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The Trouble with Big Business Digital Marketing Vendors

Apr 27,2017 - The percentage of small businesses that do not have a website remains steady at around 45% (cited here), but it’s not because salespeople aren’t trying.

As a company that has conjured up 6 different brand names over the past 14 years, we’ve got a LOT of domain names registered with multiple different domain registrars. And all too often, we neglect to purchase Privacy Protection on some of the domain names, and as a result, we get tons of aggressive phone calls, persistent emails, and persuasive – sometimes scary snail mail at our office. All of this marketing and promotion is pointed our way because the data collectors who must be looking at new domain name registrations are automatically assuming we’re a small business owner who needs their service.

“Need help building your new website?” (Nope, we’re actually a website builder ourselves, thanks.) “Secure your site and get better search results with an SSL.” (Nah, we’ve got that built into our platform at no cost.) “Get your site listed on 100s of search engines all across the globe.” (Ummm, Google & Yahoo/Bing make up like 97% of all search engine searches performed in the U.S. and it took all of 15 seconds to submit the site to them. C’mon!)

Then come the Reputation Management pushers, the Social Media Management pushers, the Review Site pushers, the SEO / SEM pushers, and others. These salespeople are calling up small businesses using terms like “you’re not visible on Google” and “you have negative reviews that need attention” and other scare tactics that are the border of utter and complete misrepresentation.

These overzealous salespeople are often under pressure from managers at large corporations who only care about growing their month-over-month so that their shareholers will leave them alone. And as a result, small business owners are getting used, abused, and annoyed (if not sold, which happens all too much), which muddies the waters and makes it far more difficult for honest marketing professionals who truly want to see the small business owner succeed.

Some SiteSwan resellers have told me that they start the conversation off with small business owners now by identifying themselves by name AND location, to get off on the right foot, and making it abundantly clear that they’re not one of these sell-whatever-we-have-to-anyone fast-talkers who are looking to scam them out of a few hundred bucks from the other side of the country. If a small business owner can mentally put you on the map, and you sound like you’re local, and you’re sincere, for crying out loud, you might just get their attention–not because you’re a stellar salesperson, but because you actually seem to care.

And when you get that client signed up, tell them they can give YOUR phone number to any of those big business digital marketing vendors…so you can offer them a job selling websites for you and actually sleep at night!