pot-gold-rainbow-600x450

Two recent posts have addressed the importance of managing the introductory meeting process with new prospective clients, from pre-meeting planning and strategy, to managing the meeting itself.

Following the meeting, the work is likely to continue.

In Our “Check the Boxes – Getting to Close” webinar  (or slides) for agency new business, we related that only 10% of Marketers rate Agencies as doing a “great job” in follow-up to initial meetings.

You CAN be more PERSISTENT.

You are likely already doing many of the steps that follow in this final post in the series.  Still, be sure to cover all post-meeting bases with these steps:


  • Say Thank You – More than Once

    • Within 24 hours of the meeting, send a thank you email to:
      • All participants from the prospect’s team expressing your appreciation for their interest and the time they shared with you.
      • As applicable, include next steps.
    • Follow up with a written thank you note:

      • If you met with a team, directing the written note to the decision maker(s) may suffice, but:
      • Including all team members with written notes could set you apart from other contenders for the business.

 


  • Regroup with your team:

    • Review the meeting discussion. If you did a good job letting the prospect do most of the speaking, you’ll have a lot of notes to compare.
    • Identify the clear next steps and make the plan to initiate them.
    • Non-verbal communication, side comments between prospect team members and other “secondary” or “off-topic” remarks can provide insight to needs and intentions. Have your team consider what they observed that may lead to an insightful point-of-difference in your follow-up with the prospect.

 


  • Build on the foundation:

    • Within a week after the meeting/call, send a LinkedIn request to the prospect with a personalized note (not the LinkedIn default message).
    • Build familiarity with the prospect’s company:
      • Watch the company social pages for posts on current events and activities.
      • Participate with occasional, relevant comments. Make sure such engagement is about the prospect – rather than self-promotional.

 


  • Get your homework done:

    • If you wrapped up the meeting with clear next steps, get started on them, and deliver on action items – ideally before the promised date.
    • If the opportunity appears to be in the future, plan and strategize rational, added-value touch points at regular intervals:
      • Send agency work that supplements the conversation in the meeting/call.
      • Reinforce your agency’s thought leadership by periodically sending relevant white papers, blog posts, etc.
      • Watch for news in the prospect’s company, industry, or about their competitor(s). Send the article(s) with a well-thought out, insightful note.
      • Do you have agency promotional swag? A thumb drive or note cube with your logo on it can help keep your name in the daily field of awareness.
      • Is there an opportunity to invite the prospect to coffee or lunch? Is there an upcoming industry event?  Use informal opportunities to get together to further build the relationship.

 

It’s rare that agencies close business after the first meeting or conference call.

Agencies tell us that 48% of business closes within two-three months following the first meeting.   You’ll need to follow-up.

Be consistent.  Importantly, be relevant.

Strategic and proactive follow-up that adds value for the prospect will continue building the relationship toward that desired close.

Mark Sneider
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.