Sell Digital Marketing Services (Or Any Service for that Matter) Like a Pro [An Expert Interview]
Forrest Dombrow, Sales Consultant, Business Coach, Sales Speaker, and Author at Solve Sales, discusses his strategies to improve sales and grow a business.
Are you looking to improve sales for your digital marketing agency? If so, I highly recommend checking out the 30-minute recording interview with Forrest Dombrow, Sales Consultant, Business Coach, Sales Speaker, and Author at Solve Sales.
A bit over a decade ago, I founded Boulder SEO Marketing. We started as a local SEO agency. Today, our full-service online marketing agency works with customers throughout the United States and from around the globe.
Along the journey of growing our digital agency, I’m very thankful to have met people such as Forrest Dombrow.
Forrest specializes in helping digital agencies sell their services, but his methodology applies to any services business. His new book is entitled “Clone the Ace: A Battle-Tested Blueprint to Sell Digital Marketing Services Like a Pro.” It was released on March 2, 2021, and I can highly recommend it.
Forrest has been in internet marketing for almost 18 years. Forrest started his own agency in 2007 with a few partners and ultimately became a sales expert. After selling his agency, Forrest began to assist other agencies in fixing their sales problems.
Forrest and I recently caught up via a Zoom call as I wanted to ask him some questions about his book. Specifically, I wanted to know what mistakes agency sales reps tend to make, how you can improve results and his thoughts on how to boost client retention.
You’ll find the questions and a summary of Forrest’s answers below. Still, I hope you’ll find the time to view the 30-minute recording of our interview:
Tell me about your book. Who is it for, and what problems does it solve?
Forrest mentioned, his ideal reader would be an owner of a digital marketing agency, sales managers at agencies, and freelancers. While his book targets digital marketing agencies, it can also help those who sell services or products such as websites or software applications. Dombrow notes that not every agency owner is also a good salesperson. Not being able to sell your services leads to missing out on sales. He also added that other people have lead generation issues, including not enough volume or quality. There are various problems in the sales process and sales systems. Many of these concepts are addressed in his book.
In the book, you write about something called Winnable Games. Can you explain how to use that concept to improve sales?
Forrest’s favorite chapter in his book, “Winnable Games” looks at specialization and how it is the only way to create a winnable game. Dombrow answered, “It’s really about offering something unique to a particular audience. I teach my clients to create a game where you’re on a playing field, and you’re probably going to win.” Forrest believes that you should attempt to make sales easier before you even try to get better at it, and this can go along with marketing. Dombrow mentioned, “Winnable games is about making sure you understand who your ideal clients are and position your agency in a way that you’re in the lead.” He also mentioned the importance of being the agency that your client wants to hire before you even open your mouth. Besides, Forrest added how powerful specialization could be if you’re an SEO agency. He concluded, “Winnable games is really about understanding where you can be successful and positioning yourself to look like the best option.”
What are the top 2 – 3 mistakes you see agency sales reps making, and what solutions would you recommend?
Forrest answered that the first mistake he notices might seem simple. Still, a mighty error is being slow to respond to leads. He references an MIT study that proves that by responding to an inbound lead within five minutes, you dramatically increase the chance of landing the customer. Do not wait thirty minutes to get back to the prospect. The other mistake Dombrow often catches is what he refers to as “An order taker type salesperson.” He noted that this is someone who takes orders from a client and does not create a strategy to ensure the client’s needs. Forrest concluded, “It’s transitioning from order taker to being a strategic salesperson and identifying the problems you can solve.”
When it comes to selling SEO specifically, what is one thing someone in the audience could do right now to improve their results and client retention?
Dombrow stressed the importance of asking the right questions to understand how much or how little they know SEO. You also want to make sure you set proper expectations and everyone is on the same page. He also advised us to take a more value-based approach which can be hard to do with SEO because you do not know precisely when Google is giving you a bump. Forrest noted, “I call it the milk and cookies approach, so many people just sell the milk, and they don’t mention the cookies right.” Also, he said that sometimes when you are making more money, you have a more comprehensive solution, including things your agency does not do. For example, they may also need landing page optimization or pay-per-click services. A complete solution ultimately boosts leads and sales.
There are a lot of sales consultants out there; what makes you different?
Forrest began as a digital marketer in 2004. He wrote many paid search ads, SEO, architected websites. He then transitioned into sales of digital marketing services at his agency, finally becoming a consultant through successful sales. He also owns many other businesses outside of digital marketing, including a liquor store, a popcorn company, and a children’s t-shirt company. He notes that his vast experience is what makes him most valuable. It is rare to find a sales consultant who specialized in helping digital marketing agencies boost sales. Dombrow developed a winnable games approach that truly helps his clients and their businesses learn sales skills to succeed in today’s competitive digital agency landscape.
Suppose you’re starting as a new digital marketing agency owner. In that case, I certainly wish you well and good luck along the journey. Hopefully, you’ll be able to take advantage of the knowledge that Forrest is sharing in our interview and his book.
Here in the Denver area, most owners of the local digital marketing and SEO agencies know and respect each other. We even share knowledge when we get together at the monthly Denver SEO Meetup.
It’s a great industry to be part of, and I highly encourage you to make friends with other agency owners. Here at Boulder SEO Marketing, we’re sometimes at capacity. We’re always happy when we can refer a potential customer to another agency that we can trust.
Be well, and I wish you much success and happiness!