Two weeks after Torch Training, a 20-person agency received a tip – a national hotel chain was unhappy with their current agency.

close new business

Another quiet win, break out the champagne.

The principal gave the prospect a call, introduced himself, and gave a nice elevator pitch. After a brief conversation, the marketing VP, a very nice woman, early 50s and lots of experience with agencies, agreed to a visit. Following our rules for first visits, two agency people went and successfully played agency baseball: they went in holding nothing but their cards and a notepad. They worked chemistry, built trust, and gave a short description of the agency.

Then they asked about what her needs were. Total time into the meeting – less than 5 minutes. Please note: they started asking questions only after they were sure trust was there. This is a key point most agencies fail to grasp – and where most agency new business problems stem.

The principal of the agency told me that the look on the prospect’s face was priceless. She reached down and pulled out a thick folder and launched into a full discussion of what the client needed. The agency people started taking notes. As each need came up the agency pressed, looking for a “fever,” a personal need. At no point did the firm try to solve the need, or offer solutions, or what we call discounting the problem. An hour and a half later the agency had all the information we recommend you get (needs, process, timing, budgets), and ran out of the building. Never stick around after you get what you need, otherwise you run the risk of popping the trust/competency perception bubble you’ve worked so hard to create.

Fast Close. 

They followed up with a Quick Response Conference Report and started prepping for the Fast Close techniques we teach. An hour after receiving the report, the client gave the agency a call and said “Finally, somebody gets it. You have the project.” They didn’t even have to return with solutions within 48 hours. Now that was a fast close.

The agency president told me that in the past, his firm would have gone in with lots of credentials, samples, perhaps even a quick presentation set up on a tablet or laptop: in other words, another ad agency capabilities presentation. The principal probably would have filled most of the meeting time trying to sound smart, capable, and over-presented– just like every other marketing firm. Sometimes, less really is more.

We call this fast close process a “quiet win.” Quiet wins are more about consulting rather than selling. Quiet wins are more finesse and less about power. Quiet wins are more about thinking, rather than charming. If you want to learn how to close accounts quickly and efficiently, even before your competition knows the account is free, reach out and give us a call: 412.897.9329 or email us at [email protected]


Photo by TE2YA