How effective is cold calling for selling Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services?
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[filtered from 51 Answers]
If you're cold calling to sell SEO services but your ads aren't being shown to me with my searches which usually revolve around marketing I'm going to assume you're a scam and/or you don't have the best strategy…now a form that shows up online that request my phone # for more information about effective SEO strategy might catch my attention if I was just starting out so if you're a good phone salesman that might be the way to go
Depends on your cold calling skills. If you don't have any verbal selling skills you won't last long, unless you can handle continual rejection.
However, if you know how to handle the snake in the pit without getting bitten, you will do very well.
Simply because, the skills of 99.999999% of cold callers are pathetic.
Best way to get clients – hands down.
Anyone saying it's not, is not a strong sales person. They're a task doer and order taker.
If you can really help a business, and know how to speak to business owners, they'll listen.
Thanks for the honest answer.
Can you tell us about your experience with cold calling?
Chris » Thomas
You're 100% right.
Matthew » Thomas
Totally disagree. I have done my time one the cold calling train. It is not the best. Sales is about numbers and/or skill.
The stargey that raises your chance of closing on a per call basic is best. That would be finding people who are actively searching for your service vs calling random people.
Yes this takes money to do my way. This could be your own SEO, buying leads from providers, or running ads like Facebook
If we were in a competition. you chose cold calling and I chose to spend money and focus my time on people actively searching for my service. I would win with a quarter of the time and calls hand down, no competition. its over. period
Not saying cold calling can not equal sale, but it is far far far from the best.
Thomas » Matthew
Who says you're calling random people?
Cold calling isn't calling random. It's calling people you haven't spoke to before who could benefit from your offer.
You just showed why you failed with that statement.
So I'm not shocked you had no success with it.
And just because you suck on the phone doesn't mean its not the best or most effective.
Chris M. Walker 👑
I'm sure there are comments here that say something like "iF yOu ArE gOoD aT SEO ClIeNtS wIlL sEaRcH fOr YoU yOu don't HaVe To SeLl" from people that don't get the difference between inbound and outbound marketing.
There is nothing wrong with cold calling or most any other form of sales and marketing. It's all just a matter of getting an offer in front of a prospect that's a good fit and selling to them.
The fact is if you are a good phone salesman and prospector then cold calling works for most anything including SEO.
Anyone that says otherwise is wrong.
If you're not (and most people aren't, especially in Search Engine Optimization (SEO)) then it's a waste of time.
I had some success with it years ago but I hated it so once I got established I stopped.
If I had to start over I would do it again until I got established again.
So you just need an overall marketing and sales strategy and to be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses and plan your growth strategy accordingly.
If you know how to prospect and sell on the phone then it can work. If you don't it won't.
Exactly. It's great to build yourself up…fastest way to get customers and establish yourself. Once you establish yourself, you stop wanting to do it. I guess if things fall apart and you lose all your clients you can just do it all over again at that point. But cold calling is super effective
Eric » Chris M. Walker
As a business owner there is no way I'm ever taking a cold call from someone who is trying to sell Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I would click on a link in an email if they've written a clever and short convincing sales pitch with links to a portfolio of SEO statistics of their work. So I think email marketing is way more effective than a cold call to someone who is not expecting a call and he's busy running a business
Chris M. Walker 👑 » Eric I've had success with both.
Email is more time efficient but closes a lot less %.
Calling takes a lot more time and you will def get some nasty replies but if you prospect properly it can still work.
Eric » Chris M. Walker
I'm sure you have had success. I think the amount of emails you can send out targeted correctly even with the small percentage of response you might get is prob more effective in the long run. There's a big difference between a potential client who seeks you out after clicking on your email link than one who agrees to hear your sales pitch by phone and then may keep putting you off and putting you off and wasting your time to the point where you wind up giving up trying to close that sale.
Ben Allen 🎓 » Eric
Respectfully, the biggest mistake you can make in this industry is assuming that if you think one way, everyone else does too. I personally wouldn't search for half the keywords I target for my clients, but evidently other people do or they wouldn't have any volume and those clients wouldn't be making any money.
I don't want to repeat what I posted below, but cold calls work. If they didn't, sales departments wouldn't do them. They wouldn't write scripts for them. They wouldn't buy thousands of phone numbers for them. And I say this as someone that absolutely detests cold calling, both doing it myself and receiving them.
The sales department at the last agency I worked at made more money for the company than all of their marketing combined. They had gigabytes and gigabytes of call strategy and script documents. And seeing as they are owned by one of the biggest media conglomerates on the planet, they have a bit of an idea what they're doing.
Ballard » Chris M. Walker
Yes, best answer
Ben Allen 🎓 » Chris M. Walker
This. I used to work for one of the biggest digital marketing agencies in the world. Their own SEO sucked and the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) they did for their clients sucked even worse. But they also had one of the best sales departments I've ever seen. They invested millions into scripts, analytics, techniques, etc. The sales folder on our internal network was bigger than any other department's.
