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How a Good Salesperson Can Teach You to Be a Better SEO Consultant

clip image002 0026 How a Good Salesperson Can Teach You to Be a Better SEO ConsultantI recently had the opportunity to review the work of a fellow SEO company in the form of recommendations they had made for a client’s website. It was a good report, full of information about duplicate page titles, internal Page Rank flow, and other helpful statistics about their site.

Yet, the client left that SEO company, and mainly because of the helpful report that I saw. The problem is that it didn’t help the client make sense of what they were viewing, and without providing that clarity, the client was overwhelmed and under impressed. Yet, any good salesperson could have helped create a more useful document.

Most sales processes involve identifying the features of the product or service and the benefits they provide. For example, the fact that a widget is made of reinforced titanium is a feature, whereas the fact that it will save you money because you will never have to replace it is a benefit. In the sales process, benefits, not features help sell a product.

In consulting, a similar dichotomy exists. The fact that a website has several 404 pages indexed could be valuable information, much like a feature, but without the expertise to process that information, it’s useless. A consultant’s role is to bridge that gap by demonstrating the benefits of fixing the problems they’ve found.

Does a client need to rewrite their title tags? Tell them how it might benefit their rankings and click-through rates.

Dozens of pages of duplicate content? Explain to them why a search engine won’t index those pages and how it’s affecting their users’ experiences.

No matter how expansive the knowledge or how exhaustive the research, the most impressive consultant is the one who can help a client understand the obstacles in between them and more business.

jesse How a Good Salesperson Can Teach You to Be a Better SEO Consultant

Jesse Laffen

Jesse Laffen is the Senior Consultant for Slingshot SEO in Indianapolis Indiana.

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8 thoughts on “How a Good Salesperson Can Teach You to Be a Better SEO Consultant

  1. Often you can sell using benefits and never mention a feature if providing a service to client. For instance a lot of mutual fund buyers don't care about 12b1 fees or about industry concentration in their fund, they want to know that if I invest my money here will I be able to retire. Talking too much about features that people don't understand just confuses them and makes them feel stupid. They will never tell you that. They tell you they will “get back to you” or they “need to think about it” but all those are signs that you confused them and lost the sale.

  2. I'll admit, we've lost a few clients because we were too excited talking about all the technical stuff that we SEO's dream about ;) Always have to remind ourselves, how does this benefit the client? Focus on that and you'll be successful.

  3. It is funny as in the chiropractic and bodycare professions we have been approached by the techno-gabble rather than a smooth salesperson. Instead of hook-line-sinker (think auto insurance commercial) we were talked out of working with them. I recommend every SEO and SEM company read 'Getting to YES' – it worked on us eventually.. :P

  4. Good article. Being customer centric pays off. At Hispanic Market Advisors, we see our clients' businesses as an extension of ours. We help them succeed, and then, our clients become our business partners, and best than any sales team.

  5. Instead of hook-line-sinker (think auto insurance commercial) we were talked out of working with them. I recommend every SEO and SEM company read ‘Getting to YES’
    it is very useful for me,you will get good grades!

  6. Instead of hook-line-sinker (think auto insurance commercial) we were talked out of working with them. I recommend every SEO and SEM company read ‘Getting to YES’
    it is very useful for me,you will get good grades!

  7. Instead of hook-line-sinker (think auto insurance commercial) we were talked out of working with them. I recommend every SEO and SEM company read ‘Getting to YES’
    it is very useful for me,you will get good grades!

  8. That’s a great point, and I’ll definitely think hard about features vs. benefits next time I’m writing for a client. That said, I’m a little surprised that this SEO company put themselves in a position where one report could hurt them so much. Why not just write a contract regarding website ranking for specific keywords with an expectation of results in 6 months or so? Then don’t report what needs to be done, just do it. Then you’re being directly judged on the benefits: you can say “you’re now #3 for this word and this month it got you X visitors, #5 for this word and got Y visitors,” etc. Of course, you have to be confident you can get results.