Compare these two scenarios, both from real-life conversations Alicia and I have had with potential customers.
Me: “Hi, your jerky tastes really great. Do you guys currently do demos?”
Prospective Client: “I hate agencies.”
Me: “Hi, your organic cold brew coffee is really great. Do you guys currently do demos?
Prospective Client: “We do. We have an agency we love, so we aren’t interested in HFA, but we’ll let you know if something changes.”
Which do you think is more likely to lead to a sale? At first glance, they both look like dead ends, right?
After years with the sales hat on, I can tell you that the second scenario is much more likely to result in a sale. It is nearly impossible to sell to a client who “hates agencies,” which unfortunately I would estimate is at least a third of business owners in the health and fitness space.
But there are some great agencies out there. We at HFA believe a rising tide lifts all boats. If there are agencies out there doing a great job, and their customers are seeing a high ROI, we celebrate. This situation increases the likelihood those customers will tell their friends at other companies that demos are a great way to spend their marketing budget. If, however, they hire an agency whose demos are poorly executed, where the ROI is low or non-existent…well, you know.
In-house agencies tend to produce some of the lowest results. This is due to the fact that they usually have go-to staff, no matter what the product. So, someone who eats sausage on the regular may be sampling your plant-based protein. Insert facepalm emoji here. It’s hard for that person to create a genuine connection between your brand and your target consumer. They also have relatively low risk of losing clients. Many of these agencies are booked up 8-12 weeks in advance. So, if you don’t do more demos, someone else will fill those spots. And their reporting of these non-stellar results can take up to 8-12 weeks to get to the client! You can see how this business model is great of the agency, but not so great for the clients.
On the other end of the spectrum – the highest ROIs I have seen come from agencies who partner with their clients. They commit to find staff who are passionate about the product and excited to share the brand’s message. Usually they’ll work together to plan the events at least 4-6 weeks out to allow time to find the right staff, train them well and source the supplies they will need to execute with excellence. Obviously, HFA commits to these ideals, but there are a handful of other agencies who also excel in this area. And we refer them business when a brand or product isn’t in our health and fitness wheelhouse.
So, whether or not you use Health and Fitness, we encourage you to find an agency that “gets you” and your brand. Find an agency that feels like a natural extension of your brand that you can build an ongoing partnership with. With a true partnership, the sky’s the limit!