This article, Avoiding Wrong Turns In Your Prospect Targeting, is part of our Destination RSW Summer Blog Series, designed to help you navigate the hazards encountered on the road to new business.
We’ll have new challenges featured throughout the summer, so be sure to check back in each week for a look at the latest content!
This post, Avoiding Wrong Turns In Your Prospect Targeting, is from our Director Of List Operations, Ellen Jung.
All the prospecting in the world can’t help if you aren’t in the room with right-fit prospects.
If you’re consistently finding yourself speaking to prospects that just don’t gel with your expertise, it’s time to take a fresh look at the verticals, projects, and titles that you want to be riding with as clients.
The first step is to ask yourself is, “Who are you as an agency?”
As you plot your course, you need to think about a few questions:
- Are you specialized for one or more industries?
- Does your work relate across multiple sectors?
- Do you take a different approach than other agencies?
- Are you a veteran in your industry?
One RSW client saw consistent success because they were experts in the higher education space and we were able to tailor their lists to focus on the schools that made sense for their work.
Past (Work) is Prologue
Once you have nailed down who you are, you can narrow down the pool of potential target companies to those that would most benefit from your unique strengths and capabilities.
Take stock of where the bulk of your experience lies to determine which industries to focus on; make sure that you’re able to draw a connection from work you’ve done to the companies you’re reaching out to.
Beyond this matching of capabilities, you should also think about the size of company that makes sense for the work you do.
Using your current clients and past work is a good place to start. Remember that while larger brands are harder to break through, there are often opportunities to crack the door open with smaller project opportunities.
Location, Location, Location
You also need to consider the location of your potential new clients.
Do you want to stay close to home? Or does your work travel easily to anywhere in our beautiful nation?
We often suggest starting close to home and moving out from there.
This strategy allows you to offer in-person collaboration to clients who prefer a local agency.
Remember that when you target companies in large cities across the country, you are also competing with the local agencies in those metro areas.
That being said, while many brands still see value in the traditional “agency down the street,” the surge of work-from-home solutions due to COVID-19 has created a much more open market for agencies across the country.
What’s in a Title?
The final, and perhaps most underappreciated step in prospect targeting, is selecting the prospects you want to reach out to within your target companies.
Titles are a good guidepost, but be mindful about the roles and levels of responsibility behind them.
Do you need to target the CMO for a discussion about brand development/strategy, or does it make more sense to talk to a Marketing Director about project work?
Ensuring that your outreach is focused on the right titles will increase the chance of having a meaningful conversation that may lead to a working relationship.
If you’re finding a scattershot, one-size-fits-all approach to your prospect list isn’t getting the job done for your agency, you’re not alone.
You need to drill down and find the best fit for you. If you’ve inadvertently taken a detour along the way, it’s a good time to reassess your course and destination to move that much closer toward your next new business win.