A few years back, I took an evening class to study up on fundraising for non-profits I support. The classes were at the end of the day … the time when you’re really tired and only thinking about going to bed.
One night the instructor, contrasting non-profits and their for-profit counterparts, made a comment that I never forgot. It was so simple that I felt stupid: For-profit companies exist to make money.
It seems like a simple idea, but it’s a revelation that can have serious implications for your marketing agency.
If you Google “wealth strategies,” you’ll quickly find the concept of multiple revenue streams. Usually, these articles recommend buying property and generating rental income. But for the modern marketing agency, there’s a simpler way.
Your agency has an advantage over most other companies in that you can, and likely do, offer multiple services. And PPC advertising can be your next revenue stream … if you ask the right questions.
Today, I’ll outline five things you should say to your prospects as well as your agency’s new and existing clients to introduce them to PPC. Importantly, these questions will also help you overcome some of the most common objections to adopting paid search as a channel.
With a little extra work, you can add boost your agency’s profits without having to become a landlord.
This question is for your existing clients, and there’s a reason it comes first. In business as in fundraising, the most important clients are the ones you already have.
Selling your existing clients on PPC is easier because you already have a relationship. Plus, if you’re new to paid search advertising yourself, you’ll have an easier time with their accounts since you are already familiar with them. For your first few, you can easily offer your PPC services free of charge in exchange for a testimonial. (Check out my tips for pricing a new PPC offering.)
And if you’re already a seasoned PPC manager, not connecting with your existing clients is like leaving money on the table.
Regardless, it’s good business practices to engage your clients regularly as a check-in. They’re every bit as concerned about growth as you are, and this is a great way to open a conversation about new marketing channels that will help them grow.
This isn’t about auto dealers. That’s just an example. The point is, two things happen when you use anecdotal stories about other clients: First, you build credibility. Second, you learn.
By building industry knowledge and listening to your specific client needs, you become an expert.
This question will get your clients listening because we’re naturally interested in what our competitors are doing and how we can learn from them. If you have multiple clients in the same industry, you should be using your learnings from one account to influence how you manage the others.
Too often, we assume that everyone speaks marketing. Most of us working in the agency world came from marketing. We drop marketing-bombs like “conversion.” Most of your prospects will think you’re trying to save their soul.
Do your research before the call and make some assumptions. We know that most lawyers and contractors want phone calls. We know most retailers want foot-traffic. We know that online-retailers want an ecommerce purchase. Always ask, but don’t hesitate to assume and make that assumption part of the opener.
Once you get that “of course” you’re expecting, you can explain how your clients are using PPC to drive calls.
So what do you say when you get the inevitable pushback? The “We’re doing just fine”?
Most likely, if you hear “We’re doing just fine,” you’re not talking to a decision-maker. This is when we should go back to their website or LinkedIn and find someone with more authority.
But what if this is the owner? Then we should assume they’re just busy. Turn the “no” into a “maybe” and ask for a follow-up date…or just call back later. But when you do, arm yourself with research. What are they doing to generate business? Are they using AdWords? Are their competitors using AdWords? Lead with this:
“You mentioned last time we talked that you’re doing fine, but I noticed that your competitor popped up when I Googled ‘St. Louis roof repair.’ Does that mean you’re not doing PPC?”
So what do you say if their response is, “PPC is expensive, so we do SEO…”
This is actually a great objection. It means they’re somewhat savvy and have a marketing budget.
This leads to a great follow-up: “Have you ever tried PPC and if so, what happened?”
PPC complements SEO so well that you have a great opportunity with them. Most likely, they got burned on PPC in the past or their current agency just doesn’t offer it. Either way, you can offer to set up their account for a fee and then manage it for a few months at a discount or offer a free month. Then prove to them that AdWords works if done right.
However, don’t feel obligated to do too much for free. At my first sales job, they said to never use the word “free.” It leads people to undervalue what you’re offering.
Adding a new revenue stream is a highly effective way to grow your agency. Armed with these questions for prospects and clients, you’re well on your way.
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