How to Sell Inbound Marketing Services to Your Customers

Inbound Marketing can leverage your customers’ results. See in this post how to educate the Lead before offering this service and get around the most frequent objections

Your agency already knows: the digital age has brought countless changes in the way people shop, research, and converse and relate. With this, the Internet has increased power in the hands of consumers, and consequently, the growth of customer demand for digital services.

The amount of information available online means that almost 70% of the purchase decision is made even before the customer talks to the company. According to Ibope Media, around 92% of potential customers use the Internet as a research channel about companies, products and services before making a purchase. So far, nothing new. But what to do with this panorama?

Offering services with the Inbound Marketing methodology is an alternative to face the competition. With effective actions, ranging from generating new leads to converting them into new customers, you bet on gaining the customer’s attention and interest instead of “pushing” a solution to them.

However, we know in practice that it is not so simple to “unaccustomed” a customer who is used to that traditional marketing and bring him/her into the age of technology, with digital services. Every time an agency presents its proposal for a Digital Marketing solution for companies with low digital presence and investment capacity, it faces a challenge. When it comes to Inbound Marketing, this challenge is even greater.

If, on the one hand, it deals with the client’s high expectations regarding results – which impact business growth – on the other, it faces the insecurity and resistance of clients to invest in digital strategies without first having a guarantee of return on investment.

And we all know that the impacts of a digital strategy on the client’s business come in the medium and long term, thanks to three magic words: strategies, investments and recurring actions.

So, how to convince the client to overcome insecurity, investing the necessary efforts and resources to have a successful digital strategy?

Simple: proposing a marketing solution tailored to the customer’s moment, and with two clear objectives: (1) offer immediate impacts to prove the channel and (2) expand the strategy, so that it seeks recurring, predictable and scalable demand.

In this post, smart city is going to help you understand how to carry out concrete actions with new customers in Digital Marketing. Here you will find:

1. How to identify customers with low digital presence
2. What to do if the customer is not ready for Inbound Marketing
4. How to generate the first results in digital
5. When is the right time to propose the project’s expansion?

To start off on the right foot, let’s understand what a customer with low presence and digital maturity is.

How to identify the customer’s low digital presence?

For starters, basic testing of a company’s digital presence can be done with a simple search for different keywords on major search engines such as Google.

Use keywords about the customer’s business and the products sold.

If the company is not on the front page, raise the warning sign and consider five hypotheses for this poor performance:

  1. The customer’s digital presence is only through social networks. In other words, the company does not have a website.
  2. The site was poorly developed and has serious technical problems. Context hinders loading speed and is an additional obstacle for consumers to find the company on the web.
  3. The site is not optimized with SEO techniques and therefore is not found when consumers search for keywords.
  4. The company even has a digital presence, but it doesn’t do any marketing. Therefore, it has no authority or relevance in the digital space.
  5. Even though it already has a website and other digital channels, the company is still literally in its infancy in this space.

One recommendation is to use MozBar , a free tool that shows the site’s domain authority (DA). A DA below 10 can be considered low.

If your customer presents any of the above hypotheses, we recommend taking a step back when aligning expectations about results that impact sales immediately.

The agency must assume its role as a Digital Marketing specialist and propose to the client the appropriate solution for this scenario: tidying up the house. Or rather, fix the site.

The customer is not ready for Inbound Marketing: take a step back to take two steps forward

I know you are eager to sell Inbound Marketing services because you know it can help (a lot) the customer. However, “don’t put the carts before the horse.”

If you’ve heard this saying somewhere, know that the maxim also applies to digital strategies. Therefore, you can’t think about generating Leads and making online sales without a minimally friendly digital structure to receive these visitors (such as a website or a capture page).

For starters, it’s critical to align the expectations of both sides well during negotiations before closing the contract. If your client has never invested in Inbound Marketing, even with the financial conditions to do so, it is very likely that he does not have clear objectives with this type of strategy or does not realize the value that this can provide to his business.

As a result, this type of client tends to pressure for short contracts, conditional on the results you can deliver in the first few months, due to the fear of investing in the long term.

