We’re picking up from last week when we discussed how Christian Entrepreneur power couple, Dana Chanel and Prince Donnell have been accused of shady activity within their businesses.
If you missed part 1 of this, go back to episode 47 to catch up on the deets and get a few tips for dealing with other entrepreneurs in business transactions.
Here, part 2 will discuss how more people are coming out with their stories. And then, we’ll have a teachable moment where we chat about how to build trust as a business owner and prevent coming off as a scammer.
What are your thoughts on this whole hot mess? And what have you done to make sure you’re establishing trust while building your business?
Danielle Towner (0s): The American dream never really existed. It was a marketing scam. Now, that quote from James Altucher is very relevant right now. I could go in so many different directions with this quote, but for the sake of the topic today we’re just talking about scams. There is a couple, a group of Christian entrepreneurs, that have been the topic of discussion for a couple of weeks.
0 (31s): For several weeks now, they’ve been accused of being scammers and they’ve been accused of taking money from clients over-promising and not delivering, and accused of just being nasty in business. Nasty with the way they speak to people and nasty with the way they handle them by not answering the phone after they’ve taken their money. The couple that I’m speaking of is Prince Donnell , Donnell Morris, and Dana Chanel.
0 (1m 8s): If you missed the chill podcast on last Sunday, you should go back to that one. I think it was episode 45 if I’m not mistaken, but go back to that one. That will give you more details into that topic about them being accused of being scammers and basically hurting their community with the strategies they’ve been using to get money and to not give people the services that they guaranteed them.
0 (1m 42s): There are also links in that podcast that will link to the articles that speak of those alleged activities that they’ve been doing and how they are under investigation from the D.A. In Philadelphia. But today we’re going to talk about in relation to that, how you as a business owner can avoid these situations. If you’re a legitimate business owner, and if you’re keeping your nose clean.
0 (2m 12s): If you’re doing everything that you can to provide good business, high quality products and services, then here are the ways that you build trust as a business owner and prevent being suspected or coming off as a scammer. So keep on listening as we get more into this topic. We’re back for another episode of Dreamer’s Den podcast.
0 (2m 44s): I’m your host, Danielle Towner. And I help entrepreneurs build their brand awareness and build their online presence through website design, content marketing, and digital products. Now, today we’re doing another chill episode. Just talking about a current event or a topic that’s in the media right now, but you know I gotta make it a teachable moment. So we’re going to talk about how you can avoid being in this situation if you really are doing your absolute best to do everything the right way.
0 (3m 22s): Like I talked to you about earlier, Dana Chanel and Prince Donnell have been a topic of discussion. And more people have been coming out who have either made a purchase from them, or have been involved with them in some way. People are pointing out how they’ve treated their employees, allegedly. If you want to know more about that topic, you can go back to my previous episode. But I just want to give you a few pointers real quick as to what you can do as a business owner to try to prevent this situation happening, to you.
0 (4m 1s): To prevent coming off as a scammer and to build trust and build a good reputation as an entrepreneur. The first thing that you want to do is you want to make yourself or your team available. Make yourself available before, during and after the sale. In a case where you’ve done a consult, you’ve done an intake, you collected money, wherever you are with that.
0 (4m 37s): You want to make yourself available to that client. And this doesn’t mean you have to give them your address and say, “hey, come pop up at my house any time.” You may not even have to make yourself available at your office. That’s what office hours are for. If you have meetings during your office hours, you can allow them to schedule an appointment, to make a call, you can even just offer them an option to email you, to chat, to do zoom.
0 (5m 8s): People decide how they want to make — you decide how you want to make yourself available. But give them an option to be able to reach your customer support team or whomever it is you have in charge of resolving any problems, asking any questions, and making them feel secure in their business relationship with you. That’s one of the things that you want to make clear before the transactions, during the transaction, and even after.
0 (5m 41s): Because that’s how you get loyal, repeat customers who refer you to others. And like I’ve told you before, my biggest – even what’s coming from my marketing activity – my largest client base comes from referrals. It comes from referrals. Just keeping a good relationship with your clients and your previous clients means making yourself available or making it easy for them to contact you.
0 (6m 16s): Number two, be transparent with information. That doesn’t mean you have to tell your whole life story. That doesn’t mean you don’t have a place for what’s deemed as private. That doesn’t even mean you have to be out here posting your financial statements ,your sales sheets, or your analytics. You control how much of that you want to show.
0 (6m 47s): Some people have no problem saying, “hey, this is what I made this year or this is what I made from this campaign” or anything like that. Some people have no problem with that and that’s okay. If that’s not what you choose to do and if that’s not the route you take, then that’s okay, too. It also depends on what type of industry you’re in. If you’re saying that you’re guaranteed to help someone make a certain amount of money or get a certain amount of clients, you may want to or may need to show, “this is how I did this and this is what I made from it”
0 (7m 22s): or “I did this and these are the amount of people who signed on.” It depends on the type of industry you’re in and what you’re trying to help them accomplish and what you’re trying to prove. But being transparent means basically showing up as yourself. Not sending a representative. You know how some people will send their representative. When they when they meet somebody, they put on their representative mask. When they meet somebody that they’re interested in, if you’re dating or are trying to date somebody, or in the friend zone trying to get out of the friend zone.
