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Build a Better Agency Podcast

Scale and grow your agency with better clients, invested employees, and a stronger bottom line, with Drew McLellan.
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Now displaying: November, 2018
Nov 26, 2018

In last week’s encore interview with Robin Boehler — we talked about the biz dev practices that she and the team at Mercer Island Group see when they’re sitting on the client’s side of the room. If you listened to that episode — you heard me say that if you implement the best practices Robin shared, you’re going to see the difference in your win rate.

And because I want you to be as prepared as possible as you step into 2019 — I invited Steve Boehler and Lindsay O’Neil, also from Mercer Island Group, to join me for this week’s episode. Think of this as a new biz one-two punch!

There is nobody more in the fray of seeing why agencies win, lose, or how the pitch process plays out than Steve, Lindsay, and their team. And nobody is more generous in sharing what they observe.

This episode will give you the inside look at how agencies present themselves (accidentally and on purpose) and the influence each nuance has on our prospects as they weigh one agency against the others.

We talked about the prep work agencies need to be doing so they’re ready to make a successful pitch. My guests dove into the details like researching a prospect, building out a business profile, preparing your PowerPoint so it stands out, some best practices around rehearsing, and even how your agency should ask for a client’s business at the end. Because making the “ask” really matters.

Steve and Lindsay also shared examples of case studies from agencies that won a pitch because their teams showcased the client as the hero in the work, as opposed to putting the spotlight on themselves.

Whether you’re pitching a new prospect — or you’re strategically merchandising the work you did for an existing client during the last year — the case study process we discuss is worth the listen alone!

I’m excited for you to listen to these two (this one and episode #163 with Robin) interviews because I know Robin, Steve, and Lindsay will help you put your best foot forward in 2019.

And if you found the episodes helpful – you can get even more by spending 2-4 days learning from Robin and Steve Boehler at AMI’s Win More Business workshops this January. Learn more here.

 

What You Will Learn About in This Episode:

  • How to build a detailed dossier for your prospective client in about two hours
  • Why learning how a prospective client talks about themselves is a valuable piece of information to uncover in your research process
  • How to ask the right questions that uncover a prospect’s business issues while instilling confidence that you understand them and their industry
  • Why preparing brilliant case studies like those of FIG Agency makes your client the hero — not your work
  • How to make your client a celebrity as McCANN WORLDGROUP did for its client, State Street Advisors with “Fearless Girl
  • Why less is more when it comes to the written proposal and what are the key elements that must be included — and most agencies miss
  • How to front-load your proposal and presentation so that you focus on the client and not your agency
  • How and why you should invite your prospective client to your agency for a visit
  • How to build and document your business issue success experience so it is at the ready for your next presentation
  • How to let a client know at the end of the presentation that your agency wants their business without sounding schmaltzy

Ways to Contact Steve Boehler and Lindsay O’Neil:

Nov 19, 2018

Business development is a topic that is always front-and-center for agency owners. So I’m welcoming back one of our most popular guests, Robin Boehler from Mercer Island Group, to talk to us about the observations she and her team have made as they work with both agencies and clients who are asking to be matched with agencies. From those observations, Robin will outline some of the best practices that we need to be mindful of as we work to grow our agencies.

One of my favorite songs from the play Hamilton is “In the Room Where it Happens” where Aaron Burr laments that he’s not an insider, seeing how decisions are made. Mercer Island Group is always front and center in that room, as brands decide which agency has earned their business. You and I, as agency owners, are like Burr. We’re never going to be invited in, but fortunately, we have access to someone who is always there. In this podcast, Robin will help us understand how clients respond to the work we do, our level of preparation before and during a pitch, and how we communicate our understanding of the client’s business issues.

Sadly, sometimes the best fit agency doesn’t win. The agency lined up perfectly with the client and maybe should have been the agency that was selected. But something the agency did or didn’t do take them out of the running. All without them even knowing what they did.

We’ve all made mistakes during a pitch and didn’t come out ahead. Those mistakes are painful and expensive. But they’re fixable if you heed the insights Robin shared in this episode.

I promise you — if you implement the best practices Robin and I talk about in this episode, you’re going to see the difference in your win rate. This is the perfect time of year to put this advice into action so you step into 2019 ready to serve your prospects and build your agency.

If you love this episode – you can get even more by spending 2-4 days learning from Robin and Steve Boehler at AMI’s Win More Business workshops this January. Learn more here.

