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Leave No Stone Unturned

Discussion in 'Business & Tax Advice' started by BassTrackerBoats, May 21, 2011.

  1. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    I'd like to share with you something I did that generated just under 1 million dollars of revenue for a company I owned over a 4 year period.

    Back in the 90's I owned a bottled water company, the kind of company that sold 5 gallon bottles of water and rented water coolers on a monthly basis.

    My business was about 65% commercial clients and 35% residential clients and that was by design. The residential clients would pay quicker but had less volume and that cash flow kept my business running so that I could wait for the commercial clients that had larger volume to pay their bills.

    In that business, the fastest way to grow the clientele was to go door to door to businesses and offer the service on a trial basis. Give them one month free rental and 4 free bottles of water and if they wanted to keep the service, I then started billing them for the cooler rental and set them up on a delivery schedule; generally every 2 or 4 weeks.

    By calling on businesses, I would also generate residential clients from the business owners as well as the people that worked in those businesses.

    One thing I would do though is when working an area, I would hit every business no matter how big or how small because you just do not know what lies behind that door when you approach it.

    The business was doing well even though I was under capitalized because I would work from 4:00 AM until 8:00 PM 6 days a week (yeah, I was and still am a bit of a work-a-holic) but that was what was actually necessary to make it work in the first few years.

    One day, I'm out cold calling on businesses (I always did that face to face) and I came upon a company that was building a coal fired power plant in the area that I was working and went to the trailer on the property where the purchasing manager had his office.

    I walked in, introduced myself, explained a little about my company, my products and my pricing and asked him what he was doing for his bottled water needs. He told me that he was using "Competitor A" and was happy with both the product and service and asked why I was different than the other guy.

    I explained that I knew "Competitor A" had a good product and I was sure that his service was fine and that I doubt that if he changed companies that he would see much difference in either. I told him that we both put our customers on routes and that we assigned well trained drivers to serve our clients and that we both had to pass the same FDA requirements so in essence the difference would be negligible.

    I thanked him for taking time to talk with me, gave him my card and also wrote my cell down on the card in the event that he had an emergency and that "Competitor A" was unavailable and I would be glad to try and help.

    Back then, my cell phone bill was in the 500.00 neighborhood monthly.

    Lo and behold a few weeks later my cell rings on a Sunday and it's the purchasing manager, "BTB, this is Jim from "Texas based coal fired power plant building company and I need some water real fast... can you help me out?"

    He had 50 bottles of water inside of an hour of course and a few days later called me up and asked me to come and get the empty bottles. We went up there to get the bottles and thank him for the business and in the course of the conversation he said, "You know what, Bleep Competitor A, if he can't serve me when I need to be served, I don't want him. How fast can you get me 200 water coolers and 1000 bottles of water?"

    2 days later, I am delivering a truck load of water every day, 7 days a week to that job site as well as so much block ice that I was the biggest customer of the local ice manufacturing plant and billing him 4,500.00 a week.

    Fast forward to a couple of years down the road... the coal fired power plant is winding down and I'm slowly picking up water coolers from them, dialing back on the volume of water being delivered and I see that the city is putting out a bid for bottled water and water coolers.

    I get a copy of the bid as well as the pricing of the current company that is serving the city, read it over, pound out some numbers on a calculator and put in a bid.

    Now, when you are bidding a big contract with a major municipality, you have to prove that you have the wherewithal to buy the necessary equipment as well as the assets to serve that municipality.

    The purchasing agent for the city calls me in and begins to tell me that he thinks I am too small an outfit to give him the service he requires.

    Fortunately, I was prepared as I had a pretty good idea of what was going to happen as I've dealt with cities, counties as well as a state when working for others so I showed him the titles to all my trucks (all paid for), the list of current inventory of bottled water coolers (all paid for), my business bank statements for the past 6 months and had a letter of recommendation from the power plant purchasing agent.

    That kept him from precluding me from the bidding process... we won the bid and it was a 250,000.00 year contract for 2 years.

    A year and a half into the contract, I sold the business to three separate people for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    So, just by being diligent and making sure that I didn't skip one door to knock on, I ended up generating somewhere in the neighborhood of 1 million dollars.

    You SEO guys, don't leave one stone unturned, be faithful in your marketing.

    You guys with 1 site or 100 sites, make sure that you take full advantage of the site and don't just aim for one KW, mix it up, add in others and you'll end up with more traffic and more revenue.

    You service providers, offer a quality product and good service, go the extra mile especially when you don't want to and you may just land a big client.

    Those of you that work offline jobs, make sure that whatever you do, that you outwork the other guy and you'll succeed.

    Offline business owners, take some of what I have shared and implement it in whatever way works for you and get that extra customer, additional client and build your revenue.

    Are you a commissioned sales person? There are some things in this post that can really make you money.

    Hopefully some of you can take some of the above, adapt it to your personal situation and end up increasing your revenue, making your savings account larger and giving you a better lifestyle.
     
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  2. pyronaut

    pyronaut Executive VIP

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    Wow, I read this just after it posted and only just came back now and still no comments.

    Your story is great. Lots of great motivational info, and real world business info. I used to spend days reading stories like this. Especially with game programming, it was crazy to read the stories of just how difficult it was to get a game through the front door and onto the shelves.

    Alas, It doesn't tell me how to make 1k in a day so you won't find that much appreciation around here.

