5 Bulletproof Value Propositions for Online Reputation Management Sales

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The following is a guest post from Curtis Boyd, CEO/Founder of Future Solutions Media.

Selling online reputation management (ORM) services today is easier than ever. More and more businesses are realizing the importance of looking good online, and they are feeling the sting from competitors with better reviews. Here are five value propositions you can use to give your potential clients more urgency to buy your service.

1. Free Trial

If you can swing it, offer the first month free. Make it a 30 day trial in which you take and authorize their credit card and impress them for a month before capturing that first payment. We all know that many “marketing” companies out there are fraudulent, so show your clients that you’re not. Show them real results, show them 5-star communication and impress them with your technology and consulting prowess.

The idea here is to make your offer more of a no brainer, meaning that they should have no reason not to say yes to your sales pitch. Business owners love trying things out for free—it makes sense for them to try a service before committing and investing time and resources. During that month you want them to become dependent on your service, so that by the time the month is over they won’t even consider not signing on officially. Another nice thing about offering a free trials is they make a great call-to-action, or CTA, on landing pages!

2. The First Ant Metaphor

If you can get a business owner to admit that they have lost a customer because they verbalized fear from a bad review, you can use the “first ant metaphor.” When you can see an ant around, you can be assured there are hundreds or thousands nearby that you can’t see. You need to instill a sense of urgency that there are many potential clients not even talking to the business owner because of the bad review(s).

What I like to do:

  1. Google Keyword Planner – look for the amount of searches done for this client using multiple keywords.
  2. Combine all the searches for the last six months for all the keywords, and multiple it by the average sale of the client. Show them how much potential business has been lost in the last six months. Google Keyword Planner doesn’t lie, it’s Google!

3. What’s the point?

What is the point of spending thousands on SEO, or PPC or social media ads when your reviews are not on point. You're attracting a digital audience who found you online, don’t you think the likeliness of them researching you once they hear pricing is inevitable? Here is your opportunity to get business owners to allocate more funds toward online reputation management by getting them to admit that there’s a lot of truth to this.

Converting digital leads is tough to do with bad reviews— this is an easy concept to understand.

4. The “Hahvahd” Study

Use the accent optionally, as some potential clients won’t find your sarcasm amusing. With my clients, I admit to not be the smartest person on the earth, but Harvard has some smart people and they say that “each star increase in your rating on Yelp will lead to a 9% increase in annual revenue” (Harvard Study).

So here’s what I do:

  • Step 1: Start at 5-stars – the perfect score.
  • Step 2: Subtract your client’s yelp rating from 5
  • Step 3: Multiply that number by 5-9%.
    • Ex: If your client has a 2.5 star rating, then they are missing 2.5 stars of lost revenue.
    • (2.5) x (5) = 12.5% of annual revenue.
    • (2.5) x (9) = 22.5% of annual revenue.

Let your potential client know that they are missing out on 12.5-22.5% annual revenue, then compare that to the cost of your annual ORM services. Take a guess which number is lower. I’ll give you a hint… your services!

Also, you should do your due diligence on the company, so you know these annual figures. Most marketing companies don’t do any research. Amateurs….

5. Consumer Studies

Every year a reputable company does a large-scale survey to see how important online reviews are for decision makers. BrightLocal did this one for 2015, which highlighted these vital facts:

  • 92% of consumers now read online reviews (vs. 88% in 2014)
  • 40% of consumers form an opinion by reading just 1-3 reviews
  • Only 13% of consumers consider using a business that has a 1 or 2 star rating
  • Star rating is #1 factor used by consumers to judge a business
  • Trust in reviews drops as consumers become concerned about fake reviews

In the end, business owners have an acute sense of who is the real deal. These value propositions will only sharpen your sales tools. I hope you enjoyed this blog as much as I enjoyed writing it. I would now like to propose a few questions to you, fellow business owners:

  1. What are your tips for online reputation management sales?
  2. What is your most common objection to your ORM services?

Curtis Boyd

Curtis Boyd is CEO/Founder of Future Solutions Media, a Digital Marketing Agency based out of Los Angeles that specializes in online reputation management. He enjoys travelling and surfing, and volunteers for kids with cancer.