how many questions do you answer for free?

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by theseodude, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. theseodude

    theseodude Regular Member

    Jun 25, 2012
    Likes Received:
    I have been trying to get my seo business going. but all the clients that i have ever talked to ended up not converting. they just talk and talk on the phone, ask lots of questions, things like "do you think my domain name should be this or that?" or "how many people do you have working there? do you outsource any of the work?" just lots and lots of questions. then, they disappear.

    are these people just trying to steal free information from you?
    to what extent do you answer questions for free, before saying "you know what? my time ain't free"
    HOW do you tell someone this without offending them?
  2. jake454

    jake454 Junior Member

    Jun 4, 2012
    Likes Received:
    trying keeping the phone conversations short and meeting up with them if you can.
  3. dunhill

    dunhill Power Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Fulltime IM
    Bermuda Triangle
    This is the best idea. Set an appointment and face to face with your prospect. :)
  4. radarsurge

    radarsurge Regular Member Premium Member

    Mar 21, 2012
    Likes Received:
    The Windy City
    I agree, Face to Face if possible. Bring a computer and show results, don't talk strategy outside of the regular "SEO is content, linking and coding..." BS. People that want to know too much don't usually become clients, in my experience.
  5. Techxan

    Techxan Elite Member

    Dec 7, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Local SEOist
    TEXAS (you have to yell, its the law.)
    The phone call is to get a face to face meeting. Unless you cannot do a face to face, do not sell on the phone call, get an appointment.

    Your spiel when they start asking is:
    "I will be happy to come by at no obligation and answer any questions you have about my services."

    After you politely answer a few of their questions, you say as nicely as possible, "I will be happy to go into detail with any questions you have if you decide to use my services. I have not done enough research to go into these questions in depth right now. I do not want to speak off the cuff and not give your questions the attention they deserve."

    Here are the answers to some of the questions they may ask.

    How many people work there? tell the truth, even if it is:
    "I am a freelance SEO professional, and I personally handle all the clients that I serve."

    If they have questions about hiring a one man shop, tell them:
    "With me, you get my personal attention to your site. When you have an issue, you do not call an underling or a help desk, you call me, and I deal with it personally."

    What happens if I cannot get in touch with you?
    "You can always get me at (phone number) or (e-mail address), or (skype) or (Instant Messenger). If something comes up that requires me to be out of pocket, I always have a trusted colleague in place deal with anything that comes up, and they can contact me if necessary."

    Do you outsource?
    " I do occasionally bring in outside help if the workload demands it, as well as occasionally relying on other professionals in my network to do some things I do not have the skill set for."

    Do you outsource overseas?
    "Not usually. I cannot vouch for all my vendors though. If you wish, I can certainly make sure that all subcontracted work stays in the USA (or whatever country), and even your community for that matter, but of course this is sometimes more expensive..."

    Do you have any sites you have worked on?
    "I have done a lot of work for other providers, and helped them make a lot of money for their clients. Dur to confidentiality concerns, i am not allowed to discuss this work. I have decided to strike out n my own, so I have only (1, 2 none, whatever) at this point. I will be happy to work without contract for a month to assure you that I know what I am dong and to satisfy your mind that you and I are a good "fit" for one another."

    How much do you charge?
    "My rates depend on exactly what you need done. I do not apply a cookie cutter approach for each business like many so-called SEO companies do. Your site and needs are distinct to your business, and anything less than a custom SEO plan is not in your best interest. If you have some particular item or process you want quoted, I will be happy to do that once I understand exactly what you need."

    Do you offer a guarantee?
    "No one can offer a guarantee of rankings, and if they do, they are being disingenuous with you. I will perform proper SEO for your business that will not subject you to any penalties. SEO is an ongoing process, and done properly, it has an accumulative effect of increasing your rankings over time. I believe I can have you on the front page of Google in XXXX. maybe even sooner, but it really depends on how savvy your competitors are, and how they react to your rise in the rankings. Of course I will constantly monitor this to keep you ahead of your competition."

    • Thanks Thanks x 2
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012
  6. the_demon

    the_demon Jr. Executive VIP

    Nov 23, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Search Engine Marketing
    The Internet
    It's not so much the leads that are the problem, it's that you aren't yet a "sales pro"...

    1. You need to compile a Q&A of all the questions leads ask, this will allow you to quickly and accurately answer their questions.

    2. You might want to read / listen to the audio book "Sell Like a Pro by Dale Carnegie Training" I found this to be a great read.

    3. I and people I work with have found having a bit of caffeine before a sales call is extremely helpful... It gets you hyped up and feel energized about what you're talking about. [Being in a happy/good/upbeat mood is ESSENTIAL to closing a deal on the phone]

    4. Have case studies, examples, and references available.
    4a. Always ask for their email to send this information to

    5. Have a professional looking website (THIS IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL) and rank it for at least a few keywords. This will allow you to quickly site examples.
    You: Well John, are you in front of you computer?
    John: Yes
    You: Ok, great. If you do a SIMPLE Google search for seo {city name} OR {city name} seo, you will quickly see we have the ability to rank competitive keywords and we can do the same for you! :)
    John: Ok, {NAME} well, I'm in a different industry. Can you still help me, blah, blah, blah.
    You: ABSOLUTELY! I/WE have ranked numerous clients in various industries such as X, Y, Z and we can even provide you with references and case studies {UTILIZE STEP 4 & 4a HERE}

    6. Have a high quality phone / mic. Nothing will kill business faster than a low quality phone call, it makes you look cheap and customers just don't trust a business that has a call drop 3 times during the conversation. God forbid your phone does drop, call them back right away, apologize promptly and act clueless as to why it happen, mention you will investigate the issue late, or ask if they are on a cell phone, in the event they are on a cell, softly suggest perhaps they walked through a dead spot, in any event, move of the subject quickly and resume the call.

    7. ALWAYS take notes on each client and have them ready anytime that client calls.
    7a. Archive these, you may have some clients who change their mind 3-6 months later and decide to sign up with you. This has happened to me personally dozens of times.

    Best of luck,

    -- the_demon
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  7. tompots

    tompots Elite Member Premium Member

    Dec 11, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Custom Software Developer
    Home Page:
    these people just trying to steal free information from you
  8. theseodude

    theseodude Regular Member

    Jun 25, 2012
    Likes Received:
    LOL. dropped calls happen to me all the time. I use google voice and you know how much it sucks. and yeah, I always says "are you on a cell phone?" and if they say "no" then I am screwed. lol
    And I am not even sure how my voice sounds when it does work....someone told me it sounds like I am talking from far away.
  9. drogon

    drogon Elite Member Premium Member

    May 28, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Agreed that people that ask too many questions just want free info and never had any intention of paying for your service. And even if they do convert then be prepared to be bombarded with non stop questions through out the time they are your client

    I never give any seo strategy info or even reports. I might show example results and thats it. You need to set the tone for your conversations and set limits to what you will or will not answer.