Digital marketing services are still a hard sell.
Even at the start of 2023, when the whole world has seen how important and significant a business’s online presence is for success and growth, many businesses stay traditional and think one of two things.
First, they underestimate the results of digital marketing services and aren’t willing to take an unfamiliar risk.
Or second, they do understand some bits of internet and social media marketing and think they can do it themselves, underestimating a digital marketer’s ability.
Today, we’ll dig deep into how you can make digital marketing services more attractive in a potential prospect’s mind and how you can sell them to businesses relating to different niches.
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
- The 3 Types Of Clients You’ll Meet And How To Tackle Them
- 7 Proven Ways To Close A Digital Marketing Sale
- How To Start Selling Digital Marketing Services As A Beginner?
- How To Price Your Digital Marketing Services
The 3 Types Of Clients You’ll Meet And How To Tackle Them
For a digital marketing agency or consultant, there are generally 3 types of clients you will be dealing with.
Let’s label them up and see how you can identify their problems and close a deal.
1. Noob Retailer
The first type of business client you will deal with would be a noob salesman i.e. someone who has put in little to no effort in digital marketing.
Sure they may have created a Facebook page and added themselves on Google maps with accurate timings, but they don’t really know how far along their business can grow if they take the right steps.
Believe it or not, these clients are the most difficult to deal with.
But, it’s always a Do or Die situation with them.
If you can present them with a beautiful (profitable and stress-free) picture of their business for them after being influenced will digital marketing, they’ll stick with you.
However, if they’re sturdy, they’ll think of you as another cold-calling salesman trying to scam you and will not settle for anything (even free money in many cases).
So the best way to deal with them is to ask them about their problems and paint them a beautiful picture that excites them BUT is not too good to be true.
If you tell them they’ll be millionaires by the end of the week, they’ll pass you off assuming you’re a pyramid scheme salesman.
Be optimistic but PRACTICAL.
2. Exciting Prospect
The second type of client you will see would be somewhat an exciting prospect, a business that is aware of all the benefits of digital marketing and is down to close a deal with someone who offers them the right solutions, BUT the only problem is they’re already doing digital marketing.
For businesses just starting out with this prospect, they have most likely made an improper investment (mostly an inexperienced “digital marketer” employee).
This means, they’re doing the right thing, but the wrong way. This is not only compromising the benefits of digital marketing but could also have demerits for the business’s online presence.
For these clients, you have to do your homework first.
Identify things that they are doing wrong which you can easily turn around.
Explain to them how their investments are not as profitable as they should be at this stage, and threaten them with how the competitors in their own industry are doing it right and are stepping ahead of them.
If you identify their problems right and can actually show how you’re not just another bad decision, the deal should close in no time.
3. Pioneer Businesses
The third type, is businesses that have been doing digital marketing for quite some time, are prospering with it, and are already a client of a digital marketing agency.
These advanced clients are mostly looking for two things: speed and less responsibility.
For pioneer businesses, money isn’t that big of a motivating factor. However, if you can show them how their business can increase their profits FAST without any additional investments, they may be intrigued.
For these clients, you have to do your homework on not only the prospect’s business but the competitor they’re already getting digital marketing services.
Then identify the problems with their current digital marketing agency and strategy, and show them how you can do it better (this proof should be strongly backed with real results like better ROI or market share).
It would be a hard nut to crack, but if done right, these are the most profitable clients for you.
7 Proven Ways To Close A Digital Marketing Sale
Now that you know the types of clients you deal with, let’s look into the method of turning a prospect into a sale.
I will now mention 7 different practices that generally can work with all your leads, getting you one step closer to turning them into a sale.
I have personally used these practices myself and seen significant growth. This isn’t something passed on to me by a mentor, but as a beginner, I’ve always had a trial-and-error basis to approach problems and these 7 tricks almost never fail me anymore!
Let’s get started!
1. Offer Them A Solution Instead Of A Prospect
Businessmen are offered prospects everywhere. From scammers to relatives, everyone tells them how they could do XYZ differently and be in a better position.
But what does that lack? Practicality.
A client would trust you more if your sale includes prospects and solutions to problems limited to them.
Don’t just generally say digital marketing will increase your sales, but rather do your homework and appropriately tell them ‘you’re likely to lose 50 fewer customers each month to other businesses if you invest in digital marketing just like your competitors’.
Stop hitting prospects up expecting them to be hopeful of all the six-figure promises you offer them.
Do the homework first, identify the client’s problems, and then offer them solutions.
2. Ask Before You Provide
Another great approach to dealing with a client is to ask them about their problems before presenting solutions.
If you dive straight into everything that ‘you can help them with’, it will just look like you’re reading a sales script to another client.
Instead, if you ask them what they want, the problems they’re facing, and the goals they’re trying to achieve, and then offer solutions to their problems, they’re more likely to trust your knowledge, consider you as a professional, and think of your solutions as a practical investment for their business that they can picture in their minds already.
Even if you had done the homework and do know the problems a business faces, it is better to have them tell you that instead of starting the conversation yourself (unless they’re a client of the pioneer business category, some businesses are more impressed when a salesman has done the effort of researching them before).
