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The Second Hardest Part about Agency New Business

Posted on April 17, 2012

I admire our New Business Directors.

It is one of the toughest jobs on the planet.

Persistent, yet polite.

Skin as tough as steel.

Smart, creative, strategic.

Able to wear their Agencies on their sleeves and sell ethereal agency offerings with enthusiasm and zeal.

Agency New Business

 

Focus On The Close

It was about 3-4 years ago (we are now in Year 7) that I realized that no matter how good our people were, at the end of the day it didn’t matter how good a meeting was, what really mattered in the grand scheme of things was whether or not the client closed business.

Actually the real realization was that in general, agency folk aren’t all that great at taking meetings and putting on the sales hat and moving things to close.

They get all excited leading up to meetings, they get pumped when they’re in meetings, and they are jazzed coming out of meetings.

But when things don’t move at their pace, they lose interest, become frustrated, and/or get mad.

What they forget is that what is a priority for them, isn’t the same priority for the Marketer – more often than not.

Moving a meeting past the meeting and guiding it to close is the Second Hardest Part about Agency New Business.

Moving a meeting past the meeting is the time when Agency principals need to put on their Sales hat and think sales strategy and figure out how to keep the momentum moving that comes out of the meeting and carry it to the deal.

 

Buy This Car Now

It’s not about being a used car salesman, it’s about being a smart, strategic sales person.

In our past RSW/US surveys Marketers tell us that Agency principals are neither bad or good at follow-up, suggesting that there’s room to dial it up.

Some tips:

1. Say “thank you”
2. Create reasons to connect
3. Add value and bring insights to the table
4. Be persistent, but polite…1-2 follow-up calls in 2-3 weeks time isn’t enough
5. Try and set that follow-up meeting during your first meeting
6. ASAP – even if the prospect isn’t in a hurry…respond quickly to keep the MOJO moving
7. Don’t get discouraged.  if they don’t respond try the “I don’t want to keep bugging you” message

Bottom line…is you want them more than they want you.  So give them reason to want you.

Don’t just sell them.

Stay with them.

Don’t give up (too easily).

What seems like too much to you (in terms of follow-up) probably isn’t.

Double it and go with that (e.g. instead of 2 calls over a month, call them 4 times).  Stay positive…your bad feelings will show through if you don’t keep them in check.

Post by 

Mark Sneider is a 25 year veteran of the CPG, advertising and marketing service industry. Mark earned his MBA from Northwestern's Kellogg School where he majored in Marketing and Economics. Sneider started his career at DDB Needham, but prior to starting RSW/US, Mark was General Manager for AcuPOLL, a global research consultancy. Sneider worked in Marketing for S.C. Johnson and KAO brands. Sneider has been invited to speak at numerous Agency events and network conferences including the 4A's, Mirren, TAAN, Hubspot, and MCAN. Sneider has been featured in prominent industry publications including Adweek, Media Post, e-Marketer, and Forbes.

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