We used to struggle a lot closing clients for our agency. We’d sit in four, five, and even more, meetings before we got an answer — and sometimes it was a no! Now, with a new sales process and proper operations, we’re able to close more clients than ever before.
The main reason you’re not closing clients for your digital agency is that you’re not demonstrating the value properly. Prospects must understand how their lives and company will be better off with your services and if they’re not singing, they do believe you can provide that for them.
Why Closing Clients For Your Digital Agency Should Be Your Main Priority
Look at your agency’s business model canvas and you’ll find your key expenses and revenue streams. The most important thing for any company is the revenue being generated. If you’re not generating business, you’ll be out of business.
This is why you’ll find the sales team usually treated as kings and queens — they’re generating the money for the company; they’re the least replaceable asset the company has.
Every meeting, conference, networking event, and any other time-consuming thing you do that doesn’t generate revenue is wasting money. If you’ve met with someone six times and they still haven’t signed an agreement, you’ve wasted thousands of dollars by not signing them.
The only way to make money for your digital agency is by signing deals and closing clients and the easiest way to save money for your agency is making the sales process and quick and efficient as possible.
Why Prospects Aren’t Buying From Your Agency
One reason you’re not closing is that you are not ensuring these prospects that you have what it takes to do what they need. They’re hesitant because they still feel they need to either shop around or think they don’t need these services at all. If this is the case, you aren’t marketing your agency, your skillset, nor your team well enough.
Consider why you’re following up with someone a few days after a seemingly great meeting and get a rejection when you thought you had them locked. Maybe they even told you to reach back out in a few months — sometimes it’s better to get a flat-out ‘no’ instead of everyone being on your leash for months at a time.
Value Proposition should have been laid out extremely clearly with the timelines, projected results, and benefits that will be occurring after signing on with your agency. If they’re unable to continue with the agreement after you’ve laid out all the benefits, they’re not interested for reasons that are out of your control.
Solving their needs is something I find far too many agency entrepreneurs failing to do properly.
Some entrepreneurs think they can walk into a sales meeting, present what they’re capable of, hear some of the prospect’s comments and personal struggles, and proceed to hand them the same, generic, and impersonal proposal they give everyone else.
There’s a difference between offering a productized service for an individual client and offering an absolutely templated service that, in no way, directly benefits a unique client.
You absolutely should be productizing services so you can easily handle multiple clients and have a somewhat generic script to sell with — once the time for the proposal comes, you should be creating the most bespoke and unique document you’ve ever written. We’ve found that prospects are over 80% more likely to close when our proposal simply reiterates everything they told us in the previous meeting.
The great thing about dealing with business owners who don’t understand the social media and digital-age is that they will just exclaim all their issues, fears, and shortcomings. If you’re able to bottle each and every one of their pain points in a very specific and personalized fashion, you will always win that client because they know you’re talking to them directly and not just appending them on the generic list of clients you’re treating poorly.
During sales calls, meetings, and negotiations, prospects will tell you exactly what they want to see on the proposal. It is up to you, your sales team, and your agency to address everything they mentioned so they feel they’ll be taken care of in exactly the fashion they want to be. You’ll close more deals than ever before with this tactic alone.
How Long It Should Take To Close Digital Agency Prospects
I know you want your agency to hit $1 million in revenue as soon as possible. However, nothing that is worth anything comes easily nor quickly. With that said, there is a limit to how long you should spend on a prospect before telling them it’s not going to work out. You only have so many resources and shouldn’t spend months pursuing a single prospect.
We’ve closed clients in as little as three days and as much as 90 days. A typical and healthy sales cycle is even less than 45 days. This gives all parties enough time to gather the information they need, talk a bit to competing vendors, and discuss with the team if this is right for them.
They say time is the largest and most dangerous factor when it comes to your sales process. Time is the main thing that is going to kill any deal — if you give them too much time to think about it, they’ll eventually talk themselves out of it.
How Aggressively Should You Sell
Think of your personality, the brand your company gives off, and the way you wish to handle prospects. Some CEOs are very involved and nearly pushy with their sales — we do not take this approach. There are leads that we’ll let marinate and sizzle for up to a year before we get more aggressive with the sale.
The ideal approach for any sale is that they come to you. You’re going to be much better off and have a much easier time negotiating if they knew what they wanted before they came to you. Depending on the product or service you’re selling, this may or may not even be possible.
