16 Jan Relationship Selling in SEO
The SEO industry often gets a bad rap. Everyone knows at least one person with a horror story about an SEO firm that charged exorbitant rates and did little to no work. The paradox is that everyone wants SEO for their site (who doesn’t want gobs of free traffic) but few seem to know how to achieve it. So how does an SEO agency succeed in a marketplace full of pessimism and bad apples? Relationship selling!
Know Your Clients
When approaching a company to sell them SEO services, the key element is to put yourself in their shoes. Understand that they have a budget and are responsible for showing how each dollar of that budget is helping ROI. Also realize that you must overcome their preconceived notion that SEO agencies are dark wizards who practice black hat magic. You face an uphill battle.
With this understanding, start you dialogue by setting realistic expectations. Help them understand that SEO is a long term investment, not a quick fix to their traffic problems. Let them know that they really won’t see a lot of results until they have a first page ranking. Beware of spreading efforts over too many keywords lest none of them ever really gains any traction. Be honest with what you can, and most importantly, what you can NOT do for them.
The overall objective of your sales pitch (and I use the term despite a potentially negative connotation) is to build trust. Being honest increases their trust. Education increases their trust. Referrals from current clients builds trust. Showing up on time and keeping the meeting as short as possible builds trust. SEO is a harsh mistress, so you’re going to need all the trust you can get for when times get tough down the road. Now go and do!