Okay. I said it. AGAIN.
We do talk about polite persistence a lot at RSW/US. Actually, we do more than TALK about it, we practice it.
But if you’re a bit weary of us talking about being “politely persistent” in pursuit of new business prospects for clients, we could call it “Respectfully Relentless” for a change.
Truly, being persistent and relentless in agency new business is a central component of winning new clients.
Sales statistics appear regularly on how many “touchpoints” are required to set up an initial conference call or meeting with a new prospect. The sales Training group, Brevet, suggests it takes 8 calls just to reach a prospect. InsideSales offers a range of 8-12.
They are close.
Our average shows 7.6, with a caveat: we don’t do cold calls, as referenced by these firms.
Our process involves developing knowledge about the prospect and their potential needs prior to reaching out to them. With this, we are able to eliminate a call or two.
However, all prospects are not equal. Nor is prospect behavior the same throughout the year.
We recently finished an analysis of meeting activity across our client database for the period of 2013 through YTD 2015 for a deeper understanding of:
- At individual industry levels, the average number of touchpoints to get an introductory conference call or meeting set.
- Responsiveness of prospects throughout the course of the year.
The analysis shows us we are right to preach persistence. Average touchpoints by industry are:
Furthermore, heavier lifting is required in the second half of the year versus first half. And good news for our clients is we are getting just as many meetings for them in the second half of the year as we are the first half!
What does this mean for your agency new business program?
- First, your new business team HAS to be relentless.
- They need to have the time to focus on consistent outreach.
- Persistence alone isn’t enough. Outreach has to be relevant and deliver value. Does your team have the resources, including time, available to learn about prospects and their needs?
- Are they encouraged to be relentless for agency new business? That is, do they have other responsibilities that might detract from business-building focus?
While we don’t want to wear out “persistence”, it’s fundamental to achieving your growth goals.
Urge your team to be relentless in the polite pursuit of agency new business.