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Why to NOT sell add-on services to your clients

Why selling add on services may give you a bad name

We don’t sell many different things. We also resist the temptation of selling add-ons. Why? Because the odds are that we would suck at them.

It’s really that simple. I would rather do one or two things and be really awesome at them, than have a couple extra line items of income streams on our profit and loss sheets.

There’s just too much risk to ruin something that we work so hard to build: our name.

I’d like to share a recent example of Go daddy RUINING my impression of their company. Go daddy is awesome at what: cheap domain registrations. That’s basically it. EVERYONE in the web development industry will complain about Go daddy. Why? They are usually complaining about hosting or other stuff. Not domains. I’ve been a long time customer of Go daddy, and they are great with my handful of domains. I even have a special phone number and name of a representative to call because I’ve been with them so long. The “Overall” experience is horrible though… It’s very unfortunate, and I usually am able to overlook it and chalk it up to “Just another web company attempting to nickel and dime you to death.”

We HAD an extended validation SSL with Go daddy, otherwise known as an EV SSL. Having the extended validation puts a little nicer header in the URL on browsers, and it’s seemed like it was worth the extra money. THE GODADDY SSL DEPARTMENT IS ONE OF THE WORST EXPERIENCES I HAVE EVER DEALT WITH IN BUSINESS. I mean they take bad customer service to levels you’ve never seen. They spend months screwing with you to issue the SSL, instead of just issuing it. It’s one of those scenarios where you submit paperwork, and it gets denied. You fix what they denied it for, and then they deny it for something else. Instead of just listing everything they don’t like in one letter, they just do it one thing at a time. You couldn’t make up the stuff they come up with if you tried. Sending it in the improper format, sending it from the wrong email address, not liking the letter they want you to write, wanting it scanned as an image instead of a PDF… I mean it takes a lot of work to come up with these random reasons to not do the work you hired them for. Every year it’s a complete and utter disaster working with this department of Go daddy. So as of today, we are still without our Extended Validation certificate from Go daddy. We have been without it for months.

It costs $100 with Go daddy for the EV SSL, and I’m sure it’s a pain to actually issue them. It has to be for how difficult they are. We’ve had SSL’s with Comodo and it’s never difficult, but my guess is that the entire SSL department at Go daddy is just a line item on their sales reports. It’s like a nice little bonus for their accounting department, and never really gets the attention it deserves.

So, for $100 Go daddy ruined my impression of the whole company, when I’ve been with them since they started. Will I move my domains? Not as long as they stay cheap. But I’m not going to do an SSL with them anymore. It’s just too bad of an experience. The same goes with hosting. We tried it there, but they limit so many things, and try to upsell you every time you need something, that it’s just simpler to use a regular hosting company that specializes in hosting. When we did host with them, when the site went down, you just got some phone answerer that couldn’t actually do anything for you, and had no idea when it would get fixed.

So when you talk to web people about Go daddy, they utter in disgust, and most people have a bad impression of them. But it’s only really because they had a horrible experience with their hosting, email, or SSL. No one ever really has a bad time with their domains. If they just focused on what they are good at, they would probably force other domain registrars to quit. Think about how many more domains Go daddy would have if they had a client interface that actually worked. If it worked fast, was easy to navigate, that was sortable, and didn’t try to upsell you some crap with the wrong clicks. But instead, if someone asked me what it’s like to use Go Daddy, I (A long-time client,) would probably have to recommend someone else just because of how annoying the SSL people are, and my impression of their company is forever jaded.

Something we have slowly tried to dump is walking filings into the Secretary of State offices. We have certainly lost business from trying to not do this. We’ve lost a LOT of registered agent business that we would want because of not selling this add-on. But that work just sucks! You’re always rushing through fixing someone else’s lack of planning. They’re already pissed, they dump their problems on you, and you’re stuck scrambling around trying to make 5 different things happen in two hours. Then if it doesn’t happen, they want their money back. All for 30-75 bucks. Even if we charged 200 bucks it just isn’t worth the risk of associating ourselves with that service and the bad results that can come from trying to perform it. People that need the filings walked in, generally are already upset that this is their only option, so they are just mad in general.

So what’s my point? As the year comes to and end and you start thinking about taxes and your gross revenues, you might want to take a look at your smaller line items and really ask yourself if they are worth performing, and more importantly if they are giving your business a bad name.

This entry was posted in Anti-Thought Leadership.