Listening to hard-sell sales pitches makes me cringe. In my career, I’ve usually been lucky enough to work on products which customers actually sought out, so it’s been a fairly relaxed atmosphere, with the salespeople more concerned that they were selling the right product at the right time. However, we’re all on the receiving end of desperate sales stuff from time to time, and that’s certainly the case in marketing services. Over the last few years we’ve become used to “please buy my product, the dog’s just died” calls from people selling web directories, search engine optimisation, and most recently services which claim to be able to identify your website visitors*. (They can’t, by the way, not by name).
I probably get a call or an email every week from somebody asking if something they’ve just signed up to is any good. Usually they’re looking for reassurance, because some salesperson has just persuaded them to sign up for a year and they’re worried that they might have done the wrong thing. Sorry, but if a simple service which doesn’t need to immerse itself in your company culture demands a year’s commitment, there’s probably a reason for that: they know you’d leave earlier if they gave you the chance.
What really annoyed me last week was a client getting an email from one of these services claiming a fringe benefit of its marvellous technology would be a guaranteed 20% reduction in AdWords costs. Trust me, I’d be the first to join if that was possible. It looks like they were going to do this by analysing the advertising traffic at a keyword level, as if we (on behalf of our client) didn’t do this anyway. And of course, it was accompanied by one of those offers you get in a car showroom (“Don’t tell the boss, but I can knock off more from the price than I’m supposed to because it’s the end of the sales quarter” or something like that).
Not everyone can quickly and politely say no to an unwanted sales caller. I’m awful at it. But if you’ve got into a conversation with some online marketing service salesperson and are looking for a way out, send me details of what they’re offering and I’ll give you my honest opinion. It’s a fair exchange, because I’m always fascinated to know the sort of thing you’re being offered.
*If it’s Lead Forensics who’ve been bugging you on this front, read this first.