“Perhaps your favorite dessert is strawberry cheesecake. Excellent choice! Now, if you were to go fishing, would you bait your hook with cheesecake? Of course not — that’s what you like, but fish prefer worms.
Lloyd George, Great Britain’s Prime Minister during World War I, who stayed in power long after the other wartime leaders had been forgotten, was asked how he managed to remain on top. His response: He had learned that it is necessary to “bait the hook to suit the fish.”
In other words, give people what they want, not what you want.“
This is called, solution sales and it’s what happens to you before you spend a boat load of money at your local Apple store.
Think about it… you visit the Apple store and before they try to sell you anything a sales rep asks you what your problem is and what you are looking for. After your response, they present you with the best product option fit for your needs.
——> How the Sh*t does this relate to SEO?, you may ask.
Well if you’re just getting started then perhaps you’re greatest asset is time and the ability to give clients what they want; which larger agencies can’t give them… your time and attention.
If you’re just starting out stay in close contact with your clients. Let them know every time you do anything on behalf of their campaign. Even if your results are coming slower than if you had experience, your touch points will make up for it and you’ll retain the client.
——-> How else can you use this lesson? Well it can help you to charge higher prices for your SEO services and even offer the right SEO services.
I use it quite often on any initial phone call with a potential SEO client. It’s helpful to get the client talking, investing more energy, and it allows you to understand their biggest pain points completely.
For example, when you receive a phone call from a potential client; you could begin a conversation talking about yourself, your agency, your results….. but what if the client who called you doesn’t care about any of that? (Realistically they do but only in context to their business).
It goes that people prefer to talk about themselves so immediately give your prospect the opportunity to do just that. By allowing the potential client to talk about themselves, you’ll be in a better position to quote them accurately, charge more, and deliver what they want.
Doing those three things above will help you dramatically.
Now, lets take a look at the difference between straight forward answers to an inbound call and first learning which bait you should use.
1). Straight forward answers phone conversation.
—–> The call might go like this:
Potential Client: “Hi, my name is John and I found your website and was looking for pricing for SEO.”.
You: “Hey John, I can absolutely help you with that. Are you a local business or what is your website?”
Potential Client: “My website is Financialadvisornow.com. I help people invest wisely and offer various IRA and Roth account management”.
You: “Perfect, well our local SEO pricing starts at $1,000/month and includes social media postings…..”
Potential Client: “Ok.. Thank you. We aren’t needing social media as there are strict regulations against us giving financial advice on Facebook…. We’re just getting some pricing and will be in touch again quite possibly. Thank you! Click….”
*******Direct answers are not always helpful. A tough concept for men to often grasp. And yes, there is a line between dancing around a question and strategically abstracting enough information to engage the client and understand their wants.
Generally speaking…. the longer you can engage the client on a phone conversation before revealing pricing, the better.
2). Lets take a look at how a conversation might unfold if you first learn which bait you should use.
——> The Call might go like this:
Potential Client: “Hi, my name is John and I found your website and was looking for pricing for SEO.”
You: “Hey John, I can absolutely help you with that. Lets take a look at your website together. Just so I’m familiar, are you nearby a computer?
Potential Client: “My website is Financialadvisornow.com. And yes, I’m calling from the office.”
You: “Great, ok I see you have a WordPress site that looks very clean. And you’re in Minnesota….. however I can immediately spot some SEO related issues that need attention. First, why don’t you tell me more about your business and ultimately what you’re looking to do online.”
Potential Client: (now curious what the SEO issues are & still doesn’t know pricing)
“Well we just had this site built and the web design company said it would include some SEO but we’re barely showing up on Google even searching for our name now. Before the new website we also showed up about 7th on Google for Minnesota financial advisor and a few other words.
So I asked them about it they didn’t say much. So now I need to have that fixed because about 90% of our business is referral based.”
You: “Ok so the web designers messed things up. We see this quite often…. There are several things we see web designers do poorly from an SEO perspective. They normally forget to connect your site with Google. (speak in lamen’s terms) You can actually notify Google when you make changes to your site so that you don’t lose rankings.
I can also see they didn’t include your brand name in your title tags. They merely put your website URL. A title tag is basically how you label your website so Google understands it.
Your homepage should have your main keyword and brand name in the title tag. Next….
(From here you demonstrate knowledge because you know the bait should be proving you possess superior onsite SEO expertise compared to the web design firm that previously missed it.)
To add, you also know that this client might be happy with just a 1x onsite SEO sweep for which you could charge $2k – $3k and be done. (remember clients that have a budget of $500/month can equally afford a 1x deal at $2,000 if it will provide them the same value. The difference is less ongoing work and management on your end.)
In this situation you might have concluded during the call that only 45 minutes of work are needed to fix the onsite SEO. And it would be worth it to the client who would otherwise lose his entire referral based business not having his onsite fixed by an expert.
To conclude ……. know thy fish, choose thy bait; read good quotes.