We have all run into that certain type of company before. You know what I’m talking about…The ones that approach you all bright eyed and bushy tail and try to make you believe they have all the secrets to Internet Marketing.

Sometimes they even make you think they are working for major search engine companies. When fact is, they’re probably squirreled up in some office in Jersey doing all they can to hoodwink you into a bad marketing deal. Beware!

What seems a great opportunity to grow your business revenue could be the mistake of a lifetime. Kings of generic set it and forget it advertising, these companies love buying domain names and holding local search listings hostage. And, if you leave their service, watch out–you could even lose your listings in Google’s local results.

They may even keep the domain your campaign was executed under so they can call your competitor and sell it to them when you cancel your contract.  Shady loopholes are their MO. So, is doing the bare minimum and using sneaky tactics to build their business mobile while making you think they are growing yours.

Don’t be just a number in their overblown database — follow these tips so you can deal with them effectively:

1. Just hang up. Remember, you have a right to end the call at any time. Don’t worry; they get dozens of hang-ups a day, so they’re used to it. Better yet, ask them to place you on the do not call list. You can find it at https://www.donotcall.gov/ but remember, you must resubmit your name every year.

2. Beware a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing. These companies love disguising themselves as your local news affiliates. I’m talking local tv stations, newspapers and directories, all the news outlets you’re familiar with. And, that’s their hook. They make the claim, but use outside companies to actually execute their internet marketing. Believe me, their sales reps are just focused on selling you the goods not on providing quality service.

3. Read Every Contract Top to Bottom. This is where they get you. The sales rep’s job is to sell you no matter what and often have every answer at the ready for those fine print sections on their contracts. Their overall angle is to own what they create for you, so that you feel you can never break the contract.

4. Give them specific goals and make them prove themselves with a guarantee. This is where these sales people will either lie to you or fold. Most come from a traditional sales background where true measurement is difficult, so they may feed you a line about not being able to measure success. Don’t buy it. If you insist on using these companies, ask for a guarantee up front and make sure they put it in the contract.

Remember, any fly by night company can deliver the right words at the right time to make you think they’re on your side. True success, however, comes with what someone can customize and measure, time and time again.

Choose selectively and slam the door on any marketer whose strategy consists of merely plugging in a credit card and allowing an online advertising campaign to run generic search ads. If they tell you they can’t measure your results or guarantee any set goals, run away as fast as you can in the other direction.

You are better off going with someone local, who cares about your ongoing growth, and who can deliver results. A snappy sales pitch can only get you so far. But, a company willing to personally meet your needs—now, that’s the very thing you need for a big boost in online sales.

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