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Sell­ing SEO the Right Way

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Webinar Transcript

[Down­load­able ver­sion of this tran­script, the pre­sen­ta­tion deck and oth­er mate­ri­als are also avail­able in the Dash­board Resource Cen­ter]

Bernard:

Hel­lo every­one and wel­come back to the Boost Your Busi­ness webi­nar series. And this time, we’re talk­ing about sell­ing SEO the right way.

{slide: Meet Our Pan­elists}

So, as always I’m the cute guy on the left. And I actu­al­ly just came from a four hour learn­ing ses­sion with the dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing insti­tute where I had to do a lec­ture— and I am feel­ing those 18 years of web expe­ri­ence! So as always, I’m Bernard and I work for you at SEO­Re­seller. And a lot of you will have met me already and those that don’t I look for­ward to actu­al­ly meet­ing you guys or at least speak­ing with you guys on the phone. For this dis­cus­sion I thought it would be per­fect to bring William on board again and I’ll let Will, as always, do his own intros.

William:

Yeah, so it’s Will guys I know some of you have spo­ken to me before. But for those who haven’t, well we’ll talk soon. But I just want­ed to talk about myself briefly.

I start­ed as a web design­er and I had basic knowl­edge of SEO . As of today I’ve learned so much from SEO­Re­seller. And I’m still learn­ing, and it’s been awe­some. And I know all about the grow­ing pains that some of you are fac­ing. And believe me when I say that this webi­nar will help you. It will help you take a step back and see exact­ly where you are and how you’re going to move for­ward.

Bernard:

Right, and I think a lot of peo­ple are look­ing for­ward to that. One of the things I think that you guys you may not real­ize is that when you sign into the webi­nar and make your respons­es on the sur­vey, we do lis­ten like a lot of you will be thrilled with the next Boost Your Busi­ness webi­nar. But for now it is shame­less plug time.

{slide: What Hap­pened Dur­ing the Pre­vi­ous BYB Webi­nar}

And I promise to only do a cou­ple. What hap­pened dur­ing the pre­vi­ous busi­ness webi­nar: In the pre­vi­ous one we talked about how to keep your clients and keep them com­ing back for more, and we showed you the stats of some of our pow­er­house agen­cies.

Some of the new­er peo­ple didn’t quite assim­i­late what the ser­vices were and how to sell them, and so we talked about know­ing your base­line. You know, you can’t real­ly set a goal for your­self if you don’t know where you’re com­ing from. And then set­ting a goal for your­self if you are start­ing out with rela­tion­ships with your clients that last three months, you have to fig­ure out what it takes to get that to six months, and get that to nine months, and a year. And hope­ful­ly more than a year. We have clients that have worked with us for over four years.

Also high­light­ing suc­cess means talk­ing about where you added val­ue from this month com­pared to last month. And usu­al­ly there is a pos­i­tive trend in terms of per­for­mance.

Adding more val­ue to clients, mean­ing, don’t stop at just sell­ing SEO. You have to lis­ten to what your cus­tomers are say­ing and sell them some­thing they actu­al­ly need.

And then of course, nev­er stop look­ing for ways to dri­ve more busi­ness. Mean­ing, okay, so you’ve gone through a six-month con­tract. Is it over? Is it time to shake hands and part ways? Not nec­es­sar­i­ly. With every busi­ness you can only tar­get so many key­words in a six-month span. Which means you could always move on to the next set, and the next set, and the next set. And all of these add val­ue to that busi­ness that you’re work­ing with.

Now, true to my word, it’s shame­less plug time.

{slide: Com­ing Soon: Rep­u­ta­tion Suite}

And this is the Rep­u­ta­tion Suite. This is a stream­lined dash­board that helps you take charge of your client’s online rep­u­ta­tion. If they’re a local busi­ness, they need this. What this allows you to do is man­age their rep­u­ta­tion online by tak­ing a look at how are peo­ple review­ing you, what prop­er­ties are you list­ed on, which ones have you claimed, which ones have you not, a sum­ma­ry of the review that they’ve got, the loca­tions that are list­ed on their busi­ness. It allows you to con­trol your client’s feed­back. Allows them to take con­trol, actu­al­ly, of the feed­back that they have online and actu­al­ly exe­cute activ­i­ties that man­age their online rep­u­ta­tion. And then of course mon­i­tor feed­back from the end cus­tomers, which is real­ly the lifeblood of all busi­ness­es.

{slide: Com­ing Soon: Part­ner Boot­camp Series Launch}

In addi­tion to that we are launch­ing the Part­ner Boot­camp Series. And this is a bit of a more tech­ni­cal webi­nar, where our goal is to expand your knowl­edge base, to help you work smarter and pro­vide enhanced ser­vice deliv­ery. We want to pro­vide you with expert insights on cut­ting-edge indus­try devel­op­ment and method­olo­gies and learn how to take full advan­tage of the dash­board, the tech­nol­o­gy, and our full suite of solu­tions.

{slide: Dis­cus­sion Overview}

Now I’m going to jump into the meat of the con­ver­sa­tion. Before I do, I want­ed to remind every­one you can feel free to use the WebEx Chat in order for you to pop your ques­tions in as soon as any­thing inter­est­ing comes to you while we’re on the sub­ject mat­ter. But I’ll let Will get us off on the right foot­ing. So before that, I guess I just want to ask Will: What do you usu­al­ly do Will? Because you talk to the client’s the first time and you’ve got a very sim­i­lar, anal­o­gous, expe­ri­ence with them. What hap­pens dur­ing those first few con­ver­sa­tions?

William:

So when I have that first con­ver­sa­tion with new part­ners, I always ask them about who they are as an agency, what they’ve been through, and what their plans are mov­ing for­ward. Some of them, if they’re not sure about who they are as an agency, also don’t know how to plan for what’s next.

Bernard:

Right that’s sort of not sur­pris­ing. The com­pa­nies and the agen­cies and even the free­lancers that we work that have a good idea of what their iden­ti­ty is and who they are tar­get­ing as their tar­get mar­ket typ­i­cal­ly ramp up and grow to pow­er­house sta­tus the fastest.

So let’s start off with the overview of this dis­cus­sion.

William:

So have you guys ever closed a client and then have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to close a dif­fer­ent client who was just like the first one, but you couldn’t fig­ure out how you did so well in the first? So these are the ques­tions you need to ask your­self. No one has ever gone from good to great just overnight. It takes time, but to start you on the right path here are a few ques­tions you should ask your­self, and some tips to fix your mind­set.

Who are you? Who are you real­ly as an agency? Next is, what are you sell­ing and how do you fig­ure out how to sell those? And more impor­tant­ly how are you going to sell it well and effec­tive­ly. Some tips or things to keep in mind is, what are the most com­mon chal­lenges and objec­tions you face? And last is, what are the do’s and don’ts?

Bernard:

So just as a teas­er for every­body, I know that this webi­nar is not enough to cov­er the most com­mon chal­lenges and objec­tions. So we are going to start that top­ic off with this, but even­tu­al­ly we want a full webi­nar cov­er­ing the most com­mon chal­lenges and objec­tions because we like lis­ten­ing to your feed­back on when­ev­er you guys enrolled in a webi­nar and this is a lot of things that a lot of you filled in in the sur­vey ques­tions like how do you over­come this issue and how do you over­come that issue. And I think I didn’t see any entry there that we were not famil­iar with. And so I would love to be able to dis­cuss those with you at length.

Again feel free to send your ques­tions in advance in the WebEx chat.

{slide: Know Who You Are}

So let’s talk about know­ing who you are. Know­ing who you are allows you to iden­ti­fy who your tar­get mar­ket. What kind of provider are you?

William:

So a good way to tell who you are as a part­ner or as an agency is by iden­ti­fy­ing who exact­ly is your tar­get mar­ket? Do you work close­ly with local pro­fes­sion­als or local ser­vice providers in your area? Are you more com­fort­able with that? Or are you tar­get­ing e‑commerce sites that cater to cus­tomers from all over the coun­try, or even the whole world? Or are you focused on just a sin­gle indus­try, and you’re the expert in online mar­ket­ing for them, with­in their niche? In short, who are your cus­tomers?

