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First Offline Client - Experience Inside

Discussion in 'Offline Marketing' started by squidkai1, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. squidkai1

    squidkai1 Junior Member

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    Hey guys,

    So this past weekend I had setup my website, posted on a few forums for advertising, and even used an ad words voucher to get my startup going. Today I received a call from a resort in Oklahoma that had a website and wanted to get it ranked on the big G. I have to say, I was pretty ecstatic when they actually called me!

    Now for the experience of the conversation that took place.

    Basically they knew very little in the terms of SEO and website optimization. I think a few people on the BHW forums pointed out that even just reading a few posts about what SEO is and how to rank will grant you more knowledge than most offline business owners have and this is absolutely true. This owner knew about keywords and implemented them on her website, but she did not know why her site wasn't ranking. She then told me about how she wanted her website to bring in more organic traffic as she was using PPC advertising when she contacted me.

    After this was discussed, she asked how I would get her website ranking in which I told her a very broad answer (which I would have went into more details, but if they don't ask then why waste the breath?) and told her that it just involves a linking strategy that will "fuel" your website. I emphasized on the word fuel to the owner so that it sounded more convincing.

    Needless to say, she liked what she heard, even complimented me on my website (I used trendy site builder lol) and then we discussed pricing.

    Here is where it got sticky and maybe you guys may have some input...

    Going back on the website itself, which is a resort in Oklahoma, I advised her that i base my cost structure around the lifetime value of the customer for their business. After seeing the pricing of up to $475 a night at this resort, I figured the cost should not be an issue. Oh it was....Basically I told her that I could start her off at $999 per month which includes everything in her campaign that we would need to get her going. Unfortunately she stated they don't get that kind of business usually and that she could only do $99 per month. Yikes!

    I told her I would write up a mock outline of what all the services would include for on page seo and off page campaigning and would send it to her, and if she liked it, then we could discuss a more reasonable price as the $99 per month wouldn't even cover the tools that I use to get her site going.

    Anywho, just thought I would share to all of those that are looking to get the ball rolling in the offline group and see what kind of suggestions I could better myself with. I have the sales mentality of start high and go low.....but really? lol.
     
  2. The_Clarkey

    The_Clarkey Junior Member

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    How did you come up with the $999 whilst having a phone call with someone? I would research into what keywords would be best for her and which would convert the most (buying keywords). work out how much that would cost to rank for, try and get an estimated conversion rate. Then you can give her a clear lay out of money spent to potential money gained. If you can show her a good ROI she shouldn't be worried about what you charge her as long as she can see profit.
     
  3. anti_dote

    anti_dote Power Member

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    Tell her you only get what you pay for, I mean the $999 offer was not really a smart quote because I see it as not a professional or very convincing figure, However, you can do some paper work and tell her if she gets on Page 1 for that keyword how many potential clients would visit her, and taking some percentage ratio how many would convert into clients. Tell her she is already spending money on PPC why not on Organic traffic? and I believe when it comes to pricing don't lose your ground explain her your expenses and all that.

    Good Luck
     
  4. brainstorm1

    brainstorm1 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Yeah, I have learned to avoid ALL money talk on the phone completely. Tell them that it is just too difficult to access and that every project is different with separate requirements.

    Let that be a lesson to you. Don't talk price - sometimes it is tough, but for SEO/ORM services just keep being vague. I suggest you come in at a lower level, but a more reasonable one in between $99-999.

    Forget price to start, though. You need to get their pressure points and show them your value. If that doesn't work then you can do some other sales techniques to close, but that is for another time.
     
  5. MeetTheVirus

    MeetTheVirus Regular Member

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    I had a client similar to yours when I was first starting out doing side clients (I work 9-5 doing SEO for an agency but never really took out clients outside of that)

    I started out a lot lower since I knew this clients competition was so low, that his website could potentially rank pretty well on its own. So I wanted to lock him in on a ongoing maintenance and reporting after the initial work was done.

    I have 3 price figures when it comes to clients sites, a starter at 297/mo. (low comp) 597/mo. (low/med comp) 1k/mo. (med/high) - for clients in extremely high competitive niches I do a quote after looking over everything that needs to be done before even considering jumping head first.