If your agency gives in to this kind of pressure, you should know that the problem is with your business process, not your client. When presenting your value proposition, you need to make it clear that an inbound Digital Marketing strategy takes time. For this reason, contracts must be at least annual.

Once this objection is overcome and the contract is approved, you should focus on finding the best technologies to build or improve your client’s website, ensuring navigability and responsiveness.

At the same time, you have to start the planning phase, where you consider your customer’s competence and market behavior, so that you can identify buyers and their buying processes and define a good attraction strategy.

After initial planning and research, you should define the   relevant keywords to appeal to your customer personas and then SEO your site.

Regarding the responsive nature, you can access a plethora of free tools, such as Mobile Friendly, which helps you make your page easier to navigate to mobile devices and test your site with Google, which allows you to measure the speed of loading your page.

Finally, it’s time to reach out and reach a wider audience. It’s important to consider two possible ways: organic and paid media.

In paid campaigns, if you have the opportunity, I recommend a periodic investment in Google Adwords . Remember that the success of this strategy is right at the planning stage, so you invest your budget in keywords that are really relevant to your client’s business.

When it comes to looking for an organic audience, you must first be resilient, as audiences are not built overnight. Work on the quality of the content and ensure relevance so that they have a strong attraction potential.

It is also very important that you are aware of web trends in order to take advantage of content that is on the rise. Use co-marketing strategies and explore the potential of social media to expand your audience.

What are and how to get started with Inbound Marketing?

A good tip is that the initial strategy has two objectives: attracting visitors and converting these visitors into contacts (Leads), to build your own base.

The objective of organic attraction is to improve the company’s positioning with the interested audience, in such a way that it impacts the ranking of the website in search engines and prepares the ground for the second objective: lead generation.

We know that the impact of the attraction strategy via content is medium and long term. If we compare it to a ladder, remember that to get to the top it is necessary to climb the first step.

With the website’s SEO optimization done, the time has come to study and define personas and the purchase journey, to plan content that generates value and encourages the consumer’s next step.

Don’t limit the strategy to your own digital channels.

Also explore other efforts beyond your site, such as a press office strategy. Disseminate releases about your customer’s product or service to other relevant and authoritative online portals to generate demand and indirectly boost your strategy.

Following this same logic, carry out co-marketing actions with other companies. Have you thought about writing guest posts for other blogs? Choose the ones that best suit your audience and propose a win-win partnership.

An important consideration: prioritizing organic traffic does not mean ignoring the importance of investing in media at this initial stage. Investing in paid media stocks is often the key to making the first impact on a customer’s business.

How to generate the first result and impact 

During my experience as an Account Manager for RD partner agencies, I realized that the main expectation of a client when looking for an agency is to increase their sales channels. Often because traditional channels are not as profitable as they used to be.

With the current scenario, really many things are falling apart. The urgency to explore new sales channels is increasingly latent. And digital is the direction we’re moving.

In this sense, it is important to align expectations with the client about what results are possible given the context in which he finds himself, but at the same time it is important that you deliver clear signals in the first few weeks that he can really increase revenue with Inbound Marketing.

One suggestion is to invest a budget in a sponsored links strategy, focused on generating leads.

First, it’s important to think about capturing data from visitors to generate leads. Include in your strategy the creation of landing pages, pop-ups and forms to capture these contacts.

Then prioritize the nutrition and relationship with these customers through email marketing campaigns. A key point will be the production of relevant content for the strategy to improve the prospect’s experience in the purchase journey.

plus would be the personalized relationship. But for that, you need to segment your contact base and rely on automation strategies.

Here at Resultados Digitais, we have developed a methodology called the Results Acceleration Program, which aims to generate impact on the client in the first 60 days.

These results will be fundamental to lead the client to the second stage, which focuses on scaling the results. Understand now how to align the need for expansion with the customer.

When is the time to propose an upgrade?

The right moment to propose the expansion of the project may vary depending on the client’s moment, but we recommend that the subject be discussed again during the meeting to present the first results (lead generation or even opportunities and sales).

To increase investment, the client demands greater confidence in the digital strategy, based on the project’s initial results. For this, it is important that he is clear about the limits of the initial actions and the need to intensify marketing actions, to generate recurring, predictable and scalable demand.

