How many times have you heard the response 'you were a very close second', here are some of the reasons why you may not have won:
1. didn't listen to me
2. didn't understand my needs
3. didn't respond to my requests in a timely manner
4. didn't convince me of the value I would receive from their services
5. did not create a compelling solution to my needs
6. talked too much
7. no personal chemistry with me or my team
8. were over zealous in trying to win my business
9. seemed to lack enthusiasm for winning my business
10. lacked professionalism and were rude to my receptionist
Use your knowledge about that prospective client and their business sector and your expertise to find the answers. It is about sharing what you've learned through examining their competitive marketplace with your prospective clients so that they understand the value you bring. This is highly skillful and takes a business development professional to do this successfully. But, if you look at all the top creative agencies, that's what they are doing finding a niche and specialising in it.
So focus on making a difference, not making a sale. It is surprising that once you've mastered this, the sales take care of themselves. Clients want to work with you. They give you more work to do. They refer you to others. And you will be much happier!
An interesting article in Marketing Magazine provides some insights into how marketing is perceived by marketing professionals. As these people in general are our clients, here are some top sound bites from the survey, for more details click on this link to the full article.
‘Sadly 2009 will be all about price promotions rather than creativity and selling the brand promise’
I expect to pay agencies less for their services over the coming year
my company is cutting back on marketing because of the downturn
‘The current climate will ensure good marketers shine. They will need to be more innovative and creative’
I will invest more in digital marketing over the coming year
Taking just these three points, some ways in which agencies can survive a depressed marketing spend are:
- partner with other service providers who offer complementary skills – ie digital design & build
- offer added value services for the same budget to your existing clients to build a strong and mutually beneficial relationship
- offer free consultancy to prospective clients to demonstrate your working practices
- find a niche offer, seek client approval of its robustness and desirability and market to a small range of clients in one market