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With agency new business, you KNOW how much effort can go into getting a prospect to commit to an initial meeting. Once that meeting is scheduled though, the work is not over.

Accordingly, as we collaborate with our clients here at RSW/US, our support continues on long after getting the meeting on everyone’s calendars.

Each scheduled meeting presents three phases of orchestrated effort:

Pre-Meeting

During the Meeting

Post-Meeting

Mapping out the steps we take at each of these phases made this evident: this is a process so comprehensive that an overview needs more than one blog post!

This first post relates highlights of Pre-Meeting steps.

Chances are you are already covering many of these, but we suggest making a checklist so nothing is left to… well…chance!

Pre-Meeting                  

Marketers often tell us that agencies arrive at new business meetings unprepared and lacking understanding about their – the marketer’s – business.  (Click the chart to enlarge.)

 

If you haven’t already begun, now is the time to be doing your homework and preparation.

As the prospect is warming, create a profile about them to share with the agency team who will be involved with the first meeting. This should include:

o The prospect’s contact information, including social media addresses, as available.

o Company website and social media pages.

o Background notes about the organization, its industry, competitive challenges and information.

Stay current up to and through the meeting.

o Create a Google Alert for the organization, and watch for news about the company.

o Coordinate with your team to gather further research on the prospect.

Show interest AND relevance. Develop three strategic questions that:

o can bridge your agency’s experience and success to the prospect’s interests.

o exhibit your interest in their organization and awareness of dynamics affecting their business.

Begin connecting dots and people.

o Send a note to the prospect to confirm the meeting, and copy internal team members who will be attending, whether in person or by phone.

o Include a meeting/call agenda with the confirmation. List participants and their areas of responsibility.

o Ask agency team members copied on the confirmation to send a note to the prospect expressing enthusiasm for the upcoming meeting.

In our Agency and Marketer Business Report last fall, marketers related that agencies come to introductory meetings under-prepared and too eager to talk about themselves.

To make sure you are getting the most out of each new business opportunity for your agency, careful strategic thought in preparation can make your firm stand out.

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.