If you have spoken with someone over at a directory and everything sounds good – solid traffic, nice site and search engine placement, helpful customer service – it is time to start negotiating placement on a directory.  Keep this in mind – you should never pay the proposed initial cost of being on the directory.  Also, you should be wary of lengthy contracts.  Keep in mind that most directories that perform well are confident they will be delivering to their customers.  That means that they don’t have to lock them in – they’ll know that the customer will be the one wanting to stay with them.

  • Always ask if they are running any promotions or propose an amount you are willing to pay.  For example, if they tell you that it is 200 dollars a month to be in Broward County, FL for your business, ask if they can go to 100, or ask for them to throw in Palm Beach as well.  You’ll always want to end up with more than what was originally offered.
  • Try to avoid getting locked into anything beyond 6 months, unless the savings are immense.  Typically, you want to start by telling them you want a month free to try it out.  And if you like it, you wouldn’t mind committing to long-term.  If this doesn’t work, try for a 3 month contract.  If the savings long term are very favorable (for example, if it was 50 a month but annually it is 300) it could be worth just pulling the trigger on if everything looks good according to what we mentioned in our previous blog.
  • Make sure you see how many other businesses like yours will be posted in your region/industry.  If you are buried at the bottom of the page, you’ll likely never be seen.  This is where you can ask about premium placement, gold etc., and see what that entails as far as price and impressions, which leads to…
  • You can use number of impressions for the page as leverage for them coming down on price.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask about packages multiple locations and listings on their site.  This gets the salesperson pumped up about a bigger sale and they are willing to do more work to close.

So to wrap up.  Say that you can only do a fraction of their proposed cost, attempt to avoid a long contract (unless you feel good about the directory and the savings are solid), and TRACK at all times and give your account rep grief if it isn’t performing!  At the end of your contract, if your ROI isn’t sufficient (and this number is totally up to you) then move on.  There are plenty of places you can be spending your money.

If you need assistance negotiating in matters such as these, or want help with an overall marketing strategy, our team over at Market My Market is excellent at both!  Contact us anytime with any questions.