How to Crush 12 of the Most Common Sales Objections in SEO

SEO Sales Objections

Getting objections during a sales process is only to be expected.

But it’s p***ing off like hell too!

Just picture this. You have done your research, identified a prospect. You’ve made an initial contact and got an appointment. But right when you think things go smoothly into the sale, BAM! you are hit with an objection.


Sales objections are part and parcel of any sales process, fact. Even though there seems to be opponents of such thinking, objections are a fact. And it is you who has to deal with them.

There is a simple way to do so too. Just overcome them before your prospect even gets a chance to voice them.

Overcoming sales objections before your prospect has a chance to voice them is one of the most powerful sales tactics.

Sounds easy? Nope. But the problem isn’t that you don’t know how to do it. It’s not knowing what those objections are.

That’s my goal for this post, to highlight some of the most common sales objections SEOs hear during sales calls.

Sales Objections vs. Delay Tactics

Before we go any further though, it’s worth to mention the delay tactics.

You see, not every objection your prospect voices is real. Quite often your prospects might use what seems like an objection to defer making the decision about buying from you.

Some of the delay tactics are quite well disguised as objections, others can be spotted from a mile away. Regardless of that, you should treat them as seriously as any other objection. After all, they are also obstacles at making the sale. I tried to mark those objections below which can be used as delay tactics. And at the end of the post, I outlined few ways to deal with both objections and delay tactics during a sales call.

Objection 1: Cost.

OK, starting off with the obvious. “I don’t think we have a budget for this kind of work at the moment”. “We haven’t decided on a budget yet”. I am sure you have heard these and similar objections many times already.

Of course some prospects might just be using this to get a discount. True. Most of the time though the root of this objection is much different.

It could be a sticker shock. They haven’t expected such a price. Or they just don’t see the value for the money in what you are proposing.

With the first one, you can explain what goes into the delivery of work and emphasize the value every element will bring them. When it comes to the value of SEO, explain to them (with examples) how much they could gain by making this investment.

Cost is quite a difficult objection to overcome, there is no denial. Many sales experts say you should create a situation where the price doesn’t matter. Where you have such an authority that no one will even think of paying you less than what you demand but that’s easy in theory. In practice it can take years to get to that point. And you have to eat in the meantime.

What I would suggest is getting down to the root of the problem – why the price is too high. Is it because of a lack of perceived value or rather because they just don’t have the money?

Objection 2: Timeframe.

Sticking with the common ones still, the timeframe objection. SEO is a long process, we both know it. Many prospects though might be under impression that it doesn’t take much work to increase rankings. All it takes to overcome this objection is to educate your prospects on how SEO works. Sure, they might not get the whole thing but if they understand how complex it is, the objection becomes irrelevant.

Objection 3: No Guarantess.

Can you guarantee anything in SEO? Sure not. That’s the problem for many prospects. Some of them will have to report on the progress to their superiors, even if only to justify the spending. And thus they need to have some sort of guarantee of success. A lack thereof is a serious obstacle to investing in SEO.

A great way to overcome it is by having case studies that prove how you have helped other clients in the past. The same goes for testimonials from other clients.

Objection 4: Support.

What happens if Google pushes an update and the site drops while you still work on it, or right after you finished? Will you provide any support then? Or will you leave the client on their own to deal with the problem? Even worse, will have to shell out more cash to solve the issue?

In the SEO world, guarantees which can work well in other industries, don’t do much. There is no chance you could offer one without knowing what might happen and how much it would cost you.

So, how do you overcome this objection? By providing an anlysis of a risk at the start of the project. Faced with that objection, you can suggest to assess the clients site for any problems. Of course you can’t predict everything but at least you can see if there is any immediate danger there.

And, that’s it.

Objection 5: Trust.

Trust is a complex objection with many elements falling under it. You can spot the trust objection in questions like:

  • Are you authoritative enough to handle my account?
  • Are you going to be there in a long run?
  • Do you have the expertise to solve my problem?

or anything to that account.

Luckily, it is quite easy to overcome all of them. Use testimonials, client case studies, references or even memberships in industry specific organizations.

Objection 6: I got burnt by SEOs before.

