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Lead generation: What we’ve learned so far during the covid-19 pandemic

The Drum 31 Mar 2020 02:00
By Alex Sibille-31 March 2020 15:00pm

The marketing sector can be a complicated place as new marketing tools and techniques are launched, almost on a weekly basis. Powered by The Drum Network, this regular column invites The Drum Network's members to demystify the marketing trade and offer expert insight and opinion on what is happening in the marketing industry today that can help your business tomorrow.

Future Factory provide hope to companies that business can continue almost as usual.

Many agencies will be desperately wanting to focus on new business currently, but they will be feeling very unsure over how to proceed, and whether proceeding at all is even acceptable.

Working with 40 agencies on their lead generation, here are the questions we’ve been asked and the answers based on our experiences over the last two weeks.

Should we wait until all of this ends to start engaging in new business conversations?

New business conversations are happening every day. And are being well received.

In March, three new agencies started working with us.

Equally, the crisis doesn’t appear to have killed off marketeers’ desire to meet new agencies. Our team has so far seen no reduction in the conversations and introductions they are facilitating for the agencies we represent.

Surely no one is at the other end of the phone?

10 days later, 40% of the video meetings we had arranged have been secured and organised over phone calls instead.

There’s so much hardship and uncertainty for so many people, I just don’t know how to talk about my agency?

This is not the time to talk through your polished agency proposition, or reel off case studies.

Governments, consumers and marketeers alike are looking for expert guidance. If you start by asking questions, you’ll identify if you are that expert who might be able to help.

It goes without saying that you should approach conversations sensitively, with empathy and kindness. Think of your prospects as your neighbour rather than a sales opportunity. Proceeding as if there is no sale to be had is a good approach.

I wouldn’t be expecting to pick up new work immediately, but every new relationship started now and every conversation had now, adds to a pipeline your agency can focus on converting this year.

I feel like we’re at a disadvantage pitching for new business over video rather than face to face.

The view from your office and the size of your board room are no longer influencing factors in appointing an agency. All of your competitors are sitting in identical offices to yours.

Give me hope this is all going to be ok?

That aside, there are lovely people, all feeling a bit more human and humble, looking for guidance, someone to talk to, and some no strings attached advice. That’s how you build a new business pipeline. Share the love and the money will follow.

We goddamn want to see 100% of you creative businesses alive and kicking on the other side of this, so on Friday 3 April at 9.30am we’re running a free online workshop.

Alex Sibille, director and co-founder at The Future Factory.

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