In this episode of Inbound Sales Journey, we discuss whether your inbound agency should guarantee results.
Prospects are always looking to minimize their risk. Often times they will ask what guarantees they can receive for their investment.
There are two common ways we hear this question phrased:
- “Do you guarantee any results?”
- “Is there a pay based on performance option?”
I’ll cut right to the chase.
We do not guarantee results at our agency and advise other agencies to do the same.
Any time someone moves forward with an investment there is no guaranteed outcome. Inbound marketing works the same way.
If you could guarantee specific results to your client how much would you be charging?
I am guessing much more than the fixed rate you are asking them to pay you.
The results aren’t only up to you as an agency.
Let’s take a common example to explain what I mean.
Most prospects want to view success in terms of increased revenue. The goal may be reasonable but why should you guarantee those results? You cannot control all of the variables.
The team members at the company you are providing services to have a large impact on what happens with leads.
How well the sales team at your prospects company can close deals is not controlled by you. The consistency of the follow up of leads by their sales team is not up to you. You cannot be accountable for the efforts of their employees.
Charging Based on Performance
Understanding that you do not control all variables makes performance based payment options undesirable.
But I hear you saying, “Ryan, what if they pay us based on performance we can control such as leads generated.”
Here is my problem with this model. Let’s say I generated a lead for a prospect through a blog post I wrote three years ago. Three years later I still want to get paid for that work. What if they want to cut ties with our agency after only two years? You see the issue.
There are two types of companies that ask me for a pay-by-performance option.
Company #1: The startup company with low working capital that is looking for a cheap option to help them get off the ground.
Company #2: The declining company that is looking for a miracle solution to save their business.
Both of these options scare me.
In both scenarios there is a chance we put large amounts of effort into each of these two types of companies and then they fail. When you weigh the risk versus reward it is hard to justify taking on these types of clients.
Navigating the Objection
The key to navigating through this objection is to address it head on and explain why you do not guarantee results. Simply saying “no” does not instill confidence in the prospect. You need to put some context as to why not.
I will start my answering by explaining there are multiple variables in play. Some controlled by us, others controlled by them.
I then move to explaining there are elements of risk associated with trying something new. Any investment you make has the potential to have great reward or potential loss. Inbound works the same way.
Then I turn the conversation to the GamePlan. I explain that the best way to minimize that risk is to begin with a solid strategy and foundation from which to build.
Take their mind from uncertainty and turn the conversation into a solution. Prove that you have the process in place to give them their best chance at success with an acceptable amount of risk.
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