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Finding Work in a Down Economy

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In a recent discussion list post, a Web designer wrote:
“I feel uncomfortable building a site for a spammer. But times are tight these days, and turning down the site would be unwise financially.”

If you’ve had similar feelings, you’re not alone.

Deciding whether or not to accept a less-than-desirable project when times are tight is a dilemma I faced last fall. I was approached by a guy who wanted a marketing makeover for a Web site that sold an offbeat health supplement.

He wanted me to work for a modest up-front fee plus a percentage of sales.

I’ve done contingency deals before and have sometimes been burned. However, I figured I’d give it a go despite my gut feeling that the guy was a little slippery.

I wrote a contract, he signed it and sent me the up-front fee, which was about 25% of what I would have charged without the percentage of sales part.

As I got into the project, I discovered there was a lot more to it than we had originally contracted for. And the guy called me nearly every day to pick my brain and pressure me into finishing the project sooner than we had agreed.

After all was said and done, his conversion rate increased by 17% in the first week. After the first month, sales increased 61% over the month prior to my makeover. Now it was time for him to pay me.

To make a long story short, he gave me every excuse for why he couldn’t pay. Later, I found out he had not been shipping the product. After two months, his Web site disappeared and his phone was disconnected.

Incidents like this can do much more than financial damage. They can do emotional damage, because you start to wonder what you did wrong. You may question your judgment and abilities. You might even wonder whether or not you’re in the right business.

This negative internalization can eat away at your psyche and can prevent you from moving forward with pursuing your dreams. It can paralyse your business.

On the positive side, this incident prompted me to create a selling system for myself that would help me avoid getting into this kind of situation again.

A key component of the system involves getting to know potential clients well enough to decide if they are ethically compatible with your standards. If not, the system advises that you walk away.

Since creating and following my system, I’ve turned down a few projects where the people or products involved didn’t seem quite right, or where the people tried to get me to give them free advice or a proposal without making a commitment in return.

At first I worried about losing revenue. But you know, it’s interesting how turning down those projects actually increased my income.

I was amazed that new, desirable clients appeared out of nowhere, as if by magic. It seems my conscious decision to accept only clients that meet my high standards had the effect of boosting my business, rather than limiting it.

My advice to the good people of this list is to follow your gut feelings and maintain high ethical standards. You will reap rewards in ways you can’t imagine.

Nick Nichols, Las Vegas NV USA
ideas@GetSalesNow.com

http://GetSalesNow.com

Nick Nichols helps consultants, coaches and freelancers get more long-term, high-paying clients in less time, with less effort and frustration than ever before. Click here: GetSalesNow.com to learn how to do this.

Finding Work in a Down Economy
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About Nick Nichols
Nick Nichols, Las Vegas NV USA ideas@GetSalesNow.com http://GetSalesNow.com Nick Nichols helps consultants, coaches and freelancers get more long-term, high-paying clients in less time, with less effort and frustration than ever before. Click here: GetSalesNow.com to learn how to do this. WebProNews Writer
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