How to write a winning marketing services contract
1 The Essential Guide to WRITING A WINNING MARKETING SERVICES CONTRACT W A Publication of HubSpot s Partner Program
2ABOUT THE AUTHOR Patrick Shea is the Marketing Manager for HubSpot s Value-Added Reseller Channel. Patrick has written and presented extensively on agency growth strategies, and runs a weekly webinar on agency-specific topics. @mpatrickshea
3Table of ContentsIntroduction / 4Contract Structure/ 8Make It Visual/ 9Respond Quickly/ 10Provide Examples/ 11Provide Different Packages/ 12Additional Resources/ 13
4INTRODUCTIONSUMMARIZE AN EFFICIENTSALES PROCESS
5HubSpot recommends a goal-orientedsales process to it’s Agency Partners, Smainly because of how it aides in thecontract writing process.Once a prospect is qualified, an agency’sfocus should shift to uncovering theprospect’s business goals and mostpressing needs. These goals drive how theagency proceeds, which of it’s serviceofferings it leads with, what expectations toset around timing and inturn what sizeretainer to recommend. n Building an action plan based on your prospects’ goals will position your service offerings as strategic recommendations. Being able to refer back to and report on these goals throughout your engagement will make quantifying your success and advocating for more resources or a longer retainer easy. Once the sales process is complete, your prospect will likely ask you to send over a proposal.
6Your prospect will want a proposal for a couple of reasons. The reasons we seethe most often are: 3 TO GET IN WRITING WHAT EXACTLY YOU AS THEIR NEW AGENCY WILL BE DOING FOR THEM 3 FORWARD FOR BUY-IN FROM THEIR MANAGERS 3 PRICE-SHOP YOU AGAINST OTHER AGENCIESBut, if you used a process similar to what we outlined on the previous page, theprospect will be qualified and presold already. Your proposal then becomes acontract request. It is a document that rehashes the goals established andagreed upon in the sales process and should be signed quickly. FBecause it can be challenging to sell yourservices, investing the time once indeveloping a solid contract template oncecan go a long way. While anything yousend to a prospect should be customizedand tailored, your goal should be tocreate a reusable contract template thatyou can use and reap the rewards frommany times over.That said, contract writing can be extremely difficult and time-consuming if youdo it inefficiently. Don’t waste hours reinventing the wheel every time. Use thefive tips on the following pages to construct a template. It will help you increaseyour chances of getting back a signed services contract – and save time.
7THE KEYS TO WRITING AWINNING MARKETINGSERVICES CONTRACT
8 1 STRUCTURING YOUR CONTRACTThe length of all contracts should be 2-3 pages, 5 at the most. No onewants to read War & Peace. Follow the minimalist structure below formaximum efficiency.+ EXECUTIVE SUMMARYWeave a story of their current challenges and how your agency is going tohelp them meet their goals. Avoid highly technical terms so that anyone atthe prospect s company reading the contract can understand what you willbe doing. Do not repeat and pitch yourself or the sales process.+ DISCOVERYIf you did an Inbound Marketing Assessment, highlights go here.+ SCOPE OF SERVICES3 Services/Activities and Time per Activity (Retainer Quoting)3 ROI and Metrics for Success (Analytics)3 Role (expected role and activities for both Agency and Client)3 Timeline and Retainer Length3 Costs+ TERMS AND CONDITIONS+ APPENDIX+ PLACE TO SIGN+ METHODS OF PAYMENT ACCEPTED
9 2 MAKE IT VISUAL JYour contract needs to be visuallyappealing. That means you need tomake it perfectly formatted, typo-free and well-designed. If a contractis unformatted, does not containyour company logo or graphics andhas poor grammar and typos, whyshould a prospective buyer trust orpay you $15,000 to redesign theirwebsite?Contracts should have clear, distinct company branding that fits the page and content should be proofread very carefully (contracts have been lostdue to calling a client the wrong name). If you re creating a template in adesign program that does not have an obvious/easy spell check (e.g.Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign), copy and paste all of the text intoMicrosoft Word just for the spell-check feature. ““ Ensure that your contract is visually appealing.
10 3 RESPOND QUICKLY t Oftentimes, that s why one provider is chosen over another, even if the losing provider has a lower price. Having an easily customizable contract template that you can slightly tweak and edit quickly is an essential time-saver and could be the difference between getting the signature or getting shown the door. 1 As one client said, Having the proposal come back faster made me think this agency could redesign my website more quickly.” Everything in the sales process reflects back onto your agency. Make sure timeliness is a value that comes across clearly by being prompt with turnaround time on contract requests and modifications.
11 4 PROVIDE RELEVANT EXAMPLESMost agencies have their client case studies Pand testimonials front and center on theirwebsite. Keeping an internal arsenal ofrelevant examples (by industry, budget size,geography, B2B or B2C, etc.) can be invaluablewhen you need to carefully tailor examples tosuit a particular client (a 5-person B2C jewelrycompany who wants to move into primarilyonline selling, for example, will want to look atdifferent examples than a B2B Fortune 500technology company).Suggested characteristics to cover in your examples: B2B gG Type of business Size Location
12 5 PROVIDE DIFFERENT PRICING PACKAGES $ In the case you have not been able to fully qualify the prospective buyer, provide three different pricing packages. Ideally, you ve pre-qualified the prospect via phone and already had a conversation with them, thus the price should not be an unpleasant surprise. If you have not been able to connect with them and still want to send them a contract in writing, provide them several options at different price ranges: + WHAT THEY WANT/HAVE REQUESTED AS A PRICE + A SLIGHTLY MORE EXPENSIVE OPTION WITH MORE SERVICES + AN ULTIMATE PACKAGE THAT YOU RECOMMEND, WITH MULTIPLE SERVICES THAT WILL LEAD THEM TO SEE THE BIGGEST ROI. Allow them to check a box next to which option they would like. This is a non-offensive way to upsell without creating frustration due to sticker shock, or coming in at three times their requested budget (at that point, you should have disqualified them earlier than the contract stage as not a good fit for your agency).
14MORE RESOURCES / HUBSPOTOur Channel Account Managers have helpedhundreds of online ser vices agenciesunderstand how to craft and sell the serviceofferings their clients and prospects want andneed.Request a Strategic Consultation to Learn HowInbound can Help your Agency Grow.http://bit.ly/agencytalkWe look forward to working with you!
15 www.HubSpot.com/Partners A Publication of HubSpot s Partner Program