How to Have an Amazing Introductory Call with a Digital Agency - NP GROUP

Discover how to make your first call with a digital agency impactful, laying the groundwork for a fruitful partnership with clear communication, understanding team roles, and setting mutual goals.

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How to Have an Amazing Introductory Call with a Digital Agency

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  3. BlogHow to Have an Amazing Introductory Call with a Digital Agency2024-03-01How to Have an Amazing Introductory Call with a Digital AgencyFor Potential Clients
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How to Have an Amazing Introductory Call with a Digital Agency
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If you're gearing up for an introductory call with a digital agency, you might wonder how to navigate the conversation to get the desired results. It's like starting a new book (or, I guess, to be a bit risque, a first date!); you want to get to the good part where all the action happens, but first, you must get through the opening chapters. This call is your chance to lay out the plot, introduce the characters (meaning you and your team), and set the scene for a successful partnership. In this post, I'll walk you through the essentials of a great introductory call. Think of it as your quick guide to building a solid rapport with the folks who could be responsible for changing the trajectory of your digital initiatives. Let's get started.


So much of the success of any project is the client and vendor working collaboratively. It’s a close relationship – you’ll converse regularly, work through challenges, and often brainstorm together. At times, it also can get stressful. Maintaining the required balance is nearly impossible if there is a level of personality conflict. Understanding the agency team will be, their backgrounds and experience, plus a bit about them, is essential.

During the introductions on your initial call with a web design agency, you must present your team clearly and concisely. Expect to introduce each team member, highlighting their role and relevance to the project, and identify the key decision-makers – even if they are not on the call! This streamlines communication and helps the agency understand your internal dynamics. Keep your introductions informative yet succinct, ensuring everyone’s time is respected and the main focus remains on the project.

From the agency, anticipate a breakdown of their team structure, with each member's role and expertise clearly outlined, and where they are located. Look for them to appoint a communication lead, typically a project manager or account executive, who will be your primary contact throughout the project lifecycle. Also, listen carefully to their company history. Have they had a stable history and growth cycle? Can they point to successes with similar projects? Do they seem confident in their abilities to solve your problems?

One last point: I prefer agencies to have actual team members on introductory calls. I conduct most of our calls personally (Book one here!). Employing a sales-specific person is always a tricky subject. Salespeople are motivated to sell, not solve problems. Furthermore, some agencies use salespeople or other junior business development staffers to gauge the level of interest of a client and then schedule a follow-up after gathering this information. I find that to be a waste. I want clients to leave this first call with more information about their project's pros, cons, and risks than simply an appointment for another call. Sure, follow-ups will be necessary, but the introductory call needs to have value, otherwise why bother?

Talk About the Problem

Clarity is your best friend in this section of your initial call with a digital agency. Kick off the discussion by outlining the specific challenge your company is up against. For example, if your website is outdated, explain how it’s impacting customer experience or sales. If your digital marketing isn't hitting the mark, discuss the gaps you’re noticing in customer engagement or lead conversion. Or, if you require custom software, detail the operational inefficiencies you’re facing. It’s not just about stating the problem but also about sharing how this issue is holding your business back. The more vividly you can paint this picture, the better the agency can visualize and grasp the importance of finding a solution.

Next, dive into what you envision as a successful outcome. I like to call this your “future desired state.” What does an ideal user journey look like if it’s a new website you’re after? What engagement or conversion rates are you aiming for for a new digital marketing strategy? And for custom software, how would the ideal workflow streamline operations? Discussing your goals doesn't just give the agency targets to aim for; it also primes them to start thinking about the creative and technical solutions they can offer. Be open about the expected results; this will help the agency tailor their approach to meet your ambitions.

Finally, be transparent about any internal assessments you’ve conducted. Have you identified potential causes or contributing factors to your challenges? Share insights from customer feedback, analytics, performance data, or internal reviews that shed light on the issues. This level of transparency helps the agency understand the depth and breadth of your problem. It’s not about laying all the cards on the table; it’s about building a bridge of understanding between your needs and their expertise, ensuring that the solutions they propose are not just inventive but also precisely targeted to your company's situation.

