Selling marketing services may seem like one of those “pie in the sky” endeavors at times. There is more of an emotional component to selling services (versus products), because the intangible is involved. And the results desired (after your awesome services have been utilized) may mean different things to different people.
You aren’t selling an item, you are selling the idea of results and what those results mean to your prospects. Here are the top five practices for selling your marketing services:
1- If you haven’t already, you need to narrow that target market.
Let’s face it, you can’t be all things to all people. And you don’t want to work with everyone. You want to work with the “right” companies. Companies you can help. Companies that fit your brand and “get” your work. Companies that appreciate your expertise.
2 – Since you don’t have a product to offer as a sample to your prospective clients, you need to show them what you can do, without offering up your services for free.
The best way to do this is to create an in-depth online portfolio of sorts that showcases your abilities. Make everything you put out – blog, white papers, newsletters, etc. do “double duty” in that they should be a promotional item that shows off your marketing capabilities, but also provides some information or tips that can help the prospect.
3- Use testimonials and case studies to your advantage.
Prospects like to see what others have to say. A great testimonial is good stuff. But don’t just stick with testimonials. Ask your current happy clients for referrals. Obviously they aren’t going to offer up their competition. But, since no business operates inside a bubble, your clients work with companies (perhaps on joint ventures) that likely need your help. And your clients, when happy with your work, may have a few suggestions on who you should contact and market your services to.
4- Track down the decision maker – don’t get stuck with the gatekeeper.
When you are given referrals, you typically get to go straight to the person who will make the decision whether or not to work with you. But when you acquire leads through other means it’s not unusual to get stuck with someone who doesn’t have the authority to make the decision. You need to determine who is in charge of saying yes to your marketing services and get to that person. Don’t waste your time with the employees who can’t give the green light. Be polite. Be business-like. But push past the keeper of the gate and get to the “right” person.
5 – Since results can be somewhat subjective, you need to pinpoint exactly what your prospective client’s individual needs and wants are.
You may be promising them A, and they really want B. Or they may not understand that A will eventually lead to B. It’s up to you to make the possible results crystal clear. Explain how you can measure the results and what those results will translate into for your client’s business.
In the end the prospect should believe in your abilities, understand what it is that you can do, and believe that you are worth every penny you charge for your services.