Bernard:

Right because that tells you what kind of agency you are. Are you a local author­i­ty, are you a nation­al author­i­ty, are you a nation­al pow­er­house? What are you try­ing to set up your agency to be?

So I’ll start off with one of our agency part­ners in Aus­tralia. We start­ed work­ing with them about three years ago. They’d nev­er sold SEO before, but they decid­ed to posi­tion them­selves as the local author­i­ty in SEO. They stud­ied our method­ol­o­gy. And now, they’re not just lim­it­ed to with­in their own city, their grow­ing things nation­wide.

One of the things to remem­ber that they did real­ly well: they under­stood the clients will buy from you if you have enough con­fi­dence in your ser­vice to use it your­self. They would not have been able to man­age to beat every­body for the key­word “SEO”+city. So what they did was, they hit up to full term search engine opti­miza­tion and the cities that they tar­get­ed are actu­al­ly their spe­cif­ic city. And they showed that “we’re num­ber one for this term,” which allowed them to lever­age the author­i­ty bias. And now they’ve got a gamut of clients from all over the coun­try.

And the sec­ond one is one of our part­ners in the UK and they spe­cial­ized in web design. They ini­tial­ly had access to a den­tal net­work, and they had no SEO expe­ri­ence what­so­ev­er. But they learned the method­ol­o­gy, they stud­ied it, they tried to fig­ure out “are we going to stay with­in this niche, are we going to go to anoth­er ver­ti­cal.” But they decid­ed to stay with the peo­ple they knew, the indus­try they knew, because their abil­i­ty to find com­mon ground with this pro­fes­sion specif­i­cal­ly was already tremen­dous. They have since grown to month­ly recur­ring rev­enues of thir­ty to forty thou­sand pounds every month, and I think that’s amaz­ing.

{slide: Define Your Ini­tial Mar­ket}

So what is the prac­ti­cal appli­ca­tion of this sec­tion of the webi­nar?

In order for you to exe­cute a growth hack on your busi­ness, you need to find a niche that you’re famil­iar with or have his­to­ry with. For exam­ple, I am pas­sion­ate about toys. If any of you have seen my LinkedIn profile…Let’s see how many toys do I have on dis­play in the office in my room. I just bought my four hun­dredth Trans­former five weeks ago. So I’m pas­sion­ate about toys.

What a lot of peo­ple also don’t know is that I’m a floor­ing expert. I worked for four years with the largest online retail­er of floor­ing in the US. I am, lit­er­al­ly, a floor­ing expert. I can install hard­wood, lam­i­nate, engi­neered wood, you name it. Per­go, Milliken—that’s a carpet—I’m a pro at that. It would be easy for me to sell guys in these ver­ti­cals our ser­vices because I have a his­to­ry with them. With toys, I have a nat­ur­al pas­sion for it and with floor­ing, I have a his­to­ry with the indus­try.

What you want to do is begin with a niche that you’re famil­iar with or have his­to­ry with because it allows you to lever­age com­mon ground imme­di­ate­ly. And com­mon ground is one of the most pow­er­ful objec­tion break­ers there is.

One of the oth­er things that I want­ed to share with you guys is one of our part­ners in Rhode Island. We have a part­ner that hap­pens to be a lawyer there, and instead of com­pet­ing with his col­leagues he decid­ed to offer an adjunct ser­vice to the indus­try. And so he ser­vices only lawyers. What that allows him to do is it allows it to sit com­fort­ably with his peers, speak their lan­guage. And they don’t have to feel threat­ened that they’re being talked to by a com­peti­tor. They’re being talked to by some­body that can offer them a ser­vice, that under­stands what their needs, are because he was there.

Again, com­mon ground. Tremen­dous for break­ing ice, tremen­dous for break­ing objec­tions, and so on and so forth. This is the prac­ti­cal appli­ca­tion of this sec­tion of the webi­nar.

Mov­ing on I want to talk about defin­ing what you’re capa­ble of sell­ing

{slide: Define What You are Capa­ble of Sell­ing}

And this is real­ly the ser­vices that we offer you.

William:

So now that you’ve sort of fig­ured out who your ini­tial mar­ket is or you’re famil­iar with, the next thing is, you have to assess what you’re capa­ble of sell­ing to them. You need to know the scope of your busi­ness and what you’re cur­rent­ly lim­it­ed to. Do your clients actu­al­ly need all the ser­vices for them to com­pete in your indus­try? Do they need SEO all the way to brand­ing? You have got to fig­ure that out.

And next is fig­ur­ing out what com­modi­ties are you pro­vid­ing them with. Just like McDonald’s, they sell con­sis­ten­cy and pre­dictabil­i­ty. And Rolex sells achieve­ment or suc­cess. So what com­mod­i­ty are you pro­ject­ing? We’ll tack­le this lat­er on in the webi­nar.

Bernard:

Right. And I want to remind every­body that we’re being very care­ful when it comes to the ver­biage of say­ing com­mod­i­ty ver­sus prod­uct because we’ll make a dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion on this lat­er. I’ve always said McDonald’s doesn’t sell burg­ers. No, actu­al­ly if you take a look they are a real estate com­pa­ny not pri­mar­i­ly a food chain. But McDonald’s doesn’t sell burg­ers. Burg­ers are the com­mod­i­ty. Peo­ple keep com­ing back because they’re look­ing for that con­sis­tent expe­ri­ence, and they’ve learned to lever­age the invis­i­ble.

So we have a lot of com­modi­ties that you are able to resell. SEO, or PPC, or Social, or Web Devel­op­ment, or Brand­ing Ser­vices. And as of this moment, we only have about three partners—three pow­er­house partners—that are capa­ble of sell­ing more than three of our ser­vices. So imag­ine that. Only three part­ners we’ve had rela­tion­ships with for three, four, five years. And they’re only capa­ble of, and they’ve only mas­tered three or four of our ser­vices. It takes time to build the exper­tise. Be a pro at SEO before you decide to be a pro at SEM, and don’t decide to be a pro at SEM at the same time. And don’t try to be a pro at SEO, SEM, and social at the same time. Devel­op your rev­enue stream. Don’t try to be an expert at every­thing all at the same time.

{slide: Define What You are Capa­ble of Selling—Practical Appli­ca­tion}

So what’s the prac­ti­cal appli­ca­tion of this in terms of know­ing what you’re capa­ble of sell­ing?

We’ve had two busi­ness coach­es so far that were our part­ners. And the busi­ness coach part­ner had an ini­tial strong list of 49 peo­ple already in his active client list. How­ev­er how he sold our ser­vice was, he would launch a three-pager web­site for them, do on-page opti­miza­tion on the sec­ond month, and then, in place of link acqui­si­tion and con­tent mar­ket­ing, he offered them social media ser­vices in place of the links.

The prob­lem there is that, for any­body that knows their SEO, gain­ing likes and gain­ing social vouch­es is not the same as earn­ing back­links. It’s not the same, absolute­ly not, as con­tent mar­ket­ing. So what hap­pened was he achieved short-term suc­cess. He actu­al­ly man­aged to on-board all 49 clients. But he couldn’t main­tain them. Because some­where in the sec­ond or third month, his clients were begin­ning to doubt the val­ue of what he was sell­ing. And he had to resell them over and over and over again.

So what is the moral of this sto­ry? You have to sell a ser­vice that your cus­tomers need. You can’t be a good enough sales­man to keep sell­ing them a ser­vice they don’t need. And then the sharpest skill that you can bring to the table in a sales pitch is the abil­i­ty to lis­ten. The most impor­tant sell­ing skill is ask­ing the right ques­tions. And don’t be ashamed of walk­ing away from a sale you shouldn’t close. This is a very impor­tant les­son we learned. We know that we’re not the cheap­est providers. We know that we’re not the sim­plest providers. But that’s because our mar­ket is a spe­cif­ic niche. We like to pro­vide val­ue, we like to pro­vide results. And so when we and our part­ners don’t see eye-to-eye, we try not to take mon­ey from peo­ple for whom we can’t add val­ue to. No longevi­ty exists by sell­ing peo­ple a mis­matched ser­vice based on how expec­ta­tions were set.

