Every agency should be focused on growing their existing clients. How are you, as the agency owner, teaching and encouraging your AEs to focus on this growth, setting goals for this growth and measuring against those goals?

For more information about Drew McLellan or Agency Management Institute – visit http://www.agencymanagementinstitute.com or check out the podcast – Build A Better Agency available at all the usual podcast host locations.

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Hey everybody, Drew McLellan here from Agency Management Institute. This week I am coming to you from Animal Kingdom Lodge on Disney property in Orlando, Florida. And yes, over both of my shoulders, those are zebra. What I want to chat with you about today is something that I mentioned in an earlier video. This idea of being able to grow our existing clients by about 10% a year. And so, here’s how I want you to think about that. AEs are often so busy focusing on taking care of the client, creating relationships and sometimes we forget that it’s their job to build the business of the client which by default, should build our business. But an easy way to look at that is for every AE you have, their book of business, so for some of you, you may have an AE that only services one account. Many of you though have AE’s that are straddled across multiple accounts. Whether it’s one or 10, that’s their book of business. That is the sum total of the clients they serve. And their goal is to grow that book of business at least 10%. So if I am working on a client or five clients and my aggregate total of AGI is a half a million dollars, then I as an AE, should be able to grow that book of business up to $550,000. And the way we do that is by having a plan. And this is a place where many agencies drop the ball. We’re so busy servicing the clients, answering their questions, moving their projects through, that we don’t really think about having a plan for actually growing their business. And so your AE should be coming to you with an annual, and then probably broken down by quarter, plan of how they’re going to help their clients grow their business. In other words, not the agencies business but the clients business. So how am I going to help my client grow their business, quantify the value that we are providing and then what, in addition when that happens, when I know they have more revenue, what in addition can we offer them? Additional services, whether it’s more of what we’re already doing or something new to grow that book of business by a minimum of 10%. And that should be part of how you evaluate your account service people and part of your review process is helping them track their AGI growth through the course of the year. Of course that means you have to teach them what AGI is and you have to tell them what the AGI of their clients are. So whatever that book of business is, you want to be working, or your director of account service, or whoever is working directly with your AEs, want to be working with your team to figure out which clients, so again I don’t have to grow all the clients 10%, I don’t have to grow them all in an equal amount, I just have to be able to grow my book of business by 10%. So which clients present us the best opportunity for growth? And which clients am I going to focus on, and then what’s the plan? How am I going to incrementally provide more value to that client, demonstrate our value through growth, or helping them achieve whatever goals they’re trying to achieve? And then, how do I go from there to selling more of what we do by being of service to them? So that’s a great conversation for you to have with your AEs. You should build it into their annual reviews, you should build it into their one-on-one meetings, and they should be tracking and reporting back to you, how they’re doing against that goal. So this is a goal they should own, which means they have to have all those elements, but once you give them all those elements, that’s their job responsibility, is to grow their book of business 10%. And what you’ll find is that once an AE has that mindset, it’s really not that hard to do, to grow the entire book of business by 10% and if you have two or three AEs, you can see how very quickly that becomes a good chunk of your biz dev goal for the year. All right? I’ll talk to you next week.

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