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|I never hear back from anyone|
Do people really want a website or just to get free advice?
I am sure this happens from everyone from time to time, but every time I talk to someone who is interested in having a website, I never end up hearing back from them.
Even when I give them the URL for my website or give them my contact details I still never hear from them (a business card could be lost as easily I suppose.)
There are still a lot of people who don't own a computer and have no interest in making their own website (at least I seem to meet them all the time), so am I just talking to the wrong people?
"Interested" people are the least likely to buy. The people you want to talk to are those who want, need and can afford your services. If you can determine that as early as possible in your sales cycle, you won't waste time with people who are just "interested."
You might ask another web designer to check out your site to see if there is anything that will deter sales.
Alternatively it could be just high school or college kids thinking about being a web designer getting info from you. I get a lot of those filling out my quote form.
I do tell people that I am not a web designer. Also the one website that I tell everyone to visit is webmasterworld (the last time I printed out the "25 steps to 15k per day" article to give to someone.)
Even though there was a huge crash in the market, every man and his dog seems to think they can make a website.
I am going to keep doing my own thing until someone has a serious offer to do something else.
I guess I'm confused. You tell people that you are not a web designer, and you're wondering why they don't call you back?
|Even though there was a huge crash in the market, every man and his dog seems to think they can make a website. |
LOL . . . well . . they can. And monkees too. :-D
timchuma this is one of the most frustrating things about web development of any kind: anyone coming to you for work is going to want it cheap, they want way more work than is reasonable for their money, they want it fast, and yes, a lot of them are just "fishing." This is something you'll have to get used to or find another business, it will never go away.
Some of the reasons "why" they may not call you back:
- They found an actual company - with several people of specialized skills for the various facets of developing a site, such as SEO, design, perogramming, and other marketing - and opted to work with them instead of an independent.
- They found someone down the street that can do it for $1 less than you, or has a cousin that will do it for free.
- They found someone that has no skills at all but is very good at convincing someone that they do, and are even charging more than you.
- They weren't serious in the first place, when thinking about **actually** opening their wallet they decided against it.
The next two you really have to think long and hard on, and take with a grain of salt. It's difficult to be objective with your own work:
- They visited your site and didn't see sufficent skills, quality, or ability to meet the demands of their project.
- They visit your site and while they **DID** see sufficient skills and quality, they flat just didn't like what they saw.
This last is pretty common. In spite of all the things we learn NOT to do on places like Webmaster World, our customers often go dead set against them time and time again. People WANT annoying animations on their sites, the words they use are "live" and "active" as opposed to "dead" and "drab." They want illegible or unrenderable fonts when Serif/Sans-serif faces are what they are for a reason (legibility.) I had one customer try to tell me that if a site wasn't built in Flash, it was technologically behind the times. This was a big-time graphic designer too, with national contracts. I nearly wet myself just listening to her. So no matter what you know - they know it all (right?)
So sometimes there's just nothing you can do: you may have all the training and experience, your work may be impeccible, but they just may not like it. No big deal, know what you're worth. :-D
I would be happy to pay someone to help me. I own a Retail shop and I know what its like to have people waste my time.
[edited by: jatar_k at 7:53 pm (utc) on Dec. 9, 2005]
[edit reason] no emails thanks [/edit]
It is a tough business. Most people that come to our office are only fishing around. They waste a tremendous amount of time and 3 out of 4 of them either do not end up having a site created, or they go elsewhere for the job.
THEN, about 1/3 of those who do contract our services are such pests, nickle and diming us to death, that we wish we never took them on.
IMHO there is little money to be made creating websites for others. You are better off working on your own sites.
It's the same in SEO if that's any consolation, I don't give "proposals" any more, I charge for them ;-)
Hi Timchuma, any ideas where I can find the article you mention on 25 steps to 15k per day please?
I do tell people that I am not a web designer. Also the one website that I tell everyone to visit is webmasterworld
You tell people that you're not a designer and then send them somewhere where they can learn to design and code a website by themselves?
Many thanks Kevin, much appreciated.
THEN, about 1/3 of those who do contract our services are such pests, nickle and diming us to death, that we wish we never took them on<<<<<<<<<
I find that web designers who simply chase the money, don't have clients for long. I changed my designers 3 times in 2 years, as the service and mistakes made to my site was untolerable and was a business decision to 'let them go' very quickly indeed.
