Say you run a bonsai shop. Imagine the scene: a woman comes in with her tree and starts asking questions. First, she asks why her tree isn't growing very much on one side. Then she questions you about a problem with the leaves. And, how often should she water? prune? re-pot? Could you perhaps show her how to trim the branches properly. Do you have scissors there? "Just one or two branches and I can do the rest". Where should she place it at home?
With that she leaves your shop- leaving you a little dumbfounded! Almost an hour of your time and nothing earned. Sure, it's great give out advice for free and even help out with small problems without charging. Being the opposite, a moneygrabber, is not what we want to be.
However there's a wealth of value in experience and a business must monetize that knowledge somehow, be that in products or services, and not give it all away for nothing.
Lots of online marketers feel like the bonsai store owner. Quote requests ask for very specific, detailed advice tailored to a client they haven't charged a penny to.
I've done it myself on the expert side: spending an hour or more digging into a prospective client's analytics and shop data to compile a detailed quote. The revelation for me was that these clients convert more poorly than those I gave a more generic, standard quote to.
Why? I'm not entirely sure. The prospects would mostly say they're not ready, which I conclude to mean they are casual quote requesters. Not serious about engaging an expert and mainly looking for free advice.
Conversely the best converting leads are those that summarize their specific problem, we have a brief chat, I provide a nice entry-level analysis project to start, and then they pull the trigger.
Speaking with Shopify experts I hear the same. Many are mined for free advice and have become fatigued by quote requests.
So as a client how can we stand out as serious and different? What do we need to do to work with the best Shopify marketers?
First, succinctly state your problem in enough detail to show you have made some effort to understand or tackle it. Think not 'I'm getting no traffic or sales', more 'recently our conversion rate from search engines has dropped and we've tried ...'.
Your target Shopify marketing expert now can see that you've worked to narrow the scope to something they can tackle first to give both of you a chance to try out working together.
Next, what to do about the budget question? No-one wants to pay over the odds, so the fear here is that if we say $3k it's going to cost $3k. But saying 'I don't know' is a red flag.
This question is really to weed out clients with unrealistic expectations, or budgets misaligned with the expert. Always include a ballpark range you're looking to spend.
Then make yourself available on multiple messaging channels like phone, skype and email. Don't force your expert to call your cell on LA time when they're in France. They likely have their own preferred ways of working so you don't want to eliminate your chances here.
Great: send! But you're not done yet! The best Shopify marketers are in demand, which means you're going to have to follow-up. Perhaps they're fully booked up for the next month and are ignoring quote requests. Unless you press them you won't get a chance to work with the very best Shopify experts.
I like to give them three working days and then follow up by email. Then again after five days saying how much you'd like to work with them specifically but you'll stop spamming them now.
If after all of this they don't reply to your quote request they're probably on a sunny beach somewhere sitting on piles of cash.