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agency business development

How to Be Better at Agency Business Development: Writing the Perfect Proposal Cover Letter

How to Be Better at Agency Business Development: Writing the Perfect Proposal Cover Letter

Let’s start the new year off by eschewing theoretical advice in favor of some tactical guidance you can put to good use right away to improve the effectiveness of your proposals: how to write the perfect proposal cover letter.

Why is a cover letter so important? It may be the only section of your proposal or RFP response that your client actually reads (besides the pricing section). Sure, that’s a cynical attitude, but it’s based on personal experience as well as the experience of other experts, like agency search consultants, that’s been shared with me.

Embrace the cover letter as a strategic sales tool for presenting a persuasive argument for hiring your agency.

Four Trends that Will Change How We Pitch (and Win) Agency New Business in 2019

Four Trends that Will Change How We Pitch (and Win) Agency New Business in 2019

Each December, I approach my own end-of-year assessment with enthusiasm. Going back through the notes I’ve made or the articles I clipped to Evernote over the last twelve months is a like a nerdy version of a child carefully going through her bulging Christmas stocking.  

And, of the numerous inspiring, terrifying, and thought-provoking developments we’ve lived through this year, here are four trends that I think are going to stick around and continue to affect the way agencies pursue new business in 2019.

Your Ideal Client Doesn’t Care about Your Agency’s Credentials

Your Ideal Client Doesn’t Care about Your Agency’s Credentials

Do you know who your ideal clients are?

When I pose this question to the agencies I work with, they usually summarize information like job titles, types of companies, and professional responsibilities.

It's an accurate answer. Nothing wrong with that, right?

But, when you rely only on data like this, the basis of your pitch becomes a set of facts and figures. You recite your credentials, erring on the side of more information, rather than less. After all, you want to demonstrate your thoroughness and ability to anticipate their every need.

The thing is, we buy based on emotion. In fact, the more complex a buying decision, like evaluating a new agency, the more likely it is that we rely on feelings versus details. It’s an emotional short-cut, a “gut feeling,” that indicates we’re making the right decision.

It’s not that your agency credentials aren’t important to your prospective clients. Your prospects use them to rationalize their emotional gut feeling. The mistake some agencies make is neglecting to think about their prospects as irrational, emotional creatures.

You're a sophisticated marketing practitioner, so this is stuff you already know and likely apply in your work every day. I'm sure you would never agree to develop a marketing strategy for a client without a detailed customer persona.

 So, do you know who your ideal client is? Read more.