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Target your agency outreach efforts

In this episode of the Small Agency Talk Show, Lee McKnight, Jr. of RSW/US joins Chip Griffin of SAGA to discuss the problem with mass marketing your agency instead of taking a more focused approach.

The pair explore the reasons why agency owners often end up taking a more shotgun-style approach rather than wielding a scalpel to drive more efficient and effective business development.

You will hear some practical suggestions that you can begin to apply to your revenue growth activities for the new year, along with observations from the panel’s decades of experience.

Key takeaways

  • Lee McKnight, Jr: “This is a process. It’s going to take multiple touches. And just because a prospect is not ready right now doesn’t mean this isn’t a potentially fantastic opportunity.”
  • Chip Griffin: “You think that revenue is the answer. It’s not. Good revenue is the answer, not just any revenue.”
  • Lee McKnight, Jr: “Agencies are not thinking about making themselves one of their own clients. Make your agency your number one client.”
  • Chip Griffin: “You need to be able to very clearly say, this is what I do, this is who I do it for. And if it takes you more than two sentences, go back and keep working on it.”

The following is a computer-generated transcript. Please listen to the audio to confirm accuracy.

Chip Griffin: Hello and welcome to another episode of the Small Agency Talk Show. I’m your host, Chip Griffin, the founder of SAGA, the Small Agency Growth Alliance, and I am delighted to have with me one of my favorite panelists and someone who I haven’t even asked if he has a prop, or, if he does what it is, Lima Nightmare or more commonly known as Lee McKnight Jr. of RSW/US. Welcome to the show, Lee.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Hello. Thank you. I brought my Spam with me.

Chip Griffin: Spam. Excellent.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Not gonna eat it on camera. That would be off putting, but, you know, not sponsored by Spam. By the way.

Chip Griffin: But if Spam would like to sponsor, I, you know, we can, we can work something out. Just gimme a call.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: We’ll make Spamburgers on the griddle live. This has become a cooking segment with Lee and Chip .

Chip Griffin: Hey, whatever it takes to build the audience.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Right. We’re done.

Chip Griffin: Well, before we jump in, for, for anyone who has been living under a rock and hasn’t seen you on the show before, why don’t you give yourself a brief introduction?

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Yeah, so Lee McKnight Jr. I’m the VP sales at RSW/US based outta Cincinnati, and essentially we are an outsourced business development firm, solely working with advertising agencies, marketing services firms, and PR firms to help them drive and, and close more new business.

Chip Griffin: And so you’ve got some great perspective on, on business development and really all sorts of things in, in agency land.

So I’m sure it’ll be an interesting conversation that we have over the next 30 minutes or so. And it is, we usually do, we, we didn’t script this too much, so, you know, we’ll kind of see where the conversation takes us. But I, I thought a good place to start would be, you know, here in the US we’ve got Black Friday coming up next Friday.

So there will be no episode of a Small Agency Talk Show for all of you who are, are just sitting there waiting for it. You’re not gonna have us on, on YouTube next week. You’ll have just make do without and I will be busy standing in line for a television set trying to push people down. No, I’ll not be doing that cause I…

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Cabbage Patch dolls.

Chip Griffin: Okay. God, Now you’re, you’re really dating us, Lee. Thanks. I, I appreciate that. As you know, all, all of the young folk are out there typing. What is Cabbage patch?

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Yeah. Just Google it. Yeah, yeah.

Chip Griffin: In any case, so I, I’m trying to figure out Lee, for Black Friday, should I be out looking for a shotgun or a scalpel?

Indeed. And, and, and I probably should provide some context to that, so, so that I don’t scare off the entire audience and also so that YouTube doesn’t decide to just shut this channel off. True. But we were, we were talking in the pre-show, and you know, one of the things that, that strikes me is that agencies at all times, but particularly now are, are really so focused on, on sort of the shotgun approach to business development.

Let’s, let’s try to get as many prospects that we can be talking to at once. And I think in reality, The more they focus with, with their scalpel on, on some specific opportunities, both with new people, but also growing your business organically, makes sense. So, so let’s start there. I mean, first of all, why do agencies insist on this shotgun approach to business development?

