When Proposing SEO Service, What If They Say Will Pay For Results/Sales Only?

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I do not know if its just me, or if others have gotten this too? Alot of business owners I have been cold calling lately are interested in getting to the 1st page of Google, but wont write the check to start?

Saying they will pay if they get more clients and sales only? Basically only for results? My last 3 appts have said this same thing? Any good rebuttals to this? Advice? ?

Thanks in advance!
#pay #proposing #results or sales #seo #service
  • Profile picture of the author Mrdvd
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    • Profile picture of the author cchipster
      Many of the people I talk to say they get swarmed with 1st page google offers. Many have paid big bucks and never saw results...

      They also seem skeptical of ROI....

      Maybe I am a bit too nice, but there has to be a way to overcome this??
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      • Profile picture of the author nigelchua
        Originally Posted by cchipster View Post

        Many of the people I talk to say they get swarmed with 1st page google offers. Many have paid big bucks and never saw results...

        They also seem skeptical of ROI....

        Maybe I am a bit too nice, but there has to be a way to overcome this??
        Hmm. Well, if I understand correctly, what they're saying is that they're fearful of spending money, that might be potentially loss [because you might not deliver what you say you would] and we all know that we deliver right. So here, it might be a dynamic situation. You're dealing with a rejection statement, and you might want to test/retest your approach or your script.

        - Show them your previous achievements/testimonials (or better still, get your clients to refer through word-of-mouth) via video/email.
        - meet them in the middle: ask them to place a 50% deposit, and for the remaining 50%, to give you upon achieving your goal

        But if they're really nonsensical, please, please, like many above had said, move on. Be nice, send them a follow up email of next clients you've achieved results with after every 1-3 weeks, and with a place to contact you, and move on. Remember your business plan. =D
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  • Profile picture of the author smithhooper
    Search engine optimization is about creating a search engine friendly site so it ranks well in organic search results.The truth about SEO services is that it is usually not hard work, but that does not mean this is really easy.It takes more time, dedication, effort, strategy, technology, methods, competence and experience to perform quality SEO services.
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  • Profile picture of the author alanborcic
    Your market gave you the answer. They don't care about 1st page of Google (not to go into discussion for which phrase, how many searches that phrase has, etc), they care about getting more customers. Rephrase your sales pitch to address what they want, not what you think they want, and you will get more clients you can handle
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  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    LOL I have had this problem numerous times... They say that, and I say sorry, I only get results for those that pay.
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    • Profile picture of the author Just Jarius
      Well first things first, DONT Do That! For two reasons, the first of which is essentially you're working for free. The second is because you're leaving your success(and payment) in the hands of someone else.

      If you get them the leads and they can't close the deal its not your fault, but you better believe they'll make it your fault. Tell them that with all due respect, you can get the customer to the door, but you can't make them walk through it. That's their job

      Make sure that when you present them with why they need this, you present it in a way that makes them NEED it, not Want it. Talk to them first, let them tell you what they need and them you tell them why and how you can fill the need. And most important, show them the Money! Because at the end of the day, that's really all they care about .

      This is part of my plan for myself, so I hope it works lol. Good Luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author volaer
    I assume that those guys are not really experienced online marketers. Because if they are, they know and understand what has to be done and the bulk of it. So I guess, the best way is to send email and explain how much work is needed to do that.
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    • Profile picture of the author johncm
      I'm not an SEO guy. But I know business and one thing is for sure. If they won't pay you upfront. You'll most likely never get paid. Even Google says you can not gaurantee results. So yes, you may in fact be working fro free.
      Just show them that no one can gaurantee front page and show them googles info. basically, all those showing up gauranteeing first page as being a little less than truthful.
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  • Profile picture of the author TimCastleman
    Tell them to screw off.

    Do hourly employees get paid just for the income they produce? Nope they get paid every hour at work.

    I don't work on performance because I can't control Google and the business owner.

    Move on. Run, don't walk away.

    Tim
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  • Profile picture of the author bigredrassler
    From personal experience, don't take a job on spec. You may know exactly how to get results, and you may be able to track them, but as I was told after I accepted a job on spec, you are leaving your success up to your client. If they are a small business and tell you they want to see 5 sales from your website campaign before they pay you, you have no gaurantee that they won't turn down sales, close early, take an unexpected vacation, or even be honest about the in-store results. Have confidence in yourself and get paid for your work.
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    • Profile picture of the author nigelchua
      Originally Posted by bigredrassler View Post

      From personal experience, don't take a job on spec. You may know exactly how to get results, and you may be able to track them, but as I was told after I accepted a job on spec, you are leaving your success up to your client. If they are a small business and tell you they want to see 5 sales from your website campaign before they pay you, you have no gaurantee that they won't turn down sales, close early, take an unexpected vacation, or even be honest about the in-store results. Have confidence in yourself and get paid for your work.
      Actually, from a SEO perspective, you can definitely trace traffic quantity and sources, the conversion or not, is not the problem of the SEO specialist BUT you can always almost offer copywriting services as well, to counter any problems.
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      • Profile picture of the author cchipster
        I truly appreciate all of the candor here guys. Some good info above! I'm still looking for that 'line' or 'pitch' that puts them more in our perspective on this objection I keep hearing.

        I CAN get them first page almost everytime and have plenty of clients as proof is what frustrates me. I have the skill, an interested person sitting in front of me and more often than not they want to 'pay for results' only. And I'm not talking about actually 'getting' them to 1st page as a 'result' but, as SALES as a result!

