Key to daily objectives
Published on April 25, 2012
Reaching out to prospects you don't know - whether through cold calling, referrals, or networking - is a numbers game. Once you know your numbers, you can plan your weekly outreach so you meet your new business objectives.
Here's what I mean: A sales trainer I'm familiar with does the following every day:
Calls 15 companies he's never called before.
Has a conversation with 7 of them (approximately 50%).
Out of the 7, gets a meeting with 1 - 15% conversion from conversation to appointment (1/7); and, 3% conversion from unknown company to meeting (1/30).
If he does this every day, he knows he'll set, on average, 1 meeting every day, for a total of 5 new meetings every week. He'll also have at least 3 second or third meetings per week - carryovers from meetings in prior weeks. Of the 8 meetings each week, he expects to close one sale per week. Over the course of the year, he'll close 50 new accounts.
While his business is more transactional than a typical ad agency's, there are two key takeaways:
He knows how many calls to make every day.
He plans his daily schedule to give himself time to meet his daily objectives.
What's your approach?
Many new business people shy away from cold calls. From my experience, they only work for those who aren't afraid of them. If you don't like making cold calls or don't believe in them, try another approach.
Let's say that you prefer to network with friends and colleagues, and people you meet at conferences; or, that you only pursue new business if it's from a client referral. It's still a numbers game. I recommend that you analyze the funnel that led to a few of your recent new client wins to determine:
How many total people did you reach out to initially?
How many good conversations resulted?
How many meetings did you set?
How many proposals did you issue that resulted in your wins?
Once you know your numbers, you'll be able to do the math to determine your daily targets: how many people you need to network with, or how many clients you need to approach for referrals in order to reach your new client targets.
Have I explained this well? If not, please email me - I'll be happy to walk you through your numbers so you can set daily targets that will make you successful.
What procurement does and why it exists - from the client's perspective
Published on April 19, 2012
Many a new business person's blood pressure increases when you start talking about procurement. Frustration is natural when attempts to "persuade the unpersuadable" are unsuccessful - as in trying to communicate creative or subjective value to a person who's really only interested in getting the cheapest price.
Like it or not, procurement is here to stay.
Think about this: at a recent ANA event procurement reps outnumbered VPs of marketing! You might take that as a bad sign, or you might conclude that it's good news: representatives of procurement departments are trying to educate themselves about marketing and advertising. If this is even partially true, it should make every ad agency new business person who works with procurement want to better understand the function.
David Wilson, President of Stirling Consulting, provided an in-depth look at procurement during the recent 2010 New Business Conference. Here's a summary of my notes from the session.
Procurement is often looking for new suppliers to introduce to their internal client (the marketing team). Dont' be afraid to get to know them and develop a relationship. They're not the enemy.
Why does procurement exist? It's driven by the needs of the organization, which is usually to reduce expenses and increase working capital (the latter is usually accomplished by collecting amounts owed faster and paying vendors slower).
What is procurement's internal reputation? In a 2009 survey, 78% of Chief Financial Officers viewed procurement positively. Why? They're achieving 5%-20% annual cost savings and helping companies better manage risk. So, the trend to use procurement will continue.
Definition of a good procurement process: "An ongoing process of decreasing overall costs and managing supplier risk, while improving internal and external processes."
Principals of a good procurement process:
Focused on total cost (not just price), quality and service
Have clear objectives
Make objective decisions
Be grounded in strategy
It's important to note that within "the big corporation", procurement departments are at varying stages of their own evolution and maturity:
Competent (e.g. are very knowledgeable about marketing, savvy about developing innovative partnerships)
Lagging (e.g. "siloed" from the rest of the company, just focused on reducing costs, short-term oriented, ignorant about marketing)
As an agency new business person, you need to be prepared to deal with all three types.
What's procurement's decision criteria? For a "competent" department, they will consider quality, technology, strategic value, service, innovation and cost. When considering agency selection, "cost is significantly down the food chain".
Important things to recognize about procurement:
Agencies must understand client decision making
Harness the client's self-interest [as discussed in numerous posts, your proposal needs to be all about them, not you]
Identify the additional value your agency brings to the table
Recognize the cards that you hold - you're likely smarter about your subject area than anyone inside the prospective client
Hope this helps you crack the procurement nut!
Published on April 09, 2012
What's most important to CMOs according to four senior marketers? Return On Investment. If you're in charge of new business at your ad agency, your opportunity is to demonstrate that your agency will grow your prospect's brand and generate significant ROI.