Now giv­en that, let’s talk about dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion. Because remem­ber, you’re not the only per­son that knows how to do this, and you’re not the only per­son that’s going to walk into that board­room to try to do a pitch.

{slide: What is Your Dif­fer­en­tia­tor?}

William:

Now this slide is a per­son­al favorite of mine because it helped me a lot. And I can’t wait for you to actu­al­ly bring up the prac­ti­cal appli­ca­tion of this.

It’s all about assess­ing what makes you dif­fer­ent from your com­peti­tors, what makes you stand out. Are you cost effec­tive? Because it’s real­ly based on your tar­get market’s abil­i­ty to spend. Do you have that tech­no­log­i­cal edge by hav­ing access to the lat­est online tools, or have experts in your com­pa­ny? Or sim­ply your method­ol­o­gy is dif­fer­ent but it def­i­nite­ly works.

So these are three ques­tions that your unique sell­ing point needs to answer: What would make me trans­act with your busi­ness? What dif­fer­en­ti­ates your prod­uct or ser­vice from oth­ers? And what can you pro­vide that oth­ers can­not guar­an­tee?

Bernard:
Right. So what we’re try­ing to teach you guys is, being the cost effec­tive provider, being the guy with the tech­no­log­i­cal edge, and the one with the effec­tive method­ol­o­gy, when you try to posi­tion your­selves, don’t try to posi­tion your­selves as all of them. Pri­mar­i­ly posi­tion your­selves as one. Don’t try to lever­age all of them because when you try to project your­self as a jack of all trades you become a mas­ter of none. Be a mas­ter of one. So how do you use this when you’re on the pitch?

{slide: What is Your Differentiator?—Practical Appli­ca­tion}

So here’s anoth­er prac­ti­cal appli­ca­tion and a case study. One of our more suc­cess­ful part­ner agen­cies actu­al­ly sells our ser­vices cheap­erthan every­body else. In the pre­vi­ous Boost Your Busi­ness webi­na­rs, we’ve always con­sis­tent­ly tell you that all our part­ners sell our ser­vices at dou­ble to triple our rates, and it still remains com­pet­i­tive pric­ing-wise.

So the part­ner essen­tial­ly sells a DIY ser­vice, and this is their dif­fer­en­tia­tor from every­body else in the mar­ket. By not hav­ing to hand-hold, baby-sit, and what­not they’re able to low­er their costs because they don’t they don’t have to hire an army of project man­agers to man­age a dozen clients. So he specif­i­cal­ly sells them our ser­vices, and he sells them in a way that they are self-ser­vice. So he edu­cates them for the first few weeks pri­or to intake.

And by sell­ing it at a low­er cost—meaning the max­i­mum markup that he ever does is a hun­dred-per­cent mar­gin and at times he starts off with a fifty-per­cent margin—he sells his ser­vices like a self-ser­vice cam­paign and then it doesn’t wind up being a large, notice­able expense in a month­ly finan­cial state­ment. This either allows the client to be more patient, because the larg­er the price that you pay off the stronger the buyer’s remorse and the faster the grat­i­fi­ca­tion require­ment is. But because of the low­er price, he’s able to extend the time expec­ta­tion. He’s able to get it ignored sev­er­al months and just get it renewed and renewed and renewed, which I think was a very smart move because it’s real. And I notice that from my own prac­tices when I review our own finan­cial state­ments.

He sells in vol­ume because again there don’t have to be half-a-dozen sales­peo­ple to man­age a dozen clients. And he doesn’t try to sell like a pre­mi­um provider, and he sets expec­ta­tions. He tells them in order for this to work, the method­ol­o­gy will work, but you have to col­lab­o­rate. Here’s the ser­vice, here’s your dash­board, here’s how you mon­i­tor it, here’s all the work that’s being done for you, here’s why you approve or dis­ap­prove and so on and so forth. And then he just sends them the bill month-over-month-over-month.

Now remem­ber that he doesn’t ignore his cus­tomers. He allows them to reach out to him over and over, but they know that he’s not the hand-hold­ing type. Still, he man­aged to build a pow­er­house agency around that. So the moral of this sto­ry is, it doesn’t even mat­ter how you dif­fer­en­ti­ate, because a lot of our part­ner agen­cies dif­fer­en­ti­ate in one way or anoth­er but not that doesn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly make them more or less suc­cess­ful than the oth­ers. What mat­ters is that you dif­fer­en­ti­ate. You must dif­fer­en­ti­ate from the com­pe­ti­tion.

So mov­ing you on to the next top­ic let’s talk about what you’re sell­ing.

{slide: Deter­mine What You’re Sell­ing}

So essen­tial­ly what you’re sell­ing are our ser­vices. I’ll let William take this one because he talks to you guys about this every day.

{slide: Under­stand the SEO Method­ol­o­gy}

William:

So most of the part­ners that we’ve worked with have had, in one way or anoth­er, their own under­stand­ing of SEO. And there are the very few who are able to under­stand how effec­tive the method­ol­o­gy is.

For the part­ners who are just get­ting start­ed, we implore you to under­stand how it all works, through us. Because over the years, we’ve had to endure many of the chal­lenges that our indus­try had to throw at us, and we’ve adapt­ed. We’ve learned and we’ve grown from them.

Below are a few sta­tis­tics that we’re proud of and we’re very con­fi­dent in shar­ing with you. And these are his­tor­i­cal trends, by the way, they’re not guar­an­tees. Each site or cam­paign is dif­fer­ent, and will require your care­ful analy­sis. They’re just meant to assure your clients the right way. So we’ve got­ten to where we can rank 80% of web­sites for rea­son­able tar­get terms.

Bernard:

And I stress rea­son­able tar­get terms.

William:

We can get 60% of key­words to first page with­in six months or less. We can also dri­ve up to times 22 ROI per dol­lar spent.

Bernard:

And I can vouch for this through an end-client’s tes­ti­mo­ni­al.

William:

And clients typ­i­cal­ly stay faith­ful to the a ser­vice for over a year. That says a lot, too.

Bernard:

Right, it does because that shows you how effec­tive the method­ol­o­gy actu­al­ly works.

So one of the things that you need to remem­ber is, inside the con­ver­sa­tion, if your clients were experts at SEO, why would they need to hire you? You are walk­ing in there armed with a method­ol­o­gy that ranks 80% of web­sites, 60% of the key­words on the first page in six months or less, can dri­ve up to 22 fac­tor ROI that peo­ple love to use con­tin­u­ous­ly for over a year. If they had this in their toolk­it, they wouldn’t need to hire you. And this is the val­ue that you bring to the table. But when you come to the table, you need to under­stand you’re the pro, you’re the expert. You have to explain the SEO method­ol­o­gy, you have to be trans­par­ent, and don’t for­get to pitch alter­na­tive solu­tions and look for oth­er areas of oppor­tu­ni­ty. Remem­ber that on the pitch, the most valu­able skill is lis­ten­ing. If your cus­tomer tells you in one form or anoth­er that they need imme­di­ate results, then it’s quite pos­si­ble that SEO is not the solu­tion and you might need to move that con­ver­sa­tion over to SEM. But let me move this to a prac­ti­cal appli­ca­tion.

{slide: Under­stand the SEO Methodology—Practical Appli­ca­tion}

So the prac­ti­cal appli­ca­tion is about you using the Resource Cen­ter to your advan­tage. And I know that this slide is a lit­tle self-serv­ing, I try to keep going back to the Resource Cen­ter.

William:

But it helps.

