Last summer I was doing some work for a store with a lot of walk in traffic. It was interesting how diverse the people who came in were, but aside from grandparents, adults, and teenagers coming in as customers we had another group as well. People trying to sell us things.
They would have these ‘opportunities’ for us that could usually be described as ‘hemorrhaging money from the company.’ This is clearly not the best thing to do, unless you are trying to show a loss for they year. Yet still we would have a couple of people per week who had no idea about the business come in with plans that offered little to no value.
To be fair, there were some legitimate ideas and a couple were even worth taking up. For the most part they were a waste of time.
One particular company was basically putting together a local web directory. To be in the directory you had to do a little interview so they could write a paragraph about your company. Then they would let you be in the directory to try it out for 90 days. After that time was over, you needed to shell out some money. $100 bucks per month.
While $100 a month isn’t a whole lot for online advertising, there are much better ways to spend it. Especially due to the fact that our store’s web page had higher search engine rankings and we were able to track the minimal amounts of traffic that their site brought in.
There is some value in their business model; however it is not quite balanced. The value that they provide is having another link to your website, presumably marketed to people living in or traveling to the area. One of the bigger problems about this site was that it was to new. It didn’t rank well in google for local terms and not a lot of people knew about it.
If they would have also had a deal along the lines of, “If you link to us as well, we’ll give you x% off each month.” Then they could build up the amount of targeted local traffic to their site buy leaps and bounds. The more people that link to them, the more valuable their links become.
Any business wants you to provide value to them. If all you have is a team of salesmen then where does the value come from?
If you are going to pitch your product or service, make sure it benifits enough to justify your pricetag.