Building a Close Working Relationship – Q&A with Gary Donson

Building a Close Working Relationship – Q&A with Gary Donson
Key 'Takeaways' From This Post

This blog post is part of an insightful series of interviews we are conducting with successful & well regarded web designers, SEOs and agency owners.

*All answers are the words of the interviewees and any opinions expressed are those of the interviewee and not necessarily of BrightLocal.

This Q&A interview is conducted with Gary Donson from Destiny Group

Gary Donson

Gary is the Sales and SEO Director of Destiny Group, which specializes in Joomla Website Design, SEO and Social Media marketing. Ongoing research and testing helps keep our clients ahead the curve!


*All answers are the words of the interviewees and any opinions expressed are those of the interviewee and not BrightLocal.

1. How often do you physically meet with your customers?

Every 4-8 weeks depending on the value of the package the client is on. I prefer to meet face to face with local clients, which makes for a stronger client relationship. For non-local clients we use Join.Me and Google Hangouts (which we are using more and more)

2. How important is trust in your client relationships & how do you develop trust between you & your clients?

It is very important for client retention as most of our clients get daily emails from other SEO companies. Establishing trust begins with the very first appointment when we establish we know what we sell and then following through with results in a timely manner.

3. How do you manage client’s expectations if progress is slow in the first few months?

That can be a challenge with competitive keywords. We never promise results in the beginning and intentionally keep expectations low in case results do take longer. However we track so many metrics (over 30) that there are generally good results to show in several metrics. If a client goes 2 months with flat results then we work with them to shift strategy with their content. With the internet evolving so quickly there is always something new to show them and new strategies to employ. Research is a vital part of our business, being the first to tell a client about something new goes a long way.

4. Do clients take a keen interest in results & reports?

Yes, they generally focus on a small number of keywords for ranking. We always have to be careful to not overwhelm them with data and demonstrate how the data will correlate with their actual sales. As time goes on they do pay less attention to the reports until we are reviewing them with them face to face. In my opinion this is a bad thing as they are not paying attention to the value of the SEO service.

5. What KPIs do you report to your clients and how frequently do you report?

We report monthly via a Google Doc, which they have access to. Includes metrics from Google Analytics, the Local SEO reports and Social Media stats.

6. Once you achieve good results for a client, how do you keep them investing in their SEO?

By implementing new strategies based on the latest changes from google, facebook and pinterest. We are always trying to improve results through various channels.

7. Do you find it’s more lucrative to upsell existing clients on extra services than to go out and win new clients?

Yes !!! However a stream of new clients is essential to long term growth.

8. How long does a typical customer stay active with you?

12-18 months

9. How do you handle problematic or difficult customers?

We fire them! They consume too much time and energy. If a client is having a negative affect on the staff it is time for them to go and this can affect all of the clients. To avoid this we are a little selective in the selling process. We do not take on every client that walks through the door.

10.What’s the ‘key’ to good customer relationships?

Manage expectations before they sign the contract. Complete scheduled tasks on time and give them a little extra service from time to time. “By the way – your Pinterest account is now Business Verified” — giving them something they were not expecting or even aware of and then telling why they needed it !

Under Promise – Over Deliver 😉

sophie kemp
About the author
Sophie Kemp is BrightLocal's former Content and Community Strategist who helped us advise businesses on everything needed to deliver amazing local marketing.