#83 – Don’t Let People Screw You Over

Summary: How to prevent people from screwing you over.


[00:00:14] Hey guys, Stephen Esketzis here from Marketing on the Move and today I want to come with another episode.  We’re doing back to back episodes here so it’s exciting.  Yesterday I recorded one, today I’m recording one.  It’s pretty ready to go back-to-back.  So we’re doing back-to-back episodes.

[00:00:29] And this one, I really wanted to share with you.  It’s funny because I’m working on a project right now, building a funnel, you know?  Building another sales funnel for one of my businesses and I needed to hire a copywriter.  So, this copywriter I hired, I paid upfront I think about 50 or 60 percent of the job.  There were two parts to it.  One part I paid almost a four-figure sum upfront and the other one I also paid in full another part of the project.

[00:01:00] Anyway, so I paid him a whole lot of money before the project was finished, which is normal, you know?  Like, you pay 50 percent upfront usually at the time and then you pay the other 50 percent with it’s done.  In this case, you know, the copy was pretty expensive so I paid half.  I’ve used this guy before, so it’s all good.  I thought that would be sweet.  Four months in – sorry, not four months in, four weeks is where the copy was due, after the payment.  So then, I sent him a message, “How’s it going, you know, where we at, where’s this copy?”  And he goes, “It’s good, I’m not there yet.”  “Okay, can you just send me what you’ve got?”  He goes, “Look, you know, it’s kind of not there yet, I need to work on it.  I’ve got notes here and there.”  And mind you, four weeks in was when everything was supposed to be due, not just some of the copy, but all of it and there was a lot.  Four weeks was generally – it was a fair amount of time to get the work done.  It wasn’t super strict nor was it super lengthy.  So he said, “Look, I’m still working on it.  I’ve got it, no worries.” You know, “Have a few more days and let me know if that’s cool and show me you go and we’ll go from there.”  He goes, “Sweet.”  Keeps going, another week goes by.  I don’t hear from him.  I instigated a message, still not done.  Another week goes by, instigate the message, where were you at, come on, I need the work done, I’ve been waiting for six weeks, still nothing.

[00:02:10] The other day, a few days ago it was crunch time.  So I’m like, “Look, I got to find out where we’re at.  Let’s see what you got.” Comes back to me and then says, “Look, we’ve got nothing.  Pretty much I don’t have any of what you asked for done.” He didn’t tell me that but I had to go and really dig deep to find and go, “Show me what you’ve got.” It doesn’t always have to be done perfect.  I just need something to put in the funnel.  I got people waiting.  I’ve got people running to push traffic to this funnel, I need some copy done.  We agreed on it, I’ve given you everything that you’ve asked.  When I start working with copywriters, I literally give them as much as I can because I know that the copy is an integral part of the funnel.

[00:02:46] So, I set up interviews with who we needed to deal with the data research.  He had everything, so really no excuse.  And then end of the day, literally nothing done, three weeks overdue from what we initially set, so almost two months what was supposed to be like a two to three-week project.  And then I ended up having to cut the cord and pretty much it got a bit messy.  I’m not going to lie.

[00:03:09] So what I want to make the point of is even if you’ve worked with people in the past, do not let them screw you over.  It’s business, right?  We’re not here to build friendships and going play that.  Business is business.  If you agree to something, get it done.  I paid you upfront, I’ve outlined the terms, you agreed to the terms.  If it’s not paid, cut cords.  Don’t waste your time.  The amount of times I’ve seen this — and I’ve given good faith and I’ve actually put money where my mouth is and people don’t follow through or they give me something which I wasn’t after.  You really got to make a stance.  People got to know who they’re messing with so they don’t screw you over again.  And it’s something which I’ve been too kind to a lot of people doing this sort of stuff, where I’ve gone in and said, “Look, I’ll just cover for this one and I’ll pay for this one, I’ll do this one.” At the end of the day, no one pays you back.  There’s no favors in business, you know, in the years that I’ve been doing business and it’s something which you really need to realize.  Everyone’s out there for themselves.  And I speak to a lot of seasoned business owners.  So, people that have been in business longer than I have and stories are exactly the same.  You’re always going to find people that want to take your money and bean it for themselves.

[00:04:12] So long story short, in this particular scenario with the guy I was working with, I go, “Look, obviously you haven’t delivered it.  I’d like a refund so I can go out.  I’m just going to cut my losses with the time that I couldn’t get back and I’m going to go find someone else who can do what you’re doing.  Please give me a refund.”  And I was kind about it.  I was like, “Look, end of the day, put water under the bridge.  I need the refund today because there’s no way I can keep going.” The next thing which really pissed me off was that they said, “I don’t have the money right now.”  And when you’re paying someone thousands of dollars and then they turn around and tell you they’ve done nothing, they’re over time and they don’t have the money because they’ve likely spent it, then that really pisses me off.  And it’s something which just shows me how flaky these characters are.  So you really need to put your head down, figure out who you’re working with and make sure — this really shows their true colors, you know?

