Some SEO Clients Just Need To Be Avoided

In the business of SEO, in order to maintain a steady amount of work and income, you’ve got to rely on obtaining clients.  But let’s face it, creating a demand where none exists is a big challenge.  If you are unable to produce the services and good that you’ve promised, well, you might be very well screwed.  When the time to come to face your client and let them know that you can’t deliver the results that you’ve promised them, whose fault is that?

In truth, it would be yours.

This is point where you should try choosing better clients.  If you are looking at a potential client, you’ve only to decide if they are worth keeping, or allowing them to walk away.  In many situations, letting the client go can be the best thing to do.  In order to have a strong partnership with a client, you’ll have to learn to decline a potential client.

In SEO marketing, it’s important to answer the searches that are being made more often than any other task.  Unfortunately, this may not fit all that well into what your client’s ROI demands are.  If you’re interviewing for a potential client, an early and open communication with them is important.  Asking goal-oriented questions is a must in order to come to a fruitful relationship.  What do they consider success?  Has the client used SEO in the past, and what where their frustrations about it?  Is your SEO business an improvement for them?  In short, are you able to help them improve their current situation?

There are several client types that an SEO entity should consider avoiding in order to keep things simple and clean.  In a nutshell, there seems to be three general traits, or character traits, that should raise flags when it talks with a potential client.

The Egomaniac

These prospective are usually out to not only impress you, but also themselves.  Communication with these individuals are quite difficult to deal with.  They like asking you a question, and as soon as you begin to answer – yup, you guessed it – they cut you off and answer the question for you.  There is constant bragging about past experiences.  They are micro managers.  The only respect they have for others, are for other egomaniacs, just like themselves.

One thing that has to be realized is that this is just a front.  In some cases, it’s found that the egomaniac is actually socially awkward.  The egomaniac fails to realize that in business, a good skill is the recognition of character flaws and their emotions.  They feel that in order to succeed, they have to be more than human – they need to be a killer to survive.

Whether you deny or accept the egomaniac as a client, it’s possible to still make it work.  It’s important to have a good communication line open between you and the egomaniac.  This can go a long way in getting them to bond with you, without worrying about putting your integrity on the line.

The Dictator

These are the clients who know everything they want.  Or, at least they think they do.  In some cases, that’s a good thing, but in reality, it’s not.  Is it possible to deliver what was promised when you aren’t structured to meet their simplest demands?  If you think about it, when you are at a restaurant, and you ask for a food item to be made, is it possible for the restaurant to make it EXACTLY the way you want? In short, no.  The ones behind the counter will begin having a panic attack.  It’s insanely difficult to have them make it exactly the way you like it.

In your SEO business, your services aren’t, by design, excessively flexible.  You can’t always answer all the demands of most dictators.  The services that you rend behind your monitor and keyboard are defined with specialties.  You and your team of employees have strengths and weaknesses.  Your company has been successful because of the plan of action that you’ve painstakingly worked on for years.  With the dictator, you would probably strike out with his needs.

What you want to try to accomplish is to break the “we’ll do anything” model.  If you are willing to do *anything* the client wants, you could get hurt, along with your employees.  The client’s SEO and digital marketing need has become ubiquitous.  Hopefully, the client will be open to the specialized plan that you have for their company.

Also, you don’t ever want to over promise anything.  What you need to realize is that there are other providers out there that can do a better job than you can in certain areas.  If that’s the case, why don’t you let them do it?  You can create a friendly competition between other SEO service provides by building relationships with them.  In turn, this can created more business for you, and the other similar minded service providers.  You can get referrals from prospects that you have turned down.

The Negotiator

Negotiating can be quite enjoyable.  It’s great to be on the payer send of the negotiation.  But, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the negotiation fence.  From a business standpoint, you probably aren’t very flexible on your price points.  You don’t want to change your prices because you’ve found that you’ve actually got respect for your work and values.

When a client tries to tell you that the budget for his SEO needs is X, and I need to by upwards around Y, this is the point when you’ve got to put a halt on the negotiation.  For many SEO companies, if a client came to you and told you their budget is $500 a month, but your services cost $1000 a month, you’d be taking quite a hit.  You would be failing at providing the only value you knew how to create.  In the end though, it wouldn’t be worth the aggravation after you’ve done your taxes.

Even if you can’t help the client due to the failings of the negotiations, it’s always good business to refer him to another SEO who would fit his needs better.  The lesson here is this: If you take a deal that is a financially bad one, you will pay for it in the end.

Unless, you’ve priced yourself out of the market, don’t budge on your prices.  You don’t want to risk putting yourself in a bad relationship with a client just because you’ve settled.  If you have a price you’re proud of, you should also have the confidence to stand behind it.

In The End

Experience is the key in finding the right kind of client to work with.  Finding and working with a bad client can teach you a valuable lesson on how to be a better consultant.  Of course, this doesn’t mean to be looking out for a bad client, or wish a bad client on anybody else.

And finally, if by chance, you come in contact with a client who is a mix of all these character types, you will have only one choice.  Turn tail and run.  There is no way to be able to deal with these clients who are have an ego, love to dictate what they want, and want nothing more than to talk you down on your prices.