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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know with enough research and time Seo can be done by yourself. When I started off I was doing it myself (mostly) but found I became too busy with calls coming in that I lost all my advertising efforts and seo tactics.

There is plumberseo.net they are endorsed by the PHCC and seem to get positive feedback. I was wondering is this worth an investment at all? They are pitching a $1,100 a month package to me...

Business was really good and once I was in the field all day it came to a halting stop. I need a way to keep the phone ringing and myself in the field selling our services.

Any ideas?
 

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It seems like every company wants around that amount. I've been getting non stop calls from blue book,yelp,bid clerk,yodle and profit rhino. Why is there always a 2 year contract? I ask I do all this myself can I get a 1 month trial before I lock in to something that could possibly cost me more than I ever get back out of it. Same sales answer everytime. If you don't sign a contract you probably won't use our service to its full capability because your not invested in it. L
 

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....
Business was really good and once I was in the field all day it came to a halting stop. I need a way to keep the phone ringing and myself in the field selling our services.

Any ideas?
Time for you to get out of the field and into the office?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It seems like every company wants around that amount. I've been getting non stop calls from blue book,yelp,bid clerk,yodle and profit rhino. Why is there always a 2 year contract? I ask I do all this myself can I get a 1 month trial before I lock in to something that could possibly cost me more than I ever get back out of it. Same sales answer everytime. If you don't sign a contract you probably won't use our service to its full capability because your not invested in it. L
There is no contract with these guys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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It seems like every company wants around that amount. I've been getting non stop calls from blue book,yelp,bid clerk,yodle and profit rhino. Why is there always a 2 year contract? I ask I do all this myself can I get a 1 month trial before I lock in to something that could possibly cost me more than I ever get back out of it. Same sales answer everytime. If you don't sign a contract you probably won't use our service to its full capability because your not invested in it. L
Yeah, like if you did it for one month and it exceeded your expectations, you wouldn't totally invest in it.

It would seem to me if they really delivered, they would have contractors hounding them, rather than the other way around. :whistling2:
 

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MattZone said:
They are promising me a high ranking on the map and organic listings for keywords in my city of operation and 10 other cities near me.
Nobody can make any promises when it comes to SEO. Google is notorious for changing their algorithms. Just because a strategy works today doesn't mean it will work in the future.

Google doesn't want to show the company that pays the most for SEO, they only care about showing the best possible results to the end user. SEO is a cat and mouse game between the SEO companies and Google.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Time for you to get out of the field and into the office?
I cannot afford to because I bring in on average $1,300 per ticket as well I bring in all of our good online reviews. My other guys bring in $600 per ticket and they don't get bad reviews but they don't work hard enough to get good online reviews from customers. I am building my local reputation myself and need to be in the field in front of customers selling and being the friendly informative face of the company.
 

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MattZone said:
I cannot afford to because I bring in on average $1,300 per ticket as well I bring in all of our good online reviews. My other guys bring in $600 per ticket and they don't get bad reviews but they don't work hard enough to get good online reviews from customers. I am building my local reputation myself and need to be in the field in front of customers selling and being the friendly informative face of the company.
Matt,
I will preface my next comments by first stating that I love being in the field. With my guys and on my own. There are a few reasons. I am better, stronger, faster, smarter, more experienced, a better salesman, more efficient, customers love me more, and last but not least...I am clearly delusional regarding all of the above.

The reality is that when you compare the productivity of your employees to your own, it is not apples to apples. As an entrepreneur, you are endeavoring to impress every living soul you come in contact with. You know all too well how one handshake or one critical greeting can make you thousands or cost you ten times as much. Your employees are operating with a different set of priorities. They only have to serve their families and work within the guidelines you provide. This is not better or worse, just different. As a result of this difference, their approach to each customer and each job will also be different. Not worse...just different.

Ultimately, you are doing what many of us Business Operators do (especially me). You are looking only at the truth you want to see and not all of the facts.

Could it be that the reason you sell more and have better customer interactions is because you cherry-pick the calls? Are you taking the more enjoyable projects for yourself? Did you pick the better customers or customers you already knew for yourself? I wholeheartedly believe you are the main reason your guys seem to underperform. Almost without exception, that has been my experience personally and what I have seen countless others do. The reason your guys are not producing is because you refuse to get out of their way.

I have several customers that have been loyal to me from the very beginning. After twenty years, it can be scary having an employee take over a call in my absence. But guess what...my customers appreciate my guys as well. They did not jump to calling around just because I personally was not at their doorstep. There is a process to the transition to keep things smooth with the customer, but it can be done with success.

It is time for you to mentor your employees to do greater things than you could do by yourself. The first step is for you to have the right mindset. Be realistic in what you expect. While it is appropriate to expect excellent results, it is unreasonable to expect them to get those results in the same way you do it. Give your guys the freedom to do things their right way instead of always doing it your right way. Focus on the baby, not the method of delivery.
 

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I agree that training is an essential part of the business get outside training. Make sure that you investigate and research before you decide the type training. There is a guy that is really good for opening eyes and getting people to answer objections and how to close however the plumbers will need to grow and learn bigger and better things after this trainer . This guy is great at turning the light switch on.

Many business owners do well because they are the owner and people like dealing with the owner. It has nothing to do with being good with people it is all about begin an owner. I used to be one and understand that aspect.
I can be lined up with any owner and no customer would know that I am not an owner until they were told. It is all about trust and respect with customers.