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Because it takes less effort and thought. That’s not, that sounds mean, but you know what, but…

Chip Griffin: You’re saying agency people are lazy. Is that what you’re saying, Lee? I mean, this may not be your best RSW business development tactic.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: I’m not even necessarily, that might be some of it, but really, you know, it’s I don’t know if it’s so much laziness as it is just not, well, maybe it is. Not putting the effort behind and, and once you have that laid, you know, you have all your parameters laid out, then what, what comes next?

It, it doesn’t, you know, it can be a well-oiled machine where the numbers… it doesn’t have to be, I’m going out to 3000 companies, in fact, really shouldn’t do that. The effort you put into that plan up front is gonna pay off then ongoing. And we talked about it, it should not only should it not be 3000, it shouldn’t be a thousand, you know, to, to, I think the number you threw out, which I think it absolutely is.

Listen, if you’ve got a hundred and fifty tightly targeted companies that you know you are a fit for, and you can explain why. That’s fine. You shouldn’t get hung up on those numbers. And, and so I, you know, one of the things that, why we were talking about this, I’d written a post earlier this week about, you know, digital fatigue and it, that’s not a new thing, but man, it’s ever increasing.

And, and it was a Forester survey that was against 150, you know, B2B marketers. And I think one of that I’m looking at now, 80% of these folks recognize the pandemic increased, you know, digital reliance. We’ve seen it and you and I think have even talked about it a bit, but the amount of just junk that we’re getting, specifically digitally through email is hurting all of us who are trying to get out there and, and prospect.

And part of what I talk about in this blog post is just, is just the fact that relying on any one channel, if you will, is to your detriment anyway, because you don’t know where a prospect lives. So part of our process at RSW, and this is not a shameless plug, although here it comes, but it, but it is that we’ve always been about, look, email, phones, social, where it makes sense if to have some kind of position, and physical mail.

It’s always been those four things. Now what’s changed is our tech stack, which is of course critically important. And, and we’re always looking, how can we make sure that this is up to snuff, if you will. And that’s important for agencies too, but I think especially if you’re a small to mid-size firm, don’t get scared like, okay, great.

If I look at this Forester survey, you can see that there are some little plugs in there for a certain company that is all about, you know, a platform, a SaaS platform that’s gonna tie into this physical mail campaign that you’re doing. Doesn’t even have to be that. If you have the wherewithal to do that and the budget, fantastic.

But there are ways, and I talk about it in that post that just incorporating, I’ll send out letters to agency owners. It totally works. It’s literally our letterhead. I personally sign it and so many of ’em are like, I can’t tell you the last time that happened. And it was refreshing. Why? Because you could tell it was literally signed by me.

It was from a human being. It spoke to why they would even care and to their experience. And I think that agencies can similarly take those baby steps, have targeted focus. Don’t just push the send button, because Yeah, it’s easy to send the email. You don’t have to actually fear, you know, you don’t have to fear rejection per se.

Right. You can just shoot it out and let’s see what sticks. It’s not the right way to go.

Chip Griffin: Right. And you mentioned fear and I think that’s what drives a lot of this shotgun approach. It’s not that they’re lazy and I joked about that earlier, but agency owners are some of the hardest working people that I know.

But part of that is because they’re not, you know, scoping their projects correctly, they’re not managing their projects correctly. And so they, they don’t have the time that they should have to focus on business development. And at the same time, agency owners are often afraid, particularly in an environment like we’re in right now, that business is going to dry up, that clients are going to leave that, that there is going to be recession and they’re not gonna be able to bring in, you know, new business.

Yeah. And so what does that say to them? It says, you know, I just need to blast as much out there as I can because, you know, the, the more lines I have in the water, the more likely I am to be successful. Yeah. The problem with that is, is when fear overtakes you and you’re not thinking thoughtfully about what you’re trying to accomplish and how you’re going to do it.

It means that you’re more likely to attract bad fit clients that just perpetuate a problem perhaps that you already have, right? Cause if you don’t get good clients that you can develop good results for and do so efficiently and profitably and all that kind of stuff, then you still won’t have time to focus on business development.

