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Do Your Homework Or Get Out Of My Office


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#1 AbleReach

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 01:51 PM

Article, by Dave Pasternack: Dave to ad agencies: Do your homework or get out of my office

Eighty-five percent of the survey respondents believe that the agencies pitching them do a lousy job of researching their basic business issues before making their pitch. Astonishingly, 61 percent believe that the agency did no research at all.

What is your ethical bottom line for how much research to do before pitching SEO/SEM?

#2 Guest_joedolson_*

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 02:14 PM

First of all: I never pitch anything. If a prospective client calls me, I'll discuss with them what they may need. SEO and SEM frequently come up, but I'm not going to "pitch" them anything...

However, if I were going to pitch a service, I'd definitely want to know what their business was - their product line; retail vs. wholesale vs service; probably information about their competitors. I don't know exactly how far I'd go --- at least far enough to know for myself whether they actually needed the services I could provide!

The whole idea of a sales pitch leaves a dirty feeling in my mouth, though...

#3 Respree

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 02:38 PM

Always a good idea to do your homework, no matter what industry.

I find the statistics staggering, especially on this study where it was large companies being discussed. If its a publicly-held US Corporation, I wonder how many people don't know there is a ~100 page document called the 10-K (its an annual filing each public company must submit), available free of charge on the Securities and Exchange website. In it, there's a wealth of information about the company, its philosophies, forward-looking statements, business strategy, operational overview, business segments, employees, legal matters, geographic locations, financial results, risk factors, business trends, etc.

Of course, for a private company, its not quite that easy, but I think the gist of the message is find out whatever you can beforehand.

I don't pitch, but I've been on the receiving end of sales pitches (not SEO/SEM, per se) over the years and was rolling my eyes about how little many presenters knew about or understood the company, our needs, operations, etc. (despite a 10-K being available, if they just bothered to look). And they want to be our partner?

Edited by Respree, 28 August 2007 - 09:33 PM.


#4 A.N.Onym

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 09:19 PM

Though I don't call call or cold email people, I had to research companies before considering their job offers and also what I could do for them. As a SEO, that's a natural thing to know what you are going to work with and how hard/easy it will be (keyword, competition, market, product research, etc).

The statistics are staggering but not unexpected. Too many people want to do their job w/o doing it :emo_gavel:

#5 sanity

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 06:47 PM

I'm another who doesn't pitch. The prospects come to me. I do then take time to understand their business, research their industry and competitors. I use all of that to put together a proposal. Pitching or not I'm not sure how much value you can offer if you don't get to know a little about the business you're dealing with. :blink:

#6 SEOigloo

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 07:41 PM

Another non-pitcher here.
Unless you consider the proposal the pitch. But this comes after a lot of talking and research. This is one of the difficulties, though, with our business model.

If you do too much upfront research, and then don't get the contract, it's ... lame.

So, we try to find a good balance of having enough information to write a proposal, but when a deal is signed, we jump right back into more research and more talking. This is how this seems to play out.

Miriam

#7 sanity

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 07:45 PM

If you do too much upfront research, and then don't get the contract, it's ... lame.

So, we try to find a good balance of having enough information to write a proposal, but when a deal is signed, we jump right back into more research and more talking. This is how this seems to play out.

This probably deserves a topic of it's own Miriam. I've played around with a few different models but have not come to one I am totally happy with.

#8 Guest_joedolson_*

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 08:08 PM

Ditto. It can be equally frustrating, in a very different way, to enter a contract and discover a whole load of things you really wish you'd researched better in advance...things which seriously change the nature of the contract!

Hard to find the right balance.

#9 A.N.Onym

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 08:24 PM

Speaking of researching contacts. Joe hit the nail on the head.

Especially, since it is easy w/ Google nowadays.

#10 AbleReach

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 08:29 PM

Why in the world would such a big percentage be pitching their services without knowing the landscape within the customer's area? Still shaking my head over that one. Are they full of themselves? Insecure? Desperate?

No wonder SEO, outside of our niche, has a reputation for being "tricks."

#11 EGOL

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 10:04 PM

This explains why so many Televison commercials are stupid.



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