If you run an agency that provides digital services to clients, knowing how to sell those services is an integral part of your business. Whether it’s web design or internet marketing, you’ll need to have a thorough understanding of the value these services provide and how to make recommendations to each client to help them achieve their goals.
But in some instances, you may not provide those services yourself -- and that can make it a bit more difficult to sell to the best of your ability. In the case of search engine optimization, it’s clear that this type of digital marketing is a smart investment. But convincing your clients to sign on may not be as simple as you’d think.
That’s particularly true if you don’t know how to sell SEO in the right way. If you’re already part of an SEO reseller program, you already have a team that can provide your clients with great results. But getting to that point may be a challenge if you’re not familiar enough with search engine optimization or even your target audience.
That’s why we’ve put together this reseller guide on how to sell SEO. At Semify, our mission is to grow together. By empowering our partners with the proper knowledge and tools to sell our products, we’ll all be able to grow our businesses and achieve the freedom to be more, do more, and have more as a result.
So how exactly do you sell SEO like a pro? Just follow our how-to guide and you’ll be well on your way.
Become Familiar With the Product
Before you can reach out to prospective leads, you’ll need to do your homework. That means you may need to increase your working knowledge of the SEO plans you’ll be selling.
That doesn’t mean you have to become a digital marketing expert overnight. You don’t have to know how to optimize a client’s site to perfection -- but you do need to understand what’s included in available SEO packages and the benefits those products bring in order to make the best recommendations for your clients.
If you don’t have a clear idea of what’s included in different service packages or why it might be in a client’s best interests to choose one over another, you won’t feel comfortable when it comes time to sell. As a result, you might recommend the same package for every client or flounder when a lead asks for a more in-depth explanation.
SEO isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Each client will have different needs, which means you need to be prepared to make service recommendations based on your understanding of the product’s value. That all starts with furthering your knowledge of what’s included in each package, why it’s there, and how each service could benefit a potential client.
Fortunately, you don’t have to figure all of this out on your own. As your partner in SEO, we can work with you to ensure your understanding of our service plans is both accurate and thorough. Once you have a better grasp on the service plans you can sell to clients, you’ll be able to expand on that base knowledge to guide your customer along their digital marketing journey.
Get to Know Your Potential Client
So now you know the product -- but do you know your client’s business and their needs? Without those crucial pieces of information, your sales pitches won’t be strong enough. Not only do you need to make good use of your SEO product knowledge, but you also need to relate those services back to your client’s goals and the unique challenges they face.
Don’t dismiss the idea of investing in your clients without the guarantee of returns. By taking the time to get to know your clients before they actually agree to work with you, you’ll show how much you truly care about their business and overall success. Ultimately, this upfront investment can pay off -- not only during the initial sales process but also in terms of client retention.
In other words, you should put in the work to become a bit more familiar with your prospects during the early stages of a sale. You should learn more about their industry, what their business does, and how they find their own customers (and who they are). If you know how successful their other forms of marketing and lead generation are at present, you can also make better service recommendations. You should also take the time to find out whether they’ve ever worked with an SEO agency before (or whether they know anything about SEO at all) and how long it’s been since they last redesigned their business’s website. Be sure to ask about their competitors, as well, and do some of your own research to see how this prospect stacks up.
Once you’ve gathered all of that information and have established a bit of a rapport with this prospective client, it’s time to assess whether they would actually be a good fit for your business. While it might be tempting to take on any lead that comes along, you need to set your business and your clients up for success. In some cases, you might be able to help them reach their goals -- but in others, you might end up wasting time and resources on a lead that isn’t actually ready to move forward.
This is all part of determining whether a lead is truly qualified or not. A prospective client that doesn’t have the budget, the timeframe, or the digital presence to benefit from your services will end up being dissatisfied with anything you sell or that your SEO team can offer. Even with proper setting of expectations, there’s only so much that can be accomplished without the right foundation in place. SEO might not be an appropriate choice for a business that is under a time crunch or that hasn’t established any kind of real presence on the web. Understanding the limitations your lead is working with can allow you to determine whether they’re ready for your services or whether they’ll need to go another route.
