To get more new business, you need to think of your agency as a brand, in all your touches, but not in the traditional way, I’m talking about your prospecting brand.
First, a bit of explanation.
Your traditional brand vs. your prospecting brand
When I say “traditional” agency brand, I often hear agencies talk about their philosophy, and/or culture, and that’s certainly important.
But this isn’t the same as your “prospecting” brand.
What is your “prospecting” brand?
Your “prospecting” brand is how you present your agency ongoing to your prospects, and is really a mindset that should inform your entire new business process.
To have an effective prospecting brand (I’ll stop the quotation marks now), you need to answer yes to these three questions:
-Are your new business efforts memorable?
-Are you providing value, in some way, with every touchpoint?
-Are you building prospecting trust?
To be fair, one could argue that the two (traditional and prospecting brands) shouldn’t be separated, but I do think there is proper timing for which side you present initially, especially to your prospects.
For example, in episode 27 of our 3 Takeaways series, we argued, Your Prospects Don’t Care About Your Culture.
Culture is important but it’s not your elevator pitch
Think about how busy you are.
Now think about how busy your prospects are.
One of my ongoing agency new business mantras is, put yourself in your prospect’s place. (Agency New Business-Don’t Send This Email)
I’ll give you a real-world example to illustrate: my company, RSW, as much as we’ve worked to build our culture over these last almost 16 years-you, reading right now, as a member of your firm, and therefore a potential client of RSW-you don’t care about the culture we’ve built.
At least not upfront.
At the top of the funnel, what’s the first thing you want to know?
Culture is very important to us as a company, and everyone here has worked hard to establish the culture we have and we’re proud of it.
But what’s the very first thing you want to know, as an agency principal or new business director, if I reach out to you-what’s the first thing you care about?
It’s not the culture we’ve built-you want to know how can we help you first.
How can we help you drive more new business?
Which is why, at the top of the funnel, your agency culture will not get you in the door with a prospect.
So how do you foster a prospecting brand?
You do this by creating trust, and trust at the top of the funnel is different than the trust you build once a prospect becomes a client.
You have myriad opportunities to build trust with your clients, through service, quality of work, and dependability, to name a few.
But at the top of the funnel you have no relationship with your prospects, and therefore no trust-yet.
So you build that trust by building on your prospecting reputation, yes, over time.
By making your efforts memorable and providing value, in some way, with every touchpoint.
In order to do this, you first have to make sure you have a few tactical pieces in place. You must:
1) Define your agency
2) Define what you do
3) Define who you do it for
(All this is another post, or several posts, on their own, but here’s more to think about: You Must Do This For Prospecting Success)
With these pieces in place, you can now drive your prospecting brand and your proper prospecting mindset, and begin to build that initial top-of-the-funnel trust.
So here are four ways to drive your prospecting brand:
- Always tie your prospecting language to your prospect’s language
Generic check-ins and asking if your prospect got your email are a waste of time.
Instead, always tie your language to your agency’s POV, your expertise, or the challenges you help clients solve.
2. Create content or use thought leadership content
This one can be tough, but it doesn’t mean you have to write long form content all the time.
You can make an insightful comment on a prospect’s LinkedIn post, or at the very least, turn to Google for an industry trend or piece of news.
3. Stay Consistent
(Speaks for itself)
4. Don’t sell all the time
Especially when you’re on your 3rd or 4th touch-take a breath, and rather than a call to action, or asking for a meeting, send over that though, or piece of content to your prospect.
It may feel strange, not selling, but indirectly, you’re still selling, and more importantly, you’re building on that trust.
You have to provide reasons to trust that you are not wasting your prospect’s time
When you do this, you create a prospecting brand, and a prospecting mindset to use as your guide.
You won’t write ineffective, generic emails.
You will have more confidence in your outreach.
And you will become memorable.
And ultimately drive more new business into your agency.