One in a Billion
So you are trying to win an account with a large organization. Times are hard; everyone is tripping over each other to break thru and get noticed. To hopefully get noticed by the decision maker and earn the business. In your way are a number of the usual obstacles. They don’t know you…they already have relationships with other agencies of record…you can’t get by the gatekeeper…the decision maker is busy and he or she is overwhelmed with the daily task of managing their calendars.
Is Anybody Out There…Does Anybody Care?
So how do you get noticed and command their attention? More importantly how do you close a sale? I wrote a blog a month or so ago on how to win the presentation but I never told you how to get noticed. So if you care to listen…I’d be happy to share some of my experiences as the guy who walked in your shoes and now has the fortunate opportunity to give you work.
RFP’s Suck…But They are a Smart Sign of the Times
We all hate RFP’s…we do. Enough said. But here s the reality in hard times companies like mine need to evaluate stability and whether a company has the team available to support the project. Thus we have turned of late to an RFP. Typically if I’m interested and think you fill the bill to take on the task with the service offerings, talent and creativity I’m seeking…I’ll contact you.
So you already got my attention or were refererred to me by a peer. You’ve made the short list…I want you to win my business. Remember I picked you…if you fail…I fail. And if you are too arrogant to take on the RFP… then Gods speed to you in the future. All you needed to do was to prove yourself here and have retained my account for multipe projects and perhaps years to come. You’ll learn I am very loyal to someone who is loyal to my organizations needs.
You don’t have to over sell you just have to win the task at hand in the RFP. I already feel you are worthy of the task…but I need to be certain in these hard times that you still have an “A” team to support my project, a deep bench, the funds to stay afloat, the creativity to implement my strategy and the experience to be fiscally responsible and get the best for my dollar. And none of these points are taken lightly…I have the same responsibilities and accountabilities if I hire you.
Big companies are big fish in a big sea. And they want to be the big fish.
If You Look in the Mirror…You Will See Me
Let me be confident that I made the right decision bringing you into the account and put you in front of all of those on my team and leadership…you are a reflection of me.
You Didn’t Make the Cut
Ok so you didn’t get invited to participate in the RFP. UGH. Now you have a real problem cutting through the perfect storm. For me getting phone calls are bad. I get a ten vendors a day trying to call me… I want to use the phone to get through my day…not yours. If I’m not working on a project with you…I don’t have time for hellos. It’s nothing personal…it’s just the reality. I barely have time for my staff…and they come first…as do my customers. VM is a chore and leaving me a message every week to tell me about your services is irritating and taking up my time to listen to them each week. So now what?
Tried and True
If you do good work…I mean really good work…I’ll most likely know about you…reputations still precede us. If I’m new to a position and you’re trying to get me peer references is the best resource. Relationships are still king. References rule. Great work always gets noticed…even if it’s by snail mail. Emails will be opened if the subject line is relevant to a need I have or a service I need. Junk mail is junk mail…spam is spam…and direct mail with a cheesy offer is cheesy. Less is more. Professional and respectful communication still is of value…even if you are trying to reach me once a month. Timing is important…luck is real. If I don’t think you are a good fit respect it and try again later. You may not fit this project but you may rock for another. Don’t try to buy us…gifts are for family.
No One Does Everything
Never oversell…don’t tell me you do everything…I’ve heard that too many times. Tell me what you are great at…then be great at it. If you don’t meet the requirements…do not waste my time…really don’t…you won’t be called back. Refer only the best to me. Don’t refer someone you don’t know or is not good…it will be a direct reflection of your judgment. If I don’t add you on a social network it’s not personal…social networks are personal…I’m not hiring you the company is…that’s who I represent.
If your creative, account team, project management all are great and your invoicing…accounts payable and receptionist isn’t professional…kiss the account goodbye. And by all means do not … I repeat do not nickle and dime me.
Honesty is The Best Policy
Always be fair. Always be honest. I’m wrong at times and so are you. If you outsource it I want to know. If you have additional fees I want to know. Your bills are my bills. Never speak poorly of anyone on my team. Never speak poorly of anyone on your team. That’s my team too. Only put the right people on my team…don’t add bodies I don’t need. Let people on your team learn on another account not on mine. I pay for experts … I want experts. I’m in a service business and you are servicing my customer.
Understand my brand. Know my industry. Know my client. Diversity is important to us. If you are a minority owned business…a woman owned business I want to know…it’s important to you … it’s importan to me. Understand there are many ways to get to the same destination. Respect my culture and my team even if there are weak links. Never…never go around the owner of the project.
And The Winner Is …
And the most important thing to remember is if you win … we all win.