How to Manage Client Expectations

How to Manage Client Expectations

Kayla Graham

A lot of clients think you wave a wand, and you have sales and an ROI of 500%. But it’s certainly more of a journey. So how do you manage that expectation? Robert Cooper—the Founder and Strategic Director at PlusROI Online Marketing—shared a few ideas in a recent episode of Content Callout.

He points out that traditional marketers and leaders tell you what they want to happen. They say they’re willing to spend over $10,000 on advertising a quarter and demand results. But it doesn’t often line up with how their customers buy. So what do you do?

Set reasonable expectations from day one

Robert and his agency try to be upfront about reasonable expectations. This is why they’re popular with entrepreneurial clients versus someone at a larger organization with a sales quota to meet. Larger organizations sometimes don’t want to hear that it can’t be done.

Robert notes that you run into difficulties because there are a lot of subpar vendors out there that use irresponsible tactics. For example, some clients had been convinced by other vendors they’d see results in a month.

So Robert will paint a clear picture and is upfront and honest with clients. If that doesn’t work for them, they’re not a great fit for his business anyway. Instead, he’d rather have them understand the realities and celebrate wins when they are above expectations.

But another issue that they run into with clients isn’t just about marketing—it’s also aesthetics, user experience, and differentiation.

Why differentiation is imperative

Why do you need a unique selling proposition? Why should someone take the next step with you?

Robert started with a new client recently that has a great team, and they create amazing things. They use the top marketing platforms. But their home page doesn’t differentiate them from their competition. It doesn’t talk about the key benefits of why someone would want to use them. They would be fine with the simplest tech stack ever if they had a site that made it clear how they make life better for their audience. Then, they’d have more success landing leads.

If you walk into a furniture store, someone can ask you questions and find out what you need. That doesn’t exist online. So your homepage has to do the job of qualifying the logical next step. But your first call-to-action might be “sign up for a demo” when someone doesn’t necessarily even know why they’d want a demo. Instead, you have to guide the person as if you were communicating in person.

You get an immediate sense of whether or not you can trust someone with in-person interaction. But with online interaction, everyone is skeptical. If someone arrives on your website, their mindset is one of distrust until you earn their trust. Branding, structure, look, and feel is a huge component of building that trust. You have to have something that looks professional and nicely branded. Platforms like Squarespace and Shopify remove excuses for a brand to look bad.

The bottom line? The most successful marketing leaders are the ones that know their customers. Robert shares a plethora of marketing strategies in episode #45 of the Content Callout podcast, including how to measure success, strategies to adopt, and even how to address “bad” months with clients. Check it out!