Earlier this week, we talked about how to prove to potential clients that they should hire a social media agency, instead of having their intern manage the company page. We talked about what topics to cover in that discussion, and today we’re getting more granular by talking about the language that will be the difference between another dead-end new business meeting and the start of a new business relationship.

    • Clarify jargon. Those of us who have worked in marketing for long enough know most of the jargon—earned media versus paid media versus owned media, engagement rate, UGC—that come with the biz (although don’t even try to pretend there haven’t been times when you’ve covertly Googled a phrase in a meeting!). But a potential client may not know all of those terms, and it’s important to ensure they’ve understood everything you’re saying. They can’t make an informed decision otherwise. It can be a fine line between dumbing down your presentation and leaving your audience with a list of terms to Google. If you’ve done your homework on the people in the meeting (thereby giving you a sense of their experience with social media), and if you’re reading the room correctly, you’ll be able to walk that line.
    • Talk in terms the potential client understands. Often, that means talking about how your efforts ultimately drive sales, since increasing sales is usually one of the top priorities for a business, and the reason they reached out to you in the first place. But how else can you relate to the brand and communicate in relatable ways? The research you did on the person you’re meeting with will have told you what his or her background is. Maybe they’ve long been dedicated to increasing efficiency in their business. Knowing that will help you shape the conversation to include references to your processes’ ability to increase efficiency for your sales team.
    • Ask the prospective client about their greatest business challenge, and shape your discussion in a way that positions you to respond to that challenge. Yes, this will take some in-the-moment thinking, but if you have a handle on your differentiators and on the general challenges that face most businesses, you’ll be able to respond in a way that piques the person’s interest and that they can relate to.
    • Always be clear about how your work will show a return on their investment. The hardest thing for a brand to do when engaging with a marketing agency is to pull the trigger on spending the money if they don’t have a really clear sense of what the money is being used for. So lay it out for them as clearly as possible while also not getting too into the weeds. Demonstrate the kind of reporting you do, and how that data drives leads for their sales process.

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