        Like: "Does Advertising in the phonebook guarantee you results? ...Any form of advertising carries NO guarantee, but I can guarantee to put you in front of MANY consumers searching for your type of product or service online"
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        • Profile picture of the author Amir Luis
          Originally Posted by cchipster View Post

          I truly appreciate all of the candor here guys. Some good info above! I'm still looking for that 'line' or 'pitch' that puts them more in our perspective on this objection I keep hearing.

          I CAN get them first page almost everytime and have plenty of clients as proof is what frustrates me. I have the skill, an interested person sitting in front of me and more often than not they want to 'pay for results' only. And I'm not talking about actually 'getting' them to 1st page as a 'result' but, as SALES as a result!

          Like: "Does Advertising in the phonebook guarantee you results? ...Any form of advertising carries NO guarantee, but I can guarantee to put you in front of MANY consumers searching for your type of product or service online"
          There are several ways you can approach this... But I can tell you right now..

          The Shark posted the best responses so far.

          Really.... on your website and in ALL your marketing materials you should have client testimonial visible. This will reduce this problem.

          I can understand you being in Pheonix why you would run into this... There are several "less than savory" outfits in Phoenix that change names on a regular basis. Why? Because they are the rip offs.... Running a boiler room chop shop... fresh out of Tent City. (Maricopa County Reference)

          I recently had a prospect make the same offer... he tried to flip it on me.

          My response.

          "I can understand why you would say that. But what part of paying the initial payment bothers you, and is that the only thing that is keeping us from moving forward?"

          Isolate the objection with a tie down question.

          Question Part A: Isolate Part B: Tie Down

          See what I mean?

          He hemmhaaawed around and didn't really give me a solid answer. This told me he was unqualified. He was a salesman type. I know this because he tried to pace the conversation, and he told me how he was selling marketing to resturaunts while building rapport.

          Now the case I was dealing with may have been different. I looked at this guys shoes. The 13 year old car he was driving. The wrinkled slacks... and said to myself. Go.

          I didn't waste much time at all getting out of there.

          I left FAST. I faked a phone call and thanked him for his time.

          I said if there is anything you would like to do in the future that would be great. Now you know my pricing structure and what makes me different from the other guys.

          When you are ready. Just give me a call and I will try and pencil you in as time allows. Have a great day!


          There really is no... 100% standard form answer that is a push button magic bullet when it comes to sales or dealing with clients.

          Each one is a case by case scenario.

          The question I posed above is a solid standard form answer that I give every single time. But it really depends on what the other person says as to how the conversation will play from there.

          Hope that helps...


          EDIT:

          Also... whatever you do don't defend your pricing. Don't waste the energy.

          AND... Follow up.. always follow up within 24 hours. You never know. He may have slept on it and had a change of heart the next day.

          The biggest mistake sales people have is they don't follow up with the people. No or Yes.. Always follow up.
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        • Profile picture of the author mjbmedia
          Originally Posted by cchipster View Post

          I truly appreciate all of the candor here guys. Some good info above! I'm still looking for that 'line' or 'pitch' that puts them more in our perspective on this objection I keep hearing.

          I CAN get them first page almost everytime and have plenty of clients as proof is what frustrates me. I have the skill, an interested person sitting in front of me and more often than not they want to 'pay for results' only. And I'm not talking about actually 'getting' them to 1st page as a 'result' but, as SALES as a result!

          Like: "Does Advertising in the phonebook guarantee you results? ...Any form of advertising carries NO guarantee, but I can guarantee to put you in front of MANY consumers searching for your type of product or service online"
          put together a vid or presentation showing them how you compare their site to their competitors (number 1 spot or whatever spots relevant) , what their competitors site is weak on and that you see no reason why , with XXX amount of work, you cant place your prospect above their competitors. Maybe show them stats of the number of visitors their competitors are getting stating if they only convert .X% thats still $XXXX theyre earning , you can put your prospect in that enviable position for just $XXXX , if they dont take it now, you're going to another of thier competitors until one of them does take it and benefits from it. So why not let it be you?
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        • Profile picture of the author BradB
          Hi CChipster......I agree with the SHARK
          Nice reply by the way Shark i wish i had thought out some of the potential situations before I "Dove In" but for me dive in is best.

          When in doubt say no and move on.

          I have done this same thing,...taken on a client who has a business that is perfectly matched to my experience,..has me excited and has almost endless possibilities to apply all the tricks that build lists and online followings....and get local and even regional people in that door and even beyond that.....

          I could have a lot of fun with this one and I suppose that is why I went ahead.....
          (are you ready for this)......?

          BEFORE he gave me any money.

          Bad, STUPID, Goofy,.......add your own here________.
          ""
          Trust me if they are not willing and happy to give you money up-front ""LEAVE.""

          It might be sad and it might even kill that business but that is their fault NOT YOURS.
          Leave them a card with a link to your site that runs them through the reasons why SEO/SEM will benefit them.

          Then go to their nearest competitor and take those people to the top.

          Though this guy has a great business, location and history he is as cheap as the day is long and has proven to me that even if I give him a great price, which I wrongly did, he will still want more for less.

          Lesson learned ??.......The price factor is the best EARLY indicator of the relationship you can expect for the future.......

          Get yourself a set of prices that YOU will adhere to and never waver on them.

