Wed, 24 January 2018
Are you asking your client questions? Are you asking the right one? Do you listen in client meetings more than you talk? If you want to land more agency clients, it’s time to start asking a lot of questions and identifying what your clients need, rather than just giving them what they think they want.
In this episode, we’ll cover:
Today I talked with Pete Polgar, partner at Clikz Digital which started just a mere 6 months before this interview and is already at a team of five. Pete brings a background of consulting with agencies struggling with operational problems. He sheds some light on those early struggles at Clikz Digital and walks us through the steps he has taken to overcome them and grow his agency.
Getting Over the Hump of Hiring
There is a high turnover in this industry. You need to stop hiring based on an immediate need and start hiring based on what your company needs in order to achieve long term goals.
Ask a lot of questions
Vetting your candidates better will allow you to hire people that make you and/or your agency better. Don’t aim to hire “mini-me’s” and instead find the “yin” to your “yang.”
Pete is a frequent listeners of our show and recalls this episode where I advised listeners to “always try to be the dumbest person in the room.” And that’s what he has done whens it comes to hiring for his agency. He tells us we can accelerate agency growth by surrounding ourselves with people smarter than us.
Getting to the Bottom of What the Client Really Needs
As an agency, your #1 job is to be the trusted advisor your clients need in order to achieve their goals. They rely on your experience and expertise to guide them to the solution to their problem.
The thing is, you have to be able to identify the right problems and start solving them. You can’t do this if you aren’t asking the right questions. Think: “What does the client actually need?” vs. “What do they want?”
Keep asking “why?” and keep digging until you get to the root of the problem. Once you find the problem and its impact on the business, that is when you can present what the client actually needs, not what you want to sell them.
Asking questions keeps the focus on the client, because, really, this is about them and not you.
Learn their business, listen to what they tell you and take lots of notes. This will allow you to visualize the information. Pete’s uses his meeting notes to build a process flow that he can later share with the client.
Clients are looking for a trusted advisor. They already made the choice to work with you, they don’t want to make more choices, so stop giving them so many. Be the expert. Know what their business needs and be able to tell them why. Then they will become your champion.
In the beginning it is all about learning - don’t sell first, just learn.
What Questions You Should You Be Asking Every Client
Did I mention that you should be asking a LOT of questions?
The types of questions are going to vary based on the client and the problems you start to uncover. But some good baseline questions are:
Ultimately you need to just keep asking questions so you can drill down to the biggest problem.
[clickToTweet tweet="Remember, the client's biggest problem is not necessarily the first problem." quote="Remember, the client's biggest problem is not necessarily the first problem."]
If thinking on your feet to ask the right questions isn’t your strong suit...then hire someone who is good at it. It’s that important.
Pete likes to use a whiteboard and draw out a map as they are solving a client’s problem. He says to focus on one problem at a time to solve and nurture it to build trust with your client.
Asking the right questions upfront also helped Pete start implementing a MAP (Marketing Action Plan) into his client engagements - which is something he learned from my podcast episodes on the 3 core elements of the agency sales process.
When Is the Right Time to Hire?
Learn from your employees. Find that one employee who is most resourceful, who is able to get things done quickly and do more with less. Then learn from them and incorporate that resourcefulness into your agency operations.
Listen to your employees when they feel overwhelmed or frustrated, but don’t let them dictate resolutions… because their resolution is usually going to be to hire more people. With that, make sure you are hiring based on asking the right questions, figuring out what is needed and best for the company and using measurable indicators to justify the hire.
Direct download: What_Client_Questions_You_Must_Ask_to_Grow_Your_Agency.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT