From time to time, I get asked if I am interested in accepting adverts on my two blogs. However, because none of the advertising companies that have approached me have been prepared to adopt a ‘principled selling approach’, I’ve never said yes, to what effectively is ‘free money’ for me.

Today was one of those occasions when I started a dialogue with a company wanting to place advertisements on one of my blogs. I reproduce part of an e-mail I sent back to that company tonight:

“I will not be going ahead with your proposed advertising for 3 reasons:

  1.  What you are actually proposing is now very different to the ‘small text-based ad’ you mentioned in the first e-mail to me. What you are really asking for is a sponsored blog post or page on my website. I feel deceived as the goal posts have been moved.
  2. The going rate for a sponsored blog post of the type you are talking about is $20-40 a month, rather than $10 a month which you have proposed.
  3. I did ask you to talk initially with my Chief Organiser Lisa, and deliberately copied her into the e-mail. You ignored my instruction, which gives me concerns about our future working relationship.”

Click here to download our free ebook "The reluctant business developer's guide to winning clients". (email required)

Whilst you may be thinking, that’s not the sort of business I work in, so this doesn’t apply to me. Think again. There are takeaways from this story for everyone who has ever had to sell a professional service:

  1.  Never trick a potential buyer into talking to you. Always be honest and upfront about what you are actually proposing. You have too much to lose by being economical with the truth to secure that first meeting.
  2. Don’t oversell the benefits or results of your service to secure the first meeting
  3. Your initial actions at the start of the relationship will be taken as indicative of how you will behave in the relationship for the long term.
  4. Always assume that your prospects will do their research and know the going rate for your services.
  5. Listen to what your prospects are telling you, and play the game by their rules not yours.

Click here to download our free ebook "The reluctant business developer's guide to winning clients". (email required)

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