How to Attack your Business Development Like a SHARK

By Jason Swenk on November 4, 2013

When 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 their business development like 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.

Build Your Agency Authority

Taking into consideration what the business development goal for each of your clients will help you sell more services and ultimately increase your revenue. In order to build the authority of your digital agency, you need to be able to recognise other issues within your agency that needs your attention.

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.

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.

Are you ready to create something cool and want more advice? 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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