And you’ll still have a team that feels overwhelmed. So, so get that scalpel out and really start thinking about how do you focus your efforts in the best possible way. How can you use resources, whether it’s an outsourced firm like RSW or some of your internal resources that you have in order to be more efficient in targeting those 50, 100, 150 targets?

Right. It just, it doesn’t, there’s no reason to be out there blasting away. Yeah. At huge numbers of prospects. You’re not likely to be successful doing that.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Yeah, I agree. And you know, another piece of that, which is interesting, and I’ve had some conversations over the last couple of months as well. And this is not, this is self-serving on, on my point.

It’s not, sincerely is not meant to be, but the, the hires. And we know how tough it is to hire a new business director at an agency and, and but as of late, you know, one of the things about those blasts. And, and you know, the fear part that you mentioned, but also it’s a little bit insidious is too strong a word, but you have these new business directors who’ve been hired who are not cutting it.

They’re getting a little desperate. And, and to be fair, a lot of times agencies don’t give them the tools or the training they might need or what have you. So it’s, it’s, that can be a two way street on where things might go wrong sometimes. But you know, it’s easy to blast those emails out and then you can say, well look at the numbers and look what I’ve done here.

I mean, I’ve reached out to, it’s like, But you haven’t really, I mean you’ve, you’ve written some kind of an email and click pressed one button, what have you done? A little setup, but you didn’t reach out to those 3000 people per se. And so it’s easy for them to come back to the agency principal and say, I mean, I’m trying here.

And you know, it’s tough because to your earlier point, principals, you’re wearing a lot of hats in these small, mid-size firms of course. And you’re putting certain level of trust factor that you can’t shadow this person all day. And you shouldn’t at all. But they can, you know, bring those numbers back to that principal and say, I mean, look, you know, it’s just, it’s tough out there and it is tough out there.

Chip Griffin: It is.

Yeah. But you don’t make it any easier on yourself if you’re just, you know, spamming people. Yeah, and, and I, and I, I do think that, that part of the problem here is that people do want to, that they want to be able to show their boss or their team members or someone that they are doing something, but they also wanna feel like they’re doing something.

So whether it’s the, the business development director or the owner, Just feeling it like you’re doing something to address it is, is often valuable and so therefore you’re not really thinking about what you’re doing as long as you’re doing something. And I think this is also what leads to the obsession that so many in the agency world have with RFPs, which I will, I will continue to say on, on this show and anywhere else, over and over again. RFPs for most agencies are a bad idea. They’re not a place that you should be investing time, money, resources, brain power, any of that kind of stuff, because your odds of success are extremely low, in most cases, in most industries. And so you are better off trying to win other kinds of business that you can do more reliably and frankly, where you have a better sense what you’re actually getting.

Because the problem when you’re doing some of these, these blasts to lots of people, or in RFP response processes, you don’t necessarily always have the best information because your goal is simply to get a contract across the goal line, right? And as soon as you start focusing on, I just wanna win the business.

And you lose sight of is this a good fit? Is this kind of work we can do? Well, that’s where you start really taking your whole business off track. And it’s not just that you’re not hitting your new business development targets or your new business targets, at that point, you start missing other targets and you start to be really miserable in the business that you’re building.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Yeah, you do. And I love that because you know, where that attitude also takes agencies is just in, at the initial, at top of the funnel, breaking through, getting those first couple of meetings. And with that attitude, I, I, I’ve seen it and I think what happens is, and I, this meeting needs to happen and we need to close this business quickly.

And, and you probably do. Maybe you do need to, and that’s fine, but that’s not how it typically happens, right? And so then you go in with a mindset into like a first meeting or a second meeting. If it’s not a referral especially, and you know, you’re, you might be thinking, right, well, what’s here? And a lot of times there’s quite a bit there.

They’re just, again, we go back to the traditional sales axioms from from time in memorial. It’s like this is a process. It’s gonna take multiple touches. And just because they’re not ready right now doesn’t mean this isn’t a potentially fantastic opportunity. It may be garbage. But I can’t tell you how many, you know, times we’ve had to recalibrate some of our own agency clients to make sure they understand that, look, we’re gonna tell you as much as we can going in a first meeting, for example, and, and the ones that really get it right are those ones who know that yeah, this is gonna be a multi-step process. And this first meeting needs to not be about us.

