Having successfully run a digital agency for many years and at the forefront of Business Development, Ameet Chandarana is now enjoying the view from the client side. In our recent seminar which looked at the importance of your agency brand, Ameet shared his experiences, insights and recommendations as part of his presentation ‘I’d Like To Add You To My Professional Network’.
Here is Ameet’s ‘dos and don’ts’ for agency new business approaches:
Don’t send a generic LinkedIn request if you haven’t already established a rapport in real life. Your target is likely to have lots of LinkedIn requests from different kinds of people trying to sell their products and services.
Do add a bit of personality to make it more interesting. How can you stand out? Get to know me. Keep messages short and sweet and to the point.
Don’t send a cold email before getting on my radar and raising awareness first. That way I will know who you are. The same for direct mail, if it’s too early in the process, it’s unlikely that I will remember who actually sent it if I don’t really know you.
Agencies need to be subtle in approaching their prospects. What’s most important is to showcase your values, your work and most importantly, your brand.
So how do you do that if you can’t send a cold email, direct mail or LinkedIn request?
Do organise and attend events. Clients love to network and talk to each other about their challenges. Making real-life contact with prospects gives you an opportunity to establish a positive impression of yourself and your agency, and helps you stand out from the competition. You can then follow up with a warm approach.
Do use regular content sharing as light touch to raise awareness. LinkedIn can be great for this and targeting advertising can work well too for if tied in with good themes.
You need to show what makes you, you. What success you have brought to past clients and what makes you better than anyone else. Clients look for agencies that can present good, solid, cutting-edge work that makes you stand out. Know your discipline and articulate it in a simple way. When presenting case studies, show your results and measure what counts. Make sure it’s relevant to your audience and what they are looking for,
Do your homework. You’ve got a meeting? Great. Now it’s time to find out as much as you can about your prospect and their company. Too many agencies fail to do so and let opportunities slip. Just as you wouldn’t hire a candidate who doesn’t know much about your company’s values or recent news, a client is unlikely to hire an agency that won’t take the time to understand their purpose and values.
Do focus on one or two specialisations. What is your expertise? A lot of agencies pride themselves in doing everything. From content to mobile to digital marketing to VR… A small agency can’t do everything at their best. Find your specialisation and focus on it. Being really good at one thing is much better than being OK at 5 or more specialisations.
Do have a point of view. Agreeing to everything your prospect says won’t get you far. You need to showcase your own opinions so you can show where your expertise lies. Clients want your opinions to be told in the right away. Tell them what you think and show why you think it.
Always keep in mind that clients love an agency that can turn insights into something really magical.