More threads by Linda Buquet

Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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This looks like great survey data to start a discussion with here at Consultant's Corner.

Myles from BrightLocal shared the following eye opening piece at Search Engine Land last week.


<a href="">Is selling SEO services getting harder or are SEOs just not good at it?</a>

Is selling SEO services getting harder, or are SEOs just not that good at it?

I ask this question this because I’ve recently had a number of conversations with SEOs — freelance and at agencies — and almost all complained about difficulties in pitching and converting SMBs.

It’s well-documented that business owners get bombarded with calls and emails from SEOs trying to convince them that they need their services and that they can deliver the moon-on-a-stick.

The graph above says a lot about the problem. Companies get bombarded with SEO calls and the proliferation of SPAM calls sure does not help either.

But Myles also goes into: "Simple ideas to help SEOs pitch less & win more" including a survey of which new client acquisition channels are most successful for Local Search Consultants.

Since comments are closed at SELand I thought this would be a good discussion to start here.

What do you think?

Any other data jump out at you?

Are you finding it harder or easier to talk to prospects and/or close deals?

What's your fav method for gaining new clients?

Just have to say that I can only imagine how hard it is to prospect these days.

Back when I still worked client-side a few years ago it was so much easier. But even back then I never prospected. Even as I was learning the biz, I was positioning myself as an expert and giving away advice for free on forums & social. That way leads came to me.

That strategy bypasses all the initial prospecting hurdles because they feel they already know & trust you. It also allows you to charge more, being perceived as the expert.

Attracting leads instead of chasing leads is the way to go IMO.
Although I don't sell seo services myself I believe an seo professional should take a page out of the yellow pages. Lets face it, yellow pages were the dominant form of advertising for local business's not that long ago. They also mastered the ability to get money out of small business's and return them leads that provided revenue.

When I say take a page, I was actually meaning literly. Find an old yellow pages book, maybe 5 years old. Find full page ads and then research those business's that had full page ads. In a lot of cases the business was built up solely on yellow page advertising and now they are struggling to replace that stream of leads.

Next, contact them directly, walk in and say hi in person. Me as a business owner will not give credibility to anyone that calls because I have just been bombarded with calls. But it would be very hard to turn someone away if they had an old yellow page book with my ad in it that has done the research to give me a reasonable expectation of results if I hired them.

So in reality your taking two pages out of the yellow pages. First a page out of their play book by visiting in person, and second a page out of their dirctory to find potential clients willing to spend money in marketing.
To add to Valescence's yellow pages tip, there's a ton of places that businesses advertise online as well. A lot of niche specific small business directories have a 'featured' or 'spotlight' section front and center for each city, and it's usually easy to even get a quote from said directories to find out how much the featured businesses are paying. It's not too hard to put together a list of hundreds, or even thousands of small businesses in a particular niche around the country that are currently actively investing in their business.

In my view too, a cold sales call is just about the worst thing ever. Even if you can close enough sales to fill your hopper, it's bad karma, and you can just as easily invite to free training, or have any other number of introductory ways to introduce yourself without going straight for the sale. My two cents at least.

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