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Sales

In which Happy Cog staff discuss the dance steps before the design engagement.

We’ve written 16 blog posts about Sales. View all topics »

  1. Show Your Work

    There is no Angie’s List for creative service companies. No IMDb for project credits. No peer review requirements for blog posts. Our industry is out here on its own, and left to act on our collective best behavior.

  2. Little Wins: Monthly Invoicing

    When I joined Happy Cog there were whispers about the elusive holy grail called monthly billing. It was hardly a new concept, but it was new to us. In theory, monthly billing would keep a regimented stream of cash coming in the front doors, and steady cash flow is almost more important to running a business than overall revenue. But we’d never made the move. We structured contracts so that our deliverable-based invoicing occurred at reasonable intervals, but if deadlines shifted, our payments did too.

  3. Conf Hack

    I don’t attend a ton of large conferences each year. I attend local events, but when I dedicate a few consecutive days to a larger event, I want to make it count. You may do the same—feeling like you only get one shot to attend a conference and learn all you can. Here are some tips I’ve learned for how to make the most out of these unique opportunities.

  4. Taking the Local

    A prospective client recently raised the (periodic) concern that our team wasn’t in close proximity to their headquarters. My reply was thorough: “We have two locations ourselves; successfully working remotely is in our DNA.” “We have a track record of working with clients all over North America and abroad, and a laundry list of client testimonials and references.” “Even when we work with a client in Philadelphia or Austin (where we’re based), those projects behave the same way as when we work with a client in South Dakota. Our process is location-agnostic.” Etc. etc. etc.

    The client seemed to appreciate my response, but in the end, they chose a local firm instead. I missed my opportunity to win that particular project, but the next time our proximity to clients comes into question, I’ll have a different response. My answer should have been simple, concise.

  5. Recruit the Recruiters

    Business development in a client service organization is a complex responsibility. Each approach is different from the next, but good salespeople share core competencies. I’ve talked to dozens of agency owners at Owner Camp, where the importance and role of business development is a popular conversation topic. Salespeople can be found in all walks of life. But, more than a few great ones I know were formerly recruiters, and here’s why.

  6. War on Spec

    Some agencies adhere to the mantra “you get the clients you deserve.” If that’s the case, clients also get the results they deserve—especially when they hire based on spec. This past year, I watched two projects implode after they landed with other agencies who provided spec work in the sales process. I’m not typically a sore loser, but if you hire a partner based off of spec work, you’re digging your own grave.

  7. Thomas Bayes, Save Me From Statistics!

    The only class I’ve ever failed was Statistics. I mean I flat-out failed that class.

    Since then, I’ve been statistically impaired. I’ve never argued with the value of crunching collected data, but I’ve always struggled to see the value in statistically-predictive analysis. In my role in sales, however, I’m very interested in understanding the behavior and the alchemy behind our sales process. Many of our leads come in through our online planner, but discerning how they arrived at the gates of our form has always been a mystery.

  8. Win Some, Lose Some

    We work in a wonderfully open community where ideas and best practices are shared and implemented liberally. Well, except when it comes to sales.

  9. Shut It Down!

    While cruising the boardwalk with my family this weekend, I was struck by what the boardwalk has in common with web design and development: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

  10. RFP Advice From The Front Lines

    Stop what you’re doing! John Conner sent me from the future to prevent you from authoring this RFP. I’ve seen the aftermath. Internal teams at odds over the redesigned site, users confused by an experience that somehow got more complicated, unreconciled technologies, hopes dashed, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria.

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