The Secret to Winning New Business

Baseball Pitch

The Secret to Winning New Business? Most agencies focus on the pitch, the show, the capabilities presentation. This is putting the spotlight on the wrong place. By then, most of the really important decisions have probably been made. The really good agencies win early: the pitch merely confirms a decision.

There are only four obstacles to getting the business. If you do not get an account, it is because your agency failed to overcome one of these four obstacles.

The four obstacles are arranged like bases on a baseball diamond.

First Base is the most important base to reach. The obstacle here is “No Trust.” No trust means I do not know you, therefore I do not trust you. “No Trust” means I have not heard of you, therefore I do not trust you. “No Trust” means I do not understand your experience so I am reluctant to discuss my business with you. No trust is a serious obstacle and must be overcome before any type of agency/client relationship can be built. ”No Trust” blocks you from Second Base.

Second Base is another obstacle called “No Need.” No need means I may trust you but I do not have a need for your specific service. “No Need” means you may be a fine agency but I do not happen to need an agency now. “No Need” means I am sure you are successful but I am happy with my current relationship.

Third Base is made up of “No Help” which means “While I trust you and know you, and have a need for an agency such as yours, your specific recommendations are not going to help my situation.” “No Help” is a failure in recommending the proper solution to the prospect. “No Help” means “It is not worth the effort for me to accept your specific recommendation. I will lose more than I will gain.”

Reaching Home plate means overcoming the last obstacle which is “No Hurry.” No Hurry means “I know you and trust you, I do have a need for an agency such as yours, and your specific recommendation would be a help to me, but I am not in a hurry to appoint you.” “No Hurry” means the cost of putting your recommendations into effect could be higher than the prospect is willing pay. “No Hurry” is usually perceived by the prospect as low benefit compared to high risk.

For an agency to play Agency Baseball, it must first understand how the field is set up and how important it is to establish Trust firmly before trying to do Discovery (going for Second).

A few agencies understand that Agency Baseball is different than regular baseball in that you can steal Home from Second Base. This is called a Fast Close. It is a powerful tool that wins the account BEFORE going into a formal review.

Eighty percent of an agency’s problem in getting new business revolves around First Base trust problems. This is the most important base and where most agencies stumble.

This article is courtesy of Sanders Consulting Group.
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