The client is the King, and the although I understand that there are those customers who will take advantage, THEY ARE the bread and butter. When I seek a designer, I'm not just seeking someone that can design sites, web design also has to be about knowledge in other areas of business eg: marketing, seo basics, software design knowledge, network of contacts etc etc - so any buying decision made isn't based on price alone.
But if web designers these days mess up or not provide overall service to the required standard, they just don't get any more work. In other words I fire them hehe. So I guess I'm saying is the client is the one with the power here, and there are a ton of designers out there to choose from.
Know what I'm saying........
I'd just like to find a designer who can can produce a better looking site than a untrained amateur like me...
>I'd just like to find a designer who can can produce a better looking site than a untrained amateur like me..
Be careful with that. A lot of the sites I redesigned were "beautiful" already but had so many problems re getting indexed (or being penalized by Google) their "beautiful" site didn't go anywhere even after being online for several years. The same is true for software programmers--they may know how to design a program that will impress everyone but not know anything about SEO.
Unless you want to PayPerClick for the life of your site you need to make sure the site is search engine friendly as well as pleasing to the eye. Look for someone with an artistic eye who is also very informed on SEO.
In my industry 3-5% of the inquiries lead to sales
Adding to the list
- They were never looking to buy anything. I suspect that some calls I get are sales people that are really just setting me up to ask about and investigate their products and they never had any intention of buying mine.
A comment I heard from a car salesman years ago: "I don't want the person that is in the beginning or middle of the buying process. It's too much work to help educate them and they always seem to buy somewhere else if at all. I want the person that is done searching and is ready to buy."
Some things never change.
I always take the view that if you treat everybody the same - you'll get burnt. In other words 'uneducated potential buyers' can be your best prospects, and have a list of eager ready to buy contacts........
Talking with potential clients is never a waste of time - it's called customer service. That's obviously a lost art as far as the web is concerned.
|A comment I heard from a car salesman years ago: "I don't want the person that is in the beginning or middle of the buying process. It's too much work to help educate them and they always seem to buy somewhere else if at all. I want the person that is done searching and is ready to buy." |
|I always take the view that if you treat everybody the same - you'll get burnt. In other words 'uneducated potential buyers' can be your best prospects, and have a list of eager ready to buy contacts........ |
Talking with potential clients is never a waste of time - it's called customer service. That's obviously a lost art as far as the web is concerned.
It's not either-or. It's both. Selling technology is not like selling a car. (Take it from me, who had a partner who was a former car salesman and never did figure that out.) Finding prospects at the end of their buying cycle is a crucial component in sales. Talking to potential clients is not customer service, it's relationship-building and it's a crucial component in marketing. The trick is knowing if you're selling or marketing, and adjusting your behavior to fit.
For example, I met someone at a chamber meeting last week who told me that he might be needing my services. So when I phoned him, I was making a sales call. But it soon became apparent that this person was nowhere near ready to buy. So I switched to relationship-building mode -- that is, I didn't try to set an appointment, but spent about 20 minutes with him, offered some advise, then referred him to an article on my website that had more information. I'll continue to drip-market to him, but I won't waste time pursuing him as if he were a lead.
In the web business, if you take the used car salesman's attutude only, you'll never build enough relationships to develop any business, much less repeat/referral business, and you'll always be on the hunt for that next person who's "ready to buy." And if you only take the "customer service" approach, freely meeting and talking to anyone and everyone, giving away all kinds of free advise, you'll always be a valuable source of free information that nobody ever buys from.
My own stats are as follows: If I get 10 phone calls from prospective clients in a month, at least 4 will commit to a site that month, 3 will mention near the end of the call that it sounds great and they will be ready to start in 3-4 months, and the last three don't communicate after the first call (budget issues sometimes).
If I get 10 emails in a month, At least 3 of those people will get sites immediately. The remainder will ask me to email them details about a prospective site design, I'll never hear from them again (yet there's always 1 that I can email six months or even 12 months later, and they'll actually commit when I call them back, sometimes not even for the same project they wanted before).
If I cold call or walk into businesses, I'm lucky to get 1 client for every 10 I speak to.
