Are you wondering what your agency needs to do differently to win more new business? Maybe you want to better the type of client you're working with, or the kind of work you are being asked to do? Maybe you just want to stop having to sell so hard and instead be approached by the clients you want to work with?
In the 14 years that I have worked as a new business careerist, I have found the most common solution to all of these questions to be very simple.
You need to stop selling what you do and instead, market the true CLIENT VALUE of the work that your agency delivers.
It's not that a client doesn't want to know that you offer x and y services, it's just not the FIRST thing they want to know.
Actually, it's not even the second.
To win more new business in 2018 you need to switch from selling your agency's outputs to marketing the central outcome your business delivers.
Most agency websites and creds still focus on what the agency does. Given the number of agencies now available to clients who do the same, marketing your difference based on the outputs you deliver will not differentiate you from the competition.
Maybe you have a great process or great people and yes, maybe these things deliver value. But again, there are many other agencies that have great people and great processes.
Maybe you've won loads of awards...
You get where I'm going with this!
Being different is one thing, but it's not everything. Being of value to the client is everything.
There are three basis ways to look at value creation:
1/ Outputs (time)
2/ Inputs (deliverables)
3/ Outcomes (benefits)
Maybe the client value you deliver isn't wholly unique, but knowing what it is will definitely help to hugely narrow the playing field and improve your chances of cutting through the noise and resonating with your prospective client.
- Endeavour to ask your clients what your value is to them?
- Understand who else is delivering this benefit to their clients (you might be surprised to see that your competition isn't an agency of the same discipline. Or even an agency at all)
- Centre your marketing around your value and how your agency differs from the identified competition
The good news is, once you know the value you deliver, you can create a brand idea that sits under your outcome-led position, organising all of your marketing and communication. No more, "what should we blog about this month?" or "who should we invite to speak at our breakfast event?". Having an organising idea is a springboard for really creative and exciting marketing tactics that actually work because they are based on a strategy. You'll also most likely have a more motivated and engaged new business person!
Take for example The Art of New Business, a business I co-founded. We focus all of the events and marketing we do around communicating the belief that 'new business is an art, not a numbers game'. This statement is purposely polarising because I do not want to work with people who are wedded to outdated and ineffective new business tactics. The people who come to our events are in search of 'a better way' and potentially; consultants who can help them work out what that is.
So how will your agency benefit from investing in knowing its true value?
Having an outcome-led position helps agencies to narrow the playing field and outperform the market when it comes attracting new business that the agency wants and can win. This reduces the time and cost of new client acquisition.
Having an organising idea allows your new business team to organise all of their communication around owning a unique space in your target audience's mind. It means every pound you put to marketing is actually doing something rather than just an experimentation to see if it works.
With there being more and more agencies and clients being busier and busier you need to actually HELP your desired clients select your agency. Know the client value you deliver and base all of your agency's marketing communication around owning that space in your target client's mind.
For a more detailed look at this topic, you may like to watch this webinar of mine on how to exploit what makes you unique