Shiny-Headed Salesman with Very Nice Necktie: “Don’t worry about all that technical stuff. We’ll take care of your domain name. Just give me your password.”
Translation: “Once I have your domain name, it’s mine… all mine! Bwaa haaa haa haa haaaaaah.”
Attractive Business Woman Handing You Glass of Wine: “No, seriously, we host everything in house and make all our own website designs, so you never have to worry about the big boys – GoDaddy – going down. Did you hear about that Amazon fiasco on the East Coast last month? That will never happen to your website with us.”
Translation: “Your website and everything on it will be ours, not yours. You can rent it from us and we’ll pretend it’s yours, but it’s not. It’s ours. You can’t have it.”
Easy-Going Voice on Phone: “Yeah, so I’ll just shoot over this EULA – oh, sorry – that means end user license agreement. It’s all standard stuff. Just digitally sign, and we’ll get started.”
Translation: “The contract requires 60 days’ cancellation and has an automatic renewal clause, so you’ll pretty much be stuck with us forever, or you’ll pay an arm and two legs to leave us without going to court. It’s all there; you should have read it. Didn’t you learn anything in college?”
There’s No One to Trust
It’s really tough out there. You want people to care about people. You do, right? I mean, you care about your patients, your employees. You want to do right by them, but still turn a profit, ethically and responsibly. You think most people are good and want to do the same.
Sadly, it’s not true. Enough years in business may have shown you this sad reality.
You don’t want to become calloused and skeptical, but once bitten, twice shy, right?
With Internet technology, it’s hard, because things are constantly changing. While you’re off learning the latest and greatest about dental technology and materials, and how the new Dentrix software works, Google is changing its algorithm and the powers that be are revolutionizing web design – again. How can you be expected to keep up? You can’t. Who can you trust to keep up for you? That’s the problem.
5 Tips for Avoiding Slick Willies
You don’t know me, and I won’t ask you to trust me. I will, however, tell you that I come from a long line of entrepreneurs – small businessmen and women who, like you, were busy doing business and didn’t have time for all the peripheral minutia. I’m sure some of them were taken advantage of, and I hate to think of it. I’ve been a victim myself, so I make it my job to educate dentists on how to avoid the Slick Willies who want to steal your domain and your website, take your hard-earned money, and run away to Tahiti, leaving you and the wife/hubs and kids behind. Okay, maybe that’s overkill, but you get my drift.
Here are 5 tips to help you avoid those types. I’ve seen dentists fall victim to scams (though legal, not ethical), so I hope you’ll take time to read these, be forewarned, and escape the silver-tongued salesmen.
- DOMAIN NAME: The domain name you purchase is yours as long as you hold on to it. Don’t let anyone transfer it to their account!!! If your webmaster wants to host it somewhere else, they can POINT DNS. Don’t give in on this, or your domain name could be held hostage.
- WEBSITE OWNERSHIP: If you select a template website that is not built on WordPress, the site itself will probably not be yours. If you ever leave the web company that built the site, you probably will not be able to take the site with you. I have seen some dentists have to relinquish all of the content (copy) they wrote for their website, as well. They paid for the site, paid a monthly fee, and left empty handed, with no recourse.
- CONTRACTS: I am NOT a fan of contracts, and rarely will I sign one, unless I have to (like for a cell phone or a house). If you do sign a contract for any web service, read all of the fine print. At a minimum, have your attorney read it and give you the synopsis. I strongly suggest you read it yourself. Identiwrite, my company, does not use contracts, but asks only for a verbal handshake on 30 days’ notice. If one party does not wish to continue business with the other, no one will prosper from the continued relationship. Both should walk away as professionals, with respect, in my humble opinion. The point is, don’t let anyone nail you to the wall with the fine print that you didn’t read.
- SERVICE INCLUSIONS: Know what’s covered. Will you have website support? What will that include? What will you be billed for, if you need changes on your site? Will adding a blog be extra? How much? Will adding one now save you $500 later? Is your site optimized? By what standards? Is the text written just for you, or is it duplicate content, by Google’s definition? How many pages will your site have? What about images? Will they be optimized for search? And forms? Email capture? Email contact forms? There are many questions to ask. Ask them. If you don’t get the answers you want, probe for more or go elsewhere. You deserve what you pay for. Don’t give in, and if you are not respected, that’s a big problem that won’t likely resolve over time.
- CONTACT: Know who you’ll have contact with when you call. If you start out talking with the company owner, that’s great. However, once the sale is closed, will you be handed off to a $10 per hour account manager whose last job was retail, and who knows nothing about websites? You’ll surely pay a monthly fee for that support service, so you deserve quality assistance. Don’t put up with being handed off to the low-paid file clerk, when you’re paying for expert service.
If you’d like to talk with me about your website, Google rank, copywriting, or blogging, give me a call. I promise absolutely no Slick Willie action, and I am the only person who answers my phone. In fact, I’m one of the few people you’ll ever speak with at Identiwrite, because I’m one of our experts. You can reach me, Shauna Duty, at 940-395-5115 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.