Overcoming Objections That Agencies Face: 10 Ways to Close More Deals

Overcoming Objections That Agencies Face: 10 Ways to Close More Deals

Last updated on by Cody Slingerland in Marketing Agency Tips

B2B sales are tough in any industry. But as an agency in the U.S., you’re going up against more than 13,000 different companies. That’s a lot of competition.

Nevermind the fact that every potential client will have their own objections for investing in your agency’s services. It’s up to you to demonstrate value and how those objections will be negated by the results you provide.

With that said, the approach you take to address each objection will differ from client to client. An objection is not a rejection, though, and knowing how to handle each situation can help close more sales.

In this article, you’ll discover ways for overcoming objections prospective clients may throw at you. After reading, you’ll be well on your way to countering common client objections and closing new deals.

Agencies and overcoming objections made easier

1. “We don’t have the budget.”

Pricing is always a concern for clients and some common variations of this objection include:

  • “We don’t have the budget right now
  • “We’ve used up all our marketing spend for the year”
  • “Another project/campaign is currently eating up our budget”

How to handle this objection

It may be true that the client doesn’t have the budget to invest at the moment you connect with them. If you hop on a call with a potential client in Q4, it’s likely they have already spent their marketing budget for the year. In this case, save your follow up for January when their budget resets.

However, this objection again might be a result of not fully demonstrating the value or ROI you can provide. Make sure to send the client specific case studies for their industry that clearly outline the success you’ve had with past clients.

If you’re having trouble creating valuable case studies, this agency-specific guide will help.

2. “Your quote is too expensive for us.”

Besides a lack of budget, another common objection heard by agencies is that they are simply too expensive.

How to handle this objection

To counter, you have a few options:

  • Demonstrate the value you provide to justify your quote
  • Negotiate a price that works for both of you

For the first approach, you can also highlight what your agency does differently (or superior) to other agencies. That way, your “expensive quote” is more attractive because the prospective client sees more value built into the higher price tag. That said, the best approach is likely a combination of both options.

First, you can demonstrate value by sending the client specific case studies on how your services provided exceptional results or a high return on investment.

It may also be helpful to break your quote down into individual items with a cost for each, rather than providing a grand total for your services. This way, the client can see where their money will go and what they can expect to receive. You should also use this same approach when it’s time to invoice clients.

Second, if the potential client still feels that your quote isn’t justified, you may consider negotiating a lower price to get them to sign. It helps if you inflate your initial quote a little bit so that you have some wiggle room when negotiating. Then, when you negotiate a lower price, the client will be pleased and you’ll still be able to hit your profit margins.

If after all this the client claims they can find another agency that will complete the same work for a better price, the video below will help you counter this objection:

3. “You don’t provide the services we need.”

If you contact a potential client offering one service (e.g. SEO) and they need help with another (e.g. Facebook Ads), you might hear this objection.

How to handle this objection

Identify if you offer the services the client requires. For example, if you’re a web design agency, it may not be immediately present that you offer marketing or SEO services as well.

If this is what the client is looking for, direct them to the correct pages on your site and send them other materials regarding your additional services (case studies, brochures, white papers, etc.). You may also think about changing the layout and copy on your website to make sure clients can identify the services you offer and find more information.

If you don’t provide the services they’re looking for, you have a few options:

  • You can try to convince them they need a service that you do sell
  • Add the service they’re looking for

Trying to convince a client of a service other than the one they’re looking for could be a tough sell. If you take this approach, you’ll need some strong case studies and client testimonials demonstrating the value of the service you’re trying to sell.

The best approach, though, might be to add the service to your list of offerings.

You don’t always need to make a new hire to offer new services. Subcontracting is a common way that agencies add services they don’t have experience in or the staff to offer themselves. In this case, one agency will work with another to offer a white-label service so that it appears that the first agency is actually the one doing all the work.

Below are a few options when it comes to outsourcing or even hiring internally to add new services to your mix:

overcoming objections hiring freelancers

If this is a sales objection you often hear, adding more services will help you win over more clients.

4. “X agency has more experience in our industry than you.”

This objection may come if a potential client is weighing different options. If another agency has more experience than you in the client’s industry, you have an uphill battle to close the deal.

How to handle this objection

It could be the case you do have experience in the potential client’s industry but you haven’t highlighted your work well enough. Make sure to include any specific clients and results you’ve had in that industry on your website and case studies.

If you don’t have experience in the client’s industry, you’ll have to focus on other aspects of your business to win them over. Think about what separates you from the competition. If you can, try to find out what other agencies the client is considering. Some clients will provide this information by simply asking. Knowing who the competition will help you decide what areas to highlight.

For example, you may tell the client that since you’re a smaller agency, you can respond to emails and calls quicker or that you’ll be able to provide more of a one-on-one approach, versus the client being bounced around between different account managers at a larger agency.

