We are now in the phase of the business where we get a ton of RFQs, unsolicited. It is awesome to be wanted and an honor to be solicited by potential clients. However, with this comes the influx of potential "bad" clients. Luckily, we are also at the point where we can "choose and refuse" a potential project.
As we read each RFQ/RFP, we also read through the lines. We have learned some tell-tale signs (aka: red flags) that we would like to share. Most of these phrasings will lead to an immediate DECLINE of your project.
Red Flag 1:
"…This is a pretty straightforward/easy job. I expect to do it 'correctly' will take about 10 hours."
–They describe a detailed project and then proceed to claim that it's "easy" and they know "exactly" how many hours it should take. This client likely knows NOTHING about how hard your job is as an SEM. They don't know what you are doing behind the scenes. Move on.
Red Flag 2:
"The ideal candidate will provide a weekly analysis of our Adword's Accounts, make recommendations and then complete only the adjustments that I approve…"
— Did you catch that? Only make adjustments that they approve. This is your typical micromanager. They do not know that you make 100 little adjustments daily. Be it through an automated script or manually. You will not make this person happy. No level of communication will suffice. They will not trust you. Move on!
Red Flag 3:
"I will pay by the hour for this job. I will not consider subscribing to anyone's packages for this service, as I would like to have more granular control over the activities that will be performed under this agreement. If you quote me a monthly price, I will not consider it. You must be willing to work by the hour to be a good fit for this role."
— Wozers! This one sounds like a mirco-managing controller, who doesn't trust you and has likely been burned by an incompetent provider previously. OUCH!! It will take a lot of work to mend these broken fences. Move on!!
We see these every day. We hope that this helps you spot some of the "bad guys" that won't be worth your time. Ever hear of that 80/20 rule? Yeah. That!