[Downloadable versions of this transcript, the presentation deck, and other materials will be available in the Dashboard Resource Center]
Welcome back, everyone. After a long hiatus from our Boost Your Business webinars, I’m back.
It’s Bernard, again, doing the next series of our webinars. Now, just to give you guys a heads up about what we’re covering, and you probably received the newsletter on this, we’re going to talk about How to Sell Local SEO Like a Pro.
[slide: About the Panelists]
I’m Bernard, the general manager of SEOReseller. We’ve recently updated my photo, so I’m not semi-bald anymore, and it does say 20 years’ worth of web experience.
But the interesting person to talk about is Rob. I’ll let Rob do his introduction.
Thank you, Bernard.
Hi everyone! It’s great to be here. It’s an honor. What can I say? Professional work is hard work, and ranking websites is less challenging with the right methodology.
It’s fun, and it’s more fun and exciting to see our customers or partners grow. So, let’s get the ball rolling. My credentials are in front of you, and it should be great.
So, before we get started on the meat of the conversation, I want to explain why I asked Rob to join us on this webinar. Before he was a business development officer, Rob was one of our project managers, and he is one of the guys with the most spectacular results in terms of success when it comes to helping local businesses.
I thought, who better to bring into a webinar than a guy with a proven track record of helping local small businesses? These are the types of people that we will talk about today, the guys that we will try to help.
[slide: What Happened During the Previous Webinar]
So, in keeping with our tradition, this is what happened during the previous webinar. You guys spent an hour with Joshua and with William.
They discussed the Reputation Management tool we built for you and your clients. It’s about how you can build a recurring revenue model with the Reputation Management tool, how it can help manage the perception of the business, and how it can help you grow your business. Then a couple of tips and tricks regarding how to sell it.
[slide: Shameless Plug]
Also, in keeping with the tradition of our webinars is our shameless plug. For this month and until August, we’re extending the July promos.
If you spend an initial $3,000 on SEO with us, you get $1,000 off your first month. The campaigns have to start in July and August.
In addition, we also have a couple of new features launching today, right after the webinar.
[slide: Discussion Overview]
Without further ado, this is what we’re going to cover today, and this is the overview of what we’ll talk about for the next 45 to 50 minutes so that we’ve got time for your questions.
Regarding questions, feel free to use the upper right box on your screen and message us your questions so we can get to them at the end of the webinar.
So, what we’re covering today is “why local SEO?” Why sell it as a service? What’s in it for a small business owner?
The evolution of local SEO. I promise only to take one to two minutes. It’s an excellent visual representation of how local SEO has evolved over the years – what we do to rank your clients locally.
We’ll go through this in passing because when we teach you how to pitch, and even when we pitch, it’s not about drowning your client in subject-matter expertise. It is about building that connection.
That’s why we’re going to spend the most on how to sell local SEO. We’ll cover a few typical objections you will likely encounter and how to overcome them effectively.
So, let’s get started. Why local SEO? Rob, why local SEO?
[slide: Why Local SEO]
Let me tell you guys why. Have you noticed how local results have taken up more real estate in searches? If you were in Google’s shoes, wouldn’t it make sense if over 60% of users spend to search for things, businesses, services, or products that they can go to?
This is why they try to display the results of these searches better for the users and now dominate above-the-fold searches.
[slide: The Battle for Real Estate on the SERPs]
That’s where we go to the first bullet point, or, you know, the battle for the real estate. What better way to dominate the results page than to occupy most of the space on it? Local search results get precisely this.
Google is helping businesses with physical locations that need people to drive to their location and make a transaction. Users need to be able to find these results faster, and Google always wants the best result for your users.
If you have yet to see the local Snack Pack, try searching a restaurant locally, and find that the first three results occupy 80% of the page, whether on a desktop or a mobile device.
And, on mobile, it takes up more real estate – almost the entire initial screen on mobile is the Snack Pack.
Now, if you think about what Rob just said, your Google, it’s your business, and 60 to 64 percent of your users are always looking for a company, service, or provider whose office they can walk into.
Wouldn’t it make sense that you use your website’s real estate to present them with results that match the purpose of their search? This is why the Snack Pack feels like an almost inevitable evolution of how search has evolved over the years.
[slide: All the Benefits of Organic SEO]
One of the other reasons you guys should sell local SEO is that it gains all the benefits of organic SEO. When we work on organic campaigns for you guys, we aim to make you rank on the first page.
We largely follow the same methodology on local search but with a few differences here and there. We build citations and business listings, but on local search, the mission isn’t over until your business is in the local result or the Snack Pack.
Therefore, you always wind up above the fold. This is one of the benefits of doing local SEO because you get all the benefits of organic. And then plus-plus.
Not to mention, it’s slightly easier to do. I’ll let Rob dive into that because he’s got a lot of experience with this.
[slide: Higher Success Rate and Faster Results]
Thank you for letting me take this one, Bernard. A higher success rate brings us to the third point and faster results because, from experience, 80% of the campaigns I’ve handled are local businesses.
It still amazes me today that 92% penetrated the Snack Pack in 90 days or less.
