This morning, I received a sales call from an online business directory service.  Despite my initial reaction to get him off the phone as quickly as possible, I decided to find out how this service could help my company.  The man carefully explained the service and his entire pitch was cleverly crafted to assure me of his desire to help me.

Eventually, I earned the opportunity to ask some questions.Most of my business stems from personal relationships.  How does a directory listing help?  Their service includes contacting local agencies to make them aware of our listing.  (Hmmm…I don’t have any “local” customers.)

Does their information show who uses their service for purchasing?  No.  He was very sure the research department would have that information, but he doesn’t have it and would not be providing it.  (How can I make an informed decision?)

With that, he was done and the level of the “service” was immediately clear.  Despite assurances that there was a customer service line to help me throughout the year, they had no interest in serving.

The entire pitch was based on the appearance of adding value, but there was no substance behind it.  They wanted a donation.

Are you soliciting donations or are you truly seeking to add value to your customers?  Customers can tell the difference.