Daniel Lemin is a startup co-founder, trusted advisor and bestselling author on reputation management, digital marketing, and social media customer service. As an early member of Google’s global communications team, Daniel led the launch of products in North America, EMEA, and Asia Pacific, and edited the Google Zeitgeist weekly research report featured in over 40 markets worldwide.
Gina Trimarco is the chief results officer and founder of a company called Pivot 10 Results. In this episode, I wanted to get her take on some of the challenges owners are facing in the current business climate – mainly getting and retaining the right employees. Work culture is a big part of that equation.
From our question bag (okay -- from my inbox but you get the reference!). I've cleaned it up a little to protect the privacy of the agency asking the question. Q: I am trying to understand what makes up the COGS number in order to calculate our AGI. We are a public relations agency. From listening to your webinar on Financial Matters, my takeaway is the one of the items to include in COGS is the cost of freelance contractors. I'm assuming there are other costs like annual subscriptions to services which are used in doing our work for clients should also be included. A: Anything you use or pay to create in service of clients (freelancers, online tools, reference books, printing, photographers, postage, shipping, media placement, mileage to client meetings, influencer fees, etc.) are all COGS. They are COGS whether you bill the client for them or not. A way to test this is ask yourself this question. If we didn't have client XYZ, would we still incur this cost. If the answer is no -- then it is a COG. The things that should not be included in COGS are agency expenses (w2 people, benefits for those people, auto allowances, lawyer and accountant fees, rent, supplies, professional development, travel (unless it is client related) Q: We also want to look at account level profitability. To calculate the cost per employee, I am including salary/wages, insurance and 401(k) benefits, cost of PTO/company holidays. My research into what percentage to use for overhead markup resulted in a wide range of figures - 80% on the high end; 50% on the low end. Do you have a recommended overhead percentage? A: Well, as you know, this [...]
Dorie Clark is a marketing strategy consultant, professional speaker, and frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review. She is also the author of Reinventing You and Stand Out, which was named the #1 Leadership Book of 2015 by Inc. magazine and one of the Top 10 Business Books of the Year by Forbes.
Blair Enns is an expert in sales, particularly in the creative services industry. He started his career working for a number of Canadian ad agencies and design firms. In 2000, he struck out on his own with a consulting practice named Win Without Pitching. In our conversation, Blair will walk us through a framework developed over decades of learning, trying, failing and perfecting value-based selling for creatives.
Drew McLellan is the CEO at Agency Management Institute. He has also owned and operated his own agency since 1995 and is still actively running the agency today. Drew’s unique vantage point as being both an agency owner and working with 250+ small- to mid-size agencies throughout the year gives him a unique perspective on running an agency today.
Joe Lazauskas is an owner and the director of content strategy at Contently. If you're not familiar with Contently, it is a content strategy practice. It offers a dashboard, but they also help big-brand clients create stories and content for those brands.
Steve Lowisz is an expert on talent acquisition, talent assessment, personal development, diversity & inclusion, and business performance. He has more than two decades of research and practical business experience allowing him to serve hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals.
As CEO of the Qualigence Group of Companies that he founded in 1999, Steve regularly contributes to Industry events and publications and has been featured in Fortune Magazine, CNN Money, The Detroit Free Press and on Bloomberg Radio.
Vetting new clients is a lot like choosing who you’re going to marry. No one gets married after a handful of dates, and no company makes a strong client connection after one meeting. Just like jumping into a marriage can lead to disaster, moving too fast with a prospect can also spell trouble for a business. Unfortunately, because many businesspeople are Type A personalities, the patience needed to grow relationships with prospects is lacking. We’re aggressive and competitive, always pushing for the win. Sometimes, that’s a great thing. But too often, we can jump the gun. To prospect smarter, agencies should focus on the four Ts: teach, trust, told apart and timing. Agencies that follow these strategies should have no issues securing new clients who are a perfect fit. 1. Teach: Use provocation-based selling as a learning experience. Too many agencies continue selling long after they’ve secured a new client. Selling is necessary at the beginning, but it becomes overkill after a certain point. Once you’ve started working together and you’re investing in the relationship, it’s time to switch gears. No one enjoys being constantly sold to, but everyone loves learning. Teaching clients something new builds relationships. It shows you’re passionate about their brand and want them to grow. You don’t need a doctorate degree to educate, but you do need to do your homework. When you go to trade shows or conferences, soak up insights, trends and case studies clients might be interested in. Even better, use that information to provoke problems they didn’t even know they had. Shining a light on things your agency can help with is essentially selling, but it doesn’t feel that way. It comes off as helpful and informative, which builds trust between [...]
My guest for episode #147 is Michelle Weinstein. Michelle has done it all. She's been on Shark Tank. She has raised over a million dollars for her last company, and she now teaches entrepreneurs how to sell.