Imagine this: you’ve been hired by Company X to expand their digital presence and identify new audiences. You realize you will need some help from a third party to pull this off, so you begin researching top digital agencies to partner with. You finally find the perfect fit. You make it through the discovery phase and receive a proposal. Now it’s time to get approval from the C-suite.
This is where things get tricky. At WEBITMD, we see a lot of internal marketers that really struggle when they have to pitch new services to their bosses. More often than not, the entire deal can fall flat at this point and everybody misses out. We miss out on new business, you miss out on some much needed support, and the executives miss out on a chance to grow their business.
So how can you effectively get buy-in from the top? Follow these tips and watch your boss go from skeptical to impressed in a few short minutes.
Lead with Insights Rather than Questions
If you start the conversation by asking your boss questions like, “what do you think about this idea?”, or “would this be good for the company?”, you are already at a disadvantage. Asking too many questions will erode trust and hurt your credibility.
Instead of asking questions, politely tell your boss why you should hire a growth marketing agency based on those insights. Be straight and to the point. Explain why it’s important and how it will affect the bottom line. Your job is to keep the company’s marketing current and relevant, so providing these kinds on insights is part of why you were hired in the first place.
Understand Loss Aversion
In the digital marketing world, trends come and go on an almost daily basis. Businesses need to stay current if they want to survive. This is where it becomes helpful to understand the concept of loss aversion.
Loss aversion refers to people’s tendency to view losses as more powerful than gains. This means that most people will work harder to avoid a losing something, rather than gaining something equally as valuable.
You can use this to your advantage by showing how the company will actually be losing money by not hiring an inbound marketing agency. Explain to them that what is working today, simply won’t work tomorrow and a change of course is needed. In most cases, this type of argument will have a greater impact and create sense of urgency because it shows a need for change, rather than a desire.
Frame Digital Marketing as an Investment, Not an Expense
The main question you’ll hear from executives is “how much does it cost?” And while digital marketing services can be pricey, this isn’t something that should be thought of as an expense.
Instead, frame it as an investment. Explain how working with a digital agency will give your company a clear advantage and provide positive returns over time. Once they start to see it as less of an expense and more of a strategic play, the whole tone of the conversation will change.
In the end, it’s important to establish the idea that your digital inbound marketing agency is not just another vendor to be paid off every month; they are a strategic partner who will help guide your business through a constantly changing landscape.
Selling Digital Marketing Services to Your Boss
Selling new services to a C-suite executive is not going to be easy. They have heard it all and have little patience for generic sales pitches.
Following the tips above will get you started in the right direction. Just remember to speak at a high level and avoid getting too far in the weeds with marketing jargon. Executives don’t have time for these conversations, so try to keep the conversation relative to the big picture: how does this affect our bottom line?