(I shared this in the free Superstar SEO group and some other places. I hope that is ok)
The Time That Fried Chicken Helped Me Sign A Client
I don’t do a lot of client outreach for my agency; however we do some in our local community.
Despite the fact that there isn’t a ton of money in the businesses here for marketing, I like to work with businesses here because I have lived here all my life and want to give back in whatever way I can.
So a while back I managed to get a prospect in North Myrtle Beach (suburb of Myrtle Beach) on the phone.
I told him why I was calling and he told me he wasn’t interested because he had been burned on SEO before, and that he didn’t want to work with someone that knew nothing about his business or where he was from.
Now this is an objection I was hoping to get and was often able to overcome easily by telling that I was a lifelong local.
This time I had to work for it though.
I told him I understood where he was coming from, that it was important to work with someone that cared about his business the way he did, and as someone that had grown up here I would take the kind of care of him that he deserved.
“Bullshit! You aren’t from around here, I can tell by your accent”
I assured him I was local and had lived here since I was a baby… but he felt the need to quiz me…
…now honestly I nearly just thanked him for his time at this point because I wasn’t trying to do this for the money, and if he had this much doubt it probably wouldn’t be a good fit…
…but for whatever reason I decided to play along.
Him: “What part of Myrtle Beach did you grow up in?”
Me: “I didn’t grow up in Myrtle Beach, I grew up in North Myrtle Beach”
(People in North Myrtle Beach are particular about this distinction)
Him: “What section?”
Me: “Windy Hill”
Him: “Where did you go to school?”
Me: “I went to North Myrtle Beach through 5th grade then I was home schooled the rest of the way; but I was associated with North Myrtle Beach schools and graduated from there”
I figured that would be enough.
I was wrong.
“Well if you went to North Myrtle Beach then you must know what they served at NMB high for lunch on Thursdays!”
“I do, it is the world’s best fried chicken!”
(They take a lot of pride in this)
He went silent for a moment.
“Well I guess you really are a local.”
He seemed almost annoyed.
“I am and that’s why I want to work with you.”
The rest of the conversation went about like a standard SEO call does and we eventually ended up working together for around a year and I got him some great results.
So what was the point of this story?
Well it was twofold…
…first, I am still blown away to this day by how absurd the whole thing was, almost any other day I would have just thanked him for his time and moved on.
The other is… don’t be generic.
So much prospecting and outreach is just generic cut and paste templates.
So many messages are written or said in a way that NO ONE actually talks like.
For example… well just go open your LinkedIn inbox and read any of the hundreds of automated messages.
Take the time to reach out to less prospects, but more highly targeted.
Build a customer avatar.
Know your niche.
Know something about the area.
Respect your prospect as a person whose time is valuable and you will be able to convert prospects far better than any template or script ever will.
Oh and if you are ever in North Myrtle Beach… pay some kid $10 to pretend you are their dad so you can try the fried chicken. 😉
Talk to you tomorrow