Think you’re a good salesperson? Maybe you are.
There’s one thing however, that I’ll never buy again from any salesperson.
The offer comes only from small business owners, in all kinds of industries. I’ve read and heard variations on their pitches so many times…
“I’m only a (small business/sole proprietor/one-man shop). I can’t afford to pay everybody all at once. Help me get it off the ground and we’ll both get rich together.”
“Listen, this (idea/product/service) will sell like crazy. EVERYBODY’S gonna wanna buy this. I just don’t have the money to put into marketing… but if you work for commission on any sales you bring in, then I’ll pay you (double/triple/much more) than you’ll ever expect to earn if I paid you now.”
“Man if you were any good you’d have no trouble writing for nothing up front and a healthy commission once the money starts flowing.”
Here are three reasons why your persuasion skills aren’t good enough to convince me to write for “a piece of the action”… otherwise known as “free”.
1. The only reason you’d expect me to work for free is because you’ve no idea how valuable my skills are to you.
Do you go to work for free?
Then why do you expect me to?
2. You won’t appreciate me or my knowledge or my ability or all of the work I’ll do for you.
“Few things in life are more difficult than trying to appreciate the value of something you got for nothing.” – Larry Elder
3. Been There, Done That, Not Interested.
Years ago I tried working for a piece of the action only.
This guy had a great pitch. He’d come up with the idea on his own, having seen a demand his existing clients didn’t know they had. (The best kind of new business venture supplies a demand nobody else has noticed.)
He focused on an expanding group with wealth, who wanted and needed his unique service and products.
He tried out his idea on three or four clients, and they all eagerly bought. Now he was ready to roll out his service and products to a waiting world of customers anxious to buy what he offered.
Both of us were very excited about the potential. Dollar signs and wealth symbols worthy of a late nite infomercial were waltzing through our brains. Soon we were going to become almost as well-off as those we were planning to help.
I interviewed his customers… found the hooks… designed the package… wrote his telephone scripts… his ads… his website copy… and prepared everything he needed for an incredible return… in other words, I created an entire marketing plan.
In baseball terms I placed a big bat in his hand… put runners on all three bases… and lobbed a large, easy-to-smack softball slowly towards him… lobbed it so gently he could easily knock it not only over the fence, but also completely out of the park.
And just when I lobbed that softball towards him…
He dropped the bat and went home.
Canceled the project. Decided he wanted to focus on something else.
He didn’t care that I’d done everything he needed to make a ton of money.
He didn’t care about the hours and hours and hours I’d spent working so he could rake in tons of dough.
He didn’t appreciate what I’d done for him. And I never saw or spoke with him again.
So I went back to working for big businesses. Doing what I’d always been paid to do. Stopped trying to help small business owners.
“They think small,” my marketing friends told me. “That’s why they’re small businesspeople.”
On top of that, small businesses don’t have the funds to pay for professional marketing. Nor do they understand direct marketing or the value of direct response copywriting. First they must be educated.
A phrase commonly expressed by exasperated experienced copywriters (and designers) is, “I don’t take clients I have to educate.”
There remains a gnawing feeling that somewhere out there is a small business owner who wants more… who wants to become a BIG business owner… who wants to dominate his or her market.
If that’s you, let’s chat. If we agree, then I’ll begin… after your deposit clears. 🙂
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