Too often, potential clients come to me unprepared. If you manage PPC, or work for or with a PPC Management Company, you know what I am talking about. They call, email, or fill out a form, and all they know is that they need to be advertising or improving their current advertising on Google and that your company’s website says that is what you do. More often than not, they haven’t thought through exactly what the PPC Agency will need to do for them in order for them to be happy.
When a company goes to hire a new employee, they have set questions they ask the candidates after they have seen their qualifications in resume format. We’ll consider the website the resume of the PPC Agency. Once they come to you to request a proposal as an agency, here are the 10 questions that I think they should ask:
1. How long has your agency been handling pay-per-click marketing?
2. How many dedicated account reps do you have managing PPC campaigns hands-on? Do they work on anything outside of paid search?
3. Do you offer other services (SEO, web design and development, etc.), and, if so, what’s the ratio of people who work on those services to those who focus on PPC?
4. How active will you be in sharing data with me and my organization?
5. Does anyone at your agency specialize or have experience doing PPC in my particular business niche?
6. Do you offer services across multiple PPC platforms, or just AdWords?
7. What standard reports do you provide, and what types of metrics will I be able to ask for “on demand”? Will I have independent access to reporting?
8. What types of tools do you use to manage campaigns and generate reports? Are they proprietary? If I were to switch agencies or move PPC management in-house, what
would happen to my campaigns and the processes and reporting you’ve put in place?
9. What if there are specific tasks or components of my campaigns that I want to manage in-house while you handle other components? Is that possible? How do you typically
handle that situation?
10. How do you determine which metrics and goals equal success for my PPC program? How do you plan to work with me to refine and ultimately reach those goals?
Unlike an interviewee for a job position that hopes and prays they can hide any flaws they have by the way they simply respond to the questions asked, I strongly believe that as a ppc management company and a Google Adwords Certified Partner Company, we have an ethical obligation to help the potential client think through everything before they blindly get signed up for something they are too unfamiliar with. I would even go so far as to say that if the company doesn’t ask these questions, we should be so kind as to go ahead and tell the potential customer the answers.
Some may disagree, and most sales books teach otherwise. You know, they say things like, “strike while the iron is hot,” and “Close! Close! Close!” Well, yeah, if you don’t close sales you won’t make any money. I don’t disagree with that, but I do disagree with closing a sale with a client that due to lack of understanding, puts 90% of their decision base on trust, and 10% on sound knowledge of what is going to happen once they sign the dotted line.
There are mutual benefits in taking time to answer these 10 questions for the client, whether they care to hear them or not. For example, if you have not determined which metrics and goals equal success for their PPC program with them, then one or two months later they will be calling to complain that they aren’t seeing the results they hoped for, and it will be simply because no time was taken to set goals together.
What do you think? Am I over the top? Are the questions over the top? Am I missing any questions you think are critical?