You’ve got yourself an awesome product. You’re ready to roll it out to your customers. You even have the perfect prospect to kick off your SEO sales. You know they’re ready to improve their online presence. So you’ve got a great pitch, you wind up, and it doesn’t go nearly as well as you’d hoped.
Before you can sell SEO, you need to understand a little about the industry and the types of business-
es that buy SEO to improve their digital presence. Businesses who buy SEO:
Compared to other SMBs, those who buy SEO are:
This data comes from Borrell & Associates. They compared their expansive SMB marketing research with the SEO customer data from Boostability and found SMBs who hire outside agencies for their SEO needs have more experience with marketing than those who try to do it themselves. The SMB’s who see the value of SEO understand they need outside help to do it well. And they tend to be over-all, more successful than those who have not yet invested in digital marketing.
In addition to knowing some of these industry facts, there are certain types of businesses that generally spend more on SEO than any other type of SMBs. Generally speaking, the industries that spend the most on SEO have either a high average transaction value or high average customer lifetime value.
For example, businesses like personal injury attorneys, dentists, vets, and window replacement generally spend more on SEO than any other industry. Another successful digital marketing outreach applies to businesses like childcare, auto dealers, sports and sporting goods, accountants, storage, appliance sales and services, tax services, jewelers, roofers, spas and salons, chiropractors, and plumbers. That’s not to say businesses in these types of industries are the only ones to buy SEO. SEO will be beneficial for nearly every small business in existence.
Before you can sell SEO to your customers, it’s important to understand the process and all about why organic rankings are so important. Bottom line, organic rankings bring in more customers. They’re the un-paid results that show up at the top of a Google search when you type in a query. Achieving organic rankings is the bread and butter of internet search results. And because of that, organic rankings are highly competitive.
Organic rankings or organic presence refers to the footprint size business has built in the online world. Specific to SEO, a business’s organic presence gets measured by how often search engines deem their site as one of the top answers for information related to the services or products they offer. You can think of any business’s organic presence as its ongoing relationship with Google. But you might be asking yourself, why does my or my customer’s relationship with this tech giant matter? It’s because searchers trust Google. It’s in Google’s best interest to provide the best answer to every single search query typed in. And as a result, with increased internet use year to year, consumers trust search engine results in more than any other informational resource available to them. Local Search Association first reported this information in a report published in 2018. It showed 36% of consumers surveyed reporting search engines trusted a search engine the most when looking for information. Only 11% of respondents said they went first to a company’s website for information and purchased directly from it.
In our digital world where we get exposed to brand messaging thousands of times every day, advertisements do two things for a potential customer. The first helps to generate awareness of a product or service and shows consumers about a business’s solution. Sometimes this goes as far as helping consumers see they have a problem they weren’t even aware of. The second thing advertisers do is to create interest around a product or service already well known. We’re likely familiar with these types of solutions like newspaper ads or commercials during TV shows. So when people get ready to buy, they turn to search engines, or Google in particular, to figure out the best product or service out there for what they want. Advertising brings in interest to a brand, but it’s also important for a brand to show why it’s the best at what it does. And that’s where SEO comes in. It’s crucial for businesses to understand the buying process from the viewpoint of a consumer, not just as a business owner. Businesses can’t succeed just through advertising. That generates the interest in their industry, but they could lose out to a competitor who organically ranks higher in the results.
Now that you know the types of businesses most likely to buy SEO, and why organic rankings are as important, it’s time to learn the best ways to sell it. There are four elements that go into the ultimate SEO sales process:
We’ll get into every step of that process. But the overall goal of any SEO sales pitch is to give the customer just enough information and understanding to make a buying decision on the first call you have with them. This is done by selling customers on the successful SEO process itself. Many proposals in the business world are long with lots of details. But short and simple does the trick when it comes to SEO, there’s no need to overcomplicate things by adding in all the details for a potential customer who doesn’t understand yet how SEO works.
Keeping things simple has several benefits. First, it saves time. Everyone always says there are not enough hours in the day. And the quicker you can move a prospect through the sales process and convert them into a paying customer, the more time you have to work on other aspects of growing your business.
Don’t over-prepare for a meeting or a call with someone who isn’t actually a paying customer yet. Simplicity can also increase the customer life cycle.
Solution sales is a unique type of sales methodology. Rather than just promoting an existing product, the salesperson will focus on a potential customer’s pain points and problems, then address the issue with the appropriate offerings/products/services to solve those pain points. The problem resolution constitutes a solution. So when you have mastered the solution sale, you can then own and take control of any sales conversation.