Something we’ve learned throughout the course of doing these local campaigns is that there are not a lot of businesses that are doing SEO. When they do any digital marketing, like Bernard told us, they’re not putting it all together and not driving results.
I think that’s a critical point to drive home when you guys start walking in and doing your pitches to these local small businesses.
You’ll realize they’re running a Facebook campaign here, they’re building a couple of business listings there, and claim their profile on Google My Business, or they’re doing some organic SEO, they’re doing some link building. But, very few of them would have all of these activities in concert.
Very few of them are doing this, and the results are tremendous when they’re all done together.
You occupy space on Google search above the fold, and that’s just not the results you get.
The most important result that you want is foot traffic.
[slide: Evolution of Local Search]
Precisely. So, moving on, I just wanted to show you guys how local search evolved over the years, and I’m going to start from pre-Panda here.
So, this is a screenshot of Google Maps [Screenshot on screen]. For any of you guys that have been digitally-savvy before 2012, you’ll remember doing a Google search and going into the Maps module of Google to find local results in your area. This was how it initially happened.
In 2012 Google decided to blend the results, which is what it initially looked like, less pretty than today. The SEO in the industry called it the Venice update, which was the first time people saw local results blended with organic results.
A year later, Google refined that further with Google Places.
This year, we started seeing, what we call in SEO, the 3-Pack and the 7-Pack mixed inside the first page of the result.
These features are somewhere above the fold where three to seven local results will show up if a search was done with a geo-targeted keyword.
A year later, that evolved into Google Plus local, and the knowledge graph appeared on the right. You still get a mix of about three to seven businesses posted on the first page.
Today’s results are the Snack Pack and the evolution of Google My Business, where you see a small map at the top, the three top locations – if three are available. It is possible only to see two links to their website and directions to get there. Right at the bottom of that begins the organic search results.
As we went through each image, I noticed how subtle the changes were from one to the other, and this is how Google evolves, and very subtle, more useful ways for its users.
Now moving on to the next topic – what does it take to rank locally?
[slide: What Does It Take to Rank Locally?]
So, here’s what we have to do. As Bernard mentioned, it’s all the organic activities and a little more.
First, we would have to look at your website or on-page content since it is the strongest ranking factor. Your images must be diverse, as the site structure and the little things make a website tick. That’s what we will have to take a look at first.
But, a little bit of the bullet points. The first one says that from Moz’s local search ranking factors, local search or the local pack is 14% on-page and 24% organic. You must look at your Name, Address, and Phone on your site. These are needed to be visible complete, and consistent.
Right. I guess, to put it in layman’s terms, these are what you refer to as user content, meaning they need to be content that a user can see on a website. Then, your location-specific keywords are indicated in your H1, the URL, or any other element that the search engine can read.
Yeah. Moving on to the second bullet point is our schema. Make it crystal clear so Google knows where you are and what you do. So, a schema is a piece of code that lets search engines know that you are a local business and that this is your name, address, and phone. The information is crucial; it will determine if you are the best result.
Right. One thing to note is that a schema can be done in different ways. This doesn’t always apply to local businesses. But this is what makes local different from organic.
When we apply schema to a website that’s meant to rank locally, we use local schema. We make sure that Google understands your location and that you’re relevant for that location.
Definitely the off-page, the backlink, or the link-building process. It is really just the noise about you on the web.
Not only does it rank you organically, but it also helps your business appear in the local search results.
Right. When we developed this service, we tested how the local search result responded to X number of business listings. Does it respond well to that? Does it also respond to backlinks? And we discovered that it responds to both, or it responds best when both are present.
Now, quick question. What are citations?
Citations are articles that mention your brand name, homepage URL, business address, and phone number.
So, that means your business is cited inside someone’s content. Now in the last activity, we do our business listings.
You have to put your business into relevant listings.
Examples are Facebook fan pages, Yelp, 192 Big Places, and Foursquare. These are some of the directories that are mostly by our users and exceedingly relevant signals for search engines. Don’t forget Google My Business, as well.
The next would be your Name, Address, and Phone have to be consistent across the review pages of your website.
Also, it gives you another channel to acquire feedback from customers. This was discussed in the Reputation Management webinar we did last month.
It is more important now than ever for local businesses to keep their ears to the ground and listen to how their brand is being talked about locally.
[slide: How to Sell Local SEO]
Moving us onto the meat of the conversation, and before we do a deep dive, I just wanted to remind everyone – to feel free to send your questions to us via the chat box on the upper right side of your screen.
So, without further ado, Rob and I will jump into how to sell local SEO, and these are the topics we intend to cover. Step 0 is prep.
Here’s some homework that you have to do, the things you do before you walk into a sale. The moment you manage to get an appointment that becomes Step 1.
Once you book an appointment, you connect with your customers and relate your service’s value to their business needs.
Step 2 would be when you qualify because while you can get anywhere from three to 3000 potential leads, not all of them deserve your time, not all of them will qualify for your service, or not all are ready. Now Step 3 will be building desire.
Our average conversion time for SEO ranges somewhere between 30 days to about 90 days. So, it takes a while for them to be ready; during that phase, you don’t have to be passive.
