Landing Big Clients
So you’ve decided to become a PPC agency owner. You’ve done the training, read the books, and poured heart and soul into a company you can now rightfully call “all yours”.
But now you’re out of the rookie phase, something still feels off-balance. You’re very aware that 80% of your income comes from one or two high-paying clients, with the other 20% giving you enough spare change for a good weekend or two.
And if you lose even one of those big clients, your whole business will go under.
It’s time to gear up to the next level. To grow your business, your clients will have to grow too. You need to land big clients with deep pockets, ones who recognise your agency as an asset.
The Ideal Client
Clients with a lot of money are always nice, but it’s easy to start over-relying on those whales. I used to pin all my business hopes and dreams on one or two people and, inevitably, was left sprawling in the dust when the “next big plan” fell through.
And, once I’d done the maths, I wasn’t too sure that I was being paid what I was actually worth. Sure, the number looked good down on paper. But once I evaluated what I was actually doing for these clients (everything and anything, including SEO and website design), I realised I was being paid peanuts.
The ideal client doesn’t hold a cheque over your head and make you turn every trick in the book to get your hands on it. There should be mutual understanding and respect: the keys to a great relationship. The ideal client:
- Respects what you can bring to the table and views you as an asset
- Wants you in for the long-haul
- Has a large budget and are willing to scale
- Thinks big and projects big – has a nationally appealing offer
- Will gladly offer glowing reviews and referrals for your hard work
- Will come back for more (and more, and more).
What You Can Do To Land Big Clients
Wondering why other agencies seem to be crushing it, while you’re using every resource possible just to get by?
These “PPC Superstars” don’t have more staff than you, more talent than you, or even a higher budget than you (though you’ve got to be willing to spend money to make money). They’ve been through everything you’ve been through – the guru’s “masterclasses”, the $997 courses, the clients with the “Lord giveth and Lord taketh away” attitude.
What these Superstars have done is taken their experiences and worked out a strategy to get in with the high-flyers. If landing big clients was a game of chess, these guys have learned from their losses, captured the queen and can say “checkmate”.
I’ve been generating leads for about six years now, and I’ve come up with a simple step-by-step strategy to landing big clients, most of them revolving around one small change. Here’s a sneak big into my Closing Client game plan, to help you land those gigs.
#1. Ditch Those Retainer Contracts…
If any of you have kept up with my Facebook posts, you’ll know I HATE retainer contracts and the so-called gurus who swear by them.
First off, they’re impossible to sell.
I usually go on about the cycle of rejection and despair anyone pitching retainer contracts will find themselves in. This time, though, I’m going to try to get you to see it from the client’s perspective.
Imagine you had a bookshelf stuffed with books. You pick one, you read it, and you thought it was okay. So then you choose another, by a different author and with a shiny new cover. But when you go to read it, it’s exactly the same words, characters and plot as the first one. And all the books on the bookshelf are like this.
First, it would freak you out. Then you’d get bored and wonder why you bought all these books in the first place. Eventually, you’d stop reading altogether.
That’s what it’s like for clients stuck in endless retainer contracts. They’re not getting anything new, or different. They’ve got hundreds of people asking them for five figures upfront, all delivering the same service, and promising a load of extra stuff the client doesn’t even need.
#1.5 … And Refine Your Offer
To land a big client, you need to offer leads. High-quality leads with a great contact rate, that their sales team can convert into paying customers.
That’s why FlexxDigital has been running off the Cost Per Lead model. We call up potential big clients and offer to generate leads for them. Nothing else. We quote them a price to pay per lead, and any leads generated under that price becomes our profit. The client pays for the week’s leads on Friday (100, 200 or however many leads they want), and we switch on the ad sets come Monday morning.
When I talk to other agency owners about the Cost Per Lead model, I barely make it to the end of my sentence before they’re squirming in their seats.
See, though retainers persistently underpay, they also offer a big, fat cushion on the seat of responsibility.
With the Cost Per Lead model, you have to practise what you preach. If you promise 100 high-quality leads by the end of the week, failure to deliver means you won’t get another offer. If you sell leads for $25 and they cost $30, you’ll make a $500 loss. With a retainer contract, the stabilisers are still firmly screwed to the bike.
If you don’t believe you can deliver, you won’t be able to land big clients. You need to prove in your pitch that you’re capable of producing great leads and taking responsibility for your profits and losses.
Done right, the Cost Per Lead model can welcome in hundreds of clients previously put-off by another retainer contract. If you deliver what you promise, you’ll have repeat orders – perhaps even scaled to reach growing demand.
It’s simple – to land big clients, give them exactly what they want.
#2. Target Big Clients With Deep Pockets
When I talk about clients with “deep pockets”, I usually mean national clients with a vast B2C audience.
This doesn’t always have to be the case (though 90% of the time, it is).
The problem with local clients like dentists, doctors, etc. is their inability to scale. Unless the local business in question has multiple branches across the country, it’s limited by the number of leads it can process. It’s also unlikely that the dentist/doctor/whatever has a sales team who can close the leads you give them. Given a choice, trying to land big, national clients makes more sense (especially as stats say that generating leads for national clients is 150x easier).
However, sometimes a local client pops up with the budget and the vision to make it to the big time. If, for example, you’re approached by a roofing company who wants to advertise all over Sydney, you need to work out the maths to gauge whether it’s worth it.
Does the client’s offer have an audience of over one million people?
Are they able to spend $20,000 a week on lead generation?
Will you be able to keep making a profit over several weeks or months?
If the answer to all of those is yes, then you could generate leads for a very long time in that space. With an audience of less than a million, you’ll start running into frequency and scaling problems, and the audience will get fatigued.
#3 Go Back To The Old School: Direct Mail
Don’t listen to anyone who says that direct mail doesn’t work. The reason why so many long-form sales letters fail is that the writer has no real idea of what their offer is.
You’ve got your offer in place (just leads, with no retainer contract), and now you’ve got to shout about it. Waiting for clients to come to you isn’t going to cut it. Get on LinkedIn, fire up Microsoft Word.
Direct mail can have a household response rate of 5.1%, with some companies reporting a 135% increased response if the letter contains colour.
Draft a letter until you’re happy with what you’re saying and how you come across. And don’t be afraid of the length. As your skills and services are an investment, landing big clients means convincing them to take out their wallets.
If they’re genuinely interested in your offer, readership won’t drop off until after 3,000 words. Keep highlighting the benefits, and explain why your Cost Per Lead model is risk-free in comparison to a retainer contract.
FlexxDigital sends out a minimum of 25 to 30 letters a week to business owners in the different verticals we’re after. Of course, we don’t have a 100% success rate, but if we stop sending letters for just a week, our results start to suffer.
And be patient! Letters can take two or three weeks to get results, so don’t fire up the shredder just yet. If in doubt, initiate contact on LinkedIn first, then send a letter once the client’s nibbled the bait.
Rinse and Repeat To Land Big Clients
To land the big clients, you need to be able to repeat this strategy ad infinitum, or until you’ve reached client-capacity.
Consistency with any strategy is key, and that’s almost more important than what you’ve got to offer.
If you want more invaluable insights on how to land big clients, watch my FREE case study below.
Learn how we:
- Moved away from local businesses
- Started working with national B2C companies
- Land high-ticket clients
- Found the verticals we’ve worked in
- Generate leads of the highest quality
All this info is yours at the tap of a button. Click “Watch Now” and enjoy!