3. Step Into Their Shoes
A big hurdle that salespersons often face… is themselves.
When you have something to sell, it makes perfect sense in your mind and you can’t think of any reason why someone would decline it.
This makes us too hopeful and optimistic that the prospect will actually follow our process into the sale, even though that rarely does happen.
That is where we try to force our prospects to answer ‘right’ to lead them into the process and script that we created, even though the reality is different than what we predicted.
And when we lose a lead, we blame them for not seeing the bigger picture, or ourselves for being inefficient in explaining that.
However, the real problem would be an entirely different thing. You didn’t look at your sale from their perspective.
The position their business is in, the experiences they’ve had, the finances they work with, and the decisions they tend to make.
Filtering your sale by thinking from the prospect’s shoes helps you prepare better and identify what they want, rather than what you think they want.
4. Does Cold Calling Still Work?
Cold calling and emailing, do they still actually work for digital marketing services?
Yes and no.
Cold calling and emailing is a very traditional way of approaching businesses that are now overrun by even scammers and such.
The whole world is aware of the many cold calls and emails that sound too good to be true, where the salesman reads a script and lures you in.
If you sell your digital marketing service like that, you may even start losing clients who actually wanted digital marketing services but didn’t like your approach.
However, from my personal experience, cold calling and emailing was a very difficult thing to quit entirely. It is, at the end of the day, a great outlet for reaching hundreds of prospects in minimal time.
This is why I created a workaround. I stuck by cold-calling and emailing only to the ‘Noob retailer’ type of clients, who don’t know much about digital marketing services.
I kept the script flexible, with helpful stuff like asking the prospect questions and toning down the pushiness (that really gets people to stop trusting you as much).
And it worked!
For the other 2 types of clients, the serious ones who actually know the inside-outs of digital marketing services, I stuck on doing my homework first and then calling with a personal touch rather than a cold call.
5. Show Them The Results They’re Paying For
Facts and figures are always great to earn the trust of a prospect.
Whether it’s a blog for readers or a sale call of digital marketing services, it is always best to go prepared with facts and figures.
While approaching your client, give them PRACTICAL figures of how their business can be improved with digital marketing services.
Try to focus on the short-term goals that show improvement, rather than focusing on green gardens that take more than a year to bloom.
The most significant aspect of this would be ROI. The only thing you’re asking of the business is their investment in you, so it’s important that you start with how that investment will be one of the most profitable decisions they’ve made.
Your profile and clientele could also be helpful here. A prospect would feel better trusting you and investing in you when they can see the results you’ve provided to other companies who did the same.
6. Educate Them About The Non-Financial Benefits
When approaching bigger businesses, you will notice that many businessmen don’t actually care for money too much.
If a manager is paid the same whether or not they hire you, your job is to take it personally and please the manager with aspects of your services that can help them.
So instead of emphasizing how profitable the business can be, rather show them how the pressure and stress of the job can subdue if they hire someone responsible like you for digital marketing, taking over many of the hectic aspects of the job.
Or show them how you’re focused on quick short-term goals that can really give a good impression for the manager themselves because they will directly get credit for the help you provide to the business with marketing.
When money isn’t a big motivator, identify the motivator and sell to that!
7. Compare Yourself With Your Competitors
Once you’re done with the pitch, your prospect is most likely going to take some time to think it over.
Don’t rush them to make a decision!
That could give a scammy impression. You’re not here for scams nor are you a stockbroker where time is of the essence.
Instead, educate your prospects about other options that they will find and how you’re a better option than them.
Because the moment your meeting is over, the prospect will look over their options. So it’s better if it directly comes from you because you can mould it in a way that makes you look the best and emphasize more the advantages they get from you than any other digital marketer or agency.
Do thorough research on your competitors and make a list of what you can offer better. Personalized services, 24/7 availability, better pricing, complete team, urgent deliveries, and whatnot.
Whatever the problems of the client are, emphasize the advantage they get from you directly on that issue to trap the prospect into considering you as the best option.
Now, even if they do reach over for other clients, the first impression that you gave about yourself and the other digital marketers and agencies will stick in the prospect’s mind.
If you did make your pitch in a way that helped you stand out amongst the rest of the options, they’re most likely coming back to you to close the deal!
How To Start Selling Digital Marketing Services As A Beginner?
All of the above-mentioned tricks work and work great!
However, for that to help you be a better digital marketer or run a better digital marketing agency, you will need to have clients or prospects you can pitch to.
As a beginner in digital marketing services, you don’t have many people to pitch to.
Without a profile, you can’t go knocking on doors of businesses telling them you can improve their business without proof of experience.
So who do you start with?
Well, there are 3 options:
1. Family, Friends, and Colleagues
As a digital marketer, you must have shared offices with people who work in the marketing industry just like you.
Bring up that list and approach your colleagues if they or someone they know needs digital marketing services.
Since you already have a connection with them, they will be less reluctant to give you the role of digital marketing even if you don’t have any experience, as you’re not a complete stranger and they have seen your work well.
The same goes for your family and friends.