We need to be focusing in on this prospect and really see what’s there. And I think if you have that attitude you just mentioned, you tend to kind of gloss over and always think about, gotta win, win, win this business. So I think it’s, it’s can be dangerous, for lack of a better word, but truly a dangerous attitude to the health of the business and the, and the agency in that, in that case.

Chip Griffin: Yeah. And, and, and I, I get why folks do it, right? Because, I mean, first of all, you, you want the revenue and, and a lot of times if you’re struggling with revenue, you, you think that that revenue is the answer. It’s not. Good revenue is the answer, not just any revenue. I also understand the adrenaline rush of winning new business.

I mean, as, as someone who has, has won lots of contracts over the years, it’s exciting, you know, you know some places you get to ring a bell and do all sorts of, you know, fun stuff and it’s great. Yeah. But you, but you need to treat the, the sales processes as not something where you’re just, you have a singular focus on winning the business.

It really needs to be about finding the right fit. Yeah. Because that’s really what will help you grow over the long term. And it’s what will produce the, the real results. Cuz if, if I take on business that’s not a good fit, I’m either not gonna make money at it. Yeah. Or the client is gonna be unhappy with the results we produce or worse, both.

And, and, and so now you’ve damaged your reputation and made it harder to get other the business. If I, if I focus on a good fit, is it gonna take a little bit longer to get to my revenue goals? Absolutely. It probably will, but it will allow you to really accelerate that growth once you’re producing repeatable results for the clients you are taking on.

Because you know what they’re gonna say, Hey, you know, guess, guess what? You know Lee was able to do all this great stuff for me. Yeah, you should go hire him. They’ll help for you too. So, so focus on that and, and really, In instead of just trying to, to spray and pray as we say in the photography world, focus on really getting the right opportunities that will advance where you want to go.

And I, I think this leads into something else we were talking about before the show, which is organic growth. Yeah. And, and you know, we’re all seeing that the sales cycle is lengthening, as it typically does anytime there’s economic uncertainty. This is not a new movie. Those of us who have gray hair, no hair, have seen this movie many times over the course of our career.

So sales cycles lengthen. And so, so we have two choices. We can we can, well, more than two, but, but two big things to think about. The first one is a question that I often get asked, which is, how can I accelerate this sale? How can I shorten the sale cycle? And we’ll come back to that in a minute. Cause I think that’s a dangerous philosophy.

Yeah. And the second is, What can I do with my existing business to perhaps grow that and, and would that be easier? And I know that doesn’t have the same endorphin rush of adding a new client to the roster, right? I think it’s one of the reasons why agencies neglect organic business growth. I think the other reason is fear, right?

Because if I come to you and say, Hey, Lee, you know, I, I think we can do this extra work for you and, and it’s gonna cost this. You start to worry about, well, are they gonna judge the existing work? And so maybe I lose the client. Are they going to just think, well, they’re, this is not real. They just want to get more money out of me.

And, and so, so let’s zero in on this organic piece first, and then I do want to circle back to the accelerating the sales cycle problem as well. Yeah. But, so on organic growth, how do you advise agencies to think about doing it in a way that is actually productive and doesn’t, you know, put the actual relationship at risk?

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Yeah, it is… well, obviously it’s tough and, and part of the reason we’re talking about this is I, you know, I brought up just some of these conversations I have had lately with some agency owners that, that we’re talking about exactly this, you know, that, that we’re seeing, whereas it was taking X amount of weeks.

Last three, four quarters. It wasn’t taking that long. Things were popping. And now man, we’re really seeing a lot of feet dragging even, you know, ghosting us to an extent. And so , well, they’re tough answers honestly, because, and we will say that.

Chip Griffin: If they were easy, we wouldn’t have jobs, Lee. So.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: We certainly wouldn’t.

And I think, you know, part of it is that you just, you have to. You just, especially going in the new year, right? You, you’ve gotta have plans in place where, first of all, number one, you’re not just relying on that organic growth, but that’s not the direct answer to what you’re bringing up. But that, that’s gotta be part of it.

