More threads by Linda Buquet

Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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This is a guest post by local freelance writer Carmen Rane Hudson

Have you ever had a hard time getting a business owner to invest enough money into your services to make it worth your while? Perhaps you’re dealing with one of those hard-nosed contractor types who doesn’t want to pay more than $99.00 a month for any type of marketing. Maybe you’re dealing with a 72 year old realtor who still doesn’t get this whole Internet thing.

Frustrating—especially when you know the value of what you do. You know you’re great at local SEO, and you know your services can really help clients grow their businesses.

So how can you end the disconnect between their problems and your solutions?

Keep it Simple

We’re all immersed in the Internet marketing world, so it’s difficult to imagine anyone failing to understand terms like “citations,” “rankings,” or even “SEO.”
Yet you’d be amazed by how many people stop me to ask, “What’s that?” when I start talking about SEO in the middle of a casual conversation.

Some business owners know they need to “rank in Google,” but sometimes this understanding gives them just enough knowledge to be dangerous. They start focusing on position (and only on position) as if the position itself were the real solution.

Focus on the Real Solution

Your prospect’s real problem is not that he’s not #1 on Google+ Local. His real problem is his phone is not ringing. You may solve the problem by getting him to that “A” spot on Google Maps, but Google Maps is just a means to an end. If getting his phone to ring required you to fly a plane around with a big banner behind it you might well be doing that instead.

So when you’re talking to these prospects, you have to make sure you’re saying, “I will make your phone ring. You will see an increase in business when you work with me,” not, “I will help you rank better in Google+ Local.” One matters. The other is meaningless (from the customer’s perspective).

The customer’s other pain point is that he’s spending a ton of money on advertising that isn’t working. You already know it’s not working because he’s at #59 on Google Maps and you already know that’s where 90% of his customers are looking for him. Your solution—even at reasonable prices—is still likely to be a lot cheaper than the ridiculous Yellow Pages ad (or whatever) he’s still relying on.

If your customer really wants to know all of the ins and outs of citation-building you can certainly tell him. Or you can just say, “I can list your business in 92 directories currently getting 90% more attention than the Yellow Pages, for a fraction of what you’re paying now.”

Of course, you’ll want to ask some questions about the current marketing strategy so you can tailor that comment to whatever the customer is really doing.

In the meantime, goodbye disconnect, hello new clients.

What do you think?
Any other good tips for communicating this to new prospects???

About the Author: Carmen Rane Hudson is a writer who has created content for plenty of local SEO professionals. Find out more about her services by visiting

P. S. Here's an image and post about a simple analogy to help people understand Local SEO.
<a href="">The Local Search Puzzle - Illustrated</a>

Plus for lots more business building tips, check out others posts in our <a href="">Consultant's Corner Forum</a>.

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Actually been trying to figure out how to so this recently. Im not so much of a "on my feet thinker," or a salesman, but there is obviously an intrinsic value in being able to tell anyone SMB owner or not, why what my team does is important.
Hi Gerry, good point.

FYI I've been top in sales most of my life in various industries, but I've never SOLD anyone. Never pressure, never close. Never ACT like a sales person because no one likes to be 'sold'.

I think in this business, especially, a consulting style approach works best. Ask lots of questions to understand business, pain points and needs. Then help them understand how you can help them with those issues. More soft and educational, as opposed to selling.

That's how I've always done it anyway and it worked for me. PLUS when people call me that's what wins me over. If I feel a pitch coming I get off the phone quick. I think most people are like that. But if you express general interest in their business needs and ask really good questions and LISTEN most of the time, instead of TALKING most of the time, usually it works much better.
Great Post! This goes back to the old sale adage - Benefits sell not features!!

The Feature - Benefit approach works best when you tell them the benefit is your phones will start ringing or your foot traffic will increase.

To a client telling them they will be number one in Google for xyz keywords means nothing. Getting them excited about the benefit of good local SEO is the key to moving them towards your offer.

You do want more interested prospects calling you don't you Mr. Business owner??
"So when you’re talking to these prospects, you have to make sure you’re saying, “I will make your phone ring. "

Arrgghh. So true, Linda. And, just when Google decided to suppress phone numbers in local listings. :mad:

Actually, I completely accept what you said, though. One of the recurring themes in my own marketing is, "More Calls For New Service". :)
The folks at SEL did a nice write up on explaining local search with pizza. I found it very informative and it doesn't get into the detail that causes people's eyes to glaze over but makes them more interested in your service, in my opinion. Here is the link:

Need Help Explaining Local Search? Use Pizza!

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