I don’t know you, but I assume you’re a solo digital marketer or digital marketing agency owner offering a great digital marketing service. Maybe you’re just starting out, or you’ve been in the game for years already.
You need to attract more quality clients who value your offer and who will hopefully return with repeat business for months and years to come, correct?
You may provide a single dedicated service or a suite of services and package deals.
SEO & Web Design. PPC & Social Media Management. Content Writing & Graphic Creation. Copywriting & Funnel Marketing. You name it.
Just like us, you’re interested in easy, proven business growth strategies that are quick to implement and are able to generate positive ROI. Ongoing. Isn’t this exciting, and the reason why you’re still in business?
Nobody likes to invest in tactics that work today but then grow increasingly ineffective as time goes on or, even worse, cost more money than what you need to break even, right?
I am familiar with the tedious effort, cash-flow, and budget issues that are necessary to run a digital business focused on exponential growth, and don’t just rely on simply thriving.
You spend days and weeks trying to attract high-quality leads and convert them into solid clients. Yet, once they inquire about your service and ask about pricing, you seem to get (a lot) more refusals than closed deals. BAM!
This may significantly increase your frustration and adrenaline levels, and you probably felt like quitting numerous times. Ever wondered if you’re in the right digital service business, or if your client is savvy enough to value your service and recognize a great deal?
I’ve been there before. If you’re not sure how to best answer client objections and what to say when sensitive issues like cost and return on investment arise, don’t despair!
This post comes in handy because we have asked 18 expert marketers a vital question that I’m sure you’ll love to hear the answer to:
What is the biggest rebuttal you get from potential clients about pricing and how do you answer it?
Here are the insights from the experts. Feel free to take notes and then comment below, if necessary. Online engagement is how you and me expose our brands and generate genuine leads and repeat business.
I would be thrilled to hear from you and get to know you.
Also, spread the love if you like the content and dare to share it online. Your friends and followers will obtain valuable information to enhance their digital businesses.
Just so you know. I truly appreciate your time and involvement.
Here are the experts – feel free to click their name to go right to their section!
Dorien Morin-van Dam
*Bonus*: We were lucky to have four (4) more incredible experts share their opinions as supplements to the original post! : )
*If you’d like to be considered for contribution to this post, email us here.
Biggest Rebuttal: “I want to do this, but I’m not ready yet. Maybe in a few months.”
My Response: I understand, a lot of our clients who have hired us for our LinkedIn services were in the same position – very busy, and needing things to line up.
What’s interesting is that when they finally signed up they were still busy, and they still wanted things to line up, but they took the plunge anyway because they realized after waiting for a while that things would always be busy, and there would always be more things that needed to line up.
They finally said “You know what? Let’s just do this, otherwise I’ll never get around to it.”
I don’t want to be pushy, but I want to help you like we’re helping our other clients, and I know that now that they’re signed up they appreciate that we were a little pushy.
Do you think you might be in a similar position?
Biggest Rebuttal: Inevitably, for just about any freelancer or agency, the biggest objection is often around pricing.
My Response: In an attempt to weed out bad fit clients who are not in the same ballpark as me with pricing, I publicly publish my pricing information and require clients to check a box confirming that they’ve seen it before booking my time.
This process helps me to take care of this objection before spending a lot of time on the phone or creating a proposal. I’d much rather spend my time on executing the work over business development that goes nowhere!
~ Writer, content marketer, part-time blogger, podcast host
Biggest Rebuttal: The biggest objection I face from clients when selling my content marketing services, is convincing them that they’ll get a clear financial return on their investment.
My Response: In the content marketing field, it can be difficult to tie an asset like a blog post directly to revenue a client can expect to generate as a result of that content. However, the way I maneuver this tricky question is by doing in-depth keyword research to show how much monthly search volume there is on a topic (and thus illustrating how much traffic it’d be possible to generate for the article assuming it eventually ranks at the top of organic search results).
After seeing the potential traffic figures, we can pretty safely estimate the number of email sign ups and conversions we’ll expect from that article over time.
Then all that’s left is to walk my prospects through several case studies of how I’ve been able to repeatedly get content ranking #1 in organic search results in multiple different industries.
That almost always seals the deal.
