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Posted 26 July 2005 - 11:41 AM
One lesson for all of us is not to have all your eggs in one basket. If you have only one major client and lose them, you have zero income overnight.
You are much better off to have several clients. If you lose a client that represents ten percent of your income, you still have ninety percent left.
Another lesson: Just because you have work now, don't neglect marketing.
I agree that likely the client has already made up their mind. If you don't accept, they'll look for someone else.
Watch out for this dirty trick: Some people will request a quote from you just to to get their present consultant to drop his price. If your competitor charges one thousand dollars and your quote is eight hundred dollars, the client now asks your competitor to better his price. So, now your competitor quotes seven hundred and fifity dollars. The client never had any intention of hiring you but was simply using you.
A prospective client did this to me one time so I billed him. Of course, he disagreed that he should have been billed, but when I explained my position, we agreed that he would pay half of my bill for wasting my time. Fortunately, I was able to appeal to his sense of fairness. This won't work with everyone.
Posted 26 July 2005 - 01:55 PM
I can definitely see your dilemna here!
I read the first few posts and completely disagree - I don't think that business has to be dog-eat-dog, or every man for himself. I DO understand your concern (which I believe is genuine) for your competitor.
I do agree with Jill:
And this was similar to my own first thoughts on this.
I liked what Stacy said and how she handled her own situation.....It seems to have turned out well. I also know that approaching your competitor may not be that simple and may not turn out the way it did for Stacy.
Since you are really having a hard time dealing with this, and it feels like a moral dilemna for you, maybe you should you ask the prospective client what it is about. I think that would be perfectly reasonable. At least you could get a good feel up front if it really was a "fishing expedition" or if they are serious.
If they Are serious, then why?
Is there some kind of personality conflict that can't be helped?
That could be understandable.
Do they need specific work done that their present company just can't/won't handle?
That could be understandable.
Did their present company ditch them?
If so, I would love to know why.
It is because they are only ranking #2 and they think think they should be #1?
This, or similar, is unreasonable and means you do not want to deal with them, right?
Anyway, I would definitely talk to them before presenting anything formal.
It may turn out that there is no real dilemna at all.
I'm interested to know how it turns out.
Edited by Leann_Pass, 26 July 2005 - 02:03 PM.
Posted 26 July 2005 - 11:22 PM
I had an hour long phone convo with the potential client yesterday and I learnt some important things:
1) They want to form a joint venture and equity relationship with a small-med SEO and their current SEO is not interested in pursuing this.
2) They don't want their current SEO to know they are looking elsewhere yet.
3) They resell SEO services to their own customers as an upsell to their main business and farm it out to their current SEO who uses automated software because of the sheer number of customers this client has (and which they want to increase exponentially).
4) They want their new SEO to use the same software/tools and go for quantity rather than quality work (they readily agreed that only about 20-30% of their clients get good results! ).
5) They charge their customers an extremely low monthly fee for the work (USD 120) and pay their SEO even less!
I have pretty much decided to pass on the opportunity, because although they want to invest heavily in the business so we can service the sheer number of clients their partnership would create, I just can't live with doing a sloppy SEO job, no matter how little the customer pays.
I'm sure it's a great money-making opportunity but I can't quite get past the "throw mud at a wall and see what sticks" attitude. I haven't spent years building up my own reputation to chuck it away for quick cash
thanks again for all your advice!
Posted 27 July 2005 - 07:43 AM
But it is interesting how you got all worried about the moral dilemma before learning all the facts. Good lesson to learn there somewhere!
Posted 27 July 2005 - 09:03 AM
Your worried about taking the work from this guy as it is his main source of income. So, hire a hitman, get this competitor knocked off, hit, whacked (whatever they use in your kneck of the woods). and THEN you will not have to feel bad about taking the work away.
Posted 27 July 2005 - 10:01 AM
Posted 27 July 2005 - 10:16 AM
What? And put some poor hitman out of work?
Posted 27 July 2005 - 10:18 AM
Posted 27 July 2005 - 10:41 AM
How sweet of you to show such concern for those forgotten souls on the fringes of our society.
Posted 27 July 2005 - 01:23 PM
In the pecking order it seems SEO person is MUCh higher than hitman. (although I know which of the two I would rather upset )
Posted 27 July 2005 - 05:14 PM
Posted 27 July 2005 - 05:24 PM
I was going to call it "Search Engine Snipers Inc - The problem is your competition - we fix problems..."
I think it would be very profitable - probably make a killing....
Posted 27 July 2005 - 05:25 PM
Posted 27 July 2005 - 07:31 PM
You know that what you are considering is wrong, but you want to do it anyhow. In order to lessen the guilt, you think of a much worse thing you could do with regard the matter in hand, and then when you revert back to the original thing it doesn't seem too bad at all
I am so glad I am a changed man (not that I ever hired a hitman of course lol)
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