Client Compatibility – Finding the Right Match

No new company starting out wants to turn away business and frankly most well-established companies don’t like turning down revenue opportunities either. One thing every business owner must assess however is what the true cost will be to service each client. This goes beyond simple profit margin analysis. You really need to look at how each client fits into your portfolio and understand how they will affect your resources. As an Internet marketing company you will understand this blog…as a client you will discover some behaviors to avoid.

I have been the “client” many times before I ever became the service provider. This included working with SEO companies, PPC managers, website design companies, etc. I can be very assertive as a client and can often exhibit the very behavior that should be avoided for a good client/company relationship. One of the toughest relationships to manage as an Internet marketing company can be clients for search engine optimization.

Most SEO clients probably don’t know the details and processes behind what it takes to get to page one. That is why it behooves everyone involved to educate the client so they understand that it will take time to know where your efforts are directed…and therefore their dollars. Many times clients will have unrealistic concepts of what it costs to achieve their goals for the keywords they want to use. Many times they will have already worked with a couple firms that did not perform and they might be jaded by the experience. You may hear that the potential client has a friend or relative who is currently handling the SEO, or that they are also speaking to companies offering guarantees.

For any professional Internet marketing companies, these are easy objections/issues to overcome. But once you engage the client and begin working with them on a project, it often takes a very experienced project manager to know how to manage their expectations and communicate effectively throughout the process. It can be very frustrating on the client side because all you know is that you want to be on page one and you don’t understand why it takes so long. Or you might appear on page one and be overjoyed, but then that result is gone the next day. Why does this happen?!

SEO takes time, care, and constant monitoring. A good team might shift strategies based on results a few different times. It can take months to discover how the search engines respond to a site and the SEO campaign being used. Some sites respond faster than others and this can depend on many factors: age of domain, previous SEO practices used, lack of penalties, site structure, links, content, etc.

The service provided needs to be sensitive to the needs of the client and the best way to do this is to educate them the entire way. Try to avoid phrases like “stay the course”. A client wants to know specifics even if they do not really understand the details.

Sometimes though there is just not the right chemistry between the client and the company. There can be unrealistic expectations on both sides. If this is the case, there is nothing wrong with being honest and parting ways. It can cost the client and the company more time, resources, and money in the long run to keep pushing a relationship that isn’t working.

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