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March 7, 2013

The Cold Harsh Truth About Cold Calling SEO

Published: 7 March 2013 

I recently tried a bit of cold calling for Matter Solutions just as more of an experiment than anything and found the going pretty tough. I have a natural, relaxed phone manner that generally goes over really well with clients or when warm calling but the off the cuff nature of my sales style really didn’t seem to suit calling businesses cold.

This is somewhat bizarre because if you go by the instructions found in basically every highly ranking article related to SEO sales pitching, spiels and the like you are more or less only left with having a heads up conversation with someone.

So considering that my approach failed it leads me to wonder if there really is a place for it?

Without being “black hat” and giving out all the “snake oil sales” promises like ranking guarantees, unfair advantages, secrets, paid links or flat out lie to them, what do we really have to offer a business owner at point blank range first up other than an unwelcome phone call?

After my initial attempts to coax the potential client into a conversation about their business failed, I attempted to approach the remainder with more of a refined sales spiel and surprisingly it had an even worse effect.

Here is where you may question my credentials as a sales person (read: telemarketer) and to be frank I don’t mind being called a poor telemarketer because who wants to be good at something people hate? But realistically I have an extensive background in telesales and have been successful at it. This was my first attempt at cold calling SEO and I figured it would actually be much more simple that selling home phone plans and mobiles. They say that if you believe in the product you’re selling it comes across. Well I actually specially picked these clients out of the local area and know that they need help with their digital marketing and in particular their SEO. Some were 100% online retail outlets with absolutely no visibility in search engines. How do these businesses function? And more importantly how do they reject the notion that they need visibility in Google?

I eventually found some success by dialing down the sales. I introduced myself as a local business person, explained what I did, asked themselves about their business and how they find the local area and made some emotional inroads. I was still given no buying signals but I at least didn't rub them the wrong way. If you think there is any real benefit to cold calling SEO then please tell us all about it in the comments section.

Ben Maden

Read more posts by Ben

2 comments on “The Cold Harsh Truth About Cold Calling SEO”

  1. The problem isn't you Joe... it's the collective experience that people have about SEO.

    1) If they've never (properly) used it for their business, then they assume it's snake oil... especially if there is no guarantee. It's hard to understand if it's intangible.

    2) You're also working against the massive tide of SEO email spam and poor quality SEO telemarketers out there.

    I love that our company and clients rank for competitive keywords, as a direct result of Matter Solutions training and SEO skill. Love your work guys.

  2. Yeah I agree with Bradley. As we often receive cold calls from 'SEO experts' who can barley communicate in our native language, and they don't listen or answer questions, it's very easy for busy business owners to put all SEO calls in the 'here we go again, no thanks' basket.

    I'm especially guilty of this, when I already know a proper SEO company (wonder who?) and I'm not falling for the rubbish those cold callers are trying to spin. It's great knowing I can pick up the phone and give Ben a bell to check things I hear with a real SEO expert.

    Cheers 🙂

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