October 13

9 Ways to Sell Website Maintenance Services to Clients

I recently shared what you should actually be including in your website maintenance plans so today I want to take it to the next level and talk about how to actually sell these website maintenance packages.

The people I highly recommend to automate & outsource your website maintenance services

We're going to be talking about 9 different things you can be doing to sell your website maintenance packages.

Now we've seen website maintenance called all kinds of things including:

  • Website Maintenance Plan
  • Website Care Plan
  • Website Support Plan
  • Website Upkeep
  • Website Protection Plan
  • Website Insurance

What you end up calling your plan is entirely up to you of course as a business owner.

Personally I like the last couple of options which are the Website Protection Plan and Website Insurance.

The reason I like these is because it helps relate what business owners are used to hearing in other areas of their life so it makes more sense and it clicks a little bit faster.

Think about any time you've made a really big purchase, like a home or a car. Those would cost a substantial amount of money to replace so what do you do?

You buy insurance and insurance protects you in case anything happens with the car or the home. You are going to get a replacement or get it fixed.

Now when you think about protection, if you go out and you purchase a TV, a computer or another electronic, you have the option of purchasing a protection plan. This plan protects you in the event that anything goes wrong with it, anything is defective or unexpected. 

Then you will be able to get that fixed for you at no additional cost.

So this brings me to the first couple of points of how you're going to sell website maintenance.

#1 Sell as Protection

The first is to sell your website maintenance package as protection and as maintenance. Before you hit the back button, what I want you to think about is if you are purchasing a car, you're not going to just purchase a car and then never get an oil change, never change the air filters, never check the other fluids, never change the belt or the tires or get the tires rotated.

You know that when you purchase the car, you are going to have these additional maintenance expenses because you are protecting the car -  you want it to last as long as possible.

If you don't do these things the car is not going to continue to work for you for very long and your money did not go as far for you.

In the home example, you want to make sure they understand they have made an investment in their business and that it needs to be protected.

So when it comes to actually purchasing a software, which is essentially what they are doing, any software (at least good software) needs to be updated regularly.

It needs to be protected because you want to make sure it is not hacked, and that it's secure so no malware is added to the website. You also want to make sure it continues to function properly. This is very similar to the car example.

#2 Demonstrate the Benefits

The third thing you want to do to sell website maintenance is to demonstrate the benefits of them signing up.

When we talk about protection and insurance, we are describing the benefits but what can you do to visually show potential clients to demonstrate the benefits?

Most people are visual. They want to see something that helps them understand and learn what they need to in order to make a decision. This is why being able to demonstrate the benefits visually is going to help you sell.

Now let's say you help with performance optimization. If you can take a before and after shot of the before results when there was no speed optimization performed and then the after shot and put those together to show a client, you are visually demonstrating the benefit of them working with you.

#3 Separate Yourself From the Competition

Next, you want to separate yourself from the competition. I bet you've gone out there and looked at what the competition is offering and started to formulate your own package in your mind.

When looking at other offerings, consider what you should offer in a basic package but also what you can offer that would separate your offering from others.

Need ideas of what to include? See here.

Will they gain access to anything else? Will they see additional services? Is there something specific to their type of business that you can add in that they might not find elsewhere (or they would have to pay extra for)? Do you offer premium plugins, for example, that would cost them a lot more money to get on their own?

These are all things you can outline and show they're getting even more value from the package. The more you show them they're getting a really good bang for their buck, the better.

#4 Sell Packages

I really like to sell website maintenance packages. I always want to offer the highest package first and work my way down from there.

The biggest package includes everything. This is like the master protection plan. Then you have a plan that is the lowest plan which is more for budget clients. This basic plan covers well...the basics.

Then you have a plan in between. Having these different packages helps make sure you're going to incorporate all of the clients that are coming to you so they all get on a maintenance plan.

Most people want to get as much value as they can but if they feel like they can't afford it or they want something but you know they just they're not sold on the upper package, you can always start them with something lower. 