That's what representatives from American Express, Travelocity, E*Trade, and Empire Blue Cross told a packed audience at the recent Mirren New Business Conference.
Biggest challenges for marketers in 2011: accurate metrics
The biggest challenge for digital marketers is to carefully set up campaign goals in order to accurately measure results. Equally challenging is that we still can't measure the results of TV, print, or outdoor with much accuracy.
These four marketers concluded that just about the only accurate measurement in aggregate is the number of new customers. If it's up, you're probably okay.
Tables Stakes for Agencies in 2011
A big idea
What Separates Agencies
When an agency clearly knows what it's really good at, it separates itself from the pack. Do you know where your agency can add real value?
Where's your passion? Too many agencies don't have it, and marketers can immediately see that it's missing.
The ability to ask a lot of smart questions. If you show up and talk, you've lost.
Recommendation to get in the door: a unique idea or perspective on your target's business. It must be something that can ultimately increase revenue and provide ROI.
Turnoffs - What NOT To Do in a Pitch
Ignore the rules
Show up with less people than the client
Show a lack of respect for the client's time
Be the guest
Published on November 16, 2011
You fly into a strange city. Your flight is delayed. It's raining. You manage to find a cab that takes you to the hotel in a car that's sorely in need of new shock absorbers. The hotel restaurant is closed and there's nothing open nearby. It's midnight, so that's no surprise. You're irritated and tired. What a great way to start your trip to visit a prospective ad agency whose work you really like. Strike one.
In the morning, you find that the "continental breakfast" is hard boiled eggs, over-ripe bananas, mealy apples, and tepid coffee. Cabs are nowhere to be found, but the front desk person manages to call one...it's 20 minutes late. Strike two.
You arrive at the agency, only to find that no one's at the front desk. The meeting is scheduled for 8:30 am. In fact, there aren't many people around at all. Is this the right day, you ask yourself? You walk around the office and find someone back in a corner, ear buds in place. They have no idea you're there until you touch them on the shoulder and scare them half to death. They have no idea what to do with you. Strike three.
Contrast that hands-off approach to this one, using the same storyline:
The agency has arranged for a car service to take you, comfortably, to your hotel.
Knowing the potential for a late arrival, they've provided you with a basket of food. There's a hand-written note inside welcoming you and saying how much everyone is looking forward to meeting you in the morning.
One of the agency principals picks you up for breakfast at 7:15 am. She's taking you to the best breakfast spot in town.
The front desk person is at his desk when you arrive, and has been on the lookout for you ever since he got a text saying that you were 5 minutes away.
Lots of employees are around when you arrive; there's a buzz of activity.
Before the meeting, as the principal told you would happen over breakfast, you're taken on a brief agency tour with a really fun, effervescent employee who makes you feel completely welcome. In fact, you start thinking to yourself, "This is a fun place to work - I'd like to work with these people." She makes a point to introduce you to the creative team, since that's the reason you're there in the first place.
Home run? Maybe not, but at least you're still in the game.
Followed up with a thank you note...priceless.
Break the mold
Published on July 14, 2011
One of the most thought-provoking and mindset-challenging sessions at the 2011 Mirren New Business Conference was "The Innovators Panel." Why? Because all organizations, including agencies, must innovate to remain relevant.
The chart, below, gives you a simple way to visualize the transformation that needs to take place for real innovation.
Same Services for New Clients
New Services for New Clients, with Different People
Same Services for Same Clients
New Services for Existing Clients
Most businesses and agencies strive to achieve either "same services for new clients" OR "new services for existing clients." The most difficult, risky, and potentially rewarding move, however, is to provide "new services for new clients, with different people." However, to accomplish this transformation you will, over time, have to radically change your business model.
How to Blow Up Your Agency
Here are some of the ideas offered by the panel, which included Ed Boches from Mullen, Winston Binch from Crispin, Aaron Shapiro from HUGE, and Tony Signore from Taylor:
Stay in tune with start-ups and trends - Listen (see below)
Host weekly tech "meet-ups" in your office(s)
Recruit from the hacker community
Develop an internship program to attract the best and brightest talent
Develop a "Listening Culture"
It's critical that your organization pay attention to what's going on in technology and marketing. Here are 9 ways the panelists suggests you stay current:
Attend tech panels
Host tech meet-ups
Read Wired magazine
Get outside your industry
Teach a class on a college campus (innovation is taking place by those in their twenties; you'll learn from your students)
Hire a strategy firm like Jump Associates to help you
Read Tim Brown's Change by Design; and, keep in eye on what his company, IDEO, is doing
As you develop new talent, new ideas, and new services, here are a couple of ways to start getting traction with your existing or new clients:
Bring new technology in a "lab format" to your clients every month. Teach them. Let them play with it. Experiment. See what happens.