The people who you already have a connection with can take a risk trusting you because they already know you.
Your responsibility is to do a killer job and offer them a lower price than other agencies or digital marketers to help them feel better for trusting a beginner like you.
Freelancing can be a great getaway for digital marketers as well.
Create a profile on Fiverr and Upwork, the two biggest freelancing platforms, and start creating gigs that offer digital marketing services to businesses.
Make sure you keep your prices at the minimum, your primary goal right now is not to make money but a strong profile that you can use later to bag bigger clients!
And be sure to emphasize the experience you’ve already had as a digital marketer. Unlike many jobs for freelancing, digital marketing isn’t one that a client will just hire a nobody for just because they’re charging less.
As you start getting clients, do a great job, get great reviews, build an amazing clientele, and start approaching bigger clients with that!
3. Personal Social Media
Just like with family and friends, try to portray your digital marketing life on your social media as well.
Either upload a story or a post that tells people that you’re offering something.
Again, keep the prices at a minimum.
Since they’re already followers or friends with you on social media platforms, they can be very likely to get their work done from you rather than a professional with whom they don’t have a prior connection, who probably comes at a more expensive price as well.
How To Price Your Digital Marketing Services
Digital marketing services can be priced in a broad range depending on the quality of services you sell and the demands of your client.
If you’re considering selling digital marketing services, you’re either a beginner or a professional. Let’s discover how you can sell digital marketing services in either case.
Pricing Digital Marketing Services As A Beginner
As a beginner, you may not have a lot of digital marketing experience, which is why you can’t start by charging your services for a very expensive price. You can only build up to high prices for now.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to figure out the price of your digital marketing services as a beginner:
- Services: Digital marketing includes a plethora of services from PPC to SEO and many more. To get a good justification for your price, you need to first list the services you’re selling.
- What are your competitors charging: As a beginner, you don’t have a brand that you can sell against. For now, you can only use low prices as a lever to close sales. For all the services that you’re selling, get an average price that is being charged in the market.
- Cost analysis: At the end of the day, you need to profit from your digital marketing sales. This is why it is important to list down all the costs that you’re incurring during a sale, e.g. digital marketing software, operating expenses, time, etc.
- Set a price: Now that you know the services you’re selling, their prices, and their costs, figure out the difference between your costs and the average prices of your services in the market. This is the average profit of a digital marketer. But since you’re just entering the digital marketing field, it is best to compromise this profit and lower it as much as you can and set that price for your services.
What Pricing Method Should You Choose?
There are many pricing methods that digital marketers get paid with, but as a beginner, you should only focus on these two:
Hourly rate: If the client requires general work towards an uncertain time period, an hourly rate is best. Beginner digital marketers usually go for about $50-$100 an hour.
Project-Based Pricing: If the client requires your work on a single project that has a given deadline and certain knowledge of resources that it requires, you should go for a fixed rate for the individual project.
Pricing Digital Marketing Services As A Professional
As a professional, your pricing strategies will be different than just simply using a cost-plus price or matching your competitors’ prices.
The biggest factor that sets your price as a professional digital marketer is the quality of your work.
Here, you will price your services not on the basis of their cost or average price but on the basis of their value and how much it will benefit the client.
Check your competitors: Even as an industry giant, it is best to price your services around the prices charged by your competitors. Research professional competitors in your niche and get a general idea of what price bracket should you charge your services within.
Analyze previous case studies: As a professional digital marketer, you will have many success stories where you helped many businesses. Now you need to carefully figure out the ‘value’ you provided to these clients and estimate what quantitative benefit did they receive after your services.
Leverage your ROI: As a professional digital marketer, your target market would be large businesses that prefer quality over pricing. This is why, after considering your previous case studies and figuring out the ROI (Return On Investment) of your services, you’ll use the ROI to justify your high prices and promise better beneficial returns to the client.
What Pricing Method Should You Choose?
As a professional digital marketer, you get exposed to more pricing methods that you can use to your advantage.
Hourly Rate: Even as a professional, you will still find many clients offering an hourly rate, however, you should now have this charged for at least $200 an hour.
Project-Based: Established businesses can require your services for just one project, which is why you will still have many clients that will offer project-based rates. You should carefully consider the average price of these projects in the market and not settle for the lower bracket of prices.
Monthly Retainer: This will be like a salary where a company will pay you every month and require your services for various tasks throughout the month.
Performance-Based: This is a risky pricing model, however, if you’re certain of your services’ success, you can earn higher profits with this than with any other pricing.
Performance-Based pricing attributes a set percentage of the additional revenue a company generates as a direct consequence of your digital marketing services to you.
That’s all the helpful stuff I can spread out from my own experiences as a beginner digital marketer, playing around with selling techniques, filtering out the ones that work, and approaching giant businesses as a successful digital marketer myself.
I hope this helps you out.
If you’re a beginner, don’t worry. Digital marketing is one of the most important roles businesses are aiming for. If you can’t win clients, try different stuff but stick to the 7 core methods I shared. Soon enough, you’ll have more clients than you can handle!
Best of luck!
Interested in more? Check out How To Start A Digital Marketing Agency With no Experience.