          And have a great day.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew Payne
    What I do is put the decision the customer's hands. You can set up a price chart and say we will charge you this much for X amount of backlinks. This much for X amount of articles, ect. Then you can analyze there competitors site and say your competitor has this many backlinks so if you want to get in the top #3 positions for this keyword your site will more than likely need X amount of backlinks without guaranteeing that those backlinks will get them in the top 3 spots on google.

    That puts the decision in there hands and if they know there competitors site has 5,000 banklinks and say you are charging $1 per backlink and they know can only afford 500 backlinks a month then they will understand that it might take them a year to be in the position they want to be with your services.

    Bottom line analyze the competition. Show your client how many backlinks and content the competition sites have so they will understand the amount of work needed to get to that position. Then figure out a game plan and a monthly cost.

    Be sure to document all of your work and show to it your client at your monthly meetings. That way it is in there ballcourt what position they are in in the search and you are guaranteeing that you are you doing your job on your end by giving them X amount of backlinks and articles per month and you are not guaranteeing them any ranking in google.
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    • Profile picture of the author Transcripts
      Originally Posted by Matthew Payne View Post

      That puts the decision in there hands and if they know there competitors site has 5,000 banklinks and say you are charging $1 per backlink and they know can only afford 500 backlinks a month then they will understand that it might take them a year to be in the position they want to be with your services.

      Bottom line analyze the competition. Show your client how many backlinks and content the competition sites have so they will understand the amount of work needed to get to that position.
      Sorry, to hijack, but regarding competitors backlinks, do you guys think Alexa is an accurate guide for this?
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      • Profile picture of the author Matthew Payne
        I generally use Backlinks Checker Tool - Backlink Watch. It's also best to anaylize the competitors links. Some backlinks are worth far more than others and sometimes you can even put your link in your competitors back links. PR rank does matter, but I believe that diversity of links matters more.
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        • Profile picture of the author TheShark
          Give them 2 options:

          1. No worries (never disagree with a potential client)...we'll do it on contingency in terms of placement - can't do it on results of sales because I don't know how good your sales people are. You'll just need to deposit $XXXX with a 3rd party escrow. The instructions are that once you reach #3 on google organic (places,e tc.) the money transfer to me and if no results by _____, then you get the money back and I keep the work I have done.

          or we have option #2

          $____________ (which happens to be 1/3 the price of #1 above) and I do the same work, you pay 1/2 now and 1/2 when I finish the project. They will usually ask why the drastic difference in price - just say if you have to bear the full risk, then you deserve to get paid more, it's very expensive in terms of labor and time to get the work done.

          or Option #3

          If neither of the above works, that's okay, I've done the research and will go sell it to John Doe (their competitor) - but I do this nicely.

          Keep ownership of everything in either of the above until you are paid in full.

          I actually do everything on results, 50% to start 50% when I get them the outcome I promise. I also charge more than almost everyone else and get it.

          Unless I'm doing something on spec (where I build it all up first, THEN go out to sell it at a great premium), it's pretty much always the 50/50 and I offer a money back guarantee on the first 1/2 (but I keep ownership).

          I also meet with clients at my office, which usually impresses them since most of my competitors have no office.

          I use all white hat techniques. I then usually charge an ongoing fee for maintenance - ongoing backlinks and content update (includes hosting). I do not transfer ownership until I am paid in full. Luckily, I've never had a problem getting paid - the KEY is to only work with the right clients.

          TheShark
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  • Profile picture of the author grin
    My first instinct is that you are closing these the wrong way. If they are up for the idea, then they should understand you at least need a retainer of some kind. If you are coming across as some "fly-by-night" salesman this can happen but other than that, its not uncommon for a company that expects to pay net-30 or similar to give a little up front. One way you can present it is just assume they will send a check and tell them "Great, as soon as I get the first retainer I can schedule you in..."

    Another way to look at it is how Lawyers charge' you can literally have a five second conversation with one and then end up with an invoice in the mail the next week. Doing everything on invoice and "soft speak" sucks for most everyone (we all love to get a check), it can also take a long time - BUT; keep in mind that services that are forced to do that kind of thing charge FAR MORE for it. Again, I think if you are getting that kind of response more often, then you are talking to the wrong people, setting up the close to soft or something in your body language.
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  • Profile picture of the author sandalwood
    Originally Posted by cchipster View Post

    I do not know if its just me, or if others have gotten this too? Alot of business owners I have been cold calling lately are interested in getting to the 1st page of Google, but wont write the check to start?

    Saying they will pay if they get more clients and sales only? Basically only for results? My last 3 appts have said this same thing? Any good rebuttals to this? Advice? ?

    Thanks in advance!
    Ask them if their radio, television, newspaper and other advertising media guaranteed them results. If not, why did they pay in advance? Sometimes you have to be a bit forward.

    Tom
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    • Profile picture of the author grin
      Another way to look at it is that the results are not going to prove as great until its been at least 4 months; just speaking in a general idea of course. This is of course advertising and marketing with quite a bit of project management involved. This is not an off the shelf retail product that produces results immediately.

