Viewing entries tagged
pitch strategy

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.

An Argument for - and against - Being a Specialist Agency

An Argument for - and against - Being a Specialist Agency

Earlier this month I was speaking to a group of agency owners and the topic of specialization came up, at least when it comes to business development. This elicited a comment from one of the agency owners in the audience. They had tried this specialist strategy and it didn’t work. In fact, it had the opposite effect — they couldn’t find enough new business opportunities to sustain the firm. What did I have to say to that?

(Gulp)

To be sure, I see enormous benefits to specializing when it comes to new business, but it’s not without its risks, as this agency owner pointed out. This month, I offer some hedges against that risk.

Discover Your Agency's New Business Strengths Profile to Win More Often

Discover Your Agency's New Business Strengths Profile to Win More Often

Fear and boredom are not a good combination, especially when they’re the overriding emotions you feel every time you confront the reality that you could be doing more to win new business for your agency.

I used to extol the virtues of a well-rounded business development program until I realized I was never going to get agency leaders to do things they didn’t like to do. I’d just be continually fighting the impossible fight against fear and boredom.

Instead, I learned that defining a strategy and set of tactics that were aligned to their strengths was the shortest, most efficient way to fill their pipeline. I also discovered that most small agency owners fit into one of four different new business personality types.

Which one are you? The answer may change your feelings about business development from fear and boredom to confidence and enthusiasm. Read more.

How to Position Your Agency to Win New Business

How to Position Your Agency to Win New Business

The other day I got a phone call that made my week. 
 
One of my clients, the CEO of a small ad agency, called to tell me that the agency’s positioning strategy, a strategy that I first suggested more than three years ago and have encouraged (and sometimes cajoled) him to embrace ever since, just won him a major piece of business.
 
It was gratifying to me, of course, because it validated my business! But I was happier for him.
 
Committing to that positioning strategy had been a psychological hurdle. It fit like a Savile Row suit, but it required him to put a stake in the ground, and that meant potentially saying “no” to revenue if it meant working with the wrong kinds of clients.
 
It’s a very emotional decision for some agency owners, and emotion tends to cloud our judgment and compromise our objectivity.
 
But what if you had a way to test your positioning that puts emotion to the side? Read more.

How to Write a Great Proposal by Avoiding Common Bad Habits

How to Write a Great Proposal by Avoiding Common Bad Habits

Imagine a couple of common scenarios - an important RFP has just landed in your in-box. Or, an important client has just asked you for a proposal that will significantly expand the amount work you do for them. Do you...
 
...tangle yourself in boilerplate language that you've recycled from a past proposal?
...jump in without a clear content strategy?
...suffocate your language with esoteric terms that the client can't relate to?
 
If any of this sounds familiar, you might want to check out my recent guest column on Agency Post. I've noticed that ad agencies get into some bad habits that, if broken, would make proposals not only easier to write but also more effective at what they’re meant to do - win you more business.