John Andrews is a Competitive Webmaster and Search Engine Optimization Consultant in Seattle, Washington. This is John Andrews blog on issues of interest to the SEO community and competitive webmasters. Want to know more?

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Walk your client out of the meeting, or I will

Here’s a competitive intelligence tip for all you Starbucks Mobile professionals (especially the wanna-be SEO types): walk your client to her car next time. Never, ever be the first to leave. You probably won’t listen to me if I suggest you keep your voice lower, not discuss tactical or strategic issues in a public forum, or speak in secret code, so this is the least I can offer you. If you finish your overly loud public “search marketing” pitch and walk out leaving your dream client behind, I will feel compelled to hand her my business card and offer her a free review of your written proposal. Like I just did.

I over hear public private conversations all the time. I can’t help it. I have headphones, Ekova at 8 audio bars on my Thinkpad, and *still* I hear all sorts of gooey gossip and sob stories. Chatter is part of the American culture of coffee houses. But pitching prospective clients in public? That’s just asking for trouble. Not only do you expose your hot prospect as a…. potentially hot prospect, but you provide a forum for outsiders (like me) to witness the two-way interview, learn everything you know about the prospect, and everything the prospect knows about you, and all for free.

In this case the prospect was not hot, nor was the wanna-be SEO. Neither seemed to know it, and I suppose that is what helps the economy go around, including the hookup I will gain from my offer of a free proposal review. The prospect, upon hearing my very simple pitch that I could be helpful at 10% of the contract price, and will prove it with a free review, stated she wasn’t the one to speak to about that but would put me in touch with her CEO. Then she made the call in front of me. Bingo.

In this case I was not eavesdropping. I was there first, and wore my headphones. They started talking about search placement and organic SEO. How could I not listen? And what I heard was so bad, so egregious from an SEO perspective, I was compelled to speak to this potential victim as a public service.

Addendum: Just as I posted this, the realty pro at the 3 person meeting next to me said (too loudly) that’s an acre, which is… about… 100 x 300 feet…. so then half acre you’re looking at about 50 x 100 lot”. Huh? I’m no realtor, but Google’s define:acre shows an acre is 4,840 square yards. That means 100×300 feet is 3,333 square yards, not 4,840 (off by what, 30%?). The noted 50 x100 is not half an acre, but roughly 1/8 of an acre? Geesh. Again, I guess that’s what keeps the economy going around.

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One Response to “Walk your client out of the meeting, or I will”

  1. aaron wall Says:

    I actually saw one guy drop a biz card to one of my clients in front of me.