      You might want to explain the "red queen gambit" to them. That is a wide theory but I tell it like this - If you want to run with the pack and survive you have to make an effort every day, as soon as you stop trying, nature has a replacement for you. The internet works very much the same way, it's a living thing based on a multitude of people looking for what they desire, what they need to help them survive and they are going to take the best opportunity that shows itself when they go looking. Most people get into this all enthusiastic, and most people lose interest about 20% of the way in, they fall off the map and then wonder why the economy treats them so badly. The economy didn't go away, it shifted online and everyone should know this by now from the past twenty years already - but they don't. So, it's really up to you if you want to run ahead of the pack, or drift off to the rear, because this is not only getting hotter by the minute, it hasn't even begun to take over; we're just getting started and its changing everyday. Hell, look at the middle east, that's all facebook and Youtube crushing empires (ok I'm BSing now but what the hell).

      Anyway, take it for what that is, but in general there should be some kind of urgency in how you sell this service and it needs to be long term, so you will get a contract for at least 6 months and also allow you the time to work without getting emails every day (Where's my customers?). This is just like advertising, the results are impressions, its THEIR responsibility to actually sell something NOT yours; you are just getting the company and its prospect introduced. This would be like someone asking you to get them a girlfriend and doing the relationship for them too. As far as marketing, you are delivering analysis that targets clients and their "wants and needs" and showing your customer how to better fit their prod/srvc to the group that is most likely looking for them.

      Now, if they want to pay me for sales - then I want 50% of all revenue; I am not a employee, and producing sales would make me a partner and fifty percent is my demand for sales made, take it or leave it. Of course the point is - I am not their salesman THEY are. You can build traffic campaigns and brilliant webs, but if you have to actually make the sales work for them, then you just went up a notch from consultant to partner.
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    • Profile picture of the author jayspann
      Originally Posted by sandalwood View Post

      Ask them if their radio, television, newspaper and other advertising media guaranteed them results. If not, why did they pay in advance? Sometimes you have to be a bit forward.

      Tom
      I've sold radio and print in the past. We invoiced and sometimes never got paid. At least you can write it off as bad debt.

      What was really funny is that accounts that I had in bad debt would always come back and want to run something. THEN they had to pay 100% up front. Then again I think they would have taken anything considering how far advertising revenue had fallen.
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  • Profile picture of the author SergeyZ
    The trick is to simply not sell SEO. Tons of people sell SEO and position themselves as "SEO experts". What you should do instead is portray yourself as an "online marketing consultant". Offer up a free consultation to determine what service is right for them and what will help them increase their revenues and turn their website from a liability to an asset. Mention how it's quite likely that they've gotten dozens of calls from people promising to get them to a top position in Google. Counter that by saying that, first, no one can truly guarantee a ranking position and anyone who does is, at best, ignorant and, at worst, is giving out false information. State that what you can do is build up hype and bring attention to the client's site through a comprehensive linking strategy. Mention that you'll also market their site through articles, blog posts, press releases, and whatever else that you do. Do not go into specific numbers unless they ask. Most business owners have no idea what PR is, what linkwheels are, etc. It's like a computer salesman trying to sell a computer to a grandmother by telling her what kind of components it has - you're talking the wrong language!

    Furthermore, use the opportunity to suggest other services. Tell them that while they'll get increased traffic to their site it won't necessarily result in conversions. Do a site analysis. Pretty much bookmark every page on their site that lacks a good sales pitch and a call to action. Offer them copywriting services, web re-design (as oppposed to ordinary design), graphics design, etc. services. Outsource all this work. Only, don't think of it as "outsourcing". Think of it as "delegating". You are the boss and whoever does the work is your employee. If a client asks a detailed question about one of the services you're offering (that you are delegating to someone else) simply tell them "I'll have to check with that department first before I can answer that question. I want to make sure that all the information I give you is fully accurate and will help you make money."

    Anyway, that's just a few ideas off the top of my head. Hope they help. Good luck!
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    • Profile picture of the author SergeyZ
      Wow, I almost forgot - as for the billing - charge them upfront. The free consultation (which is also your sales pitch) is your way of getting your foot in the door and building up trust. Lay out a monthly payment plan and write up a contract. This way the client will see it as installment payments and you'll get your money before starting work each month.

      Of course, if they refuse, don't be afraid to walk away. Say simply "I'm very sorry but I can only accept payment upfront. I hope the free consultation has helped. Good luck in your marketing effort!" and make sure they have your contact information. They may always change their mind later.
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  • Profile picture of the author soulpower
    tell em to stick it
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Work on your sales presentation and your closing skills. Master those and you won't have to be rude or argue about payment. You can spread payments however you are willing - but always get money up front.

      Meanwhile - just politely thank those who aren't interested in paying for their time and move on. You will hit this type of person occasionally but shouldn't be happening all the time.

      They may be naturally skeptical, not really interested or don't have the money to pay for anything....later, if a competitor has a good experience with you, that attitude could change.

      Being rude to a potential customer is juvenile behavior. A professional attitude keeps the door open.

      kay
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  • Profile picture of the author hotlinkz
    Originally Posted by cchipster View Post

    I do not know if its just me, or if others have gotten this too? Alot of business owners I have been cold calling lately are interested in getting to the 1st page of Google, but wont write the check to start?

    Saying they will pay if they get more clients and sales only? Basically only for results? My last 3 appts have said this same thing? Any good rebuttals to this? Advice? ?

    Thanks in advance!

    Yea, I'm thinking it is you chipster. It may be your sales pitch, your body language or a number of other psychological factors. However, selling guaranteed Google placement is a worn out gimmick that doesn't get the attention it once did.

