In every market, whether you are dealing with large corporate organisations or SMEs there are going to be tough clients that drive you insane and then there are those prize winning clients that take your advice, implement your SEO recommendations and make a strong, integrated company effort to build their SEO strategy, thus becoming long-term business partners rather than just clients.
So, how do you do it, how do you build your business while still being able to choose who you work with and being able to ignore the tire-kickers and time wasters?
Of course, this will take time, you cannot set up shop and expect all the reputable businesses to come knocking on your door, but there are a few fundamental steps that can help get you there, so that quality business is chasing you rather than you having to work harder for those leads.
1. Pick you niche and stick to it – No business can be all things to all people, pick a market, be passionate and dedicated to being the best. If you decide that the B2B sector is where you would like to be growing your business or that you want to be a niche travel industry provider, if you did it right, after some time the top travel sites will be knocking on your door for your services.
If your business is not set up to actually handle corporate accounts and you start bringing in these big clients who have significant sway in the industry, then you move all your resources to a handful of clients, while your core base of SMEs are left hanging.
2. Treat all your clients like possible future salespeople – A good way of measuring client satisfaction is to discuss internally, if you were to ask each client for a reference what would their reaction be? Most companies will seek an independent verification of your services – how many willing existing clients do you have, or are you constantly recycling the same references?
3. Grow your business internally – It is much easier keeping existing clients and growing their accounts, rather than having to bring in large amounts of fresh business each month. If your clients are genuinely happy with your services, you could easily ask them whether they know anyone who may require your SEO services. If you have a solid working relationship and the SEO strategy is going well, why not grow your business from within?
Whenever pitching for business, after a few dealings with the prospect you need to ask yourself whether it is worth your time pursuing this client. Sometimes the answer is going to be no, you should then walk away and look for another potential SEO client. At the end of the day, if you do quality work for your clients, there is nothing as powerful as word-of-mouth recommendations to grow your business.