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How To Sell SEO Services To Local Businesses

Selling SEO services to local businesses isn’t a breeze, but it’s not rocket science either. Even experienced sales teams face challenges like undefined processes, lack of tools and training, and unpreparedness for meetings, all of which can hinder closing deals.

To overcome these hurdles and maximize sales, we’ve compiled battle-tested tactics from top sales leaders. With their expertise and insights from successful agencies, we’ve crafted an extensive guide on selling SEO services.

The key is implementing a repeatable sales process that instructs your team on the best strategies for selling SEO consistently. Without it, closing deals becomes unpredictable. That’s why it’s crucial to take action now.

Our actionable steps are designed to help you focus your sales efforts effectively, following the Pareto principle: 20% effort for 80% more close rate. If you’re aiming for more business, this guide is your go-to resource.

1. Prepare Before You Sell SEO

“Being unprepared is a surefire way to lose prospects,” as the saying goes. If you approach a prospect with an incomplete pitch, you’re sabotaging your chances of closing the deal from the start. Thoroughly researching your lead and their industry beforehand makes it easier to address their pain points and demonstrate why they need your comprehensive SEO services.

Taking the time to prepare enables you to gather crucial information about your prospect, including their pain points, needs, wants, competitors, and performance. Preparation is a fundamental aspect of the sales process. It positions you for success and ensures that every interaction moves you closer to securing the client’s business.

Doing Your Prep

Selling requires skill, and like any skilled work, it requires the right tools. Before embarking on your sales journey, here are some essentials:

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Software: This tool helps you keep track of every lead, ensuring nothing falls through the cracks. Without a CRM, you risk missing out on valuable opportunities. It allows you to efficiently manage relationships, follow up, and prioritize your time effectively.

Professional Email Address: A professional email address adds credibility to your communication. Avoid using generic @gmail or @yahoo addresses, as they may come across as amateurish to potential clients.

Website: Your time during pitches is limited, so having a professional website allows prospects to learn about your services at their convenience. It serves as a permanent platform to showcase your value proposition and offers marketing opportunities as your business expands.

Network Contacts: Utilize your network by reaching out to contacts who may be interested in your services. These individuals could be from conferences or specific niches, serving as your initial handshake in the sales process.

Thoughtful Icebreaker Questions: Prepare a set of thoughtful questions to initiate conversations with prospects. This approach creates a more natural dialogue and demonstrates genuine interest, moving beyond traditional sales pitches.

Qualifying Prospects:

Not every prospect is the right fit for your agency. Qualifying leads involves assessing factors such as budget, decision-making authority, urgency, and alignment with your agency’s capabilities. Asking targeted questions helps you determine if the prospect meets your criteria and whether they’re likely to convert into clients.

For instance, inquire about their budget, decision-making process, perceived digital readiness, and desired timeframe for seeing results. This helps you prioritize prospects who are a good fit for your services and avoid investing time in unqualified leads.

Understanding Client Profiles:

Clients come in various types, each with distinct preferences and decision-making styles. Familiarize yourself with different client profiles, such as amiable, achiever, skeptic, and alpha, and tailor your sales approach accordingly. Adjusting your strategy based on their personality traits improves your chances of building rapport and closing the deal successfully.

For instance, amiable clients value mutually beneficial relationships, achievers prioritize results, skeptics require substantial evidence, and alphas seek control. By understanding these profiles, you can adapt your communication style and address their specific concerns.

Asking the Right Questions:

As part of your preparation, develop a set of probing questions to uncover the prospect’s needs and pain points. These questions should delve into their past experiences, challenges, expectations, and success metrics related to SEO.

For example, ask about their previous experience with NYC SEO agencies, satisfaction levels, priorities among price, quality, and timeframe, encountered business challenges, marketing budget, and definition of SEO success. These questions provide valuable insights and guide your sales pitch accordingly.