    For whatever reason, those last 3 business owners did not take you seriously. You have to go in asking about their needs. Learn what they want to accomplish through their web properties.

    I wonder; would they allow you to cart off a load of their merchandise or use their services on a trial basis?
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  • Profile picture of the author tonyscott
    Originally Posted by cchipster View Post

    Saying they will pay if they get more clients and sales only? Basically only for results?
    I find it odd that you're being advised to run away from a prospective client, after all they aren't saying they don't need your service, they are expressing an interest. Getting in front of businesses that have an interest in what you provide is half the battle won.

    Maybe flip it and ask them what a sale and a client is worth to them, which should lead to a discussion on the lifetime value of a customer and profit margins etc.

    Also ask how they currently convert enquiries to sales/customers and what the numbers are.

    These are fairly typical, if possibly conservative numbers:

    If the average customer spends $30 per month or $360 per year with a business and remains a customer for 5 years and you can generate 1 new customer per week for them.

    At the end of year 1, you've generated an additional $18,720 in sales for the business.
    At the end of year 2, you've generated an additional $37,440 in sales
    At the end of year 3, $56,100
    At the end of year 4, $74,880
    At the end of year 5, $93,600 (to clarify - 260 customers spending $360pa)

    So in total, over the 5 years you've generated $280,740 in sales and built a residual $93,600 income stream. (new customers at this point replace those that leave).

    What's that worth to a business?

    You can ask for the numbers, but a rough approximation is a gross profit margin of 30%.

    They should be interested!

    Build a lead generation site and sell them the leads if they don't want to pay you upfront.

    Tony
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  • Profile picture of the author Larkrise
    I have a question

    I've got the IM tools that help with seo, knowledge about onsite keywords and backlinking, mini nets and all that

    I have been working for my brother, got his site on page one for google - at number one after few weeks manual work

    now its dropped, I now google does this - so he is now paying me to keep up the work, £8.75 per hour

    And he has recommended me to business acquaintances

    how on earth do you price up work

    what do you price work to do

    I'm not technical enough to mess with anyones site unless its in wordpress so I can do a preliminary scan of their competitors, keyword comp and that sort of thing

    then set up a campaign for article submission, backlinking in senuke etc

    am guessing they then need regular work done

    Whether you give me rough guide in dollars or pounds - any info will help - I dont want to get the same rate my bro gives as that is family rates
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  • Profile picture of the author Amir Luis
    @ Lakrise - My pricing comes straight from cost.

    This is what it is going to cost me to have it done... and this is how much I will make for selling the service and moving on to the next customer and selling them the service too.

    I am good with that.
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  • Profile picture of the author theplugindude
    My friend..I lost $500 the same way...I got one client to page 1 on google.com and they said they will pay only when they get new clients...!

    I couldnt do anything else except watching them blabber away..
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    • Profile picture of the author Adam H
      If you can prove to them that you are a lagitamet business and you do actually get results then you shouldnt have a problem. Ask some of your existing clients whether they would mind the occasional person giving them a call to justify that you are the real deal. Give them your portfolio of results that you have achieved and let them know that your happy for them to contact your current clients as a reference that your not going to rip them off. There are thousands of people being ripped off every day for SEO services , its your job to convince them that your not going to do that.

      Organise meeting them if need, generally once you have earn't someone's trust getting them to sign the dotted line is pretty simple.
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      • Profile picture of the author cchipster
        Great stuff here guys and gals, I can't thank you enough!

        Amir, seriously bro, lets get together...lunch is on me!

        I am just too giving and soft I think in my approach and body language like others above have stated. Also, like 'Amir' said, we live in a very, VERY tech orientated city/state and alot of shady con artists here! So, naturally businesses have heard it all and have been scammed once or twice over time.

        The truth is, I am so confident in my ability to perform and rank them I don't mind proving it, but want payment in full once I do! I think I will say something like "what advertising company do you know that you can only pay for the results brought to you on a platter?" All advertising has some risk...lets just work together to eliminate as much of that as we can and build a new client base for you from the internet"
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    • Profile picture of the author mjbmedia
      Originally Posted by prats2992 View Post

      My friend..I lost $500 the same way...I got one client to page 1 on google.com and they said they will pay only when they get new clients...!

      I couldnt do anything else except watching them blabber away..
      why cant you just undo all/much of the work you done for them, close the backlinks, change the on and off page SEO, screw their business , sod them , if theyre not page one they wont get many clients and they go down the pan, good riddance to bad eggs, cheating *******s.

      Come on seriously, you people are in business, dont let these swindlers take the piss so much, fight back, mess up their business without being unethical or illegal, just take back what you done for them, its yours to take back so grab it and give it to their competitors who do pay for it.
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      Mike

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  • Profile picture of the author ryanjm
    I agree with those who are offering alternative suggestions. Maybe it's just me, but I find most business owners are totally clueless about SEO and Internet advertising. Therefore, finding _any_ that are willing to open their wallet is a good first step.

    I like the escrow idea with a larger fee, and a smaller fee for paying 50% upfront.
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  • Profile picture of the author HollyJean
    It sounds like you need to change your sales pitch a bit, and focus on what being on the 1st page of Google will do for them. After explaining that you do not work for free, you could offer testimonials or current customer phone numbers so that they have some "proof" that you will get them to the top. If they still don't buy, walk away - fast!
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  • Profile picture of the author Bruce NewMedia
    Originally Posted by cchipster View Post

    Saying they will pay if they get more clients and sales only? Basically only for results? My last 3 appts have said this same thing? Any good rebuttals to this? Advice? ?
    Very good advice you've been offered here, btw. I sell this type of service every week.
    ...and while it's not unheard for me to get a response like you're getting, its rare.
    And I'll add it's almost always because I did not pre-qualify the prospect well enough.

