Saying No to Business Leads

"....since the past few months some of your online scope analysis report has been added with don't take this site. May I know why I should refuse a site when you have identified it as potential scope for online business'?" My boss' email went on to give a few references.

In fact, I did not even know that I had done this (selective amnesia?) or was doing this often (split personality?). I was stumped. Why was I doing this?


NOTE: I never meet the client or communicate with them personally before preparing the online scope. I just get all information through a form email. Hence personal like or dislike was out.

FACTS: In our company when you get a lead the first activity we do is to ascertain that the business has online marketing scope. This is a part of my job and I have to make the assessment along with the help of some tools and trudge through all the data. It mainly includes the following-

  1. Find out the product or service and then find out how many people are searching it online and where?
  2. Examine the website design of the business and suggest stuff to make it better.
  3. Suggest workable strategies for the business and develop a broad outline of the campaign.
  4. Make sure the client can pay. (Oops that should have been at the top!)


Panic gave way to puzzlement. I am generally tagged as being too objective. Six years of website marketing and I have seen quite a lot. Could my instincts be telling me something? Suddenly I recalled a book on snap judgment; Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. Some of my confidence came back.

ANALYSIS: I sat down to do some serious thinking. I thought of successful campaigns and what made them successful.

  1. Great product or service: A great product or service encourages word-of-mouth marketing. It gives us confidence.
  2. Large number of relevant searches: Search numbers matter despite long tailed and short tailed keyword search theory. Correct selection of conversion keywords like 'web marketing company’ instead of ‘web marketing’ which is generic drives targeted traffic to a site making conversions higher.
  3. Good Customer service: If a company gives good customer service people naturally leave reviews which makes the job easier for us.
  4. Feedback from client: Very important and most underestimated. Correct feedback makes us know what worked and what did not. It also keeps the team morale high. (At this point I digress to point out that feedback differs from interference. Interference is negative and messes with timeline).
  5. Timeline expectations: This makes a huge difference in terms of budget and expectations and delivery. Competitive businesses and keywords take longer. A relatively weak site takes longer, strong sites move faster.

Now I had it!

REASON #1 FOR NO: The product was useless and lousy.

REASON #2 FOR NO: The timeline suggested by the client wasunrealistic despite the amount of money he was offering.

REASON #3 FOR NO: Overbearing attitude in email suggesting highly interfering client.

REASON #4 FOR NO: Search numbers though large did not make sense when viewed with other data.

REASON #5 FOR NO: Web reviews showed the business had a large number of reviews complaining about the customer service and yet the product use required assistance as indicated in communication data. That was sheer indifference.

REASON #6 FOR NO: Oh well, it may have been a lousy judgment. :)

CONCLUSION: Snap judgment it was. But I can be logical about it in my response to my boss. I wonder if he would understand if I said it was snap judgment... I just wonder!


Sangeeta Kumar

Sangeeta Kumar is the Vice President of Web Marketing for GMR Web Team, a global online marketing, strategy, development and maintenance agency. Sangeeta is a jack-of-all-trades kinda person in the world of Internet marketing, excelling in market research to come up with a strategy based on the latest trends to get a website on page 1. She knows her stuff and enjoys a good discussion on SEO anywhere, anytime.

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