You can build their desire over time for you to get closer to Step 4, which is a close, and then, of course, we’ll try to add more value to your conversation by going through a couple of common objections.
So, let’s get started.
[slide: Step 0 Preparation]
Step 0 is preparation. Personally, guys, this is where I thrive 100% of the time.
We do this in preparation because most people miss the most important goal, and that’s your emotional objectives. Target an emotional goal; don’t be incidentally likable. Don’t wing your sales pitch all the time.
Develop your expertise. Go to our Resource Center and download our white papers and pitch kit. So, click on the Resource on your dashboard, and scroll down.
There’s an SEO pitch kit over there, and it has two digital marketing statistics and our methodology. It also comes with a PowerPoint presentation, saving you the work of building a presentation and getting the things that matter to your prospects, which are their needs.
We pre-build these things because we know you should spend your valuable time making connections and closing sales.
So, instead of you guys slaving the night away and building a PowerPoint presentation on a rush schedule, we’ve taken the time and the trouble to be able to pre-build these for you guys.
In preparation, you will have to look at your brand because the question is, why do you deserve to earn your prospects’ business?
The first bullet point would be choosing a niche. Specializing in a niche allows you to be an expert in two fields: digital marketing and your prospects’ vertical.
We understand that casting a wide net is tempting, but you can gain better familiarity and a track record for a specific niche.
Right. Case in point is, imagine you guys are walking into a dentist’s office, and you’re trying to do a pitch. This dentist has a choice between two types of marketers: one jack-of-all-trades marketer and the other one is a marketer with a proven track record in helping others achieve success.
Who would they be likely to go with? This is why niching is so essential.
The next one, of course, is developing your brand’s identity or your unique selling proposition.
Yeah. Ask yourself why they should choose you.
Are you going to be the biggest, fastest-growing, most sincere, and most caring vendor they’ve had? Develop your brand’s persona, then make your persona support that.
Right. So, what will they see when they look for you on Facebook? What are they going to see when they look for you on LinkedIn? So, more on building social proof.
Yeah, and we’ll dive into that later on.
Use social proof to win the first impression. Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist expert and professor at MIT, did several experiments at MIT and found that first impression lasts. You can read about it in his book “Predictably Irrational.”
But what’s important to remember is in a digital world, if you can Google your prospect, they can Google you. And when they do, you have to think about what they’ll see.
You guys can do a mock experiment here. Try looking for the Project Managers of SEOReseller. Look at their connection, which vouches for their skills because their persona matters to us.
How we develop our sales staff’s persona needs to be the way you build your persona.
Aside from doing your brand research, you must also look at the environment.
Exactly. As much as you do the research yourself, do better and double your effort to learn more about your prospect.
So, research your prospect. Who’s on the first page for the keywords in their industry? Where do they stand against the competition? How old is their website? So, it tells you how long they began their digital consciousness and the gap between that and their digital maturity.
So, first, there is their business.
Learn their business – what they do, how they do it, when they do it, and who they cater to. These are all assets to your pitch. Find out what they need to hear, then tell them in a manner that they will embrace it.
I like how you put that Rob, because that is very important. You need to be able to deliver it in a way that they will choose to embrace the product because nobody likes to be sold to. We all want to buy, but not being sold to.
Then, when you know their business and the industry, you have to ask, are they B2B? B2C? Are they in marketing or IT? The more you understand their industry, the more you become one of them.
Right, and the less you’re likely to get treated as an outsider or a stranger.
Now the next one is, of course, to help them find their opportunities. You must match your service’s value to the business’s needs.
Are you going to help them make more money? Beat the competition? Gain a larger market share? Are you going to help them gain a more extensive client base? Are you going to help them achieve better differentiation? All of these are questions you need to unearth during the qualifying phase.
But even in prep, I strongly recommend that you guys ready six to ten great questions, and I’ll get to that when we get to qualifying.
Before I conclude the prep slide, though, I just want to repeat the growth hack we’re trying to teach you.
Very few salespeople walk into a pitch with an emotional goal, and you always should. Even though we all like to think we’re rational decision-makers, we are all emotional buyers. And you need to respect this and leverage it to your advantage. That’s why you need to build a connection.
[slide: Step 1 Connect – Finding Leads]
So, speaking of connection, here’s how you connect. You can’t connect with anyone if you don’t have a list of leads or prospects, so Step 1 on connection – because this is a two-step connection process – is where you find your leads.
We sent out a solicitation asking you guys what your advice would be to other starting and boutique agencies to begin a network of leads. Dominica said networking, exposé, trade shows, and seminars – attend them. And Dominica, we agree.
Today, the screen on the right shows you the SEOReseller audit plug-in.
We built it specifically to launch today, in time for the webinar. What we want you to be able to do is right after the webinar. We want you to research, find the trade shows, the exposé, or the seminars happening in your area, and sign up.
Meet people and exchange business cards because you’re a salesman and probably astute.
Imagine yourself walking in, networking, exchanging business cards, and saying, “Hey, I notice that your email address is in that domain. You know what? I’ve got my website on my phone, and I’ve got a new tool that we just built inside our website, and it can give you an audit of how good the SEO is on your site. Would you mind us running this on your website?”