    Despite their fear of spending money without an assurance of results, THEY DO IT EVERYDAY, anyway. They spend money all the time for services that are not a 'sure thing'.

    Who sells them a service and only accepts payment if the clients are thrilled with the result? Y'know on it's face it's absurd.

    I'm sorry, but its a smoke screen for their REAL fear: They don't believe it will work....and for some reason, they don't believe you. There is something in the interaction/meeting/dialogue that isn't working. (no offense to you personally)

    OR they don't meet the initial qualifier:

    My initial client qualifiers are always the same:

    ARE THEY SPENDING ON ADVERTISING NOW? (the more the better)
    & CAN I REALLY HELP THEM?

    If they aren't spending now, and/or I don't see being able to make a difference in their business, I pass - before the appointment even occurs.
    _____
    Bruce
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  • Profile picture of the author Jake Gray
    Don't work unless you are paid. There is nothing guaranteeing you
    that you will actually make any money. In the end, you'll probably
    be the one to lose money. These types of clients aren't worth it in
    my opinion because they can either afford it or they can't. It's not
    time to play "the game".
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  • Profile picture of the author DennisM
    Dude,

    There's a really easy way around this. Do the "take away" option. Just mention two or three competitors and threaten to walk if they they're not interested in paying upfront. You have to MEAN IT. I have other tactics to get them to buy such as following up 5 days later with a final offer phone call so that's one option.




    This may be off topic a bit from your original question but here it goes.....

    No reason to waste your time on chasing business. If you're relatively new to cold calling just OUTSOURCE it.

    Go on Craigslist and post a job for hire 100% commission only as a 1099 independent contractor. In major cities like here in Chicago it will run you $25 but other major metro areas are still free. What I do is offer a full 50/50 split on the front end one time (could be YouTube "commercials", Fanpage, etc.) and then offer 20% of the residual monthly ONLY if they stay on a sales rep. Once they walk, they lose that 20% monthly. Now, YOU OWN 100% of all the upsells afterwards. Just be honest with the new sales rep.

    On another note, I would offer a service FIRST other than SEO. SEO is too complicated for the avg. business owner. You have talk their language. I would start a local yellow pages type directory (many WP themes out there just for that). Then I would hire someone to scrape listings. Then offer a FREE "image" listing on directory YourCityLocal.com or whatever.

    Now, that's a real door opener when you offer the listing!

    Now, wait 3 days or so and make a follow up phone call "confirming" their listing is now posted. Now, you can finally go into a sales pitch either yourself or the new sales rep.

    Sales takes patience. You need to build a spreadsheet of businesses you've called with dates and times along with intervals of follow up calls. A simple CRM tool would work better but the spreadsheet is good for starters.

    Didn't mean to be long winded here but I feel for those like you who just cold call to death hoping 1 out of 100 sales, etc. I also highly recommend a direct mail model such as post cards. See Tim Castleman posts and click on his sig file for more info.


    Dennis
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    • Profile picture of the author cchipster
      @ DennisM: Wow, great info there! I like the directory 'FREE' listing as a way to get your foot in the door. I have been playing with offering free videos for homepages and free 'quicky' websites to get my foot in the door.

      What is your close rate once a listing is posted and you do the follow up call 3 days later? What is your approach if you dont mind sharing?
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  • Profile picture of the author aclacy
    You could try agreeing to the pay for results, however tell them the price for that, make it 3 times your original quote.
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  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    cchipster,

    Lots of great replies here.

    Yes, you can get them more prospects, traffic, and better rankings. No, you can't get them more sales/clients - that's their job beyond your best efforts and copywriting and other website conversion strategies.

    They might be testing you to see if you are telling them the truth of the matters or you are going to hype them and promise what you cannot deliver just so you can get the deal. So, just come back with the truth of IM services. Perhaps offer guaranteed SEO results - like 6 months more free work if you have not got them page one for xx keywords. IF - big if - you can afford to do that and think they are worth it.

    Also, maybe ask more relationship building questions first to ascertain how you can best help them, work with their budget in a way that saves them face, find out their customer or client aquisition costs and how much a client is worth to them. (And thereby establish your bang for the buck and effectiveness.)

    And then I wonder if they are the type of businesses you want in the first place. Got to trust your gut on that and walk away if they are the wrong people or you're fishing in the wrong niche.

    Are you asking your existing clients for repeat and referral business - perhaps offering a referral fee.

    Finally, are you positioning yourself as an ethical expert and professional? Is your site a credibility establishing site so people know they want to do business with you? Are you offering some free q and a consulting through groups like the Chamber of Commerce, business networking groups, sponsoring or running your own Meetup group...?
    (Eliminate the cold calling eventually.)

    Dan
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    "If you think you're the smartest person in the room, then you're probably in the wrong room."

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  • Profile picture of the author tjbooker
    I have done sales for over 15 years, B2B, and you run into these type of people all the time. I have sat across from many owners and tell them what they already know..."this a number game and if you don't buy from me then your neighbor will". As stupid as it sounds people always want what the neighbors, colleagues, and friends have or could have. Go sell to his competition and then tell him, show him, how you help them. Then charge him double!