Your agency can project your return on investment based on your client’s sales funnel conversion rates and craft a value proposition with tangible, measurable marketing actions so that your client feels confident in taking the next step. We indicate that the projection is in 3 scenarios: realistic, optimistic and pessimistic.

Following these steps, your client, which until then was not ready for an inbound marketing project, will now have a minimally structured digital strategy, the first results (leads) and also projections of how far the project can reach with more investment. It’s the right time to increase the scope of the project.

Need help preparing your proposal? You can count on the support of an RD specialist, an exclusive benefit for marketing agencies that are part of – or are joining – the RD Station partner program.

Main Obstacles in Selling Inbound Marketing Services and How to Get Around Them

Lack of resources or difficulty in allocating funds for Digital Marketing

Your client spends with a busdoor campaign and is resistant to invest in Digital Marketing?

He may not understand creativity much, but business people understand (or at least should understand) numbers well. This is the time for ROI to shine. Showcase your ability to generate performance reports so that your prospect has a clear sense that you intend to be absolutely transparent with them. Having the work supported by well-defined metrics is crucial for building and satisfying customer expectations.

This client represents one of the “easiest” closing possibilities. He already has money. He can invest. Now you only need to defend the benefits and possible deliveries with Inbound Marketing so that it directs investments for your proposals. 

Analog resistance

It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t understand or if he doesn’t see value, there are prospects who (yet) don’t believe in digital.

Typically this potential customer has a longer sales cycle, but in Covid-19 times we have seen an acceleration of the move to digital. So, this is a moment of hope! It is necessary to think that we only value what we understand. And that the construction of a value perception depends on the sales argumentation. For this customer profile, a more didactic approach makes the difference. See our Inbound Marketing presentation template.

 Try to use the client’s language to bring examples closer to their reality. Analogies are welcome. Practical applications, demonstrations using your products and services also greatly help the prospect to understand the proposal and see meaning, before seeing value.

As soon as this client realizes that his agency’s proposal applies to the needs of his business, closing will already be close.

Previous traumas

Worlds already promised. They didn’t even deliver the funds.

Traumatized clients are also not rare. Some have already bet on miracle formulas, recipes for success, foolproof steps and other promises that involved little work and much gain.

The arguments that should be used in this type of situation are very similar to the ones above. First, it is necessary to investigate the customer’s level of knowledge on the subject, then it is necessary to deconstruct parts of the customer’s knowledge or perception so that he or she actually values ​​relevant and differential points of your proposal. Once this is done, we can support the argument, in a didactic way, about the forms of accountability, reports and ROI. At this point he will make sure you are no longer charging him money to post on Facebook.

With the proposal of serious work, planned and supported by KPIs , this prospect profile will feel confident to follow through with your proposal and will have their expectations renewed with the first deliveries. The chances of a long-term relationship from this scenario are the best!

Demands for immediate results

There is a slightly more skeptical type of customer. In a way he sees value in hiring Digital Marketing services, but not enough to invest the time/money necessary for a work focused on results.
Okay. I consider this scenario halfway there. Once he already understands, even superficially, the possibilities of Inbound Marketing, it is easier to delight the customer with results. And no vanity metrics around here! Likes, shares, followers… generally this customer profile is no longer deceived by presentations of results of this nature.

To change the customer’s perception of all the potential you can deliver to them, you need to focus on business metrics: increased lead generation, sales opportunities and closings.  When, in a short time, he realizes that what you deliver clashes with what this customer has already had contact with, the tendency is for him to listen to you with more attention and dedicate more time to his performance. And more money too.

The main objections usually focus on 5 reasons:

  • Time
  • Cash
  • Necessity
  • Urgency
  • Confidence

When you prove you can be profitable, your client will make time and money. When you demonstrate that you have the ability to generate business results, your customer will need what you offer. When you present facts that make your client realize how much he can lose if he disregards your arguments, it creates a sense of urgency. When you master a subject technically, can clearly contextualize the benefits of a proposal for the client, and offer a clear perspective of achievement, the foundation of trust is built.

When your customer trusts and you deliver, we have a lasting and potentially profitable relationship on both sides. And so be it!