I just made a decision about a business before even looking at on-line reviews or asking around about the quality of their service. That decision is that they weren't worth doing business with. So what caused this?
The contact form on my business's website doesn't just divulge our email address, that's dumb. Instead it has required fields that they individual has to fill out including their name, e-mail and a few other things. If your business's website doesn't have a contact us form you might consider doing this - it protects your email address and also gets the information from those wishing to contact you that you want.
So I look over this "professional's" information and the first thing I notice is that his e-mail address is something like JoeBlow2520@yahoo.com. That's not really his address, but that's the format. Strike one. If you're using Yahoo mail in this day and age you're asking for trouble. And you're also advertising how you don't care about your clients' security with the huge number of hacks that Yahoo gets on a regular basis. Here's just the latest news about Yahoo e-mail problems.
But it's not just Yahoo mail. If you're a business professional your e-mail address should be firstname.lastname@example.org. Seriously, your e-mail address should feature your business. This is so easy to do nowadays and is just a basic building block of running a real, professional company.
Secondly for this poor fellow, his website was one of those sites who lists lots of professionals in a field and his page was something like listthesepeople.com/biz/local/thisguy.html. Yeah, that's memorable.
By using this type of listing he's not adding credibility by being among his peers, he's showing that he has no understanding of Internet marketing whatsoever. What he should have done is built his own website with a tool like Weebly.com or Squarespace.com or any number of the many web-based site builders available nowadays or even had someone do it for him. Then he could link to this listing if he felt it had any credibility whatsoever but having even a one-page website is so easy to do nowadays.
It's funny - this guy had all the time in the world to write this e-mail that he used to contact us, but in that same amount of time he could have built a halfway decent website in one of these site building tools.
Frankly this site is built in Weebly simply because it's really easy to do a credible job and I can worry about creating content rather than wrestling with code and worrying about what happens when things change.
So I'm not even going to consider doing business with him but I am going to share this blog post and, perhaps, help his career.
Now some people say they don't care what someone's email address and website are. Maybe I'm being too picky because I'm a nerd. But it takes the same effort to set-up a Yahoo address as it does to set-up one with your company's URL so why wouldn't you do things to promote your own business?
This is just as bad as someone who has business cards they're handing out with anything scratched-out or hand written on them (except a personal note to me, that's totally acceptable). Today you can print business cards on your inkjet printer where at least all the information is correct.
You can set up an email address and website domain today in 10 minutes on sites like Godaddy.com. In fact, Godaddy uses Weebly as its website builder so you can literally get everything done in one spot.
Am I being picky? Maybe but I'm certainly not alone and considering how easy these things are to fix it's worth considering.