0 (7m 55s): Some people put on their representative masks. Don’t put your representative mask on when you’re trying to get a new client or when you’re dealing with a new client. Show up as yourself. Show up as yourself when you’re marketing, when you’re doing your videos and things like that. Show some type of detail that you are who you say you are and that you’re doing what you say you’re doing. So that’s what it means by be transparent. If they ask you a question, don’t lie.
0 (8m 27s): Tell the truth. Even if you’re starting off and they’re asking you if you have certain experience. It’s a way to word that. “I’m a growing company.” “We’re at this level and we’re expected to be at this level staying on track with where we going.” Just be straight up about it. You’re not going to miss or gain anything. You’re not going to be out of the place that you’re supposed to be from being straight up and being transparent about who you are and where you are.
0 (9m 0s): You can actually end up in the wrong place from not being transparent. Number three, be realistic with what you’re able to provide and the timeframe you’re able to do it. There are a lot of people – I like to say that they hold your money hostage. Basically, you paid them and then they go ghost on you until they feel like it, until they’re ready, until they finish the hundred thousand projects they had before yours.
0 (9m 47s): And then they come back. Don’t do that. If you have something going on, stay in communication. Say, “hey, I’m working on it.” Put some milestones in place and say, “hey, I’m at milestone number, whatever.” This is how much I’ve done so far. Or even in the beginning say, “I’m only taking on this amount of clients per month, so if you book at this time, it won’t be until this time until I get started” or “this is what I have on schedule already.”
0 (10m 18s): You don’t have to go into too much detail, but just enough to let someone know a specific and realistic timeframe as to when you think that you will get this done. I mean, it’s almost like – for the ladies – if you go to a hair salon or back in the day, maybe this is not anymore. It’s gotten a little bit better now from what I’ve seen, but back in the day, sometime if you go to the hair salon, they might have someone in the chair and someone under the dryers. They’ll stop what they’re doing and take you to the shampoo bowl and wet your hair now.
0 (10m 59s): And then, you sit there in the sink for probably about an hour waiting on them to finish everybody else up. That’s the same as holding somebody’s money hostage like, “I’m going to wet you down so you can’t go anywhere, but I’m going to tell you I’ll be right back, but I ain’t going back no time soon.” Don’t do that. Don’t do that. Be realistic about what you can do and how soon you can provide it.
0 (11m 30s): And the what you can do of that is, if you know that it’s not within your industry, or it’s not within your niche, or it’s not within what you say you handle. Then don’t experiment with somebody’s money, somebody’s business, or somebody’s project. It’s enough for everybody. It’s somebody else that is probably within your network who offers complementary products or services who can do that better than you can.
0 (12m 6s): So if somebody asked you, “Hey, do you do this?” And you know you don’t do it, then send them on. Bless somebody else with that business and you focus on what you do best. And so like I said, don’t put yourself in the wrong place because you’re not being realistic about what you’re able to do. Okay, let’s move on. Number four, try to resolve issues with customers or clients before it gets out of hand.
0 (12m 37s): What Dana Chanel and what Prince Donnell are going through right now, that would be getting out of hand. I don’t know from their perspective what happened or what’s going on, or what’s real and what’s not. But from my perspective, as a business owner, that would be getting out of hand. Because they chose or allegedly, they chose not to respond and not to answer phone calls instead of addressing this situation and trying to resolve it even if it meant giving refund.
0 (13m 15s): You’re not a failure because you have to make something right or give a refund. It happens in every business big, small, or in between. People are human, people make mistakes, and people have to try to make it right. So just make sure that if you see there’s an issue. Or even if you predict from your end that there may be an issue with this, address it.
0 (13m 49s): Address it, try to correct it, and move on. Everybody’s not going to be happy with you, but when everybody is unhappy with you then there may be a problem that you need to address from within internally with your business. But you should do your best to try to make your customers or clients as happy or try reconcile it and go your separate ways on a good note. Number five, build solid relationships. Be likable and don’t treat people like they’re beneath you. As I talked about earlier, allegedly – and I can’t even say allegedly unless it was like really edited and doctored up in Photoshop.
0 (14m 30s): But there are videos of this person I mentioned belittling employees and clients. And that’s just a no-no. That’s just a no-no. No matter where you feel like you are, you have been where you feel like this person is. No matter what you do and no matter what level you are, it’s just a certain way to talk to people and to treat people.
0 (15m 3s): That’s not it. You should just be yourself and if you got some stuff you need to work on, then be up front about it. Sometimes I say God is not through with me yet. Be up front about what you need to work on. That’s better than trying to come off one way and then when a situation comes up, then that person is like, “okay, well, who is this? Who am I talking to?” Because it’s like night and day. You’ll do better at building solid, relationships if you be yourself, but be kind.