Bernard:

It does, it does. A lot of our part­ners will swear by how effec­tive it is. And the rea­son we built it is because of insis­tent pub­lic demand. When you walk into that pitch, you are going to have 30 min­utes to an hour at best. When you walk, in nine out of ten busi­ness own­ers have nev­er heard about SEO. Chances are, they will want you to explain every ele­ment of it bul­let by bul­let by bul­let. You’re not going to have the time to do that.

If you respect their time and they respect yours, what you need to do is bring a struc­tured Pitch Deck. It allows you to lever­age the cheer­leader bias of pos­i­tive expe­ri­ence. The Pitch Deck shows them the things that they did right and the things that you can do for them.

You need to bring a Method­ol­o­gy Explain­er because you’re not going to have the chance to explain bul­let by bul­let what each ele­ment of the SEO pack­age is. And it allows you to be the pro. Remem­ber, you’re giv­ing them all this val­ue before the first dol­lar is spent. And it allows you to lever­age the author­i­ty bias because the moment they read through the method­ol­o­gy explain­er, they will have more ques­tions. Guess who they’re going to ask the moment they have more ques­tions? You. Which then posi­tions you well as the author­i­ty in the field.

And then the last bit is, of course, tes­ti­mo­ni­als. There are white label tes­ti­mo­ni­als where end-clients sent us feed­back about what they think of the method­ol­o­gy and how it helped them. And this allows you to lever­age a bias that’s called group think, and that’s the rea­son why it’s there. They are speak­ing about the method­ol­o­gy that you will use. So using all of these allows you to effec­tive­ly use that 30 min­utes to one hour win­dow for bet­ter chances to close the sale. It isn’t meant to dis­tract the client away from what’s impor­tant to them, but remem­ber that you don’t learn any­thing by talk­ing about SEO. You learn some­thing by fig­ur­ing out what their busi­ness goals are, and that’s your job. Your job is to help them. If you don’t man­age to ask your ques­tions and iden­ti­fy the needs, you will not have pro­vid­ed good ser­vice in
that pitch.

{slide: Man­ag­ing the Expe­ri­ence}

So let’s talk about man­ag­ing the expe­ri­ence. Now before I get into that, I just want to remind every­one that the chat box is avail­able for you guys to throw your ques­tions at us. Feel free to send them in at any time.

Let’s talk about man­ag­ing the expe­ri­ence, and one of the things I’m most proud of. We have been around for five years and build­ing a method­ol­o­gy, I can say, it’s got its days and it’s got its days. But per­son­al­ly I love it. I love break­ing things apart and piec­ing them togeth­er. One of the things that we had to break apart was fig­ur­ing out, in our ear­ly days, why we had first trimes­tral can­cel­la­tions. Because it is painful to us for peo­ple to try our method­ol­o­gy for a hun­dred days and then leave it. Because it feels like, you know, what went wrong? We try to add as much val­ue as we could. And what we real­ized was that this is about imme­di­ate grat­i­fi­ca­tion. Cus­tomers as soon as they pay the bill look for imme­di­ate grat­i­fi­ca­tion and look for rein­forced grat­i­fi­ca­tion, espe­cial­ly dur­ing the first 30 to 60 days.

There­fore, we built a ser­vice that allows you to over­come buyer’s remorse based on how it’s built. The method­ol­o­gy oper­ates off of fre­quent touch points with­in the first 30 days. The strongest mile­stones hap­pened with­in the first 60 days as long as all rec­om­men­da­tions are imple­ment­ed. Reg­u­lar report­ing and less col­lab­o­ra­tive activ­i­ty hap­pens after­wards, where clients are expect­ing that the work is mov­ing for­ward and they’re see­ing a pos­i­tive trend. Increased fre­quen­cy, though, in our pres­ence and our need for col­lab­o­ra­tion will exist. Remem­ber we’re SEOs. We live to make things vis­i­ble, we live to rank things, and some­times we’ll do a review in somebody’s search con­sole and real­ize that this term with a thou­sand impres­sions only gets three clicks and it’s on posi­tion five, and with a lit­tle nudge of bet­ter on-page, more qual­i­ty con­tent, and dif­fer­ent con­tent for­mats on the page, we could prob­a­bly nudge it above the fold. So we will increase the fre­quen­cy of touch points again.

Let me show you this in a graph­ic rep­re­sen­ta­tion.

{slide: Man­age the Experience—Timeline}

This is what the method­ol­o­gy looks like in a flow chart. Even before the first dol­lar is spent, the black line that is the pre-intake, we’re already work­ing for you. Our project man­agers are walk­ing you through the dash­board, we’re explain­ing the method­ol­o­gy, but more than that. From the end client’s per­spec­tive, we’re already assess­ing their web­site. We’re already pay­ing an SEO to take a look at the web­site to tell you whether that’s a fight you can win or not. And so our SEO’s will exe­cute an actu­al audit and tell you, “Yes, good cam­paign to rank, here’s where we think that the oppor­tu­ni­ties are,” and so on and so forth. Now as soon as the invoice is paid, the cam­paign offi­cial­ly launch­es, and this is where the inter­ac­tion begins. We send the intake forms to you, you send them over to the client. We exe­cute the key­word research, you must get them to sign off on it. We pro­vide you with access to the white label dash­board, you cre­ate their access to the white label dash­board. We cre­ate the on-page struc­tur­al report in about 7 to 10 days, we give you the new con­tent for the web­sites. We exe­cute some­where in between as soon as you get the cre­den­tials, and then we send you the exec­u­tive sum­ma­ry. A min­i­mum of six touch points in the first 30 days spread through­out those 30 days.

With­in the sec­ond month, the imple­men­ta­tion key­way hap­pens, mean­ing, after the on-page is exe­cut­ed, we mon­i­tor for two to three weeks. If the site has per­formed accord­ing to our expec­ta­tions, and as soon as it does—we like the cheer­leader bias. We will be your first cheer­lead­ers and we’ll tell you “Hey, are you see­ing how the rank­ings are going?”. Five days pri­or to the end of that month we send you the exec­u­tive sum­ma­ry. And again, the first two exec­u­tive sum­maries typ­i­cal­ly bear the strongest results of the method­ol­o­gy. On the third month we sort of wean off the more fre­quent con­ver­sa­tions, off the more fre­quent touch points, and then you just get a month­ly exec­u­tive sum­ma­ry over and over and over again. But by this time your client will have had so much of your atten­tion that they will have learned they love it, and they begin to trust you. And the exec­u­tive summary’s become good enough. And this is essen­tial­ly what we do to retain clients. Now again bar­ring the fact that there are more oppor­tu­ni­ties that we see and, we do look for them, we will then go back to some of the touch points on month one. But typ­i­cal­ly, this is how it’s exe­cut­ed. We built a method­ol­o­gy that allows you to over­come buyer’s remorse.

{slide: Under­stand the Tech­nol­o­gy}

So, I’ll move on to under­stand­ing the tech­nol­o­gy. Now I’ll let Will do this because, to be per­fect­ly hon­est with every­body, I think Will’s dash­board walk­through has got­ten to the point where it’s bet­ter than mine. And I’m proud of that when­ev­er I see that. So Will, talk about our tech­nol­o­gy.

William:

Thanks Berns. Okay, so now let’s talk about how you guys can under­stand the tech­nol­o­gy. How does the tech­nol­o­gy help you work smarter?

When we start­ed a few years ago, and I know about the hor­ror sto­ries, a lot of what we had to look at to help us man­age cam­paigns were just spread­sheets…

Bernard:

Google Docs.

William:

Right. And there was a lot of data that we had we had to col­late and ana­lyze. In short, it was painful work­ing that way, right?

Bernard:

Yeah.

William:

So, today, the agency and white label dash­board, they’ve become the solu­tion to how I man­age it, how you guys man­age it, and how your clients man­age it as well. It was a nat­ur­al advance­ment of sim­i­lar agents just like us, and it’s become the stan­dard I guess for all white label SEO agen­cies.

Bernard:

Yeah I would think so. Every respectable agency exe­cutes or man­ages one form of a white label dash­board or anoth­er. Although, you know, I’m biased. I love ours the best. I think ours is the most accu­rate and so on. But enough self­ish plug­ging.