When you recommend new technology or new services, be sure to explain why it's a good idea to try it out. Most importantly, before deploying it, establish metrics - how you're going to evaluate the experiment.
Lastly, make sure your website matches your capabilities. For example, if you're really good at social media or developing apps, don't tell. Show. Show your capabilities via video. Hire a young film student to tell your story for you. All you need is a 2-3 minute video.
published on June 02, 2011
The 18-30 year old Millennial market is one of the most sought after by marketers and their ad agencies. Read on about an upcoming conference to help you get smart.
Millennials create their own
Research from Center for the Digital Future
published on May 23, 2011
What's the best way to reach your ad agency's new business prospects? It may depend on how old they are.
New research from the Center for the Digital Future at USC's Annenburg School, was
When new business success is right in front of you
published on May 17, 2011
Back in 1989 Larry King had been doing Larry King Live for about four years. His contract was just about up, so he started looking around for another network. He found that by moving networks he
published on May 10, 2011
Occasionally you see an ad that gives you goosebumps. This is one of them, from Ogilvy Asia. As we're all getting older, it's inspiring to dream - and better yet - to act on them.
And, of course,
Identify the best talent
published on May 05, 2011
Most CEOs agree that one of their most most important jobs is to identify talent. When I think about talent I often recall a "Corner Office" interview in the New York Times with Kip Tindell, CEO
Growth, incentives, accountability
published on May 04, 2011
It's not every day that you get to see John Wren, Michael Roth, and Sir Martin Sorrell on stage together. At least I don't. One thing's for certain, when you do see them together you'll realize
Knowledge is strength
published on April 29, 2011
You've just received word that you've won the pitch. The new client you've been nurturing for years is nearly yours. And then you receive their contract, which includes a strict conflicts clause.
Are you training?
published on April 27, 2011
McKinsey & Co. managers spend thirty days per year training and evaluating their people. In contrast, agency managers spend two. Given that consulting companies like McKinsey are encroaching on
Thoughts on the agency-client relationship
published on April 21, 2011
Keith Weed is Unilever's Global CMO, and so one of the most influential marketers in the world. He shared his views on marketing, brands, procurement, and ad agency new business in a recent talk.
Christian Juhl on ad agency new business
published on April 19, 2011
Razorfish has won some of the most desirable interactive clients in the world. Christian Juhl is the president, and knows a thing or two about how to win. At the recent Mirren New Business
Closer agency - client relationships
published on April 07, 2011
I recently saw Cisco's new Telepresence system in action. My first thought was, "Wow, this is an amazing client retention and communication tool."
My second thought was that it should be a boon
TED brings them together
published on April 04, 2011
One of the most satisfying aspects of working in the ad industry is knowing some of the people and companies that create ads that move you. Sometimes, those ads appear together. The folks at TED
published on March 23, 2011
With Salesforce.com's acquisition of Jigsaw, you can now easily export contacts from Salesforce.com to Jigsaw. (For more on crowd-sourced data sources like Jigsaw, click here.)
The Lure of Free
published on March 17, 2011
What a great sales pitch: take your in-house prospecting list, upload it to a crowdsourced-based website like Jigsaw or NetProspex, and then download an equal number of "clean" contacts - for
Run To The Roar
published on January 05, 2011
Over the millennia on the African savanna, lions have developed a hunting technique. The oldest lion in the pride is often infirm. She is a great-grandmother. She has lame legs, rotten teeth, a
Some clients provide candid feedback
published on October 26, 2010
Does your ad agency's new business team learn something every time an RFP submission doesn't get you to the next round? Is every RFP better than the one before? Some rejection letters provide
Impact on new business?
