This month in the Seven Figure Agency we are focused on “Sales Process Mastery” and going deep on the most important aspects in our agency – sales. The fact is, if you can sell / land clients you can’t grow and you won’t hit your goals or have the impact you could.

As I’ve been working through this and reviewing sales calls with some of our members a few trends have started to emerge. Here are the top 7 mistakes I see agencies make everyday that are costing you big time:

  1. Not tracking & notating the outcome of every meeting
    * What gets measured gets done & always improves. You have to know your numbers. Are you getting enough strategy sessions (at-bats) to hit your targets? What is your close rate? You can’t improve what you don’t measure.
  2. Not following a script/flow (winging it) –
    * If you wing it you can’t dial it in & you can never hand it off
  3. Talking too much
    * Selling is not telling. If you are talking more than 50% of the call you are not being persuasive
  4. Not connecting to the clients goals & emotional rational
    * Sell the “holes” not the drill. If you can’t connect to their goal they won’t buy…if if you don’t connect that goal to why it’s important to them they won’t buy.
  5. Not asking for the business
    * All too often agencies leave the meeting open-ended without a yes/no/next step. You will never close the deal if you don’t ask for and expect the yes.
  6. Not recording & reviewing sales calls
    * Again, you can’t improve what you don’t track. Listening to your calls gives you clarity & insights so you can truly dial in your sales script/flow & provide your team with recordings of your wins so they can model success.
  7. Not having a pre-engineered follow-up process
    * Almost 80% of our deals close within 2 weeks of the strategy session. If you don’t have a pre-configured “hot lead follow up sequence” in place you are leaving money on the table.

Solve even a few of these common mistakes and it can have a massive impact on the growth of your agency. I’d love to hear from you in comments. What of these mistakes are you making in your agency? Are there any that you think I should add to the list?

If you’d like to talk with me about solving for these in your agencies type “sales process mastery” in the comments & I’ll reach out to you.

Resources Mentioned:

Hey, this is Josh Nelson with the Seven Figure Agency. And this month as we’ve been working with our Seven Figure Agency members, we’ve been going deep on sales process mastery, and what it really takes to land clients on a very consistent basis to grow your digital marketing agency. And, you know, the fact is, if you can’t close clients, and if you can’t add new clients on a consistent basis, there’s no way your agency can succeed. And so as we’ve kind of gone deep on this with the members, we’ve been doing some role playing, I’ve been listening to some of the members calls and a couple mistakes just kind of stood out to me. I’ve actually identified seven critical mistakes that agencies are making that are probably costing you a lot of money in your digital marketing agency.

So I wanted to spend a couple minutes to kind of talk through this with you, and to make sure that you know what these mistakes are so that you can solve them and start getting better results and start landing clients on a more consistent basis. How’s that sound? Hit the plus button below or the thumbs up if that sounds good.

So the first mistake I’m seeing agencies make is they’re not tracking, right? I really have found it to be 100% true that what you measure gets done, and what you track always improves. And so if you’re just going about your day saying, “I’ll get as many strategy sessions or sales appointments as I can, and whatever comes in is good enough.” That’s a recipe for failure. Right? If we know that sales is the most important driver in our agencies, and it’s the thing that we should be focused on all the time, (because it’s going to move the needle, it’s going to move us forward), then we have to track and we have to set targets.

And so really what I believe is, you know, you want to track a couple of KPIs in your sales process on a very, very proactive basis. First thing is, how many strategy sessions did you get? The fact is, if you’re not getting to 10-15 qualified strategy sessions every single month, you’re not going to be able to land three to five clients, you are not going to be able to grow. So that’s the first thing right? You have to track, on a monthly basis, how many actual strategy sessions did you or your sales team conduct?

The second is what’s the show up rate? Fact is, if you don’t have good systems and processes in place, show up rates I’ve seen as little as 50%. So you can have 20 scheduled strategy sessions and only have 10 actually follow through. So you want to track that and you want to put systems in place that can improve that show up rate.

The third is what’s your close rate? Out of all those strategy sessions, what percentage of them are converting? What percentage are signing up? What percentage are buying? The fact is when you start to track these things, again, what you measure gets done. So you’re going to start to get more strategy sessions, you’re going to start to get more at-bats. And what you what you track, always improves in any area of your life. So as you start to track your show up rate and as you start to track your close rates, you’ll start to make little tweaks and little adjustments that really can improve your sales rate without changing anything in your sales process.

