You work hard to get your name out there. You work hard to get noticed. You work hard to generate leads. Yet when that lead comes knocking on your digital door you drop the ball. Marketing / creative agencies are some of the worst for this. I don’t understand it, we should be the best.
Maybe we get cocky. Maybe we get lazy. Maybe we think we’re being efficient rather than lazy by ‘automating’ and ‘generalising’. Maybe we’ve just been doing this too long and we’ve lost sight of how important that new customer is. I’d believe all that except at the same time we’re still busting our ass every day to make our business a success. So, the only conclusion I can make is we’ve forgot how important first impressions are and how much confidence (not cash) dictates whether a customer chooses to work with us or not.
First impressions count. Every interaction matters but the very first one is critical.
If a customer approaches you, brings you an opportunity on a plate and makes the effort to call you don’t respond by asking them to send an email. Don’t rush them off the phone or start spouting your corporate line and ‘average’ prices.
Do start a deeper conversation.
Do set up a meeting.
Do use this opportunity to learn about them and the job so that whatever proposal you put to them is exactly what they want and need.
Which leads me to my second point. It amazes me how many agencies throw quotes out there without even a discussion about what the project involves. You cannot quote (accurately) without a discussion. So many projects and relationships fail because of poor communication at the outset. You can’t afford to be anything but informed and clear. Don’t rush this process or you rush the customer right out the door and over to your competition.
Having that call or making that meeting isn’t just a chance for you to make a good impression it’s the chance you need to learn about the job so you can win it, then deliver it.
Don’t rush to throw prices out there when the customer doesn’t know you or trust you. Don’t throw prices out there with no explanation of how you have reached them, without establishing value. Don’t throw prices out there when what the customer is really looking to do is evaluate whether you’re the right fit for the job.
Price isn’t necessarily the first thing on the customers mind so stop assuming or worrying that it is. You’re missing the point and taking yourself out of the game.