1. Leads for Sale, Great Leads for Sale, Get Them While They’re Hot!
2. Who is Going to Answer That Phone?
3. Wild & Crazy Websites
4. Search Announcements & Stuff
LEADS FOR SALE, GREAT LEADS FOR SALE, GET THEM WHILE THEY’RE HOT!
Ridiculous you say? I would agree but when you take a close look at many agency new business services, they’re not far from suggesting that. On local radio, I hear ads for web services suggesting that all a business need do is let them know how many “leads” they want per week and they will deliver. Can you imagine! Now let’s define a lead. Their lead is NOT someone ready to hire YOUR firm now; their lead is NOT prequalified and their lead is NOT someone who has even talked with this lead provider. Here’s what I call a lead …
My friend Russell went to lunch yesterday at McDonalds. Sitting quietly by himself, he couldn’t help but hear what’s being said at a nearby table for 4. They’re not too happy with their agency; they talk about looking around. He listens to hear who they work for; when he learns he writes it down. Then he called the President of a local agency he knows and told him the story. That’s what I call a lead.
Here at AgencyFinder, our registered agencies have been getting invitations to speak with vetted and qualified advertisers for years. Those advertisers were ready to hire an agency and they had a pretty good idea what the agency should look like. Agency invitations go to those where their profile meet the client specs. Our agencies get “invitations” or as the dictionary says – a situation or action that tempts someone to do something or makes a particular outcome likely. Don’t find yourself doing business with a lead machine.
WHO IS GOING TO ANSWER THAT PHONE?
I know of agencies paying $4,000 to $5,000 monthly to have third-parties working elsewhere make outreach calls trying to find someone, almost anyone who will agree to a meeting with the agency brass. On a score from 1 to 10, I rate those meetings at a 2. But who knows, once in a while it’s possible to strike Gold, so if the numbers work, why not? Now let’s take a look at that practice. Contractors make the outreach call. That’s an expensive call, and I’m not talking about toll cost. Let’s assume the caller connects and has a good chat and asks for a call-back. Contractor has a process. Having implied he/she works for and at the agency, the number that was left goes to voicemail only, answered only in the contractor’s name and voice. That’s another story.
Now let’s say the prospect is in a hurry, so rather than waiting for a return call, they find and call the main number on the agency website. Now it begins – the looping “Who is going to answer that phone!” Agencies nowadays have voicemail to cover the desk, so we get the – “Thanks for calling AgencyOne. If you know the extension of the party you’re calling, enter it now. For an agency directory, press 1. For this and that, press this or that. For New Business Press 4.” You’re routed to the Marketing Department. “No one can take your call. Please leave a message.”
I can be impatient, so I have learned to punch O for Operator. If a human is hovering somewhere nearby, that generally gets them. But as it stands, the O request too often loops you back to a voicemail announcement. At some smaller agencies, I have literally tried every extension they offer, yet that fails to surface a human. For that and any of the other important incoming calls, imagine the consequence of such treatment. Don’t let this silent killer cost you business. I suggest the “O” option should ring at 4-5 desks with Hell-to-pay when a phone goes unanswered by a human. One final note: please see that whomever answers NEVER asks the bane of anyone charged with agency new business – “will they know what this call is about?”
WILD & CRAZY WEBSITES
You should see them! Each and every day new agency registrations flow across the transom. A full registration will take an agency a day or two to finish (not all at once but a bit here and there). In the meantime we always check out their websites. We “land” at each with the eyes of a client, hoping our experience is positive. And these days it is! What an incredible array of graphic and executable genius! Gone are the days of horizontally-centered tiny-type mono-tone pages, now replaced with full-width, full-color, animated or video sequences with an indescribable variety that is unrelenting and entertaining. I pity the poor client that has to choose these days. But remember, your agency profile (as in data elements) is what will make your first connection; your website makes the second, and your due-diligence interview makes the third. From that point on, their site visit, your guided agency tour and your team chemistry help seal the deal. Here’s to a great presentation!
SEARCH ANNOUNCEMENTS & STUFF
Periodically and as they occur, we post news of concluded client searches we’ve managed. Most go to conclusion but some stall out, get rescheduled for a later time, or client gets cold feet and cancels. We’re seldom happy with the latter. You might want to take a look at our terms they’ve agreed to – as you know, free is never free without conditions.
Client: Calmer Corn Heads, Inc. Location: Alpha, IL Budget: $250K – $500K assorted services Client-Category: Agricultural Equipment & Supplies Awarded to: Charleston Orwig, Hartland, WI Contenders: Davis, Harrison Dion, Chicago, IL, Morgan&Myers, Waukesha, WI, Trilix Marketing Group, Des Moines, IA
Client: HireRight Location: Irvine, CA Budget: TBA Client-Category: Business services, computer software Awarded to: One-Eighteen Location: Los Angeles, CA Contenders: Sagon-Phior, Los Angeles, Fraser Communications, Los Angeles
Client: SMR Solutions for Vendor Control Service Location: Concord, MA Budget: <$100,000 fees public relations Client-Category: Aerospace Defense Awarded to: Grove, Concord, MA Contenders: BCB Group, Wallingford, CT P&M Advertising, Agawam, MA
Client: Strativity Group Location: Hackensack, NJ Budget: TBD Media relations Client-Category: Business services, professional services Awarded to: Client decided not to hire an agency
Client: Ukies Location: Atlanta, GA Budget: <$100,000 public relations Client-Category: Fashion, women’s, Shoes & Footwear Awarded to: suspended for shoe production revisions
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