So that’s the first thing you have to know your numbers you have to track it. You’ll never know what your close rate is, and you’ll never know what your show-up rate is, if you’re not tracking that and measuring it on a consistent basis. So that’s number one, have to start with the tracking because that’s fundamental.

Number two, is I find a lot of agencies wing-it. So they think they’re just going to show up for the sales call, they are going to have a conversation with the prospect, and they’re going to let the meeting go where it goes, and hopefully at the end of it, the prospect buys. I could tell you, that’s not the best way to approach your sales process.

Now, I’m not saying you have to follow a structured script. I’m not saying you have to have a PowerPoint presentation that you read, slide by slide. Don’t get me wrong. But I am saying, you want to have an engineered sales process that kind of follows a flow. Look, here’s the questions I asked. Here’s how I build rapport. Here’s how I understand what they’re trying to accomplish. So I can bridge the gap. These are the questions that I asked throughout to get little micro commitments and micro yeses. This is how I present my offering. And this is how I asked for the business. Right? And so you want to have that structured and you want to have it mapped out so that you can follow it over time.

What I know is if you wing-it, you can’t dial it in, right? There’s no way you can figure, okay, this is how I did it this time, what do I need to change in order to improve that close rate going forward? The other really critical aspect of having a script and having a flow is that if you don’t have it scripted, you can never hand it off. Like you’re like anchoring yourself to the sales process for the rest of your business. So you have to. If you have any vision in your company, of scaling yourself out, building a sales team, letting that sales team run with it, you have to have it scripted out. You have to give a flow to yourself, so you can make it better. Then you have to have a flow that you can hand off to your sales team so that they have a proven model that they’re working from. I can tell you, if you’re a one man operation and you’re responsible for sales in your business, just putting a script in place or a flow that you follow that you can iterate and improve over time will have massive impact on how well you sell and how many new clients you get on a consistent basis. So that’s number two.

Number three is talking too much, right? We’re digital marketers, we’re passionate about SEO and pay-per-click and funnels and, everything in between. And so we stand to get excited about this, and we want to talk about, “Hey, here’s what we’re doing with Facebook ads. And here’s what we can do with SEO. And here’s how we build all of these links in these PBN networks to get you ranked on page one.” And as I’ve listened to some of these sales calls, it just gets into way too much talking, right?

One thing I know for sure is that selling is not telling. If you’re talking more than 50% of any strategy session, and some would say it should probably be less like less than 30%. But if you’re talking more than 50% of the strategy session, you are not being persuasive. Right? You have to talk but you also have to let them talk. You gotta have them explain their reasons. You have to let them tell you where they’re at and what they’re trying to accomplish and what they’ve tried in the past. Selling is not telling. Really, you’d have to monitor this. If you’re talking the whole strategy session and you’re expecting to close the business at the end, you’re up for a rude awakening. And this might be something that you can just change that would have a big impact on your close rates.

The fourth, and it kind of goes with selling is not telling or talking too much. The fourth is not connecting to the prospects goals and emotional rationale, right? They don’t care about the SEO strategies, they don’t care about the pay-per-click advertising.  All they care about is the result that they have in mind. Right.

Great quote: You have to sell the holes, not the drill, right? When somebody goes to Home Depot, and they go to buy a drill what do they want? They want a hole in their wall. And the guy at Home Depot might want to talk about the rotations per second, and all this other fancy stuff. But the reality is, hey, look, this will put a hole into your wall. It’s $17. Right? That’s how you have to think about your sales process. Do not get technical.

So, what I found to work really well is to make sure you understand what their goal is. How are they trying to grow their business? Are they trying to increase their lead flow? Are they adding another operator or another truck? Are they expanding their operation? What’s the goal, right? And then you have to really connect to why that’s important to them. So you want to engineer this into the sales process. We started doing this, and we saw a massive increase in our sales rates.

It’s not just, okay, you want to go from a million to 2 million? It’s why is that important to you? Like how will going to 2 million impact you personally? How committed are you to making that a reality in your life? Why not just keep things the way that they are? How committed are you to that?  And when you can get them answering these questions, and you can get them kind of leaning in and explaining their reasons and their rationale and connecting it to the emotion, then when you come around and explain, hey, here’s who we are, this is what we can do. And you say this is how we can help you accomplish that goal. That’s extremely persuasive. And if you’re not doing that in your sales process, you’re not understanding what they’re trying to accomplish and connecting back to it, you know, that’s going to be hurting your sales rates pretty strong.

