Having those first conversations with a potential client can be crucial for setting the right tone for a successful working relationship. From a sales perspective, you always want to be landing a new client for the company but you have to be careful not to bring in the wrong type. Setting expectations from the beginning can go a long way to ensuring both the company and the client are on the same page as you move along in the process. In this post, we’ll be discussing a few ways to accomplish this goal while making your company look good.
Be Honest About Services
Whether your company offers one type of marketing service or all of them, be honest about what is and isn’t within your company’s capabilities. People are always looking to accommodate their potential client’s needs as best as possible, stretching the limit at times, but if you aren’t realistic, expectations are misaligned and you’re putting your co-workers and the company in a tough situation. The last thing you want to do is bring in a client on false pretenses and have them leave after a month or two because the company couldn’t fulfill their needs. That not only damages yours and the company’s reputation, but it’s also a waste of company resources.
Be up front with prospects. Tell them exactly what your company offers and why that separates you from the competition. When they ask if you offer a service that you don’t, give them a well thought out reasoning as to why. People always appreciate honesty, and it’ll help you build a great reputation as a salesperson that looks out for the best interest of both the company and the client.
Dictating The Process
For any sales team, having a process in place to bring a potential client along in an organized and structured manner is the best avenue for success. As a salesperson, you’re the first impression any client will have of the company. It’s important you show organization, guiding them along the way.
For example, on the first call with a potential client, speak to them at the beginning about what you’d like to accomplish today. It sets the tone for the call, providing an agenda and expectations. At the end of the first call, touch on what the next steps are in the sales process. It may be a follow-up discussion or otherwise. You’ll want to touch upon what their internal process looks like as well and where they are in that process. With that, you’ll be able to set an organized structure for how the engagement will go, but also be considerate of how they go about their business.
For each call you have with the prospect, have a different agenda and discuss what you’d like accomplish. As your contact with this potential client continues, you should have a better understanding of their marketing needs and how to best serve them as an agency. Each step in the sales process should dive a little deeper into their marketing history, what their expectations are, and how working together could provide solutions.
Working With Them
As the first point of contact with new clients, it’s important to build a sense of trust and teamwork. After having a couple discussions with a new prospect, you should get a good idea of whether they’re a good fit or not and how hard you should push to close the sale. There will inevitably be one or two topics that stick out as potential roadblocks for you and the company. It may be:
- Particular services
- Duration of contract
Do your best to create some wiggle room internally to make the client as happy as possible. Giving the sense that you’re not only working for the company but the client as well builds confidence and trust in your company.
While trust is built over time and through performance, that doesn’t mean you can’t lay the groundwork as an upstanding, transparent agency that works together with their clients towards a common goal. Clients want to feel their agency is engaged in their business so it’s important as the first point of contact to show you really care.
Setting expectations with potential clients all while trying to bring in new business can sometimes be a difficult balancing act. While you always want to be “pitching” the benefits of your company, it’s also important to set realistic expectations on services provided, the performance expected and communication overall. No reasonable client expects perfection so it’s important to be upfront and honest about what you can and cannot do. This framework lays the groundwork for a successful, long-lasting relationship for both the client and your company.