Dorien Morin-van Dam
~ Social Media Strategist | Social Media Consultant | Community Manager | Social Media Trainer
Biggest Rebuttal: The most FAQ I get from potential clients is, ‘Can you do it cheaper?’
My Response: As a social media manager, I can certainly make things cheaper. Since I am a service provider, cheaper for you means I provide fewer services. You pay less, then I provide less.
Therefore the answer I give each time is:
‘Yes, but it will cost you in the end.’
Social media strategy dictates that we look at all pieces of the puzzle, including print marketing, radio, TV and PR efforts, web traffic, paid ads, and more. If a client wants to reduce the cost of hiring me, they will essentially shoot themselves in the foot because certain tasks will fall by the wayside.
I can cut services to
- reduce the frequency of posting
- run fewer ads
- cut the ad budget in half
- stop online engagement
- ignore incoming messages
- stop Google Analytics interpretation
and so much more!
In the end, it will cost the client more to buy fewer services.
It will cost them profits, time, and possibly their reputation.
Hire a trained professional and get what you pay for. The marketing industry isn’t any different in that regard to hiring an experienced home builder, plumber, physical therapist, or even a doctor. Would you go with the cheapest professional in those instances? I bet not.
~ Content Marketer, CEO & Blogger. I make it easy for business leaders to turn their experience into targeted content.
Biggest Rebuttal: Why hire you over a freelancer? A freelancer is a lot cheaper.
My Response: A freelance writer sounds like a good option, but usually, the person you bring on is singularly focused. They’re typically good at one thing — like doing SEO or social media — but fail to see the big picture because they’re usually focused on execution and not strategy.
Also, the freelancer doesn’t have the resources to immerse themselves in your company.
They’re not as passionate about your voice, vision, or end results as a full-time employee would be. It’s impossible for them to be.
And if they’re any good, they’re likely booked solid with projects which is difficult to juggle because they aren’t project managers.
~ Social Media Marketing Strategist Helps Executives Build Strong Personal Brands & Effective Thought Leadership Programs.
Biggest Rebuttal: The biggest rebuttal I get from potential clients is wanting to “reach more people” on LinkedIn using automation tools, rather than using a tailored, personalized approach to LinkedIn outreach.
My Response: True subject matter experts, the types of clients I like to work with, don’t devalue their personal brand by sending spam to prospects who aren’t an ideal fit. Instead, they strategically choose their prospects and personalize each message they send. Yes, it takes more time. But, the message response rates and calls booked with their prospects are not a waste of a time. They lead to ideal business opportunities.
Motivational Aka International Keynote Speaker
I Help People Start & Grow Digital Businesses
PPC & SEO Specialist
Biggest Rebuttal: See, the biggest hurdle any digital marketing expert faces is how to negotiate within a budget.
My Response: To deal with those issues I use the following strategies to get their YES. You have to be as transparent as you can about how your agency works and what strategies you’re using for the client. Break down your strategies into simple processes; don’t complicate the process with complex English words.
Always encourage your clients to ask questions about any aspect of your work that they don’t understand. This will help them feel more secure to do business with your agency.
The second strategy is to always ask specific questions to clients so you can understand their requirements. Or, if there are several potential paths you could take, simplify the main points and lay them out multiple-choice-style for the client. This will make it easy for the client to deal with your brand.
The final strategy is to always revise your onboarding process with your clients.
- Explain what your agency can realistically achieve.
- Establish the client’s goals clearly.
- Create a plan and timeline for how you will achieve the results.
- Decide how often you will communicate with the client to update them about project.
I have seen many digital agencies succeed at establishing clear expectations upfront, but they don’t make a plan for what happens if the client goes silent. Active client involvement helps to achieve the results.
~ Speaker, content marketer, co-founder of Orbit Media (@orbiteers) and author of Content Chemistry.
Biggest Rebuttal: Why do your services cost more than your competitors?
My Response: Companies that charge less are good at finding ways to do things faster with less expensive people.
Companies that are the best at what they do find the best approach and the best way to do the work.
There is always a cheaper option. But start from the job that should be done and consider how to do it right.
If you’re surprised by cost, it’s just because you haven’t considered how much time it will take by which experts to do the job properly. The value of their time and talents is high. This budget is simply a way to get this team to focus on your problems for enough time to meet your goals.
