5 things an agency should consider before landing new clients

Updated: Nov 18, 2019

As more and more companies duel for their share of the pie, an adept marketing team is often the machinery used to give a market leader the edge that pushes it ahead of the field. When factoring in the overhead costs and the time it takes to hire and develop a team internally, many executives opt to go the agency route – outsourcing work to a skilled group of subject matter experts to manage a specific function.

Based on the needs of a particular business, it can be quite an efficient approach to take.

So much so that you’d think the demand for such services would look like a doorbuster on Black Friday (If it were only so easy!). However, agencies oftentimes have to canvas industries to pinpoint companies willing to be sold on the benefits of using their services. Some companies may have an in-house marketing team but may lack expertise in an area where your agency may be able to shore up their efforts. Others figure the sign on the door is sufficient advertising. However, with content saturation that’s no further than our fingertips via cell phones, a lot of companies’ efforts to communicate with consumers are getting lost in translation.

What we all wish business to look like (minus the flesh-eating zombies)

It truly varies, as each prospective client’s needs may differ. Thus, we’re here to offer these five tips to help increase your chances of success when trying to land new clients.

Understand your capabilities

Depending on the size of your agency, some clients may require all-hands-on-deck – which can be rather difficult if you are a smaller shop with only a few clients. The unwritten golden rule in our profession is to ensure that each client feels as if they’re your only client.

This speaks to the level of attention and care given to each client. It is not only more professional, but also less hazardous to your agency’s reputation to decline work that may be too huge a task rather than taking it and underperforming.

Many firms also subcontract another agency to tackle more complex projects and avoid being spread too thin. This may be a great option if there is another agency that you can trust to not only complete the work to a standard you’re comfortable putting your name on but also one that won’t end up being your competition for the business.

Nonetheless, it is important to have good relationships with other agencies that you can share the spoils with, if necessary. The last thing we want is for the work to suffer.

Do your homework

Though it may seem obvious, it can often be dismissed how important it is to first gain insight on the lay of the land. Not only do you want to understand your prospect and what it is they do, but you also want the value of having studied their competition. A potential client, possibly already resistant to taking on additional expenditure, would likely feel more comfortable if they can get a sense that your agency spends a great deal of time acquiring knowledge.

It’s always a great idea to perform a situational analysis – evaluating the company’s product, competition, distribution, environment, as well as potential opportunities and issues – before developing your pitch.

This will serve as the basis as to why a prospect should sign with your agency, and in essence, is foundational to your success.

Toss out the one-size-fits-all approach

The quickest way to price yourself out of the game is to tell the client a fee that is higher than they would like to pay. Sure, you want to get paid for your services – as you should. But negotiating a retainer is sometimes like a dance. You want to ensure that you and your potential new client are both grooving to the same rhythm. And to ensure, you’re not priced out too early, along with having your ideal scenario, also scale your services to what may be a more affordable price for the client.

Less is always better than zero.

Refine your portfolio

While we all wish we can get by solely off good looks and charm, unfortunately, getting potential clients to separate with their hard-earned dollars to pay a retainer fee tends to require the proverbial proof in the pudding. Depending on the industry, most companies want to be assured that you can actually do the work. And as many of us there are that work tirelessly to ensure the client is happy, there are also those shops that talk a good game but are unable to fulfill their promises.

That being said, it goes a long way in building trust to provide the client with some evidence of your abilities. It’s always a good idea to have a strong portfolio that they can look at to reinforce that they’re in good and capable hands.

Develop your pitch

Your pitch - more specifically, the collection of ideas and materials that you will be presenting to the prospective new client – should be clear and answer most, if not all of the prospect’s questions. This means that your job is to think like the client. You already understand their business model. You know who their customers are. You’ve studied their competition and come up with a plan on how you can achieve quantifiable results. Now, your job is to delineate to the prospect how your agency can add value – a very important element in our line of work.

Much more than the service, the client is paying for value. And they should clearly be able to see the benefits of utilizing your firm over another or producing the work in-house.

The list of things you can do to increase your chances of landing new clients goes far beyond the ones discussed above. But they are nonetheless foundational to having success.

If you are a business that’s looking to reinforce your companies' marketing efforts, we would be happy to set up a free consult with you. Just email us at and we can set up a time to chat.

Happy hunting!

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