But then also I think what, you know, too often, agencies also are not thinking about making themselves one of their own clients. You know, make, make your agency your number one client and, and you can’t, of course you can’t always do that in. Often you can’t do that, but you can make it a priority no matter what size firm you are, to make sure that, to help with that organic growth that you’ve either got your AE or AEs that are gonna be as trained up as they can be, but have the tools to understand.

I mean, we, we just had an agency the other week that was talking about the fact that, you know, we’re really finally putting in a place with our own people when we run out, we went out, excuse me. Basically just kind of quiz them informally. What’s our positioning? You know what, what’s our, how do you describe what we do?

Not only to just someone off the street, for example, but when you’re working with our own clients and minds are a little bit blown because they realize that so many of their own employees, Really couldn’t answer it very effectively. And some of these were ones handling accounts. Now they could certainly, I mean, not that they weren’t doing a good job, but just overall thinking about making new business throughout the, the agency a priority.

Even for folks, and we’ve touched on this in the past, I believe, even for folks who don’t touch it every day. But I think also, you know..

Chip Griffin: But on that point, Lee, a lot of agency owners themselves can’t answer that question.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: That’s a good point.

Chip Griffin: I mean, I’m just being blunt here, but I mean, you and I take a lot of first calls with agency owners.

And, and so naturally part of that is what do you do? Who do you serve? Yeah. And, and I would say it’s less than 50% and probably substantially less than 50% that can give me a truly clear and. answer to that. And it usually ends up in some rambling version of, well, as long as someone will pay us, we could probably help anybody.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Well, and I’ve literally heard a version of that before and I’m like, okay, well, and, and…

Chip Griffin: I just saw a YouTube video with an agency owner not too long ago that that essentially said exactly that in a positioning video. And I was. Okay. That’s different. Yeah.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Well, can I tell you an insane story? Can I tell you an insane story, Chip?

Chip Griffin: Absolutely Lee. I mean, that is what this show is for.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: That relates to what we started talking about and moving into what we’re talking about now. That a real conversation. It was in a sales call and recently and obviously will remain unnamed if he’s watching. I love you, but. But brought up, I mean, I was mind blown because he was talking about, Hey, tell me about RSW.

You know, this is what we’re doing is now, now is not working. And early on those conversations, I always wanna ask whether they bring it up or not. What, how is business development? What have you done up until now? Why, why are we here in this call? And he said, you know, we got a person got, you know, this is the time immemorial again, tales.

But we’ve had this business director that we hired, has the network, but here’s what he’s doing. He’s just, basically, the network dried up. So now he’s just blasting emails out, you know, ring a bell. And so we have a meeting coming up with a, a good company who is absolutely not the right fit for us. And I don’t know why we’re taking this meeting.

And I just had to let it sit there in silence for a second. And I’m like, Why are you taking the meeting? I’m like, then what are you doing? And I’m like, why is this guy, why is he, I mean, I don’t want to, I don’t ever want, you should fire that person, but just what, what is he doing? Goes, well, I’m just not sure he a hundred percent gets what we do. And I’m like, I wanna reach through the screen and strangle you, I’m like, well then why? That’s your fault then. Yes. Like, no. I mean, yes, you need to hire intelligent people that can do their own homework and, and sustain themselves. But, oh my God, you’ve just brought up two big, huge red flags that, and it doesn’t mean you necessarily have to work with us, but my God, man, like, hear what you’re saying, I wanna record this and play it back to you.

That’s crazy. You know, it’s, it’s crazy.

Chip Griffin: Yeah, and, and you need to be able to very clearly say, this is what I do, this is who I do it for. And, and if it takes you more than two sentences, go back and keep working on it.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Amen.

Chip Griffin: And it should be clear enough that you can tell your Aunt Sally what it is that you do and who you do it for, and she would understand it even if she has nothing to do with agency land.

Yeah, I, I don’t mean to insult Aunt Sally. I don’t actually have an Aunt Sally so.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Good soul. But the two sentence thing I think is so spot on. It is so hard to do if you haven’t really done it. And man, and so I’m like, fine, whittle it down. Now we have 10 sentences, now we’ve got five now, you know? And. Be kind to yourself, but it really is hard to get it down sometimes to that.

But you, it is, I’ll get sales emails constantly like, all right, how much shorter can I make this, for example, and still be effective? And it’s interesting. Yeah.

