Seems like everyone with a pulse is selling online marketing services to home improvement companies these days:
“You’ve sold Yellow Pages ads? You can sell online services!”
“You sold coupon programs? Now you’re an expert in automated search engine optimization!”
“Can you fog a mirror? You can sell social media marketing campaigns!”
Salespeople for newspapers, radio stations, TV stations – you name it – now pitch online marketing services to home improvement companies.
The problem is, most of these salespeople sell complex (and expensive) services they know practically nothing about. And how do those services work out for the home improvement companies that buy them? Most ultimately fail.
Quite simply, the vast majority of salespeople with experience selling traditional media just don’t have the knowledge and expertise to sell to online marketing services. And they shouldn’t be selling them in the first place.
Fortunately, many small businesses have learned see right through these sales pitches. From an article about an SMB survey being run by Borrell Associates, Digital on SMBs’ Minds? Not So Much.
“Don’t try and be everything. I don’t trust a radio station to provide online marketing just like I wouldn’t trust a print company to make a video.”
“Know your stuff! Please do NOT sell digital/mobile products that you do now know inside and out. We had very negative experience with <omitted> when they tried to sell digital advertising sold by print reps who did not understand the products.”
“Traditional media companies (i.e., radio, TV, newspaper) need to do a better job of training their sales and marketing reps on the digital front. I get it that everyone needs to get into the digital sales game, but they do more harm than good when they send out uneducated reps that sell a customer something they can’t fully understand themselves or explain to a customer.”
Remember also that most salespeople selling to home improvement companies just don’t understand the home improvement business model. Sales leads must produce in-home sales appointments. Appointments must lead to demo’s. And demo’s must close into sales. And everything must be measurable.
I have been on the receiving end of countless pitches by salespeople selling online marketing services. So it’s not surprising to me that home improvement companies have been unhappy with the online marketing services pitches they sit through. It takes only a few moments to realize what’s being sold is clearly not in their best interests.
If a salesperson is trying to sell you online marketing services, ask him or her to share results from other companies like yours that the company has served. If he or she can’t provide that data, move on to someone who can.
I know, it’s hard to say no to a salesperson you may know through traditional media. But don’t be fooled. Be ready to break it off early, before you get too far along in your discussions.