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Swenk Today: The Digital Marketing Agency Show

Feb 5, 2019

One big issue for agencies headed into 2019 is client acquisition. We recently sent a survey to 30,000 agencies and discovered an alarming truth about the trouble they're having with sales and client acquisition.

In the survey, we asked how many agencies have salesperson(s) outside of the owner... and it was just 40%. Of those, less than 20% were actually happy with their sales team. That's staggering!

Now, a lot of agency owners wonder when they should hire for sales. I like to suggest the benchmark of $500,000 in revenue is when you want to hire someone else to handle sales.

Alternatively, if you're seeing lots of fluctuation where sales are really high then really low, it's probably time to hire for sales. This fluctuation is usually because you're very busy selling and then you get busy executing and delivering, which pulls you away from sales. The constants ups and downs indicate that it's time to hire for sales.

When you're looking to hire for sales, you don't need someone with a ton of experience and a huge network. What you need is someone who is resourceful and scrappy. You have to have the clarity of your agency's ideal client and be able to give them specifics on who to go after. You want them to get the attention of your target audience, get the meeting and find the opportunities. That's how you give them direction.

Now, the other thing that agencies always ask me is how to pay a salesperson. I've never seen a good salesperson who works 100% commission. If someone is straight commission they're not dedicated to you. You have to give them a base salary and then come up with a commission structure that incentivizes them.

If you're still stuck, check out which is a company that I've co-founded to help agencies find, hire, and train salespeople.

Another thing we uncovered in the survey was that about 80% of agencies are pitching their core services off the bat. That's huge! What you need to do create a foot in the door offer, which is a slice off part of your core service to point out an opportunity the prospect is missing out on. This is a paid engagement, but not necessarily a money maker. It's just to establish authority and trust, and it's a smaller price point so a much easier decision for the client to make. Then see if they want to have your help with this newly discovered opportunity.

If you want to learn more, I suggest checking out my 3 workbooks on Clarity, Positioning, and Offering so you can build the right foundations and grow your agency faster and easier.

Here's another thing to bear in mind as we enter into the new year. Think about your profit margin goals for this year. Then think about the team you have to have in place in order to achieve those goals? Now when you're planning for your goals and you're adding up all those new sales, remember your overhead is going to increase too by adding more employees. Calculate these added expenses when you're planning your profit margin goals that way you aren't caught off guard and get disappointed.


Please comment below and let me know what challenges and struggles you're facing. Maybe we'll feature your questions on one of our shows.

Fresh out of college Jason was off to work for Arthur Anderson, one of the big 5 consulting firms. He quickly realized that he could never work for anyone other than himself. He decided to change direction, launch a digital agency that quickly grew to a multi-million dollar operation working with brands such as AT&T, Hitachi, and Lotus Cars. After 12 years of steady growth, the agency caught the attention of bigger agencies and Jason sold it in 2012.

Now, Jason leads, a unique media company & consultancy helping marketing agencies grow & scale their agencies faster by applying the framework that he used to grow, scale and eventually sell his agency. Jason has helped over 10,000 agencies in 23 countries meet or exceed their business goals.
Jason currently hosts two shows that are available for download…

The Smart Agency Master Class Podcast, dedicated to providing tactics and strategies to agency owners and decision makers that cut through the BS, focus on exactly what works and what doesn’t; and

SwenkToday a daily VLOG that documents the entrepreneur journey of building another multimillion-dollar business, where he shares the latest strategies and answers the most burning questions entrepreneurs have. 

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