Learn 3 Tips That Can Help You Navigate Partner Changes Without Slowing Your Lead Generation
The grass sometimes seems greener on the other side of the fence, doesn’t it? This old adage might ring especially true if you’re unhappy with your current website host, SEM provider or ad agency. You might even be considering making a change with one or more of your marketing partners.
Is it underperforming vendors? Missed leads? Or are you flat out not seeing any evidence that your current partners know what they are doing?
Support your leads now, and your success for the long term.
RCG has helped contractors navigate changing vendors and we have three big picture items you should consider before making decisions that are certain to impact your business.
Consider ALL the Likely Impacts of Making the Change.
Making a vendor change can have a huge impact to your business. A transition to someone new might be seamless, but it also might not be. Before you make any changes, think about the element you’re considering changing and what impact it could have, both positive and negative. Once you give serious consideration to both sides of the equation, you can anticipate and take steps to minimize negative impacts, while giving the positive outcomes the best chance of being realized.
For example, consider what a change to your website might do. A new site from a new vendor might give you more control, reduce costs and/or improve your brand image. That said, it’s pretty much certain that changing your web vendor will have an impact on your paid search strategies and your organic SEO rankings. A downturn in search performance is probably temporary, but if you’re depending heavily on search for your leads, it’s something to plan for.
In fact, planning is the theme of our next tip.
PLAN, PLAN, PLAN!
RCG recommends smart planning when making a vendor change.
When planning a vendor change you should consider how long the transition might take, the time of year the change takes place, and the length of time it could take to get your performance back at the same or better levels.
RCG recommends planning to execute most partner changes in the slower months of your business seasonality. For example, a northern roofing company might choose to make changes during the winter months. Most companies have times of year when operations, sales, or lead activities are typically at an ebb. Even small “breaks” in activity can offer great opportunities for making the upgrades you want.
Regardless of the timing, whenever you make a marketing change, you should have a plan in place to maintain the consistency of your messaging, so you don’t lose awareness among homeowners. Too often, even a little time out of sight can mean you’re out of the minds of your target audience.
Any change can be a little like starting over. A plan can help give you a head start and, in some cases, even keep you from having to start completely from scratch … especially when the vendor you’re leaving isn’t interested in helping you make the transition. That kind of situation leads to our next tip.
Clear, Clean Communication.
Good planning helps your vendors help you in lots of ways, but only if you communicate those plans. By clearly communicating and setting clean transition dates, you’ll be helping both your old vendor and new partner live up to your expectations.
As in any relationship, some vendors don’t take the end of a partnership well and may either actively or passively throw up obstacles. RCG has seen dozens of examples of bad behavior from outgoing marketing companies, ranging from slow response times to actively canceling media schedules before the client intended.
While most companies share RCG’s dedication to integrity and putting the client first, it bears noting that clear, in-writing communication of expectations and transition dates can save trouble down the road.
For example, with traditional media, you might specify a transition after your already-placed media buys with the outgoing vendor have run in full.
A clear transition date also allows your new partner to begin without confusion or overlap of strategies so they can be set up for success and deliver the best possible results for your business.
Making a vendor change mid-year can be a very real challenge. RCG believes it can be done effectively when you know the impact of the change, plan well, and pay attention to your communication and timing.