    TJ
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  • Profile picture of the author mr2monster
    This is exactly why I believe in a performance based business model.

    I see SEO/SEM's ranking business owners for terms that get no searches and/or have no competition all the time... and it ultimately boils down to a #1 spot for a google keyword that gets the business zero tangible results.

    I prefer to just lay it out there and take the mentality of:
    "Ok, if you want measurable prospects, I'll sell them to you one at a time. It'll cost you more since I'm taking the risk, but I don't have a problem with that because I can deliver... and I sure don't mind collecting $25/lead"..
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    • Profile picture of the author mlcmartin
      I would look at their current results (using SEO Quake for example) and then tell them how this can be improved.

      For example, I've had a client recently who had a flash site with only 1 (!) indexed page in google which was no where to be found for the keywords which were relevant to him.

      I told him how SEO works and why it's important to have a search engine friendly site as opposed to a flash one and I offered him to make the site more friendly. He gladly agreed and now his site is on the first page of google for a phrase that is highly relevant to his business.

      Tell them also that regardless of what keyword they are targeting, it's always a benefit to have a SEO optimized site as opposed to one that is not optimized because in the long run it will always have more exposure since it will also attract visitors searching for wide range of other keywords that may not even be apparent when you first build the site.

      So what have they got to lose by improving their site? It's a one time job and the benefits stretch for years to come. So it's well worth the prices you are charging.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
    Originally Posted by cchipster View Post

    I do not know if its just me, or if others have gotten this too? Alot of business owners I have been cold calling lately are interested in getting to the 1st page of Google, but wont write the check to start?
    Not that any of the advice to look at your closing strategies don't have merit but.......

    your calling is too cold. what are you building/screening your list from?From the sounds of it you are pitching business people who are not actively engaged in marketing their company. If they were they couldn't tell the printer, the advertising agency , Yellow pages, television or radio that they will pay when they get results.


    Sure they should be getting some guaranteed results. You ought to stand behind your work but nothing up front is not something any real business person marketing their company has experienced.

    They either don't value website traffic (and there are still ton loads of businesses like that out there) or they are picking up you are new and just making a pitch rather than being a real problem solver.
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    • Profile picture of the author Amir Luis
      Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

      They either don't value website traffic (and there are still ton loads of businesses like that out there) or they are picking up you are new and just making a pitch rather than being a real problem solver.
      This is probably the case. Most people look at the close and think "that" is where they went wrong.....

      Really.... More than likely the most common screw up is in Step 3 of the sales presentation.

      During the probing or "needs analysis" there are little things you could should build credibility, and you are going to be tested almost every single time.

      What you do during that test is going to determine whether they will take you serious from that point or not.

      You have to remember these guys are hit with sales people constantly trying to sell them advertising of one shape or another. So they know the tricks.

      If you follow the steps to a sale and do not back down when they try and shut you down, all the while having a conversation instead of trying to "sell" them. You will have a greater chance of success.

      I know this may sound greek but it's not.....

      Alot of what you may have had an issue with came in the fourth step or your pitch. After explaining the benefits and how your service will save them time and money. The "way" in which you delivered your price may have signaled via body language that you are willing to negotiate.

      So really, it is hard to say where you went wrong, but body language and phrasing has a LOT to do with whether or not you will be able to close the sale without them trying to renegotiate price.

      If you want more info, within the next 24 hours I am launching a WSO to cover the sales process for offline marketers that are new to sales.

      The people that are not so new to sales could probably use it too. It's always good to have a refresher course. :rolleyes:
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      • Profile picture of the author iamchrisgreen
        Originally Posted by Amir Luis View Post

        This is probably the case. Most people look at the close and think "that" is where they went wrong.....

        Really.... More than likely the most common screw up is in Step 3 of the sales presentation.

        During the probing or "needs analysis" there are little things you could should build credibility, and you are going to be tested almost every single time.

        What you do during that test is going to determine whether they will take you serious from that point or not.

        You have to remember these guys are hit with sales people constantly trying to sell them advertising of one shape or another. So they know the tricks.

        If you follow the steps to a sale and do not back down when they try and shut you down, all the while having a conversation instead of trying to "sell" them. You will have a greater chance of success.

        I know this may sound greek but it's not.....

        Alot of what you may have had an issue with came in the fourth step or your pitch. After explaining the benefits and how your service will save them time and money. The "way" in which you delivered your price may have signaled via body language that you are willing to negotiate.

        So really, it is hard to say where you went wrong, but body language and phrasing has a LOT to do with whether or not you will be able to close the sale without them trying to renegotiate price.

        If you want more info, within the next 24 hours I am launching a WSO to cover the sales process for offline marketers that are new to sales.

        The people that are not so new to sales could probably use it too. It's always good to have a refresher course. :rolleyes:

        This is really good advice.

        Something that you should get from this as well is that there is a system for selling and there is a system for buying.

        You need to have your system working well, or you will default into their buying system. Don't forget that people are trained to buy (sometimes without realising).

        There are many systems out there, but get one that will work for you and stick to it.
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        • Profile picture of the author cchipster
          I think Amir nailed it with the non-consultative approach. Maybe I should be asking more probing question not even related to 'first page Google' results and more about their current marketing efforts.

