Avoiding Snake Oil – Part 3
TRANSCRIPT: So, I hope the question on your mind is “How can I buy like a Fortune 500 company and not be taken by the snake oil salesmen out there today?”
Number 1 is – you can vet more efficiently. For example, don’t accept meetings on their terms. Accept meetings on your terms. If there’s a particular product, service or technology that you are thinking of buying; that you feel you need for your business, find five vendors of this product, schedule them all on the same day and set their meetings an hour apart. Give each of them forty-five minutes to explain to you why their product is great and, at the end of the day, you and your team can get together and pick your favorite.
You can also create online surveys, for free, at lots of sites and you can invite every possible vendor of a certain product, service or technology to participate. Then you can ask the fifteen or twenty questions that are important to your business and pick the three or four vendors that answered those questions to your liking and invite them in to do a presentation.
Number 2 is – make sure you have options. I have businesses often ask me “Do you like “A” or “B” better?”; well, maybe I like “C”, “D”,”E” or “F” or “M”. Sometimes small businesses leave themselves only two options and both of those could be snake oil salesmen.
The last thing is – ‘Big Business’ doesn’t fall in love. There is not a single vendor out there or single product, service or technology that ‘Big Business’ says “Oh, my gosh, we’ve gotta have this or we’re gonna just go bankrupt!” Right?
Okay, let’s do a quick, short and sweet recap on what you should have learned in today’s lesson:
Number 1 – Assume snake oil. Anyone selling you new technology, new media, social media, anything online, digital marketing….assume its snake oil until they can prove differently.
Number 2 – Make sure you can understand the ROI in laymen’s terms. If you can’t understand what the expected benefit is to your business, avoid it. You don’t need it. Spend your money somewhere else.
Number 3 – Make sure you make them prove it with month to month agreements, and, if you can get it, free trials.
Number 4 – Have plenty of options. Don’t just have “A” or “B”. Use the vetting like we talked about or the surveys.
And, finally, never, ever, for any vendor, any product, any service…..ever fall in love. You’ll only get burned.