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Sales Techniques for the SEO Consultant

Apr 16, 2007   //   by FreshTraffic   //   internet strategy, search engine marketing, website optimization  //  9 Comments

The motivation to write this post came after reading Todd’s post regarding Negotiations and Client Sales for SEO Consultants. Todd’s post is about how to handle selling a prospect when they call you for SEO Consulting. My post is about the opposite scenario. It’s how an SEO Consultant can sell a prospect when the SEO Consultant initiates the call (cold calling). Sales is a necessary part of every business ( as uncomfortable as it may be ).

When I worked at Did-it, they invested in training all employees on Sandler Sales Training (no relation). In my opinion, that’s was a very smart corporate strategy/edge. Pattern Interrupt, Mirroring, and Reverse Selling were a big part of it.

One of the sales trainers called my voice mail, pretending to be making a sales call. He didn’t do half-bad with only getting a 10 second prep on what is SEM. Below is my transcription:

SALES SCRIPT:

Hi Jay, this is Your Name calling. This is kinda an ackward call…we haven’t actually spoken before…maybe if I took a brief second to explain why I called, you could decide whether we should continue or not?

[Prospect says, “Sure”.]

Okay. Great. First, I’m calling from a company called Did-it. We specialize in managing Search Engine Marketing campaigns. What we do…uhh…it might not make any sense for you. But, typically, the companies or people I speak with like yourself that are interested in having a conversation…they may complain to me about things like…CPC prices are going up, and their ROI is going down, they know there is a lot of business is out there on the web, and each deal is worth a lot of money for us, but we’re just having a challenge pulling it in. They’re really not sure what to do. Paid Search is getting more & more challenging.

Now here’s the thing. At this point, I’ll leave it up to you. I don’t know if you’re having any issues like that. Are you experiencing any challenges with Paid Search?

LISTEN CAREFULLY.

Then ask PAIN QUESTIONS:
1. Tell me more about that.
2. Is that a big deal?
3. How long has it been going on?
4. How does that affect you?
5. That stinks.

If he says, “Not interested”. Say….

Really? Sounds like we’re done. Can I just ask you a research question? If there is one aspect that you could improve in your Search campaign…What would it be? What keeps you up at night?” [Listen to him]

I know we said it’s over. But, you should know you’re not alone. That’s exactly the kind of thing we work on. However, I need to learn more about your business & campaign before I can be absolutely sure we can help you. If you don’t have time now, would you like to schedule another time to speak about that specific issue?

For a PPC Consultant, work into the conversation some operational questions like:
1. What are your Campaign objecties ( Share of Traffic, ROI, CPA, Position, CPC, etc.)
2. Monthly spend?
3. What engines are you on?
4. How many keywords?
5. Are you using any technology for Bid Mgmt and Conversion tracking?
6. How are you optimizing the campaigns now?
7. Do you have a creative strategy?
8. Are you doing any testing? (What are you testing?) (ad copy, positions, keywords, landing pages)?
9. Are you doing any Local Search vs. Global reach?
10. Are you doing any Demographic Targeting?
11. Are you managing your Search campaign or is it outsourced?
12. Have you tested high-cost phrases vs. low-cost phrases to see which delivers a better ROI?
13. Are you using Keyword Matching Options like Broad Match, “Phrase Match”, Negatives, and [Exact Match]?

For an SEO Consultant, here are some conversation starter questions:
1. Are you equipped to handle an increase in business?
2. How are you driving traffic to your site now?
3. Is the landing page that appears in the SERP’s the one you want to appear?
4. Do you know what percentage of your Share of Traffic is for your Keywords?
5. Have you conducted a Keyword Analysis?
6. How much traffic are you getting now? Organic vs. Paid?
7. What are your highest traffic keywords?
8. Do you use Web Analytics?
9. Have you previously done any SEO on your site?

Posted by Shimon Sandler

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