I read the post from Search Engine Journal, written by Ellen Gipko and she makes very interesting comments and points to the way SEO Companies make sales proposals… Personally, my favorite piece is the following excerpt: (…)
“IF IT DOESN’T FIT, DON’T FORCE IT
In your ambition to sell your services, it’s very easy to focus on what’s good for you instead of what’s good for the customer. That shortsighted view will result in poor customer retention–customer retention is what really grows your business.” (…)
To her piece I would like to say that since I own a local business and I also run a local SEO agency, I always seem to err on the side of the consultant rather of the sales person; I always say things like ”If I were you” and I think I might have said at some point things like “what we did is…” Or “what worked for us was….”
And share my own personal experiences by marketing my own local company with the potential client so that by the end of the conversation the potential client usually asks something like “well how much is this going to cost” because they are definitely interested in what I had to say because it worked for us.
I do also like to get a little bit technical with the client but only enough to scare them a little bit into knowing that really they can’t do it themselves and they need to hire an expert; but not too technical.
When I am talking from a technical aspect I speak slower and look for affirmations from the client. Affirmations that will tell me that they are following or are interested enough and haven’t lost my train of thought because of my technical speak. As for proposals mine are typically short and to the point sometimes even on the email, I rarely even do contracts, most of my clients sign up on a month to month basis
I tell them basically “you can cancel at anytime because if it is not working for you, then why would you want to pay me”. However I do always set an expectation saying that this project will take at least 3 months to see some results we can show some winds within these three months but really the plan is going to take 6 to 9 months to really gain maximum effect.
But I totally agree, if it does not fit, don’t force it. You can find the complete article here