All Clients are Liars

Source Title:
What Are Your Favorite SEM Client Lies?
Story Text:

Do your clients lie to you? Sure they do, they all do. Stuntdubl posts a fun list of his favorite client lies over at SEW.

  • I'm new to SEO (on third SEO company)
  • I don't have any other domains (well only 17)
  • I don't interlink my sites (well only 23 of 'em)
  • I have a great business idea (but no money)
  • I've never signed any guestbooks (only 4k blog comments)
  • I'll help write content (twice a year)
  • I have a good informational site (about viagra)
  • I have a great business model (selling MLM loans)
  • My design company will work with you (to overwrite your changes)
  • I'll pay for consulting (but not when I'm telling you about my great business ideas)
  • I don't cloak (well only to the 3 majors)
  • My CMS system is SEO friendly (except for the session ID's and 10 versions of every page)
  • We have good programmers (who know frontpage)
  • It's not an affiliate site (it's a "reseller site")
  • I've had good luck with 2nd tier PPC (really, it converts!)
  • My site runs itself

He missed my favorite though:

  • No, i trust you to do your job ("but i'll be watching over your shoulder, dictating how you do it")


My favourites

"Bit short on cashflow right now so give me a discount on this project and there will be lots more projects where you can make up the difference" or a variation "I am well connected in this town, quote low and do a good job for me and you will get lots of work from my network of associates" .. or translated "I am a cheap-assed-bastard who screws his suppliers"
"Everyone knows I pay generously and on time" .. then they go do a dissapearing act after the work is delivered
"I want to play fair, be straight with me and I will be straight with you" .. then they turn around and say they want all the features of the platinum option at less than the bronze price
"I like your ideas and your detailed proposals but I have decided to not go ahead at this time" .. or translated "Thanks for your free consultancy sucker!"
"I know a guy who can do the same work much cheaper" .. uh, no, you know a 14 year old who knows dreamweaver, or a guy in a third-world country on a freelance bid site who quoted based on your two line "brief" .. NOT the same thing at all

>>detailed proposals

never give 'em. I learnt early to always withhold at least one detail without which any other design agency who couldn't come up with the idea themselves will be suckered.

If we loose out to a decent competitor I can live with that. If we loose out to a 14 year old with Dreamweaver they come back to us asking us to please make it work (and the lie always is "oh we were doing this bit anyway but we've decided that your idea might fit well here so we cam back to you")

brain pickers

I used to get a lot of calls from people who say they want to pay to have their site optimized, but first they need a detailed list of exactly what I would do .....

Here's one from 15th May

I've received your invoice but before I process anything I wanted to check some points with you. I need to refurbish the website and a former colleague of mine has offered his services.

As I am trying to cut back on individual hotel accounts, I suggested he went with is "former collegue" - "former collegue" is still struggling, 10 weeks later to get a web site up and running!

there's nothing like a rate card to fortell the future

I always hand them a rate card. It usually shows the fee for services higher than I am quoting them, because naturally I am always trying to find a way to offer them a unique discount. However, it also always includes a separate rate for reworking . That is, a separate, MUCH HIGHER RATE for working on something someone else has done.

It works alot like the standard hardware warranty warnings: if you open the case to fiddle with the innards, you void the warranty. In this instance, if you opt to have your unemployed cousin try his SEO skills on your site, I will be happy to work on his masterpiece later at twice my normal rate.

This works well for me, as does the insistance that my time be billed regardless of how it is spent. It is really a win-win for everyone, because wasted time is wasted time no matter how you count it.

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