Chip Griffin: Well, and, and the trick is it needs to be specific enough that, because I mean a lot of people will, will boil it down to two sentences, but those two sentences are still so broad that it doesn’t really help.

And so, so what you need to do is you need to test it and you test it by just taking a random list of companies and saying, does this, does it match this business or not? And, and a person who is not familiar with your business needs to be able to say they’re likely a good fit. They’re not likely a good fit based on that description that you’ve given.

Yeah. And if based on your description, those things aren’t falling into the right buckets, you need to go back to the drawing board and reframe how you’re positioning yourself, because otherwise you’re just gonna continue to, to waste time on unproductive meetings, chasing bad leads and, and being forced in, in quotation marks to just blast out to as many people as possible.

Yeah. If you are clear about who you are trying to reach, it becomes so much easier to use that scalpel and really reach out and say, Hey Lee, I know that we can do good work for you because we do work for these three businesses that you’ll have immediately recognized. It’s not like, who are they? Here, let me Google ’em.

Let me see what, right. If your prospect has to Google the companies that you’re mentioning as, as you know, positive references. Yeah. You’re not focused enough.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Oh, that’s what, that there’s your quote for this episode. It’s true. And you know what, what we see a lot of, this has been going on for the 17 years that we’ve been doing this, but I can’t tell you how many meetings as of this past quarter, Our new business directors coming in and we’re just, you know, just talking about it ongoing as we do and like got this amazing meeting with this company I’ve been going after forever.

The meeting got set from the first email I sent to them nine weeks ago. It’s like, so agencies, I know, be patient is like, I know you want to punch me in the face. Sorry, you can’t, but you’re tired of hearing that. But it is really interesting how you write a solid email like you’re talking about.

They’re seeing it. Not all of ’em, but, but you really do have – it is multiple touches. Because you, I mean, I’ve had that happen to me bringing agencies on board. I’ve had this letter in my drawer for like 12 months and I’m finally getting around to it. It’s like, well, that’s good. It’s frustrating.

Chip Griffin: And, and it’s timing too, because, even people who need agencies aren’t necessarily looking right now. Yeah. And that might be because they’re working with another agency or it might be because there’s other priorities that they have at the moment, or it might just be because they don’t have enough time to focus on it. There’s all sorts of timing issues that that come into play. And so this brings me back to what I was talking about earlier, sales times – the time to close is lengthening. Agency owners are saying to me, and I’m sure to you as well, how can we get this to close faster? You know, what, what can we do to get this unstuck? And, and I think that’s a very dangerous way to approach things because you certainly want to be doing enough that you’re making it easy for the prospect to say yes when they are ready.

Yes. But if you were doing something like say, well, you know, I, I really need to get you on board by December 1, otherwise I’m not gonna be able to get to you until, you know, March or April. You know, if you create and, and there are a lot of people out there in the sales community who will advocate, you know, creating this false urgency in order to get business to close more quickly.

Right. Now you got two problems with that. One is if it’s, if it’s not true urgency and, and they come back to you on December 10th and you say Yes. Well now they’ve caught you in your lie. You’re right. And maybe they don’t care, but that’s not a good way to start a client relationship. No. That you said they had to sign by now or you weren’t gonna be able to take them.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Yeah. I don’t love that.

Chip Griffin: But the second thing is that’s how you get bad fit clients. Because if I feel pressure, this is not, we’re not, you know, buying some impulse item. We’re starting a relationship. And, and so you don’t want to go in and say, you gotta say yes or no by this time. Because then they may come on board, but they’ll, they may end up regretting it.

You don’t really want that kind of regret, particularly early on in an agency client relationship. Agreed. You can’t just return the agency client relationship.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Yeah. I hate that tactic. It’s like a 1950s vacuum sale.

Chip Griffin: But it’s incredibly common. And I, I mean, I see it all the time.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: I do too, I do too. And I, it makes me bitter.

I’ve never, you’ve crushed it with me as far as ever. Yeah. I, I hate that.

