Why Your Agency Should Sell GamePlans Instead of Retainers
Who doesn't like retainers?
O.K. everyone likes retainers. They are the best way to scale your agency and allow you to have a better handle on cash flow. I get it.
With that being said, you really need to stop selling retainers. At least upfront.
The Danger of Retainers
The most typical marketing retainer an agency will sell is a 12-month commitment. That's a long time. Especially if you have not worked with the client before.
Part of the pains we felt with growing our agency was bringing on the wrong clients. They weren't responsive, they paid invoices late, we weren't a priority etc...
Unfortunately, we also sold 12-month retainers and the expectation was that they wouldn't leave, but neither would we. So we sucked it up, kept working hard, kept getting frustrated, and the results weren't what we or they hoped for.
And then there were the ones that got away. Prospects we really meshed well with that we had a great feeling about, but were uncomfortable committing to a 12-month financial commitment.
We quickly realized that jumping into a year-long retainer without working together previously was dangerous for both sides.
The Creation of GamePlans
Every time we would bring on a retainer client the first month would predominantly consist of digging into things like buyer personas, funnel creation, long-term strategy. We began to develop a formula we call the Inbound Marketing GamePlan that we could use over and over to speed up the on-boarding process.
Then it hit us. If we have to create these GamePlans for our clients anyways, why don't we sell them the GamePlan first and then upsell them into the retainer after? A simple flat fee and a 1-month commitment.
It solved all of our major problems.
For the clients who weren't good to work with it allowed us a sneak peek into their corporate structure and allowed us to see how responsive they were to our meeting and homework requests.
For the prospects who were hesitant to sign onto a full year-long commitment we now had a less expensive and valuable product to sell them. We could clearly show the value of what they could expect to receive and use the month we had with them to build a relationship and show them we were the right fit to work together.
Moving to the Retainer
The goal still remains the same. Land a strong retainer client.
The GamePlan becomes the tool you use to do it. If there is any confusion about how you help a company achieve their goals, the answer is laid out in the GamePlan. If they aren't sure how inbound marketing works, the GamePlan is the tool that will show them a clear path from where they are now to where they want to go.
Retainers help you grow your business and GamePlans help you land more retainers.
If you have questions about what is included in a GamePlan or how we sell them, check out this episode for a clear breakdown.
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