After the first meeting with a new prospect, what do you do?

This is a question born out of our recent RSW/US Agency – Marketer Business Report in which 53% of marketers related that agencies are not sufficiently aggressive following up after a meeting.

Getting a meeting with a new prospect can be an adrenaline-charged thrill, but that is only the first half of the game.

Winning comes in the second half, which yes, CAN be every bit as consuming as getting the initial meeting.

At what point do you prepare for post-meeting relationship building?

Marketers Want Aggressive, Persistent ( & pleasant) Follow-up

If it’s not already part of your new business methodology, you should have a post-meeting plan in place anticipating several steps will likely exist between the initial meeting and ultimate win.

A good plan can help accelerate this process potentially, with a strategy for the “second half” that’s as purposeful as your efforts to get to the meeting in the first place.

What you may think is aggressive probably isn’t seen that way by the prospect. A lot of urgent, priority matters in their world can create time between your meeting and a decision.

A lot of time.  Don’t let it become a vacuum. Your competition could be in the 47% of agencies whose new business team IS aggressive.

Stay in front of the prospect with a well strategized follow-up plan.

Establish that plan BEFORE the initial meeting, and begin to implement it as you close the meeting.

You won’t believe how many agencies walk away from that first meeting without even at least ASKING to schedule the next meeting.

Sure, talk about the next steps, but push it further: ASK for the next meeting. Take it a step further by suggesting the objective(s) of the next meeting.

Be aggressive. Be pleasantly persistent – and aggressive.

Marketers Want Aggressive, Persistent ( & pleasant) Follow-up

And, be ready. Oftentimes, you still won’t get a firm commitment on that next date, but be prepared with your follow-up plan either way.

A couple emails over the week or two following the meeting does not constitute a follow-up plan.

Follow-up through multiple touch points as value added and insightful as possible.

Consistent relevant follow-up will keep you on the radar. As long as you are polite and considerate, you are not likely to be deemed “pesky”.

And, follow-up done well will begin to establish you as a reliable presence with the prospect.

There’s everything to be gained here!

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.