I sell websites and marketing packages for a living- in the past I’ve been both a freelancer, and I’ve sold for agencies large and small. I sell and I love it because selling is fun, it’s a challenge, and it offers an awesome opportunity to engage with people while bringing really innovate web solutions to problems they sometimes weren’t even aware of. That being said, I’ve also heard every excuse in the book. I’ve been hung up on in cold calls, had emails ignored, and even dismissed in person, all just simply because I’m selling. This is fine, it certainly comes with the territory, and most salesmen grow a thick enough skin to deal with it, but there is one particular excuse that just confounds me- “No thanks, I have enough business.”
This one is becoming an increasingly popular dismissal, and in my opinion, probably the most asinine. It’s also the hardest for salesmen to respond to, because it’s this enigmatic 1-2 punch combo of a bold faced lie followed by ignorance. Owners who claim to have enough or even “too much” business, especially in reference to why they don’t own or update a website, are often blind to so many issues. For years I was at a loss on how to respond, so today I wanted to share my rebuttals with you in hopes that you can start to dispel the myth of too much business in the world, and hopefully find some success with your potential clients who are too successful for their own good.
Example #1: Metaphorically Speaking
At the risk of delving into fables every time I need to get my point across, I do love a good metaphor. I recently encountered a business owner with a website that embodied all of 1999 into one webpage. You know the type I’m sure. This was punctuated with a “@toad.net” address for the main point of contact, a perfect cherry on top of the time capsule. The website was truly a relic, and probably one to be revered, if it weren’t making his 7-figure business appear to be run like a lemonade stand.
When I politely expressed this and suggested we talk about how I could help him, I was met with “I don’t need any fancy website help, I have too much business as it is.” My old foe, my nemesis, we meet again. He was a very nice guy and definitely seemed open to chatting, so I told him a quick story about my buddy the gardener.
I have a friend who is a horticulturist, and a darn good one at that. He works for a beautiful country club, and takes care of not only the gardens and grass, but even has a small farm there for fresh vegetables, and incredible flowers lining the whole entry and estate. The way he keeps up the appearance of the place is wonderful, and it’s a lovely experience to be there, just simply stunning. They have a full roster of club members, and a waiting list, too much business, if you will. Now what do you think would happen to their business if they just stopped watering the flowers one day?
The answer should be pretty obvious. Just because the grass is green, doesn’t mean you stop watering it; so in like, just because business is great for you, doesn’t mean you should stop taking pride in the appearance. Feel free to shorten the parable if you don’t have much of a flair for the dramatic, but it will get the point across just the same.
I should make mention here that getting his website fixed up would also allow me to create an email address with his domain on it. Using an ancient free email service as a business contact is just bad form.
Example #2: The Non-Mobile Mechanic
This is another great example I encountered recently, not just because the business owner had an extremely dated website that wasn’t responsive, but also because of his particular industry- auto repair. Aside from the obvious advantages of having an effective and up to date website, when folks are having car troubles, it’s more than likely that they are searching for car repairs on their phone, since, unsurprisingly, most people encounter car troubles when they are away from their computers.
My first step here was clear, this year, like the past few, we’re record numbers of mobile traffic. 2017 is seeing over 60% of mobile traffic, so I explained that if 60% of people looking to get their car repaired are on their phones, and the auto shop’s website didn’t work on phones, then you’ve automatically alienated yourself from more than half of the potential customers that have a need for your services.
The auto garage owner is also an excellent example of the type of owner who loves to throw around the “I already have enough business” misnomer without realizing that they aren’t full of their ideal business. Lets consider how they fill the schedule. A manager or owner may claim “oh we have too much business, we fill up every day.” My follow up would immediately be “how many of your daily customers are the ideal customer?”
If an auto body shop makes an average of $2000 from a repair job, but is too busy filling their schedule with $20 oil changes and telling me that they already have “too much business,” I could quite simply counter that the appropriate website could bring them more body repair jobs and they could spend less time filled with the lowest common denominator.
Example #3: Scatterbrain Shane
Here’s a business owner we all know in some form- Scatterbrain Shane. Shane is a busy guy. He’s a super busy guy. Shane sleeps a few hours a night, and runs a small and very successful team. Your average Scatterbrain Shane probably makes a ton of money, and has less than 10 employees, and is seen often visibly shaking from caffeine intake. He probably likes to say things like “Money Doesn’t Sleep,” and always half-jokes about needing a good assistant.
Your product, in my case a good website, is his good assistant. That’s his unicorn, it’s what he needs, but he just doesn’t know it.
In Shane’s case, especially if business is good, his website could be taking on more of the workload and freeing up time for his employees. Customer inquiries, booking systems, scheduling, and even proper media and FAQ can all save his employees valuable time and effort by providing more information to his potential customers up front.
Example #4: The Retiree
Great websites also make great contingency plans for companies that are getting ready to change ownership. If your business is coming to a close, and you’re getting ready to sell and move on to the beach house chapter of your life, your focus is going to change from bringing in new clients to preparing for sale and hand off of the company. Consider the new website a fresh coat of paint for potential buyers, it assists with credibility, and shows that you’re a professional company that cares about your image, and that absolutely makes a difference with buyers.
So there are a few ways to dispel that pesky “too much business” talk from your potential buyers. As always, good luck to you guys, and I hope this helps next time your sales pitch gets railroaded.