For those of you following these posts, this is the Chapter 13 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 13: Be Anal…Over-think Everything!
As we all know, one of the important steps in winning new business is making sure your 110% prepared going into that final pitch presentation…or I would argue, at any step of the agency new business process.
If it’s a Q&A/Chemistry call (as an example), find out what the objectives are, who is going to be on the call, how long you have, and what the boundaries are. Make sure you’re as prepared as possible.
If you’re going into an intro call or an intro meeting with a prospect, find out what their situation is, what pain points they’re feeling – or at the very least, make some assumptions about what you think they might be experiencing and prepare some conversation points to get the prospect talking.
Have you finished your homework?
In either case, do your homework on the client. Be a good student of their company, their category, the trends.
Here’s a hypothetical…you’ve been invited to a final round of a review…so what do you do? Prepare your pitch and present it?
Not so fast. Find out the following:
How big is the room? How many (and who) will be in the presentation? How much time do you have? Is there time for Q&A? How important is it that we present capabilities?
And if you can not wait until the last day to do it, that helps.
The little details make a big difference.
And if you’re not prepared and you haven’t practiced, it can create major problems.
We were in a Q&A/Chemistry call on the RSW/AgencySearch side of our business recently and I had something happen to me that has never happen before: An agency was so unprepared, and asked such “in the weeds” kind of questions, that they ended up getting tossed out of the consideration set. I had no choice but to recommend to the client (and they agreed) that it wasn’t worth carrying that agency forward.
So prepare, practice, study, be anal and over-think it all before you walk in the door or get on the phone. Like I’ve said in previous “$%*! Sales Hat” posts, every touch point counts…they’re watching you at every step. So be on guard, be prepared, and be overly anal.
The more you can prepare, the more comfortable you’ll be when the conversation starts.
The more you know, the more you can control, and the better you’ll perform.
Knowledge is power when it comes to agency new business. So be a bit anal and better things will come.
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.