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How Agencies Can Close Deals With Leads Hesitating To Convert

Written by: Kristen DeGroot, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Kristen DeGroot

Have you ever been sure that a lead will turn into a client, but they are hovering at the finish line, and the sale is so close you can taste it? It’s a common frustration experienced by every agency I’ve ever encountered.

group of people sitting around a wooden table

We’ve all been there. As agency owners, we often chat multiple times with leads and get them excited about our services. And we can’t tell if they’ve lost momentum or are just busy.

As the CEO of The Campfire Circle, an agency that organically generates and converts leads for agencies, I can’t tell you how many times I get finished with a meeting and am positive they’re going to become a client. But then email replies dwindle, or contracts don’t get signed.

I chatted with 50 agency owners about their strategies for closing deals with clients who seem almost ready to close but are dragging their feet. In this post, I am sharing my seven favorite expert strategies and providing actionable takeaways.

By the end of this post, I am confident that you will be equipped with the tactics to finalize more deals for your agency.

Build the right foundation at the beginning

During an initial meeting with a potential client, be upfront about fees and services and set realistic expectations. This can weed out the clients that aren’t going to convert.

And, of course, emphasize the value of your agency and stress that the money they invest in your services will lead to a certain ROI. Tell them to look at agency services as the act of putting $1 into a machine that returns you with $5.

Lori Turner-Wilson, CEO of RedRover explains that “There is a misconception in sales that closing occurs at the end of a deal. The secret to closing a deal is in the power of your discovery questions versus manipulating a prospect to say yes. If you ask exceptionally well-informed questions, you are: (1) indirectly educating the prospect about the strategic capabilities of your firm by the very questions you ask, (2) fearlessly qualifying out prospects who aren't a good fit, and (3) communicating the commitment to client you are prepared to bring to every conversation.”

Scout Driscoll, founder of DesignScout suggests that from the beginning, “create a sense of urgency – let them know you are in demand and would love to take them on as a client but have limited availability.”

Key takeaway: Provide value and urgency from the beginning of an interaction with a potential client. Asking the right questions and providing upfront information builds the foundation for a lead to become a client.

Demonstrate success with businesses like theirs

Consumers need social proof so badly that they rely on the experiences of businesses like theirs. Case studies, testimonials, reviews, and social media shout-outs are all forms of social proof that you can leverage to demonstrate your success stories.

Kevin Hall from webserv has great advice. “We’ve noticed that hesitant prospects often need to visualize the success they can achieve with our services. To help them do that, we share success stories from our clientele that align with the potential client's industry and needs. We specifically highlight how we've overcome challenges similar to those the prospect might be facing. This strategy not only demonstrates our competence but also builds trust, encouraging the prospect to take the final step.”

Key takeaway: Create case studies and gather testimonials to send to prospects close to closing. Be sure to leverage these endorsements specific to the potential client so that you can demonstrate expertise in their industry.

Offer an incentive to close the deal

If a lead seems ready to become a client but is showing hesitation, often times it just takes a little nudge in the form of an incentive can convince them to come on board with your agency.

I love this tip from Brittany Robers from Verity Media, “Urgency is great, sure – but give them a night to sleep on it. Incentivize them with a fast-action bonus if they do decide to sign within 24 or 48 hours.”

Deborah Forrister from Envoca Search Marketing shared, “For our agency, creating a sense of urgency has worked to motivate hesitant prospects to take action. We may highlight as specific opportunity or negative side effect of waiting or focus on limited availability or time-limited offers. It has worked for some of our clients to offer incentives. Extra perks or bonuses can show the salesperson is looking out for your company and keeping the client top of mind. This sounds something like, "if you decide to sign up before the end of the month, I can still get you the 10% discount."

Key takeaway: Don’t be too pushy, but a time-sensitive incentive works really well with a hesitant lead. It also helps to emphasize to the lead that the sooner they get started with your agency, the sooner their business will reach profitability.

Be proactive instead of hounding your leads

There is a delicate balance of keeping in touch with your leads but not annoying them or seeming desperate. Don’t lose business; win business with strategic communication.

Janel Steinberg of Liberty Comms shared, “We are a boutique tech PR agency so we are always working with media on upcoming stories as well as monitoring news to see how our clients might be a fit. We bring new opportunities to our clients, and this includes our prospective clients as well. This helps illustrate the type of agency we are – proactive, always looking out for the best interests of our clients and demonstrating a deep understanding of our clients’ industries.”

Key takeaway: Be proactive but not annoying by sending potential clients opportunities that you think will benefit their brand. This showcases expertise and keeps your agency top-of-mind.

Showcase value

Brands that want an agency are willing to pay more for expertise. And with the competitive agency landscape, you NEED to show potential clients the value you can bring to their brand with your services.

Jonathan Zacharias, founder of GR0 advises, “A crucial way to close a deal when the potential client is in no big hurry is by illustrating how they can begin making use of your services immediately. This approach works because it presents a solution to their needs while emphasizing that time is of the essence. By showing them the potential positive impact that your services can have on their business or life, you can motivate them to make a decision and move forward – sooner rather than later.”

Key takeaway: Showcase value by explaining that the longer a lead waits to come on board with your agency, the more profit they will lose. Emphasize that time is of the essence.

Final thoughts: I’m ready to close more deals for my agency

I want to add that to close more deals, you need a healthy supply of leads. If lead gen is a struggle, read this post to complement the post you are reading now.

If you have a healthy supply of leads, listen to the experts I cited in this post. Be sure to showcase value, expertise, and create a sense of urgency. And if a lead seems super close to closing, offer them a time-sensitive discount.

These strategies may seem minor, but I know firsthand that if you implement them, you will land a ton of new business.

Do you have any strategies to share pertaining to how your agency closes deals? I’d love to read all about it in the comments below!

Follow me on Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and visit my website for more info!

Kristen DeGroot Brainz Magazine

Kristen DeGroot, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Kristen DeGroot is the CEO of The Campfire Circle, an agency for agencies. She has been helping agencies grow for over a decade. Kristen has an English writing degree so a lot of her strategies that she implements for her clients are content driven. Basically, Kristen grows agencies so that agency owners can spend more time on what matters: Doing awesome client work.



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