SEO Leads. The How to generate more Leads.
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Since writing my blog on how to sell SEO services (http://www.salesjumpstart.net/blog/2012/02/09/how-to-sell-seo-services/, and having one published on SEOmoz http://www.seomoz.org/ugc/selling-seo-is-link-building-but-with-human-links, the number one question I get is,… OK, now how do I generate more leads. So, with that in mind I will give a few sample systems that are so powerful you must promise never to tell anyone about.
But first, I have to say that you must be willing to spend either a good amount of your time, or pay someone a good amount of money to have a strong ongoing sales program. If you can’t do either of the above, this isn’t for you.
Quick recap. Your best prospects fall into 1 of 4 categories.
- They have no idea who you are
- They know who you are
- They trust you
- They buy from you
So your job is to get, what is clearly the largest group, the “I have no idea who you are”, into the “they trust you” category. Selling SEO is about trust.
Step One: (Tremendously Important) Your Target List.
Step one is like on site SEO, if you don’t do it, the rest of the program will not work. I mean it. Define what type of company is most likely to trust you. We use what we call, a sales crystal ball system for this. Here is how that works.
Take your best customers over the last 2 years, and identify their common traits. Location, number of employees, age of company, industry, and associations they belong to. You should be able to see a clear pattern. We use 50 + possible areas of commonality, but if you have the basics above, and of course use your gut feeling about who trusts you, and you should have a good enough picture.
Now, let’s say in your research of your customers, you found that the most common areas are they belong to the BBB. They have 5-9 employees. They are in the Industrial Parks, and they have been in Business more than 6 years.
So your target customers will be members of the BBB, have an office in an industrial type building, have more than 5 employees and have been in business more than 6 years.
Go develop this list, or hire a list broker to get the list for you.
Step Two: Contact them.
Here’s the hard part for so many business. You have to contact them! Funny how this step stops about 90% of business from moving forward with a super powerful, gonna make you happy, sales campaign. Why? The fear of rejection and it’s administratively outside of a SEO companies comfort zone. So here are two ways to make that first contact. One for the more courageous (or with the budget to hire a professional firm to do calls) and one for the more timid, who think of a cold call as a dip in a frozen lake.
For the Lions (Courageous, or lot’s of marketing dollars to spend)
Call each company on the list and ask if it’s okay to send them an invitation to a webinar or seminar your company has produced specifically for their industry. The actually script is important, so you may want professionally help on this, or hire a professional telemarketing firm to make these calls and log the results in a CRM for you. During the call you want the name of the person who makes the decisions on Internet marketing, as well as their email. Promise to never spam them or sell the email.
Make sure you enter all of this in a CRM.
Let’s say you have a list of 500 businesses. You should call every one, and end up with about 100-150 approved emails to send invites too. (You are well on your way at this point). Your time frame will vary, but count on making 3 contacts an hour in this type campaign, so with 500 businesses someone will be calling for 167 hours. You can always start when you have 50 emails, and just continue the calling as you start your webinar/seminar program.
Step Three: Invite to your seminar/webinar.
The secret here is to have an absolutely killer name for your seminar/webinar. Something like: Learn the two simple and fast ways our ______ < industry> clients make more sales in a month than others do in a year using the Internet. Free.
(YOU MUST BACK UP THIS CLAIM WITH PROOF)
A well crafted email invitation with RSVP to your 30 minutes of powerful ways to attract new clients on line will start moving businesses on your list from they don’t know you to they do know you. This is a bigger step than you think. And if nothing else happens, you now have a bunch of targeted companies that didn’t know you, who now do know you.
Use constant contact or a similar email system so you can track who opens the email, and have a RSVP tracking. Offer three different days and times. And have a well thought out- all about them, actually examples seminar/webinar ready to go.
I am not going into detail here about how to pull off a great webinar/seminar and get people to RSVP . If you do some research you will find a ton of good information and help on-line.
Step Four: Give the Webinar or Seminar (On different days and times).
Basics here. Make it valuable. Give them real information and examples. Do not spend more than 90 seconds talking about you or your company. They don’t care at this point. Make it great tips on how to utilize the Internet to get more calls or prospects walking in the door.
At the end of the webinar, offer your help. Something like, if this all sounds a little over whelming, we do have 10 spots open for clients that we can do this work for. And as a thank you for being on our call, we want to make a special offer, you can have both the programs we just talked about for the price of one, or we can through in an additional $$$$ for your new Google Ad words campaign if we start this week. Or the offer of your choice.
Many of you have been on webinars or in seminars where this exact process happened. I can tell you that they work if done correctly.
System for the more timid: Joint venture with a company that targets the same group of prospects. A web design company that doesn’t provide SEO services is a perfect joint venture. They have prospects that already trust them. Make a few calls and see who would be interested in hosting or promoting a webinar on the topic you developed. If your content is good and valuable for their customers and prospects they may be very open to it. You save a ton of time and get a third party endorsement as well. Or find the associations these prospects are most likely to belong to, and make then an offer to provide this content at no charge.
And finally if you can not do either of the above. Send a series of three letters (each with different content) to the target list spaced by two weeks. Give then a web site to register for the webinar, and repeat the process every two months with new letters. The letters need to be well crafted, and here again, I would recommend you get professional help if you are not a pro at the copy writing thing. If you’re sending to 500 businesses, your cost will be around $250.00 per mailing, and $750.00 for the three letters.
At the end of this process (and it never really ends) you should have about 200 businesses that now have moved from the “don’t know you”, to the “know you”. With a good webinar series, you should see about 150 of that move to the trust you bucket! And of those, you should see new sales of about 35 to 50 over a year.
This is just one of several successful sales programs we have developed for clients over the last 10 years. It’s not original, as many of the most successful companies in the world use this system, or one like it. I’ll blog more on other systems in 2013 if we get enough requests.
Now if all of this seems a little too much, and you want some help, we can provide all of the above, or direct you to good vendors for the parts you need help with. We have room for 4 new business development clients in the first quarter of 2013. If you are interested in this, just send me an email. The Basic cost is $ 2800. a month for all of the development and calls (30 hours a month) to your target list. We also will co-host your webinar the first time if you need that. As each program is different, and we must have confidence in your commitment to succeed, we need to do an interview with you to determine if this is the right fit and the right program. We have other highly successful programs that may be a better fit both for your budget and your goals.
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By Mike Bayes
Managing Partner of My One Call LLC