Bear with me a moment for some backstory: We’ve been getting a robocall repeatedly at the office to alert us how our Google+ page hasn’t been claimed yet, so we’re missing out on foot-traffic to our business. We’re an office, so foot-traffic isn’t something we’re looking for. I can’t quote the narrated description verbatim, but it’s clearly worded to make it seem like the calls are coming from Google. Being an internet professional, I know the only time I’ve ever gotten a phone call from Google was about advertising and not about G+; immediately, this does not pass the smell test for me. I’ve been dialing 9 or whatever number they say to be removed from the list, but the calls keep coming. Finally, this morning, I’d had it. I wanted to speak to a representative and find out for sure what was up with these calls.
I navigated through the options with my dial-pad, and finally I was patched through to a representative: “Hi, I have a question: are you with Google itself, or are you an SEO company?”
“We provide services to Google, Bing, and Yahoo.”
“Okay, but do you provide those services as a direct contractor, or are you an SEO company?”
It’s impossible to convey the rudeness in text, but it was there: “I already told you that. Yes, we’re an SEO company.”
“You didn’t tell me that, though. Everything about your script seems designed to make me think you’re with Google.”
“Well if you don’t want our services, you should have just asked to be taken off the list.”
I saw through the front, so immediately, I became the recipient of scorn. I get that most people might not know what SEO is, and I get that cold-calling is a job that puts you in contact with hostile people all the time. But I wasn’t being hostile; I was trying to get a direct, non-weaselly answer to my question before asking why they won’t take our number off their list. I was so taken aback by the immediate rudeness I got that I forgot to ask why my repeated attempts to be removed from their list haven’t worked.
The great Chris Lema wrote an article about how keeping the truth in your corner is vital for success: avoid the people who lie and say you can’t do something just to hold you back, but also avoid falsely propping yourself up with lies about what’s possible. I would add this: If you have to lie to get your foot in the door, you’ve already lost.
Call me and offer your services as an SEO company. But don’t try to make me think you’re someone you’re not, then get mad at me for calling you on it.