Critiques and insight on my prospect strategy

3 replies
I've been an in-house SEO in the home improvement industry for the last 3.5 years. I'm branching out and starting my own SEO and video marketing side business. I want to target small businesses in my city. My husband is unemployed and I've been showing him the ropes of internet marketing, so he can do the grunt of the work while I'm at my day job.

I'm sure some of you will cringe, but my two methods of contacting business thus far are e-mail and Facebook (only 5 companies on FB). I want to think my approach is different though, because I send my prospects CUSTOM videos with their business names and logos showcasing their low Google ranks complete with screen shots and targeted keywords. I use the same template and just regenerate the video with specific info. I emphasize they are losing business to XYZ competitors who are on page 1. I've sent about 40-50 of these e-mails, all complete with videos, so far. No responses (I'm sure this is not nearly enough to say that it is or is not working).

Then, I contacted only 5 businesses through Facebook using a similar method. Except this time, I created templates for fun/engaging "commercials" businesses can use on their Facebook pages. I send these videos already finished with their phone number and logo. Out of the 5 I contacted, one responded asking for revisions... then she just stopped talking to me. (FYI: On this method I'm targeting prospects who already advertise in print) Two of them didn't even watch it.

I feel like I have something really great to offer that can make money, but I'm terrible at sales. I'm educated and good at what I do, but I fall flat when it comes to selling. It doesn't help that most small businesses don't seem to "get" what SEO accomplishes, even when you say bottom line is it helps get new customers.

I'm using these videos to get my foot in the door and gain monthly clients for SEO service. I feel like I'm so close to the finish line, but something is missing. Do I need to incorporate cold calling? Do I sound like I am all over the place? Am I not giving things enough time?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
#critiques #insight #prospect #strategy
  • Profile picture of the author kemdev
    If you're still using terms like "SEO" or "Page 1 rankings" or something similar in this market you're going to have a hard time coming by sales. These two terms make business owners cringe. And you're right... they don't get it. I doubt they ever will, because it doesn't really matter to them. It's a driving force that brings in more traffic, which in turn brings in more people contacting them. Leads. And that's all that matters to them.

    I've never sent out any direct mail, let alone done videos, so I can't comment on the effectiveness of the strategy as a whole. But showing them low Google rankings won't cut it, and premising your whole pitch on getting them better rankings doesn't really drive the point home.

    Better rankings = more leads. If you're going to do the video... tell them you can get them more leads, then tell them how many people on average are searching for keywords that are relevant to them, and then show them websites you own (or clients websites, with permission) that are getting good amounts of traffic. Show them screenshots of rankings that lead to this traffic. What's even better is if you can show tracking that leads to more emails/phone calls.

    As for the Facebook thing, I don't think giving away this small of a service will lead to increased sales. I wouldn't do it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    Originally Posted by mandalynch View Post

    but I'm terrible at sales. I'm educated and good at what I do, but I fall flat when it comes to selling. It doesn't help that most small businesses don't seem to "get" what SEO accomplishes, even when you say bottom line is it helps get new customers.
    You are prospecting in a way that is the easiest to ignore.

    You need to actually meet your prospects, or talk to them on the phone. And nobody is interested in SEO...partly because thy don't know what it is. At most they think "It's a complicated online thing".

    You need to study prospecting. After you are in front of the prospect, everything will be easier after several tries.

    One thing is you have to learn to see everything from the prospect's point of view. They want sales. They want phone calls from interested customers. That's what you are selling.

    One approach you could try (based on your post) is to go to networking events, and mention, in passing what you do. But the way you do this will change everything.

    When I introduce myself, I ask what they do for a living. They tell me. Then they ask what I do for a living. I say "I supply quality leads and sales to businesses that already own a website." I stole that idea from James Hickey.

    Once I say it, I change the subject. Maybe a third of the people will stop me and say "Wait, what did you say? How do you do that exactly?"......And then it's a downhill glide.

    If only someone could recommend a great book on prospecting. It's impossible to completely cover this in a forum post.
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  • Profile picture of the author savidge4
    The fatal flaw in this concept is I think pretty apparent. The prospect that asked for revisions.. that you probably made and then sent the revised version... is probably using your video FOR FREE.

    What type of work did your husband do before he lost his job?

    You might want to ask Claude for a link to purchase his book on how to sell this very same model.

    Originally Posted by mandalynch View Post

    I've been an in-house SEO in the home improvement industry for the last 3.5 years. I'm branching out and starting my own SEO and video marketing side business. I want to target small businesses in my city. My husband is unemployed and I've been showing him the ropes of internet marketing, so he can do the grunt of the work while I'm at my day job.

    I'm sure some of you will cringe, but my two methods of contacting business thus far are e-mail and Facebook (only 5 companies on FB). I want to think my approach is different though, because I send my prospects CUSTOM videos with their business names and logos showcasing their low Google ranks complete with screen shots and targeted keywords. I use the same template and just regenerate the video with specific info. I emphasize they are losing business to XYZ competitors who are on page 1. I've sent about 40-50 of these e-mails, all complete with videos, so far. No responses (I'm sure this is not nearly enough to say that it is or is not working).

    Then, I contacted only 5 businesses through Facebook using a similar method. Except this time, I created templates for fun/engaging "commercials" businesses can use on their Facebook pages. I send these videos already finished with their phone number and logo. Out of the 5 I contacted, one responded asking for revisions... then she just stopped talking to me. (FYI: On this method I'm targeting prospects who already advertise in print) Two of them didn't even watch it.

    I feel like I have something really great to offer that can make money, but I'm terrible at sales. I'm educated and good at what I do, but I fall flat when it comes to selling. It doesn't help that most small businesses don't seem to "get" what SEO accomplishes, even when you say bottom line is it helps get new customers.

    I'm using these videos to get my foot in the door and gain monthly clients for SEO service. I feel like I'm so close to the finish line, but something is missing. Do I need to incorporate cold calling? Do I sound like I am all over the place? Am I not giving things enough time?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
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