Got a cold call from a chap spruiking online advertising services.
He was good. In fact he was very good at selling over the phone. But he was completely let down by his company’s lack of decent trust building, backup material on their website and it cost him a sale.
Here’s the whole story – and there are some valuable lessons here for your business.
John ran through a pretty standard qualification process. Did I own a business? Did I advertise on Google and if so, how much was I spending? And if he could guarantee my ads would show up on the first page of Google and get unlimited clicks for a fixed price would I be interested?
“Sure – tell me more…”
And this is where it got interesting.
The conversation then revolved around “proving” to me that they were legitimate.
John was obviously calling from a call centre somewhere in Asia. So the first thing he did was confirm this and tell me that while the company was Australian, they worked with clients around the world, hence the international call centre.
He then asked me to go to their website www.om-p.com.au so I could see who they were. He then asked me to go to the Government site www.abr.business.gov.au where I could look up their ABN and see that they’d been in business since Jan 2009.
Bona fides established (in his mind anyway), he proceeded with the questioning process that all good sales people undertake.
What services did we provide? How many keywords did I advertise under and what were they? What was my monthly online advertising budget?
He told me that after a certain number of clicks Google would stop showing my ads and did I want to prevent this? He guaranteed that our ads would keep showing regardless of the number of clicks, so we could keep attracting new business.
While this is going on, I’m looking more closely at their website for more details on them and how they operate. And it was pretty sparse! Take a look at www.om-p.com.au and you’ll see what I mean. Every “read more” goes back to the same home page – with very little detail.
By this time we’re about 15 minutes into the conversation. John’s asked me for some primary keywords I’d advertise on and gone away to get me a quote.
He comes back and says they can do a better job advertising on about 16 keywords, guaranteeing that the ads will continuously run, all for the small sum of $11,300 per year!
“I see – and what are the payment terms?” “Upfront for the whole year – locked in”.
Let’s say I expressed some scepticism about the price and the value
He actually did a pretty good job on the surface – but completely missed a deeper point – which I’ll get to in a minute.
This is how the conversation went…
Me: “How will I know this is going to work?”
John: “We give a written guarantee that you will be on the first page.”
Me (thinking): “That’s all very well, but I have no idea who you are so how will I know the guarantee will be honoured?”
Me: “Can I trial your service to see if it really works?”
We went back and forth to see what trial timeframes would work. While he made it seem like they’d accommodate a trial, suffice to say, he came up with reasons it wouldn’t fly. So basically we’d be stuck with the full year’s commitment.
And I simply wasn’t going to go there!
So where did he go wrong and what would I suggest OMP do instead…?
It’s a matter of trust. And trust is built up over time by making and fulfilling small commitments.
I didn’t know John or OMP from a bar of soap. I had no idea who the company was. I had no idea of whether they could actually deliver what they claimed. And I had no idea of whether I was getting value for money.
Essentially he was asking me to spend a significant amount of money from an initial sales call – which he initiated. I simply didn’t feel comfortable with the whole scenario.
So what could John and OMP have done instead?
Understand that most people will not make a big commitment the first time they hear from you.
So offer smaller offerings that allow people to start slowly and build up from there.
For example in OMP’s case, offer a low cost (or even free) review of our Adwords account to see where improvements could be made. If the service was well performed, I’d have a much better level of comfort and possibly ask them to fix any issues they found.
Have decent marketing material on their website. Material which explains in detail the primary “Why, What, How and What If” questions running through my mind. Include Case studies and Testimonials which provide social proof. Like it or not, without a decent website, you lose credibility fast.
And finally stop trying to go for the one shot sale. If you need more information or need to think it through, they simply can’t accommodate you. You need to make a decision on the spot. And if you ask them to send you something, they say there isn’t anything to send.
Remember, a “no” now is not a “no forever”. If they implemented a consistent keep in touch mechanism, they would get significantly more business down the track. Instead what they do is simply burn prospects and move onto the next one! Stupid waste of money on their part!
I sincerely hope any of these scenarios aren’t playing out in your business!
If you suspect they might be, schedule a marketing and sales audit with us. We’ll go through your lead generation system and look for leaks. Leaks which could be costing you sales. We’ll give you recommendations as to how to fix them.
Then you have the choice of whether you want to fix them or not.
Call us on (02) 9499-7958 or reply to this email with Subject: Marketing & Sales Review
Remember, ignorance is not bliss. What you don’t know is hurting you!