SEO has become more important than ever, but it isn’t all meta tags and content. A huge part of the success you’ll see is tied up in the inevitable business negotiations.
Get the most out of the SEO audit
Highlight the opportunities, not the screw-ups
You’re going to do an audit, and something that we have always suggested is that instead of highlighting the things that the potential client is doing wrong, or screwed up, is to really highlight those opportunities. Start to get them excited about what it is that their site is capable of and that you could help them with. We think that sheds a really positive light and moves you in the right direction.
Explain their competitive advantage
We think this is really interesting in many spaces where you can sort of say, “Okay, your competitors are here, and you’re currently here and this is why,”and to show them proof. That makes them feel as though you have a strong understanding of the landscape and can sort of help them get there.
Emphasize quick wins
We almost didn’t put this in here because we think quick wins is sort of a sketchy term. Essentially, you really do want to showcase what it is you can do quickly, but you want to…
You don’t want to lose trust or credibility with a potential client by overpromising something that you can’t deliver. Get off to the right start. Under-promise, over-deliver.
Smart negotiation tactics
Do your research
Know everything you can about this clientPerhaps what deals they’ve done in the past, what agencies they’ve worked with. You can get all sorts of knowledge about that before going into negotiation that will really help you.
Prioritize your terms
So all too often, people go into a negotiation thinking me, me, me, me, when really you also need to be thinking about, “Well, what are we willing to lose? What can we give up to reach a point that we can both agree on?” Really important to think about as you go in.
This is a very old, funny negotiation tactic where when the other side counters, you flinch. You do this like flinch, and you go, “Oh, is that the best you can do?” It’s super silly. It might be used against you, in which case you can just say, “Nice flinch.” But it does tend to help you get better deals.
Use the words “fair” and “comfortable”
The words “fair” and “comfortable” do really well in negotiations. These words are inarguable. You can’t argue with fair. “We want to do what is comfortable for us both. We want us both to reach terms that are fair.”
You want to use these terms to put the other side at ease and to also help bridge that gap where you can come out with a win-win situation.
Never be the key decision maker
We see this all too often when people go off on their own, and instantly on their business cards and in their head and email they’re the CEO.
They are this. You don’t have to be that, and you sort of lose leverage when you are. When we owned my agency for six years, we enjoyed not being CEO. We liked having a board of directors that we could reach out to during a negotiation and not being the sole decision maker. Even if you feel that you are the sole decision maker, we know that there are people that care about you and that are looking out for your business that you could contact as sort of a business mentor, and you could use that in negotiation. You can use that to help you. Something to think about.
Tips for negotiation newbies
We are not kidding, promise. Some tips that we learned, when we had my agency, was to power pose before negotiations. So there’s a great TED talk on this that we can link to down below. We do this before most of my big speaking gigs, thanks to Mike Ramsey who told me to do this at SMX Advanced 3 years ago.
Go ahead and power pose. Feel good. Feel confident. Amp yourself up.
Walk the walk
You’ve got to when it comes to some of these things and to just feel comfortable in that space.
Good > perfect
Know that good is better than perfect. A lot of us are perfectionists, and we just have to execute good. Trying to be perfect will kill us all.
Screw imposter syndrome
Many of the speakers that we go on different conference circuits with all struggle with this. It’s totally normal, but it’s good to acknowledge that it’s so silly. So to try to take that silly voice out of your head and start to feel good about the things that you are able to offer.
Take inspiration where you can find it
We highly suggest you check out Brian Tracy’s old-school negotiation podcasts. He has some old videos. They’re so good. But he talks about leverage all the time and has two really great examples that we love so much. One being jade merchants. So these jade merchants that would take out pieces of jade and they would watch people’s reactions piece by piece that they brought out.
So they knew what piece interested this person the most, and that would be the higher price. It was brilliant. Then the time constraints is he has an example of people doing business deals in China. When they landed, the Chinese would greet them and say, “Oh, can I see your return flight ticket? We just want to know when you’re leaving.”
They would not make a deal until that last second. The more you know about some of these leverage tactics, the more you can be aware of them if they were to be used against you or if you were to leverage something like that. Super interesting stuff.
Take the time to get to know their business
Tie in ROI
Lastly, just really take the time to get to know someone’s business. It just shows that you care, and you’re able to prioritize what it is that you can deliver based on where they make the most money off of the products or services that they offer. That helps you tie in the ROI of the things that you can accomplish.