Today, I’m talking with Andrew Dymski of DoInbound, who shares how to build an agency sales system.
Andrew’s company provides the software, processes, and training to build the agency you love. He also ran an agency himself and hosts the Inbound Agency Journey podcast, which is about to hit 100 episodes, so you could say he knows his stuff. In our chat today he holds nothing back.
In this interview, Andrew shares his early struggles with the sales at his agency and lays out the 5-step process he developed to help turn things around and close more deals.
Without a defined sales process, an agency can’t come close to reaching its potential, and the founder will most likely be under constant stress trying to juggle everything that’s going on. If that sounds a bit like your agency, then this is the episode for you.
At the end of the interview, Andrew shares the biggest giveaway we’ve ever had on the show, so you don’t want to miss this.
Without further ado, here’s Andrew Dymski of DoInbound.
Want to read the interview? Click here to grab the transcript.
5 Stages of the Sale
Andrew, like a lot of really innovative agency owners out there, stresses the importance of finding your niche. The more focused you are in choosing a niche, the easier it is to create really fantastic content that speaks to your audience.
Instead of choosing a shotgun approach, try a laser focus, drilling down as far as you can and really building expertise in one area so you can make sure that what you create will attract more leads to your business by saying what they want to hear.
Andrew says that the initial discovery process is a lot like being a psychiatrist. At first, you’re not looking to diagnose any problems or prescribe any solutions. During your early client interactions, you are entirely looking to understand what the client wants and needs.
You need to gather information. What are their goals? What are their challenges? What are the trying to achieve? This approach won’t just make your job easier by giving you the information you need to help your client. It will also set you apart from other agencies.
Your clients will see that you don’t need flashy gimmicks to stand out–instead, you are just really listening to them and able to speak to what they need individually, not whatever the hot new trend is.
Andrew’s next step is less about the client and more about you deciding what’s best for your business. The beauty of Andrew’s process is that you can build really great client relationships without getting overly involved.
After the initial discovery process, you might realize that this client is not a good fit for your agency for one reason or another, and you can back away without hard feelings and without investing too much effort.
But how do you decide when it’s time to part ways with a client? Andrew’s first piece of advice is to think about who you’re talking to at the company. Is it the president or founder? That might seem great at first. Who else knows their company better, after all?
And who else can get things done and hire you without having to go through a million other people first? But the shine wears off pretty fast once that important person gets swamped with other work. Pretty soon you’ll be chasing after them for information, which is not a good client-agency relationship..@AndrewJDymski explains why sometimes it's best to go against your instincts and say no to a new… Click To Tweet
If the only person you have to talk to is someone really high on the food chain, the client might just be too small to work with right now, and your best option might be to walk away.
The second factor Andrew points out to keep an eye on is if the company has already spent money on marketing. If the client has a budget for SEO or trade shows or that fun stuff, then they can just divert some of it to pay you.
But if you are their first excursion into outside marketing, that means they have to carve something out of their profits to pay you. This is another sign that the client is too small to work with right now. Maybe in the future they’ll be a great relationship, but at present, it’s probably best to walk away.
These suggestions are not because it’s not worth your time to work with a small company. But you as an agency owner want to make sure you’re always aiming higher and securing bigger clients. This is how you separate the big fish from the tadpoles.
4. The Solution
So you’ve found a client and decided whether they’re worth your time. You’ve already done a lot of work. But now you’ve got the real hard part in front of you: building a path forward for your client.
Andrew emphasizes the importance of having a road map, which he calls a client journey. Know the steps you are going to take your client through, and explain how each one will benefit the client. Be sure to point out where you are at each point and go through the costs and the intended benefits so that the client never feels lost or confused.
If you as an agency owner can standardize this process, it saves both you and your client work. You don’t have to waste time figuring out where to go next, and your client doesn’t have to worry about whether or not you’ve got this under control.
This might seem like a daunting idea. How are you supposed to create a process? Andrew encourages business owners to imagine their ideal client relationship as clearly as possible and write down the steps you think of. Then make that your process and put every client through it.
As you work with real people, you’ll see where you can optimize and change things to continue improving. But even just the bare bones of a plan will set you head and shoulders ahead of the rest of the agencies out there.
5. The Decision
Now you’re at the final step in the process: finalizing the relationship with the client and making it official. This is the most crucial, but it’s also often the most difficult for agency owners, who have to wait for the clients to respond with one last yes to get started on the project.
Andrew urges agency owners to work yes into every step of the process instead. Getting a lot of small yeses along the way is a lot easier than waiting for one big yes at the end. Even when you’re just pitching your process to people, stop and ask them their opinion, get them to agree with you.
Prime them to say yes at the end. And don’t hesitate to get a verbal yes out of them before you finish the discovery session. Tell them what their contract will look like—you pay this much for these services, and we’ll help you with all the things we talked about.Want to close more deals? @AndrewJDymski explains how to prime your clients to say yes. Click To Tweet
Get them to say yes over the phone, and then all you have to do is send them an email reminder with the contract. Don’t let them go without a commitment.
Want to learn more?
Andrew is celebrating the 100th episode of his podcast, Inbound Agency Journey, by offering a free license to each of his four courses:
- Agency Framework, where Andrew dives into the mission and vision of your agency.
- Agency Sales System, where Andrew walks you through building and structuring your calls, your CRM processes, everything to get you from initial contact to signing the contract.
- Let’s Game Plan, which is about creating stand-out discovery sessions for your clients. It includes 15 different templates that you can use in your own business.
- Inbound Funnel. In this brand new and not-yet-released course, Andrew explains how to create systemized and process driven content that will in turn create a funnel for inbound leads.
To enter this contest, go to DoInbound.com/agency-advantage.
Anybody can enter that giveaway, but Andrew has something even more amazing for listeners to this podcast. Again, if you visit DoInbound.com/agency-advantage, you’ll also receive copies of four ebooks:
- Agency Sales Process Checklist
- Overcoming 12 Common Agency Sales Objections
- The Winning Partner Guide
- Process Boilerplate Templates
The last two give you great frameworks to break down moving clients through your process and then how to break down the services that you offer to create that process, respectively.
Don’t wait—enter now and get your free ebooks!