Cut the Geek Speak and Other Ways for Agencies to Triple Billings

By | September 10, 2012
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ScissorsLast month, I had the opportunity to attend Inbound12, an inbound marketing conference in Boston. At the conference, Connection Model, led by president David Carpenter (@davidcarpenter), was named the first HubSpot VAR to reach platinum partner status for its ability to acquire and retain accounts.

For me, the award begged the question: What’s their secret to new business? Well, we got the answer straight from the source.

In his Inbound12 presentation, Cut the Geek Speak, and Triple Your Earnings, David offered the following 13 tips to improve agency sales and grow your bottom line. Thanks for the insight, David, and congratulations on your success!

1. Do Your Homework

Always bring value to the table. Assess the prospective client’s business and industry upfront, and come ready to talk about their unique challenges and opportunities. If a prospect is willing to give you their time, make some effort to impress and intrigue them. 

2. Speak Their Language

Nothing is worse for your credibility than using the wrong terms. For example, nonprofits seek donors and volunteers, not customers. Research the market before your meeting to understand how they describe their “customers” and problems, and the meaning behind industry-specific jargon.

3. Meet Them at Their Level

Be sure that whoever is representing your agency is able to engage with the prospective in confident dialogue. Often times, it’s best to send somebody who is of equal status as the prospect—for example, if they are a VP, you should send a VP.

4. Speak About Growth

In many cases, C-level executives get bonuses tied to company performance. For this reason, discussions centered on strategy, vision and growth are highly attractive to them. Don’t get sucked into a purely tactical discussion; show them how you will affect the company’s pocketbook.

5. Create Reciprocity

Create a sense of value that the prospect receives simply for meeting with you. It’s those that give that ultimately receive.

6. Value Your Time

Time is your most valuable asset; never throw it away. Dedicate your energy toward those activities and prospects that are most likely to turn revenue.

7. Only Busy People Get Busy

Busy people respect busy people. When somebody wants to schedule a meeting, provide specific time slots in which you are available. Telling a prospect that your calendar is open signals that you are desperate and have nothing else to work on.

8. Define Your Process

Create a defined and repeatable process for consistent results. Process is more important than any opportunity.

9. Don’t Do Proposals

Create a statement of work to drive momentum throughout the process. This includes goals, objectives and high-level strategy.

10. Negotiate From Strength

Look for prospects that value your entire spectrum of services. If they only want a small fraction of your capabilities, it may not be worth your time pursuing.

11. Leverage Success

Know which secrets to share and which to keep for paying clients. Carpenter recommends saving the very best 20% of stuff for paying clients, and giving the other 80% away.

12. Know What You Do

Have an elevator pitch that effectively portrays what you do. Make sure the pitch doesn’t pigeonhole you or provide misconceptions.

13. Bring ideas

In a digital world, you are rewarded for being generous with mind, time and content. People want to engage with generous people.

What recommendations do you have to close more deals? How have you improved your sales process?

Photo Credit: stevendepolo