My partner, Valerie, made a new contact at a MeetUp event Wednesday who is a professional organizer. She called us up yesterday about helping with an attorney client of hers who is interested in increasing his social media reach. She wanted to know what services we could provide and what we would charge for those services.
After happily providing information on the scope of our various services, including the appropriate information about picking the right targets, optimized content and SEO, the discussion turned to costs. Of course, we couldn’t really provide specific pricing without more details so we shared that we offer hourly rates, project billing and retainer options.
As we discussed how to move forward, I told her we offer a complimentary Business Development Assessment (BDA) for potential clients. This contact is located in Waxahachie and wanted to warn me about the distance involved. “My client is located in Dallas so you might want to rethink the free assessment,” she said (I paraphrase).
“It’s no problem at all,” I replied. “We go to Dallas all the time. Our services include a complimentary Business Development Assessment for all our potential clients.”
She just couldn’t believe it. She asked me in different ways two more times.
It’s true. That’s what we do. We offer our clients a complimentary assessment and it’s comprehensive. Our BDAs range from 16-22 pages. We spend 15-20 hours on each one because we offer customized solutions.
Of course, the next question is “What’s the catch?” We ask for three things: 1.) The potential client to hire us for some of the work we suggest if they decide to pursue any of the suggestions; 2.) A written recommendation we can use in our marketing materials; and 3:) Referrals, which includes a referral fee when they put us in touch with someone who hires us.
Why do we take this approach? The simple truth is that our very first client told us that business people are inundated with offers for free coffee and lunch (this was our first brilliant “hook. :o). He explained that our assessments were really valuable and that people would want to hear what we had to say. He knew this because that’s how we captured his attention. He challenged us to come up with some cost-effective ways to help him with his marketing efforts – ways that he wasn’t already pursuing. We accepted the challenge and successfully provided those options. And, he hired us.
We took the advice to heart and were off and running. It’s true that it’s a major time investment on our part. But, all we have to do is remember our tagline – Relationships First. When we started our business, my partner and I decided that our first value would be to help people and advance the relationship above all other considerations.
We may be crazy but, at the end of the day, we truly want to help people understand their marketing options and hope they give us a try. We are the “marketing chicks (sm)” at CM2, a B2B company that helps our clients make more money. We love what we do!