New business takes a toll on agency resources including time, funding and energy. That’s why there must be strong commitment throughout the organization to the growth plan. But first you must have a plan.
Last week we spent four days training a marketing firm on how to set up and run our Spark and Torch program. Together, Spark and Torch represent an intensive new business system that helps you gain control over your agency’s growth quicker and easier than you ever thought possible.
Our approach is to work with you over the entire time the system is being installed. We bring in new skills and new approaches in an orderly fashion. We don’t want to overwhelm the agency or interfere with your efforts to provide good service to clients. We work with you to develop and then install the new business program. And then we help bring the agency together behind the effort. And we stick around long enough to be sure the new business program runs right.
Here is the agenda we followed with this firm – they wanted it all as soon as possible as they had some free time last week between client assignments:
Spark & Torch Firepower Training
Day 1: Introduction to Spark & Torch
- Chemistry is the New Business Secret
- Basic Premise of Profiling
- How to Profile
- Check Your Personality Profile
- How to Establish Chemistry on the Interview
- Spark Reminders
- Spark Interview Chart
The Spark System
- Where Do Interviews Come From?
- How to Open the Door
- “Door-Opener” Strategies
- Typical Spark Follow-Up
- Opening the Door and Nudging
- Building Awareness Exercise
- Supporting the Spark System
Day 2: First Visits and Presenting to Prospects
Torch Overview (First Visits)
- The Old First Visit Model
- Agency Baseball
- What Makes Up First Base
- What Makes Up Commonality
- Sparks Must Know How to Open the First Meeting
- What Makes Up Propriety
- What Makes Up First Base: Competency
- The Torch Competency Model
- What Makes Up Intent
- Handling Questions
- What Makes Up Needs and Fever
- What Makes Up Process
- What Makes Up Timing
- What Makes Up Budget
- Second Base Exercises
- What Makes Up Third Base
- What Makes Up Home Base
- How to Fast Close
Day 3: Adding Fuel to the Fire
- Sparking is NOT Telemarketing
- Making the First Call
- More First Call Tips
- Ask the Right Questions
- Get Set to Listen
- How to Deliver Competency Over the Phone
- Spark’s Daily Productivity Chart
- Spark Checklist
- Spark Monitoring Questionnaire
- Presenting on the iPad
Blogging, building links: WordPress & Facebook
- Building content and creating the brand perception
- Twitter, LinkedIn, Hootsuite
- Social media outreach and establishing online relationships
Day 4: Bringing it all to life
Create a Comfort Zone, Q&A, and Closing Details
- Spark & Torch Role-playing
- First call competency pitch
- Closing the loop
- Final thoughts
How about your firm? Would learning these skills help you in your new business effort?
Another firm we trained last year had a great experience that truly demonstrates the power of setting up a strong new business system. After the training some of the staff expressed doubt if the program would work. But the president remained firm. They generated some leads, and had some success, but still had not tried the Fast Close techniques we practiced. They felt it was just too “out there” to really work.
A few months go by and just as the outreach program starts to generate results, they get a reply from one of the “dream” accounts on their list. A big blue chip client. Recognizing that they were not ready for such a large account, they decided to try the fast close techniques . . . just to practice. “Just wanted to see what would happen” the president told me.
They won. Without a review. The largest win in their history.
A Strong New Business Program Makes the Whole Agency Happier
For an agency no other activity can match the reassurance that winning new business can provide. Not keeping clients. Not winning awards. Not making more money. New business wins are what most agencies value above every other reward. If you want to buck up an agency, win some new business. There might be grumbling about the added stress and worries about the impact on existing accounts, but there’s real joy because of the win. It puts a bounce in the step. And it adds a smile to the face no matter how much it increases the workload or how much further behind the productivity curve it puts the agency. For this reason, announcing our training program at most firms is good news to the staff. But the agency staff needs to be convinced that the management team believes in the process and is committed to growth over the long haul. Agency staff is quick to spot flavors of the month, quick fixes, and half-hearted efforts. For the training to work there must be full support and total cooperation. That type of support and cooperation needs to begin on the first day of the training.
If you’re interested in learning more about our training programs that can transform your firm into a new business machine, give us a shout!
Photo by ~geory