Mav Meets… Michael Jones, our sales outreach guru

By Garry Mockeridge , 12 February 2024 | 5 mins read

Agency Sales is all about selling lots of services and smooth-talking prospective clients into signing lucrative contracts, isn’t it? Not at Maverick, it isn’t. Michael Jones, our Group Partnership Director, is more about listening, learning and long-term relationships. We chatted with him about his role and his approach to it.

1. You’ve been at Maverick for a few years now, what do you love about the company?

I’ve loved my time at Maverick so far. Our team are very likeminded and there is a real sense of togetherness and support for each other.

2. What draws you to sales, particularly outreach, which can be a very much under-appreciated role?

My approach to sales is to view it as a value exchange, which relies on building trust and developing a clear understanding of someone’s strategic goals. By identifying both immediate and longer-term challenges, we can effectively demonstrate our relevant capabilities to support the client in reaching their objectives.

I enjoy learning about clients’ needs and facilitating ways we can support them. It’s really rewarding to build those relationships and support their success. If you do so with transparency, consideration, and a genuine interest in the client personally, they start to view you as a trusted advisor.

This is why I feel outreach is key. If someone approaches the agency (inbound or via a tender), it’s often because they have a tactical or immediate need. This is fine and is still a good starting point but the relationship will immediately rely on our the capability to respond to those isolated predetermined requirements. Outreach enables us to educate prospective clients on our offering. It provides an opportunity to stand out and get a deeper understanding of their longer term needs, challenges and personal goals. Where we can add real value is road mapping effective solutions to assist them in achieving success. People appreciate a fresh perspective when the goal is to solve a challenge. Positioning our team as an ally to support in shaping effective briefs to address their ultimate commercial and personal objectives.

3. With marketing being such a dynamic field, how do you stay ahead of industry trends and ensure your sales strategies align with the ever-evolving landscape?

All the usual ways really. By attending sales events, both in person and online, staying up-to-date with industry news and getting insights from those we engage with in the marketing space. It’s amazing what you learn just by listening properly to other likeminded people.

4. We have a number of specialisms at Maverick. How do you go about selling so many services to so many prospects, when every opportunity is different?

First of all, I focus on understanding the prospect’s challenges. Once I have an understanding of their short-term and longer-term needs, I can provide a clearer insight into the areas where we can support and assist most effectively. So it’s not really about selling lots of services, it’s more about offering the most helpful, relevant and effective ones for each individual case.

5. What do you think clients want to see more of in 2024?

I think clients want more proactive, agile partners. I think they want to hear ideas that can improve their approaches to their positioning, create better operational efficiency, increase their awareness to customers (brand sentiment) and deliver commercial impact.

6. How do you differentiate the agency’s sales approach to stand out in the market and win new business?

I position Maverick’s sales approach as being more considered than the rest. I think we go a little bit further to understand our clients and prospects and to show we truly value a relationship. We can also demonstrate that we deliver exceptional service (often despite tight timelines) and always create impact.

7. If there’s any advice you could give to someone wanting to work in the sales world, what would that be?

Be a good listener. Never ever bullshit – people see through that. If something is beyond your scope to deliver, be transparent and say so. It might disappoint initially, but it builds trust long term. Where possible, refer clients to effective partners when you can’t meet a challenge, and put your clients’ success above your own immediate commercial gain.

8. Who is your favourite Maverick and why?

I have two favourites: Sir Alex Ferguson and Muhammad Ali.

I admire Sir Alex because he was never afraid to change his approach to rise to a challenge – and for boycotting BBC interviews for years after they misquoted him, which was hilarious. And Ali used his celebrity profile for positive change and achieved astonishing feats in the face of adversity. Both are legends in my eyes.

So that’s Michael Jones, our sales expert who ensures our new clients receive the services and support they need for long-term success. And no hard sell.