William:

So when I say that the dash­board is capa­ble of doing all your deliv­er­ables in real-time, you can check your rank­ings dai­ly, you can inte­grate that traf­fic from Google Ana­lyt­ics, and you can see it dai­ly as well. And all that, your client gets to see. Now you wouldn’t have known any of that, you wouldn’t have under­stood the val­ue of all of that, if we didn’t have that con­ver­sa­tion.

So you need to have that con­ver­sa­tion with your client. It’ll help you iden­ti­fy the lev­el of under­stand­ing that your client cur­rent­ly has, and it will steer that line of ques­tion­ing. So lever­age tech­nol­o­gy, and talk to your clients at their lev­el. Don’t assume that your clients already know just how good tech­nol­o­gy is. Who knows, maybe it’s all they need to hear.

Bernard:

Right. So the Dashboard’s pri­ma­ry capa­bil­i­ties were built around the spir­it of allow­ing you to view the work in real time, and see the rank­ings dai­ly because we do our own pro­pri­etary tech­nol­o­gy scrapes. So our rank­ing reports are not an API from any­where. We built that tech­nol­o­gy. See traf­fic reports on a dai­ly basis, and show your cus­tomers their own dash­boards. And then, of course, com­ing soon because we nev­er stop look­ing for ways to add val­ue to you, we are cre­at­ing the Rep­u­ta­tion Suite. You know, my shame­less plug some­where on slide four, that was it. You and your client will see where they’re pub­lished online and see their reviews of their site and the busi­ness.

{slide: Under­stand the Technology—Practical Appli­ca­tion}

Now I’ve got a prac­ti­cal appli­ca­tion. Actu­al­ly this one not so much a prac­ti­cal appli­ca­tion as it is an awe­some sto­ry, I nev­er for­got it. This was two years ago. I’m not sure if peo­ple out there will remem­ber. But there was this sur­prise snow­storm some­where in the mid-west. If it wasn’t last year it was two years ago. We had a part­ner in the mid-west and was a sur­prise snow­storm, and his client woke up on the wrong side of the bed. The wife was PMS-ing and the daugh­ter decid­ed she was going to be the most ungrate­ful child ever born on the face of the planet—he wasn’t hav­ing a great morn­ing. Add to that the fact that there’s a sur­prise snow­storm, he’s got nor­mal tires on his card he has to change up to chain wheels before he’s able to dri­ve off to work and at this point he’s real­ly late. Some­where dur­ing the trav­el from house to work, he gets a blowout on one of the chain tires. And I didn’t even know that could hap­pened.

The client has decid­ed, this is going to be a hor­ri­ble day. So he calls for a tow. And in the mean­time, there’s noth­ing to do, might as well get some work done. One of the things that he sees in his email is the link com­ing from our part­ner giv­ing him the URL, user­name, and pass­word for the dash­board. He fol­lows the link logs in, and its inci­den­tal­ly two to three weeks, fast imple­men­ta­tion of the on-page where we typ­i­cal­ly expect the strongest results and, voila every­thing is green. It made his day. He was so hap­py that he dialed up the part­ner all the way until the tow truck came in, and the part­ner imme­di­ate­ly gave us a call and told us that sto­ry. I’ve nev­er for­got­ten it.

But this is sort of a moral as to why you need to use the dash­board. You nev­er know when it’s going to make a dif­fer­ence. The dash­board is like the score board. For you guys that watch bas­ket­ball or foot­ball or the NFL or base­ball or what­ev­er it is, can you imag­ine watch­ing a sport­ing event where that lit­tle wid­get in the mid­dle is miss­ing? You don’t know who shot how many hoops, you don’t know how many three-point­ers there were, who’s got how many fouls and so on and so forth. You don’t even know how long into the game you are. So how inter­est­ing would it be to watch a sport­ing event that was like that, where you have no clear pic­ture of who’s win­ning and who’s not. That is what your dash­board down that’s what your dash­board dash for your
Cus­tomers. It gives them a sense of grat­i­fi­ca­tion they invest­ed with the right agency. It is your score board. You need it in their face all the time. It lit­er­al­ly makes the expe­ri­ence with you more enjoy­able.

{slide: Learn How to Sell Effec­tive­ly}

So let’s talk about learn­ing how to sell more effec­tive­ly. Because this is what we’re try­ing to talk about in this webi­nar.

{slide: Dif­fer­en­ti­ate Com­mod­i­ty vs. Prod­uct}

Let’s talk about dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing com­mod­i­ty ver­sus prod­uct. In a book called sell­ing the invis­i­ble which is real­ly where we get a lot of this from, Har­ry Beck­with dif­fer­en­ti­ates very well between what a com­mod­i­ty is and what a prod­uct is.

The prod­uct is essen­tial­ly the invis­i­ble thing that you’re get­ting them to emo­tion­al­ly buy into. The com­mod­i­ty is the good or the ser­vice. McDonald’s com­mod­i­ty is the burg­er. The prod­uct is the con­sis­tent ser­vice, the con­sis­tent qual­i­ty, all the con­sis­ten­cy. The con­sis­tent col­ors, uni­form, speed, every­thing is con­sis­tent.

At Star­bucks they offer the same thing. They offer you that com­fort­able third place. And Star­bucks tries to nur­ture the human spir­it one cup at a time. But Star­bucks’ actu­al prod­uct is a con­sis­tent expe­ri­ence also. It’s a con­sis­tent expe­ri­ence for any­body look­ing for that qui­et place where they could spent time for them­selves and what­not. The cof­fee is the com­mod­i­ty. The prod­uct is the expe­ri­ence.

The same is true for Nike, the spir­it of adven­ture. What’s the com­mod­i­ty? The shoe. Same for Rolex. They’re sell­ing you watch­es as the com­mod­i­ty, but the prod­uct is achieve­ment. The best one: De Beers. How dare they sell “for­ev­er”? How dare they sell “eter­ni­ty”? And yet they do, and they do this suc­cess­ful­ly. The com­mod­i­ty is a dia­mond, the prod­uct is a com­mit­ment.

So you have to dif­fer­en­ti­ate between your prod­uct and your com­mod­i­ty. The com­mod­i­ty is our ser­vice, and the expe­ri­ence that’s the prod­uct. What kind of expe­ri­ence are you try­ing to sell them? Are you try­ing to offer them con­ve­nience, a one-stop shop for all their dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing needs where they can get their SEO and SEM and their web design and brand­ing require­ments all in one place? Or are you try­ing to offer them pre­mi­um expe­ri­ence, mean­ing you will be the best con­sul­tant ever thought about SEO that they’ve ever met? Or are you offer­ing them a plug-and-play expe­ri­ence? Again, it doesn’t mat­ter which one you want. All that mat­ters is that you’re one of them.

The oth­er is, for some of our part­ners, per­for­mance is they’re prod­uct, and they com­mit to spe­cif­ic traf­fic results, spe­cif­ic rank­ing results, or a spe­cif­ic ROI. Let me give you prac­ti­cal appli­ca­tion imme­di­ate­ly after this. But before that, I want to give you a “do”: define your com­mod­i­ty and prod­uct, and make sure your sales team knows it by heart, that every­body is sell­ing it the same way. If it’s a pre­mi­um expe­ri­ence every­body needs to talk pre­mi­um. And if it’s con­ve­nient, make sure that every­body is upselling oth­er ser­vices to remind cus­tomers that we are every­thing under one roof. Now, remem­ber, don’t just sell a prod­uct though. It’s not enough that you dif­fer­en­ti­ate your com­mod­i­ty ver­sus your prod­uct. Inside the pitch, don’t sell the prod­uct sell the solu­tion. High­light the prob­lem, and let them know why you’re the answer to that prob­lem.