You will probably collect emails faster than you can sell pancakes.
The next one is to ask for referrals. No man is an island, and, you know, I’m not just saying that as a cliché.
You go to a dentist, you’ve got a physician, and you probably use your own vendors. But let’s take the dentist for example. Suppose you’ve got a great relationship with your dentist. In that case, your dentist has an interior decorator, a medical supplier, somebody that builds splints for them, probably a plumber, and all of these guys, also businesses. Why not leverage your relationship with your first-level contact to gain a connection with second-degree contacts?
The next one is a cold email with style. Now, what do I mean when I say cold email with style? I’m going to pull something off of Joe Girard’s playbook, and it’s about car shows and test drives.
When you do cold emails, you need to do the same thing car salespeople do inside a car show. Car salespeople don’t try to sell cars in a car show; they try to sell a test drive.
They’d be lucky to close three people for every thousand inquiries they get inside a car show, but it’s proven that a test drive will close three out of seven people that take a test drive. So, your only objective here is to gain a commitment or an appointment.
And more importantly, I’ll tell you something straightforward to do but equally important. Test email templates and find out which converts the most, gets the best responses, and gets opened more.
Right. So, optimization is for more than just search. You also have to optimize your marketing process, right?
A/B test email templates and stick with the email template that gets you the best results.
The other one is cold calling with a lot of conviction; what I mean when I say cold calling is sending an email and asking for an appointment. Sending an email means that by the time you start your first phone call, you’re not a stranger anymore.
You begin to create a warmer relationship. Remember, the call’s and email’s purpose are the same – to secure an appointment. Don’t try to close prospects by email, and don’t try to close them on a call. Close them face-to-face.
Next is when you get an appointment, don’t make the mistake of selling rankings. Don’t sell a SERP position; pitch a commitment. We want to buy from people we trust, like, and respect, and we tend to trust, like, and respect people who believe in our business the way we do, creating common ground between you and your prospect.
The next one comes from Tom, and Tom says he builds vendor partnerships with webmasters. And, you know, in our opinion, that’s brilliant.
Partnerships with webmasters are also how some of our initial and best relationships started. We partnered with people who only sold websites, and they moved the SEO business to us because it wasn’t their expertise.
And Tom is right. If you guys partner up with people with web development businesses, you can gain referrals from these vendor partnerships.
Now the other one is, of course, leveraging business with Google My Business. Go to Google My Business and check out the local businesses in your area. Find out who’s got reviews, who’s got a website, who doesn’t, and people that have other listings.
This trick is actually attributed to Chuck. It’s a great tactical technique.
We even tell people that one of the easiest ways to figure out where your leads are is when you search for a relevant keyword for the business. Take a look at who’s between positions 11 to 100. All of them have opportunities to benefit from local search.
Now that you’ve done your homework and secured an appointment, what do you do next?
[slide: Step 1 Connect – Building Rapport]
Guys, this is crucial – building rapport – so whether or not you’d get a second date would depend on the time you spent on the first date. Learn something or share a moment.
So, you mentioned Joe Girard, and this is why we love him because the Guinness Book of World Records has recognized him as the world’s greatest salesman.
He sold 13,001 cars at a Chevy dealership and did it by having a very good relationship with his customers.
He was good at getting them to buy from him. He was very good at remembering his customers’ names, wives, and birth dates, and he remembered to call them on Christmas and Thanksgiving, but he made it a point to be their friend first.
People are very comfortable around friends. And one brilliant thing about him was his persona. He was a fellow car enthusiast, not just their car salesman.
Right. This brings us to our growth hack for this slide. Pulling something out of Joe Girardi’s playbook, be their SEO expert, not their SEO salesman.
That’s right, guys. That’s why don’t focus on closing; focus on building the relationship. Much like Joe, it’s about connection, not a close.
Refrain from jumping the gun and asking them what you want or drilling into how much they are willing to spend immediately.
It gives people the sense that you’re after your agenda, not theirs. So, people want to buy; they don’t want to be sold something. We all want to think that we made the best logical decision when purchasing.
The next one is whether they like, trust, or respect you. We listen to people who we respect. Case in point, how many of you guys have shopped bringing a companion in tow?
All things being equal, we will buy from friends or people we trust. So, we don’t look back or regret a purchase.
Do you shop with a companion in tow?
I’ve shopped with a companion in tow. Not more often than not, but I have. So, I think we’re all guilty of that, and that’s because we try to avoid what’s called buyer’s remorse. And it tends to happen when people part ways with money. It’s not because they bought something without value. It’s just a phenomenon that tends to happen.
But, having somebody emotionally reinforce the buying decision makes you less likely to encounter buyer’s remorse.
And here are some of the things you can do – you already do this unconsciously, most of you guys – here we give you the science.
The first one is common ground. We’ve mentioned this earlier, as well. But all you need is one thing, just one thing in common with your prospect, and that’s enough to accelerate the bonding process.
Examine your closest friendships. How many things do you have in common with your closest friends?
Have you traveled to another country where English isn’t the common language and found yourself warming up to someone who speaks the same language? That is common ground.
