Pitfalls to avoid selling web design, SEO or anything

what to avoid in web design and seo sales

Part I of III

I don’t like sales people. When a sales person’s lips are moving, I assume they are lying. I realize this is not a very rational, or realistic thought process most of the time, as typically they are just trying to help. So why do I have this inner defense mechanism that keeps me on edge? Well, I guess one just has to look around and they can see where my paranoia stems. Whether its mortgage back securities sold by Goldman Sachs, the local mechanic who likes to rip off their customer, or the scum that just conned granny out of her life savings via email, fraud is everywhere, and is an unfortunate reality of life.

In walks the ugly paradox monster, because guess what readers? I have to act, often, as none other than a Website and SEO sales person. Seems like a bit of a problem, to actually be something that you distrust and dislike. Perhaps I can use my distaste for this necessary activity to my advantage? Lets view what activities cause my distrust in fellow sales people, analyze them, and make sure we don’t give off these negative signals when we are doing our part in the world of “sales”.

Nickel and Dime, Hidden Cost, Eye Glass Syndrome

I have nothing against Ophthalmologist in general, never met a mean one, and I am all for good eyesight. However, I have to say my experience after the examination part, the part where I actually get to pick the frames for my glasses, can be a bit frustrating.

Lets say I find a pair of eyeglass frames I like, and lets pretend that they have a price tag associated with them of $70.00. So you tell the nice helper bee, “hello, I want these eye glasses”, and the nice helper person sits you down, and starts the “buying process.” Ever notice, when you go to actually buy the eye glasses, you get to sit down, across from the person selling you the glasses? It is a similar setup to buying a car, or signing a mortgage loan. Why is this? The cost of these glasses to be quite frank is about 1/3 of my weekly grocery bill, and last time I checked, I didn’t have to sit across from the cashier on a little desk as she rang up my 3lb. bag of generic “Captain Crunch”. Well my friends, the answer is all in the details, and by details, I mean hidden costs.

So here we are, ready to spend our $70.00 on eye glasses, and then the little helper person says, “Do you have children?”  Indeed I do, I tell the helper person, being a proud, and sometimes boastful father, I am about to go into a diatribe about how cute my kids are, when I am suddenly interrupted by a forceful sales pitch. “Well then, there is no doubt you are going to need our scratch resistant coating, otherwise, if your children so much as pick your glasses up, they will forever be ruined.” Well, the helper person has me, lets face it, my kids are cute, but can be destructive little dings-dings sometimes. There is no doubt that at some point they will indeed pick up my glasses. I haven’t even answered “yes” or “no” and the helper person is already writing my consent for this $50 purchase of the “Scratch Resistant” coating on my bill.

The nice helper bee then asks “Do you drive at night?”. I answer with a yes, not often, but it certainly happens. “Well then, you are going to need an anti-reflective coating on the lenses, otherwise, the glare can cause a dangerous situation at night, where your vision can be impaired by the glare from other car’s headlights,” and again her pen goes into battle with my bill, and she successfully carves out another $35 charge for this, the 2nd necessary coating.

The helper person gives me a smile as she asks yet another question “do you go outside in the sun very often”. Ah ha, I think to myself, I got her this time, I spend most of my time indoors, and have even earned the nickname “vampire” from my wife and a few close friends. I confidently answer “no I don’t” on this one. The answer doesn’t seem to please her, and she is forced to put her ink laden weapon down, momentarily saving what is left of my poor bill.

Needless to say, this Q and A with the helper person went on for another 2-3 more “Coatings” of one kind or another, until my bill went from $70.00 to $210.00. So what’s my point? Well, if you are a manikin who lives in the controlled environment of a department store, you can get glasses for $70.00. However, if you are a real live person, who moves around, drives, and lives life, well, those $70.00 glasses are pretty much useless to you.

Don’t do this to your clients or potential clients. One of your jobs as a salesperson is to listen to the client, and be upfront about the charges and services you think they may need. Don’t sell them anything they don’t need, and just include everything in the original price that is necessary for the base product to function.

Case in point, when we give out a base price for a Content Management Website ($850.00), we include title tags, description tags, keyword tags, our SEO addon for wordpress, keyword suggestions based on their industry, google analytics, and submitting the site to the major search engines in that price. Why do we include these services in the base price of the website? Well, unless you tell us otherwise, we assume you want to be found on search engines. A function of your website should be basic SEO steps to try to get your website found on search engines. The basic functioning necessities of a product or service should be up front and baked in the cake. There is no reason for me to sit across from you on a little desk and say: “so, now that you have purchased this website, do you, ever want anyone to find it? Ohhhh you do want people to find your website? Well then, let me just find my pen here”.

Part II coming up in a few days…

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