Trust Your Team And Stop Self-Sabotaging Your Agency's Sales! - Smart Agency Masterclass: Podcast for Digital Marketing Agencies

Are You Self-Sabotaging Your Agency’s Sales & Growth?

By Jason Swenk on August 29, 2018

Are you self-sabotaging your agency’s sales? Do you lack trust or confidence in your team to deliver results? Worried they aren’t going to live up to expectations and make you look bad? You probably have felt this way at one time or another. You might even be causing the problem and not realize it! Your agency is a reflection of you and it’s natural to have these concerns. Once you’re super honest and self-aware you can get out of your own way to grow your agency.

In today’s episode, we’ll cover:

  • How niching down builds trust.
  • Avoiding 2 major pitfalls of growing an agency team.
  • 2 questions the guest has for Jason when she puts Swenk on the Spot

Today I chatted with Cat Howell, founder and CEO of Eight Loop Social, a successful Facebook ads agency.  Cat faced some serious lows in the beginning and shares with us what she learned and how she overcame them to become a six-figure per month agency. Growing an agency can be hard, but you can make it even harder if you are self-sabotaging your agency sales… and you might not even realize you are doing it. As agency owners, we are all guilty of wanting or feeling that we need to “do it all”. Cat tells us how to overcome that “do it all” mentality so you can learn to trust your team and grow your agency.

How Niching Down Builds Trust

When you are an agency that is trying to serve all types of clients, you aren’t serving any type of client well. (The jack-of-all-trades is the master of none.) Trying to do everything means your agency team is constantly on a learning curve to a specific industry or service.

That constant learning curve can cost your agency:

  • Money
  • Resources
  • Accounts
  • Greatness

When you hone in on your agency’s strengths it allows your team the ability to FOCUS. Pinpointing a niche – whether vertical, horizontal or both – provides the opportunity to save time, money, resources as well as gain clients and become great at one thing.

Once you pinpoint a niche, create SOP’s around that particular funnel and get systemized so your agency team can be more efficient and effective. When you see your team running like a well-oiled machine, you’ll gain trust and they’ll feel empowered to do work that will grow the agency.

Avoiding 2 Major Pitfalls Of Growing an Agency Team

#1. DON’T borrow money to build your team.

It can be a vicious cycle… You’re trying to win new business, but you don’t have the money to hire staff. But then clients don’t want to commit without you having enough staff in place. You might want to (or already have) taken out a large loan to build your team.

Here’s how you can avoid this pitfall:

  • Have lead generation processes in place and be able to onboard new clients effectively.
  • Understand how to win clients and bring clients in under the right pricing.
  • Have a system for onboarding and training your team.
    • Minimize the amount of training that requires your time, personally.
    • While you’re personally training, you’re neglecting other important agency growth tasks.
    • This can lead to resentment and stunt agency’s growth.

Don’t expect new team members to just figure it out – that’s a recipe for disaster.

#2. DON’T neglect your team during agency growth.

In times of fast growth, we tend to shift focus to onboarding clients quickly and lose sight of internal processes and systems such as properly training the agency team. This is a sure way to set them (and you) up for failure. Talk about self-sabotaging! Instead, here’s what you can do:

  • Have a non-negotiable structure which includes proper training and processes in place so you can trust your team.
  • If you find yourself in a situation of too much, too fast and things are slipping through the cracks take a step back. Look at what’s standing in the team’s way of success.
    • Then STOP. Stop the funnel. No more calls. Focus on your team and train them.
    • Reset everyone on the right path in order to rebuild trust and confidence in your team.

Your team is your greatest asset. You need to trust your team and put them first. New agency business and growth can only follow when there is confidence in your team to deliver results on the services you’re promising. When you lose confidence in your agency team it is natural to start pulling back and that is self-sabotaging agency sales while negatively impacting growth.

Swenk On The Spot

Today I tried something new on the podcast and let my guest, Cat, ask me two questions. It could be anything she wants, within appropriate reason (ha!) and I answered them on the spot.

1- Do you run background checks on contractors and full-time staff?

I run background checks, dig into social accounts, and check references on employees but not on contractors. I’m totally transparent about this policy with job candidates and I’ve found it filters out the shady ones.

2- What do you do if a client asks you for a grace period on your invoice?

No. Don’t do it. You have to start by setting up expectations from the beginning of the client relationship. Clients start to get nervous if they don’t see results as big or fast as they want to, and they want to put on the brakes. If this happens, remind them they hired you to achieve specific results and you will do it when allowed the proper time. In the meantime, they’re still responsible for paying you on time.

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