How to Sell Marketing Services to Small Businesses
- Sell value rather than price. Money is tight for small businesses and most have little interest in increasing their expenses. Not only do business owners distrust your brochures, they distrust their own ability to implement your products and services. That’s why it is critical to educate rather than sell. Explain why a product is a wise investment, with statistics and other means to substantiate your claims. Use testimonials, reviews, guarantees and third-party verifications. If you can prove that you understand owners' businesses in simple, approachable language and will not cause pain, you can even command a premium price.
In February, Staples launched a new campaign aimed at drawing attention to its products for the small business customer that stressed the range of products and services as well as convenience. Steve Fund, senior vice president of global marketing, said: “The campaign highlights our vision of providing every product customers need as well as our unique omni-channel capabilities, which allow customers to shop in store, online, via mobile or a combination.”
- Accent the service. Understand that the owners need to trained or assisted with their new purchases and told what to do next. Think about every question new customers would have and answer them all. Your marketing cannot end with closed deals. Build the relationships and grow them over time. The best way to do this is to keep your promises or even exceed the expectations you set.
- Use loyalty to your advantage. Small business owners are loyal to those companies and products that live up to promises. Once you have earned trust, they are likely to share your company with their associates, family and friends. Make it easy for them to do this (online, print or otherwise). In addition, because working with small businesses usually means you have access to the people with control over entire enterprises, you should make the most of it by being dependable, understanding and flexible . . . and you are likely to be around for the long-term.
- Build quality content. Small businesses look for services that help them improve. Develop case studies that prove your statements and feature them in blogs and social media profiles. Create content that answers questions and solves problems because it will help you to show up in Google search results more frequently, resulting in small businesses reading about your products and services. The more visible your company is and the smarter you make your customers, the more they will buy.
For example, Deluxe has a small business blog that provides a wealth of information and guidance online.