“I must receive 100 calls a week from marketing agencies.”

A quote from a marketer that one of our marketing agencies was told in a recent conversation.

I’m sure you’re world is no different.  100’s of agencies that all have “great, relevant experience” that would “love to work with you”.070830-02

How do you distinguish between them all?  What if there is a diamond in the rough, but they get lost in the sea of calls and emails you get every day?  How do you sort them all out and make sure you’re giving the right ones, their just deserve?

Here’s some advice:  The good ones know who you are, have read up on you/your company, know how to relate your situation to situations they’ve been in, and do very little selling and lots of talking and listening and offering perspective and advice.

It’s the ones that sell, sell, sell that are the ones that you want to stay away from.

The ones that are great at opening up their PowerPoint and telling their story are the ones that you know eventually are going to just treat you like all the rest.

It’s the advice we give to our marketing agency clients on the Agency New Business side or our business and it’s the same thing I look for when I’m evaluating agencies involved in Agency Searches I’m running for RSW/AgencySearch.

It’s all about knowing your potential marketing client and feeding things back to them that are relevant to their world.

It’s starts with the initial conversations when I try and learn a little more about what they do that’s tied to the challenges the marketer is facing.

It continues when I evaluate the RFI responses to see to what extent the agency has performed (yet another) cut and paste job versus spending time making their responses closely connect with the situation facing the marketer.

And it culminates in the final pitch presentation, when the agency makes everything they can speak to the client versus just talking about themselves and how great they are.

We tell our agency clients to ask a lot of questions, do a lot of listening, and reach out with relevancy.

When agencies do this, you hear comments like these from marketers about the agency (and this is a real quote!):

Yesterday at the end of the meeting, the prospect told me that he gets calls all the time from agencies who claim to be “the best creative… yada yada yada.”  He said he ignores the calls because they all sound the same.  Then he said (and I quote because I have it on tape). “Your company sounded different.  Cathy was good — very, very, good.  She got my attention right away and made me WANT to see you. I never take these meetings, but I couldn’t wait for you to get here.  You really impressed me then, and even more now.”
These are the kind of agencies you want to see.

If all they do is talk about themselves today…what do you think tomorrow will look like when you’re actually paying them to do work?  You think they’ll care more?

Doubt it.