Chip Griffin: And part of it is because people shouldn’t be, you should not think about business development in the agency world as sales. I mean, it, it is in, in the, in a technical sense, but based on the ideas that most people have in their heads about what sales is all about. Yeah. It, it just, it steers you in the wrong direction because, I mean, really what you are is you’re a matchmaker. And, and so, you know, think about this in terms of relationships. Would you go into a bar and, you know, say to the person you’re attracted to on the next stool, you have three minutes to let me know.

Otherwise, moving on . I don’t, I mean, look, I, I haven’t been on the dating scene for a long, long time, but I’m pretty sure that’s not a good tactic.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Yeah, probably not. No. Yeah. And I, you know, that’s what younger we’re, we’re certainly plenty young Chip, but…

Chip Griffin: Young at heart, at least.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: But, you know, coming into these roles and if you are younger and, and you know that – you bring up such a perfect distinction about that sales, you know, that they are, they tend to be synonymous and they’re really not. And I think going in, if someone’s starting, I mean, to have that upfront, which so many don’t, just to understand that’s, that’s just a little piece of it.

Right. But just to understand, understand that distinction would really make their lives, you know, I think that just that, that should be one of the first things they understand. Right. And I think they rarely do it seems like.

Chip Griffin: Right. Look, I mean, this is a mistake that I made too. I mean, early on in my agency career, what did I do?

I went to the bookstore, because you know, we still went to the bookstore back then, because…

Lee McKnight, Jr.: I still like to.

Chip Griffin: I, I’m young at heart, but not, not actually young. And so go to the bookstore and what do you do? You go to the sales section, you start picking out sales books and, and you say, okay, well this is, this will help give me information that I can use in order to sell more effectively.

 Yes, but, and, and you really need to understand the difference and the nuance in building that agency client relationship versus selling a car, selling a piece of software, you know, selling that Black Friday tv. It’s, it’s a very different thing. And if you approach it in the same way, you’re going to be miserable with what you end up with.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: You really are. Yeah. And you brought it back to Black Friday. Nicely done.

Chip Griffin: I, you know, I, I did because I, I did see on the clock that we are just about out of time here.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Oh. It’s like you’ve done this before.

Chip Griffin: It’s, it is like, I’ve done it before, but only like it because you know, I’m sure I’ll screw something up here in the next minute or so.

But this has been a very productive conversation from my perspective. Hopefully other people have, have taken some, some things from it and, and will allow them to, to really target their business development efforts more effectively. And, and particularly as, as we’re looking at the uncertain economic future ahead, the, the more precise you can be, the more of a scalpel you can use instead of that shotgun, the more likely you are, I think, to be successful.

Absolutely. So before we wind up here, if someone is interested in learning about you, Lee, where can they find you?

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Yeah, we’re at RSWUS.com. We’ve got a New Year Outlook report coming out beginning of January. That should be really helpful for folks. So yeah, no, appreciate it as always, Chip. It’s great.

Chip Griffin: Absolutely. And, and you guys always put out great resources, so I do encourage folks to go there. If you are interested in seeing past episodes of this show or any of the other videos that I put out, just go to smallagency.tv and if you’d like to learn more about SAGA, just go to smallagencygrowth.com to access all of our resources as well.

So with that, I wish everybody here in the United States a happy Thanksgiving. As I said, we will not be back here on Black Friday, so we’ll be back in two weeks time. And Lee, I look forward to having you back on the show.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: Yes, me too.

Chip Griffin: Because I always look forward to figuring out what kind of prop you might have for us.

Yeah, it’s fun. Is that now, will that Spam be something that you serve on Thanksgiving or will you be serving turkey?

Lee McKnight, Jr.: No, I have made Spam burgers in the past, though. Salty but good.

Chip Griffin: I mean, I gotta say, you know, Spam gets a bad rap. It Yeah, it’s not bad. It’s not bad. It’s not, it’s not. I wouldn’t wanna eat it every day in part because I’d be dead, but, you know.


Lee McKnight, Jr.: We’ll wait till the next episode to announce our Spam recipe book.

Chip Griffin: There we go.

Lee McKnight, Jr.: It’s in the works.

Chip Griffin: Excellent. All right. With that, we’re gonna wrap up before we go completely off the rails here. Thank you, Lee. Thank you everybody for watching, and I look forward to seeing you all back again very soon.

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