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Closing Over the Phone

Discussion in 'Offline Marketing' started by the h3rbalist, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. the h3rbalist

    the h3rbalist Newbie

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    So I took action and now have my business legally formed. I'm currently putting together 50 packages for my first round of direct mailing, targeted at local businesses currently using free websites. As a college student with no car, I will not be able to meet with 99% of my clients. This means I will have to close them over the phone, and any subsequent "meetings" will take place over the phone. I understand most people will be skeptical of someone they've never physically met, so I'm going to stress that the client has no obligations until they sign the contract (and the contract won't be offered until I've sent them a detailed proposal and they're satisfied with a mockup). I'll also note that my "past clients" (don't have any at the moment..) have agreed that the over-the-phone/digital process saved time and provided a streamlined & satisfying experience, etc. etc.

    With that in mind.. any tips or advice from experienced offline black hatters?
     
  2. GiorgioB

    GiorgioB Supreme Member

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    My suggestion: get a scooter

    [​IMG]

    or a bike.
     
  3. Furious George

    Furious George Supreme Member Premium Member

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    Meeting in person drastically increase close rates.

    Don't ever something like "you're under no obligation until you sign the contract."

    0 +1 -1 = 0

    This should be "You're under no obligation."

    Make sense?

    I wouldn't even bring up signing the contract. Just saying that is a huge turn off to anyone in any sales environment.

    When they've agreed to the work, then just say "And I just need your signature here....." For example.


    EDIT - It is 2013. It wouldn't be crazy to do a skype meeting with them so they could actually see you. "Hey listen, I'm sure you're a busy person. Why don't we do a teleconference? We could use skype, it's a free service. That would save your valuable time and it's free."
     
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    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  4. codo3500

    codo3500 Regular Member

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    When I was selling websites, I was selling high-end websites and systems. I've sold websites worth up to 20-30k without ever meeting in person.

    You want to know how I got out of meeting with people? Targeted business out of my area, and acted as if we were a national business (which we were). This saved me travel time, as I was in Sydney, which is a transport nightmare.

    To close over the phone when you're geographically too far apart to meet in person is much easier than looking like a kid that can't get around and they're only 3 miles from you.
     
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  5. aartisarkar

    aartisarkar Registered Member

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    Closing a deal over phone is a technique which is not easy as the person on the other side of the phone does not know you in person, has not seen your work but if you are confident about yourself over the phone and doesnt give a chance to client to ask you too many question... the deal is all yours.

    Regards
     
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  6. the h3rbalist

    the h3rbalist Newbie

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    By local businesses, I only mean that they're in the same state as me. Can't take the scooter on the freeway unfortunately.

    Duly noted. I appreciate the advice. Also Skype is definitely an option I will explore.

    I just studied abroad in Australia, absolutely loved Sydney when I passed through. I definitely like the idea of targeting businesses out of the area to legitimize the whole idea of not meeting up though. Time to start up a 2nd mailing list.



    The upside is that the person will have seen my work - I will be sending them a mockup in my direct mail before calling them. Although there's no denying it would be easier in person. Which leads me back to Skype..
     
  7. kebertt

    kebertt Junior Member

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    I've closed over the phone for quite some time now, and have loved every second of it. You don't have to stress about meeting in person, you have the ability to contact and close virtually anyone, anywhere.

    I wouldn't think too much into it. The best thing for you to do is send the direct mail, wait for the calls, and learn from the experience. Chances are, if this is your first time around you're going to have a lot more problems than closing.

    Have a website that professionally displays your portfolio, and services. Make sure your company looks reputable. When it comes down to the close, shoot them over an invoice to their email, wait for payment, and get to work. Make sure your merchant account is up and ready to go, the faster you send an invoice, the better your chance of receiving payment.

    You might even consider offering some kind of value before you require payment. For example, when I first started designing I would take a generic template, customize it a bit for a specific industry, and send it to my client as a "demo". They got to see a website 50% complete, and had no problem sending over payment for my services. The next time a business in that same industry was interested in my services, I had a "demo" ready to go.

    If you're offering services of higher value, maybe throw something more minor their way. Obviously if you're designing a custom website, you can't create a demo for every interested prospect.

    Invest in your prospects and they will invest in you.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  8. ran60616

    ran60616 Regular Member

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    All great advice here for your question OP, and just to stress one point regarding Skype. I worked for a HR company where we hired IT consultants + spoke to potential clients for bus. development. We did so many Skype interviews to hire consultants, and all of them went smooth and easy. Clients same thing (I'm not saying we won all lol!), but it really helps to build a little trust compared to talking over the phone. (Eventually we did fly over to meet them and close the deal). Definitely think about using Skype, as many small to big firms use it now, Good luck!
     
  9. the h3rbalist

    the h3rbalist Newbie

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    Definitely planning on implementing some sort of demo like you mentioned prior to any payments. My sites will primarily be customized themes, so it wouldn't be too hard at all to do this.

    I'm actually not too concerned about the actual close (getting them to sign), I guess I'm more worried about getting to a point that will allow me to close. If I can get a Skype meeting, or set up a time for a phone call "meeting" I feel confident in my ability to seal the deal from there. It's just getting them to agree to that initial not-in-person meeting that I'm worried about.
     
  10. tristangemus

    tristangemus Regular Member

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    I would recommend trying to get there as much as possible. Try getting a friend to drive you, or take the bus. Nothing beats face to face. Another option could be a Skype conference. Let him get to know you, see your face, and have a better conversation with you. Screenshare you ideas and whatever you would have showed him if you were in person. The only thing I do over the phone is setup meetings. I've never closed over the phone. Much better success rate in person.
     
  11. RSILeads

    RSILeads Registered Member

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    I run a sales floor (among other things)... selling over the phone has been around longer than most of us have been alive. You don't need to ever see anyone who you sell or are doing business with. Especially the target you are going after (websites) anyone who is half tech savvy will understand talking on the phone and dealing back and forth via email. Selling over the phone has been around forever and its all about ENERGY and TONE. If you can get someone excited over the phone they will buy etc.... so go on and sell !!