As the world-wide leaders in white label SEO services for small businesses, we get asked a lot of questions. One of the most common is, “I know other companies can do it, but can I sell SEO?” We completely understand why this may be a common question asked. SEO can be a bit complicated and thinking about how to sell SEO for the first time is overwhelming. But the main takeaway from this article is that you can pitch and sell SEO without being an SEO expert, and we’ll explain how.

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The 4 Categories of Successfully Selling and Pitching SEO Services

Make sure you’re prepared

In 1919, the Reverend H. K. Williams wrote in a periodical, “If you fail to prepare you are preparing to fail.”

It would be incredible to just wake up, get to work on time, and immediately give 100% to your work day. But life doesn’t quite work like that. Giving something your all takes preparation. Especially when you’re selling SEO services to get new business.

1. CRM software

Use a CRM software that can help you stay organized and keep client information up-to-date. Keep record of important information like phone numbers and email addresses, correspondence between you and the client, and personalized information like birthdays or anniversaries to stay connected on a more personal level.

2. Update your website

You can’t pitch SEO services to clients without having an online presence of your own, and a good one at that. Remember to update your website to reflect accurate information and provide a good user experience sans technical bugs and glitches. This doesn’t mean you need to be an SEO expert, just that you need to give people a way to find you and get your information as well.

3. Easy access to sales pitch script

Place sales scripts and helpful collateral where you can access it easily. Knowing where the answers are will keep you cool, calm, and collected when your customers ask questions during your pitch. And if you don’t know how to answer a question, that’s okay! Be honest. Tell them that you will look into that and provide them with an answer shortly.

Know who you are selling SEO services to

4. Identify a market that you can serve.

This may be one of the most important areas of an SEO sales pitch (or ANY sales pitch for that matter). You can’t start selling SEO services until you know who your target market is. SEO is so vast! There are national SEO services, local SEO services, and YouTube SEO services just to name a few options.

If you are a new white label SEO reseller, start with low hanging fruit opportunities. Is there a niche that’s underserved and that can truly benefit from SEO? What kind of SEO services can you offer (the kind that your partner can excel on)?

From your existing customers, what types of businesses and websites express the most interest in SEO or can benefit most from it? Pitching SEO services along with another digital marketing product can be a natural fit, like website design and development or paid media advertising. Use your existing clientele and offerings to your advantage!

5. Understand your client needs.

Once you have identified your target audience, learn about their needs. In order to successfully sell anything, there has to be a clear need and an understanding of it so you can pitch a solution. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have they done SEO before?
  • Will SEO help boost their website and business?
  • What kind of SEO would be best for their business?
  • What are their goals (i.e. increased traffic, increased brand awareness, or immediate lead generation)?
  • What is their budget and does it match up with your needs as a reseller?
  • Do they have the resources to meet their goals?
  • Do you have the resources to help them reach their goals?

These questions will help you identify who is a qualified sales lead so you can then increase your chances of closing on that SEO sales pitch.

6. Research the client’s website and competitors.

A way to demonstrate your willingness to go above and beyond for a client is by auditing their website and understanding what they are currently doing well, what can be improved, and what their competition is doing. We can’t stress enough how important it is to be aware of what competitors are doing if you want to stay ahead of the game. Thoroughly research both your potential customer’s site and their top competitors, and bring this to the SEO sales pitch. Boostability offers a free website SEO analysis tool that you can use on your potential customer’s website.

Communicate effectively

7. Be honest and genuine.

First and foremost, remember to be honest and genuine with your intentions. If you’re selling SEO services, don’t sell it to anyone and everyone just to make a quick buck. Do you research and understand who would actually benefit from an SEO campaign. Believe it or not, there are some businesses and industries that may need a different marketing strategy that would serve them better than SEO would at that point in time.

8. Avoid jargon.

“SEO” in itself is jargon. Many people have no idea it stands for search engine optimization and that search engine marketing is another thing entirely. Try to steer clear of jargon. Use layman terms wherever possible and use the full terms in place of abbreviations.

9. Ask the right questions

As you’re meeting with potential clients, remember to ask them questions that will resonate and that you can pass along to your SEO fulfillment team. This will help you as you create a strong proposal and strategy that shows the client that:

  1. You listened to them
  2. You understand their needs and goals
  3. You have an action plan on how to achieve these goals
  4. You have a realistic timeframe of how to do this

So what kinds of questions are considered the ‘right’ questions?