I've been in this for almost 7 years now and I have yet to see an agency get significant leads from SEO, ironically. It's a nice thing to have, and it's a nice social proof, but there is a reason all the biggest agencies don't put much work into their SEO budgets. And I think they might have a tiny idea of what makes the most money for marketing and sales.
It's tough but it works. My business ran an outbound call center inside of a state prison with some ex-biz ops inmates who were absolute monsters at selling anything. Obviously, they used their phone skills for terrible reasons (that's what landed them in prison) but we had an opportunity to train the inmates to sell our digital marketing services. I used the inmates to sell SEO and websites to businesses throughout Arizona and Florida for my company. Some inmates were in prison since the early 2000s and had no idea what SEO was. But I trained them to sell websites and SEO over the phone and after 6 weeks they were pros at it. They don't have access to the internet either so it was all 100% grit and learning the pitch. So yeah, it's possible.
Interesting? How did you get to do that?
Pizano » Dessy
A good friend had a call center before me using the inmates to sell auto glass over the phone for his business. He made a ton of money & was very successful with it but he burned through all of his leads in a year, so he asked around and let people know that he had connections for a call center opportunity that was super affordable but it was inside a prison and they used inmates for sales. But the inmates were stone cold sellers, the best I've ever worked with or seen. To work in the call center as a inmate was considered the best job to have in prison because it was inside with AC and had other nice perks.
Cold calling is a double-edged sword. According to stats, the success rates are typically 1-3%, and this can easily lead to associated negative emotions with your brand for the rest 97% of those prospects =and thus do more harm to your business.
But cold calling actually works when combined with other channels, such as email and social media. Depending on your business needs.
Send an email first, introduce yourself, or send a LinkedIn invitation, then call them.
I think a lot of people here are missing the point of cold calling. If you know about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and your website is ranking then you are not the target audience of the cold calling. Why would i call and offer SEO service to a business who clearly is already doing SEO on their website? With my previous company, our CEO is probably the best marketer I've met and he does cold calling and he offers his business to those who doesn't know and doesn't have SEO yet in their websites or businesses and it works.
Make a video of which page they show up on in a Google search.
Give them facts on how likely businesses on the 1st page make a sale or what percentage people actually click on the second page.
Show the results of your other clients.
Send this info in an email and then call them as a courtesy to be on lookout for it.
I built my SEO agency by cold calling. Granted, I had an extensive background in sales prior to starting my business.
The negative comments here are from people who have no sales skills and are failing to make ends meet.
Like anything, selling is a skill that takes a lot of practice and repetition to get great at.
Most people suck at selling because they lack the discipline and work ethic that's required to develop and improve over time.
How do you get qualified prospects?
Ballard » Faisal
You'll qualify or disqualify them when you talk to them. If you mean where to get the lead lists from, you have options – you can buy them, scrape them, etc… I personally prefer to buy my leads from verified sources (associations, databases, etc.)
Faisal ✍️ » Ballard
Yes but how do they know they need Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? Do you target second and third page listed companies?
Ballard » Faisal
No, I don't need to know anything about their current SEO to make cold calls. All I need is verified contact information and verified revenue. I'll figure out the rest on the call.
It's a waste of time to do specific research on a prospect before you call them. Rookie mistake I see happen all the time…
Say you spend hours researching and auditing a prospect, you know every problem the prospect has, and you're even prepared with the exact solutions.
Then you cold call and can't even get past the gate keeper. Or even if you speak to the right person, they aren't interested.
Stop treating prospects like clients.
Andras » Ballard
That is bang on my man!
John » Ballard
I've made companies £150k a year through cold calling ..
Faisal ✍️ » Ballard
Do SEO prospects ask for proof of your work?
Ballard » Faisal
Not many. You're not cold calling to talk about you. You're calling to talk about them. Stop asking me questions – you should pick up the phone and start making calls ☎️
Either way, whatever you're good at if that's sales calls. Then go for it!
I personally use a mix of campaigns and calling.
Even door to door sales can work better than you expect. With any form of sales, it's not going to be a simple call 5 people and make a sale it does take work and does pay off either way.
My advice though would be don't be too serious and straight forward. Be yourself and speak naturally when calling clients. Sounds weird but this really works perhaps because people like human interaction, I used to work as a call sales agent and door to door sales agent. A pitch believe it or not isn't always the best thing I noticed clients are more at ease knowing they can trust you. Point out how you can solve their issues and how this will benefit them or what they will get with your services get them excited. But be yourself.. ✔️ haha if this helps
Cold calling for most businesses are awesome. I hang up on most who call me because you own a domain name. Two things they fail at: poor English quality and presentation. They have no researched my domain if I am using it and if I am using it they have not done and audit to talk initial business with me. None of them have taken my cell and email to target me on social media. If they spoke clear English, did your audit and come with clear solutions, and branded themselves by re-targeting me they would increase their numbers odds. Most people are not willing to put in the work and they play the low numbers game vs high numbers game .
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