How to Convert More Prospects Into Agency Clients

By Jason Swenk on April 29, 2020

Are you losing too many leads at the top of your funnel? Do you spend too much time qualifying prospects? Do you not qualify clients? While agency owners often focus on servicing the clients they land, it’s important to invest in how you bring these clients in.

In today’s episode, we discuss:

  • How to wow potential clients, starting with the first call.
  • #1 Way to qualify leads faster.
  • How to nail the follow-up and convert more clients.

In this episode, I interviewed Terry Jessup, President of Box CMO, a subsidiary of Black Bear Design. Prior to his role as president, Terry was the lead in business development. Over his 15 years in biz dev, he created processes that reduce variation, implemented processes to be more effective, and closed the communication gap between the agency side and the client side to ensure a positive experience. He’s on the show to share how he hooks prospects from the very beginning and make sure those clients don’t lose interest along the way.

How to Wow Potential Clients, Starting with the First Call

The first call between your agency and a potential client is extremely important. It sets the first impression and helps you get a better understanding of what the client needs and where you fit in. So how do you wow a lead and make them excited to learn more?

  • Understand the client’s needs. It sounds obvious, but understanding a client’s needs is one thing many agencies take for granted. Terry says, often, what the client says they need and what they actually need are two different things. Take some time to digest what the prospect is saying and what they really want so you can properly set up the call.
  • Educate the client. Once you know more about a client you can begin telling them what you can provide and how much it will cost. Get them invested. Don’t give away all the secrets, but make them feel like they are learning something. This will help establish trust which can help promote a relationship.
  • Build a strategy. Now that you know what the potential client needs and they know what you can provide, take a little time to discuss strategy. What direction do the two of you want to move in? How do you plan to get there? This will help create a solid basis to develop a proposal.

#1 Way to Qualify Leads Faster

You don’t want to spend too much time qualifying a lead. You need to have a process in place to help determine whether your agency and your prospect will be a good fit. A good process will prevent you from wasting your time and the client’s time. Terry says he is able to qualify a prospect within the first 3-4 minutes. But how?

It comes back to understanding your clients. When you know the basic logistics right off the bat you’ll have an easier time figuring out how you may be able to help. Knowing the client’s industry, size, and what they are looking for should be your first priority. Pay attention to any clues the client drops about the budget. This alone can tell you right away if there’s even a possibility of working together in the future. And most importantly, remember, N.B.A.T. — need, budget, timing, authority.

How to Nail Follow-Ups and Land More Clients

Nobody likes to put in a bunch of work only to have it all amount to nothing. To make sure your prospect doesn’t go silent, it comes down to the follow-up. You have to keep the client engaged.

Before you get off your initial call, set a plan moving forward. If your client understands everything in the initial call and you’re both on the same page, it’s generally a good idea to follow-up within a day or so. I always say you should set the next meeting while in the meeting. The longer you wait, the more distracted they become. Don’t be afraid to plant a little seed on the initial call. Tell them how you can help them out or what you can do to make the proposal better. At the end of the follow-up, set a timeline moving forward.

You can be the best agency in the world, but if you can’t convert leads, there is no work for you to do. Evaluate your onboarding process. Talk to your team and find out what’s working and what’s not. When you have a process and reduce variation, you’re more likely to see those leads turn into actual clients.

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