Client wants your marketing – doesn’t have the money

So you’ve done everything right in educating a potential new client about the value offering of your marketing service. The client knows they need you. One problem, they don’t have the budget right now.

We’ve all been there. It’s an easy stall in the process that can end up in letting the business go until another day. You tried your best but you understand that the client can’t just materialise money out of thin air. The thing is, they don’t need to.

Often when we are trying to convince a potential customer that our marketing product or service is worth the money, we are thinking about new money.

When the client says they don’t have the new money available, it’s easy to get deflated. All that hard work! However, when a client tells you they don’t have any new money, that’s not the end of the game. That’s an objection that needs to be answered. 

So how do we answer that objection?

In this case we need to change the approach. We aren’t necessarily looking for new money.

So we ask the following 5 questions:

1) Where are you currently spending your marketing budget?

We need to change the approach to deal with the common objection of ‘no new money’. Therefore we need to understand the client’s existing money and where it is getting spent. So ask the client about their current marketing initiatives and their associated costs. Get an idea of where they are spending. Is there somewhere in their current budget where they may not be getting an adequate return on investment? We can’t know this without asking the question and the client rarely offers this information up. It seems like a ‘no brainer’ for a client to be thinking about this, but it isn’t the case.  If we don’t know where else the client is spending money relevant to our product or service, we are doing a disservice to our client. Good marketing agencies know these things. It is their business to know.

2) Are you tracking the results for these marketing initiatives?

If we manage to break the walls down and get to a point where the client is telling us about their marketing initiatives, it is our responsibility to ask if the initiatives are paying off. Maybe they are spending money on social media when it doesn’t suit their business model. Maybe they are spending money on outdoor advertising with their mate simply because it’s something they have always done. Maybe they are spending money on ‘hosting’ with the large company that set up their website and getting absolutely zero benefit at all. I have come across all of these initiatives that are achieving no results simply by asking. The main question is, do they know? If they don’t know if they are getting results for these initiatives, while you do know what your product or service can deliver, this is an opportunity to steer the client in a positive direction. 

3) What are the client acquisition costs of the money you are spending on your other marketing initiatives?

If the client tells you the marketing initiatives that they are using, then the next logical question is to ask, are they any good? How well do they know? Is it an abstract understanding or a precise number? The client acquisition cost is calculated by dividing the costs spent on on the marketing initiative by the number of customers acquired in the period the money was spent.

If they know what it is, it’s a logical numbers game you simply need to assess and better. If they don’t know, then there may be more opportunity than you had realised to help the client get better results. 

I once asked a client what results they were getting for their search engine optimisation. I was shocked by the reply. My client was spending $800 per month with an SEO company and getting NO leads at all. Why? They didn’t have enough content to move up the page rankings and didn’t have the time to produce it (the SEO company certainly wasn’t). Neither did they have their value offering clarified effectively to the end user should anyone arrive at their website in any case. That’s $9,600 per year for no return whatsoever. Any business owner when prompted to consider this would be open to someone offering better results.

4) Do you have the ability to reallocate some of your marketing budget over to our service for a month or two to test the results?

Once the need for new money is eliminated, it’s a completely different conversation. You’ve shown the client that they don’t need new money, they need existing, under-performing money. This is something a whole of a lot easier to convince a client to find. They aren’t having to do anything magical and come up with funds out of thin air, the money is already there. It’s now just a matter of reallocation. You need to find out if the client has the power to make the call. Most will find a way even if they do not. Most people are determined to do their job better. Doing a better job means getting better results. Good business people just need to be shown an opportunity and they’ll make the decision themselves. 

5) If you were to reallocate some of your marketing budget to our service and reduce your client acquisition costs, would you consider reallocating more funds in the future?

Once the client has confirmed that they have the desire and the power to reallocate the funds, many think the job is done and are just waiting to hang up the phone so they can celebrate the sale. Not so fast. Get a commitment from the client. You’ve done the right thing by them. Make sure you ask if they are willing to reward you should you continue to do so, delivering on your promise of a better ROI. It might sound a little bold and pushy. But remember, as a good marketing business, it’s your duty to always be pushing for the best result for your client. If you don’t, someone who is willing to ask will at some point and all the hard work will be short term.

In conclusion.

We don’t need clients to find new money if they don’t have it. We need them to reallocate under-performing money they already do have. Show your client how to do that and get a positive result, then you’ll be also looking at a result for your marketing business that is every bit as positive.

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