[00:05:02] I understand people are creative and everyone has a different personality.  Some people might not be good with money but at the end of the day, you’ve got to be in business.  You got to follow business principles.  This is one principle, you know, being able to satisfy your customer.  The customer is always right.  It comes down to everything.  That’s why we give 30, 60-day refund periods.  That’s why all this stuff happens.  You want to make sure that you’re getting what you deserve.  Even if they don’t deliver, you need to make sure that there’s a refund in place.  You’re not going to go around telling your clients that you’ve spend their money and they can’t get a refund.  And it just shows the true colors of the person.

[00:05:38] So, that’s what happened to me in the last couple of days.  It’s something that I wanted to share with you.  It’s a really big lesson that now that it’s happened to me, I’m hoping that, you know, the people that are listening to this podcast, just sit down and realize, whether you’re in an agency or you’re paying for a cause or you’re doing anything.  If you’re the customer and you’re paying for money, you’re paying for a service or a good, make sure that you’re super clear with the terms and everything is there, written, documented as well and make sure you’re working with the right people.  Don’t let them screw you over.  It’s something which, you know – don’t let them walk all over you and then disappear with your money.  It’s something that you need to protect.  Money is like an asset.  You worked just as hard for it as they do.  So you need to make sure that you’re getting what you deserve.

[00:06:15] So, it’s up to you, guys.  I personally make sure that now this is something I’m going to learn from.  And now I’ve got to go through the process doing chargebacks and this and that.  It’s a real pain in the ass.  But at the end of the day, I know now going forward that every single transaction I make, you need to make sure you trust — you don’t just trust people because they trust them, but you need to make sure they’ve got a good track record and do as much as you can to make sure you’re protecting your money from the wrong people.  And this really was the wrong person to give this project to.

[00:06:45] So, just a little takeaway for you guys, have to think about it, have you ever had someone screw you over in business, why did that happen, you know, what position did you put yourself in?  As always, the onus is on you.  So, it’s always your own fault for letting this sort of stuff happen.  You’re the root of all those issues that have come up.  If you go around blaming someone else, I can’t blame them.  I blame myself for this because I should have seen it coming.  The longer I waited, I should have picked up on it.  So, the onus is always on you.  It’s always your fault but it also teaches you not to go out and work with people like this in the future.  So, don’t let people run away with your money.  Don’t let people screw you over.  You got to make an example out of these people as well so that way it doesn’t happen again because then no one else is going to be coming around your door thinking they can just take your money, take your job and then do a half-ass job and then move on to the next customer.  You’re the important customer, you know?  It’s like going up to a person that you most respect and then them saying, “Look, they’ll give you the job,” and you always want to do an amazing job for that person because you really respect them.  That’s the relationship you want to have with people that are working with you.  You want to make sure that if you’re working with them, that they respect you enough and they do an amazing job and that way you keep referring them work.

[00:08:00] You know, I could have given this job to a whole lot of other people but I went with this person and now they didn’t respect me enough to deliver on time, to be transparent, to communicate and now they screwed me over.  So, be open, guys.  Keep your eyes wide open when you’re going into business.  Don’t take people’s words for everything they say and make sure you hold your ground and you’re showing people that you’re not someone to be messed with if you’re going through all these hurdles.

[00:08:24] So, that’s my two cents for today.  I just got back from the gym, jumping in the shower then after, the office.  I’ll get on to it.  Hopefully we could set up another interview with someone else for this podcast very shortly.  But that’s pretty much it, guys.  That’s my takeaway for the day.  If you’re on my email list as well, something cool which I want to share with you, is I’m thinking about putting together a membership site of everything, sales funnels, content, commerce, everything like that.  Predominantly it will be sales funnels for digital and physical products.

[00:08:55] So, we’re going to be putting that together and I’ve already had a lot of interest in it.  If you saw my email I sent out a little while ago, people were replying if they’re interested.  Now I had a fair few emails reply.  So, it’s something which I think I’m going to do.  So, it will just be at $49 a month or something like that.  I think that will kind of the price point, where someone can just join up, talk about sales funnels.  It will just be a community.  So, it’s not going to be training, it’s not going to be like a $2,000 cost.  It’s literally just going to be a community where you can ask questions.  We’re going to do some webinars with some experts like No Pitch webinars.  There’s going to be a bunch of value in there.

[00:09:25] So, if you’re interested in that, join my email list and you’ll find out first when that comes out and I’m hoping they are done the next few weeks so we can that up and running.  But aside from that, it’s going to be a busy weeks ahead, guys.  And then hopefully you guys, it’s time to get busy now as we get towards the end of the year.  A lot of things are wrapping up and hopefully it’s full-throttle from here on out.  So, I’ll speak to you guys soon.  Take care.  Have an awesome day.


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