It’ll also be helpful to determine which common customer profile resonates most closely with a given lead. There are some leads who will readily see the value in what you have to offer and will purchase your services without a hard sell. Other leads are more data-driven, which will require you to back up your claims with figures and other evidence to convince them that the potential results are worth the gamble. There are even leads that will be reluctant to relinquish control and will need to feel as though everything is their idea. Once you figure out the category in which your lead belongs, you can tailor your approach to maximize your sales success.
Establish Your Sales Process
After you’ve done an in-depth analysis of a prospective customer and feel confident that a lead can benefit from your services, it’s time to delve into how to sell SEO. Doing all that necessary prep work will set the stage for how you’ll approach the client -- but you also need to establish a sales process that works.
Your sales process might not look the same as someone else’s in your industry, but it’s important to be consistent within your own agency so you have a framework to refer back to in virtually any scenario. Whether you sell over the phone or in a virtual meeting, you’ll need to prep, ask the right questions, and hone your approach for optimal results.
Ultimately, your goal in speaking with a prospective client over the phone is to entice them to book an appointment with you. Once you go through your script -- which should be thorough enough to prepare you for any circumstance but not so rigid that you’re unable to connect with the client -- you’ll probably establish a step that offers to prepare a report for the client. When meeting in person (or through a screen), you should prepare some extensive materials like a deck, site audit, a case study, and a proposal that clearly lays out all of your recommendations, the value SEO services can provide, and all pertinent contact information.
You should develop a step-by-step sales process that can guide the client along and get them into the right frame of mind to say “yes” to your pitch. But once you have that structure, it’s time to focus on the materials you’ll prepare and the superior level of communication you can bring. When used effectively, these two factors can make all the difference.
Develop a Killer Proposal
It’s not enough to have confidence in your abilities. Part of knowing how to sell SEO is adding the “show” aspect to your show-and-tell.
That means you’ll need to create a compelling proposal for a prospect that includes some in-depth information about the client’s business, your SEO process and recommendations, and specific deliverables and timelines.
Crafting the perfect proposal is a bit of an art -- but luckily, we’re here to lend a hand. We can help you design a proposal that will seal the deal with your qualified leads by offering clear solutions to their problems and showcasing the value of SEO services. By reinforcing what they need and how your support can help them achieve their goals, you’ll have a strong selling point from the start.
Practice Active Listening
Before meeting with a prospective client, you’ll want to do everything in your power to make your sales pitch come off as both natural and confident. Finding common ground, asking questions about the client’s business or their website, and practicing active listening can be great places to start. Rather than talking over a client or trying to bully them into working with you, remember to lead with empathy and realize that your response to clients will matter just as much as the value of your services.
You’ll want to anticipate common barriers -- like a lead’s lack of faith in SEO or their current commitment to another agency -- and come up with effective ways to counter those objections while still ensuring the client feels heard. Take a beat to truly listen, summarize the points you’ve just heard, and follow up with a question. Once you know your client feels heard and valued, you can help them see how your agency can address their needs. By showing your commitment to stellar communication, you can give these clients a preview of what they can expect when they work with you. For many people, that may actually be just as important as the results you provide.
Close the Sale With Confidence
Knowing how to sell SEO eventually comes down to that make-or-break moment. When you’ve put in so much work leading up to closing the sale, it can feel intimidating. But it’s important to feel confident in all of the behind-the-scenes preparation you’ve done and to stand firm in your final pitch.
There are a few ways to go about this. You can identify their needs and the benefits of your services before following up on an offer to book the work without assuming their answer. You can also assume that the answer will be “yes” and choose to take a slightly more aggressive approach while still asking a question to ensure they’re on board. No matter what approach you go with, you should be concise. Rather than ramble on and risk ruining the momentum, feel self-assured in your approach and allow your prospective client to answer in the affirmative. Make sure the ball is in their court and that they’re given the permission to make their decision. No matter what happens, you can feel proud of your process and take what you’ve learned to improve other sales pitches and client interactions.
Although this guide doesn’t cover every single scenario you might encounter when discover how to sell SEO, we hope this will be a great starting point as you grow your agency. Of course, we’re dedicated to your growth and development. As part of our reseller program, we’ll be able to grow together all while providing valuable digital marketing services to business owners across the country. For more information on our white label reseller program, please get in touch with the Semify team today.