I will share with you a story that recently happened to me about a (non-paying) customer I just had.
So there was this dress designer of ballroom dresses that urgently wanted my help with coaching her business because she was amongst other things: overworked, poor and had too little sales. On top of that, her business was in an unsuitable location for her ideal customers. So customers would choose less fancy and less expensive dresses; although her designer dresses weren’t that pricy.
So we agreed to talk, and she could use my one hour session free talk. I had to postpone our first talk, so when we first got to talk I learned that had spent 38 000 NOK on a online shopping platform (impulse buy) that I myself had really, really bad experience with. But she had already signed the contract, the day before, so there was no turning back. She also had another webside under development for her shop.
We talked and I gave her a special offer that was quite good for once a week, monthly online coaching, so my husband spent time on setting up a special offer for her on my web in WordPress and in Paypal, a secret offer that only she got the link too. I also did back office work, researching her businesss, the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) and so on, and emailed her that she had to do her part of research as we agreed upon on the phone call. Which she didn’t do. I scanned her Facebook and helped her pick out dresses for a photoshoot and call out the best baby clothes.
But later she e-mailed me and all off a sudden she wasn’t so sure…. she would rather come back to me at a later stage… Since we had a verbal agreement and not a written one I let this one go (but I am wiser now).
Then after a while she contacted me back and was desperate. We decided to talk, and so we did for over yet another hour. This time she said she would like to purchase one and one hour of coaching as needed in stead of weekly hours per month, I told that I could do that if she was serious and paid on time.
I did more back office work for her, and I said I would charge her for a pack of 3 hours coaching which included a meeting we agreed upon. I never charge the same price for meeting in real life as for online coaching, but I was nice again and said that it was OK for this time. So my husband set up another package deal online. And I sent her the link.
Later she sent me an sms saying she cancelled the meeting due to some lazer surgery, and we booked the next week. Still, I received no money into my account. A couple of days before we were supposed to meet, I cancelled the meeting by sms. In fact, I was stressed that I spent time and research on a person/business that didn’t pay me for my engagement neither did she do the «homework» that I asked of her. She sent me an sms asking when we could meet, and I replied with an e-mail that we could further the work when she had paid 2 outstanding hours of work and 1 prepaid, keep in mind that I also did an hour for free, so all together I worked over 4 hours.
I never heard from her again, she just deleted me as a friend on Facebook…
Ok, so the point of the story was that I learned by experience what I only knew: that clients that don’t come across as serious (no matter how much they praise themselves for good standards) and do not pay on time, probably never will.
Furthermore I learned that she bought an online course in online marketing for online businesses, this too was shortly before she “met” me. This course has an estimated price of 10 000 NOK, however she did not have an online business. So we can call this yet another impulse buy.
Nevertheless, the new online portal she signed up to, she uploaded many dresses. With the deal she got with them it also included a photo shoot, so all her dresses were now up on the online portal with professional photos. Which was a good thing. The bad thing was that she put these same photos up and out on her Facebook page, with no description, no call to action, and most importantly NO LINK! Her business was an ongoing disaster!
Picture under: finally a description of the dress but still no name, link to website where you can purchase it or a call to action of any kind.
As if this wasted form of «marketing» wasn’t enough, I almost had the coffee coming back up again when I saw that she had put the same dresses from her Facebook page out on Facebook ads! Yes you cannot believe it, the ads were of course without any link to purchase the dresses, without any description or not even an encouragement to «Like this page»!!!
They say, a disaster never comes alone and in this case this was a constant head shaking experience. I cannot help from feeling very sorry for this person. Also sorry for neglecting valuable entrepreneurial coaching.
So to the calculations:
My fee was 3750 NOK (included taxes)
Her online shopping platform was 38 000 NOK
Her online marketing course which obviously was good for nothing was approximately 10 000 NOK
Her Facebook ads would probably be around 1500 NOK
+ expenses for another website under development
So a total of 3750 NOK that she wouldn’t pay me for valuable coaching, she rather chose approximately 49 500 + NOK thrown out of the window taking her own “advice” and not getting anywhere.
Also, she said that she designed her own dresses, something that I thought was awesome and noble, as I am myself a designer. I planned therefor to suggest that we could give away a dress as a present to the Norwegian crown princess Mette Marit for her birthday, as she is an ambassador for Norwegian design.
Recently, I was mildly shocked when I stumbled across the same dress, oh and even more same dresses from a huge Swedish online dress store as pictured below from dreamqueen.no (which is not the client that I am talking about, but selling the same dresses).
How embarrassing would it be if the Norwegian crown princess received a dress that wasn’t the “real deal” from a Norwegian designer and just a mass produced copy? I rest my case..
Would you like my consulting for your business? To find out if we are the «right match» contact me and make sure you have read this blogpost first ;)