On This Page
- Initial Contact Email
- Setting up The Consultation
- Qualification Phone Call
- The Proposal
There are multiple ways to do SEO sales. This is just the way that I like to do it.
Someone will contact your via a contact form on your website. When they fill out the form some questions are immediately sent to them via email. Personally, I use ConvertKit to do this.
This is the email they are sent:
Hello [NAME], Thanks for reaching out. I’d love to talk to you about [DOMAIN.COM] and see if we'd work well together. Can I get you to answer a few questions for me so I can learn a bit more before we schedule a phone consultation? 1) Tell me a little about why you’re looking to start SEO for [DOMAIN.COM]. And what business goals are you concerned about? 2) Do you have a budget you’ve set aside for SEO? And is it over $[XX]/mo? 3) When are you looking to kick-off your SEO campaign? 4) Are you going to the ultimate decision maker for any SEO initiatives? And should we plan on inviting other members of your team to the initial consultation? 5) Is this a new type of project for your company, or have you worked with an SEO company before? Next steps would be to choose a time we can meet and go over your business and ways I may be able to assist. Thanks, [SIGNATURE]
If they don’t reply to this email, disqualify them immediately. If they do reply but don’t answer the questions, disqualify them immediately. This is a test to see if they respect your time and know how to follow simple instructors.
If they do not meet your minimum budget requirements, you can disqualify them immediately. Realistically you can’t do much SEO work for them if they don’t have a decent budget. If you are just getting started in SEO and don’t have many clients you may want to start with a lower budget like $300-$500/mo and do most of the work manually on your own. For example, doing the link outreach yourself, writing new content yourself, etc. If you are more experienced and have more expenses I recommend a minimum budget of $1000-$2000/mo. That way you can hire specialists for link building and content creation which will give your clients better results.
Assuming they have replied to your email and answered all of the questions, you can reply to them to set up a phone consultations.
You can reply with something like this:
Hello [NAME], Thanks for replying with your answers. This is very helpful to me. Let's go ahead and set up our phone consultation. Please choose a time here that works for you: [CALENDLY LINK] I'm looking forward to chatting! Thanks, [SIGNATURE]
This phone consultation is really a “Qualification Call”. Your ultimate goal is to see if this potential client is someone you can actually help and if you gel with each other.
If you can’t actually help them, disqualify them immediately. You don’t want to take someones money and not give them some type of positive SEO results.
On the call you want to extract the possible value of a lead / customer for them and go over the Socratic questions. I’ve modified them to fit my needs. Of course, there are other things to discuss but I’ll go into a little more detail on the questions and ROI.
Worst Case Scenario
Be the Hero
The first step is to ask your potential client what problems they’re having with their local SEO strategy (or lack thereof). Maybe something is broken on their website or their phone isn’t ringing enough. Let them talk about all of the SEO-related problems they’re having and hear them out. Let them vent everything. Spoiler: By doing so, you can swoop in at the end of the conversation as the hero who has the solutions to their problems.
What business issues are you having that you think SEO might solved?
Why do you think the last agency didn’t work out?
Why do you feel you aren’t receiving enough leads from your website now?
After you’ve nailed down their main SEO problems, ask them what their worst case scenario will be if they don’t address their problems. Will their rankings tank if they don’t get their website fixed? Will they go out of business if they don’t get the phone ringing? The goal is to get them to realize that the problem is pressing (because it probably is), and that they have to take action before things get even worse.
How could [PROBLEM] negatively affect your business?
Will your lead volume continue to suffer if you don’t fix [PROBLEM]?
Would you say your website is losing you many customers to your competitors?
Now that you’ve identified their problem and the worst case scenario, you can move the conversation in a more positive direction. This is where you should ask your potential client what their ideal outcome is. For example, what benefits would they see if their local SEO problem was resolved? Let them frame their own answer so they can clearly see the dangling carrot in front of them, possibly for the first time.
If we were talking here 12 months from now, what would you like to have achieved from working together?
Could a better performing website bring you in more leads, customers, etc.?
What would more revenue mean for your business?
Now that you know what their wants and needs are, you can swoop in as the hero. Tell them you can attempt to fix the problem they are having (if you can actually do it). Give them hope that their problem can be resolved with your help. This will help them to see that there is in fact a solution; one that has the potential to turn everything around.
You’ll also want to ask them about their customer value and conversion rates so that you can estimate ROI for them. I do this near the end since you’ve already built some rapport with them. They may not want to share this information but it’s worth a try. We want to extract this information so that we can include it in the proposal. I’ve included a simple ROI template in the proposal template.
Just an estimate, how much is an average client worth to you during their customer lifetime / year?
And how many people do you typically talk to before you get a customer?
Here’s a proposal template for you if you need one. Template
I don’t recommend sending them the proposal immediately. Set up a screenshare so that you can go over it together. You can use a tool like Zoom, Google Meet, Uberconference, etc.
Remember to include them in the discussion, don’t speak at them. Ask them if they understand, if they have any questions, what they think of things, etc.
Sometimes they get excited about seeing data about their own site. Open some tools like Ahrefs or SEMRush and show them live data about their site that needs fixing. For example, low traffic trends, keyword drops, competitors, few backlinks, etc. This also can reinforce your skill.
You simply want to ask them if they are ready to get started.
Based on everything we have covered today, the investment is going to be $[XX]/month. Where would you like me to send the agreement?
So, to do all of this, the investment is only $[XX]/mo with a choice of two packages.
They may give an excuse not to move forward such as:
Excuse: I need to think about it.
Their Possible Concern: I’m not ready. I don’t know if I trust you yet.
Your Reply: I understand you need to think about it, but let me ask you a question, what is holding you up from making a decision today? On a scale of 1-10, how confident are you this will generate enough leads? Find out what they really think of the proposal to see if you need to make some changes to it. Remind them they can cancel anytime (if that’s the case).
Excuse: I need to speak to my business partner.
Their Possible Concern: I’m not ready. I don’t know if I trust you yet.
Your Reply: Ok, but can you let me know by Monday? We’re only looking to take on one more client this month, and can’t reserve the position for long. Add urgency to the deal.
Excuse: Can you send this proposal to me?
Their Possible Concern: They may want time to think it over. They may not be impressed just yet.
Your Reply: Sure, no problem. But do you like the idea of the campaign I’ve shared? Do you believe me that this campaign will generate you an additional XX leads per month? Find out what they really think of the proposal to see if you need to make some changes to it.
Excuse: Can you do anything on the price?
Their Possible Concern: They don’t think what you are offering is worth the price.
Your Reply: What is the concern you have? Do you not think the value you would be receiving is worth the investment? Remind them about the implications and the payoff. If you have the ROI projections, bring this up again.