{slide: Dif­fer­en­ti­ate Com­mod­i­ty vs. Product—Practical Appli­ca­tion}

So here’s the prac­ti­cal appli­ca­tion. This is a case study with one of our more suc­cess­ful part­ners. This part­ner only offers a pre­mi­um expe­ri­ence. They sell noth­ing under $2,000, month­ly con­tract, min­i­mum con­tract six months, at retail. If the results they project past the six months are not met, they actu­al­ly foot the bill for them­selves. But this is what they’re sell­ing. They’re sell­ing a pre­mi­um expe­ri­ence, their exper­tise, one-on-one time with their account man­agers, experts, peo­ple that have actu­al­ly spent a lot of time with us and with me per­son­al­ly to get trained on how our SEO works, things they might not know, ques­tions and curve­balls that cus­tomers throw them that they need advice on. But they under­stand the method­ol­o­gy, and they trust it. And they guar­an­tee the increase in traf­fic and per­for­mance only if the site own­er gives them free rein on the web­site. Mean­ing, if we rec­om­mend it, you imple­ment it. Oth­er­wise, we can’t guar­an­tee that the method­ol­o­gy will meet the require­ment.

And oth­er than that, it allows them to close the sale by cre­at­ing a secu­ri­ty blan­ket. When there is even an infor­mal guar­an­tee, even an infor­mal promise of a cer­tain result, it allows a buy­er to make a pur­chase with a cer­tain sense of secu­ri­ty. And so with that sense of secu­ri­ty, you dimin­ish the feel­ing of buyer’s remorse. And it’s, in my opin­ion, an amaz­ing appli­ca­tion of this method.

{slide: Acing the Pitch}

Now I want to go back. This is our pre­vi­ous con­ver­sa­tions from the pre­vi­ous Webi­nar, and it’s about acing the pitch. What I want­ed to do in order to help you ace the pitch is essen­tial­ly max­i­mize the use of that time. Arrange a pre-plan­ning meet­ing. Meet with your project man­ag­er, ask them for advice. Qual­i­fy the client, exe­cute the pre-site audit. Know if you’re sup­posed to take that customer’s mon­ey. Know if you can rank them, achieve results, add bet­ter val­ue for their busi­ness. And then, arm your­self with a pitch deck. Arm your­self for the pitch by down­load­ing the pitch deck, prepar­ing a pro­pos­al, and run­ning an audit report. These save you time, which is what our objec­tive was. Our objec­tive is for you guys to spend qual­i­ty time with a cus­tomer.

And then on the pre-intake assess­ment, make sure that you include the out­put in your pre­sen­ta­tion and cov­ered the basic areas to improve. Don’t get stuck in a method­ol­o­gy con­ver­sa­tion. Don’t get stuck in a two, three hour method­ol­o­gy con­ver­sa­tion, because it can it can last that long. I could prob­a­bly talk SEO with any­body for like 16 hours straight. But don’t get stuck in that con­ver­sa­tion. You have 30 min­utes to 60 min­utes. Your time is valu­able when a ques­tion is fly­ing out of your customer’s mouth. That is when you find out what the cus­tomer needs, and when you’re able to match it with a ser­vice that adds val­ue.

{slide: Most Com­mon Chal­lenges & Objec­tions Dur­ing the Pitch}

So what are some of the most com­mon chal­lenges and objec­tions dur­ing the pitch? And this is actu­al­ly sort a teas­er for the upcom­ing Boost Your Busi­ness webi­nar where we want to talk about the most com­mon objec­tions and how to over­come them.

So some of the most com­mon objec­tions that we get: What do I do when my poten­tial client wants imme­di­ate results? So there’s a straight­for­ward, way and there’s a way to dance around it that I don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly dis­agree with. The straight­for­ward way is to tell him that SEO is momen­tum-dri­ven, and rec­om­mend SEM as an addi­tion­al ser­vice which allows them to gain fast results while the SEO oper­ates in the back­ground. The oth­er is to explain that the time invest­ed in wait­ing on the results of SEO ulti­mate­ly leads to free traf­fic. Remem­ber that with SEM, the moment you turn off the drip, the traf­fic is gone. For SEO, you invest in that key­word, in that opti­miza­tion once. And you build your dig­i­tal foot­print, right and you get free traf­fic against that key­word for a long time and then you keep look­ing for oth­er oppor­tu­ni­ties as you look for­ward.

What do you do when they lack knowl­edge on how SEO works?

This one, I real­ly say give them the Brand­able Resources that out­line the method­ol­o­gy. They will review it on their own time, and they will have ques­tions. Your objec­tive here is to get them to desire to reach out to you. Now before you do a pitch, make sure that you exe­cute some prep. Know the stats on the indus­try and know who their com­peti­tors are. Nobody likes falling behind the com­pe­ti­tion, and if you know who their com­peti­tors are, and what their oppor­tu­ni­ties to get a leg up against the com­pe­ti­tion are, you will have sold them a solu­tion.

What do you do when they think SEO costs too much?

So what I like to do is, I’ve got a lot of fig­ures off the top of my head that I like to tell every­body when­ev­er I have an appro­pri­ate oppor­tu­ni­ty. This is one of those. Accord­ing to Google 93% of buy­ing expe­ri­ences begin with a search. 60% of those search­es are for local estab­lish­ments. Think of the lost oppor­tu­ni­ties for your clients. They poten­tial­ly lose 93% of inter­est­ed, matched cus­tomers for their busi­ness. Poten­tial cus­tomers want to know who you are. I can say that as ear­ly as 2002, 2003, I have nev­er patron­ized an estab­lish­ment I couldn’t find online. And I’m see­ing that prac­ticed more, and more in com­mon with the cur­rent gen­er­a­tion. We want to know who we’re patron­iz­ing. We want to know the estab­lish­ment that e fre­quent. We want to know who they, are what kind of ser­vice they pro­vide, we want to see what oth­er peo­ple have said. The inter­net is a very pow­er­ful tool, and Google is an Ora­cle. Every­body wants to know ahead of time that they won’t regret spend­ing or invest­ing their mon­ey with a spe­cif­ic estab­lish­ment.

When clients worked with a pre­vi­ous agency that they’re unhap­py with.
This one, easy for me. It should be easy for you, too.

Now when you’re work­ing with a cus­tomer that tells you, “Oh yeah well I worked with a free­lancer and they got my site in trou­ble,” what do you do? You can hon­est­ly tell them, “No, none of my clients have been penal­ized,” because that’s true, none of your clients have been penal­ized. I can proud­ly say our clients have not been penal­ized.

Now some of our part­ners are actu­al­ly hon­est. If they’ve had expe­ri­ence of pre­vi­ous white label providers, and they got them in trou­ble, they hon­est­ly come clean and say, “Yes, we have and here’s what we did to recov­er them at our expense,” and I think that is tremen­dous faith.

Now for us as an agency, and as your provider, what we say is, “We have worked with clients that had penal­ties from pre­vi­ous providers, but we’ve got a hun­dred-per­cent bat­ting aver­age at clean­ing it up and recov­er­ing from a penal­ty.”

So these are three ways in which you can truth­ful­ly respond to that ques­tion. Bul­let two, only if it’s true.

So I want to show you guys how this webi­nar start­ed a cou­ple of weeks ago. When we decid­ed that this was the top­ic for the webi­nar, we asked our sales team what they want­ed to dis­cuss about how to sell SEO the right way. And it became a long email thread, and I want to read you the email thread because the con­tent of this webi­nar is large­ly based off of that col­lec­tion. So I’ll let William do this.

{slide: Do’s and Don’ts}

William:

Right, so even I had to throw in there. I won’t say which one’s mine because it prob­a­bly isn’t there. But any­way, so we’re just rein­forc­ing a lot of the things we’ve already said in the pre­vi­ous slide, so I’m just going to read through it.

Do devel­op your rev­enue stream one at a time. Don’t try to pro­vide every­thing at the same time.

Do choose one dif­fer­en­tia­tor to become an expert at. Don’t try to lever­age all of it, because when you try to pro­tect your­self as a jack of all trades, you’re a mas­ter of none. Be a mas­ter of one.

Do be the SEO expert. Explain the SEO method­ol­o­gy and be trans­par­ent. Don’t for­get to pitch alter­na­tive solu­tions. You have to look for areas of oppor­tu­ni­ty.

