Remember your first date? This is no different!
We all know how referrals are a powerful source of repeat business for marketing agencies. When a happy client recommends us to someone he knows, we are riding on the trust of the relationship the two share. This eases the process of creating trust with the potential client. And so, haven’t some of our best wins have been through referrals?
But sometimes the referral well does dry up. Economic conditions change, or clients themselves don’t have any further introductions to make. Sometime existing projects haven’t gone so well. Much can impact the flow of leads for marketing agencies; especially the referral flow.
GroCurv.com, a sales and marketing services marketplace, is in the “stranger winning high value business from strangers business”. Referrals don’t play a role here because each project is unique and the client that is introduced to an agency, is very new to the services business as well. Most times he has no other friend to lean on for advice.
So he is relying entirely on the marketing agency to build a win him over.
And the agency has their experience and capabilities to rely on. Game on.
With 1000+ Sales and Marketing projects since we began, we now see very clear strategies marketing agencies adopt to win business. And sharing some of our learning here for both clients and agencies to benefit from. This is our journey of winning the trust of strangers (and hence, their business).
We have done the hard yards:
The “winning agency” begins the process with an elaborate profile on GroCurv.
Case studies across industries, work samples highlighting various services. Pricing details well captured. Client and industry preferences captured.
Establishing trust comes from transparency. Of sharing about yourself relevant (and elaborate) information on who you are.
When our algorithm identified your marketing agency as a potential match with a client, its your credentials that a client sees first. The right case studies, client names. Your company’s history, team size, pricing, awards won. These are what initiates the client’s trust creation process with you. Make them elaborate. Through your profile, the client needs to know you have done the hard yards.
Lets tell you how we work the hard yards:
The “winning agency” on its first call with the client always assumes the client knows nothing about them. Even if an elaborate profile has been filled. (Which was the reason he selected you for the call).
In the time between his selecting the profile and the first call, 4–5 days have passed. He would have forgotten. This is a fair assumption.
The “winning agency” on the marketplace therefore in its introductory 5 mins summarises its credentials all over again. Year of conception, services, awards, team size, offices. And then zeroes into industries and brands/ use cases that are relevant to the client. No point talking about the auto sector project to an FMCG client. Our algorithm identified you because of an industry match. Reinforce that in the introduction.
Talk a case study in detail. This is a very big hook. This convinces the client to a very great extent.
Make sure you have read the marketing or sales project brief. The client will love to hear your summary of his brief, and then you may ask him to fill the gaps. Any research on the client’s website, social presence, PR, their last campaign is a great plus. It shows you are interested and want to win the business.
When calls begin with “tell us in your own words”, it’s a signal to the client that the homework was not done.
Lets show you what we will do for them:
Finally, the proposal.
The client has a better recollection of you now, post the first call. But its already been a week. So assume he has started to forget about you.
The proposal must establish once again, why you were selected for the project. Background, credentials, testimonials, team size.
And a few case studies on the service you are proposing to provide, and one of them in the same industry.
Some idea of the results they can expect in 3–4 months. Even if that is an estimate only. But if you have worked on similar projects before, that’s where the proof lies. To be able to share some idea of ROI.
In an environment where existing clients are scaling down, we are seeing new clients emerge. New industries taking first steps into the world of marketing agencies.
They are strangers to the world of agencies, and to every agency out there.
But they have a need to grow their business. And so, they have a need to build trust with someone who can help them. Building trust on a marketplace is about consistence and transparency.
We know every agency has the skills to win the client the our proprietary algorithm has matched them to. So lets keep a few tools in hand, and charge to growing in uncertain times.