I benefit from referrals, the majority of the projects that I get are because a client or someone I know referred someone to me. Interest levels don't indicate much, I've had people that seemed unlikely to get a site from me to be my bigger paying clients.
|I am sure this happens from everyone from time to time, but every time I talk to someone who is interested in having a website, I never end up hearing back from them. |
Follow up with them!
Learn from it!
I have hired my marketing partner to become my independant agent.
So even if you are a "one Man/Lady show" have some one calling back (as she does) not to force feed a sale but to kindly understand better what they are/were looking for.
5% of the people that call on me for web design become optimization clients. 1% become design clients.
When I actually do design work, I am more interested in continual hosting fees than the original design charge, because the profits on design really are poor.
However small site changes are also a good source of income, if they do any.
How different can be a biz model!
I do host just to share/offset my expenses and as a provided service, I have plenty room on my server and I see hosting more like a way to strengthening client relationship than a profit center.
My revenues are based on web work not on hosting
>I am sure this happens from everyone from time to time, but every time I talk to someone who is interested in having a website, I never end up hearing back from them.
It is a question of whether you want to be a shop-keeper or a sales-person?
I ignore everyone who contacts me without a valid phone number. Selling by email is very difficult and simply not worth the effort.
For those that leave valid phone numbers I assume I need to sell to them, not that they need to buy from me!
If you can't at least "talk" to your prospect, then don't waste the time. Once in a while, it will work, but, play the percentages!
You are the one that has to close the sale, and you are the one that has to make the call in most cases early in your career.
In time if you do it right you will have people calling you to beg you to allow them to be clients. But, that takes time and a lot of effort!
Right now, you need all the prospective phone numbers you can get, and you need to be calling then constantly.
The day you have too much business will come, and then you can get selective and take a different approach!
Good Luck :) %%%%%
Selling by email isn't as difficult as you think - and depends on what your 'set up' is like. Where some businesses (not the clients) are concerned, sales by email just isn't the norm, and prospecting by phone is very time consuming and produces minimal results.
While many businesses can cater for both telesales and email campaigns (both advertising and informing the client). Phone work is tough anyway, and for a one man show, should be used sparingly and as a follow up only. Large companies such as BT, have telesales departments of upto 100 staff (both inbound and outbound) so it's generally expected that BT will make many sales calls and recieve thousands more every day.
The average webmaster CANNOT spare the time nor cash involved to do this properly. I said properly, as it's the only way to get the results needed to make a profit using the phone method. Although many prospects still like to talk to a human, so a simple call back request on a email form might work better.
Cold calling is unexpected, intrusive and an interuption to the 'day' for any company, and preperation is vital if it's to have a high success rate. Unless you offer something that's totally free...... It's true that you are the one that has to make the calls, but unless you have staff, it's going to take forever for telesales to pay off like it would for a large comapany. Email is far easier, you can reach more people quickly and the results come a lot faster.
If you expect to make a sale from the very first call - you are going to be disappointed. Telesales is about first contact and can take a number of calls to a prospect to get their interest. So enter into it as an enquiry or 'finding out' mission - this takes the stress out of the call for you and makes you seem friendlier for the prospect.
Telesales is very tough - but email is easier and faster but just don't annoy too many with this approach.
Please, dev how your email system works up to your expectations.
What defines its body?
What makes a receiver open it?
hmmmmm, there's no secret to it. I use a basic template that includes Company name, Link navigation and main Nav links etc. The 'body' is made up of simple text and that's about it. It's really used to inform clients (at this stage), as I haven't officially launched yet. Obviously, later as business needs develop, the option is open to turn the basic newsletter into more of a resource in itself.
But remember it's a tool for both informing, updating clients etc and also a free sales tool for you. One thing I've learnt about newsletters/ezines and that's sales pitches by themselves rarely work - it's better to include a fair bit of useful info as standard, and to ensure your info isn't rehashed or stolen from another. Make your info unique and then you have a very good additional service where people will be more receptive towards your offers.
The beauty of this is that you 'keep' all your sales pitches on the newsletter, and hardly ever need to modify them. Your pitches won't feel too intrusive because it's mixed in with the content, thus the 'forced' to buy element has been removed somewhat.
I see, I was under the illusion that those were aiming at prospection/new client and not maintaining an existing clientele base.
Too bad I for a sec did think that you discovered the
"cold-email" secret :)
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