#1 Thing Agencies Need To Do To Land the Big Clients

By Jason Swenk on May 6, 2014

In this episode I’m happy to welcome Del Ross. He was the Vice President of Sales & Marketing of InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG).

  • Del gives his perspective on the do’s and don’ts for landing big clients and tells us the #1 thing an agency needs to do to land the big accounts.
  • We talk in length about what he looked for in picking an agency to work with and how to land a big account like IHG.
  • More specifically, during our chat you’ll find out… As a big brand, what did you look for when choosing an agency?

Expertise and specialization in certain type of media or types of engagements. Del says he wanted agencies that could define what they were best at versus agencies that claimed they could do everything. He was never in the market for everything – he needed certain things at certain times.

How can you get your foot in the door of a major brand?

  • Pitch the new and disruptive stuff that a brand might be thinking of, but hasn’t tackled yet.
  • INSIDER SCOOP – IHG would invest $5,000 – $50,000 to see if it would work.

What should you not do?

Don’t say “I can do it better than the agency already in place because you have to be relatively unhappy.”

The agency of record doesn’t matter anymore.

  • Focus on being the go to partner.
  • Yow want to be in the strategy and planning meetings.
  • You need to be  in the “oh-no, what do we do now?” meetings.

Best process or pitch:

  • Be an advisor rather than an order taker.
  • Have a point of view or belief based on some data and proven results, that a certain activity X, leads to result Y. Then be able to engineer it for them.
  • State, “Here is the way you need to do this, and if you do it this way, these are the results you will get.”
  • Help determine what a customer is worth.
  • Help calculate the customer’s lifetime value.

What do agencies do wrong?

  • They focus more on how to spend the budget, rather than on the desired results.
  • A lot of agencies make the conversation about how great they are instead of listening to the prospect.
  • They sell what they want the client to want, not what the client needs.
  • Most agencies fear metrics.
  • Agencies typically just focus on the ROI but should also calculate the Customer Lifetime Value.
  • They push their way in with, “Can we spend 20 minutes to see how we can help?”

How to position yourself for big brands to call you.

  • Speak at a conference that provides value and a solution to possibly solving a problem they are having right now.
  • Demonstrate your expertise and establish yourself as an authority.

And finally, #1 thing that an agency needs to do to get to the next level.

Have a point of view and back it up with data, research and tell your client what they need to do instead asking them what they want to do.

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