Some other areas to highlight might be your lower pricing, other notable clients you’ve worked with, or testimonials.

Whatever it is, find the qualities that separate you from the competition and focus on those in your pitch. You may not have experience in the client’s given industry but your other strengths can help you close the deal.

5. “We already work with an agency that we are satisfied with.”

It’s possible that a potential client already has someone fulfilling the services you’re trying to sell. Especially, if you found this client via cold outreach.

Some example objections might include:

  • “We already have an agency we are happy with”
  • “We are contracted with another agency”

How to handle this objection

If the potential client is under contract, first try to find out the terms of the contract (“How long is the contract?”, “When is the contract set to expire?”, “What is the penalty for terminating the contract early?”, etc.).

If the contract ends soon, it may be best to follow up with the client closer to the end date. However, if they’re midway through their contract, try to find out more about the results the other agency has delivered.

For example, the client may be satisfied with their current agency generating 100 new qualified leads each month. But what if you could provide 200 leads for the same price? That might be worth the client paying the financial penalty to break their current contract to sign with you.

In this case, you’ll have to demonstrate that you can actually provide the results you promise. The right case study can help.

6. “I’m not in charge of X.”

If you’re doing a lot of cold outreach, it’s possible that you connected with a team member who doesn’t have the final say on investing in a particular product or service. Here, you might hear an objection like:

  • “I have to run this by my boss first”
  • “I need X and Y to sign off on this decision”

How to handle this objection

Find out who the actual decision maker is for approving new vendors. Ask if your contact can put you in touch with the decision maker at their company. This could be the owner, CEO, Director of Marketing, etc. Each company will differ.

If they’re not willing to connect you, do some digging using LinkedIn’s company/people search to find out who else within the company may have a stake in making decisions and reach out directly:

overcoming objections LinkedIn search filters

7. “I need to run this by my team first.”

The “I need to run this by my team” objection is too often a way for the client to stall or procrastinate on making a decision. They might want to get their input, but it’s likely they are just buying some time or even brushing you off.

How to handle this objection

Find out if this person is actually the decision maker for the service you’re trying to sell. While reaching out to the Marketing Manager may seem like a good choice if you’re selling advertising or marketing services, the Founder or CEO may actually be the person with the final say.

If they actually do want input from other team members, find out what’s important to everyone involved. That way, you can craft your pitch to tailor to the entire team’s need and wants.

8. “I don’t have time right now.”

Business owners and managers are busy people. Because of this, it’s easy for them to brush off your calls or emails when they’re dealing with a hundred other things involved in running a business.

Some example objections include:

  • “I’m too busy to talk right now”
  • “Call me again in six months”

How to handle this objection

If your potential client is swamped and pressed for time now, there’s a good chance it will be that way in a month or even six months.

To combat this, make it easy for the client to learn more and make a decision. If you’re reaching out to get them on a call, make sure to mention that it will only take 10 or 15 minutes of their time.

Make sure any resources you provide are easy to read and understand. Quick one-sheets highlighting specific results and notable clients will work.

Lastly, continue to follow up. Use a tool like Boomerang, Mixmax, Right Inbox or even Gmail’s native snooze feature to send emails back to your inbox as a reminder to touch base:

overcoming objectionunderperforms

9. “I don’t want to get locked into a contract.”

Being locked in a contract with an agency that underperforms is a worry for clients. No one wants to be committed to a 12-month contract and forced to pay for something that doesn’t deliver results.

How to handle this objection

Of course, the simplest way to handle this objection is to avoid using long-term contracts. If you don’t require a contract, make sure the client understands this and that they can cancel your services at any time without financial penalty.

However, this isn’t always possible for many agencies whose services require long commitments (like SEO and content marketing). In this case, you must ease the client’s concerns.

Again, case studies, mentions of notable clients you’ve worked with, and testimonials will all illustrate your value and help build trust. Break down your results with past clients by month so potential clients can see what type of results you deliver throughout the length of a long-term commitment.

10. “Send me more information and I’ll get back to you.”

This response is another way for the client to dismiss you and put off telling you “no.”

How to handle this objection

While your prospect may actually need more time to evaluate your solution, this response delays being able to interact with them directly and find ways to address their concerns personally.

Agree to send the client more information but don’t stop the discussion there. If you’re on a call, try to discover specifics that will matter to them. You can do the same in email.

Ask the client a question that will encourage them to open up. For example, “So I know what to include, can you tell me…”. This will lower the client’s guard and give you the opportunity to continue the conversation.

Overcoming objections plays a big role in agency growth

With enough preparation before your sales calls or meetings, you can ensure that you’re set up to face any objections a potential client may have. With the right know-how, case studies, testimonials, and other assets, you’ll be well on your way to winning new clients.

Overcoming sales objections is hardly the only challenge your agency faces, though. Many other factors contribute to growing a successful agency. To discover specific tactics you can use to grow your own agency, read the free guide here.

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