          I guess I am thinking that is why they called me the appointment? So I just get to the point of how I can help them? I have sold cars and door-to-door in my past so am familiar with closes. 2-3 people were from the middle east and someone told me that over there bargaining is a natural biz practice?

          I dunno. Am just AMAZED that you can offer such a killer service and so beneficial to these companies and its harder than selling ice to eskimos! WTH!!?
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          • Profile picture of the author Amir Luis
            Originally Posted by cchipster View Post

            I think Amir nailed it with the non-consultative approach. Maybe I should be asking more probing question not even related to 'first page Google' results and more about their current marketing efforts.

            I guess I am thinking that is why they called me the appointment? So I just get to the point of how I can help them? I have sold cars and door-to-door in my past so am familiar with closes. 2-3 people were from the middle east and someone told me that over there bargaining is a natural biz practice?

            I dunno. Am just AMAZED that you can offer such a killer service and so beneficial to these companies and its harder than selling ice to eskimos! WTH!!?
            I can NOT imagine selling cars Door to Door....

            That must have been hell.....

            I have sold Steaks Door to Door... That was AWESOME!!!!

            I was hella young and they made me a sales manager and trainer. It was weird managing guys twice my age and showing them how to sell....

            I really don't believe there is any such thing as "too cold" of a prospect. If there is... then you will find out if you follow the steps to the sale.

            When you are probing, you are setting yourself up to find out how to sell them. If you ask the right questions, they will tell you if they are qualified, if they are interested, and how they can be sold.... Just make sure you pass the tests they are going to throw at you to see if you have a pair.

            Really not that big of a deal....
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  • Profile picture of the author iamchrisgreen
    Originally Posted by cchipster View Post

    I do not know if its just me, or if others have gotten this too? Alot of business owners I have been cold calling lately are interested in getting to the 1st page of Google, but wont write the check to start?

    Saying they will pay if they get more clients and sales only? Basically only for results? My last 3 appts have said this same thing? Any good rebuttals to this? Advice? ?

    Thanks in advance!

    A few things could be happening here. Firstly, take us through how the meeting goes for you. How do you set it up?
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  • Profile picture of the author SEOrocks
    Bro..Always be closing! If someone asks to pay for results only, they're broke to begin with and will be a thorn in your side forever. If you're good at what you do, charge for it and shoot them some references.
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  • Profile picture of the author Casper C
    If you designed someone a flyer advertising their product or service, would it be appropriate to not be paid if they made no sales? Not at all. A business cannot expect to steal from you just so that they can safe-proof their risks. Taking risks is part of becoming successful in business.

    With SEO, it's fair enough if they are only willing to pay upon some form of results in terms of the ranking. Put yourself in their shoes. You will either end up managing to give them what they are paying for, or you won't. If you do fail, they're not getting what they paid for, and they need their money back. It's a bummer if you put in the legwork and fail to rank them, you can't really be keeping their money in this case, because they're simply not getting what they paid for. However, I do disagree with them expecting to only pay if they get new clients/sales.

    They're paying for you to do the SEO work, i.e. the ranking. If you get the ranking done; job done, you get paid. If they don't make sales... well, there are obviously a lot of factors with conversion rates. But still, there can be issues if the numbers you researched were not accurate. You're the SEO consultant, so just make sure you really know your stuff if you want to avoid disputes and complications. On the other hand, don't take on clients that will only pay if they make new sales or gain new clients, it's not fair on you.
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  • Profile picture of the author paintbrush4u
    Are you showing them any live case studies... do you have any good testimonials either written or video that you can show...
    if they are saying that to you three times in a row then I think you are giving away something during your presentation that might be raising that red flag. Record yourself and review it later.
    you might find that one thing that triggers the pay only after i see page 1 results or on the other hand you might confirm that you just ran into 3 cheapos....

    You can always say that getting on first page takes commitment. and you would require the client to be commited and take a upfront check for 6 months service. Sell them on being committed and then very professionally ask for the 6 month chk....ofcourse offer a money back guarantee if they are not on page 1 in 6 months or less for the desired keywords
    to your success
    -PB
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    Geo-Targeting and local SEO Consultant
    Yes I do believe in Money Tree - Its just that we call it our LISTs

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  • Profile picture of the author brianbucknor
    Banned
    [DELETED]
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  • Profile picture of the author takanomi
    You need to turn the tables a bit, tell them/show them what you've achieved for others with some powerful testimonials/case studies etc., and speak to more than one business in a niche, letting them know you're offering your services to their competitors too but will only work with one business in that particular niche.
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  • Profile picture of the author redcell1
    Honestly, if your dealing with those clients then 2 things either happened (IMO)

    1.) You did not convince them 100% of what you can do, and your results

    or

    2.) They are cheapskates (I had to say it but you know it's true)

    If it's the 1st issue, then you just need to go over your sales pitch and find the loopholes and close them.

    If its the 2nd Issue, you really cannot do much. I would recommend going to their competitors and pitch to them.
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    Just here to see the shenanigans.

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  • Profile picture of the author LargeBenjamin
    Tell them you want monthly payments. Minimum 6 month contract, if they don´t like the results after that, they can look elsewhere with 1 months notice.
    If they won´t agree to that, walk away, some customers are not worth having. You want people who are prepared to pay for good work. When you provide good work, they will recommend you. I only work on recommendation these days, so my customers are all pre-screened and pre-sold. I don´t have to convince them of anything and I set the terms.
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