High Churn? Stop Chasing Transactions

Earlier this year BrightLocal published results of the 2014 BrightLocal SMB Internet Marketing Survey. One of the key takeaways from the study, written about by Greg Sterling, is that the results showed high “internet marketing effectiveness” ratings despite high churn rates. However, that is not what really got to me.

The study broke down data into different SMB categories, one of them was “marketing.” According to BrightLocal’s blog post about this study, “marketing” category included respondents that fell into digital marketing, marketing consultants, and local SEO agencies.

Here are key findings I had to shake my head at:

  • 11% of marketing SMBs find internet marketing to be “not effective” and 2% claimed they didn’t do any at all.
  • 13% of marketing SMBs don’t have a mobile optimized website and 2% said they were not sure.
  • 31% of marketing SMBs were confused/frustrated with Google+ Local/Google My Business and 9% had a negative feeling towards this service.

Sure, this is not a huge study and most likely not very representative of the marketing SMBs. But this doesn’t surprise me that much. There’s a reason why marketing agencies have a high churn rate, and to me these numbers indicate one of the problems.

If you can’t effectively use internet marketing for your own marketing agency to get customers, why are you trying to sell your services to clients? This creates a problem for other marketing agencies in that they have to work extra hard convincing prospective clients that they are better and will not repeat the last agency’s mistakes.

As I was writing this post, in one of the Facebook groups that caters to entrepreneurs, business owners and marketers, I participated in a conversation about landing pages. One of the members made a comment that they hate landing pages and will leave any website if they see a landing page. Several other members attempted to explain what a landing page is and convince this member why it’s crucial to send traffic to landing pages instead of a homepages. The whole experience was a reality check for me. The individual in opposition of landing pages was indeed a marketing professional that seemed to be representative of the 11% mentioned above.

Here’s my point. If you can’t leverage your own services (skills) and/or products for your own business, why sell it to your clients and customers? Not only are you setting yourself up for surefire failure, but you also setting up your client to go down with you since they are wasting money.

Agencies, SaaS and other marketing service providers must focus on core competencies without trying to do everything for everyone. Simply because a client has a need doesn’t mean that you’re qualified to address that need because of your existing relationship. If you build websites and your client wants to run AdWords campaigns and you’ve never done or used AdWords, your job is to politely decline and/or find a referral for the client (and maybe make a commission on that). But if you jump on every pain point your client has because you want money, you will set yourself up for failure and the client will leave dissatisfied after you fail to deliver.

You don’t build long lasting relationships that reduce your churn by selling more of your services, you build it with trust, respect and an ability to say no when you know you can’t do your best.

“A trusted advisor values the relationship more than the transaction. A trusted advisor never puts a deal before the relationship. They would prefer not to make a sale if the relationship would be damaged by having made it,” Anthony Iannarino writes on The Sales Blog.

Narrow your focus, expand your relationships.

One Response to “High Churn? Stop Chasing Transactions”

  1. Rohan says:

    I did not find Viktor Nagornyy trustworthy. He didn’t deliver on the correct we had organised, stopped answering emails for weeks at a time, stood me up repeatedly on scheduled online calls, and basically run away with my money.
    Interestingly he has blocked the ability to leave feedback on his Facebook page and Twitter etc. This may be why he only has 3 review on Facebook. All bad feedback may have been blocked. I hope this truth can get through to others.

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