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5 Tips on Dealing with a Prospect’s Past “Poor” PPC Agency Experience

Many times when I speak with a prospect who is looking to change PPC management vendors, they tell these horror stories of poor management, lost investment, etc… and are afraid to move to another agency because they think all agencies are the same and will “rob them” blind. It is this “up-hill battle” to persuade them to go with you which makes me both “pissed off” and “fortunate” that these agencies are still out there. In this post, I will provide some tips on how to persuade a Prospect to forger past and to take a chance on you.
#1 Prospect has No Control over their PPC Accounts:
This scenario can be a very dangerous one and basically handcuffs the client’s ability to control what is going on with their investment. It is a bad practice to hand over control to the vendor. One of the first things I ask the prospect is if they own their accounts. If they don’t, First Big Warning Flag.
My Recommendation: One of the best ways to convince them that this is a bad practice is to tell them there is 100% transparency with their accounts. It’s their Account, their Credit Cards and they are hiring us to manage their PPC Ad Dollars as efficiently as possible. So tell the prospect that you can create them a brand new account and (if applicable) provide them with a $100 FREE Google Credit Promo for opening a new account. That $100 can only help!

#2 Prospects Reporting is Vague and Incomplete:
Advertisers who hire a PPC agency, need to know what the hell is happening with their investment. providing excel files of impressions, clicks, ctr% and match types are completely useless and does not tell a simple damn thing. The Reporting should be high level, show conversions, ROI, ROAS%, which campaigns, adgroups, keywords and text ads that are converting, as well contain analysis, insight and future optimization suggestions. It is lack of detail and frankly “laziness” which is hurting the industry as a whole.
My Recommendation: Use a 3rd Party PPC reporting Platform such as Acquisio where you can automatically slice and dice the data anyway you want and not have to spend hours and hours in excel creating charts. Acquisio does charge for their service, but it’s definitely worth the cost of a client and a potential referral.

#3 Prospects Conversion Tracking is not Setup Properly:
If the client does not have conversion tracking at the search engine platform level, it’s not an accurate metric to report successes and failures. Relying on Google Analytics for PPC reporting is a very bad idea and it is not 100% accurate.
My Recommendation: Just explain to them that GA is not a reliable tracking source for Adwords and provide their webmaster with detailed instructions on how to add the code to the confirmation page, as well as show them how to add the dynamic SUBTOTAL variable to track actual revenues for ROI and ROAS metrics.

#4 Prospect Feels that PPC is a Scam
This is the toughest part of the conversation to try and persuade them to get back into the game. While you need to be careful not to completely “bash” the current agency.
My Recommendation: You need to professionally explain all of the missing opportunities that exist that have not yet been implemented, as well as back it all up with accurate Analytics and reporting. Many Prospects feel that everything is setup once and the account is on autopilot. In order to reassure them that you are a different agency, you need to explain that automation (even though it has it’s advantages) is not always the best practice, especially when trying to convince that PPC does work.

#5 Prospect Needs more Reassurance
At the end of the sales call, the prospect is reviewing their notes, feeling this is a little “too good to be true” and needs a little more from the potential agency to get that “real deal” feeling.

My Recommendation: One of the best things you can do to persuade them to go with you is to contact them immediately after the call via email and offer them referrals of current clients as well as a Case Study and even a sample report so they can use that as a deciding factor. It’s all about timing and urgency to gain their trust and business. The faster and more proactive you can be, the better the chances you will get them as a client.

Filed under: Featured, Google Adwords, Online Strategy, Paid Search in General · Tags: , , ,

2 Responses to "5 Tips on Dealing with a Prospect’s Past “Poor” PPC Agency Experience"

  1. Roger Sikes says:

    Very good post. Regarding #1, I’m not sure I completely agree – it really depends on the prospect’s situation with billing and whether or not an account existed in the first place. I’m sure I’m not thinking of some other factors, but it’s not completely black and white.

    I completely agree that the client needs to have some control. A PPC vendor is an expert at managing the campaign – the prospect/client is the expert on their product or service. It’s very important to the success of a campaign to have an open line with the client and to openly seek their feedback on certain items.

    At the end of the client/vendor relationship, even if things don’t go well, the client deserves exports of all campaigns at the very least.

    Transparency is definitely key, and that really helps develop trust early on.

  2. Saija Mahon says:

    Thank you for the article – this is something I see and hear about so much. It’s the reality of today, especially in the agency world.

    I agree with Roger Sikes – transparency is the key and you have to be able to develop trust from the start. After all, you will have a great responsibility of handling the image and success of someone else’s company and brand. They undoubtedly will be protective about it.

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