    It's actually interesting that you were 100% honest about your competitor. I did EXACTLY the same when I was running my hosting company. People would ask what made us different, and I would be completely honest and say for a small host, you aren't going to see that much difference. The prices are negligible (below $10) and the sort of uptime and speed would be about on par. But if you ever need something special then come ask us and see what we can do. Sometimes people would come back within the day saying they needed extension XXXX installed and can we do that. Ofcourse we were happy to and we won the customer over without having to talk through our ass about our competitors.
     
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    Last edited: May 21, 2011
  3. Chrisss

    Chrisss Senior Member

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    Great share mate and very inspiring.

    What was your profit on your water bottles and water cooler rental?
     
  4. Bacanze

    Bacanze Junior Member

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    Great story man, thanks for sharing.
     
  5. homenet

    homenet Power Member

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    Very inspiring indeed. I've said it before and I'll say it again, this guy shares some very valuable information, not just with SEO, but stories like this should be real motivation to anyone out there who doubts they can make a serious living out of Internet Marketing.
     
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  6. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    Cooler rental was great as after about 12 - 14 months on rental they were paid for and the life of the cooler was close to 9 + years.

    The water was not as profitable due to the transportation expense but still well worth the effort.

    The actual bottles were an expense as they would only last a certain amount of washings before there were issues with them cracking and such.

    Customers paid a deposit on the bottles but we did not hit them if the bottle just wore out, only if they gave us back one that was obviously trashed and even then I sometimes bit the bullet just for goodwill purposes.
     
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  7. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    Under promise and over delivering works so well and take such small effort.

    Also when making a mistake (every business owner/sales person/service provider/etc does), don't just fix the mistake, go above and beyond and provide more value than you initially offered just for the hassle that your client had do deal with... forget that it costs you, remember that it is one of the ways of you making things right with your client.

    You may still lose the client/sale but they will always remember that you went overboard to make things right... and so will you and that goes a long way in your professional careers.
     
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    Last edited: May 22, 2011
  8. robmiller99

    robmiller99 Regular Member

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    u know wot i wont lie im stoned right now and yeh thats it hahahahaha
     
  9. JohnnyRabbit

    JohnnyRabbit Supreme Member

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    Great post thanks for sharing
     
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  10. Eagle Eye

    Eagle Eye Senior Member

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    Basstracker;

    Thanks for the info on how you operate, It is very useful and inspirational for people who are trying to make an income without succumbing to the rat race. It takes a high degree of work ethic and perseverance but in the end it will be worth it.

    I really appreciate your time in sharing your story

    wmoriarty
     
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  11. reinie

    reinie Elite Member

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    Great story my friend
     
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  12. angelas111

    angelas111 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    outstanding. i live by this principle every day. people need to lose the tunnel vision and see how many opportunities face them on a daily basis. it reminds me of the "homeless looking" people that came on to the lot one time a few years ago. they were looking around and asking about cars. i was polite and answered their questions while thinking they were just wasting time. plus they were walking which is normally a sign of someone looking for a joy ride. but they did not ask to test drive anything. so they left and a couple hours later they came back with a 20k cashiers check. they had walked to the bank and back and when they came in and pointed and said "I want that one and that one". They paid in full and did not even negotiate the price either.
     
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    Last edited: May 22, 2011
  13. elocin

    elocin Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Thanks for sharing mate. I will remember to always be honest when talking about my competitors. Good luck to you and your future endeavors.
     
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  14. Bross

    Bross Senior Member

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    Great story and excellent writing!

    Out of curiosity - How did you end up finding yourself in the online biz?
     
  15. Virus1

    Virus1 Supreme Member

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    BTB.... are you from TEXAS??

    what part??
     
  16. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    I'm in Florida but that particular firm that builds power plants is Texas based.
     
  17. adbot

    adbot Power Member

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    Some great advice in there. Thanks for sharing. Its true, you never know where your next customer might come from. There have been prospects of mine that at first appearance I thought would not have the budget to afford my services. That's a nice way of saying they seemed cheap. Still I write up the proposals and I usually charge more in those instances to weed out the borderline clients that might make me chase after my money. Several of those prospects turned into some of my best customers who are the quickest to pay and the last to bug me with anything petty. Appearances can be deceiving and so it really does pay to "leave no stone unturned."
     
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  18. TNphoneman

    TNphoneman Senior Member

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    Great story and you are right, you never know where that next customer will come from. I ran into a gentleman one time in Alaska that was around 65 years old and he dressed in ratty old carharts and his car looked like it was going to fall apart. We go to talking and I did end up selling him what I was selling at the time. As it turned out, this guy had owned thousands of acres in Wisconsin and Minnesota and had sold all of that land but the story did not end there, he kept all the mineral rights on that land and they found Natural Gas..... You can figure out the rest.
     
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  19. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    I was in the finance business and got out in 2007 when the business was going south... spent some time just looking around for another business to start/buy and was looking around youtube and saw all these guys claiming to make money online.

    98% of them were bogus and you could see that a mile away but I figured someone was making money online somehow... all those web sites were not put up out of benevolence so after studying what others where doing I gave it a run.

    My first site was an employment site, still a great earner, and a twist of what some other guy was doing. Seeing that one site could make money, I built others pretty much the same way.

    I'm no technician by any means so what I did to build my sites took 4 times as long as what you smart guys can do, so if I am making a nice living online, you smart guys can make a much better living.
     
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  20. saifi2649

    saifi2649 Power Member

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    in my gf`s heart :D
    Wow u make my day dear :)
    thread of the week hmmm no thread of the month :)