As agency search consultants always on the lookout for those hidden gems of an agency, it seems that many don’t want to be found.
Their websites may be well-designed and easy to navigate, conveying both their unique talents and internal culture. But the contact page is often lacking or the agency doesn’t always keep its contact list up to date with business intell service bureaus – even the free ones!
We realize small to mid sized agencies don’t always have a dedicated new business person. But no agency can survive without continually gaining new clients. So why make it so difficult for anyone to connect with you?
So, here are a few of our pet peeves – which if we have them, then it’s fairly likely so do other consultants, marketers and procurement – which you should consider and think about how your agency can avoid these pitfalls:
- Don’t Contact Us, We’ll Contact You – Time is always of the essence for the new business inquirer. So while you may not have a dedicated new business person, or for whatever reason you’re not providing a dedicated contact on your website, too many agencies commit these potentially fatal errors:
- Unmonitored Email Box – Asking potential clients and agency search consultants to complete your general inquiry form is fine, but not if no one is reading the emails on a daily basis. If you use this method, it shouldn’t become a black hole where inquiries go to die.
- No Phone Number – Really? If no one responds to our email, we may make one last ditch effort. Just one. Maybe.
- Whenever – We sent an email to the right person. And maybe we also left a VM. But getting back to us weeks later makes you SOL.
- Auto Attendant Void – We get it. You’re small but modern and no one really answers your main number. And, after a VM promising a prompt return call, you want us to leave a message – that’s never returned. Or it’s returned a few weeks later. Once we start contacting agencies, the search moves quickly and if you don’t respond within 24-48 business hours you’re just too late.
- We Don’t Do New Business – This must be our all-time favorite response from the person answering the main number. We realize you’ve got cheap and often inexperienced labor at the front desk, but you need to invest in a little training here!
Wake up and re-evaluate your new business efforts. Everyone at your agency should know what to do if a call or email lands on their radar.
It’s never been a better time for smaller and independent agencies to gain business from those well-known brands. Marketers are looking beyond holding company agencies, and many are indeed interested in finding that up-and-comer for either ongoing project work or AOR status (which is definitely not dead despite what you read).
So remove any roadblocks to your agency’s new business success and make it easier, not harder, for us to connect and connect quickly!
Bajkowski + Partners LLC is a leading consultancy providing services to marketing and procurement teams in the areas of agency relationship management, agency search, process audits, contract and SOW development and audits, and a number of other marketing resource and marketing operations related areas. For more information, please visit our website.