Selling Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services to local businesses isn’t that complicated, but it’s also not like shooting fish in a barrel.
Some of the most experienced sales and SEO teams face problems such as having ambiguous sales processes, a scarcity of sales training or SEO tools, and a lack of preparation before pitching. These reasons are enough to cost the deal.
What could be preventing you from creating a winning SEO pitch is the lack of a streamlined process that directs your sales and SEO team to work on the same wavelength. How can your sales team close consistently without a repeatable process in place?
You have to act now! The demand for skilled SEO agencies is growing. Small businesses in the United States spend $497 each month on SEO services, and companies around the world spend more than $65B on SEO per annum.
We have rounded up the best steps you can take to optimize your sales efforts and drive more clients for your SEO agency.
Adhering to the ‘Pareto principle,’ the measures we outlined in the post are meant-to-help you gain an 80% higher closing rate from 20% sales efforts.
If more clients are what you need, read our extensive guide to growing SEO agency sales:
Preparation is the key to avert potential disasters! So, always be ready before selling SEO services, or otherwise, you may lose your prospects.
If you get in touch with a prospective client with your half-baked SEO pitch, you’re significantly reducing your chance of striking a deal.
Study your potential leads and their industry so you can discuss the current problems they face and how your SEO services can resolve them.
And such thorough groundwork allows you to resonate with clients, their business pain points, their competitors, and much more.
In short, preparation is a central part of the sales process; it helps you get a good start and gets you on your way to securing a client.
Selling SEO is a skill, and like most skillful roles, it is made easier with the right tools. Here are a few essential things you’ll require before you embark on your sales journey:
The first rule of an effective SEO strategy is to never treat your potential clients like other routine deals. Always make an impression that conveys that you genuinely care about the client’s business. How do you do that?
Well, start with researching the prospect. The more you know about your client’s business, the less you’ll be treated like a stranger — it’s as simple as that.
Here are a few things you must do:
Here’s a quick recap: let’s assume you have just started your SEO agency and intend to sell your services to a local business. So, how will you approach the client?
You’ll gather as much data as you can about their business — the value of their services or products, their local targeted audience, and their overarching objectives.
Whenever you sell SEO services to SMBs or large businesses, keep in mind that every prospect has a specific requirement.
It’s imperative to know how your agency will fulfill its requirements so that you can focus on the most appropriate prospects.
Therefore, when qualifying an SEO lead, you have to consider four main factors: Authority, Budget, Timeframe, and Need.
Asking relevant questions will enable you to concentrate on the most promising clients instead of squandering resources and time on projects, which are:
Now that you know how to prep yourself before selling, let’s jump straightaway to selling SEO services.
Don’t waste your time getting in touch with each prospective client. The best approach here is only to call empowered individuals who can make decisions.
However, never drop the closing statement over the phone, no matter what. Your goal is to arrange a face-to-face meeting with the client—it’s like selling a test drive to your potential client.
When contacting prospects over the phone, make sure your sales or SEO team has a detailed script to follow. However, they should speak confidently, never sounding like they are reading from a script.
Selling SEO services in-person requires a lot of homework. Here’s what you have to do:
When you’re communicating with prospective clients – whether in-person or over a call – allot some time to a casual conversation as it’s essential to build rapport.
Break the ice with questions they least expect, which will make your potential client ‘pause’ for a moment to respond.
Here are some questions to give you an idea:
Breaking ground isn’t only to build relationships; in fact, it’s one of the most effective ways to create a long-lasting impression on potential clients and make them believe that you sincerely care about their business.
The most vital step while selling SEO services is to build desire: letting your prospective clients know how their business will succeed with your SEO agency.
Routinely send clients a complete audit report of the website to demonstrate areas that require improvements. Make sure the information is jargon-free and easy-to-understand by your clients.
Sending your prospective clients a regular in-depth review gives your SEO agency the flair of seasoned, professional SEO agencies.
It will also show your potential clients that you have the necessary tools and technologies to seek and fix problems.
To win clients, all you need to have is an impressive-looking proposal. It would help if you actively thought about what to include in it to make it a winning proposition.
Firstly, it should contain detailed information about your prospective client, thorough details about the agency’s SEO process, and finally, proposed solutions, deliverables, and timelines.
One of the most effective ways to convince your client to hire you is to provide them with a feasible solution to resolve their most pertinent pain points.
Ensure that you never end your sales pitch unless you have displayed what value your agency can offer.
Pro tip: Always have a proposal ready in your pitch kit to demonstrate your offerings.
Once you have their attention with your proposal, it’s time to pull the personal heartstrings. It’s called “Personal Selling.”
Since you have informed your client about your vast expertise, now help them envision the positive experience and peace-of-mind they will get while working with your SEO agency.
Here comes the most important – and possibly the most challenging – part of selling SEO services: closing.
It’s your all-or-nothing moment. Before you begin preparing the SEO contract to hammer out a deal, ensure the sales team uses the right and relevant phrases to inquire about your client’s business.
Here are some proven and result-oriented methods to close a sales deal:
Address every requirement of your prospect with the benefit. For example, a closing pitch can be: “I can help you book your work now…”
In this technique, you assume the closing remarks yourself; however, it ends with a question mark that provides minimal choice.
Here’s an example: “I can help you book your work. Would you let me do it and send its invoice to your work or personal email account?
This technique also assumes the closing; however, the closing sentence talks about the coming scheduled conversation.
Here’s an example: “I have booked your order and have sent you the invoice. Will it be possible for you to talk about the intake this coming Tuesday?
In all best-selling sales books, you’ll come across one important tip over and over again: When you close the sales deal, stop talking!
Successfully closing the client doesn’t necessarily mean the end of sales. Experienced digital marketers – who sell SEO services – are well-versed in the importance of a trouble-free post-sales experience. If your agency has an in-house SEO team, you can fulfill the order(s) directly. Or, you can outsource your SEO through an experienced SEO reseller agency.
At this stage, you have to consider two key things: retain your clients and sell your client some additional value.
The issue with many salespeople is that they bombard the client’s inbox with additional and unnecessary products and services that the prospects may not be ready to buy.
There’s no need to be an annoying salesman; be savvy while cross-selling or upselling any of your other products or services.
As it’s essential to add value to the relationship after closing the deal, only try to make offerings that will enhance their business and provide additional value to their business or SEO.
Are you wondering how to go about it? Well, you can send an opener, for example, “The last thing…” or “just in case…” However, you have to consider the following:
Only offer cross-selling or upselling when it seems reasonable. The added value you provide to the client should deal with your client’s momentary needs.
Remember, their most pressing problems are your most immediate opportunities!
Keep the client updated on additional products, services, or upgrades. Give the client the necessary information and demonstrate how these products can benefit their brand.
Once you’ve closed a deal, you have established the kind of relationship with your client that won’t end even after your contract period is over.
It’s your responsibility to continuously build desire in the client so that they have a reason not to leave your SEO agency.
Always be proactive! Whether good news or bad, let it be known. If their rankings dropped significantly, tell it to your client. Highlight positive outcomes by comparing past reports with current stats.
This way, your client will see the priceless value you provide to their brand. It also tells them that you hold their best interests at heart.
Pro tip: Clients always seek a stable experience with SEO agencies, so keep in mind ABC: Always Book the next call.
Defining the process of your sales is just the beginning. The method we laid out in this guide will:
If you’re all set to change your modus operandi and want to win over the prospects (particularly as a white label SEO service provider), this “how to sell SEO” guide is for you!