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Secrets to Closing Ultra High-Ticket Clients for Marketing Agencies

Marketing, social media, advertising

Black_Dragon43

Platinum Contributor
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Apr 28, 2017
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‍☠️ Eastern Europe (or UK)
This year I've been focused on mentoring other marketing agency owners about scaling their business and detaching their income from their time, fastlane style. One of the things that we've been very successful with is closing ultra-high ticket deals. I'm talking $25K+ contracts, including one for as much as $80K. Deals like these:

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All those deals came off the back of outbound and cold outreach.

Here's what made them successful and what you need to do if you want to replicate them for your marketing agency.

1. Go after BIG clients in a specific sector/niche

I'm talking about clients like Ford, Coca-Cola and less well-known ones, but just as dominant in their industry such as Hydro in the aluminum industry. You won't close such deals if they don't make sense to your customers, and they do NOT make sense to your mom & pop businesses which cannot get sufficiently large returns to justify the prices.

The second point is your niche - you must become a specialist agency. Using Google ads for aluminum producers to book more appointments for their sales team, or setting up Facebook segmentation funnels for dentists to bring back inactive customers. Whatever it is, you must focus on a specific sector/niche.

2. Have industry-specific knowledge

This is significantly more important than the knowledge you have of your own service. If you don't speak the same language that these people speak, they won't deal with you. If you don't understand their problems and what they spend their time thinking about, you won't get their attention.

In virtually all cases that I worked with, the agency owners had experience prior to running their agencies in these fields, and therefore they understood industry trends and market dynamics that others wouldn't have. Such as for example competitors entering a specific market, and the client being on their back-foot and trying to protect marketshare. Demonstrating this industry specific knowledge, and showing how your service will have an impact is key.

3. Ditch the 1-call -> Close Strategy

These were all LONG deals. The $80K deal for example took over 3 months from start to finish. It included the involvement of multiple departments, relationship building within the organisation, case studies specifically designed for them, and an in-person meeting to attend. So prepare yourself for a long sales cycle.

4. Identify potential "entry contacts" into the company.

Identify several, usually middle-level who are most responsible for taking initiative on the kind of deal you have for them. For many agencies this was marketing managers - some local level, others continent-level (ex. EMEA). Then initiate contact with them through email, cold calling or on LinkedIn.

5. Make sure your positioning is solid, and there is something unique about you

Don't just say you sell Facebook ads for dentists. Say you rely on a Facebook segmentation funnel (or some other unique mechanism) to reactivate old clients for elite dental practices.

6. Have an understanding of the internal buying process of the client
Without industry-specific knowledge or guidance, this is going to be very difficult. You will need to navigate a complex set of bureaucracy, using existing knowledge and asking questions to uncover more data from your contacts within the organisation. You want to understand who is involved in the decision, and what they will need to see to be on board with it, AND what it would take to have them champion it. This is real politics.

Usually several departments may be involved in the final buying decision, so you have to work with all parties involved so that you get them onboard and supporting your project. If one of the parties opposes, there is high likelihood that the deal will stagnate.

7. Manually prepare case studies to answer their specific needs
After you gather data from the organisation about what matters to whom, you'll want to prepare case studies that are delivered according to what each decision-maker is interested in. If someone is interested in a hassle-free experience, that is what one your case studies should focus on. If another department is interested in collaboration with their sales team, well, make sure you have a case study you can present about that.

8. Help each decision-maker involved get what they need to move the deal forward
This starts with understanding, to begin with, what THEY care about. And not just from the perspective of the company, but also PERSONALLY. What does this project mean for them, and their position in the company? Will their position be threatened at all? What would it take for them to become advocates for the deal and push it forward inside the organisation? Is there anyone stopping the deal?

9. Follow-through when the deal gets stuck
If you're repeatedly told they will get back to you, or you start getting radio silence, it's important that you don't give up. Follow through with your strongest contacts within the organisation. Push to understand the real reasons that are holding them back.

Sometimes there may be hidden decision-makers who got involved later down the line that you don't even know about. They may be acting at a higher-level within the organisation and blocking your deal. You must uncover them, establish contact and rapport, and start finessing the deal through.

10. Know how to talk "high-level" business

Big businesses don't care about 2x business, bla bla. They care about expand marketshare in XYZ market. Respond to Tesla's moves in the Chinese electric vehicle market. And so on. You need to be able to start thinking and acting from this perspective, even though this is NOT your perspective.

11. Join & Attend Relevant Industry-Specific Events, Conferences, Networking Opportunities
You want to be seen by the big players around in their circles. There's no better way to do this than attend industry-relevant events where your target audience will be present. You'll gain a ton of industry-level knowledge and experience + all the connections you'll make. It will make any future outreach much easier.

As you can see this process isn't easy. And if even ONE of those steps doesn't work out, then the whole deal falls through. Knowing what to do at each point of the journey is super important.

You too can obtain such deals for your agency with the biggest companies in the world. Nothing stops you, what you really have to understand is how the buying process works in a big company... it's not what you learned by selling to mom n pop stores.

It's a completely different world, filled with politics and bureaucracy. But with the right knowledge, you can navigate it and win, and it's definitely worth it.

These large deals will give you sufficient capital to afford hiring top talent, and you'll start building a reputation in the industry that will make you the go-to choice. This is what you need to start doing to scale really big!

I hope these tips will help you score your first ultra-high ticket deal for your agency. And if anyone else has any other advice/expertise to add, please do so!
 
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