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Sales

How do you get them?

     
1:33 pm on Dec 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Are most of your web contracts achieved online? or do you you get most of your
web contracts through the local market? Also, what kind of methods are you using;
cold calls; door to door?
1:42 pm on Dec 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

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First up - what are you selling - SEO services?
1:49 pm on Dec 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

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We offer:

Web Site Design
Graphic Design
E-Business Solutions
Hosting
Online Marketing

1:52 pm on Dec 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

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ALL of my clients come to me via word of mouth. The web is only a brochure/demonstration/testing environment.
2:08 pm on Dec 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I have been receiving web contracts the same way; word of mouth. However, I find
it ironic that, within my sales pitch to potential clients I always mention that a
web presence will increase sales, but in my own industry -100% of the sales attained
have been achieved by all other methods but online.

Why aren't companies looking online for web developing companies?

2:12 pm on Dec 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Maybe their not looking online for web development, or theyre not finding you because they're looking closer to home, local.....
2:15 pm on Dec 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

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web marketng and web design are highly competitive markets online - chances are that there a few companies who get decent sales online - but not many.

For marketing and design, referals hold a lot of weight with customers.

If I am looking for such a service and my mate says, "well, we used such and such a company and our sales have risen by xxx, and we were very pleased", chances are I wont look elsewhere.

JOAT

2:39 pm on Dec 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Thats true, I notice companies use the web a lot more to source developers for Intranets, bespoke softwre etc where there is as much competition but less emphasis on design and more on functionality.
2:41 pm on Dec 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

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What about marketting your skills and services to a place like eLance, that web-based site where ya bid on jobs and whatnot.
2:46 pm on Dec 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

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web marketng and web design are highly competitive markets online - chances are that there a few companies who get decent sales online - but not many

I cannot speak for web design, but most SEO/SEM/Web Marketing firms rely on two sales mediums: Their website and Word of Mouth.

3:03 pm on Dec 18, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Why aren't companies looking online for web developing companies?

While, this isn't true for all locations, here where I live (mostly rural state of Vermont) a handshake and a verbal agreement have value equal to a written contract. I have completed several projects this way. What it tells me is that folks still value that face to face meeting and their instincts when they meet with someone to discuss hiring them for work. Price isn't everything. They want that personalization and to build a sense of trust.

Why? Because most of our clients don't trust anyone outside their county, let alone the state. They don't understand the technology and are looking for someone they can trust to tell them what they need to know. They hear too many horror stories of all the bad things that happen because of the anonyminity of the web. That's why they really want their mentors to live and work nearby. As far as they're concerned, most of the shingles they see on the web are just snake oil salesmen.

10:09 pm on Dec 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Hmm... Here comes the dilemma: how can one spread the word of mouth if one is located outside the main market? This is the main problem for the most of offshore (off_usa_shore) development companies. Mine too - we have got a website and do a good deal of promotion, but can do very little of verbal promotion.

Also, I'd like to comment:

> What about marketting your skills and services to a
> place like eLance

Quite impossible - it is inundated with solo russian/indian students whose prices noone can beat.

5:42 am on Dec 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Are most of your web contracts achieved online? or do you you get most of your
web contracts through the local market? Also, what kind of methods are you using;
cold calls; door to door?

I studied the question recently.
My conclusion:

-A lot web designer website are poorly designed on a sale/marketing standpoint.
-web designer make pretty website with all the annoyance java,javascript,flash,dhtml etc....not effective.
-Web designer try to show how experienced they are when they have better to focus their effort on making new potential clients initiate contact with them.
-I have noticed that my clients don't care about my portfolio they are more interested to know if I'm able to solve their problems and if my price is lower than the competition.
-A lot of web designer websites are indeed obscure no phone numbers, no 'snail mail' address.
Unclear 'about us' page. Do you work with unknown being shy and mysterious isn't effective.
A good 'about us' page must at least explain why you are in the business and what make you different from the competition.

"The smallest amount of friction can stop people" Jeff Bezos

-a company contacted me they wanted an online dating website you see they didn't ask for a 3 tiers web application coded in ASP and using COM component connected to a SQL Server db.
This kind of language is meaningless for the peoples that may eventually initiate contacts with you. The problem is that I see many web designer/development firms using obscure communication. Web designer have to use the same language as their potential clients. A small business owner probably don't want to hear about XML. He want to hear about ROI and cost effective solution. I used to work for the web development division of one the largest consulting firm if you go at their website you will notice that they don't talk 'geek'. that doesn't work.
-Portfolio are OK if you are able to describe in what you helped the company you worked for. That the study case approach.

Voila, there is a lot more problems but its a good beginning. Its 6.28 am here I m getting tired:-)

12:32 pm on Dec 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

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This kind of language is meaningless for the peoples that may eventually initiate contacts with you.

I totally agree with you. My clients are rarely interested in the technical stuff. What they want to know is will I increase their bottom line and can I do it for a competitive price. That's why the trust factor becomes all important. Because they want to leave the technical stuff to me - but not if they don't think I know what I'm doing or am so far away from them that they can't take a drive and knock on my door. Again, in my corner of the planet, good ole Yankee sense at sizing someone up can make or break you.

9:08 am on Dec 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I typed 'web development company' in Y! I clicked on a link in the SERP.

Here is what I saw on the site :
Fatal error: Unsupported operand types in /url on line 16

And some web designers ask themselves why they don't get sales through the web :;-)
You see as a web site designer IMHO It's necessary to avoid sophisticated web site. HTML 4.0 + good contents no more , no less and yes no techies language in your copies. Believe it or not most of my clients don't know the buzz-word 'Flash'.The phrase 'We provide interactive Flash(tm) for your web site' is meaningless.Instead describe what you can do with this Flash(tm) thing for your clients .This is more convincing :-)...even Macromedia does it:)

8:01 pm on Jan 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I buy a ton of services off elance. While there are dozens of '3rd world students' selling services promising to recreate Amazon.com for $50 US, they are just the chaff you have to sort through to get to real designers. Their work looks like 3rd world students' work.

You should try elance. The key is your portfolio. If your portfolio is not outstanding, don't bother. But if you have an excellent portfolio of reference work you'll get good projects at fair US prices.

You won't get $125/hour for buttons and icons like back in the 90's. But you'll get fair market.

Remember $12/h is better than $0 if you're actually idle. And if you do a good job that's how the networking starts.