These days it’s not that uncommon to approach a prospect only to learn they have already been burnt by shady SEOs. And of course, they will fear getting involved with SEO again. It is usually a deep rooted fear you can overcome pretty much only with by proving how you have helped others in the past. But even this might not be enough. Taking smaller steps however, like performing only an audit and taking it from there could convince them to try you out.

Objection 7: Do I really need this?

This objection is most commonly voiced by your warm leads – prospects who do need your service but might not be ready to buy yet. It is also a quick and easy way to delay making a decision. Educating them about the value of SEO and how much they can gain by working with you is usually enough to overcome this. It may not be enough to get them to buy yet though. Be prepared for many follow ups and even throwing the towel if the process takes too long.

Objection 8: Isn’t PPC better / faster / offering more return?

Ugh, PPC. Of course. With it you see results almost straight away. The traffic starts pouring in almost the day you launched the campaign. But, you pay for every single click so the scalability of this solution depends on your budget. With SEO however…. well, you know all this anyway. An objection that’s dead easy to overcome.

Objection 9: Will I need a new site?

This objection ties in with the cost one we spoke about already. Many prospects might fear they will need a new site to put your recommendations in place. And perhaps they will, there is no point in denying that. Their site might be insufficient to run any campaign. All you can do is to be absolutely honest about it. That’s it.

Objection 10: I don’t know if I have the authority to buy this.

In this objection, people usually try to pass making the call on someone else.

There are many things you can do to overcome this objection. First, confirm it if it’s true. Sometimes prospects might just want to hide behind their supposed lack of authority to avoid making a decision. You can also try to find out who the real decision maker is. What his or her concerns about SEO could be and how much involved with this side of operations they are. Third, you can request an appointment with them.

TIP: You should never leave it to the other person to sell you to the decision maker. Their involvement in making the sale isn’t the same as yours and thus, it should always be you addressing the decision maker.

Objection 11: SEO is a scam! It will only cause damage.

Oh how many times you’ve heard this one before! Given many of the recent news about our profession, it’s hard not to think of us as a bunch of scammers. And, there is no easy way to overcome this, except…being absolutely frank. Yes, some SEO techniques are scam. But you not only never use them but also have clients to prove it. Include testimonials from your other clients in your presentation. Tackle the scam issue and you will overcome this objection before your prospect has even a chance to voice it.

Objection 12: Our brand is enough to keep us going, thank you.

Oh, I bet you didn’t see this coming. Even though I personally have never heard this one before, I know of few people that did. Sometimes prospects might hide behind their brand, local and branded terms presence. Educating them of the plethora of non branded keywords can help them to see it in a new light. Include appropriate slides into your presentation and this objection is gone before it even appears.

How to Deal with Objections

Not every objection can be dealt with in your presentation. Similarly, you can’t predict every single one your prospect might throw at you. Your success at making the sale therefore will largely depend on how you deal with those unexpected ones.

Here are some pointers for those situations:

1. Establish their trust – this in fact should be the goal of the entire sales meeting. Your prospect should know that you are there to listen and help them with their problems. Also, establish rapport as quickly as possible.
2. Listen to the objection being raised. Not every objection is obvious at the first sight. Similarly, many delay tactics are often disguised as objections, as we’ve seen already. Selling is a state of mind and you need to train yourself at listening, anticipating and spotting objections in everything your prospect is saying. One of the good ways to uncover objections from delay tactics is trying to confirm what the prospect is saying. Simply ask “Don’t you really mean….” or “You’re telling me X but I think perhaps you mean Y”. Just remember, you are not trying to corner them but to validate if the objection is real. And there is a very thin line between both.
3. Qualify the objection as the only one. Simply ask the prospect if it is the only reason they won’t buy from you.
4. Confirm it again. By doing this, make sure that this is the only objection. Ask things like “So, you are telling me that if it wasn’t for X, you would get us to do the work?” and follow it with a way to overcome it: “If I was to do X, would that be enough for you to make the decision?”.
5. Use whatever ammo you have to overcome the objection. The above question might not be enough to overcome the objection. Make sure that you use whatever you have to overcome the objection
6. If it fails, set up a follow up. The above might not be enough to get the prospect to buy. But in spite of whatever objections they voiced, don’t let them go just yet. Their objections might be nothing else but a delay tactics. Therefore, set up a follow up, even if it’s just a call or email.


Creative commons image by Uwe Hermann / Flickr