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If you think agency new business is sales, you’re doing it wrong

When it comes to generating new business for your agency, it is tempting to think that you are doing sales. 

In fact, some agency growth consultants will talk about sales funnels and similar tactics for increasing revenue.

But that’s not what most successful agencies do.

Attracting new clients for your agency isn’t the same as selling cars or appliances.

Good agency new business programs are all about matchmaking – finding a good fit between the prospect and the agency.

That means you need to walk away from some potential new revenue if it isn’t the right fit.

It’s not the right fit if you can’t generate the results the client wants, if you can’t do so profitably, or if you and your team will hate every minute of doing the work.

Your job as an agency leader is to build a roster of clients that you are happy to serve, that enable you to deliver exceptional results, and that contribute in a meaningful way to your bottom line.

If you hear a so-called guru talk about a one-call close for agency services, run – don’t walk – to the nearest exit.

While you need to actively work to keep the conversation moving toward a conclusion (one way or the other), there shouldn’t be any pressure involved.

Creating artificial urgency may close a few more contracts, but it often leads to buyer’s remorse for your client that can have a negative impact on the relationship and sometimes your agency’s reputation.

Don’t be shy about saying no to those clients that don’t create a good fit.

Don’t hesitate to refer those prospects to other agencies, even those that may sometimes compete with you.

Your job is to be a passionate advocate for your agency and your talent, but also a dispassionate matchmaker who keeps in mind the best interests of both parties.

If you stop thinking about agency new business as sales, you will end up with more ideal clients that you are happier to serve, that get better results, and do more to increase your profits.

Picture of Chip Griffin

Chip Griffin

Chip is the Founder of the Small Agency Growth Alliance and a longtime agency leader and entrepreneur. He helps PR and marketing agency owners build businesses they want to own.

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