Help Me Sell A Client on SEO

17 replies
I'm doing web design and SEO services and starting to get busy. I have a client that I built a site for and now I've told him he needs SEO to get more traffic.

He agrees 100% but he's not willing to pay up front. He wants to see how many calls he gets first.

What do you say to someone like this? He's in a cleaning type business and he tells me his clients don't pay until he cleans, why should he pay me before he gets calls.

I know I can get him ranking for his keywords, but I have no real control over the number of calls he gets and I have no idea how many calls he would need to consider my services worth it.

Suggestion?
#client #sell #seo
  • Profile picture of the author Matthew Payne
    Many business owners fail to realize the true value of SEO. They think a website will just bring them more business. I have a friend who has a client who is paying him around $20,000 to build this amazing site. Yet this client does not have enough money to pay for SEO.

    I have run into that a few times where clients want to see results before they pay for SEO. You simply have to tell them that is not going to happen. You would be amazed how many business owners still really don't understand the internet world. They don't understand the true value of a website, SEO, facebook fan pages, twitter, ect......Many of them jump on the band wagon because everyone else is doing it. Yet they don't really get it.

    The best thing you can do is to educate your client as much as they are willing to be educated.
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    • Profile picture of the author Neil M
      I ran into something very similar the other day. I struggled for a minute but I notice the tides turn when I explained that SEO was a long term solution not a short term fix. You have to stress that aspect to clients.

      I would also tell him cleaning a house takes 1 day, SEO takes months. Would he work for 2-3 months for free? Who would? Nobody.

      That's just what I would say. Hope that helps.

      Neil
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      >>>>Visit Rising Ideas Labs <<<



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    • Profile picture of the author Fernando Veloso
      Originally Posted by Matthew Payne View Post

      Many business owners fail to realize the true value of SEO. They think a website will just bring them more business. I have a friend who has a client who is paying him around $20,000 to build this amazing site. Yet this client does not have enough money to pay for SEO.

      I have run into that a few times where clients want to see results before they pay for SEO. You simply have to tell them that is not going to happen. You would be amazed how many business owners still really don't understand the internet world. They don't understand the true value of a website, SEO, facebook fan pages, twitter, ect......Many of them jump on the band wagon because everyone else is doing it. Yet they don't really get it.

      The best thing you can do is to educate your client as much as they are willing to be educated.
      Thats why more and more SEO companies are creating niche websites in every market you can imagine...

      Just sayin'...
      Signature
      People make good money selling to the rich. But the rich got rich selling to the masses.
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  • Profile picture of the author Neil M
    Originally Posted by mikeroosa View Post

    I have no idea how many calls he would need to consider my services worth it.

    Suggestion?
    Ask him...that's how you'll know how many calls would make it worth it.
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    >>>>Visit Rising Ideas Labs <<<



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  • Profile picture of the author truly_gifted
    DON'T DO IT!

    Plain and simple. Unless he's going to have you come sit in an office and work as a 9 to 5 employee on PAYROLL, you get your fees upfront.

    Don't argue with this guy, and don't let him make you sweat. Pay-per-lead can be a profitable business model, but it requires too much of your time if you ask me. Just tell him that you'll leave him to think about it while you go strike up a deal with his competition.
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  • Profile picture of the author ashleysmith12
    Hi There,

    You can create a account on odesk and then choose the option find jobs. You will be definitely hire by someone else.

    Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author Brad Seid
    Hey Mike,

    Are you familiar with Google Places? I would sell him on Google Places first... I've used this technique for local restaurants and it is killer and a lot faster than trial and error with SEO..

    I am going to attach a *in* further down and show you how I sold a restaurant on the affects of google places. For those that don't know what google places you'll see below..(Replace ** with tt)


    h**p://www .google. com/#hl=en&sugexp=ldymls&xhr=t&q=restaurants&cp=4&qe=c mVzdA&qesig=JSjhzNSZXitg-ogLuQucAw&pkc=AFgZ2tnI9FB8MssoZZD5ePo5JwL3bnDS7Ral Tc2xel4FZRAU4DTutPIDBazAnDyH4BOlSq_Nl43eUIQOuS1HOR iUefDQ3oxBPA&pf=p&sclient=psy&site=&source=hp&aq=0 p&aqi=&aql=&oq=rest&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&f p=fb24566ec04f6e52&biw=1138&bih=551




    The red tear drop symbol with the letters inside is "Google Places" So D'Amatos was not even a ranked letter before my service.. All i did was click the Place Page button and Subscribe as the owner of D'Amatos for the owner. Within the next few days it was at letter A...

    This technique should be able to work for all local businesses
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Clough
    I see the position you're in.....he's already your client! Otherwise, you should tell him to go pound sand!

    But, in the same token, do you work for free? Ask him if he works for free?

    At least get something from him

    All the SEOs I do for local people.....they pay!
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  • Profile picture of the author Fernando Veloso
    3 Steps:

    One: Tell him bye bye politely.
    Two: Create a site targeted to HIS market
    Three: Splash the TOP rankings on his face and ask for the double - otherwise there is competition waiting for your call.