Number five, failing to ask for the business or get a next step. It’s funny, I’ll talk with agencies and ask, I know you had a sales call, how did it go? And they’ll say, you know, I think it went great. Okay, tell me about that. Well, I mean, I showed him my thing, and he said, to send a proposal, and I’m going to send it off to him. That by all means is not a good strategy session. That’s not a good outcome. Right. On that call, it should be very clear. You talked about their goals. You talked about what they’re looking to accomplish. You showed them what they have in place and where there’s room for improvement, and you made them an offer, right. And they either said yes, they said no, or they said they need to look it over and there’s a scheduled next step. In the absence of those three things happening at the end of a sales call, it was a complete fail.

So make sure that you’re very clear on the end of every strategy session. Yes, great! You got a credit card, you got an authorization, you’re off to the races. No, it wasn’t a fit. And that’s just as good, right? That’s fine. Or, okay, I need to look at the document. I need to make sure this makes sense. And you’ve said, “Okay, great! I’ll send it off to you. What other details do you need?”and let’s schedule right on that call when the next meeting is going to take place. Every strategy session should be one of those three outcomes. Otherwise, you’re really not doing it right.

Mistake number six, and this blows my mind, is not recording and reviewing sales calls, right? The way the technology works today, almost all of us are doing these strategy sessions on zoom, or we’re doing them on GoToMeeting, and we’re showing them stuff. We’re having a consultative strategy session, ans we’re showing them their website, we’re showing them what we can do, we’re showing them examples. And it’s so easy to press the record button.

I really think that every strategy session that you or your sales team does should be recorded. That way you can go back and listen to it, you can find the inflection points. You can look at the sales that you closed in one and script for, okay, what did we do right here, and the ones that you lost, maybe there was something that I asked or some way that I failed to connect. This is one of the most powerful and free options that you have that you should be doing every single time.

Because, again, you can’t improve what you don’t track, right? You’ve got a script, you follow it, you record the conversation, you go back and listen to it. And this is going to help improve your sales rate drastically. But it also really props you up to be able to hand off your sales process at some point in the future, because eventually you’re going to have a library of closed strategy sessions, right where you say, “Okay, sales guy, here’s the script to follow. Here’s recordings so that they can model success”, right? So they can hear the tonality. They can hear the questions, they can hear the answering objections.

And so just make sure you’re recording and reviewing your sales calls. And that every sales call has an outcome tracked. Right? Was it won? Was it lost? Did they show up? Did they not show up? And did you schedule a next step? Right. So that one is an easy solve, right? Go in to zoom webinar (if you’re using zoom), turn on the auto-record function, and now you’ve got a recording of every one of your sales calls.

And then number seven, and this one is also like an easy fix, is failing to have an engineered follow-up process. So, I understand, we all want a first-call close, right? And if they didn’t buy they’re probably not a good fit, and so whatever, I’m moving on trying to find a higher qualified prospect. The reality is, at least in our world, almost 80% of our sales calls don’t end in a first-call close. We take them through the strategy session, we see if it’s a good fit, we make our offer, right? We tell them we’re going to send them some stuff via mail. We ask for the business, right,we say,” Hey, listen, does this sound great?” Yes, and we’re asking little micro commitment questions throughout. Great. Let’s get started. But a lot of times, they say, “Look I’d like to have a document to review, I’d like to talk to a couple of references.” These are common place things.

And so what we do is we engineer what I call a hot-lead follow up. It’s just a sequence of communication via email, text message and direct mail to move them to the next step. And we engineer it within a two week timeframe. This is very easy with automation technology that exists today Infusionsoft, Active Campaign, Go High Level, right, all of these platforms, you can have the strategy session, trigger a follow up, and then have a countdown to move that prospect forward. Again, I found almost 80% of our clients buy in after that initial call. So failing to have this hot-lead follow up can massively impact your success rate.

So there you have it. These are the top seven sales mistakes I’m seeing agencies make and how to solve them. You know, I’d love to hear from you. Do you feel like there’s some other mistake that’s happening in your business that you think should be added to this list? Or you know, as you look at this, what are one or two that just kind of hit you in the head, you’re like, oh my goodness, yes, I need to do that or I need to adjust that or I need to add that into my process. Love to hear from you in the comments on that.

And if you’d like to talk about sales process mastery, really how we can help you map this out and how we can help you really dial in your sales process and have a flow that can consistently convert prospects into recurring agency clients, just type in that comments “Sales Process Mastery”, and I’ll reach out to you and we can discuss some next steps on that front. So hope you found value from this. Really appreciate your time. Look forward to hearing from you in comments and I’ll talk to you soon.

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