So the top question we get from our SEO reseller team is: "How can I close business more effectively?" (this is a close second to: How can I make the rankings move faster? But that's a very different blog post). We all know that sales is the engine behind any reseller business. Like a shark, if you don't keep moving, your SEO reseller dreams will die. While many people have the desire to make sales happen, they lack the skills. Today's reseller sales tip is about how to effectively use a comparison chart to highlight the strengths of your offering (hopefully HubShout's).
First a little background. Product / Service comparison charts are not unique to the SEO reseller space. They are used in many industries. Here is an example of a comparison chart used by Verizon when trying to promote their version of a Blackberry product:
Notice the missing features among the competitors they highlight. This is an excellent way to visually display how your product is better in certain areas than others. But a few cautions.
1) It is important not to misrepresent the competition. If you have something that is factually incorrect, you are in dangerous waters. Check the website of your competitors as you pull these facts together to make sure they are accurate.
2) Products change over time. You are likely to revisit your comparison chart as your competitors change their feature set. Astute competitors will see your chart and quickly work to close the gap. Be ready to make updates to their column. You will also want to update yours as you endeavor to remain in the lead.
3) Naming specific competitors can be dangerous. The rules of the game shift a bit when you actually name the competitor, as Verizon has done here. This brings extra requirements and scrutiny as your competitor is likely to take your chart quite personally (because you want them to). HubShout has decided to not do this. We feel it is just a bit too personal. Instead, we list our competitors anonymously, with the hope that they will do the same.
Another interesting note about the Verizon chart above. Notice how there is no mention of the number of applications available for the iPhone vs the Blackberry? The reason for this is obvious: The iPhone has many more. This is not a selling feature of the Blackberry. Is this unethical? Not in the least. This is plain old competition. Verizon is highlighting what they do best. I'm sure on the iPhone site you will find a much different story - one that highlights what the iPhone is good at. This is fine. However, the omission of features is entirely different from deliberately misrepresenting features. I would argue that omissions are okay on both legal and ethical grounds, while misrepresentations are not. Besides, if you omit very important features your customers will spot that and realize your data is not credible. In the end, the market will decide if you have created a fair representation.
But putting aside the finer points of legal and ethical obligation, your mission should be to have the best feature set available on the marketplace. Even if this means you are not the cheapest option available, it is a good place to be. We are quite convinced from our market research that HubShout is currently the ONLY private label SEO reseller program that offers a full technology portal. There are other programs where you can log into a website to get your reports, but HubShout offers a fully interactive query builder with access to data from Google, Yahoo, Bing, Analytics and CallTracking (all through built-in APIs), in addition to our completely transparent workflow process. It is no surprise that we highlight those on our comparison chart. You simply can't get them anywhere else. And they are critical when it comes to selecting your SEO outsourcing team..