Ad Agency New Business: It’s Not About You…It’s About Them

Many agency websites and new business presentations lead with lengthy “About Us” sections touting everything from office dog cultures to the personal likes and dislikes of staff. Laundry lists of service offerings accompanied by comprehensive cross industry experience charts often follow creating the impression of a “we do it all” market position.

Pardon me, but my “ Who Cares” alarm is ringing…and loudly. Truthfully, most prospects see this material as superfluous and don’t read or listen much past the first few sentences. They have little interest in your office culture, past experience or generic processes – unless it relates directly to them.

So why do some continue to follow this formula? Because it’s SAFE. It’s safe to be all-inclusive. It’s safe to focus on personalities and past history rather than current niche content that directly relates to your client’s business issues.

Safe, however, does not set you apart. Prospects are quick to respond to firms that are willing to position their capabilities and assets in the context of their very specific needs.

Consider these tips when framing your next agency story:

1.   On Your Website: Offer a “Solutions” versus “Services” section and avoid generalities when discussing them. As an example, check out: http://www.tambourine.com/solutions.php. This travel-focused agency packages their offerings into solutions buckets that address very specific industry challenges.

2.   In Your Next Meeting: Let Them Go First. Many agencies qualify themselves in a presentation before learning the fine details of their prospect’s need. That sets the wrong tone. Put the prospect front and center from the start, exploring their issues first. There is no better way to get (and keep) their attention than to lead with them. You will also gain additional insight that will help later in the discussion when positioning your assets to the opportunity at hand.

Above all else, assess your agency position. Today’s business environment is not favorable to generalist agencies. Make this the year that you carve out and communicate your unique market position. Take the Agency Challenge today.

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