Alright, let’s be honest. Sales is more than just a job to me; it’s a passion. We’re in the business of building trust, forging connections, and becoming the trusted advisor in all things related to the world of advertising. We’re not looking for that one-time sale… that gets us nowhere. We’re looking for that long-term relationship… that “I’ve got them for life” client. We’re after lasting partnerships. So, how do we make it happen? Let me break down my strategy for earning that all-important renewal. First of all, we have to get the deal. Done? Perfect… time to celebrate (briefly). Because the real work begins now. Our job is to meet and exceed our customer’s expectations. Anything less, and we’ve won a one-time customer. It’s on us to ensure that we’re consistently delivering on the expectations we’ve laid out with the client. And if for some reason along the way we didn’t live up to those expectations, it’s on us, our client’s trusted advisor, to fix it before everything goes haywire. So fast forward… through the ups (maybe some downs), but now that perfectly crafted campaign has finally come to an end. Perhaps it was a quick 30 days, 3 months, or 12 months… no matter the case, it’s time to find a way to retain that customer. It’s the old analogy, “it’s easier to retain an existing customer than acquire a new one”… but we’ve got to earn it. As funny, caring, and charismatic as we may be, they’re not just going to write us a check because they like us. We have got to give them a reason to renew. So let’s lay out all our cards on the table. I’m a big believer in creating a proposal. It doesn’t have to be as in-depth as the proposal that we created when we brought the client on board, but it does need to be structured in a similar fashion. Here’s my 4-step format:
- Cover Page
- Where We’ve Been
- Where We’re Going
- Investment & Assumptive Close
Let’s dive into each of these briefly.
Cover Page This is one page, clean and straightforward. The Clien’ts logo, our company’s logo(s), title (something along the lines of “20XX Partnership Recap”), and an accurate date based on when we pulled the information. (For more on cover pages, check out “Give Your Proposal Cover Page a Makeover” by Chris Lytle on the Ten-Minute Trainer Network!)
Where We’ve Been This is where we tell the story of what worked. I would use real data and numbers that worked for the client. It’s absolutely okay to highlight what did and didn’t work throughout the campaign, but be ready to answer the “why didn’t it work” question on the initiatives that may not have trended in our favor. Within this section… data is our friend. Charts, graphs, and whatever we can provide to support our campaign are extremely important within this section. Just make sure the data is relevant to the client, “we ran “X” number of advertisements over the last 30 days”, or “we converted “X” percentage of our online website visitors” to their page. Get the idea? No stone unturned here. But I understand what you might be thinking… what if things didn’t go as well as I had hoped? Well, whether it was a perfectly executed plan or not, we’re moving toward what I consider the most important part of the renewal. Where are we going?
Where We’re Going This part of your proposal needs to be more in-depth and more thought-provoking than where we’ve been. So whether we knocked our campaign out of the park or it was a big fat flop, this is our chance to have a game plan for tomorrow and beyond. You’re going to want to have a bit of CNA within this portion of the proposal.. sort of a “what’s changed?” since our last discussion. This section allows us to paint a picture in the minds of our customers of where we are going, what’s the new great big idea, and what’s going to get us excited. If you don’t have something to insert here, create something. Once again, as the client’s trusted advisor, we have to be on the forefront of new and exciting opportunities. This section evokes the emotion within the client to want to continue to be a part of the journey. Which leads us to the close.
Investment & Assumptive Close (But, Don’t Forget To Ask) This shouldn’t come across as cocky, but if we’ve done our job, we’ve created the excitement of what’s to come next… and assuming this is true, why wouldn’t they want to be a part of it? So walk through the investment level (whether it’s the same or it’s changed) and quickly move to the assumptive close… I want two signature lines just below the new 20XX proposal. One line for them, one for us… and I want you to pre-sign your line with real ink. It’s a no-brainer, we’re back in… we just need them back in. It’s the “we’re on the same page here, right? Awesome, let’s get rollin’!” And that’s the essence of it. It’s not magic, we must actively go out and earn it. Then rinse and repeat. It’s imperative that we take the opportunity to sit down with our clients, discuss our past achievements (whether good or bad) outline what lies ahead for them, and confidently request their renewal. Securing a renewal is an ongoing dedication, a continuous investment in the partnership, rather than a one-time transaction. While this method isn’t a guaranteed solution, it wields remarkable power when used skillfully. So that’s it… this is how I earn the renewal. But I’d like to invite you to share your experiences with me. What’s proven effective, and what hasn’t. Let’s maintain this conversation and continue learning from one another. For more tips on earning the renewal, check out our catalog on the Ten-Minute Trainer Network.