three or four times Laughing but we wanted to offer unique services what other companies didnt.

Just to give you an example - we offer a property request service, none of our competition do - why you may ask, because it's time consuming, and 99% of our competition want everything automated so they do not have to work for the clients they have signed up.

So be unique - give people free website designs in return for references and build up a portfolio of websites - look at your local area and see what the highest percentages of businesses are, i.e. Motor companies, specialise in this type of area.

I hope this helps a little.

Darren
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breakadver
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2004 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your target audience may be wrong.There are too many steps. First you need to convince people they need a site, then you need to convince them to spend the money, and finally you need to convince them to spend the money with you.

Why not target people with sites instead? I would make them a powerful offer like six months free with a one year contract or $1,000 of site revisions with a one year contract, etc.

Regading your site, it's WAY too cluttered. In fact when I look at it quickly (I spend less than 30 seconds on your site), I didn't know what you were selling and what I should do. It should be clearer, more visually interesting, less cluttered, and have a clear call to action.
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Old Welsh Guy
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2004 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Dicon,
Now I have taken a look at your site I see that you are a couple of miles away from me.

Seeing the name of your company I also recalled that about two months ago I emailed you to tell you about a problem with the site (can't remember what it was offhand now) DO remember that you did not even reply to or acknowledge the helpful e-mail I sent you as a fellow professional in my area.

If I can give you one piece of advice it would be to build bridges, NOt burn them at the earliest opportunity.

I turn away 3 out of every 4 jobs I am approached to do. I only now design sites if they are referred clients from existing clients. I 'might' have considered recommending yourself had you responded to my e mail. Now I have a reservation that has stopped my wanting to help you.

I am not being horrible, but it is a big world out here, and You are telling me that you are having trouble convincing people to buy a similar service to that which I provide, in the same area that I am based in, and I am currently turning work down in.

Having looked at your site, I am getting the feeling that you have tooo many distractions. You need to focus on what is your core business, and what is your value added items.

Hope this helps

OWG
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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2004 9:49 am    Post subject: Yes Reply with quote

I have to agree here. In the over a year I've been doing business with my own company, I've noticed a real lack of relationship building between businesses. It seems as if there's no obvious, instant monetary gratification the relationship is often not developed and even more often is abandoned. I can't tell you how many times that I go looking for a particular vendor and think...wow, I would call JoeScmoe Co. if they hadn't blown me off 6 months back. Just some thoughts...

Jenna
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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2004 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I have learnt anything out of the last 2 years it's speak to experienced people - listen to what they say, you might not always agree with them, but with experience becomes knowledge.

It's interesting that dicon has also not acknowledged any of the posts within this thread which is a great shame because there are some great ideas for him to progress, and improve.

Darren Smile
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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2004 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should add a portfolio to your website (so people could view it) that might help...
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dicon
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2004 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Old Welsh Guy wrote:
Hi Dicon,
Seeing the name of your company I also recalled that about two months ago I emailed you to tell you about a problem with the site (can't remember what it was offhand now) DO remember that you did not even reply to or acknowledge the helpful e-mail I sent you as a fellow professional in my area.


Thanks for your thoughts and thanks for emailing me, but unfortunatly i do not remember receiving such an email. Had i received i would of responded to it. Never mind i'm open to all critism good or bad and as my old boss used to say is that "you gotta take the rough with the smooth".

I'm sure that we can still sort something out. Please email me again and i'll make damn sure i'll look out for it.

Regards
Dicon
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