Reality Check: You are not in the agency business.

Creative Agencies – A reality check:

The barrier to entry for agencies these days is low. Very low. A slick website, beautifully curated social presence, a strong creative track record (often for former employers!) and boom; you’re off. A fully bona fide ‘agency’ is in business. Form an orderly que please clients.

Many people think that just by setting up shop and simply ‘being’ an agency their business will thrive, succeed and grow. A lot of start up’s I encounter think that clients are relatively easy to engage and win. You might think that sales will happen and continue to grow organically because that’s what they’ve always done.

You also believe might think that clients truly understand what you do and how you can help them – sadly, they almost certainly don’t. To change that you need an effective pitch. You might also believe that once they do understand  they will want to give you a pitch opportunity. Reality check – they probably won’t.

Clients have more information, more knowledge, information and more power than ever before. It’s now easier for them to identify, qualify and reject you. And, yup, you guessed it, reality check – they almost certainly will. Even more scarily, they can do all of this in a few moments and in just a few clicks of a button. They won’t even bother to tell you they’re not interested. Far worse, they’ll probably just ignore you. They will have already moved on whilst you’re sat there expectantly waiting, hoping, that something might come of your fleeting encounter.

However, you’re not responsible for new biz, other people are leading the sales drive within your business, aren’t they? No, they’re probably not. They’re all too busy and overrun with other things being fired at them from all directions. We live in the information overload age, especially in agency land. Which means that sales and new business is not top of most people’s list, however talented or well-intentioned they may be.

So how do you begin to change the reality you are faced with? How do you tip the balance back in your favour. The first thing to do is implement a clear strategy for sales and execute it effectively. Being very clear about how you communicate and delivering your value so that clients realise they can’t get it from anyone else but you. We’ve covered strategy in another article ‘the only five ways to grow your agency’.

Does the world really need another creative agency? – no, possibly not.

However, if you start from a different place altogether and recognise that understanding people comes first – above all else in fact – then you’ve got a fighting chance. Because once you understand what they want, what makes them tick and more importantly, what they need, then you are beginning the client conversation from a far stronger place. Armed with this knowledge and insight you will begin to stand out and once you stand out you’ll also start to resonate with your clients. When you resonate then you will start to accumulate.

Reality check: You are not just in the creative business: you are in the people business. You are in the building relationships business. Understanding these points, and implementing a radical shift in agency thinking, are the single most important things you can do to help your business grow, differentiate and thrive.

Reality check – it works. Try it.

9 Creative Sales Rules for Success

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