This is Part 2 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.

That Damn Sales Hat

Chapter 2: Prospects Don’t Care About You!

Acting like a salesperson is a necessary evil right out of the block.

But it’s less about throwing on the used car sales hat, and more about putting on the smart, strategic, and aggressive sales hat to start, and keep, opportunities moving.

Now that you’ve built that well informed and well thought through list, it’s time to get after them.

If you do nothing else, remember one thing:  They care less about you, than you do about them.

So when you get frustrated because they aren’t responding after you’ve sent in a proposal, or after a good initial call they aren’t responding to subsequent calls…don’t fret.

Don’t get ticked off.

Don’t lose interest.

Keep on them.

We opened up a door for a client at Genesis Health Systems.

Great opportunity and right in the client’s wheelhouse.

Our client had a great meeting with the prospect and spent 3 hours touring the facility, dialoguing about the hospital’s needs and talking through possible directions they could pursue.


The Worst Possible Situation

What followed was an unbelievably frustrating experience for the client:  over 2 months of literal silence.

No responses, no emails returned, nothing.

But because of our insistence that our client stay with the prospect, coupled with the client’s focus on sending valuable insights to keep the agency in front of the prospect, they did ultimately continue the conversation and went on to win the business.

When the prospect  eventually surfaced, she apologized, saying she had a million things on her plate, and was now ready to make a move.

Marketers tell us in our surveys that Agencies are neither too aggressive or too passive in their follow-up after meetings or calls…so the door is open!


Don’t Double Down, Double Up!!

My overall counsel? Increase your agency new business efforts two-fold (at least) and you should be ok.

Prior to starting RSW/US, I was the leading sales person for a Global research consultancy.

I would often push it to what I thought might be beyond the limits in terms of acceptable contacts, but would find just the opposite.

Prospects would often THANK ME for my persistence and APOLOGIZE for not returning my calls and emails.

So double it up and you’ll be amazed at the results you’ll achieve.


“Chitty Chitty…and Bang Bang!”

We operate on the principle of “Polite (value-added) Persistence”.

Be respectful, give your prospects some nuggets they’ll appreciate, and stay with it.

There’s little downside.  The worst thing they’ll do is tell you to leave them alone – which they rarely do.

I like to think of it as the more value-added you provide, the more “chits” you’ve racked up and the more likely your prospect will feel a bit guilty and open up to talk with you.

So “chit” away.

Double it up.

And remember to put on that $%*! Sales Hat!

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.