~ #CEO @oneQube I Serial Entrepreneur I Digital Sales, and Transformation Expert.
Biggest Rebuttal: Biggest rebuttal from potential clients is related to social media. Most potential clients hire a junior employee or intern to manage their social media as they feel there is no direct ROI associated with social media marketing.
My Response: Unlike traditional marketing or sales, the ROI on social media cannot be measured by volume of sales or immediate cash return only. On social, you go beyond that and have to take into account, engagement, customer interaction, brand awareness, and attention.
You don’t invest in social media for short term financial gain. You invest in social media because you’re in it for the long haul. Because you’re building more than just a business. Because you’re building a brand, an empire, and a legacy.
~ Turning websites into businesses. I have helped hundreds of companies get more “ready to buy” visitors to their websites.
Biggest Rebuttal: The biggest rebuttal I get is generally around pricing.
My Response: We’re constantly raising our agency pricing (hourly rates), sometimes prospects aren’t excited about paying $300/hour for our employee’s time.
My rebuttal is simple – I point to our list of case studies, references, and my own portfolio of companies. I also sell them hard on the fact that SEO is a time intensive service – there’s no way to get around the fact that real human beings need to perform the work. You get what you pay for.
Biggest Rebuttal: Generally, the biggest rebuttal I experience is a debate over the efficacy of an SEO tactic or strategy.
My Response: Sometimes if I recommend trying something where the client might have a different belief, we come to (what I call) an SEO stalemate.
The SEO industry is one that lives in online communities. There are a lot of opinions in SEO. Some learned from blog posts, others learned by actual experimentation. In the case of a stalemate, I change the conversation towards an experiment to see where the true answer lies. I rarely get push back there because it’s obviously the best way to get to the absolute truth. If I do get push back, I have to really think about whether this is a client who understands the nature of SEO.
~ Leadership Speaker, Personal Branding Advisor, and Broadway Musician from the Show RENT.
Biggest Rebuttal: The biggest pushback you get with branding, especially with personal branding, is the return on investment versus the time that needs to be invested. When you sell widgets there is a clear transfer of money for goods. When you sell branding, there is a transfer of money for potential. And potential is a tough thing to sell.
My Response: The only way to respond to selling potential is to have a specific process that has a bunch of small wins built in along the way so there is noticeable progress. I will then show them several case studies that are at different points within that process. This way they can see those small wins and know that we’re moving forward towards this bigger picture.
It’s all about transparency, having a set process, and embracing their vision. And not being a jerk. That helps too.
~ Marketing Director & Co-Founder of @sharprocketph, a world-class link building company, coach and motivational speaker in Asia.
Biggest Rebuttal: Objections and seemingly negative responses from potential clients are normal to day-to-day sales conversations. One statement that I always hear from our potential clients is this idea of generalizing all agencies in one complete sentence (i.e., All link building agencies are doing black hat stuff nowadays).
My Response: The simplest way to answer their statement is to simply show them the credibility of your service offering and your process. For example, in our industry – link building, we have to show them examples of live links we’ve acquired for our clients. So then, the potential client may have the chance to investigate by himself. He or she may check the validity of the link, how it is acquired, and how it’ll make sense for the business in terms of relevance (backlinking is normally a deliverable in the SEO industry).
~ I run THGM. We write and we promote. I love nature and living simply. Freelance Writer
and Social Media Marketing
Biggest Rebuttal: The biggest objection I get is cost. Expectations on cost vary widely, so the same quote can illicit raised eyebrows for a) how cheap it is, and b) how expensive it is.
My Response: How I react depends on how they react.
If a lead reacts in a snarky way, I won’t engage. Same if the lead is clear that the price range is way off. They won’t convert either way.
If the lead tries to nickel-and-dime negotiate, I hold firm. I know these people are usually more work at every stage of the way.
If the lead feels hesitant, I will quickly share with them some options, such as spreading out the payments or reducing the scope of the project. Some projects can be divided into smaller increments.
A few minutes before answering this question, I was discussing content for an eight-page website. The client is a bit wary, having just set up shop and not having income yet. So, I recommended prioritizing the pages and working on one at a time. That way he can pay in smaller increments as he feels he can balance his cash flow.
If at the end of significant discussions the lead asks if I can give a discount, I sometimes find that I can (and do).