A great example is English is my language of preference, my primary language, and it’s what we speak at home. And whenever I travel, I like to go to strange places. I don’t know why I like places where no one speaks English, but I do.
Whenever I find anyone who speaks English, I immediately warm up to them. And that is an example of common ground at work.
Humor is also essential.
Yes, this is a favorite of mine.
Studies say that humor contributes to higher subjective well-being. It’s a pervasive part of the human experience, so it is usually associated with positivity, and the feeling of being positive also creates a good connection.
So, taking some of this from Jeffrey Gitomer’s playbook, if you can get them to laugh, you can get them to buy.
And I’m a firm believer of that principle. Gitomer always says, “If you can get them to laugh, you can get them to buy.”
Now, the reason these first two techniques are so important is that common ground and humor are amazing accelerators of a bonding process. If you want to connect emotionally with someone, find something in common or be funny if you’re not funny.
Get funny now.
Right. Get funny. It’s never too late.
For me, this is my favorite. It’s Me-Talk because it’s the easiest part – you just listen.
Limit your airtime. If you’re talking more than 50% of the time, you’re failing the sales. So, people love talking about themselves and their businesses. The more airtime they get, the more comfortable they become, and the more needs you unearth.
Right. Think about your friendships. Who are the people that are closest to you and you enjoy the company the most? Are they the best talkers, or are they the best listeners?
This is what Me-Talk teaches you. It allows you to surrender your agenda. It makes you subject your agenda and prioritize the agenda of your prospect. It’s about you listening and you doing less talking.
The next one is mirroring. This is basic programming, behavioral economics, and psychology at work.
In a book called “The Influencer” and several other behavioral economics books, a study shows that people are in sync when they’re agreeable with each other. They tend to copy each other’s body language.
Some salespeople will use this in a manipulative way. We recommend you use mirroring as an indicator of whether you’re doing an excellent job in your pitch.
Is your sales pitch headed in the right direction? Are you managing to make that connection? Because if you do, you’ll notice that, as you change posture, your prospects will follow your posture – either that or you may unconsciously follow theirs.
But what matters is that you guys follow each other’s body language. You can use this to gauge whether you did well in the pitch or on building that connection.
Before we progress out of this slide, I want to remind you about the growth hack. Be their expert, not their salesman. Nobody wants to get sold, but we all love to buy.
So, let’s move on to the next step, qualifying.
[slide: Step 2 Qualify]
Qualifying is essential because you can have anywhere from 3 to 3,000 prospects, but not all of them deserve your time. You want to focus on the guys that make good use of your time, those you can warm up to build a connection with, nurture a relationship with, and add value to their business.
So, in prep, I mentioned earlier that you have to understand their business, do your homework, and prepare your questions. And this is what I mean: when you walk into your pitch, you need to have six to ten great questions that you’re ready to ask them.
Yeah. Because also, when you do this, the easier you get closer to a sale. They open up opportunities where your services are needed.
Right. The second column on this slide talks about things you’ll need to qualify for, and we do this at SEOReseller.
We qualify our prospects for goals or the results that they expect.
We also note what budget they have in mind, what their operating budget is, what time frame they have in mind, their expectations for how frequent the communication should be, and what their expectations are for the quality of the relationship.
The more of these needs you unearth, the closer you get to the sale.
And this is also why you must be in their niche. Remember how we talked earlier about the dentist example? If you belong in their niche, you’re less likely to get treated as an outsider; you’re less likely to get treated as a stranger. Your networks will probably be the same, and you will attend the same event.
The next one is finding the decision-maker.
The beauty of working with small to medium-sized businesses is you’ll never pitch to a 6-man panel.
You will usually pitch to one, two, or three people. But it is so crucial that you make a connection. Don’t try to connect with everyone because sometimes that’s just extremely difficult, and this is where being a people-pleaser does not work.
Find the decision-maker, home in on them, and establish that connection.
Qualifying is a part of the sale, and when Rob talked about Me-Talk, this is what we meant. Qualifying is about asking the right questions. The more questions you ask, the more needs you unearth, and the more airtime you give your prospect.
Then, follow up on your questions by probing for other underlying needs. What I mean by underlying needs are our personal and emotional needs when we buy things.
Buying fulfills a specific function, but we expect them to fulfill a specific emotional need. We never buy anything to feel crappy. We buy things to feel good.
What would make your prospect feel good? Is it achievement? Is it better results? Is it an achievement in the eyes of their boss?
Find out what it is because that will also help you get closer to the sale.
[slide: Step 3 Build Desire]
Now that you’ve prepped, connected, and qualified, it’s time to offer value and build desire.
Be prepared – bring your pitch. Drilling this down, be their SEO tutor, not their SEO salesman. Prep for yourself, or be ready to lose to someone that does.
Right. And that’s something we pulled from Jeffrey Gitomer’s playbook. Be prepared for your sale, or be ready to lose to someone that does.
That’s why you always have to lock in and visualize your goals, so you can help them visualize theirs. Positive energy is contagious; if you are brimming with energy and enthusiasm, you can help them imagine a better-performing business.
