You can tell a lot about a company based on how they pursue you as a client. Are you approached politely, but hastily; coldly and aggressively; warm and friendly – the best friend and consultant or the questions and order taker? There are a plethora of sales approaches out there, but what do those approaches say about the company? Here’s what I’ve learned as the salesman of a small company and how I recommend to find the best online marketing company for you
For me, this is the most important stage of the sales process. This not only sets the stage for the sale, but helps to build trust, confidence, and a relationship with the client. This is the most important part of the relationship, because if no deal is struck, the impression our company gave is all that that lingers after communication is disconnected. I want that to be a good one. If a deal is made, both sides will feel comfortable and excited about the new partnership because there is a clear, comfortable understanding of what is to be expected and delivered.
As a business, you want an agency that has an air of confidence, is motivated to get things done, and is intentional in what they deliver to you — proposals, references, market information, etc. These agencies will easily set themselves apart when they exhibit the aforementioned qualities, and it will be more than apparent when you’re not dealing with one of these agencies. You’ll say to yourself in one way or another, “Man, this is going to be great!”. These agencies will know what they are doing, they will be organized, and the representative that you’re speaking to will appear to have the full weight of their company behind them. What this should say to you is that the whole company is interested in your business, not just this sales representative that makes a commission on your sale.
Our company has been been at different levels during this stage – desperate, hungry, motivated, determined, financially unstable (we were a startup just 4 years ago), etc. In all cases, we were eager to take on the client to prove our abilities and make the prospective client happy with their decision to go with us. However, we only had one mindset when seeking to convert the sale to a client — we want you to be a part of our family. See, if they agency isn’t taking you on to be a part of their company, to be extensions of your business, then you might not want to enter into that relationship. Now, some may argue against that, but in my experience, if there isn’t a stake in it for both sides, then it won’t work out in the long run.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you sign on the dotted line: Have I felt rushed and pushed into this decision? Do I have a full-grasp of what is being delivered to me? Is this arrangement going to put a strain on our company causing undue tensions on the campaign?
Our company guarantees three things: no guarantees when it comes to search engine results (No one can know for sure the inner workings of Google, Yahoo, and Bing), we will deliver quality work on time, and we will be completely honest and transparent with your money.
How important does your agency make you feel? Do you get the impression that you’re not worth their time or that you’re valued and wanted? Are they delivering and are results being delivered? Is there any tangible ROI?
If your agency has made you a part of their family, invested into your company with a stake in your success, have been honest and transparent with your spend, and delivered you quality work and results, then the above questions are easily answered. If they haven’t, then you might want to have a conversation with them about the issues, or re-evaluate your relationship with them altogether.
My partner, founder and CEO of Organically Interactive, Lauren Wilkison, always laughs when I call our relationship with the clients a dance, but that’s exactly what it is. In order to dance and do it well, you must give clear directional steps, always be present, always mindful of the other, always improving your skills, and always honest in your actions.
Clear Directional Steps: You always know what’s going on and where you’re going because the communication flow is open and fluid.
Always Present: There’s nothing worse than an agency you can’t get a hold of when you need them. We strive to be more than an agency down the road, but to be more like your in-house marketing department.
Always Mindful Of The Other: Anticipating needs and wants is what differentiates a good company from a great company. The great company is always mindful of what you need and want and always striving to provide it. (Keyword: Anticipating = actively anticipating, not just once)
Always Improving Your Skills: Is your agency always doing the same thing, or always looking to innovate and improve their methods? If the answer is no, then you might as well look elsewhere because you’ll get the same results. At our core, we’re always looking to improve our strategies, technologies, and results for clients. In our minds, it’s a must.
Always Honest In Your Actions: Honesty and clear directional steps go hand-in-hand. Do you know where your money is being spent and is it all being spent where they say it’s being spent? We create accounts and always immediately turn access over to the clients — it’s never “ours.” That’s not the way to do business. It’s always about the client’s security and transparency for them. Honesty. Transparency. It’s the only way to do business.
I hope that my experiences and insights in sales and marketing help you find an agency that fits the personality of your company and provides with the highest level of service.