What Can You Do Better in Your Agency’s Business Development? With Joe Koufman | Ep #12

By Jason Swenk on June 3, 2014

In this session of The Smart Agency Master Class, I chat with Joe Koufman who gives us insights into setting up technology to build leads over time, and tips for winning big pitches for your agency. Joe has been doing business development for digital agencies for over a decade.

Most of us rely on referrals from clients to grow our business. In fact, we get excited when someone from an existing client changes jobs because it gives us a new referral opportunity. Now, I’m not knocking referrals but as Joe points out, it’s not sustainable.

Use technology.

According to Joe, you need to implement best practices and repeatable marketing practices. Utilize CRMs and marketing automation to create content and nurture your leads over time. It’s something that very few agencies do, but it’s an invaluable practice.

In addition to using tech to help you create content, it will also help you determine whether a lead is really dead or not. Don’t just assume! You won’t know if you aren’t keeping track of your leads and interactions with them.

Make sure you have the infrastructure.

You need to put the right infrastructure in place to be able to handle new business. Build a team devoted to building new business. If you don’t have a team, dedicate someone to serving that function for your business. You need to have someone responsible to responding to RFP’s, prepping the company for pitches, and identifying new business opportunities.

You, or someone on your team, needs to be getting out there and networking to find new business. And don’t just go to the same old events every other agency does. Joe suggests trying to go to industry-specific trade shows and conferences to talk to potential prospects. Here’s where you can get a sense of what this specific industry needs and find new opportunities for business.

Winning Big Pitches – What does an agency big pitch look like?

Ever wonder what it’s like to do a $1.5-$2 million pitch? Joe shares his experiences and offers some advice as to how smaller agencies can do better and move on to winning big pitches.

Joe’s big pitches involved teams of people. People focused on making sure the pitch goes well, people creating content, and so on. Joe’s team usually consisted of 6-8 people in the actual pitch with him keeping everything running smoothly.

Joe’s big pitch tip for smaller agencies: make sure you’re doing something to show the client that you understand them. Not necessarily something that’s solving a specific problem of theirs, but showing you care and aren’t just giving a canned pitch. Make them feel special.

Getting to the next level in your agency.

Joe’s biggest tip for getting your agency to the next level is to make sure you nurture leads over time so when the client is ready, you’re there to work with them. Joe uses social media to maintain a more personal relationships with prospects and clients. He uses their shared interest to help build better, longer relationships over time.

BONUS TIP – Joe suggests you check out the book, The Challenger Sale. It talks about the best way to approach a prospect with insights, teaching and offering solutions.

Take Your Agency to Next Level

So once you have established a strategy for winning big pitches with clients, what’s next on your list of improvements?

By taking a step back, you can look at the bigger picture of your agency and focus on areas you haven’t explored yet as well as struggles you need to focus on to improve your business and then check out how I have all you need to get through these obstacles.

I have advice to share with you from how to implement Facebook in your marketing strategy, ways of building authority to improve your agency or the best way to pitch to big brand clients. If growth is your focus, I’ve discussed the different phases of growth within your agency and the three questions you need to ask yourself to sell your services to more customers.

You can learn more about my career and experiences as well as lots of tips, tricks and insights by reading my blogs that cover a wide variety of topics.

If videos are more your thing, did you know I have a Youtube channel?

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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