My Breakthrough: How I Speak to ClientsFriday January 3rd, 2014
"Over the last year, I improved the way I speak to a potential client. Now it’s all about solving problems and growing their business. Features and capabilities are secondary." - Jason Brewer, CEO
Breakthroughs From a Digital Agency (a Series)
We have a small, close-knit team here at Brolik. We’ve experienced solid growth year over year since our inception in 2004, but 2013 felt different from the rest. The company celebrates 10 years in business on January 14th, 2014. But, it’s not just this milestone we’re celebrating… this year the company reached a level of maturity that we can be proud of. As a small agency, cash flow challenges, production bottlenecks, inefficient processes and peaks and valleys in new business are common. This year our talent, experience and execution aligned better than ever before. To put a cap on the year, and to put this somewhat vague concept of “maturity” into more tangible terms, each of our team members will present their personal breakthroughs over the last year. In the process, we hope you’ll get to know the people who make up Brolik a little better.
The agency space is competitive. For a small digital agency like Brolik, we often compete against agencies larger and older than we are. Resources and time aren’t always on our side, as the larger agency can often place a full team on a proposal or pitch.
To separate ourselves, we used to lead with our flexible and forward-thinking approach to design and development, our focus on branding and our ability to take our roots in storytelling and inject them into any campaign or web experience. There’s only one problem with this list. It’s focused on our attributes and isn’t focused on the client at all.
Maybe it was a string of victories and failures that led me to my current approach. I learned which strategies were landing us new clients and those that were leaving us with a, “Sorry, we’ve decided to go in a different direction.”
The best clients came from a deeper connection, or at least a deeper conversation, about their challenges as a business, their flaws and their goals. I started to spend more time helping to organize these goals and problems in a way that we could look at together and from there begin to develop some clarity around them. Before allowing us to jump into building a website, developing an app or running a social media contest, I dedicate time to learning how Brolik can help the client grow. There are no deliverables, no launch dates and no creative development until there’s a strategy in place.
It’s tempting to jump into a proposal when a client comes asking for services, but I fought the urge and still fight it. I decided, for the good of our business, I would not take on clients or projects that weren’t in our sweet spot. To know this I had to take the dive and risk wasting my time and energy to better understand a potential customer.
Our skills, capabilities, work examples and style are easy to evaluate by visiting brolik.com. You can do this without ever talking to me or anyone on our business development team. While our competitors are sending over a slide deck or talking about their amazing capabilities, I’m trying a different approach. I’m learning what makes a company tick, and what we can do to improve their company or make them more money.
Other Brolik Breakthroughs
How I Speak to Clients: a CEO’s Perspective (You just read it)
Re-Finding Design: a CCO’s Perspective
Websites are Just the Beginning: a COO’s Perspective
Get to Code Faster: an Art Director’s Perspective
Authentic Project Management: an Account Executive’s Perspective
Anticipating Problems: a Developer’s Perspective
Done is Better Than Perfect: a Digital Marketer’s Perspective
(Comfortably) Designing for the Web: a Designer’s Perspective
A Culture of Team Selling: a Salesperson’s Perspective