“How do you set proper expectations with clients before they sign on?”
When setting expectations I rely on industry standards as a base, then factor in market information and spend level to come up with a number that is mutually agreed upon!
Data from the Agency Management Institute shows that only 1 in 40 new business reps works out!
…..And among those who do make it for the long haul, they take about 12 months to even pay for themselves. It’s a tough dang job, which leads to a revolving door when the unspoken truth is that the best agency sales person is most likely the owner. The fundamentals of digital might work well for your clients, but unless you’re extremely differentiated, aiming to compete in SEO or PPC with the agency down the street is becoming a futile exercise.
What better way to understand this tough job than to chat with the expert Jason Kovarik – one of the top 5% of Digital Sales Managers!
Meet Jason Kovarik – An Agency Expert who has pioneered Digital Sales for more than ten years.
His knowledge of Internet marketing industry combined with his strong sales acumen makes him a true sales leader. Sharing his tips on how to sell through digital, it’s truly an honor to host Jason Kovarik in our Agency expert interview series:
1. What is the one thing that sets you apart most from the competition?
Being able to devise a complex marketing strategy extracted from a conversation with the client. Based on what the client feels are their major KPIs (key performance indicators), I can then align the tools or a combination of tools (products) to provide results which are understandable and measurable.
2. What do you believe to be the most important task you do on a daily basis? Why?
Helping businesses understand what mix of marketing will work best for them. Most think it’s a one size fits all and it can be but a “tailored” program will produce better results at a lower cost.
3. When do you find that potential clients are most responsive to your sales efforts?
After they have met with me and we have had our first conversation. Why ? People trust me and I can build rapport very quickly. I guess that’s pretty easy when all you want to do is help solve the problems of the person next to you in the meeting.
4. Have you ever turned down clients? Why or why not?
Yes. The expectations of the client were completely unrealistic. That in itself is not all bad – the problem was they wouldn’t come off those expectations.
5. In your opinion, how much weight do Adwords & Bing certifications carry to new clients?
Some, depending on the client. I am not certified and I have never lost a deal because of that.
6. What is a common PPC selling point that you feel carries little weight?
Touting the number of words in a campaign. What really matters is the quality of the words not so much the quantity.
7. Do you have contracts? Why or why not?
Yes, but they are loose. I always suggest a 12-month commitment but three months is all you need to prove if a program works or not.
8. Are you a % of spend or flat rate believer? What’s your argument for either?
Good question. I have always sold a % of spend. Businesses expect it. I do see merit in a flat rate and if I ran my own business, I would offer that to clients as a loyalty reward. Again this is a personal choice for the business running the program. Some clients have revision after revision – constantly making changes. This is where a % of spend works best.
9. The sales cycle is generally when potential clients are most excited to switch vendors because they think the grass is greener on the other side. How do you set proper expectations with clients before they sign on?
From day one. It really depends on the experience the client has with digital marketing. Generally, if they have been doing it for awhile, they understand that there is no silver bullet. Those types of client’s expectations are easier to temper. I usually find the client that has little to no experience or the DIYer who thinks they know everything to be the most difficult to set expectations. When setting expectations I rely on industry standards as a base, then factor in market information and spend level to come up with a number that is mutually agreed upon.
10. What role (if any) do case studies play in your sales funnel? Why?
I use them sparingly. It may set up false or unrealistic expectations and generally do not provide them unless requested.
11. How do you personally organize and prioritize your efforts?
My goal is to provide the best program for the client based on their need and their needs only. My only goal is to retain them long term.
12. What do you believe has been your greatest career accomplishment? Why?
I have had the chance to be part of an elite group of award winners, top 5% of sales nationally for digital products. Achieving this accomplishment as an account manager, as well as a sales manager was doubly rewarding.
Well, that’s how you master the art of ‘Selling through digital’.
This is just the start of our Expert interview series , and there are many more that we want to chat with. We will resume our discussion with another expert next week.
Until then, Happy Marketing!!