I was talking to an agency principal today about our services and asked about the challenges they’d faced in the past bringing in new business.
She gave me an example of a very capable salesperson they hired who did a great job of opening doors.
The problem was that was it-a door opened and then the business person moved on. In the first few months the businessperson had gotten them into meetings with two major CPG companies.
Then nothing happened.
Which lead to the agency’s second challenge (the blame couldn’t be pinned on the salesperson alone).
The agency and the principal I spoke with are smart, engaging, and good at what they do.
However, they go into first meetings overthinking the pitch and on many occasions, show how smart they are, rather than showing what they can do for the prospect.
The principal mentioned that when they pitch, and afterwards, the prospects love them, and I could see why from talking with her. She was conveying the passion and intelligence I’m sure comes through in all their pitches.
And I told her that I’m not surprised they love you, but do they want to work with you?
The answer is sometimes, no, because the agency doesn’t enter the meeting with a plan to ensure that second date actually happens.
They give the prospects tons of great (free) information in the pitch, which the prospect loves to take away. Sure they do. Now, giving information away is not a bad thing, we do it ourselves often, but you can’t let it end there.
Before you even go into that initial pitch, make sure your salesperson (or you, if you’re wearing that hat as well) has a plan to engage the client after the initial meeting.
Especially in the example I lead with: if you’re able to get into two major CPG companies and you let the follow up die with just one brand manager, you’re not doing it right.
Also think about how you’re going to get that second date by showing how you can help them.
As we’ve said in a previous post, lead with the dessert.
Ask questions and show how you can help. Your passion, intelligence and experience will flow naturally, and you’ll get that second date.