Agency New Business: Put On That Damn Sales Hat (Chapter 11-Every Touch Point Counts!)

This is Part 11 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.

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Chapter 11: Every Touch Point Counts!

Key is NOT taking anything for granted.

You have to assume 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: how well prepared they are at each phase, how much time and thinking they put into responses and the kinds of questions they ask for example.

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 and the pressure cooker really kicks in?

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 that made it past the RFI phase and the Marketer wanted to move all four agencies into the final pitch presentation, but ultimately brought only 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 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.

Ask yourself how you can go into each round of a search, meeting, or  proposal submission and…

“GO OUT THERE AND DO AMAZING THINGS!”

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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 you’re thinking about them – often.

Send them an agenda prior to the call.  I had two agencies just do this for a Q&A/Chemistry call I managed.  Says a lot about the preparedness of the agency.

Surprise the Marketer with some insights or ideas you’ve picked up as you’ve been preparing for the call/meeting.

Post-meeting, send some additional questions or 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.

Marketers will appreciate and remember it, and hopefully reward you for the exceptional behavior.

It’s all about putting on the damn sales hat, no matter where you are in the agency new business process.

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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.