3 Elements of a Proven Agency Sales Process

By Jason Swenk on November 8, 2017

Is your agency using the Foot in the Door strategy? Are you keeping all the clients you want to? Learn the three core parts of a proven sales process that is working to renew client contracts and improve recurring revenue.

In this episode, we’ll cover:

  • The 3 core parts to every agency sales process.
  • How to create a successful renewal process.
  • How to get out of your agency so it can be a successful agency.

Today my guests are Rob Murray and Paul Demarco, cofounders of Intrigue Media, a full-service digital agency servicing B2C clients. In the 11 years they have been working together, they’ve grown their agency from a $50 project fee to $3 million in revenue this year. They credit their growth to a proven sales process and to always sticking with the process.

3 Core Parts of a Proven Sales Process

1- The Sales Process Itself

The key to this part is how you interact with people, i.e. your client or customer. There are two main philosophies to consider:

  • Two ears, one mouth, use accordingly. Listening to your clients, let them do the majority of the talking. Ask lots of questions, your client wants to be understood.
  • Avoid writing a prescription without a diagnosis; that is malpractice. You cannot properly pitch them a successful idea without understanding them.

Be mindful and open to needing help. Your sales is what drives agency growth. Rob and Paul realized early on that they couldn’t afford not to get help. If you are in the same boat, then check out my Agency Sales Makeover.

2- Financial Commitment for Proposals

Traditionally, Intrigue’s proposals or plans had been provided up front for free, or virtually free. However, this is where you want to implement the Foot in the Door strategy, and create a fee-based proposal that is clearly outlined. This is the first step in the direction of a long-lasting client relationship.

Proposals require work, outlining this work with your fee is totally acceptable. Intrigue’s Marketing Action Plan (MAP) includes the research and education necessary to understand what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, how it will be done and creating a plan around that.

Thinking the proposal “seals the deal” is looking at it the wrong way. Charging a low, set fee will:

  • Help you win the deal faster.
  • Make the deal less risky.
  • Provide you incentive and enjoyment through the process.
  • Help make it an easier decision for the client to trust you.
  • Can be a qualifier on your merit.

Using the Foot in the Door strategy will also help define the type of clients you want to be working with. If the partnership doesn’t feel right, you can walk away with little loss, rather than taking on a large retainer and becoming stuck.

3- Provide a Plan that Defines Expectations

You need to develop a crystal clear plan that defines crystal clear expectations. Something like:

  • “This is exactly what we are promising you.”
  • “This is exactly how we will go do it.”

This plan needs to be shared with your CLIENT as well as your TEAM so that it can be properly executed. With this thinking, you need to make sure that the team you intend on doing the work is the team you are having scope the work up front. This can prove to be a huge win.

Creating a Successful Renewal Process

Keeping your clients satisfied can be achieved with making sure they are delighted on a regular basis. They implemented “delightful client moments,” where they get to know their clients better. It’s those soft touches that make the business relationship more personal.

Taking a binary look at satisfaction creates a more black & white answer:

  • If they don’t renew they aren’t satisfied.
  • If they do renew they are satisfied.

Everyone can say your stuff is great, but if they pay you for it, then you know it is great.

Using the Foot in the Door method is a stepping stone towards a 1-year retainer. A month or two before the retainer is up, bring the client back in for a renewal. This is when you go for the longer term because you have built up a relationship of trust.

How to Get Out of Your Agency So It Can Be a Successful Agency

Consider a successful business being a business that can run without you. Leave the details to the team who specialize in the details. Success is all about:

  • The focus you provide for the team.
  • The focus you put on the team.

Bring consistency in what they do everyday:

  • Create structure inside the organization.
  • Put your priorities in focus.
  • Get those priorities accomplished.
  • Do updates frequently so everyone is in the know.

Providing clarity and context to team members ensures that everyone knows what is going on and can roll in the same direction… sticking to the process and growing your client base.

Need Guidance and Support to Grow Your Agency 3X Faster?

Are you overwhelmed by all the information out there on various ways to grow your agency? Do you want direction on how you can grow your agency faster and easier?

Then you’re in luck! I created an innovative mentorship called Agency University.

Agency University is a program which provides the 1-on-1 mentorship and ongoing support that is crucial to the success of your agency. Click here to see if it’s the right fit for you.

What’s Next?

Now you know how to improve the sales process of your agency, what’s next on your list of what you can improve? These new processes could take your digital agency to the next level and open up to more opportunities. This is great but if your other processes aren’t cemented, it can open up many other issues you might not have been aware of or were avoiding. Take a step back, look for weak spots in your business and then think of how you can fix them.

No matter what challenge your agency is facing, I can help you get through all of it.

From my experience in the industry, there are many topics I can offer guidance from the different phases of growth you will experience to how you can build authority for your agency.

Growing your agency can be a major struggle for any agency owner and I can show from knowing when it’s time to hire a sales manager or expand your sales team, creating a process for performance based pricing which can be the best pricing strategy for your business and learning how to keep your big name clients happy.

Want more? Learn about my career and different experiences as well as tips, tricks and insights by checking out my blogs that cover a wide variety of topics.

Check out more from my Ask Swenk series and more of my videos on my Youtube channel. There you will find advice from myself and other agency experts.


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