Agency New Business-What’s The Purpose Of The First Meeting?
To Get the Second Meeting.
So knowing that, don’t sabotage that first meeting. A few real-world examples to avoid:
1) Trying to make the meeting more than it is (a first step)
You’re not signing the contract at the first meeting. New business is a process and not every meeting is going to result in immediate work.
Sounds silly to even bring it up? You might be surprised. Way too many agencies treat meetings as though they’re a failure if work doesn’t result quickly.
Doesn’t always happen that way (in fact it’s rare) but that doesn’t automatically mean the meeting wasn’t good. New business is about cultivation.
2) Overwhelming the prospect
It’s a first meeting-you do not need to bring 4 people, set up a WebEx and present a capabilities deck.
Sure, sometimes the prospect asks for that up front-beautiful.
Otherwise, just have one or two people at that first meeting, especially if it’s an initial call.
A piece of advice we always give to client in a first meeting-‘Close the laptop.” Have a conversation.
3) Treating your new business director or team like the messiah that will save the agency
I’ve mentioned this in past posts, but it bears repeating.
You can’t have the mindset that your director or team will “save you.”
Make no mistake, they need to “produce” of course, but have a realistic definition of what producing means.
And take a look at your existing new business structure:
-Is leadership appropriately involved?
-Does your new business director or team have the support they need?
-Is new business embraced by the entire agency?
Bottom line: Set your expectations for new business and stay consistent with them.