Talk About the Team and Internal Capabilities

In your conversation with a digital agency, when the topic shifts to your team and internal capabilities, it’s your chance to shine a light on the human power driving your project. Lay out the expertise that each member brings to the table. For instance, let the agency know if you have a savvy in-house marketer, a brilliant IT technician, or a creative content creator. This isn’t just about pride in your team—it’s strategic. By understanding who’s who in your company, the agency can see the full spectrum of skills and resources you already possess. It’s about showing the agency that you're not a blank canvas but rather one with outlines already sketched, waiting for their colors to bring the picture to life.

Now, while you're bringing up your team, it's equally important to be upfront about where you need a bit of extra muscle. Maybe you need a tech guru to tie loose ends or a design maestro to elevate your visuals—whatever it is, laying out where you need support is key. This open dialogue about your strengths and needs allows the agency to pinpoint exactly where they can add value. It turns a simple service agreement into a partnership where each side complements the other, working in lockstep towards a shared vision. Ultimately, this conversation about capabilities is less about filling in gaps and more about creating a dream team to achieve greatness together.

Finally, it is also an excellent time to address internal political problems or challenges. For example, it isn’t unusual for one group within a company to seek to complete this project by hiring an outside team when another group advocates for a different direction. This is fine; agencies have seen this before, but it is good to know early.

Introduce Constraints & Variables

Addressing constraints such as budget and timeframe early on establishes a practical framework for the project. Being transparent about your budget from the get-go does more than prevent future financial hiccups; it ensures that the digital agency can craft a strategy that maximizes every dollar for the best return on investment. Digital projects offer more flexibility in terms of approaches than other types of projects you may have run in the past. IE, the options are typically limited if you are putting in a new roof on your house. Developing a website gives many options across a vast spectrum of costs. Therefore, being honest from a budget perspective is essential so that you can maximize your budget and receive the most deliverables as possible.

Similarly, a clear discussion about the project's timeline is critical. Whether the clock is ticking loudly or you have the luxury of a more relaxed schedule, sharing these time constraints will help the agency to allocate its resources efficiently and plot out a project timeline that's both ambitious and achievable. In essence, laying out these boundaries at the outset allows both parties to operate within a shared reality, setting the stage for a partnership that is both mindful of limitations and driven by possibilities.

Get Background of the Agency

In the dynamic dance of agency-client relations, it's time to switch leads and ask the digital agency to take the floor. Inquire about their past performances - case studies, campaigns, and the nitty-gritty of projects that mirror your goal. It's not just a trip down memory lane for them; it's an audition in front of your critical eye. These stories will reveal their capabilities and proficiency in handling projects of your scale and scope. It's your opportunity to assess their track record, get a feel for their storytelling ability, and see tangible evidence of their strategic prowess.

Dig deeper by asking the agency to share the outcomes of these projects. What was the client's goal, and how did the agency meet it? What metrics did they use to measure success? These insights are invaluable because they go beyond the surface to showcase the agency's problem-solving skills and their capacity for innovation and adaptability. This is where you determine if their experience aligns with your aspirations and whether their approach to challenges could mesh well with your company’s ethos and objectives. 

Plan for Next Steps

As the introductory call winds down, charting the course ahead is crucial. Take a moment to align on the next steps, whether setting up a follow-up meeting with additional team members, discussing the specifics of a proposal, or agreeing on a date by which you can expect a detailed project plan. This is not just administrative housekeeping; it’s about ensuring mutual understanding and commitment to the project’s progression. By clearly defining what comes next, your team and the agency can move forward with a shared vision and clear expectations, keeping the momentum of your initial meeting strong and focused on the road ahead. Solidify the next meeting or communication, and set a date for when you expect to reconvene.

What are the possible next steps? At our agency, it depends on the project. Custom website design projects typically would require a second meeting with more specific team members, designers, and project managers to be specific. For a custom software development project, the conversation could result in the recommendation of a paid discovery engagement. This type of project requires writing a specification first and then developing an accurate proposal for the build-out later. Other engagements may vary in terms of how to proceed. Ultimately, there is one goal: to properly gauge the work required to achieve the future desired state and thus accurately propose a cost and timeframe. Be wary of agencies who are quick to recommend pricing before genuinely understanding the variables. They are just eager to close the sale.


An introductory call with a digital agency is more than a formality; it starts a journey. By preparing thoroughly and engaging genuinely, you'll set the stage for a partnership that can bring your digital aspirations to life. Remember, this is the beginning of a dialogue that could lead to a transformative collaboration for your company.

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