0 (15m 39s): If you’re a mean person, then you just need to work on yourself. But if you’re kind and you be yourself, you’ll do better at building relationships than coming off one way when cameras are off and then turning on whoever else he it is when they’re on. And in the process still belittling people because you can’t contain. That’s easy to do to work on building relationships.
0 (16m 10s): If you want a friend, then be friendly. Simple as that. Those are my five, but I got a bonus one as number six and that’s to offer a free sample, if possible. And the reason why I say offer a free sample is not to try to brown nose. It’s basically to give someone the opportunity to see if you’re a good fit for them. This could be a digital sample or it could be a physical one, depending on what business you have. And a sample is no more than a lead magnet, a free consultation, a free coaching session, or a free physical piece of food or sample of what you can do.
0 (16m 54s): The reason I brought this up is because people want to see if you’re going to be a good fit with them. Some people are just moochers. They are and they’re just going to gobble up whatever free thy can get and move on. But we’re not talking about them. Some people are genuinely ready to buy or spend their money, but they want to make sure they’re putting it in the right place. So that’s when you would offer it. Make sure that you’re on the same language, that you’re gonna be able to work well together, that your schedules are gonna be able to work well together, that your availabilities are going to be able to work well together, and that your product or service is going to do what it needs to do for them and satisfy what he needs to satisfy.
0 (17m 35s): With the free thing, let’s give an example of a digital one that doesn’t involve food or an actual physical item, you’re testing. I recently did business with a company called Podscribe. Out of nowhere – I’ve been searching, searching, searching in some places I said I would never even go back to do business with. I’ve been looking for someone to help me with my blogging and my content because I’ve gotten to a point to where I need help.
0 (18m 10s): We all need it sometimes and in order to grow, sometimes you got to use opportunities to someone else. So I’ve been looking for a freelance writer, a blogger, someone to help me repurpose my content. I was looking for this for my blogs and also for my videos. I couldn’t find anyone, but out of the blue, out of nowhere – sometimes they say when you’re doing activities and you’re doing stuff that you’re supposed to be doing sometimes you just get a blessing out of nowhere.
0 (18m 47s): Podscribe sent me an email about their service. Normally a lot of stuff goes to my spam folder, but this one landed right in the general inbox. Like, right there. And they talked to me about their service, so let’s get into that. But it saves me loads of time and it helps me repurpose my podcast content.
0 (19m 18s): It’s a subscription service. As soon as I hit publish on my podcast and it goes out into the world, then within like 30 minutes I get an email and it says your transcription is ready. It’s pretty on point besides like my southern accent where I have to change some of the ares to ors and vice versa. It’s pretty good. All I have to do is maybe make a few adjustments and if I want to add labels or if I’m doing an interview, it’s there.
0 (19m 53s): I can copy and paste this and be done with my content versus trying to transcribe it myself or trying to make a blog post out of it from scratch. And it saves me so much time. It’s a God send. Pete is the one who sent me the email. It to my main inbox and not the junk folder like some of the other ones do. But even though the benefits of his service were clear, his email subject line is what was click worthy.
0 (20m 27s): It made me open it and look at more because sometimes based on the subject line, I just hit delete. We all do it sometimes. I’m sure we do. I’ve heard other people do it. But the email
2 (20m 42s): was clear and to the point, but
0 (20m 45s): what really sold me on it even outside of, “okay, let me click on this and know this is what he’s doing and this is what he wants. Yeah. Yeah. Another transcription service.” He said, “click here to get a free sample.” I clicked on it. Immediately I saw where my audio was transcribed. And like I said, it was pretty on point. But on top of that, I clicked and as my podcast was playing, they had one that actually went through a readable version of a word where you can embed it and people can read along with the transcription of it.
0 (21m 27s): So that was my sample, that was exactly what I needed plus more., and I was sold. Sometimes that’s what you need to build trust as a business owner. So if this person can trust that you can give me what I need or what I want, and also to prevent coming off as the scammer. Because it’s like, okay, here’s what you’re going to get. This is what I’m giving you.
0 (21m 58s): You got a piece of it. This is what you can expect. This is my reputation. Sometimes you have to do that, but some people, when we get to certain levels we feel like we don’t have that responsibility anymore. You always have a responsibility of
3 (22m 18s): treating people how you want to be treated, treating people well,
0 (22m 20s): continuing to maintain a good reputation, and continuing to put out high quality, high value products and services. Let me know what you think about all this. Was it helpful? Did you love it? Did you like it? Was useful? And let me know if you have any comments about what’s headlining now with these Christian entrepreneurs in the accusations against them.
0 (22m 50s): I enjoyed hanging out with you guys. Hopefully you are chillaxing and practicing some self-care as you listen along. Hopefully I made you laugh or have some kind of emotion besides none. Come back later in the week for more from Dreamers Den Podcast. Thank you guys for listening. And as I always say,
3 (23m 16s): Dream Until your Dreams Come True.