I’ve got a client that graciously shares with me all the obnoxious telemarketing marketing sales B.S. that he deals with on a regular basis. Everyone is trying to sign you up for a monthly fee of “awesomeness”. It’s the absolute best solution for you. Guaranteed. They’ve got mountains of data and satisfied customers to prove it.
My colorful advice is always this: do it yourself. Yes it’s hard, and time-consuming, and you should probably have an employee do it. However, only YOU care about YOU. Sure, I want to sell you my services too, but I want to educate you on your options. Not just give you my way.
Here is my response to a particular service offer he recently received.
“Get Found” on deals sites
I wasn’t on the receiving end of the sales call, but from the looks of my 30 minute research, they want to optimize you on Yelp, Google Offers, Living Social, Groupon, and others in order to drive traffic. Problem is, those attract penny pinching customers that are rarely satisfied because they over-value their dollar bill.
So it looks like they charge you $99/month to drive sales you don’t make a profit on but MIGHT drive future sales with the hopes you’re making loyal customers. However, their strategy isn’t brand recognition and just want to drive sales to you.
Train an office employee on local SEO who can also help grow/automate your business in various aspects outside of marketing. Local SEO builds your authority and brand online which is what customers want. Customers want to feel like they can trust you by seeing all the great reviews you get. Customers will spend an extra $10 and drive an extra 10 minutes and wait another day for a company they know they’ll have less hassle with. The good customers anyway. The kind you want.
“Get Customers” by annoying the shit out of them
Advertise on Pandora and Horoscopes.com? Why? It’s 2014. Commercials and ads are annoying. Well, they’ve always been annoying, there’s just lots of options to ignore them now. Don’t get me wrong, I love Pandora, and use it everyday. That’s why I pay the measly $4/month for Pandora One and have 0 ads.
And Horoscopes.com? I’m not even going to elaborate on that.
There was even a claim in there about getting you 5 new customer emails each month guaranteed. For what? To spam them with? Did they opt-in to your marketing emails? If not, then that’s spam. Really, that’s the technical definition.
Inbound Marketing. What’s better than a new customer? A new customer that was already looking for what you’re selling. Not one that you had to convince your product was worth buying.
How do they find you? From your own staff putting in a few extra hours a month on perfecting your presence online with Local SEO. People are already out there searching. You just have to put forth the effort to make sure you can be found when they search Google from their phone.
Email Marketing. Here’s 2 simple strategies:
During checkout or invoicing, offer your customers to sign up for exclusive deals and offers available only to the mailing list. You’ll protect their privacy and not sell the list to third parties. If you have at least one customer a day, you’ll definitely have at least 5 customers’ emails a month who actually want to receive your emails.
Offer a signup on your website. State the same (you’ll protect their privacy) and people will sign up. Especially if you’re in a market with a long sales cycle and they’re not ready to purchase just yet. Your email next month may be the push they need to buy. And they wanted you to remind them.
The hard part
Maintaining those emails and generating the newsletters is difficult. I understand. Remember that staff member I mentioned earlier? Yup, they’re good for that too. Email newsletters are ridiculously easy today. A day’s worth of training on FREE software like MailChimp will pay for itself almost instantly.
Any time you get a sales call like these, check out their reputation with a Google search and trust your instinct. This particular one bragged over and over again in countless venues about how much venture capital they have raised and they’ve got a perfect business plan (for them). They’ve “helped” thousands of other small business owners just like you. What’s their definition of help? If they’re not building your brand and training your staff, they’re not helping you.
They’re signing you up for what they hope is a life-long dependency on their services.
I want to sign you up for an education that lasts you a lifetime, in this business or any other.
Do you get plenty of these annoying marketing gimmicks thrown your way? Share them with me so I can debunk their garbage.