After working in digital marketing for nearly six years and within an agency for more than four of those, the one piece of advice I would give to increase your sales conversion rate, customer happiness score and retention rate is to build as much trust with both your customers and stakeholders as you possibly can.
One of the sales theories you are exposed to early on in the digital world is the 5Ss of marketing; sell, speak, serve, save and sizzle.
Trust should underpin all five of those facets so that when you are in a position where either you’re selling to a prospective customer, or reviewing a project, campaign or service with an existing client, the relationship has been built so your audience trusts what you’re saying, understands that you’re working to benefit their business and then managing those relationships in the future becomes so much easier.
Within those 5Ss, sizzle is referred to as building your brand online. Marketing Week ran a survey and discovered that 67% of in-house marketers responded that trust is the most important attribute they look for in an agency partner, ahead of creativity, flexibility and collaboration.
As an agency, marketing freelancer or consultant, making trust your sizzle will put you on the pathway to success. As an industry, differing opinions and methods of working can all achieve good results, there is often no one-size-fits-all approach that will deliver success, and businesses (your clients) will receive countless proposals telling them they can get better results if they switched to another team.
When I talk to businesses about their experiences with marketing agencies they have previously employed, all too often you hear the same issues. Clients not seeing a return, not understanding what their agency is doing and not ever hearing from their outsourced agency, essentially not getting the service they originally signed up to.
Often, similar gripes are aimed at other B2B service providers and this advice pertains to more than just marketing businesses but the crux of the matter is that open and honest dialogue, built on a foundation of knowledge of the service you provide, is exactly the recipe that earns customers, keeps them happy and retains them over a long period of time.
How to earn that trust
My view when working with businesses is that earning their trust is my number one priority, alongside delivering a service to the best of my ability.
My role is primarily running paid advertising accounts for businesses, which may be through a search engine or social network, I’ll put relevant people on a website and look to maximise the volume of those people at the lowest possible cost, predominantly with the aim of increasing sales for a business, or acquiring leads at the top of the sales funnel.
To achieve the best possible results there is often a conversation to be had that covers the 7Ps (product, promotion, price, place, people, process and physical evidence) and where a business can improve, which in turn will improve the results we can achieve through the marketing activity.
Delivering those recommendations as part and parcel of the service is something clients appreciate, especially the work that goes into it and the mentality of going above and beyond is why we have an outstanding track record of retaining clients for numerous years.