  • Have you performed an SEO campaign before?
  • What does success look like to you 3 months from now? 6 months to a year from now?
  • What challenges have you experienced with SEO or digital marketing in the past?
  • Are you looking for someone to provide full-service SEO or do you just need help with specific areas, like content creation or link building?

10. Be consistent and transparent with your communication.

As a reseller, you’re bound to act as an account manager as well. Therefore, you will be communicating with your clients, not your white label SEO agency. Communication is key to any successful relationship, so don’t let this slip through the cracks.

Communication is a key when it comes to pitching SEO because it’s an industry that’s constantly evolving. Use this to your advantage and communicate what trends have changed, if new algorithms have been released, how their industry or website has been affected, and of course, what competitors are doing to stay ahead of the game. Nothing fuels the fire quite like competition!

11. Read the room and adjust your SEO sales pitch accordingly.

Or read the phone call, as the case may be. Sales rarely happen the way they are scripted. People are different and respond differently to different tactics. Be flexible in the way you sell! Be aware of how people respond and react to you. Are they reserved or skeptical? Chances are that they may have been burned by a previous SEO agency or did not see the results they were expecting. If so, be gentle with your approach and show that you have done your research on their business. Remember to never, ever promise anything. That’s a sure fire way to fall short of peoples’ expectations.

The best SEO sales pitches change based on how familiar or educated customers are on the topic. If you use the exact same pitch on an SEO novice as you do an expert, your SEO newbie will be confused and possibly ashamed of their lack of knowledge. Conversely, if you talk to an SEO-savvy person like they’ve never heard of Google, there’s a 99.9% chance they’ll think you’re patronizing or making fun of them. If you don’t adjust to your customer’s knowledge base, the conversation will be stilted and the connection you’re trying to make with your customer will break.

12. Educate your customers.

On that note, some people know next to nothing about SEO except that it’s a hot topic and Google is involved, and will pepper you with questions. The best SEO sales pitch involves educating your clients. By the end of the meeting, they should understand what the value of SEO is and how it can serve their business and website. Don’t worry if you don’t know the answer to every question. It’s better to be honest that you don’t know but you’ll find out rather than make up a fake answer on the spot. This will lead to problems in the future that can degrade your reputation.

13. You’re more than a salesperson, you’re human so let it show.

If you’re making an SEO sales pitch to someone who owns a bakery, ask them if they bake your favorite treat. If they don’t, say something like, “Oh, you don’t carry pumpkin muffins? You should totally consider it. I’d shop there all the time if you did!” It humanizes you and makes you more approachable and authentic. Just remember that there is balance in all things. Don’t invest in personalizing your pitch so much that you lose sight of the purpose of the call: helping your customer rank on the first page of Google by way of SEO.

Every call is unique if you connect with your customers. Actively listen for moments where you can personalize your SEO sales pitch. If you do, it will help you treat each call like it’s the first call of the day. Or second call of the day if you’re like me and need a few jolts of caffeine in the morning to get going.

14. Take detailed notes and pass along to your SEO fulfillment team.

Sales has a lot of moving pieces. You’ll be capturing information about a customer’s business, industry, and goals. Whether on your computer or with a notebook and pen, write it all down and save it. Every tidbit of information you gather about your customer’s business is ammunition for your white label SEO provider to create a successful campaign. The better you know your customer’s business, the better their SEO will be.

Be confident and transparent when selling SEO services

15. Pay attention to the portrayal.

In an attempt to illustrate value, many specialists use an SEO pitch that paints their job as the superhero who sweeps in to fix the incompetence’s of other people in the organization. No one wants to feel belittled. Don’t make potential clients fear that you would police and restrict their every move if they hired you.

16. Create a comprehensive proposal

When it’s time to deliver on your final SEO sales pitch, create a comprehensive proposal and present it to the customer. It shows that you’ve taken the time and effort to create a detailed strategy of how you plan to help your customer achieve their business goals and grow their organic presence. Make it visual! Too much text is boring and it won’t stick in people’s minds. Use graphs, charts, assets and whitepapers, or previous deliverable examples.