Prioritizing Prospects:

Not all prospects are equally likely to convert, so prioritize your efforts based on their readiness to engage. Utilize a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system to manage and categorize prospects, track their progress, and identify high-potential leads. A CRM streamlines your sales process and ensures you focus on nurturing prospects with the highest likelihood of conversion.

For instance, categorize prospects based on their stage in the sales pipeline and level of engagement. Use the CRM to organize prospect information, set reminders for follow-ups, and track interactions effectively. Prioritizing prospects helps you allocate resources efficiently and maximize your sales efforts.

2. Develop a Smooth SEO Sales Experience

Now that you’ve done your prep, let’s get down to selling your SEO service.

How Do You Reach Out?

Selling SEO Over the Phone:

When selling SEO services over the phone, it’s essential to target decision-makers who can make the final call. Your objective is to secure an appointment rather than closing the deal immediately. Utilize a well-prepared script to guide your conversation and keep it natural and engaging. Here’s a suggested script:

“Hi! I’m {Your Name} from {Agency Name}. As a digital marketing professional, I specialize in helping local businesses enhance their online visibility. Would you be open to a brief discussion about how we can assist you in attracting more customers to your website?”

If the prospect agrees, proceed with probing questions:

  • How do your customers typically discover your business?
  • What prompted the creation of your website?
  • Are you familiar with SEO and its benefits?

If they haven’t explored SEO:

  • Do you currently have someone managing your online presence?
  • Follow up with additional questions to gauge their current strategy and satisfaction level.
  • Offer to provide a complimentary website analysis and schedule a follow-up call or meeting to review the findings.

Setting a Sales Meeting and Selling In-Person:

When arranging an in-person sales meeting, thorough preparation is crucial. Ensure you present yourself professionally and bring compelling marketing materials to leave behind. Dress professionally to convey credibility and seriousness about the partnership. Consider the following steps:

  • Dress to Impress: Make a favorable impression by dressing professionally and projecting confidence.
  • Bring Impressive Marketing Materials: Provide comprehensive materials such as site and link audits, a pitch deck, proposals, and case studies to illustrate the potential impact of your SEO services.
  • Address Tough Questions: Be prepared to encounter challenging questions and handle them tactfully. If unsure, offer to consult with experts and provide answers in a subsequent communication.
  • Utilize Email Follow-Up: Send a follow-up email summarizing the key points discussed during the meeting and reaffirming your commitment to addressing their needs.

Remember, effective communication, honesty, and professionalism are key to building trust and securing new clients.

3. Breaking the Ice

Engaging in small talk is vital for building rapport with prospects, whether over the phone or in-person. It’s an opportunity to make a memorable impression and demonstrate genuine interest in their business. Here are some ice-breaking questions to consider:

Weekend Plans:

  • “Do you have any exciting plans lined up for the weekend?”
  • This question allows for casual conversation and provides insight into the prospect’s personal interests.

Website Compliment:

  • “I noticed your website, and it looks fantastic! Did you work with a web design service or create it yourself?”
  • Complimenting their website shows appreciation for their work and opens the door for discussion about their online presence.

Business Name Origins:

  • “I’m curious about your business name. Did you come up with it yourself?”
  • Asking about the origin of their business name shows curiosity and provides an opportunity for them to share personal anecdotes or insights about their brand.

By using these ice-breaking questions into your conversations, you can establish a comfortable atmosphere and lay the foundation for meaningful dialogue with your prospects.

4. Rapport Building Techniques and How to Use These in Selling SEO

Building rapport with your SEO clients is essential for influencing their purchasing decisions and fostering long-term relationships. Here are some effective techniques to build rapport:


Initiate contact and maintain a positive attitude. Be the bearer of good news and enthusiasm to create a welcoming atmosphere.

Find Common Ground:

Identify shared interests or experiences to establish a connection with your clients. Building on common ground accelerates the relationship-building process.

Inject Humor:

Incorporate humor into your conversations to lighten the mood and create a memorable experience. A good laugh can help ease tension and build rapport.