For example — a new SaaS product or revolutionary service you’ll provide for a sales team may not be something a company seeks out. They won’t even know they need this until they you’re knee-deep in the sales process or while pitching them.
Conversely, everyone should know they need a web presence and marketing. If they don’t and you’re selling it to them, they’re going to push back with whatever reasons they have for not being on social media already. If you have to sell people on the power and influence of the internet, you’ve already lost the sale. The thing to keep in mind is that all businesses are different and they’re all run by different types of people. Your self-awareness will come in to play when you’re interacting with this array of characters so you can relate properly and close more sales.
Your sales process should include these steps:
- Initial lead capture: This is when you find out someone needs some marketing or anything else at all that you can even maybe help with. Add them to your CRM, contact through email, and set a reminder in case they don’t answer so you can badger them for the next year. I know this might sound aggressive but this is merely an average and necessary tactic you have to use if you’re selling digital marketing — there are too many of us creeping around for you to be too shy to send a few emails even after no answer.
We’ve managed to constantly follow up with some prospects — after absolutely no responses — for up to a year. Finally, they realized they needed the services, they were ready for it, and we were the ones that were in their inbox at the right time. It wasn’t luck — it might’ve been lucky if that was the only email we sent. It’s skill and persistence that got us this deal because we kept reaching out and following up.
- The first email: This isn’t email marketing or writing sales copy so don’t worry too much about your subject line, how long the email is, or anything too technical like that. This email is merely used to follow up from whenever you initially met or heard about this person. Try to get a meeting in this email right away.
Great meeting you the other day at the campaign management conference. I’m already looking up some of the resources you mentioned and getting some value out of them!
Calaboration handles marketing for campaigns like some of the ones we were discussing. I’d love to get together and learn more about what you do and buy you a coffee. How’s this upcoming Friday afternoon? Thanks so much and talk soon!
- The meeting: This can be any number of things. We’ve been to meetings that turned out to merely only for networking and we’ve been to meetings that got a proposal signed only 90 minutes later.
Whatever it turns out to be, be prepared for anything. Have a proposal ready and be ready to walk away with only a nice contact. Don’t be aggressive and ease into what your company does. You’ll know if they want to buy anything off you or if they’re just chatting you up.
- The Proposal: This is the part that everyone ruins their numbers at and where no one bothers to refine their skills. As we talked about, your proposal should be an extremely personalized love letter to the issues they brought up. If you nail everything they said to you regarding their business and where they need to improve, you’ll have no trouble closing this client since you completely understand them.
Ambiguity during the sale is a fun line to dance on that will enable you to up-sell, down-sell, and keep prospects happy even if they’re not feeling the initial proposal you sent their way. This is because you presented everything in such a way that is flexible enough to mend into something they’re more pleased with. If negotiations get to this point, you may find your sales process hit the five-week mark and further. Ultimately, this is fine so long as you’re making progress. Calaboration has had prospects who would call us in for a meeting, we’d talk about things we’ve already talked about, and nothing would get done without any decisions being made by the end of the meeting — avoid these people.
How To Create Urgency And Close Agency Clients Faster
No one wants a sales cycle to last 90 days. This will happen, unfortunately, but it’s also preventable. Creating urgency is not easy when it comes to your business because you run the risk of seeming desperate. Like we said, you want people to come to you so you can charge what you want and have the leverage. If you’re pushing people to join this week instead of a month from now, they’ll have more power since it’s on your terms and not theirs.
Urgency is in their favor.
They’ll tell you it’s no the right time to start this and that they need a few months. It’s your job to rebut and say that it’s never the right time but it’s always the right time to generate more leads and build your online presence.
For many companies — if it were up to them, they’d never even have to worry about this stuff. The great thing about our business is that it’s nearly essential for everyone to be doing online marketing. Nobody wants another expense and have someone post on their Facebook page.
Since every day that their social media isn’t being optimized someone else’s is, that is the urgency you have to display and convey to these prospects. A competing company across the street will probably be stealing leads directly from under you unless you sign this week and start marketing on Monday — that is how you create the urgency that is in their favor.
You don’t want to start Monday — they want to.
I trust this pushed you even a little bit to optimize your sales process, put more effort into your proposals, and ultimately close more clients. If you want instant access to my newsletter where I go into more detail regarding starting your agency and running it in the most efficient way CLICK HERE.