17. Set clear and attainable expectations.

The best way to set up a sale is to be completely open and honest about what you can and can’t do for your client. Good SEO simply can’t be done overnight. Typically, keywords don’t start gaining traction till six to nine months into the campaign. If you promise first page rankings in 3 months, they will be sorely disappointed and angry. This also applies to assets and deliverables. Set clear expectations with what you can and cannot offer with your clients. Talk with your partner on what their expertise is and what they can deliver on, so that you can then communicate that to both existing and potential customers.

18. Be transparent and realistic when discussing your customer’s budget.

Pricing changes drastically depending on your customer’s market, industry, and location. For example, if a corporate lawyer in the insanely competitive market of New York City wants to rank on the first page of Google, they’ll need to pay more than $200 a month for SEO. There simply isn’t enough budget for the amount of work that would need to be done to achieve their goals.

19. Be 100% certain of your product or service.

In our 11+ years in business, we’ve unearthed a multitude of mistakes because someone was only 90% certain about pricing, timelines, and processes, and didn’t double check the 10% they weren’t sure about. It’s better to find the correct answer than a quick answer. Don’t be afraid to be truthful with your customers and say, “I don’t know, but I’m going to find out.”

20. Remember to follow up

Building onto the effective communication skills we listed above, remember to follow up after your SEO sales pitch presentation! Small business owners are busy people. If you don’t hear from them immediately, don’t take it as a sign that they don’t want to do business with you. Send them a follow up email, or better yet, call them. Until you hear them say they are not interested, there is still a chance. However, don’t be pushy. No one wants to be harassed.

What to Avoid During an SEO Sales Pitch

We mentioned a few of these briefly, but just to reiterate what not to do when pitching and selling SEO services, here’s a quick list.

  • Do not promise fast results. While there are some strategies that can provide relatively quick wins, SEO is a long process and takes time. On the other hand, a major benefit of SEO is that it’s a sustainable marketing channel. Meaning that overtime, your SEO strategy will continue to serve your website (when it’s executed well) and will generate organic traffic that can turn into higher sales and revenue without having to pump in more ad spend like you have to do with other marketing channels.
  • Do not claim that SEO is a one-time thing. This is simply not true. SEO requires ongoing maintenance and certain tactics must be a continual process, like link building and content development. SEO is an industry that is constantly changing and algorithms are being released hundreds of times a year. Therefore, SEOs have to change the strategy along with it to keep it performing well.
  • Do not over-promise and under-deliver. Like we mentioned earlier, set realistic expectations with your customers. And for the record, you need to set realistic expectations with your SEO agency as well. This applies to results and deliverables, as well as communication frequency. It’s better to under-promise and over-deliver.
  • Do not fake an answer to a question you don’t know. Making up an answer to a question will get you into more trouble than the temporary relief it provides at the moment. Your customers are smart. If they catch you in a lie, even if it’s not malicious, that’s hard to come back from. It’s okay to not know the answer to every question. Respond by telling them that you don’t know but will research it and get back to them ASAP.

Boostability Will Help You Learn How to Sell & Pitch SEO Services

At Boostability, we value the partnerships we share with our SEO reseller partners. That’s why we go beyond just fulfilling SEO strategies, we will help you learn how to sell SEO services and take it all the way to the finish line. Each partner is assigned a Partner Growth Manager (PGM) who is in charge of managing this relationship and providing assistance to our reseller partners.

Your PGM will provide you with assets, deliverables, and training material to better understand what SEO is, how we can deliver on the service, and how it will help your potential customer. From there, our partners can utilize our Sales Support team that will guide you through the SEO sales pitch process. It’s not an automated system, it’s a live phone conversation you can have. And they will help you close the deal with a 30% close rate. You’re not alone in this. Boostability is there right alongside you as you’re selling SEO services to businesses that can really benefit from it.

First Impressions are Last Impressions

For many, the first impression they’ll have of your company is that initial sales call. Use that call to instill trust and loyalty in your company and your product.

Simon Sinek says, “Loyalty is when people are willing to turn down a better product or price to continue doing business with you.” Loyal customers are worth up to 10X as much as their first purchase. Build a foundation of customer loyalty by being prepared, connected, and honest when you sell SEO.

Interested in learning more? Visit our SEO Partner Program page to learn more about our team, our proprietary technology that helps deliver results, and what this partnership includes!

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Matt Tennison is the VP of Partners and Business Development at Boostability.