Virtually every day of the week I get calls from nice people at companies that want to sell me their search engine optimisation services.
Inevitably the call begins by confirming I am the business owner before the salesperson begins their spiel. This is usually the only piece of listening done for the duration of the call before I terminate it.
Some have bouncy engaging ‘hello I’m happy’ voices, while others offer a tired monologue that says I have done this 1051 times and you are just another bloke who will eventually hang up.
To be fair I have had my fun with these guys… some days I am Igor from Russia… ‘You want to sell me the google? I cannot afford the google. He is a big company!’
Some days I am a Borat like character from Kazhakstan who launches into the only random pieces of English that he knows Salesman: ‘How are you today?’ Me ‘I am VERY happy!’ And so it goes from there.
Some days I begin to enquire about their reticulation issues because that is obviously why they called me… This can take a while, particularly if I shift into English as a second language mode at the same time.
Then occasionally I listen… I let them go… If I am driving with time to kill I sometimes just let it roll to see when they will take a breath, when they will seek a confirmatory ‘uh huh’ or when they will see if I am actually still there.
When I do this I hear the premise their sales campaign is built on. Not enough work, more clients recruited, more money and the typical ‘up and to the right’ spiel. So its always a curve ball when they get to the end of their sales pitch and I say ‘no’. I hadn’t disagreed with them up until then (because they didn’t ask any questions) and they have made an assumption about who I am and the goals of my business.
Salesperson: ‘We can get you more work.’
Me: ‘I don’t want more work.’
Saleperson: ‘You don’t rank on google’
Me: ‘I do for the words that matter to me’
And so it goes on. They want to get me clients in Armadale, Mandurah and Chidlow and I can only cringe at the thought of it.
If just once an SEO guy rang and asked about what I was hoping to achieve in business and whether they could help me improve my current approach I would listen. I’d love to get the business of every person in Yanchep / Two Rocks. I’d love to know better strategies for optimising my advertising so that I generate the right kind of work.
But no one asks those questions. Because they don’t fit the paradigm. No one asks questions that delve deeper into business purposes and ideals.
There is a monologue that instantly repels, but if someone was creative enough and daring enough to take the time to listen to a business owners core philosophy and then offer a sales package tailored to that then maybe I’d have time.
But if you just want to bend my ear with generic banal sales strategies that haven’t worked on anyone else then expect to meet Igor and his dodgy English who will promptly seek to sell you every piece of irrigation equipment you will never need…
Annoying isn’t it?…