Of course, I always remind the client of the solid value they are getting, as well as the risks of getting poor value from a cut-rate supplier.
~ The go-to B2B Copywriter for pro bloggers & companies who are struggling to drive more sales, clients, and profit.
Biggest Rebuttal: The biggest objection I receive when offering my copywriting services, is related to ROI and personal brand voice. Clients often ask: what is the pricing and wonder if I can maintain their particular writing style and voice.
My Response: I usually rewrite one of their emails prior to or after they voice their objection, to show them the power of my copy skills in action. Most of them like the work I perform when quick-fixing, revamping, and rewriting their content, so they inevitably ask about pricing.
This makes dealing with potential clients easier and more natural. Although it’s very time consuming, I enjoy the process since I have a passion for writing and engaging in conversation anyway.
Then, I follow-up with a short email on pricing. The potential client will receive an irresistible deal, briefly explaining the “best” bang for their buck/investment advantage. This deal usually includes better pricing than is normally offered on by blog.
That’s enough to get the ball rolling.
Some like to further negotiate this deal. If I like the person or brand, and believe in their message and core values, then I will respond with a positive, candid reply.
~ Family First. Sales hacking. Speaker. CEO at @getMWI, a digital marketing firm. SEO, Content Marketing, Social, Culture, Communication, People, and Growth
Biggest Rebuttal: The rebuttal we get most from potential clients during the sales process is often regarding price.
My Response: The core of this rebuttal actually has nothing to do with price, but everything to do with a lack of knowledge/understanding of what good digital marketing entails.
Our goal is to educate them on our expertise and build their understanding on why they need our services, build value in us as a company, and how we will help their business thrive online, and then close them.
~ I’m not a f***ing digital marketing unicorn, I’m a real person that knows a REAL thing in SEO and digital PR and
dressage. Founder of https://DigitalOlympus.net
Biggest Rebuttal: I often encounter people who believe that great content will rank well in Google without links.
My Response: The majority of my potential clients are certain that once they start to produce quality content, organic traffic will come.
Sadly, the myth persists. So, every time I have such a conversation, I back up my statements with data. I show them what’s happening with their competitors that don’t invest in link building.
Thanks to tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs, you can access this info with a few clicks. Actually, some time ago I wrote a post to show exactly how you can ensure that every piece of content you publish will end up bringing a reliable flow of organic visitors.
~ Partner – @FlyingVGroup. Our blog shows you how our company helps your company grow and generate leads.
Biggest Rebuttal: The biggest rebuttal we normally get at Flying V Group is around pricing and why our services are better than cheaper priced options.
My Response: At the end of the day, we believe that we offer premium digital marketing services compared to other cheaper priced competitors. Quality is of utmost importance and, when you work with us, you are going to get quality and personal attention from digital marketing experts that care about helping you grow your business.
We also factor in the amount of work we are doing on a month-to-month basis for services like search engine optimization. Normally, our packages include 3-5x the amount of work than what is being done in “cheaper” packages from competitors.
Digital marketing case studies have also become extremely important for us when receiving rebuttals from potential clients. We are able to show clients real-life information and studies on what we can do for their business. A lot of times these case studies are what really close the deal!
*Bonus*: Here’s FOUR (4) more incredible opinions from Shane Barker, John Doherty, Kas Szatylowicz, and Christoph Trappe.
Biggest Rebuttal: The biggest sales objection that I face when I pitch my services to potential clients is, “What ROI will we get from it?” Prospects want to know the value that they will derive from investing their money and want assurance that they will get the promised results.
My Response: I answer that by explaining to them exactly what they will get out of it and how they will benefit from my services. I focus on explaining the value that I provide as an influencer and my experience in the digital marketing industry.
I also provide a list of benefits and results that they can expect by investing in a particular service. And, to alleviate their concerns regarding ROI, I provide customer testimonials and hard facts on past success stories.
Biggest Rebuttal: It’s common for a client to ask for a discount. Personally, I find it fascinating that people always ask for a discount for the same work that you’ve already carefully quoted.
My Response: If you’ve received such a request, you may be having a hard time figuring out whether a client is worth your effort when working at a lower rate. And you may be surprised that my answer is always the same — not worth it.
