Business development in the agency world can be a pretty tough racket at times. It will often require the seller to convince the buyer to take a leap of faith. In many cases, you are effectively trying to put across the case for buying into a “new idea” and this may feel like a step into the unknown for the buyer.
When you are selling any kind of marketing service (whether it be design, market research, PR, SEO, etc) you are not physically producing a tangible item. Revenue can’t be quantified on an absolute “number of units sold” as it can with a product. Even though the service may be invaluable, there will always be a level of subjectivity to the buyer with so many other variables to consider.
So in a crowded and extremely competitive market, how can you persuade a buyer that your agency is, firstly, needed and, secondly, best for the job?
In terms of outbound lead generation, the personality, skills and approach of your business development team is absolutely key. They are your front line and will be the first impression a potential buyer is given of your agency. You might have great case studies to show a potential client, but if you can’t communicate effectively with your initial sales pitch, then your opportunity to demonstrate your abilities in your specific marketing discipline will be greatly reduced. The same principle applies when approaching a potential buyer through other channels, such as email marketing.
Your new business manager will need to engage and interest the prospect within the first few seconds of a call – otherwise they will likely be fobbed off, understandably so, simply because of the sheer number of approaches the potential buyer likely receives. For smaller or newly established agencies who are not household names yet, but trying to win new business from large brands, this may be even more true.
Generating new business for marketing agencies is rarely a “one size fits all approach”. Your sales team need the ability to very quickly assess and adapt their pitch accordingly based on the prospect’s buying signals. After all, intelligent telemarketing is a specialised skill. Think of it in the same way as a talented graphic designer who can grab your interest with a creative image. Whilst a picture may paint a thousand words, the most skilled new business managers should be able to communicate your message in a way that resonates and appeals very quickly… in the same way as if it were a great work of art!