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How Long Until I See Results with Inbound Marketing Services?

Gray MacKenzie
Gray MacKenzie is a true operations nerd who has spent the past decade helping hundreds of agencies build more productive, profitable, and healthy teams by solving the core issues plaguing their project management.

To chat with Gray and have ZenPilot lead your team through the last project management implementation you'll ever need, schedule a quick call here.

Skepticism is one of the first places that peoples’ minds turn to when considering any investment.

Think about the last investment you made.

Stocks, home purchase, retirement accounts. Investing is all about putting in money in the short term for a long-term gain.

Inbound marketing works the same way—it’s an upfront investment for a long term payout. When it comes to investing, the question we hear most commonly is, “How long until we start seeing results?”

In this episode we address how to answer a common objection, “How long until I see results with inbound marketing?”

What the Prospect is Really Saying

The key to a good investment is determining the lowest risk to receive the highest reward. The speed in which the investment grows is also a major factor. 

Here is the tricky thing with all investments—there is a certain level of risk and uncertainty no matter what. Inbound is no different. 

Asking how quick until results are seen is the prospect’s way of expressing of fear. The fear that they are investing a lot of upfront dollars for an unknown but hopeful outcome. 

We classify this objection as skepticism. In other words, you can tell me an answer, but without a deeper level of understanding and proof I do not believe you.


Here’s the other tricky part. With inbound, you will never be able to guarantee the exact outcome in an exact amount of time. Based on experience and a proven process, however, we can get a pretty good idea. 

So lets talk about to overcome this objection.

Framing the Conversation

Break down inbound marketing in a way the prospect will understand. The goal is to shape the way the prospect thinks about inbound marketing. It isn’t just something to throw into the budget—it’s an investment.

Inbound is an Investment

Many prospects understand marketing is an investment to some degree. However, they don’t think of it in the same way they think of the personal stocks they just invested in. Why not? 

Pro Tip 1: Explain the investment of inbound the same way you would explain personal investments. 

Bring the financial benefits of inbound into perspective as something that grows over time. Take a new concept and frame it in a perspective the prospect understands. 

Pro Tip 2: Dig into their goals and what it would mean to actually achieve those goals financially. 

Take the practical approach.

Dig into why what they are currently doing is not working. Boil things right down to the numbers. Use a tool like the inbound revenue calculator to help them understand the value that inbound can bring.

Pro Tip 3: Set the proper expectations. 

Nothing kills a client relationship faster than unmet expectations.

It is always tempting to tell a prospect what they want to hear during the sales process. Don’t do it. Keep goals conservative knowing that you can likely exceed them later. Your team will thank you. 

Overcoming the Objection

After you frame the conversation you still need to answer the question.

In Sales, You Should Answer Directly

Always answer the objection head on, no matter how you think it will impact them purchasing or not. There is nothing more annoying than a sales person who talks around an answer. 

There are two questions I ask before giving my answer.

  1. How fast can you go?
  2. How long do you have?

The answer to these questions will tell me two things in return. 

  1. What type of resources do they have to achieve their goals?
  2. Are we looking at an inbound only client or will we need to implement other strategies as well to meet needs.

If they need results next week we may look into some paid search options when building the Inbound GamePlan. If the runway is closer to four-to-six months we may suggest running an inbound only plan to start. 

At this point in the conversation I will answer directly. 

“Mr. Prospect based on what you have shared with me inbound marketing will be a great fit. We begin to see results within XXXX days based on experience with other companies in your industry.”

Don’t beat around the bush. Be honest and be direct and be conservative. Do not promise them an unrealistic time frame. 

There are two major actionable points to take away from this episode. 

  1. Frame the conversation to have them think about inbound as a great investment, not just another marketing tactic or expense.
  2. Be direct in your answer and conservative in your estimation to set proper expectations. 

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