 

 

 

 

What You Will Learn About in This Episode:

  • Common mistakes Robin sees agencies make when preparing, or while making, their pitch to a client
  • How agencies need to stop underutilizing the cover letter to their presentation
  • How to read, analyze, and uncover what a client is requesting in their RFP / RFI
  • Why it’s important to focus the majority of your presentation around the client’s business issues — and not your agency
  • How to evoke curiosity and make your prospects want to lean in when you describe your agency
  • How to write a cold email to a prospect and stand out from the crowd
  • How to ensure everyone on your team is telling the same story about the agency and how you serve clients
  • Why “frame of reference” is important when communicating with a prospect about what your agency does
  • Why you should put the entire pitch process, assets, and everything you will need to be successful onto an agency calendar — and allow enough time at the end for adjustments
  • How problems around attention to detail make clients begin to question an agency’s bandwidth and capacity

 

Ways to contact Robin Boehler:

Nov 12, 2018

Often on this podcast, I share a wide-ranging conversation with my guest and we bounce around a little bit, even though we are focused on an overall theme. This episode is a little bit different. We going to deep-dive into just one subject: geofencing.

For some in our business who aren’t digital natives, reaching an audience through new technologies like geofencing may seem complicated. When I started the business while still in college, it was all about print, radio, and TV. Now, I turn around without bumping into a new delivery channel or technology, like geofencing.

On episode #162 of the Build a Better Agency podcast, my guest is Justin Croxton. He is the director of sales at Propellant Media, where they serve clients with location-specific methods like geofencing. Their clients are mostly SMBs in both B2B and B2C categories. IN our conversation, Justin compares getting fluent with geofencing as similar to becoming proficient in AdWords.

Justin didn’t start his career in the agency business, but about three or four years ago, partnered with some colleagues to form Propellant, where the main product is inbound and technology-driven solutions for clients. 

What You Will Learn About in This Episode:

  • The difference between beacon notification and geofencing notifications
  • How to build conversion zones using geofencing
  • Getting over the “minimum spend” hurdle in geofence ad buying
  • Why you should consider coupling geofencing with search retargeting
  • How to create the right digital marketing mix with geofencing as a key ingredient
  • How to target the right people within a geofence with your marketing message
  • Ways you can keep up the messaging (or not) once someone leaves a geofenced zone
  • The digital mechanics of how geofencing interacts with apps and sites on your phone
  • How geofencing works in the B2B space
  • Why it’s not complicated for agencies to enter the geofencing space

Ways to contact Justin Croxton:

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

Nov 5, 2018

For entrepreneurs, business decisions always are a blend of the head and heart. You need data and research in hand to make smart, informed decisions. But it also needs to feel right.

Episode #161 is about those head-and-heart decisions. It’s about making mistakes and starting over. It’s about not settling for only one side of the equation.

Some learn these lessons sooner than others. We all know college kids who started their own thing and made it work brilliantly. Back when I was in college, that didn’t even cross my mind. But today, it’s becoming more of the norm.

Today’s young adults have a different script and a different sense of what’s possible. And they are far from crazy. Exciting things are happening, big problems are getting solved, and a larger purpose is being fulfilled. And people like Jonathan Grzybowski are just jumping in and doing it.

For 29-year-old Jonathan, part of the problem was his own dissatisfaction. Running a full-service agency was not fulfilling. Money as the sole motivator was not working for him. That led him to set out to solve a business problem along with his own dissatisfaction. His agency excelled at design. Why not take that design excellence and use the platform they were developing to manage their internal projects to provide design as a on demand service? Jonathan Grzybowski is now co-founder of Penji, a subscription-based design service for agencies and other businesses.

Beyond the business problem, Grzybowski also wanted a business that made a difference in the community where he lived and worked – Camden, New Jersey. One of the things I love most about the agency owners I work with is their generosity. They have a pay it forward mentality. Jonathan is finding the ethos of Penji to be extremely fulfilling. And he’s finding that when you love Camden, Camden loves you back!

This is a great conversation about finding the right fit, starting over, serving clients and the community, and following your head and your heart – really, everything you could hope for in an episode of Build a Better Agency!

 

What You Will Learn About in This Episode:

  • The potential downside of being a full-service agency
  • How people just starting out in the world of work are viewing entrepreneurship as a viable path
  • Why the hard work of entrepreneurship should not be glossed over
  • Why offering a suite of services sometimes is not enough differentiation
  • The freedom that comes from specialization
  • How to build a business model and platform that serves both agencies, individual companies, and your community
  • How vision and purpose beats trying to be the next Tai Lopez or Gary Vaynerchuk
  • Why an agency might hire out a core function like design
  • The power of connecting with your local community
  • The importance of research in finding your niche          

Ways to contact Jonathan Grzybowski:

We’re proud to announce that Hubspot is now the presenting sponsor of the Build A Better Agency podcast! Many thanks to them for their support!

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