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Call us for a chat on +44 (0)20 7836 3678 or email Amanda Francis


The ‘so what?’ approach

Following on from Amanda Francis’ comment on the importance of soundbites to engage a prospect on the phone, I have been thinking about how we put these together for our creative communications clients based on their offer. I cannot stress how important the first 20 seconds on the phone are to a New Business Manager at Alchemis. We have just a few sentences to convey to a prospect what sets you apart from every other digital/design/research/communications agency out there. So how do we do this?

David Newman our Sales Director likes to encourage the ‘so what?’ factor when we develop our pitch. The rule of thumb is this – if you can remark on any one-liner with the response of ‘so what?’ then the pitch has fallen flat and you will lose the prospect’s interest at a horrifying speed. Another thing we periodically look at is ‘sexing it up’, which focuses on making an introduction sound interesting enough for the prospect to want to know more and be open to telling you more about their business. Putting these two key elements into practice I personally look to position my clients in the following three ways, below are examples of the good and the plain ugly:

1/ What is my client’s speciality?

– ‘We develop brand vision’ – this is sharp and interesting and explains that we are creative and work with brands from a conceptual and development standpoint.

– ‘We design brochures’ is not interesting, this may be exactly what you do but it’s all in the phrasing and this screams ‘so what?’

2/ How does my client go about doing what you have just stated?

– ‘We create sensory customer experiences through branded environments and communications’. This is the crucial part of introducing a client to a prospect, so here we indicate our core skills and subtly show we are interested in adding value to their business by placing emphasis on the word customer i.e sales/money

– ‘We design things which look good’ a prospect doesn’t want to necessarily know about the design being great, pretty pictures are not solely responsible for attracting customers, communicating a message or encouraging sales.

3/ Who do they work with of relevance? In this instance it’s all about tailoring; if I’m speaking to Tesco and my client specialises in high-end design for the luxury sector I’m potentially barking up the wrong tree if I tell Mr Tesco we work with Burberry and Dior. Again, it comes back to relating to the prospect in those first few moments and tailoring every introduction to each individual company.

Of course then comes the questioning part of the conversation where we gain understanding of things like budget, scope of projects/retainers, who they currently work with, why, do they review, why not, when, how- you get the gist, but that is another blog for another time.

All in all, when you have a New Business Manager from Alchemis working on your campaign, you can rest assured that they bring an insight into specific linguistics to ensure they speak to as many people as possible about your company and leave a lasting impression.

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