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First, a disclaimer: I understand the importance and difficulty of making cold calls to drum up business. This post is not an attack on telemarketers, as warranted as some may be. Instead, this is an attack on unscrupulous business practices in the hopes that better methods to attain prospects will be employed. Also, SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization, the practice of making websites highly visible on search engines.

Now, with that out of the way, this is a call I just got five minutes ago…

Caller: “Is this the owner of the business?”

Me: “Sure is. What can I do for you?”

Caller: “I’m with (insert company name) and we work to get companies like yours listed high on all of the major search engines. I’m sure you’re aware how important it is to be seen on the web, right?”

Me: “You know, it’s funny you mention that, since we’re a web design firm and provide the same service for our clients. By the way, I’m curious. Since we’re on the No-Call list, how did you get our company information?”

Caller: “Well, to be honest, we use a combination of strategies –”

Me: “Like the internet?”

Caller: “Pretty much…”

Me: “Ok, seems like our SEO is fine. Have a great day!”

Caller: (mumbles an expletive and hangs up).

I have to say I feel sorry for the guy – I’m sure it’s not his idea and he’s just trying to get by. I wish him the best, but can’t say the same for (insert company name). There are far more legitimate ways of prospecting and I hope that failing at this current approach leads this company to think of them.

Patrick King

Patrick is the Founder of Imagine and advisor to places on brand strategy and creative. His insights have been published in Inc. Magazine, SmartCEO, Washington Business Journal, The Washington Post, and Chief Marketer, among other publications, and shared at conferences throughout the US. He also has an amazing sock collection.


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