Shifting Your Mindset About Pitching Clients
If you haven’t read the first article in this series, Are you making clients FLEE when you pitch them SEO? please do so before you read on!
It’s no secret that those of us in the tech services industries – think web design, development, and marketing - aren’t the best at pitching our services and results to potential clients. There are a lot of reasons for this, but one of the main ones is that many people feel like selling just “isn’t their thing” or that they “don’t want to seem too commercial.”
These are some pretty deep-seated beliefs, but with a little bit of tweaking and a mindset shift, you can begin to view the services you offer as truly valuable and feel 100% confident pitching them to clients.
The typical pitching process can feel like you’re spending most of your time justifying your fee and very little time talking about the actual work at hand.
While this can work, it’s often more effective to flip the script and be the prize. Think about it: if you’re truly good at what you do, businesses are usually lining up to work with you. You need to convey this not just with words, examples, and case studies, but in your attitude towards signing new clients.
This means that not every client is a good one for you. You should not be afraid to walk away from a client if you do not feel a good connection and mutual understanding with. More importantly, you should not be afraid to walk away from a client if you are not confident that you can provide more value than they are losing by hiring you.
Do Your Research
Isn’t it funny that the people in our lives that seem to have everything handled also seem to have the most “luck”? They seem to get amazing client work, perform well, make more money, and be more successful overall.
These people aren’t special, and they’re not doing anything that you can’t do yourself. In fact, a lot of the keys to their success are done behind the scenes when no one is around.
One of these keys is preparation. Going into a client meeting unprepared is a surefire way to blow any chance you might have had to get their business.
There are a lot of ways to prepare for a client meeting, but here are a few of our favorites:
Prepare a 3 Month Plan: Coming in with a three month plan of action for their business usually knocks their socks off. Most business owners aren’t used to dealing with someone that’s professional enough to think that far ahead…and it shows that you have confidence in your skills if you’re planning that far into the future.
Come Armed with Research: While we personally use serpIQ to prepare keyword analyses and competitive analyses for our clients, you can use whatever tools you like – so long as you actually arrive with something. It’s incredibly impressive to a business owner when you walk in the door with detailed notes and data about their competition…and how you plan to compete against them.
Be a Likable Person
Another important thing to realize is that people do business with people that they LIKE. You could be the best SEO in the world, but if your social skills and intuition are sub par, you’re going to have a hard time closing clients. If this sounds like you, don’t despair! You can drastically improve your social skills in a very short time with a bit of focus.
Dale Carnegie’s book is like taking a “Social Skills 101″ class and will take you from being a total social novice to someone that understands people and is generally well-liked. It’s not the absolute resource and you can definitely overuse the concepts in the book, but we’re confident that working through this book is an amazing place to start if you feel you need improvement in this area of your life.
Get Out There and Close New Business
We hope this article series has helped you understand how to better position yourself and your services to potential clients. Learning how to do this well can be a gamechanger for your business. No longer will you feel like you’re struggling to gain any business at all and no longer will you be confused about how to present your services.
We’ll be writing more about this in the future…but before we do that, we’ll be covering some great ways to keep existing clients and build up a referral system for your SEO or inbound marketing business.
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P.S. If you know someone who’s been struggling to find client work lately and you suspect that the reasons outlined in this article might be why, please share with them!
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