Last week, Carrie and I had a client forward an email to us from a directory sales person. The rep was trying to get her to upgrade from her basic listing to a premium listing, so she asked our advice. We encourage all of our clients to ask for our insight when they approached by people trying to sell them services related to internet marketing.
We know that our efforts have prevented quite a few of them from making poor marketing decisions and have kept others from falling prey to less-than-scrupulous sales people only interested in closing a deal.
Because we are constantly attuned to what’s happening in the world of Search, we can often give a thumbs up or a thumbs down on pitches without having to do much research at all. But when it does take us some billable time to do research and make a recommendation, we strongly believe that it is money well-spent. There’s no use having to learn every lesson the hard and expensive way, especially when people who excel at high-pressure sales may actually be trying to sell you something that can hinder, rather than help your business online.
When we can’t make a quick recommendation, we look at what is the salesperson promising – or at least trying to lead us to believe they are promising. Many times the phone scripts and templated emails infer and allude to things without actually crossing over the legal lines of false advertising. It not unusual for the worst of them to try to make you believe they are calling from Google or represent Google in some way. There are also callers who will guarantee first page rankings, but when questioned further only show their ignorance of what exactly it is that they are selling.
Other times we hear or see absolute falsehoods in the communication. Here’s an excerpt from the email our client received:
This is untrue, but as far as these kinds of solicitations go, this one, unfortunately isn’t too over the top. To determine that efficacy of the claim that inclusion in this directory will “increase your visibility on organic searches, as well as your chances of being found on Google”, Carrie searched Google for a few of the big terms that the business’s website should be found for. The directory in question didn’t show up until the 3 page of the results for any of those terms. So being listed there does nothing for increased exposure in the organic search results.
So, if what someone is trying to sell you sounds unreal or too good to be true, chances are very high that it is and if you find yourself susceptible to persuasive sales people, make sure you have someone you can trust to advise you on matters like this.