Offer value, and solve problems. So, in traffic, show them their site and how you can impact that problem. Show your clients the dashboard with analytics – they don’t pay for this. This tool costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop, so they get this real-time reporting and project management tool at no cost.
The dashboard will allow you to track your traffic analytics.
It will help them collaborate in terms of managing the campaign and monitoring competitors, and now there’s the new CRM tool we built for you guys where you can track your prospects.
It is essential that you not say this is free; you must remind them that you’re giving this to them at no cost, but when you say that these things are free, it tends to diminish the value. So, the way you deliver these things also matters.
We built a traffic tracker, a keyword tracker, analytics integration, premium reporting, and competitor analysis because we follow, you know, we practice what we preach in the same way that we teach you to offer value first.
We offer you value first, so that’s how we do it, and here’s how you should do it.
Here are some things we can use to convince them.
First, offer value, so have your laptop ready, and provide an audit right away for them, so we have the audit widget. We’ll talk about it more later. Download that right after this webinar.
Next is selling the invisible, which is why you need an emotional pull. Are you going to be their expert? Are you the guide they can trust? And are you transparent enough? Are you the provider that will express the most sincere desire to see your business succeed?
We all want people that will rally to our cause, and we are likely to go with a provider that believes in our business as much as we do.
One of your favorites, overpower. This technique leverages two biases: authority and expertise.
Earlier, Rob threw a name, so I’m going to throw a name, and the author I’m going to mention is Daniel Kahneman, who wrote “Thinking, Fast and Slow.”
He’s a Nobel Prize winner for the research that he did. In his research, he proved over and over again how powerfully we’re influenced by expertise and authority.
Overpowering is easy to learn. All you have to do is do your homework, go to the dashboard, download the materials where we teach you how the methodology works, and master all numbers off the top of your head – we are easily impressed by people that can pull facts from thin air.
6.5 billion searches a day.
100 billion a month. 64% of search share is Google’s.
90% of websites are not optimized.
Right. 1.28 billion live domains currently. These are examples of using overpower as a technique.
Learn them now. So, the next one is creating urgency. Find things that your client can be successful with now. This technique is beneficial when a first-mover advantage is possible.
So, what’s a first-mover advantage? When unoptimized websites occupy the first page or top three positions, you have a first mover abandon right.
So, I’ll try to explain that in more precise terms.
If you do a Google search for a potential client or for a lead, do a Google search and look at the websites that appear in positions 1, 2, and 3.
If they’re meta titles and their meta descriptions are ellipses or end in a dot dot dot, you have a first-mover advantage.
On search, sometimes it doesn’t matter that you’ve got it. It doesn’t matter that you’ve got all the bells and whistles on your website. What matters is you get to position one first.
And the next or the last one would be solution selling. So, this is finding a way to connect your business to its problem.
Moral high-ground note here, don’t be afraid to walk away from a sale if the relationship between their needs and the value you add is unclear. Prospects will respect your forthrightness and contact you when their needs make them ready to buy.
One of the other things we like to tell people is you can’t close everyone all the time. Even for us, a one-call close is extremely rare, and a one-week finish is also scarce, but you need to nurture them because you need to be there when they’re ready to buy. So, growth hack here: nurture your leads – an appointment is the only goal at this stage. And what you want to do is get face-to-face, but when you’re no longer face-to-face, that doesn’t mean the relationship has to end, but do not rely on them to maintain that connection. You keep that connection because you’re the salesman.
[slide: On-Site Audit Widget]
Now, to help you guys do that, I just wanted to show you a couple of screenshots of the new features we built for you.
This is the new on-site widget, and partners have asked, “You know the tools you have in the dashboard are great. Can I have it on my website?” Well, the answer is, now you can.
Now you can; go to the dashboard and the on-site audit widget, download it and install it on your WordPress website. It’s effortless, and if you get lost, you can dial our 1-800 number or US number, and we’ll show you how to do it. But, it is straightforward.
What it does is it allows you to run the audit right from your website.
Imagine you went to a trade show, you exchanged business cards, and you asked them, “I notice you’ve got a domain on your email address. Would you mind if I ran an audit on your website?” So, you just whip out your phone, your website is there, run the audit, and send it to their mailbox.
It captures the email and deposits it into the CRM in your dashboard, so you never have to miss another prospect again and lose another potential client between the cracks.
Keeping them in your CRM can nurture your relationship until they’re ready to buy. And yes, it automatically sends them an email, so you don’t have to be mindful of, “Oh! I gotta send them an email.” So, these are just some of the new things we built for you guys.
[slide: Step 4 Get Commitment and Close]
Moving us forward is gaining commitment and closing. When you guys try to gain a commitment, there is a concept in psychology called priming.
In sales, this is what we call setting your prospects into a “Yes” frame of mind, and this is how I gain commitment.
I will ask them questions that I know will deliberately get an affirmative answer. It doesn’t have to be a verbatim “yes”; the answer must be positive or affirmative.
So, I’ll ask them questions like “Was I able to address everything important to you?” or I might ask them, “Was I able to describe it in terms that were easy to grasp? I hope I wasn’t too technical.” Or I’ll ask them, “Do you feel confident after this conversation?”
