I have a lot friends who run marketing agencies and a lot of marketing professionals throughout the Internet that I’m friends with. I’m not exaggerating when I say that the most frustrating thing that I and others find about our job is the resistance of the businesses we’re working with.
We are paid to come consult with clients and assist with their marketing strategies because they know they’re getting their butts handed to them by their competitors. They absolutely recognize that what they’re doing isn’t working. Yet, when we analyze their strategies, research their competitors, and return with a plan… they resist:
- We don’t have time. – Really? If you don’t have time to keep and grow your business, then be happy with the declining revenue you have. Best of luck!
- We did that once and it didn’t work. – Once. No long-term strategy, no best practices, no expertise… it didn’t work because you didn’t know what you were doing.
- I read an article online that said that doesn’t work. – For every article online there’s an equal and opposite article online. I think that’s Newton’s Third Law of the Internet. Stop searching for articles that agree with your position.
- We can’t afford that. – Really #2? You can’t afford to keep and grow your business? Why did you call me?
- My cousin, who did the website for my Church, says… – Yes, of course he did. Coincidence… I’ve never heard of that Church before.
- Our business is unique, our customers are different. – Your customers might be… but it’s because your marketing stinks and you aren’t getting the vast majority of customers that your competitors are.
What all of these responses translate to is:
We don’t trust you.
Yet, you called us and asked for our help. And you verified our references. And you saw the industry accolades we’d received. And – if we fail, you’re going to both fire us and tell everyone you know what a poor job we did. Do you really think we want that to happen?
Our goal as marketing consultants is to provide our experience, our expertise, and our passion, to help your business perform better. Can we stop the back and forth and get to work? It’s exhausting.
I’m often curious if one of these people got in a car accident, whether they’d be telling the fireman how to best get them out of the car, how the EMT should be treating them, and then how the Doctor should be healing them.
How long, how much, how, how, how… the next phase of the interrogation is explain, with precision, exactly what the strategy and results will be. It’s like asking a race car driver and his team what adjustments and strategies he’s going to deploy before the race. Disregard the weather conditions, the other drivers, the car’s capabilities… just tell us about the next 4 hours and everything that’s going to happen on each lap.
If you have a marketing consultant that tells you, you’re probably going to fire them for missed expectations and lying to you. If you have an honest marketing consultant, they’re going to tell you that it’s going to take time to research, test, and adjust your program to reach its maximum potential.
Or Don’t Listen…
We had a client that we serviced off and on for several years. Each time, we’d ramp up their strategy and they’d think they were done… site is up, leads are up, content written, boom. They’d pause our engagement. We’d warn them that they need to keep the strategy going, but they’d stop and the strategy would plummet. Then they’d come back to us, start up again, resist everything we were doing, and complain about the results. The results would always start out bad because we had to re-ignite momentum and interest in their brand all over again.
A month ago, we decided to part ways. We still have access to their analytics and their organic visits are down -29.26%.
Your Leads Suck
By far my favorite. A few weeks in and this is the message that we consistently hear with clients who resist. They’ve been resisting every strategy the entire time, so of course the leads suck. This validates everything they were saying all along… what we recommended isn’t working, others said so, and their customers are different.
Or are they?
I would argue that the motivation and execution of marketing and sales is quite different. Sales is motivated to close, marketing is motivated to drive a greater volume of better leads to your business. We recently wrote about the frustration of sales-driven businesses with marketing to speak directly to that issue.
Here’s an example direct from my business. We spent an unusually large budget on attending and sponsoring an annual event a few years ago. It was more than half of our typical annual budget. Our company was closing small accounts without a problem, but we weren’t getting to the key accounts that are the anchors of our clientele. I could have continued closing small business and doing okay… or I could work to nurture a few great leads that would be in attendance at the event.
We attended the event and spent more than a year nurturing two leads that we met there. It took over a year, but we closed both of the businesses for two of the largest engagements of our company’s history. Had we simply judged our marketing efforts a month or so later, we would have thought it to be a total failure.
By casting a bigger net with online marketing, you’re going to get a lot more leads. And many… even most… of those leads might suck. But you’re also going to get access to some whales that you would have never had an opportunity to attract. The whales just require more time for you to build authority online, build trust with larger engagements, nurture those engagements, and close more sales.
Ultimately, your average revenue per lead will increase, your cost per lead will decrease, and you’ll generate better qualified leads.
It just takes time. Relax and let us help you.