Even though losing a client sucks, it doesn’t suck as much as charging clients less than what is fair to you.
Here are a few reasons why charging what you think you’re worth makes sense 100% of the time:
- It’s much easier to prioritize clients correctly when they’re all paying the same rates. From a psychological standpoint, there’s a big risk that you’ll be giving less attention to clients that are paying less.
- Higher pricing always leads to bigger and better clients.
- Charging more will allow you to grow your business and be less stressed.
- Because you are less stressed, you can provide better service to your clients.
- Finally, quoting higher rates will help you shift your mindset. With practice, you’ll become more confident in communicating that your work is worth it. And it is.
To sum this up, my advice to SEO agency owners is don’t be fooled by quick wins (e.g., getting a client on board who pays less than you want). Always consider the bigger picture (i.e., whether this helps your business grow in the next few years). And finally, do a gut check before you agree to a discount. Are you happier working for less? If the answer is no, then that’s the answer you should give the client.
~ Outreach Coordinator at Nightwatch
Biggest Rebuttal: One of the most common rebuttals we deal with, especially when it comes to the users on their trials, is the rank tracking accuracy issue. As Nightwatch distinguishes itself for being one of the most accurate rank trackers on the market.
My Response: For example, we base our results out of 10 results per page, which is what most users use as a setting, when many of our competitors use a 100 results per page setting, leading to less accurate results. The potential users who have tried other SEO tools in the past are often surprised to find that the results Nightwatch is displaying are different.
Search engines such as Google have sophisticated and constantly changing algorithms which often makes it confusing for the users to check the unbiased search results. Nightwatch always quickly adapts those changes and adjusts the rank tracking features accordingly.
When our potential users notice the gap between the search results shown in Google after manually typing the keyword and the results shown in Nightwatch, it is almost always related to the fact that seeing unbiased search results is almost impossible without using VPN or proxy.
To help our to-be-customers understand this gap and get the accurate search results we usually refer them to our free Chrome extension: SEO Search Simulator which is designed to display the unbiased search results from any location in the world.
~ Top 25 content marketer | PR | Speaker | Author | Publishing Exec | Traveler | Industry leader, of course
It’s good for content marketing clients to remember that it’s a process. Overnight success takes much longer than overnight.
Trust the process, be sure goals are clear and push forward constantly.
~ Head of Growth at Moosend
Biggest Rebuttal: “Can you guarantee our email opens will increase?”
My Response: The honest answer is no, sadly. We cannot guarantee 100% that email opens will increase, seeing as there are plenty of things that can affect email deliverability in the first place, not to mention that there is a number of factors that lead to an email open.
However, we’ve got the tools and know-how that can help minimize the risk factor and bring forth results.
Segmentation, an updated email list, mobile optimization, and great content and timing are a must when it comes to email marketing. But what will need to absolutely stand out is the subject line.
Be bold, use emojis and be humorous without being inappropriate. And if you’re not too sure whether you’ve hit the sweet spot for your niche, use a free subject line tester. It’ll make your life a whole lot easier and will definitely increase your email opens!
~ Founder of Online Media Masters
Biggest Rebuttal: “We want to see results faster than they can happen.” For instance, some clients ask if they can see organic traffic growth within a month or two.
My Response: Even on-page SEO improvements take time and require a solid financial investment. There are a good number of unique benefits that you can only get from this source of traffic. For instance, if a page begins to rank well and bring you a stable flow of organic visitors, then that’s something you will be getting on a monthly basis.
One more hack that I use is finding pages and sites that are similar to my client’s pages and showing them how long it takes for those sites/pages to get to the top of Google. This can be done using tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush.
Finally, you’ve made it this far! Let’s be fair, you’ve had some “aha” moments already, right?
Look. If you’ve learned at least one NEW, easy, and fast to implement business growth strategy when dealing with client objections and pricing issues, you’ve made my day.
Now it’s time to reconsider your next move to attract high quality leads and solid clients for the coming months.
Share your comments or questions below at the very bottom of the page.
It’ll be also interesting to hear from you, and I’m excited to personally connect with you.
Thank you so much for reading Business Growth Strategies for Selling Digital Services: 18 Expert Digital Marketers Reveal How to Deal with Client Objections and Pricing Issues. We really appreciate it!
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