A note about recurring revenue: Any recurring revenue is good. You can always work to upsell them as you meet with them and report to them in the future. Don't forget to demonstrate those benefits!

#5 Stop Offering Individual Updates

Next up, let you clients know you don't offer one-off updates. This means they can't come to you, say here's some content I need added to my website. No! Here's what to say:

"I only serve the clients who are on my website maintenance packages. They always have priority. When I'm updating a website, I know the website is functioning properly, I know it is updated and being maintained. That way I feel comfortable continuing to work on it."

This encourages them to take a second look like "oh wait if it's that serious that they're not even willing to work on the website if I don't do this, then they can take another look at that." 

Now I know you might be thinking but what if they just say no and go elsewhere.

It's certainly possible but keep in mind it's not entirely profitable for you if they're just randomly coming to you here and there with one-off updates that really don't take that long to do.

You're not making that much money with it and their website isn't fully protected so it's best to encourage them to join a plan that allows you to fully support them. 

A note about website maintenance: When a client isn't on a website maintenance plan and their website gets hacked, malware is found, etc. they'll be looking at you!

#6 Add Case Studies / Social Proof

The next thing you can do is add case studies or social proof. We think about this for attracting web design or SEO clients but we don't always think about this for website maintenance. Big mistake! 

Start considering how you will build up

  • Testimonials
  • Reviews
  • Case Studies

If you're serious about selling these services, consider where clients were when they came to you and what you have been able to help them do with your website maintenance service.

Work on getting feedback from your clients so you can present that feedback to other businesses like them. This will helps those businesses understand how this benefits them, not just from your perspective but from the perspective of another business owner.

#7 Discuss Improvements

As with any recurring service, it's important to continually show the client improvements, results and what's being worked on.

This helps them to see one of the reasons they are on a website maintenance plan is to make sure that not only is their website is protected, but they are continuously working towards their goal so they're going to continue to receive the monthly reports as you remember

For example, we talked about the analytics reports in the other video and that will tell them how well their website is performing, what needs to be done, and what is working well for them. This shows them they are continuously working towards their goals and always improving their sales system.

#8 Keep the Business Owner Focused on Income Generating Tasks

Lastly, it's important to remind the business owner their true value is in staying focused on the income generating tasks.

This is important for you as a business owner and it's equally important for the business owners you're working with.

For the success of their business, it's crucial they don't get bogged down with things like trying to learn how to update their website and maintaining their own website hoping it's done right.

I like to ask them:

"If you maintain the website and the website gets hacked do you feel confident that you are able to restore the website correctly fully functioning within an hour of it going down."

If not, that can cause them a substantial loss of revenue which is why this is best to be prevented in the first place (by letting a professional handle it).

This way they're also focusing on the revenue generating tasks and generating more leads, customers and sales for their business rather than getting bogged down in website updates.

#9 Bring It Up Early

And last up, the final thing I like to do to sell website maintenance packages is to start discussing this service very early on in the conversations with clients.

A lot of times this can be something we just passively include on the website, we might talk about it at the end of the project, we spring it on them: 

"Oh now that you're done, wait here's something else you can do..."

But this is a conversation where I really like to be real with clients up front. I want to understand their goals and how I can best help them reach their goals. One of the things we can do is be upfront and be real with them about what they can expect.

This is what you're going to need for a website, this is how this is going to help you achieve your goal but really in order to maintain this long term, here's what you'd be looking at on a monthly basis...

Coming from that perspective of wanting to be upfront is very important for clients so letting them know I want to let you know not only what you can expect during this work but what you should expect to do after the project whether you continue to work with me or not. 

Piecing It Together

So there you have it! Nine ways to better sell your website maintenance services. Pick just one strategy you can start working on and slowly add on as you go.

Let me know in the comments what you are doing to sell website maintenance packages and which tactic you'll use next. 

Don't want to do the site maintenance work yourself? These guys will do it all for you.

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