15 Aug.

How to win HubSpot projects and retainers

We’ve been running On The Bench for several months as the go-to platform for skilled professionals to pick up HubSpot gigs. And as expected, activity is increasing rapidly. This is because clients increasingly prefer to engage with agencies on a per-gig basis rather than long-term retainers.

Before anyone can submit bids on work, they need to be HubSpot certified. This means that everyone on the platform has HubSpot experience, is certified, and often owns or works at an agency.

It has been especially interesting monitoring the motivations each bidder puts forward to win the gig. We’ve often noticed that there isn’t enough differentiation between service providers, which means the customer defaults to comparing on price.

As every marketer knows, the last thing you want to do is position your brand as the lowest-cost option. It creates a race to the bottom and undercuts the industry.

But the other thing about On The Bench, is that most service providers are charging a very similar price.

Now, if you were a potential customer, how would you select a service provider if:

  • Everyone is equally specialized in HubSpot
  • Everyone has the same amount of experience
  • Everyone has the same certificates
  • Everyone is charging similar prices

Because On The Bench is a marketplace, the problem here is obvious. But if you look at the greater HubSpot ecosystem, this is a problem that customers must face almost everyday! Besides location and industry specialization, there isn’t much difference between each service provider!

Here are a few examples of ineffective bid motivations that we’ve taken from the marketplace:

This person has 5 years experience in HubSpot, but that doesn’t say much about their actual skill level. Always ask yourself: Why else should the customer select me?

This person is not showing much confidence in being able to help the customer with the use of the word “should”.

Why is this unique? Shouldn’t every digital agency know how to create webinars and use web conferencing platforms?

This person knows how to create workflows and thinks the project is great — but why is it great?

There are also many service providers who have won work. Here are some of the things they share with potential customers:

  1. Location – where are you based and what timezone do you operate in?
  2. Language – what language do you speak and operate in?
  3. Guarantee – what surety can you give the customer that the solution you put together will work?
  4. Secret Sauce – what is your way of doing things? How is your methodology or process different to others, and why is it better?
  5. Industry Knowledge and Experience – what do you know about the industry the customer operates in and what experience do you have?
  6. Communication – how will you communicate with the customer? Do you have multiple options or only one? Phone, Email, Skype, Zoom, Other?
  7. Credibility – how many jobs have you completed? What has your rating been?
  8. Personal Information – what are you interested in, what do you believe in, what is your vision? It is vital to connect with a customer on a personal level. If you support the Giants, and they support the Yankees — you may never get on!

Here is an example of an awesome job motivation:

Hi, I’m a surfer based in Santa Cruz and only know English! When I’m not surfing, I’m geeking out on inbound marketing reports and data. I’ve developed a baseline calculator that allows me to build campaigns on HubSpot that are more likely to succeed. I’m quoting 3 hours to do this job and I do work at $150 an hour, but if it takes longer to set this up right, I won’t charge more. I’m fully connected and will share my mobile number so you can get hold of me anytime while we work on this together.

Here is one more:

My name is Romain and I am French but speak fluent English and have a passion for travelling the World. I can build your email template, but before we start I will analyze past emails you’ve sent to see which email clients your database use and then I will optimize the email for those. It is almost impossible to optimize for every email client which is why I always work on the top 5. This job should take about 5 hours, and I’ll fix any bugs over the next 7 days at no cost.

Author: Daryn Smith