That Damn Sales Hat

This is Part 10 of a 17 chapter eBook, “Agency New Business: Put On That Damn Sales Hat,” which you can download at no cost here.

The eBook covers everything from pre-prospecting preparation to working opportunities to close. 

The majority of the eBook focuses on elements that agencies either often overlook, are too busy to consider, or are simply too lazy to pursue.

The agency landscape is changing rapidly and daily, not only for agencies, but for clients: doing things the same way won’t cut it.

We released “Put On That Damn Sales Hat” as an overall agency new business primer for marketing services firms, so they can put on their sales hat with purpose and confidence.


Chapter 10: Think of your prospects as pre-adolescents!

You think YOU have no time.

How about your Marketing counterparts?

Ranks are thinning, demands on Marketers are greater than ever before, and they are being bombarded by folks like you.

Case in point: One of our New Business Directors told me recently a prospect remarking “I get 300 calls a week from agencies.”

So how do you battle through that wall?

How do you get Marketers to pay attention at every step of the selling process?

Do you think it’s best to make your messaging, mailings, emails, presentations and proposals remakes of War & Peace?


Unfortunately we see it all the time in content produced by agencies.

Agencies write like they talk.

They forget prospects don’t have a lot of time to spend with their content.

What they need to do is think about their messaging the same way they think about creating campaigns:  short, sweet, compelling, and consistent.

Here’s a hypothetical:

You’ve been asked to submit an RFP response.

There are some very specific requirements in terms of what they want to see and how they want to see it.

So the question is:  How do we make it easy to read yet fulfill their requirements?


Use bullets.

Use visuals.

Use lots of white space.

Limit page to one theme, one idea, one response.

ALWAYS relate it to the client.

Tell them why you’re doing what you’re doing.

Nothing worse than reading an RFI or RFP when I’m managing an agency search for RSW/AgencySearch and trying to figure out why the agency used the case study they used, or why they presented work without some explanation about why they presented it.

Regardless of what you’re putting together for a prospective client, I suggest you give the content to someone who isn’t part of your agency and have them read it.

Are they still awake at the end?

Do they find it compelling?

Do they understand why you used the examples you used?

If they don’t, you need to get back to the drawing board.

The bottom line is think KISS (keep it simple), think 1/2 the words, think about the fact that you need to hold their hand through the process.

Mark is a 30-year veteran of the consumer packaged goods, advertising, and marketing service industry. Mark started his career at DDB Needham in Chicago prior to earning his MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Business School at Northwestern where he majored in Marketing and Economics. Prior to starting RSW/US in 2005, 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 domestically and internationally including the 4A’s, Magnet, NAMA, TAAN, and MCAN. Sneider has been featured in prominent industry publications including Adweek, Media Post, e-Marketer, and Forbes. When not working (which often seems like not often), Mark likes to run miles, go to church, and just chill with a hard copy issue of Fast Company.