“We all learn from one another.  It’s important to attend community meetups like the WP Blogger and Social Media MeetUp.”

This statement from Scott is so true.  It brings to mind the benefits gained from the content spoken by all our Meetup Guest Speakers this past year.  Really Amazing!

Scott Mann brought to us his passion for building and maintaining successful businesses, a thriving entrepreneurial spirit with the principle of getting a fair market profit through helpful and honest business relationships.

Scott comes from a long line of business owners originating in England,  business owners who drove the businesses in the ground. Scott’s father was an ex-military man who worked for Good Year as a mechanic.  He was a nice man that helped many people; friends, relatives, and strangers alike. He sometimes would repair their cars for free and even pay for the parts himself.  After owning several failed businesses he finally ended up as a backyard mechanic and would travel also to go fix someone’s vehicle. Scott’s mother was one of the best leather smiths around that did specialty crafted work that no one else could do.  She essentially gave away her talent and goods for free.

His lists of Practical Tactics reveal sound advice and guidelines for avoiding traps, to qualify clients, counter unrealistic expectations, build client respect and integrity, among others. The following are some of his formative comments and principles that I made note of.

  • Don’t be a people pleaser.  You can take caring for people too far and it’s important to take care of yourself first. Many problems derived from people pleasing are things to run away from. Remember you need to put your own air mask on first. 
  • Some people may say to you; do it for free now and when we get big, we’ll pay you big. Don’t be a flight attendant for free flights.
  • We need work done now, we need it fixed now, we’ll pay you later.
  • Work cheap and we’ll give you references or referrals. ( this is a trap)
  • This is so simple to do. It’s not complicated. 
  • People who have a deal driven mindset don’t charge what they’re worth, nor will those type of clients pay what you’re worth.
  • Play the game.  Keep raising prices until the majority of people say “no”.  Time to get better clients. Use the leapfrog method whereby you gradually replace the problematic poor paying client with a good paying client, one at a time.
  • Never do discounting.  A discount rate is a way to kill your business.  People who pay full price show appreciation and respect; client integrity.
  • Staying nice – Givers find it hard to say “no” or give help to people in a pinch.  Do one small thing for free but the next project will be full price. People say “yes” and you’ve just set yourself up to a good client relationship.
  •  Late payment – when collections occur when the job is done, the client does not respect you.
  • Be clear what needs to change in order to continue a client relationship.
  • Explain (make clear) non-payment consequences with a pleasant, sympathetic, not mean, attitude.  It’s your decision on how you’ll continue the business relationship.
  • Contracts deescalate emotions.  Have a lawyer review your contracts. (Scott recommends LegalShield).  A living contract grows over the years and needs to be amended to cover all things.
  • Be wary of net terms and be able to accept them.  Net 30 is common. 100% up front is best. Get paid for discovery.  Don’t give solutions but say, I know how to fix this by previous experience.  Expect a certain amount of time to get work done.
  •  Software recommended – for late payment( Freshbooks); for invoices(Sherpa).
  • Always toot your own horn when doing a favor for people.  It is tactful and creates value. Stop being a hero, ask for thanks.
  • By not raising prices to a long time client, you give business away; you’re being too nice.
  • Always have the story of “why”; explain why you’ve increased prices.  ex: We’re now offering more services and value. Raise prices every year, talk about it every year.  Include the cost of living raises.
  • In charging for services there are no rules.  Some people will pay much more and be appreciative while other people will not pay if you make them a millionaire.
  • Scott recommends Dave Ramsey’s book, Entreleadership, especially a chapter in the book entitled, The Death oF A Salesman.
  • To qualify a potential client, four things must be present.  1-Money – must have money to hire. 2- Time – must have time to work with you.  3- Desire – desire to want your offer. 4- Power to Buy – must have the power to make decisions and the power to buy.
  • Never allow a non-design maker to take up your time.

Scott Mann speaks straightforward and candidly with insight into the heart of business dealings and relationships. Scott elaborates well and his delivery was well understood.   

Thank you, Scott, for spending your time and sharing your insights with Winter Park Bloggers and Social Media Meetup.