With SEO specifically, small businesses have the problem of poor visibility on Google. They can’t bring in more customers because they have a poor relationship with the search engine, or rather, their website does. With billions of small businesses making up our economy, trying to increase visibility online is a problem that will not go away. Businesses will always struggle to be found online. The solution sale for small businesses will point out how SEO can help them improve that online visibility, and how you’re the best one to fix it.
Immediately launching into a sales pitch the second you get a potential customer on the phone will not bring you success very often. Part of the solution sale methodology means you first need to learn about their business in order to learn where their pain points sit. This discovery process will shape the types of solutions you will offer in your pitch.
Good discovery chats include finding out what that potential customer does for their business, all about their products and services, the best sellers and most profitable items. It’s essential to find out what makes them unique in their business and what sets them apart from the competition. It’s also important to find out their business goals, whether those goals relate to products, new locations, more services, and anything else that isn’t just increasing sales with more customers. You also want to find out about what types of digital marketing they’ve tried already and why they believe it didn’t work. All this information will help you begin to structure your solution sales plan.
Once you learn all about the business, you can transition into the education portion of the pitch, which teaches the prospect a bit about how SEO works so they can make an informed decision. Before a potential customer will buy SEO, they first need to understand what SEO is. A good transition question is as simple as asking about their current understanding of SEO.
Educating them just enough to understand SEO and why they need it builds rapport, value, and tees up the perfect solution sales pitch. You need to teach them about how Google decides how to rank websites and building their organic presence. The higher rankings come through building relevance and trust for a website. Relevance means a website is a right answer to a searcher’s query. This comes through a site’s code, keyword optimization, and high-quality content. Trust comes through offsite optimization through business directories and profiles, link building, articles, and blogs that point back to the site.
To start your solution pitch, you need to emphasize three things about SEO:
Now it’s time to show how your solution is the perfect one for these small business clients. It’s the chance to show that you’ve listened to what they have to say and that you understand their struggles with digital marketing in the past. Because you understand, you can now pitch your products with confidence knowing they solve the problems they face. You’ll go through how the specific products you sell will solve the specific issues they face
It’s also important to give a few different solution options. All solve the problems, but likely at different price points. This helps the potential customer feel as though they still have options to get their problems fixed. Walk them through how SEO will build value for their website in the eyes of search engines, which will then bring more customers in the door. It’s important to finish your solution pitch asking if the potential customer has any questions
about your process and how it will help to improve their online rankings.
The potential customer’s budget can always be one of the hardest parts of the sales process. Two factors go into determining an SEO budget: market competitiveness and industry competitiveness. Before you can make budget recommendations, there are several questions you need to ask yourself. Things like what can they afford based on your profiling questions? Are they selling locally or nationally? Are they a startup? How aggressive do they want to be? You’ll have most of these questions answered when you learn about their business earlier in the call. This helps you structure a solution budget that accomplishes their goals while staying affordable for their business. The work offered by SEO companies often comes in packages. The work stays the same, but the price changes depending on the number of hours spent on a campaign. Your solutions sales pitch will offer them several options at different price points, but help them understand that conservative prices won’t move the needle as quickly as more aggressive campaigns.
A good majority of potential clients will likely take the conservative route to learn more about SEO and how the system works along with learning about the platform. But it’s important to give the aggressive plans as an option, and also to give a vision of what a potential plan could look like. It’s important not to pause and let the client sit and ponder on things. Immediately move to continually build value in what SEO will do for their site and transition to closing the sale. You’ll tell them how your team will immediately get started researching keywords for their site and their business, and how the campaign will progress from there. In solutions sales, continually move the call forward into the next steps.
Even for good sales reps, sometimes closing the sale can be tough. If you offer SEO through a vendor, it’s important to see if they offer sales support. This service uses SEO experts whose sole job focus is to close a sale. They have all the tools necessary to talk as experts to your customers and get them ready to buy your product.
Sales support works as though the SEO expert works right in your office. You can loop them in to any call as part of the SEO team go over any questions and offer options to your customers. They can walk a potential customer through the entire solution sale process. Sales support can be an invaluable tool for closing the sale with customers who might not quite be convinced of the value of SEO.
Selling SEO can be challenging. There’s the struggle of helping customers understand why they need SEO. SEO rarely has measurable ROI to show customers how it will improve their website and their business. But when you come in with the right tools, strategies, and solutions, you’ll find much higher success in closing the deal with the first contact. It takes learning all the details about a small business and why they haven’t succeeded in digital marketing to this point. It takes adjusting your pitch to fix their exact pain points, showing how SEO will add value to their website and their business. And you’ll demonstrate how your solution will help them reach the first page of Google and attract new customers. This ultimate SEO sales guide will guaranteed help you increase your sales and build your own business in the process.
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