Rob, what is your favorite commitment question?
Mine is simple but effective. So, “I’m excited to collaborate with you after this conversation. Do you feel the same way?”
Wow. And for me, I think that’s a great question.
I have to say that’s not my commitment question. What I like about Rob’s commitment question is that it focuses on the right thing. I’m excited after we’ve had this conversation, and the question is, do you feel the same way?
So, what he’s checking for is emotional satisfaction. Yes, on the surface, he’s checking for understanding, but he’s checking for emotional satisfaction, allowing him to simultaneously hit a practical and personal need.
Once you check for understanding and create a yes frame of mind, ask two of the three questions with an affirmative answer, this is the time you pop the question.
If you get a “no,” don’t bow your head in shame and walk out with your shoulders drooped. Address the failure to commit and determine which portion of your sales process was weak.
Did you not build a strong enough connection? Did you not do your homework? Did you not successfully build desire? And when you find out where your sales process was weak, go back to that process and reinforce it. Then, you’re ready to close.
When closing, there are several techniques, but I will only teach you three because if you guys had four hours, we could talk about closing techniques all day.
But I will give you three that are very useful, and I’m going to go from the most passive to the most aggressive.
The first technique I will teach you guys is an open-ended close.
An open-ended close is the one that asks for the most permission. So, you might ask them, “How do you feel about this conversation? Did I explain everything to your satisfaction? Do you feel it’s a match?”
If the answer is yes, you can deliver an open-ended close like, “Alright. When would you like to see the answer? When would you like to see the SLA? When would you like to receive the contract?” It’s an open-ended question that asks for permission to sell.
An assertive close is different.
An assertive close assumes that you did a good job on the sale, and therefore, it does not get permission for the close. It just gives them a limited choice.
For example, “I’m glad we’re both feeling great after this conversation. Would you like me to send the contract to your personal or work email?”
Remember you’re not asking them, “Can I close you?” You’re asking them, “Would you like me to send it to your personal or work email?” So, there is a choice and a limited level of permission, but the salesman asserts the close.
The last one is the assumptive close, where your priming questions could end with, “Great! I’m glad that we both feel good about each other and that I help you understand the value of this service to your business. I’ll have the contract in your mailbox in the morning.” There are no questions. It assumes the sale.
I would strongly recommend you use one of these three, and I would strongly push you guys to use the latter two versus an open-ended close, but, you know, I’m not going to impose my style on everybody.
[slide: Overcoming Objections]
Now, moving us forward, overcoming objections. So, we promised that we would give you guys a couple of common objections that we get and that you might receive when you do these pitches because you will be transparent with them, you will download the whitepaper, and you will give them the SLA.
So one of the questions you’re likely to get asked is, “Doesn’t Google prohibit guest blogs?”
The right way to answer this is the question addressed in a 2014 video by Matt Cutts, where he said to pick a fork in guest blogging. But, strictly speaking, there is nothing in the Google Webmaster Quality Guidelines that prohibit acquiring a link from a guest blog.
You guys can work with even the most expensive SEO providers, ridiculously more expensive than us, but everybody acquires legitimate backlinks the same way today. And it is by having their content or a backlink posted to them by guest blogging somewhere or having someone write about their website by establishing a real connection.
The next one is, “Why do you need to put me on a contract?”
This question is very important to me. You’re highly likely to get asked this by someone that’s tried SEO services with freelancers and has gotten burned before.
Freelancers tend to build only the work they’ve done and whatnot, but I think any of you who’s worked with freelancers have realized there’s not a lot of transparency there.
A contract sets your clients’ expectations for how long the delivery of the service and results should be, it puts in black and white what your commitment is to your client and what their collaboration commitments are to you, and it prevents buyer’s remorse.
Remember that people want results today when they part ways with their money. They might even want results yesterday, but they typically want results today.
A contract sets everyone’s expectations in the right way, so it is a win for you and it is a win for your prospect.
Whenever you pitch a contract, don’t back down from the question because it will give them the idea that there’s something sneaky going on – no, there isn’t. You need to believe, because sales is a belief system, that a contract puts you in a win and your clients in a win.
So, I’ll pick up the ladder too. And the next one is, “Do you guarantee your SEO service?”
So, here are two parts: remember that SEO process is an activity-driven profit, and we guarantee that we will fulfill all the SEO opportunities you will pay for that month.
But, the real question here, I guess, is the rankings – if we guarantee them. Remember that no one has a special arrangement with Google, and they have announced for us to be aware of the companies that guarantee rankings. So, we don’t guarantee rankings, but we will guarantee that we will complete the work with the utmost quality and you will get what your money’s worth.
Right. And this is taken from Google’s playbook. They say beware of SEO companies claiming they can guarantee rankings. No one has a special arrangement with Google. The algorithm is entirely independent, and l agree.
And the last one, I know this is your favorite.
I wish to answer this. This is actually my favorite objection, and I like crushing this. But, I will let Rob have some me-talk.
Thank you. “Why is your pricing expensive?”
This is simple. If you look at our prices, they are a third of the costs in the market, and they are very reasonable and competitive.
