Are Agency MDs Really Salespeople?

Who's the MAN! for agency new business (Means Authority Need). Back to basics - SALES. It's what we do - call it what you want, but that's it

Are agency MDs really salespeople?. Back to basics – SALES. It’s what we do – call it what you want, but that’s it. Many years ago I was making a speech at an Omnicom conference (DAS to be precise) and I was talking about sales and an MD of an agency at the end said that it was all well and good, but that he wasn’t in ‘sales’ he was in ‘advertising’.

My response was that his CEO would probably say that he was in the business of selling the services of an advertising agency, not ‘in’ advertising per se.

Anyway, sorry, that was just an aside. Right, back to SALES. Remember the acronym, B.A.N.T. It stands for Budget, Authority, Need and Timeline and is how you should qualify a prospect from a suspect.

Budget – do they have a marketing budget. Easy to ascertain.

Authority – is THIS person either the main decision maker or a major influencer. Again, pretty easy to determine with the right question.

Need – ah, now this one can be a little trickier. Let me explain further how Manifest works – this is, after all, my blog, so hey, cut me a little slack for a plug.

Timeline – is there an urgency?

We make email and telephone contact with targets with a view to identifying the prospects from the suspects, qualify these prospects and arrange a meeting for you to go and see them when their position in the need spectrum is aligned to your pre-determined position at which you have told us to do so. Are agency MDs really salespeople? Only the good ones!

What do I mean by ‘need spectrum’? Well, at the one end, you have someone who uses agencies, isn’t contractually tied to put all work through them, has ongoing projects that crop up every few months but hasn’t anything specific they want to discuss with you, but are interested in meeting so that they can then consider you for the next project they have. That’s a ‘need’, but a pretty tenuous one; however, if that person is senior enough, close enough geographically and the company is a priority for you, meeting them could be a good idea.

At the other end of the spectrum is someone who we speak to who says … “Wow, am I glad YOU called – you sound perfect! My agency has let me down, I have £150k to spend and need this doing within the next two months – can you please come and see me on Friday so that we can talk about how you can help me”.

So, what we  do is agree, for each company, where the cut off point on the need spectrum is and segment them accordingly so that every meeting, no matter what, is one that you are delighted with.