“Heck Yeah! We’re prospecting today,” said nobody… ever.
Unfortunately, prospecting is one of those necessary evils, especially when you are in the process of starting, scaling, or expanding your business. So, let’s make this pill a little easier to swallow and give you three simple strategies for prospecting PPC and SEO clients.
3 Simple Strategies for Prospecting PPC and SEO Clients
We’re going to dive right in, but I do want to stress that you will get better results from your prospecting with intelligent research beforehand. Know exactly who you are going after and what problems you are solving so you confidently articulate how you solve the prospect’s pain point once you get their attention.
Smarter Cold Emailing or Calling
You have 5 seconds to earn 5 minutes, so lead with your best stuff. The longer you can hold the prospect’s attention, the more of your sales message you can get in their brain.
Every sentence you say or write should make the prospect WANT to listen to your next sentence. Compelling sales messages are concise, benefit-driven, and focus on what the prospect wants (not what you think they need). Any extra words you are using to be flattering, conversational, or witty are just that - extra, unnecessary, obstructive.
Asking, “How have you been?” is the exception in the cut-the-chat rule only because it’s so unexpected it interrupts the “dodge this sales pitch” mentality most prospects immediately snap to. You’ve introduced yourself, and the prospect doesn’t know you, so they correctly assume it’s a sales call or cold email. But when you ask how they have been, their mind has to reset to wonder if maybe this isn’t your first interaction.
Now you have successfully interrupted the prospect’s day, so show that you respect their time by getting to the point and letting them know the best next step. Acknowledge the answer to the “how have you been” question, state the reason for your call, and then jump into the enticing stuff – PROBLEM ⇒ SOLUTION ⇒ BENEFITS.
Don’t ask if this is a good time or wait for them to say they’d love to hear your pitch. Cold calls and emails are not part of the discovery process - this is just getting you that first micro-yes to a meeting.
Referral Programs for Prospecting PPC and SEO Clients
According to a HubSpot study, referral customers come at lower costs, have a 16% higher lifetime value than non-referral customers, have a higher retention rate, and more brand loyalty. Referral programs also have the added benefit of being easy to implement, low cost, and front-loaded with the benefits for both clients and non-clients who refer you prospects who turn into paying clients.
Here is an example of how to set up a no-cost PPC Client Referral Program:
- Determine what a new client is worth to you if you keep them for at least one year.
- Find a dollar amount you are comfortable with that you can reward your clients with if they refer you a new paying client.
FOR EXAMPLE: $200 credit off your next invoice or $50 credit on your invoices for the next 12 that the referral remains a client
- Put a system in place in your CRM that tags both the referral and the referrer, so when the referred new client makes their first payment, it triggers the discount on the referrers invoice.
- Announce your referral program EVERYWHERE - blog, social media, website footers and side panels, email, during new client onboarding, etc.
- Put reminders of your referral program in the notes section of each client’s monthly invoice or receipt and your email newsletters.
- Follow through on your referral promises without fail.
Other incentives you can use for referrals from both customers, other agencies, and freelancers are the always-welcome cash reward, gift cards, discounts, company swag, and contest entries.
Source: Key PPC
Prospects will trust the recommendation of your happy client long before they trust even the cleverest marketing. And since you’ve incentivized the referral where the reward is given when the new client pays their first invoice, the referrer is more likely to send you only prospects who are likely to buy-in.
Additionally, you can approach complementary providers such as website designers and content marketers to form strategic partnerships where you can refer each other as preferred providers to a similar audience.
It’s crucial that you make it as easy as possible for referrers to be successful by providing call and email scripts they can use to refer clients with confidence.
Paid Ads in Prospect’s Inboxes
While consumer goods are often bought on a whim, B2B products have a longer sales cycle. When your prospect’s pain points is a broken vacuum cleaner, you just need to appear as the best option right now because they are going to buy a new vacuum soon.
But business pain points can go undiscovered and then linger for months, or even years, as decision-makers struggle to address those issues and research solutions. SEO and Google Ads will gain you visibility when they start using search engines, but you can get in front of those prospects before the research phase by advertising in their inboxes.
With ads at the top of your prospects’ inboxes or in the sidebar, your marketing message reaches targeted prospects where they hang out every day. Use that ad space to collect highly qualified leads, educate people on how PPC and SEO can grow their business, and show why your services are the best choice.
Gmail Sponsored Promotions are part of the Google Display Network, which you PPC experts already knew. So, you can take advantage of the targeting and retargeting capabilities you already know how to work with as Google scans keywords in emails to prospect for you.
Simply run an “All Features” Ads campaign to selects ads in Gmail using custom ads from the ad gallery. You pay just once for a click on the collapsed ad in the inbox tab, but once your ad expands, any clicks on the ad text, images, or videos don’t cost you anything. Just keep in mind that Gmail users can disable this feature so not all users will see your ad.
When Prospecting Remember This
Before you start prospecting, it’s vital that you have a clearly defined ideal client and a persuasive pitch that details how you solve their specific problem. And once you start prospecting, don’t stop. Inconsistency and complacency have no place in your growth plan.
Join us and be part of the Offline Shark Community!
While focused on Local Marketing, in our global community (with 6k+ members in over 13 countries) you’ll feel at home surrounded by fellow marketing consultants and digital agency owners who are facing the same challenges, ready to help solve each other’s problems, and eager to celebrate your wins.
Offline Sharks is committed to practicing and teaching ethical marketing, so while financial goals are important, you’ll instantly see that maintaining our stellar reputation and supporting our community of beginners and veterans is more important. Come see for yourself!