    Probably not the best advise you'll get, but this exactly what I do when a customer thinks he's the expert.

    Signature
    People make good money selling to the rich. But the rich got rich selling to the masses.
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  • Profile picture of the author freeburd
    When a doctor tells you 'No more candy' what do you want? You want more candy, right?

    Here is what you tell the customer: 'You know, it may not be for you'.

    Your future client to be will immediately want to know why you say this. He will try to prove you are wrong. That's selling YOU on changing your mind and accepting them as a customer. That's terrific, isn't it?

    Do something people do not expect you to do. It gets attention immediately! That's exactly what we want to do:get attention first.

    Getting attention is step #1 in a very popular copywriting method AIDA: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. It works!

    This method of a prospect closing is called 'takeaway close' and it is used by experienced marketers when closing sale is difficult and they need a little push.



    Originally Posted by mikeroosa View Post

    I'm doing web design and SEO services and starting to get busy. I have a client that I built a site for and now I've told him he needs SEO to get more traffic.

    He agrees 100% but he's not willing to pay up front. He wants to see how many calls he gets first.

    What do you say to someone like this? He's in a cleaning type business and he tells me his clients don't pay until he cleans, why should he pay me before he gets calls.

    I know I can get him ranking for his keywords, but I have no real control over the number of calls he gets and I have no idea how many calls he would need to consider my services worth it.

    Suggestion?
    Signature



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  • Profile picture of the author balkina
    Hi there

    This happened to me in my early days with offline - it doesn't happen now.
    Here's why, with my two solutions:

    If you're confident, do the SEO for him - state your price and ask him to pay on success, in say 60 days - in addition, you want a glowing testimonial! Or, go for a 'pay-per-lead' or 'percentage' of any job. (You can track this).

    Either way, this tests your clients honesty and also how effective your SEO is. If you win on this, you have a great client and a testimonial for your future clients! If your client isn't honest - you probably don't want him anyway!

    Hope this helps!
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  • Profile picture of the author keliix06
    Originally Posted by mikeroosa View Post

    He's in a cleaning type business and he tells me his clients don't pay until he cleans, why should he pay me before he gets calls.
    He has no expense until he cleans either.
    Signature
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  • Profile picture of the author albag999
    If it was me I would ignore this client.

    I would go on some freelancing sites, like Odesk, Elance and People Per Hour.

    This will allow you to gain a great success in getting more clients.
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    • Profile picture of the author seomilo
      Originally Posted by albag999 View Post

      If it was me I would ignore this client.

      I would go on some freelancing sites, like Odesk, Elance and People Per Hour.

      This will allow you to gain a great success in getting more clients.
      Absolutely right. I choose oDesk, its ensure that you get work against your $$.
      Signature
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  • Profile picture of the author LakiPolitis
    I like the people's response that don't say turn tail. I would definitely sit with your client and ask him, when you are hired on a contract basis to clean offices, homes, etc you send invoices and they get paid or you stop services, right?

    It's just basic business sense. When in contract, you send weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly (some sort of regular interval) invoices. If he doesn't send in the checks, you stop doing the work. But he'll notice immediately that the numbers are increasing. So he'll cut the checks if he's honest and you trust him.

    On a side note. Make sure you have a separate phone number set up from his regular line that forwards to the regular line so you can track the number of people that have found the phone number you've posted online. Otherwise you won't be able to track your advertising efforts. Google Voice is a great tool for this if you can get a local number, otherwise have him purchase an extra line from the phone company. Then when some one calls xxx - xxx - xxx2, instead of the regular link xxx - xxx - xxx1, you can track that as a lead you've generated.
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  • Profile picture of the author DanielleLynnCopy
    Hi Mike,

    I wouldn't spend energy trying to convince him to use your services. That's an uphill battle - and as Freeburd mentioned - it's better to position yourself as the person HE should be convincing to work with him.

    However, your prospect does have one good point (and you agreed) - SEO does not guarantee he'll get calls - it's the site's copy and conversion funnel that makes that part happen.

    If you know how to set up a conversion funnel on his site, I'd suggest charging him for that first, and show him how traffic would turn into leads. Then charge him for the SEO. But be upfront with him and tell him that he needs those things to make the SEO effective.


    This is what I show offline clients to explain the flow from traffic to conversion:

    SEO with targeted keywords to get eyeballs on the page > Good design for clear navigation > persuasive sales copy to get customer response > clear call to action to get customer to take an action > product/ service for sale to make money


    Clients are very responsive when you're 'real' with them and show them that you're just as concerned as they are that their investment is worth their time.

    So when you show clients this bigger picture, and you can help make it happen for them, they're usually more than happy to pay for your services - even SEO that can take a while before you start seeing results.
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  • Profile picture of the author kmids
    Simple business contract...the person who assumes more risk charges more.

    If he wants to pay after the services agree on a # of calls that will say your work is complete and charge more for your services since you assumed more risk.

    If he wants to pay less then he pays at least partially upfront.

    Remind him that at any fast food joint, he has to pay before he gets his food.
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