Do set real­is­tic expec­ta­tions from the very start. Don’t offer guar­an­teed rank­ings. Don’t be a “yes” man

Bernard:

Okay, I want to ham­mer on on that. I think for mature sales­peo­ple, some­times “No” is the right answer. But of course, always pos­i­tive­ly script it. What I want to remind every­body who’s a bud­ding sales­man or does not think they’ve got very mature sell­ing skills is, say­ing yes to every­thing does a tremen­dous dis­ser­vice to your cus­tomer. Don’t say yes to every­thing. You will pro­vide a dis­ser­vice to your cus­tomer. Set prop­er expec­ta­tions. It is uber impor­tant.

William:

Do talk to your poten­tial clients at their lev­el of under­stand­ing. Don’t assume your clients know the ben­e­fits of using your tech­nol­o­gy.

The last one is, Do define your com­mod­i­ty and prod­uct and make sure your sales team knows it by heart. Don’t sell a prod­uct. Sell a solu­tion.

Bernard:

And I think with that, we’re just about ready to wrap up. And we’ve got a cou­ple of min­utes to go through the Q&A.

{slide: For Our Partners—Organic SEO Pitch Kit}

Now for our part­ners, we built the organ­ic SEO Pitch Kit, and it con­tains the organ­ic SEO pitch deck, the SEO method­ol­o­gy explain­er, the SEO fly­er, the audit report, the SEO cat­a­logue, and a sales guide. Sign up now, or log into the dash­board to down­load your Organ­ic SEO Pitch Kit, and it’s in the Resource Cen­ter in your Dash­board.

{slide: Q&A Ses­sion}

So let’s move on to Q&A, and let’s take a look at what you guys had to send in. Let me take a look at the first ques­tion, I’m real­ly just see­ing them for the first time now.

So the first one says, “When clients are check­ing their dash­board dai­ly, how do you han­dle clients ask­ing about a drop in rank?”. Awe­some ques­tion.

So remem­ber how we like to talk about SEO being momen­tum dri­ven. For any­body that’s been in the indus­try a while you will be famil­iar with the con­cept called a “Google Dance”. Google is mit­i­gat­ed by almost 300 rank­ing fac­tors, not all of those rank­ing fac­tors kick in at exact­ly the same time some of them hap­pen more fre­quent­ly, some of them hap­pen less fre­quent­ly. And so fluc­tu­a­tions in the rank­ings are per­fect­ly nor­mal. What you need to get used to is to not be reac­tive to drops in rank. Typ­i­cal­ly, when you see dras­tic drops, you see a recov­ery hap­pen in a cou­ple of days, and it’s not unusu­al for Google to do that. So for any­body that’s been in SEO for a while, you want to take a look at the larg­er trends. You don’t want to take a look at lit­tle fluc­tu­a­tions. SEO is like the cli­mate, and sud­den fluc­tu­a­tions in rank­ings are like the weath­er. The objec­tive is to get the cus­tomer to take a look at the cli­mate, not the weath­er. Okay, I hope that answered the ques­tion.

Next is, “Will you be offer­ing white label webi­na­rs?” That’s an inter­est­ing ques­tion. I hon­est­ly don’t know how to answer that yet. I prob­a­bly have to talk to our mar­ket­ing team to see scal­a­bil­i­ty options, tech­nol­o­gy options, and what­not. So I’m not throw­ing it out the win­dow. I will prob­a­bly want to talk to who­ev­er threw this ques­tion in there. I think it’s a great idea, and it allows us to mass-pro­duce the edu­ca­tion and the exper­tise, and throw it out there for cus­tomers to to hear about it. But I’ll park it, but you guys need to under­stand that I nev­er leave things behind in my park­ing lot.

Next ques­tion is, “By recov­er­ing with Google from being penal­ized, are you refer­ring to link detox cleanup?” Okay, great ques­tion. When I say a penal­ty, I mean there are algo­rith­mic penal­ties and there are man­u­al penal­ties. And I’m say­ing that every now and then, we intake a cus­tomer with a man­u­al penal­ty. There’s an actu­al warn­ing: A par­tial match penalty—not a pure spam, and we’ve nev­er seen that and we will nev­er take that—but we will see those who bought links and what­not. There’s an actu­al mes­sage in Web­mas­ter Tools or in the Search Con­sole. And when we see those, we exe­cute a dis­avow and a recon­sid­er­a­tion request. So we exe­cute a link clean-up, mean­ing we remove the links and then we send emails to the web­mas­ters that own those links, and then we sub­mit a recon­sid­er­a­tion request because Google will not enter­tain a recon­sid­er­a­tion request or a dis­avow with­out any attempt to con­tact those third-par­ty web mas­ters.

And then we have a hun­dred-per­cent bat­ting aver­age at clean­ing up the links. I’m going to prob­a­bly say by the way that that’s bet­ter. When we start­ed that off two, three years ago, our ini­tial bat­ting aver­age was eighty-nine. We’ve been clean­ing it up a hun­dred-per­cent ever since.

The next ques­tion is, “What is the aver­age month­ly SEO fee for a cus­tomer?” For me, it sort of depends on where you’re niched. Are you a low-cost provider or are you a pre­mi­um provider?

Remem­ber how I said one of our pow­er­house agency part­ners only offered pre­mi­um ser­vices. They don’t sell any­thing below $2,000 retail. But we’ve got that plug-and-play reseller that sells things start­ing at $450 retail. So there is no true aver­age month­ly SEO fee for a cus­tomer, because it real­ly depends on what their needs are, how many pages they need opti­mized, the nature of the key­words that they need, and how fast.

I like to com­pare this to the wed­ding anal­o­gy. Wed­dings can be fast, beau­ti­ful, or cheap. They can be two out of three, they can­not be they can­not be all three. You want some­thing fast and beau­ti­ful, it won’t be cheap. You want some­thing fast and cheap, it won’t be beau­ti­ful. And if you wan’t some­thing beau­ti­ful and cheap, it won’t be fast. The same is true when it comes to aver­age month­ly spend. But I would say that, as a gen­er­al rule, if I were going to take it against our fig­ures, I would say that the aver­age retail SEO dol­lar val­ue that we serve prob­a­bly amounts to rough­ly around $1,500 to $2,000. Our aver­age retail fee, I should say, based on the aver­age busi­ness that we get.

Next one: “Can I ask how you guys get clients to com­mit after they keep get­ting cheap SEO com­pa­nies call­ing them?” Okay, how do we get clients to com­mit. Will, how do you get clients to com­mit?

William:

I sell the dif­fer­ence.

Bernard:

Okay, not bad.

Get­ting clients to com­mit is a cou­ple of things. We try to get them to fall in love with the per­son­al­i­ties that work with them in the office. For some of the part­ners that have flown here, they absolute­ly know the size of the office, and how many peo­ple there are, and how hard peo­ple work. They’ve seen it. Oh and by the way, we’re in a cen­tral busi­ness dis­trict, so it’s not some sweat shop. We’re very pre­mi­um. So we get the cus­tomers to com­mit and we get the clients to com­mit because they see the results. The method­ol­o­gy is effec­tive. We make sure that our cus­tomers are not burned, that they don’t get penal­ized. We review our method­ol­o­gy fre­quent­ly. So once they try the ser­vice, most peo­ple under­stand you get what you pay for. And I think they get the impres­sion that when some­thing is too good to be true, mean­ing too cheap to be true, they’re afraid that the qual­i­ty might match. And you know they’re right to be afraid because it prob­a­bly will. And this is how we get them to com­mit. It’s the results that speak for them­selves, plus the rela­tion­ships.