Mirror the body language, tone, and pace of your clients to establish rapport and build trust. This technique creates a sense of familiarity and connection.

Focus on the Client:

Practice active listening and give your clients ample airtime to express themselves. Avoid dominating the conversation and aim for a balanced dialogue where both parties contribute equally.

By implementing these rapport-building techniques, you can create a positive and engaging interaction with your SEO clients, ultimately leading to stronger relationships and increased sales opportunities.

5. Building Desire

The most important step when you’re selling SEO is to let your prospects know how they will be successful with your agency.

1. Send them a website audit.

Offering a website audit to your prospects allows you to showcase areas for improvement, analyze competitor strategies, and suggest actionable next steps. This comprehensive SEO audit not only demonstrates your agency’s expertise but also highlights your use of advanced tools to identify and address website issues effectively.

2. Prepare a proposal that sells itself.

A compelling proposal is essential to winning over prospects. Your SEO proposal should contain details about the client, your SEO process, the proposed solution, timelines, and deliverables.

It’s advisable to have a proposal template ready in your sales pitch kit or use a proposal builder tool to streamline the process and save time.

Ensure that your proposal effectively communicates the value of your service and demonstrates how your agency can address the client’s specific needs and challenges. Leaving prospects with a clear understanding of the benefits your SEO services can bring to their business is key to closing the deal.

3. Reinforce what they need.

After you hit their practical heartstrings, start pulling on their personal heartstrings. This technique is called “Selling the Personal Need.”

Now that you’ve helped them visualize your expertise, help them visualize their potential positive experience and their peace of mind when they work with you.

6. Closing the Sale

Now, it’s time for the toughest and most critical step – closing the deal. This moment will determine whether your efforts pay off or fall short. Before finalizing the SEO contract and sealing the deal, ensure your sales team employs the right phrases to ask for the prospect’s business.

There are three effective ways to close an SEO sale:

Selling the Benefit:

Address each of their needs with a corresponding benefit. For instance, you might say, “I can book the work for you now…”

Assertive Close:

Assume the close but conclude with a question that offers a limited choice. For example, “I can book the work for you now. Would you like me to send the invoice to your personal Gmail account or work email?”

Assumptive Close:

This approach assumes the close, with the closing line discussing the next scheduled conversation. You could say, “I’ve booked your work and sent the invoice. Will you be available to discuss the intake next Monday?”

Remember, once you’ve delivered your closing pitch – STOP TALKING! Silence can be a powerful tool in closing a deal. As the saying goes, “He who speaks first loses.”

After successfully closing a client, your work isn’t done. Maintaining a smooth post-sales experience is crucial for client retention and additional value.

When considering cross-selling and upselling, focus on offering additional products or services that genuinely benefit the client. Avoid bombarding them with irrelevant offers. Instead, tailor your suggestions to address their specific needs and enhance their business.

For example, consider if they would benefit from a website redesign, require additional link building for authority, or could benefit from local SEO services to boost foot traffic.

When introducing these additional offerings, ensure it’s done in a timely and relevant manner. Keep your clients informed about any upgrades or additional products, emphasizing how these additions can contribute to their long-term success.


What are some essential steps to prepare before selling SEO services?

Research prospects thoroughly, utilize CRM software, maintain a professional email address, have a well-designed website, and prepare thoughtful icebreaker questions.

How can I qualify SEO leads effectively?

Ask targeted questions about budget, authority, need, and timeframe, and prioritize prospects based on fit and potential.

What are some effective techniques for building rapport with SEO clients?

Initiate contact positively, find common ground, inject humor, mirror clients’ body language, and focus on active listening.

How can I effectively close an SEO sale?

Address prospects’ needs with benefits, offer a limited choice for decision-making, assume the close, and allow space for decision-making.

What steps should I take to maintain a smooth post-sales experience?

Offer relevant cross-selling and upselling options, keep clients updated on beneficial upgrades, and prioritize providing solutions aligned with client goals.

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