Creative Agency Sales: 3 Road Blocks to Overcome When Cold Calling

When it comes to creative agency sales, the sales representative or account manager always has to over come road blocks to take get a prospect to become a paying client. This is especially true when connecting with new clients who you have no relationship with. But, there are specific phrases and techniques account managers can use to get past each step and close the deal. In this blog I will discuss how to overcome 3 road blocks to improve your overall sales success.

1. Getting Past the “Gate Keeper”

Anytime your creative agency is cold calling a potential client, you are going to run into what is called the “gate keeper.” This is the front line of any business; the receptionist. The “gate keeper’s” job is to ensure that any calls that get through to the higher up executives are relevant and not wasting their time. So how do you get past them? When calling a potential client what you say in the first 10 seconds will determine if you will get transferred or blocked.

Before you call it is important to do some research and know who you are looking to speak with exactly. You do not want to call and sound like a solicitor but you want to sound like someone of importance. So knowing who you want to speak with will make a world of a difference. Here is an example of what to do and what not to do:

DON’T: – “Hi my name is ____, I am calling from ____, who would I speak to in regards to….” – This just comes across as a solicitor and therefore will ultimately get you blocked by the “gate keeper”.

DO: – “Hi, is ____ available?” – when they ask who is calling, keep it short. “It’s ____ from ____” and stop talking. – Being short and concise shows that you are a person of importance that is calling, and therefore you have a lot better of an opportunity to get past the “gate keeper”

2. Follow up Calls

As you do more and more calls you will start to realize a trend. A prospect will usually request information and ask for you to follow up. This is probably the most important step in the sales process. If you handle this one correctly you will increase the chances of booking an appointment or selling your product. So how do you handle a situation like this?

You want to give a reasonable amount of time before you call, but not too long so they don’t forget who you are. I usually give no more than a week before I call back (unless otherwise specified). When you call again, you are able to tell the “gate keeper” that you were asked to call back by the prospect (their name). That should get you over to the same person you spoke with originally. Once that prospect is on the phone it is best to be short and straight to the point.

“Hi ____, it’s ____ calling back from _____, we spoke last week in regards to ____. I wanted to see what your thoughts are and what steps you are thinking of taking. (If you are trying to book an appointment then now would be a good time to add in.) “We have openings available as early as_____, how about we get you scheduled in and we can explore this opportunity further, how does your calendar look over the next week?”

And remember, as discussed in my last blog, ABC: Always Be Closing.

3. Closing the Deal

Now comes the time we as sales people always look for! Closing the deal. You don’t want to sound to eager or pushy as this may cause the the potential client to be scared off and wonder why you are pushing so hard to close the deal. That said you also don’t want to just let it be and hope that they close the deal for you. So you have to find a happy medium and keep the prospect intrigued and engaged to ensure the sale goes through. This is a great time to start talking about the next steps and what happens after they sign the agreement. You can start telling them how fast you can get them into the studio to complete their work (usually a prospect wants their stuff done yesterday).

If a prospect is being a little hesitant in closing the deal than you may want to throw in some type of incentive; like a discount, or a free promotional item to help seal the deal. Or you can even tell them that if they sign the agreement by “X” date than you can get their project into production by “Y” date to encourage them to take action.

In the end all that really matters in sales, is the overall numbers. If you take the appropriate steps and make sure to follow up with each prospect then you are sure to be successful and grab the attention of new prospects and turn them into clients. A higher closing percentage turns into more business and keeps your agency healthy and striving.

How do you manage your creative agency sales and what’s your success with cold calling? If you want to know more about sales management software for your ad agency don’t hesitate to reach out to us for more information at

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