    Long story short, I jumped at him for with the 597, just to see his reaction. Well his reaction wasn't good lol.. so I told him I have a starter package that I think would do great but - it would have to be a long term investment if he would like to keep those rankings. He understood and after spending about a month getting him to page 1 for his keywords. I continue to get a steady 300 a month from doing nothing but adding some content (outsourced) and back links (outsourced) once a month to maintain his current rankings and get him other long tailed keywords for his local business. In the end he is happy because I save him a few hundred a month in adsense and in the end im happy because, once a month I call him, send reports, backlinks, and add a page of content (takes maybe 2-3 hours for all this since majority is outsourced) and I walk away with about a hundred an hour. On top of everything I also ended up getting a thousand dollar client through him.

    You need to understand the ROI and competition will be different for everyone. For a client that has low sales / low comp - they will not want to pay thousands a month for SEO. If ROI is high and competition is high - then please feel free to charge thousands, if they don't want to pay it then walk away.

    The cheap clients are normally the WORST to deal with, they will want 500 hours of work for dirt.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
  6. Scripteen

    Scripteen Elite Member

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    Did you ask her how much does she spend monthly on adwords and which keywords are they targeting with their campaign?
     
  7. JanaSEO

    JanaSEO Junior Member Premium Member

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    You really want to get a greater scope of what they are trying to accomplish before throwing out a price. I went from sales to actually doing the SEO for our agency, and one thing thats always helped me get a high dollar sale was to not talk price or try to close on the first call.

    Get a feel for what they want, if they have worked with another SEO before, what they liked and didn't like about the other company if they did, ask what their online goals are etc..

    this will help you have a higher retention rate with clients as well. Set reasonable goals and try to hit these goals on schedule.
     
  8. squidkai1

    squidkai1 Junior Member

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    Thanks for the input guys, i appreciate it. Basically I reviewed her site while on the phone, I was sitting at my computer and was able to do a preliminary research while talking to the client. I don't believe the $999 rate is asking too high considering they will receive almost $500 a night from just one customer. But i do value your inputs and will go forward with not focusing on the cost factor and just using the phone call to get the face to face meeting.

    Thanks!
     
  9. lensman

    lensman Newbie

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    Good first try.

    All marketing boils down to 3 things.

    You have to have a "hook"

    You need a products at least as good as the competition

    And you have to give them a "free toy"

    You had the hook and product done

    You needed a "free toy" to ANCHOR them to the experience you were providing

    Never close on the first call. You always need "research"

    Always have multi tier pricing. They wont go cheap. They wont go high. They will be looking for something in the middle.

    Always quote by HOURS of work because that is the world they live in. And make the hourly rate decent $50-$100 hourly with discounts for amount per month AND discounts for term of contract.
     
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  10. sanjeev2010

    sanjeev2010 Junior Member

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    squidkai1

    Thank you for posting your experience, it's greatly appreciated.

    To echo others, never talk about price. I do remember reading (or seeing somewhere) that who ever talks about price first loses. In much the same way that a sales letter works, try to sell on the benefits of what you're offering.....more traffic to their website, blah blah blah.

    Thanks again!
     
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  11. KamBhai

    KamBhai Power Member

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    Its easy buddy, if you like to work with them then go for it.
    And if you dont then move on, you will get more other clients who will agree with your terms..
     
  12. 7878

    7878 Executive VIP Premium Member

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    Everyone seems to be focused on the fact that you made some kind if mistake, so I'll just come out and say it - some clients are pinhead bargain bin shoppers and you don't want them. If someone lowballed me like that I'd end the conversation without blinking. $99 a month? There's no scenario in which that's worth bothering over.

    Could you have approached the situation more effectively? Yes. But in this case, the client has set an ugly precedent by lying to you right out of the gate about what they can afford (yes clients lie all the time get used to it). If I were you I'd cook up some initial reports and show them an ROI analysis up front. Most clients don't buy based on increased rankings, they buy based on the probability of increased profits. Drop the itemized lists and technical explanations of what you'll be doing and focus on selling the end result of your services - more $$$$$$ in your client's bank account.

    Invest an hour into making the deal make sense then hit them over the head again, you might be surprised at what happens. ;)
     
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  13. squidkai1

    squidkai1 Junior Member

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    Thanks 7878, I appreciate the valued input. Yes I really did not want to continue the conversation at that point, but I believe it has helped going forward with it anyways. I sent them an email with report about their competition and keywords they are ranking for and considering how much work I will need to put in (not much) i suggested a few hundred more as they will see a great return on investment. I will keep you guys posted.

    Thanks!