I originally wrote this article in March 2008. It's another article that got stuck in the draft folder. It's still very relavent, so I'm publishing now.
I make a lot of calls to business owners and marketing professionals. Most business owners have a long list of lines they use to get salepeople off of the phone. I love getting this excuse: "The Timing isn't Right".
First of all, it's probably important to note that I do about 1.5 hours of free consulting and coaching for my prospects. So, anyone talking to me, given my years of experience at internet marketing, should be pretty damn grateful. My time is spent diagnosing their internet marketing and website mess, starting keyword research and competitive research for them and recommending how they can leverage SEO, PPC, blogging, social media, etc, etc to drive more traffic as well as use marketing analytics, lead capture tools and lead intelligence to convert more of their visitors to leads and sales.
Bottomline: they're going to learn a whole hell of a lot from me for free. No obligation.
So, when someone tells me that the timeing isn't right, they're really missing out.
Maybe the Timing Truly Isn't Right. Now, of course, sometimes the timing truly isn't right. Maybe they do not have the time to dedicate to online marketing. Maybe their time would be spent better elsewhere. Maybe they have a family or human resources emergency. Maybe they need to tighten up the operations side of the business. Maybe they have bad sales recruitment problems. There's all kinds of problems that would prevent an organization from stepping up their online marketing.
Maybe You Just Think the Timing Isn't Right
But usually, they think the timing isn't right because they think they know what they're talking about when it comes to online marketing. For example, the most common reason someone thinks that the timing isn't right is because "they're redoing their website right now". They think, and I can understand the logic, that you should worry about driving traffic after you launch a site. However, that's a big mistake.
Why? Well, keyword research and tracking should govern a site design or redesign: keyword research will help you find the keywords to use in your content, as well as affect what pages you have, what the name of the pages are, as well as what your navigation links should be. These are pretty important factors when it comes to launching a site. Also, if you really want to do SEO, you should launch a blog on your own domain and be able to add and edit pages on your site without technical help. That's less about "building the site" and more about "building the site on the right platform". Further, if you want to do PPC advertising down the road, you should have a system in place that lets you launch and tweak landing pages. Further, before you do any kind of relaunch, you should study how people arrive to your site and interact with it. You don't want to screw something up and take a hit on traffic because you didn't understand what search terms, referers people were coming from OR because you eliminated a page that almost every visitor read upon their site visit.
Another reason people think it's the wrong time is because "they want to figure this stuff out" first. They're doing their "homework" and "investigating" how to do online marketing. WTF? Why do you think companies like HubSpot have salepeople? Because we know this stuff. We are your cheat sheet. We've figured it out. It's our job to diagnose. Once someone's a client, we give them the curriculum. For some reason, when it comes to internet marketing, people feel they need to write the curriculum themselves.
What "The Timing Isn't Right" Really Means.
All of that said, I understand that people make this mistake of thinking that they should talk to me after they do "something". That's normal. And I understand they think I'm going to pitch them something they don't need. They've dealt with many bad salespeople. However, they should know that I won't sell them something unless I can solve a problem that's important to them.