Nearly every ad salesperson has heard that it costs more to acquire a new client than to keep an existing one.
About 5x more, to be exact. Research also shows increasing customer retention by 5% can increase profits from 25% to 95%. That’s why it’s so important that publishers pull out all the stops to avoid client cancellations before they occur.
How do you stop something from happening, before it actually happens?
We know that salespeople should be thoughtful in how they approach clients who might be on the fence about canceling their ad contracts if they hope to have any positive impact on the situation. With this in mind, here are three key strategies to save a cancellation.
Business owners and marketing managers are extremely busy, so it’s best to do some research before requesting a meeting or a phone call with a client who may be unhappy. You should be able to look at the reports your client has received to understand how their ads are performing. Has there been a noticeable drop in click-throughs or engagement? Are fewer people seeing the company’s ads?
Only after you have gathered information from your analytics and reporting dashboard should you reach out to the client directly. When you do reach out, ask to set up a meeting or phone call to discuss how their ads are performing and how your publication could better serve the client.
On the day of the meeting, come prepared. Bring ad reporting results from at least the past three months, along with comparable results from similar advertisers. Being able to show the advertiser how their ads are performing compared to competitors is an effective tactic when speaking with a client who is unhappy with their ad performance.
While it’s important to come to the meeting prepared, you should also be ready to listen. Be ready to dive in deeper and ask questions to learn how you can work with the client to keep them on board — even if there is a barricade. You cannot save a cancellation until you understand why the client wants to cancel in the first place.
Maybe you can’t convince the client that their ads are performing well, or that their return-on-ad-spend (ROAS) is higher than what they could achieve through other channels. Now it’s time to try a different approach.
Offer a new opportunity, like a creative ad package or a new ad format. Use the information you learned previously about why the client is dissatisfied to create a custom ad package that hits all the right marks. Educate the client about the different ad formats your publication offers, like newsletter sponsorships or native advertising.
If you want to save a cancellation, you need data and evidence to show that newer opportunities have the potential to be successful. Now is the time to pull out case studies from previous clients and reports you’ve generated through Broadstreet’s dashboard to make your case. If you have any evidence to show that the opportunities you’re suggesting have the potential to deliver the types of results the client is looking to achieve, now is the time to present that information to the client.
Here’s where having a killer sales instinct comes into play. Maybe you’ve won back the client, or maybe the client is on the cusp signing up for a new ad package. If the client is still on the fence, you may want to offer a freebie to sweeten the deal.
Freebies don’t have to cost your publication a dime — at least not when you’re strategic about what you offer. When we talk about freebies, we’re not talking about company swag or restaurant gift certificates. The best way to sweeten a deal with an ad client who is on the fence about renewing a campaign is to throw in an additional ad product, like an eBlast or a social media post. For example, you can offer to add a week to the client’s campaign if they agree to stay on board, or throw in a series of social media posts for free if they sign an agreement today.
Your goal is to make the client feel that you’re truly there to help, and that achieving their goals is just as important to you as it is to the client. When the advertiser believes you’re on their side, they’ll stick with your publication and extend their contracts for longer — and that’s a win/win for everyone.
Want more client retention tips and tricks? Check out the Broadstreet Blog for the latest techniques and strategies to maximize your sales efforts.
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