The next ques­tion is…

William:

“When is the right time to give clients access to the dash­board?” Okay, this one I like because most assume there will not be much to report in the begin­ning. Actu­al­ly you can show it in the begin­ning. What some some of our resellers do, they use it as a demo account. So they are able to show what it would actu­al­ly look like. Or anoth­er way to do it is, you can ask the client upon intake what key­words that they’re cur­rent­ly rank­ing for, or you can fig­ure out the key­word research for them. What you can do with the dash­board is you can plug it in. You can plug in all the key­words, then pick their top five com­peti­tors, and put them against it. With­in 24 hours, you’re able to show them where their base­line is, and you can also show them what they’re up against when it comes to the com­peti­tors. So I I real­ly do believe you can show it the begin­ning. Shouldn’t be a prob­lem.

Next ques­tion is, “95% of the objec­tions I receive from prospects are about pric­ing. They com­plain it’s way too high”.

Bernard:

Wait, I want to take this. I want to take this.

Okay so I’m going to try to avoid being snide when answer­ing this ques­tion. The bot­tom line is you you get what you pay for. I per­son­al­ly feel that I’ve been lucky enough to get into indus­tries and com­pa­nies that nev­er tried to be the cheap­est. I’m proud of that, and I’m proud of being part of this orga­ni­za­tion where we’re not try­ing to be the cheap­est in the indus­try.

Now we under­stand from your per­spec­tive that 95% of the objec­tions you receive from your prospects come from your pric­ing. But in real­i­ty, 95% of those peo­ple that object are prob­a­bly not rank­ing 95% of the time. So they’ve got­ten what they paid for, right? You go with a cheap provider, you’re prob­a­bly not going to achieve sig­nif­i­cant results. Part of the rea­son we charge the way we charge is because there is a sig­nif­i­cant amount of tech­nol­o­gy back­ing up what we do, and there is a sig­nif­i­cant amount of research behind what we do. And that costs mon­ey. It costs mon­ey for us to fig­ure out what method­ol­o­gy works today, because SEO always changes, it always evolves. And if we lag behind, we will not be able to con­tin­ue to pro­vide ser­vices that offer an edge to our cus­tomers and our agency part­ners.

So the best way to over­come this is by, a) offer them a pre­mi­um expe­ri­ence, it’s the first, and b) it’s about the results. It’s the best way to over­come it. And then c) don’t be afraid to walk away from a sale. Seri­ous peo­ple that want to invest in the future of their com­pa­ny will even­tu­al­ly invest. SEO is not a ques­tion of if they will exe­cute SEO on their side, it’s a ques­tion of when. 90% of web­sites are not opti­mized. Even­tu­al­ly, they will be. So they either work with you and invest in it today while they have an edge over the 90% that aren’t opti­mized, or they opti­mize lat­er, but lat­er is when they get a return on their invest­ment.

Now, the next one is, “I showed them the val­ue of the ser­vice pro­vid­ed with the Brand­able White Papers, but it hasn’t been work­ing too well. What can I do?”

So let me put it this way. The Brand­able White Papers are there for you to leave that as an after­thought. Remem­ber that the con­ver­sa­tion is about you to pique their inter­ests and find out what their needs are. The Brand­able White Papers, the Method­ol­o­gy explain­er, and all of the doc­u­men­ta­tion that we sent you are meant for you to leave on the table before you leave to tell them, “if you have any more ques­tions I’m leav­ing you doc­u­men­ta­tion on the method­ol­o­gy, on the ser­vice, and please review them and raise any ques­tions you have. The objec­tive of the Brand­able White Paper is a) to elim­i­nate ques­tion-and-answer time, that’s one, but b) is, it encour­ages them to ini­ti­ate con­tact with you over and over and over and over again. It allows you oppor­tu­ni­ties to build more trust.

Also don’t be dis­cour­aged when they don’t call you the next day going bonkers, mean­ing like “Oh my god! This is like the SEO man­na from heav­en!” It’s not. We believe that as with us, so with you, SEO cus­tomers take a while to decide on whether this is an invest­ment they’re will­ing to make. There was a retail client we worked on who took 8 months to decide before they decid­ed to close. So keep them warm. It’s like being a car sales­man. Keep every­body warm, whether or not they bought a car from you, greet them mer­ry christ­mas, greet their chil­dren hap­py birth­day and what­not. Keep the rela­tion­ship warm because you need to be there when they’re ready to buy, and they will be ready to buy.

William:

Okay I can take this ques­tion, because I get it all the time. “What do you say when they asked for a high-vol­ume key­word to rank quick­ly?” Ah, so there’s a mis­con­cep­tion here. It doesn’t mean that the key­word that has high­er vol­ume ver­sus the key­word that’s longer or makes more sense will rank faster. That’s not about it.

Nor­mal­ly when I speak to a client, what I want to do first is I want to ask them if they have access to their Google Ana­lyt­ics or their Google Search Con­sole. What I want to do is to see the rela­tion­ship cur­rent­ly of their web­site with the entire web, espe­cial­ly with their com­peti­tors. I want to see which key­words are cur­rent­ly gen­er­at­ing traf­fic for them. And there are cer­tain key­words that you can’t actu­al­ly see in Google Ana­lyt­ics that you can see in Google Search Con­sole. So if you go inside, you’re able to see the per­for­mance of the key­word, you get to see the click-through-rate and the impres­sions. So how many peo­ple have seen that key­word and click-through? That’s a good tell from my end if that’s a key­word you should try to approach. But you’ll notice that with that key­word, let’s say that key­word is vol­ume ten, and it’s a key­word with a local tar­get or a city. And when you go into Google Search Con­sole, some­where down the line, it’s got the least impres­sions, but it’s got amaz­ing click-through. This is the key­word you should lever­age. You just got to fig­ure, “Is it on the right page?” You’ll notice also what the aver­age rank­ing of that key­word is. Don’t know whether it’s being tar­get­ed prop­er­ly? Move it. That’s the sort of con­ver­sa­tion I’m hav­ing. Instead of say­ing, “Let’s get all these key­words, because they’ve got amaz­ing vol­ume.” It doesn’t mean that you’re gonna get all that traf­fic.

Bernard:

Or rank­ing might already exist for that key­word already, which means you don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly kick it out of the options. Now there are a lot of oth­er ques­tions, but I’m only going to take one because I’m actu­al­ly exceed­ing time now.

But the last ques­tion I want to do is, “How do you guys do your ini­tial prospect­ing?” And I’m going to teach you guys a growth hack, you might not like it, but I’m going to be a lit­tle snide. We don’t do prospect­ing. Cus­tomers come to us, because we rank for our key­words, and we strong­ly encour­age you to do the same thing. You also want to invest in your busi­ness, so I would strong­ly rec­om­mend you also enroll it in an SEO pack­age.

Remem­ber that if you’re our part­ner, we won’t nec­es­sar­i­ly rank you for free, but we will pay more atten­tion because we know that when we rank our part­ners, the bet­ter they rank, the more cus­tomers they are able to close. So we don’t exact­ly exe­cute ini­tial prospect­ing, because after peo­ple exe­cute a search they come. Wow our sign-up vol­umes are in a few hun­dred, so it’s a lit­tle dif­fi­cult.

Now how do you repli­cate this? It’s real­ly sim­ple. Get your web­site to rank. Enroll your own web­site in SEO. Same as the case study I did ear­li­er with the Aus­tralian part­ner, there was no way that they could lever­age the term “SEO”+city overnight. But in a mat­ter of less than a hun­dred days, they would be able to rank for the longer-tail vari­a­tion, which was “Search Engine Optimization”+city, and that allowed them to walk in as experts into their pitch­es. So I guess that’s about it for me, and we’ve run out of time. I appre­ci­ate the pres­ence of every­body in the audi­ence. This is a par­tic­u­lar­ly large audi­ence, and these are awe­some ques­tions. I wish we had time to deal with all of them. If you guys are still itch­ing to get any of these ques­tions answered, feel free to give us a call at our toll free num­ber, or our US num­ber, or e‑mail us at info@seoreseller.com and we’ll do our best to answer you. But that’s it, I’m Bernard I’m sign­ing off.

William:

And I’m Will, and thanks guys for hav­ing us. Thank you.

Bernard:

‘Til the next Boost Your Busi­ness Webi­nar.

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