You have to believe that you, as an SEO reseller, are providing a premium service. There’s nothing in what we do that a freelancer can deliver. You must know that we provide the best service and that you offer more value than the others.
You are a premium service provider, and you must believe that because selling is a belief system.
So, hopefully, we’ve helped you overcome those four hurdles, but you know, I’m seeing some of these coming into the question. So, I’ll move us forward.
[slide: Actionable Things for You to Do Now!]
Before we part ways with you, Rob and I thought your time would be best spent if we left you with a couple of assignments and a couple of things to do. Some actionable things for you to do right now.
So, when the webinar ends, you can do your research before you call or send us an email.
Go to Google and join niche-related organizations in your area, join the local Chamber of Commerce in your area, find the local business associations that are of interest to you, and join them.
The other one is if you already have existing clients, offer discounts to your current clients. That way, every referral they send you allows you to exponentially increase the size of your network and your potential reach. If we’re talking about casting a wide net, this is the right way to cast a wide net.
And the next one is to attend or host a digital marketing event or seminar. So, these should be included in your marketing budget. Our successful partners do these activities regularly. This shows your expertise; don’t just rely on Rob’s star power. Be your own expert, learn everything, and download resources now.
Next is to install the free site audit plug-in and be prepared. Like what we’ve been preaching in this webinar, the site audit plugin is ready. Take advantage of it right now.
Imagine yourself walking up to someone with your website pre-loaded on your phone, you typing their URL, and sending them an audit into their mailbox in a couple of minutes. It makes you look incredibly savvy and incredibly techy. It leverages authority and expertise.
[slide: Partner CRM]
Now, just as a reminder again, here are a couple of cool features that we developed specifically for you guys and in time for this webinar: an all-in-one platform for acquiring, closing and servicing.
Your white-label dashboard has a CRM or a lead tracker. That way, you never lose another prospect or let a prospect fall between the cracks again.
The on-site SEO widget is ready for you to integrate into your WordPress website. The moment you send the audit, those prospects immediately get dropped into your CRM, track your leads, manage your customers, and show the results of your campaigns in one easy-to-use dashboard.
[slide: On-Site Audit Widget]
So, with that, this is the on-site widget, the email template, and the CRM where we drop them.
Again, take advantage of it, nurture your relationships, and never lose another prospect.
Now it’s time to take a couple of your questions, and I know Rob and I took up some time because sales is fun to discuss.
[slide: White Label Dashboard Training]
Here are just a few reminders before we get to the questions. In August, we’ll conduct training on the latest features of your white label dashboard, including how to use the partner CRM, integrate the site audit widget onto your website, and use the proposal builder.
So, please join us again next month, and we’ll keep an eye out for the invitation we will probably send out next week. So, let’s go to the Q&A portion of this conversation.
One question we got on the chat box was, “How do I pitch local SEO to a business with multiple locations?”
The answer to this is easy. I’m going to try not to get too technical about this. But it is possible to get businesses to rank for multiple locations, especially if they have physical locations in their area.
You guys are talking to the right guys. The number one auto dealership in the United States was a campaign we worked on with one of our agency partners, and it’s doable.
For example, if it was a Ford dealership with multiple locations, you can optimize each dealership’s page or website independently, if it was a dealership with various locations.
You can create Google My Business profiles for them. What matters is that the names, addresses, and phone numbers are unique.
The next question we got from you guys is, “What should be the average service per month?” And Rob, I think I’ll let you take that.
Yeah. If you go to our dashboard and see our prices, you can double, or 200 to 300 percent, you can mark those.
So, about double to triple our rates will make you very competitive. Double our rates make it highly competitive because that is below retail market rates for Premium SEO services.
The next one is, “Will you show us how to do a step-by-step prospect research, not just an overview but a deeper understanding for us that are new to this industry but need to be successful in marketing SEO and web design?”
So, this one’s a little difficult to answer. The answer is. Well, I guess I’ll leave it to you guys. Do you want this in a webinar format, or do you guys want it as a personal discussion?
If you guys want it as a personal discussion, there are our phone numbers. Reach out to and call us.
Yes, we can teach you this step-by-step. And it’s not a long and challenging process. It’s fairly easy, but if you want to learn this in mass or, I guess, as a group of our customers, let us know by sending us an email to [email protected] that you would like a webinar on a step-by-step process on prospect research.
The next one is, “Is there a limit to the number of citations you can build for a website?” And Rob, is there a limit?
None. Your only limit would be the listings that are present or available out there.
It just depends on the availability of local resources and hyperlocal resources in your area.
Based on our research, there’s no magic number to hit when it comes to the number of listings you should have. But the reality is, there isn’t. It just looks like the more, the merrier, and it blends well with links.
That is, unfortunately, all the time we’ve got, and we’re getting the wrap-up sign here, so I hope you guys enjoyed this Boost Your Business webinar on How to Sell Local SEO. Rob?
I had fun.
Yeah, so did I. This is a really fun run, and I hope you join us again on our next webinar. Thank you very much for spending the time with us, and talk to you guys soon.
For your convenience, we recorded our Boost Your Business: How to Sell Local SEO Like a Pro webinar.
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