1. Breaking News! Clients Are Taking Longer to Select an Agency
2. What’s the Prospect’s Experience When They Call Your Agency?
3. Thank Goodness, Everyone Has New Business Advice to Sell
4. The Client’s Search Steps Are More Involved – Here’s Why
5. No One Uses Fax Machines Anymore – Really?
6. Hard to Believe You Don’t Offer Social Media
BREAKING NEWS! CLIENTS ARE TAKING LONGER TO SELECT AN AGENCY
We’ve been massaging multiple client searches since early summer. They are wrapping up now, with a number of reasons for the extended timelines. It’s not because we haven’t encouraged dispatch. Our search procedure outline for the client mentions this for Search Duration: As a result of cost reductions and time saved by the AgencyFinder process, BPI clients have frequently conducted and concluded rigorous agency searches and reviews in 60 days or less once the agency invitations have been issued. If you anticipate a delay that would extend your search decision and notification beyond 60-days of invitation, please explain the circumstances and advise us in writing so we can arrange for an authorized extension.
These aren’t Fortune 500 clients and in some cases, significant corporate changes were occurring at the same time. We were accustomed to seeing those 60-day turnarounds and got spoiled. We’re starting to address some client issues up-front that hadn’t been topics for discussion before.
WHAT’S THE PROSPPECT’S EXPERIENCE WHEN THEY CALL YOUR AGENCY?
In the days of yore, agencies had operators who answered the phone and directed calls. Generally a kind, helpful individual. But today that’s only a memory. Now we have automated platforms. The caller (let’s assume someone looking to hire your firm) is expected to know your extension, though they don’t even know your name yet. The automated options are of little value other than potentially irritating the caller. The recorded announcement loops and loops if you keep trying. When that happens, some callers have learned to dial “O.” That invites real annoyance – a voice announces, “Hi this is NAME,” I can’t get to the phone right now, please leave a message.” Some callers even learned to start punching in random extensions, only to find no one is picking up their phones. Gives the impression that it’s a virtual agency! Black mark for new business.
Suggestion – Call your agency from afar to see what you (and potential clients) experience.
THANK GOODNESS. EVERYONE HAS NEW BUSINESS ADVICE TO SELL
Oh, do I feel for anyone at your agency charged with business development. Same might apply for the agency Owner. Everyone (particularly those in India) has a lead development program guaranteed to connect you with “qualified prospects.” Or they’ve studied your agency website and took the liberty to share the weaknesses they spotted. They offer to provide SEO for you and its incredibly cheap – says the author who wrote you (as they did me) something like this – “Dear Team, I got to stumble your website “”. You have created a nice website which holds the vigor to drive lot of sales/leads. But are you getting enough sales? No???? Let’s help you out.” They promise their lists are “Opt In”, and to what and whom you should ask. With the complexities of email these days, I’d suggest getting some quality data from a reputable firm like www.Redbooks.com. Not for e-mails though, but for good old fashioned USPS addresses. And rather than address the person, address the title; your mail will get there. Some old-fashioned methods still deliver!
THE CLIENT’S SEARCH STEPS ARE MORE INVOLVED – HERE’S WHY
We have little to contribute other than to suggest your read Lindsey Slaby’s fine report/article “A tough time for ad agency positioning.”
NO ONE USES FAX MACHINES ANYMORE – REALLY?
For years we’ve been sending our registered agencies client invitations in three (3) ways:
1. First an email advisory to Primary and Alternate NB to let them know they have been selected; including a thumbnail to identify the client.
2. A multi-page (5-7) fax with the RFD, instructions and invoice (if appropriate) (to Primary only)
3. An actual phone call to confirm receipt & answer questions (to Primary or Alternate)
Some agencies tell us no one uses faxes anymore (they themselves don’t have one) – Really? Visit websites of the “Greats” and then some – at Contact Us you will see their fax number along with primary phone, NB contact and email.
We did learn recently that financial information (as in Banks, Brokerage Firms, etc.) can’t be sent by email. For them fax is mandatory. So if your agency is large enough (as in Gross Receipts) your CFO may confirm this or at least be aware. And here’s our bottom line – we want you to receive, read and respond to the client’s invitation. And since you registered here for new business, you should too.
You can purchase a current state-of-the-art combo fax/printer/scanner for less than $200. You don’t need a separate line; you can camp on an existing. You can also install one of the e-fax options. If you’re full-service, include fax service!
HARD TO BELIEVE YOU DON’T OFFER SOCIAL MEDIA
First glance at many agency profiles, there’s no “tic” at social media. As in: Social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) How can that be? Because the agency hasn’t been in to update in some time, that’s why. Same for Digital production & Experiential. If you don’t have them checked (if you can), please do so. You could see an invitation soon.