This is a guest post/open letter from an awesome guy and the owner of ThinkHandy, Chris Handy. Chris - out of the kindness of his heart - takes calls from other agency owners who are struggling to scale up.
Dear New Inbound Agency Leader,
You asked me if I have any advice to share on quickly ramping up your new agency. I am happy to share some assorted nuggets of advice that have added to the success of my inbound marketing agency.
- I have since fired my first two clients because they were not bought into the inbound methodology and had unreasonable expectations. Fast growth is good, but only if the client is a good fit. I am way more selective now, and find myself much happier. Don't accept a client that isn't excited to get started. I can't stress this enough.
- Spend time on the Hubspot Advanced Sales Training Modules that Corey Beale & Jeetu Mahtani produced a couple years ago. I find a lot of value in that series.
- Read Baseline Selling by Dave Kurlan.
- Read SNAP Selling by Jill Konrath.
- Create a defined sales process that works for you. Make sure you don't try to close too early, or sell past the close.
- Never stop adding value to your client's day. Send personal notes. Endorse/recommend them on LinkedIn. Do not be afraid to ask for referrals regularly.
- Start using Salesforce for your own agency, even though its features may be overkill so that you will know the system for client implementation with your inbound marketing software of choice.
- Document your processes. Pretend you are going to get run over by a train tomorrow and make sure that your staff can pick up the pieces when that happens. This mindset will make it much easier to step into a more executive role when the time comes.
- Work out in the open and eliminate the unnecessary work generated by "the big reveal". Find an online project management system that allows your client to be involved in the editorial process. This can save countless hours of heartache on content revisions. Open workspaces also allow you to keep your client up to date on the status of the many cogs in the inbound marketing wheel. This will save time spent on "update requests" and "status checks".