Digital Business Etiquette - Crossing a Fine Line

With the Internet, someone in one part of the world can easily search & find potential clients in another, i.e. sales prospecting. But do they take you seriously or is it a waste of time?

When it comes to online research and sales prospecting, there must be a fine line between spamming and sending out genuine request for proposals to do business; locally or internationally. There must be. All types of businesses have some element of sales and prospecting, don’t they...We all want to increase sales and keep the wheels in motion, and no doubt, we all believe in our product/service.

This applies to all business sectors, but here we shall look more closely at our own, i.e. web development, SEO and digital communications services.

Wherever you’re based, for sure you’ve received, or continue to be receiving emails on SEO and website development services, with super magical and cheap solutions for boosting your website’s ranking in search engines and increasing traffic.

Actually, even here at Web Conceptions we receive such emails on a daily basis, with other digital agencies around the world asking us to partner with them and outsource work to them (although we do this stuff in-house).

Worse still, some go into our portfolio and contact our clients directly. Fortunately we have a very close relationship with our clients. They keep us informed of such behaviour, and trust us with our advice.

Sure, all might be in good intention. Indeed, we all try to sell in business. We all have some sort of process that incorporates some amount of prospecting, such as cold calling, e-mails, telemarketing, advertising, PR, or some other type of sales approach. But where do you draw the line?

Because of such ‘spam’ practices online, I am sure emails regarding SEO and web development services have quickly become to be ignored, i.e. junk and delete.

This then establishes the profession as being somewhat ‘dodgy’ and perhaps not-to-be-trusted. Remember, once you start to burn people, it’s almost impossible to win them back.

In truth, many of these web and SEO services would indeed be of benefit to the business, i.e. increasing search engine rankings and general online presence, therefore business activity.

But somehow the approach of the seller needs to change, and become more credible, genuine and selected. Meanwhile, the approach of the buyer needs to become more efficient, able to recognise which requests are worth looking at in at least a little more detail.

No doubt, all business trust is built over time, and no doubt, face-to-face contact and referrals is where most power lies in obtaining new business.

So as a start, I would say those prepared to speak to you, even travel and visit your premises in your country, and located in the same economic union (i.e. European Union) are at least an attempt to do proper business.

Type of prospects considering request as purely spam

There are generally three types of reactions from buyer prospects to online prospecting. All of them negative and do not actually end up purchasing any service, despite actually being of significant benefit to their own business.

Totally angry prospect: right away this prospect is annoyed, simply because someone found their contact details online, and then used it to send a generic email spam seeking business, i.e. invasion of privacy and personal/business space. Gets worse if they contact multiple times. Email is deleted right away, without even reading. Marked as spam, or even blocked.

Curious prospect: reads a little more into it, or forwards to webmaster/marketing team for more research. More than likely only seeking to read a little more information on the matter just for own purposes, but unlikely to actually reply to the email and purchase any services.

Indifferent prospect: simply ignoring the email due to being well familiar of spam-type sales emails and not wanting to waste any time reading it, or simply not interested in such web/SEO services.

What should you do?

Completely understand, spam is spam and time is money. But losing out on a service that will actually be of benefit to your time and money can also be a bad business decision.

Take a short time and filter the request, as it might be of interest and help significantly increasing your own online presence, credibility and ultimately business activity.

The truth is many of these digital services would genuinely improve (sometimes significantly) your online presence and in turn business activity. We all know the importance of digital channels and better exposure in a world inundated with data and information. Clicking ‘delete’ or ‘mark as spam’ is still easy to do, so taking some seconds is a small price to pay for the possibility of enhancing your online presence and credibility, in turn business activity. Here are some quick steps to filtering genuine services and spam:

  • Take some time to quickly skim through the email proposal. No harm in this at all. Then delete/mark as spam if need be, or simple ask for more information.
  • Take some time to look through the agency’s portfolio. Again, no harm to have a quick read about the agency, where they are actually based and of course their existing client base and work credibility (i.e. testimonials).
  • Build up the relationship over time, as it will allow you to obtain more information about the agency, how they work, and how genuine they are. Try to get some initial free good advice and consultation to see the agency’s way of thinking and working, and if it’s closely aligned to yours.
  • Take those attempting to speak to you over the phone or even better, travel and meet in person a lot more seriously, as it shows sincerity and a good approach to general business.

So essentially, Skim, Visit Site & Meet

“Since we all see the undisputable and significant value of having our business/organisation online, and the true power of the Internet in networking and connecting the world, then it stands to reason that we should also accept to work with a web developer/SEO expert in another country.”


About Our Agency

We are a specialised web design, development, SEO and online-digital communications agency, with over 15 year's international experience. To date, having completed projects across diverse business sectors and in over 12 countries, throughout the EU/Europe (Cyprus, Germany, France, Greece, the UK), wider EMEA region, as well as in Australasia.

Our solution focuses on bespoke website design, development, SEO & online marketing communications that helps brands enhance online presence, rankings, and results; locally, regionally, internationally.

As a team, we only ever work on ONE website-SEO project at any given time, ensuring maximum attention, creativity & professionalism.

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