Sue and her team had structured a business around training people how to do their own PR. While sales were ok, profits were not. Added to that, Sue was flying all over the country servicing different markets. She was exhausted and couldn’t see how to scale it further. She wanted to hire a sales person to free her time and hence her interest in talking with us.
After a brief chat, I helped her to see that hiring a salesperson was most likely not the right approach. In cases where the owner is strong in sales, it is often a mistake to delegate that part of the business. Her real opportunity was in changing her business model and systemising how she was doing sales.
This piqued her interest and she engaged us.
Working together we developed a plan around building their ‘done for you’ PR service. Which had much higher margins, better clients and was more easily scaled. To do this we needed to create a sales process that showed value to the clients, highlighted Profile Media’s uniqueness, flushed out objections and maximised closing ratios. This process is now systematic and delivering consistent results.
Their marketing also needed to become much more systematic. In doing this we looked at the Ideal Client profile and what marketing channels are going to work best and matched that against the skills and resources within the team. Due to Sue’s natural talent as a speaker, we developed relationships with partners who could provide those speaking opportunities on a consistent basis. This had led to consistent lead flow. We also developed a systematic referral model which is championed by the journalists on the front line. The team was trained in how and when to look for referral opportunities. That combined with mutually developed targets, has significantly increased referral volume and consistency.
The third major component to boost sales and profitability was increasing the length of client engagement. We changed several things in how clients are positioned, expectations set and the processes and language used by the team throughout a clients journey. So far we’ve taken client retention from a 6.5month average to 11 months. This represents a 70% boost in revenue with no additional marketing spend. And that equals profits.
In redefining the sales process and getting the marketing messaging and client profile tight, Sue has been able to increase pricing to sell based on value vs. time. Her average starting fee is up by 25%.
To make all this sustainable, Sue has had to change her team structure. Where before she was largely relying on subcontractors and outsourcing (minimising fixed overhead), we’ve now shifted to a full-time team. By implementing our unique hiring system, Sue has been able to attract truly world-class journalists who generate consistent client results.
We’ve since added additional skill sets to the team that has enabled Sue to offer more services to clients. This has increased her average spend per customer by upward of 35%.