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How to make more money from losing than winning

Agencies I have led have made more money from new business pitches we lost than from pitches we won. Sounds illogical, but it’s true. Here’s how to win when you lose.

It begins with a story of love almost lost. I was very keen on a certain young woman. I showered her with huge attention, was captivated by her every murmuring, did everything I could to shine. You know the plot. One day she put her hand on my shoulder: “Chris, I appreciate the attention but you need to know, I have a boyfriend.”

And it was the way I responded to that critical moment of truth that encapsulates the secret to making more money out of losing than winning.

The secret to winning pitches

To win new business pitches, having great ideas that solve client problems is not enough. We also have to beat our competitors.

It’s easy to get absorbed in solving client problems when working on a pitch. The client wants a strategy and ideas which will deliver certain results. That’s our focus and has to be nailed, absolutely.

But to ensure a world class ‘win’ hit rate, developing great strategies and ideas for the client is not enough. Sometimes competitors beat us not because they are better than us, but because they beat us.

To win more often, put just as much energy into developing YOUR AGENCY’S STRATEGY to win… your strategy to beating your competition.

The most powerful weapon to growing your business

It started when Andrew Parker sent me a dozen mangoes and a bottle of French champagne. With that gesture I learnt the secret to guaranteeing a steady flow of referrals and new revenue to any consulting services firm. Andrew called it his MICRophone program. This is how it works.

When I started my own firm, I had 17 years of ‘sweat equity’ behind me of relationships and favours done. I expected a stream of new client referrals in those early days, a ‘thank you and good luck’ gesture from a long list of professional ‘I Owe You’s.’

3 vital ingredients to winning new clients

There’s nothing sweeter than the taste of a new client win. To drink more often from that winner’s cup, follow these three vital ingredients for new business success.

Winning new clients validates who your firm is and what you offer. It lifts heads. It inspires and creates momentum.

Remember clients are making up their minds about who to hire from the moment they contact your firm. It’s vital to hit the right buttons at every meeting and on every contact. The three vital ingredients to winning new clients need to be ‘seeded in’ at every opportunity during the process.