Back to SEO when they get you to buy in you will no longer own your own Google Maps. They will put in a web site and tracking number that is not yours to manage your Google Maps that you set up. In essence they will take credit for what you already have set up or that Google automatically has set up for you. If they do not take it over they will not manage it for you which means you wil do it. If they manage it and you seperate yourself from them whoever has that tracking number (customer) that is the number they have for you which no longer calls into your place of business. It may call into a new place of business or say this is no longer a working number giving the illusion that you are no longer in business. Be careful of the questions you do not ask
 

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You may be referring to Greer as the light switch. If so, that is a very accurate description. One of his DVD's is laying on my desk right now. His series is eye opening for those new to selling in relation to the trades, but there is so much more beyond Charlie.
 

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Good point on the maps issue Richard.

Matt, look back at Redwood's comment in the beginning.

SEO is optimizing your website so it shows up higher in Google results. Basically repair and maintenance on your internet neon sign that says, "Here I Am!".

SEM is paid marketing (advertising) that usually is based around a pay-per-click campaign. Be VERY careful in hiring a SEM manager. They can be your best friend. More often than not, they are like a drug dealer giving you a weak product. The ones that really deliver are also like a drug dealer. They attempt to manage your whole web presence so that is you ever pull the plug on them, they can in turn pull the plug on you. Then when the new leads come to a crashing halt and you start to experience the Delirium-Tremens, you run (or crawl) back to them with checkbook in hand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The issue around here is that there are very few licensed plumbers who are also good salesmen. I cannot teach someone how to be a good mechanic in a year's time but I do think that I can make them competent at customer service and "selling." I refuse to put the companies name on the line by hiring someone who might be able to sell the world but cannot perform quality work.

These guys are personal friends of mine who come from a construction background like me, and I am teaching them persuasion, how to listen to a customer true needs, and how to present options and solutions.

I actually take all the "crap" calls that no one would want to ensure a happy work place. If a backed up toilet comes in and a leaking water heater I go to the toilet stoppage so no one complains. I just have a solid background in persuasion and selling, I know how to listen to a customers true needs and the real reason they might buy that ultra-flush toilet.

It is just a slow process teaching these skills. Right now they are great at diagnosing the problem and doing the needed work, but I would rather have someone do great work and maybe not sell the world then the opposite. I am making money (granted not much) but as long as I am not losing money I am comfortable bringing them along slowly rather than dealing with call backs, customer complaints of poor work, ect...
 

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Good point on the maps issue Richard.

Matt, look back at Redwood's comment in the beginning.

SEO is optimizing your website so it shows up higher in Google results. Basically repair and maintenance on your internet neon sign that says, "Here I Am!".

SEM is paid marketing (advertising) that usually is based around a pay-per-click campaign. Be VERY careful in hiring a SEM manager. They can be your best friend. More often than not, they are like a drug dealer giving you a weak product. The ones that really deliver are also like a drug dealer. They attempt to manage your whole web presence so that is you ever pull the plug on them, they can in turn pull the plug on you. Then when the new leads come to a crashing halt and you start to experience the Delirium-Tremens, you run (or crawl) back to them with checkbook in hand.
Zackly!

Matt I looked at your website...
I didn't look real closely and check the SERPS for it, but by the pages I saw listed the person who made the site appears to be doing the "Right Stuff."
Infact with my initial look I'd easily place your site among the best I've seen belonging to the members of this site.

New sites take some time to work, typically 3-4 months to get into the top of the organic results establishing a dominant position.

My recommendation would be to continue building the site, adding additional services pages and local landing pages to cover your entire range of services and service area.

Make sure that your Google Places for Business listing is optimized...
Never give control of this listing away!

As far as SEM...
Stay away from the vultures!
They eat carrion... Do you want to be dead meat?

Work on your own SEM and rather than getting "Screwggled" listening to Google tell you that the keywords you've picked are not going to get a lot of clicks, work on the ones that actually deliver conversions...
One Good Click is worth more than 1,000 Irrelevant Clicks!

It will take some time but you can manage to make a highly productive Adwords campaign that doesn't break the bank. You can also turn it on and off depending on whether you need the work or not.
 

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You may be referring to Greer as the light switch. If so, that is a very accurate description. One of his DVD's is laying on my desk right now. His series is eye opening for those new to selling in relation to the trades, but there is so much more beyond Charlie.

Yes I think he is one of the best to turn the switch. The problem in the industry is many companies do not believe they need the training and they can do it them self.

There are so many different people to learn how to master different skills. Such as mastering the phone call and sale on the phone. Too many people neglect the cold calling gurus to learn how to master questions on the phone whether it is to book a call or sell.

I learned how to sell against the competition by reading Joe Girard
 

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First, if you are averaging $1,300 a job and your guys average $600 per job, congratulations. Most of us would love those numbers for service and repair work. You must have terrific margins, or at least maybe a niche service like hydro jetting or something.

2nd, you have to be active on the internet. Content that people search and read about rules. That's 90% of being ranked by Google. Key words, meta tags, title tags, in-bound links, etc are just tools that savvy geeks use to increase their odds of getting Google to think your website is more special than the next guy's website.

3rd, you don't have to pay an SEO or SEM "guru" because you are busy in the field. You may, however, want to pay someone a few dollars to create awesome content about your company on every online channel out there to generate interest by other people who are searching and reading about the services you provide.

4th, get every customer you can to leave a testimonial everywhere they may see your company online, BUT IN PARTICULAR WITH GOOGLE PLACES.
 
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