Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes SEO’s (or anyone in a selling capacity) makes in their business is that they are too shy or unsure of their selling skills to be making any real headway.
Many of you are waiting for the perfect selling opportunity or are waiting for the opportunity to present itself organically. While this will definitely occur for you at times, these situations are few and far between.
In fact, I know a lot of SEO’s who still have a 9-5 job and would love to be providing their services full time but just can’t pull the trigger quite yet.
A whole lot of these people entered the world of SEO because they had knowledge and ‘knew a guy’ or they were presented their first opportunities on a bit pf a silver platter. It wasn’t because they were actively looking but rather it was because someone knew they had the requisite skills.
This is a FANTASTIC way to build your confidence and get your start but the percentage of people who have been able to successfully build off of that are few.
The reason? They haven’t swung at enough pitches yet!
Let me draw a little comparison for you.
As I was trying to wake up this morning I was thinking about last night’s Red Sox vs. Texas Rangers game. I couldn’t believe that at age 40 Big Papi, David Ortiz was still CRUSHING the ball over the fence and was somehow still on the current leaderboard for homeruns this season (currently tied for 11th with 20 HR’s already).
How does a guy like that do so well?
Well, the answer is pure and simple. He’s not afraid to swing and miss!
Big Papi has 1702+ strikeouts in his illustrious career which means that he sure isn’t afraid to take a cut at something.
Much like you, David Ortiz certainly has the skills to compete in the big leagues but he has had a TON OF PRACTICE STRIKING OUT AND LOSING GAMES.
It certainly doesn’t affect him, he doesn’t lose a lot of confidence and in fact, those seasons that he took more cuts and struck out were almost always his most effective seasons.
What’s that now?!?
The more he swung and missed the better he did?!?!
There is no doubt that this applies to any business, not just SEO, but considering we are all in this field it offers us something important to look at and to think about.
Doing really rudimentary math that would mean that in his 20 seasons David Ortiz struck out an average of 85 times.
Have you struck out the same amount of times each year? Did you even pitch your services to 85 different potential clients?
The lesson that both Stuart and I overlooked prior to today was that we haven’t told you about the sheer amount of times that we’ve each struck out pitching our services to customers and clients.
There was a point where we had both basically become professionals at striking out BUT not only did we get comfortable with that occurrence we also had WAY MORE successes.
It is true that we each strike out far less than we used to but that is only because we are professionals at swinging and missing. We have done it so many times that like David Ortiz we’re able to adjust ourselves at the plate and ensure that we are going to drop one over the wall in straight away centre.
Truthfully….not all the time…but enough to make a big difference!
The more you swing and miss in this business game the more you will learn what does and does not work in your market. You’ll learn to read people, you’ll learn to listen to their actual needs and you’ll learn very quickly to become a much better closer.
I know it can be a little awkward but really what do you care? If you bomb on one deal closing or one opportunity you find another, you make the slight adjustment and learn from the opportunity.
After a while being told ‘NO’ won’t bother you in the slightest and it’ll actually become a bit of a fun game where you try to avoid the answer but laugh it off when it happens.
This growth game is a lot like throwing things against the wall to see what sticks. Once you have a sales program that has worked a couple of times you can easily adapt it and see what your own local market wants. It only takes slight adjustments to refine it to the point where it begins working for you and when it starts working for you the flood gates really do fly open.
At the end of the day the easiest part of any growth plan is being told ‘NO’ a few times.
For me It’s almost laughable anymore but I’ll still take a few minutes to debrief on what I think didn’t go so well because I want to sell more and not because their answer bothered me.
Remember, you and I both know that you have the skills to kill it for any potential client out there. I have no question that you can do the day-to-day work and have the dedication to put the all those hours into developing your program but you MUST remember that you can’t close business with those you aren’t selling to.
Get out there and sell to as many people as you can get in front of!
I hope you understand that swinging and missing really does lead to an awful lot of homeruns. You just need to get out there and push your services. The more ‘NO’ you get the more ‘YES’ you’ll see too…and that’s the truth.
Now go out there and crush it! I want to hear all your success stories and I’m always happy to help answer questions.
Keep on Selling,
Ian ‘The Numbers Guy’ Wilson
P.S. For those of you who like basketball better you can also draw this parallel with a guy like Steph Curry right now as well. He’s missed FAR more 3-pointers than he has ever scored and that pretty much holds true for every prolific player in any sport. They’ve learned to lose before they learned to win!