The “ANB” Blog Categories:
For those of you following these posts, this is the Chapter 11 summary from our soon to be released, 17 chapter Agency New Business Handbook titled:
Put on that $%*! Sales Hat! The Hardest Part of Agency New Business.
The 17 Chapters talk about why you need to wear your sales hat at every step of the process, from pre-prospecting preparation to working opportunities to close.
The majority of the book focuses on elements that Agencies either often overlook, are too busy to consider, or are simply too lazy to pursue.
Chapter 11: Every Touch Point Counts!
Key is NOT taking anything for granted.
What you have to do is assume that your prospect is evaluating you at each and every corner of the search.
You have to do this, because more often than not, THEY ARE.
We remind our agencies of this all the time – both those we represent on the RSW/US side of our world as well as those that participate in agency searches on the RSW/AgencySearch side of our business.
When we manage searches for Marketers, we critically evaluate everything an agency does during the process…from how well prepared they seem to be at each phase, to how much time and thinking they put into responses, to the kinds of questions they ask.
I believe if an agency can’t perform well when the pressure isn’t really on, how are they going to perform when hired by a Marketer when the pressure cooker really heats up?
Even the simplest of activities, like a Q&A/Chemistry call can be an evaluative point for a Marketer.
We had an agency involved in a search and they made it past the RFI phase and the Marketer had every intent on moving all four agencies into the final pitch presentation…but at the end of the day, they only brought three forward.
A Job NOT Well Done
The fourth did such a poor job of handling the Q&A/Chemistry call that the Marketer walked out of it with very little confidence that they could do the job. They didn’t seem prepared, their questions were very tactical, and the examples they provided had very little to do with the client’s business.
What you need to be thinking is how can you go into each round of a search, or a meeting, or a proposal submission and…
“GO OUT THERE AND DO AMAZING THINGS!”
If you’re in a Q&A/Chemistry call as an example – or if you have a meeting upcoming..rather than just walking into these, precede them by firing some questions to the Marketer (or search consultant) prior to the call or meeting.
Show them that you are thinking about them – often.
Maybe send them an agenda prior to the call. Had two agencies just do this for a Q&A/Chemistry call I managed. Says a lot about the preparedness of the agency.
Maybe surprise the Marketer with some insights or ideas you’ve picked up as you’ve been preparing for the call/meeting.
Maybe post meeting, send some additional questions or send them an idea or two to keep them thinking about you.
Remember, IT’S EASY TO DO THE BARE MINIMUM!
What’s hard is pushing yourself to make each touch point count.
Don’t be lazy…push yourself at every connect.
Add value at all stops.
Marketers will appreciate this, remember this, and hopefully reward you for this exceptional behavior.
It’s all about putting on the $%*! Sales Hat no matter where you are in the agency new business process.
Post by Mark Sneider
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.