What motivates SEO Prospects to Buy? (Hint: It’s not technobabble!)

So you've landed an SEO Sales prospect. Great job..you've genuinely completed half the battle. Starting the conversation is an incredibly crucial aspect in the sales pipeline. But don't give yourself a pat on the back so fast. In my 6 years within the SEO Industry, I've held witness to far more things than I can recount in this primer alone. What I'm going to delve into today are the How SEO Salespeople COMPLETELY MISS what motivates their clients!

This Just In: Prospects DON'T CARE about technobabble and jargon.

They DO care about their Business and how SEO nets themROI.

Yes, I get it. There's a time when a prospect will have a specific question regarding a particular algo update that just tanked their website. Yes, if that happens, briefly demonstrate that you understand your $*** extremely well - and then move the interaction forward! REMEMBER..Prospects will NOT be motivated to sign a contract by learning about the lack of keyword density on their website or lack of anchor text diversity. THEY WILL BE MOTIVATED by understanding how their investment equates with the new exposure they will receive, as well as what dollars they can expect back from their investment.

Case in point Example: John's Home Building Company

John's Home Building Company in Dallas is a fictitious General Contracting Company. Not only is Dallas a huge city with numerous suburbs, but John can market a variety of services.

What I DON'T want to ask:

  • Why aren't your title tags optimized?
  • Why aren't you utilizing a variety of link sources?
  • Did you know that the latest Google update penalizes ____?
  • Why aren't you devoting separate pages to capture each keyword?
Why? Because JOHN DOESN'T CARE. You aren't speaking a language that John speaks. And John's goal isn't "How can I utilize a more diverse source of links?" It's more like "How can I make money and get more exposure?" Simply put.. Title Tags don't sound sexy. And link diversity doesn't move pens to sign on dotted lines. Except SEO Salespeople choose each day to defy sanity. As well as their chances to close deals.

What I DO want to ask:

  • Do you also offer kitchen, bathroom, and basement remodeling?
  • What's your average profit on a job for those 3 services?
  • Do you have the capacity to grow in those areas?
  • Do you service some of the surrounding cities with 100k+ residents?
  • Did you know that there are ___ amount of people searching for kitchen remodeling in _____ city/suburb? (Follow up with: "That's a lot of people, isn't it?)
Why does John care? Because every day John thinks about what a kitchen remodeling job lands him. John also understands the value of reaching people in high-income/high-population suburbs. YOU ARE SHOWING JOHN THAT YOU UNDERSTAND HIS BUSINESS & WHAT IT NEEDS. And as someone who understands his business model, who is ALSO adept at SEO,you are a unique person to spearhead his marketing. In other words, you're one of him.

What you want John to imagine when you speak with him about SEO

You would like to explain to John that SEO is just like any other marketing: Just like TV, Radio or Print. What John can understand makes John less fearful. How? Simple. There is X amount of money he will invest to gain exposure to ____ people who are targeted because they ______. From that action, he can expect X + $ in return since:
  • 1 Bathroom Remodeling job a month nets him $___
  • 1 Kitchen Remodeling job a month nets him $___.
To make things sweeter for John, he can even profit if his ROI falls to 50% of expectations. Sounds pretty good to John, right? Now, John can visualize a situation where he's acquired 1 additional kitchen remodeling job every other month, and the prospect is satisfying. Let me ask you this: Do you think the prospect of greater link diversity makes him feel the same way?

OK..Let me clear something up..

Let's face it: In the SEO game, a lot of your A-Prospects will have been burned before. Likely, they will want to understand where their last company went wrong. This article is not to give you an excuse to not know your stuff when the time comes. The point is that by leading with techno-jargon and industry terms, you are making yourself an ineffective spokesperson for what SEO accomplishes for your prospect. The Golden Rule: Only discuss industry terms when the prospect has given you a pointed question about it. Discuss it enough to demonstrate that you "get it." But then know when to move on.

In conclusion

I promise, I've worked with countless SEO Salespeople before. In my tenure, I closed numerous 2, 3, 4 and $5000/month deals. I've been through the process all too many times. We must always understand that people invest in marketing because they are motivated by ROI. They are motivated to take their offline business model and make it more effective online. Online marketing is not some detached vacuum and should not EVER be presented as such. As with any sales, we must always understand how crucial it is to relate to our client's mindset.