How to Attack your Business Development Like a SHARK

By Jason Swenk on November 4, 2013

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WhenHow to win bigger clients you have a potential opportunity to win new business, are you going in fast and blind with little preparation or standard methodology? Most agencies quickly listen to the client state they need a website and then draft up a quick proposal and send it over to the client. There’s no research on why they need a website and probably missed out on other complimentary services that a website brings like SEO, content management, etc.

Let’s think about the followup. Is there more than one phone call or email?  This lack of structure causes your agency to lose a ton of business.  In addition to lost revenue, you may also bring on clients that aren’t the best fit. Does this sound familiar?

Think about how a shark surrounds its prey. It starts circling from a distance and as it learns and identifies more, it goes in closer and closer, and sometimes it even bump as a test. But only when it meets the criteria and the shark has identified this as their preferred prey will it go in and attack. How can you circle your business development efforts to win bigger and more agency clients:

Step 1 – Outer Circling

  • Does this meet the preferred client profile you desire?
  • What is the business snapshot (size, industry, profile)
  • Who is the first point of contact, role, & influence?
  • How far away from a decision maker is this person?
  • Start researching contact – what can you find out about them?
  • Who else in your network is connected to contact?

Step 2 – Inner Circling

  • What other similar clients / projects you have worked on?
  • What is the budget / timing?
  • Do you have resources to execute deliverables?
  • What is the external timeline? Outside influence?
  • What is the decision criteria?
  • What will criteria will make the project a success / ROI model?

Step 3 – Shark Bump

  • Does your contact have signature authority?
  • Has the legal department started reviewing the agreement?
  • Are you talking to the final decision maker?
  • Did you introduce your client project manager / resources.
  • What is the decision time frame?
  • Walk the decision makers through the proposal – preferably face to face.

Step 4 – Shark Attack

  • Meet the signature authority.
  • Are client project team willing to talk to your PM to discuss getting started steps?
  • Ask for the business.

This business development structure and process worked for my agency and many other clients. If you would like to chat with me about implementing this approach, click here for a free workshop.

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