published on October 05, 2010
"If you spend any time at all talking about online communities, you’re bound to stumble across the 90-9-1 Principle," says Jake McKee. "The idea is simple: In social groups, some people
From classroom to workplace
published on September 21, 2010
How do you build team players? Is "team play" something that people are born with, or is it a learned behavior? How do we create it in this Millennial age, when our youngest employees have grown
Most important things entrepreneurs have learned
published on September 14, 2010
Readers of this blog will recognize that I'm curious about how to improve new business, and business in general. I believe you can learn from the experience of others, particularly when you think
published on September 09, 2010
I recently read the just-released Intelligence Report from DailyVista, "Marketing to Millennials", which gets inside the minds of the Millennial market. It provides revealing facts and figures as
published on September 03, 2010
I received a link to a You Tube video in a blog post the other morning. While I rarely watch videos at work, something in this caught my eye and I did. That evening my 14-year old son, who's
Size doesn't matter
published on August 17, 2010
Some ad agency CEOs would rather not spend money on a new business prospecting database. So it's not surprising that the decision to do so (or not) often comes down to a choice: spend money on an
Execute well for growth
published on August 11, 2010
Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, authors of REWORK, write: "The original pitch idea is such a small part of business that it's almost negligible. The real question is how you execute."
Quality and Reach
published on July 28, 2010
If your ad agency has or is considering writing a blog, deciding how to spread the word to acquire readers is important: If relevant corporate marketers aren't reading it, the time you invest in
It takes hard work
published on July 21, 2010
Many of us start feeling sluggish during the heat of the Summer. Prospecting for new business can feel pretty unappealing, and as the clock moves towards 5:00 pm, it's pretty easy to start
Sparkfly personalizes offers to influence shopper behavior and drive maximum margins
published on July 14, 2010
One of the "if only we could" wishes of B2C Chief Marketing Offers is delivering highly personalized, one-to-one offers to customers - offers that result in increased brand loyalty and higher
Look before you leap, and measure carefully
published on July 07, 2010
It's really tempting for an ad agency new business person to look at inexpensive data sources (call them "Jigsaw-like") and get enticed by their low-price business models.
We get asked about
It's tough to improve if you don't know how you're doing
published on June 29, 2010
How do you measure the performance of your new business team? Is it just number of wins and revenue generated? If those numbers are good, do you know what they're doing well? If those numbers
Build your plan
published on June 24, 2010
Creating an advertising agency new business plan is a step-by-step process. With the outline of ingredients necessary to create a new business plan provided in this post, you'll be able to make
Are you committed?
published on June 22, 2010
It may be the result of losing a client, reading a book, article or blog, attending a conference or meeting, or perhaps just having a conversation with someone: every so often an ad agency CEO
Consultative selling at its best
published on June 17, 2010
I was told a story a few month ago about a salesman and his son. They're not involved with ad agency new business, but their story and the lessons learned are 100% applicable to a successful
> 50% is falling in love
published on June 15, 2010
Ad agency search consultant Brian Goodall, of Jones Lundin Beals, keeps it simple when he talks about how to get your agency noticed by corporate marketers. In fact, he boils it down to a couple
It's not just your performance that matters
published on June 10, 2010
Some new business execs shine in their role, but fail to contribute across the agency. In decades past, this "lone star" trait could lead to a successful career as "chief rainmaker", but nowadays
Response time is critical
published on June 08, 2010
How would you react if you learned today that responding to a prospect within one minute of their inquiry could improve your ability to win new business by 391%? Similarly, if you help your
Aviod the pitfalls
published on May 27, 2010
My prior post details six building blocks to create an effective mentoring program to help build new business bench strength. As not every mentoring relationship is a good one, prior to
Set it up right to begin with
published on May 25, 2010
One of the ways to develop new business bench strength is through a well set-up mentoring program. A protege can learn quickly from a mentor with broad and deep knoweldge of the ad agency. The
published on May 20, 2010
How valuable is it to hear directly from three CMOs to learn how they like to be contacted, what you need to know about them before you do, how to pitch, and how smart you need to be about their
Laurie Coots on growing your agency
published on May 18, 2010
Laurie Coots is the global CMO for TBWA/Chiat Day. She's one of the smartest ad agency new business execs you'll ever meet. When she speaks, people listen. Laurie shared her thoughts on how to
Cheating is okay
published on May 13, 2010
If you've ever had a dog, you'll recognize this: talk to them using a certain tone of voice and they'll cock their head to the side and look at you expectantly. They know you're talking to them,
"Live Pitch" provides insights
published on May 07, 2010
For those who attended the 2010 New Business Conference, the annual "Live Pitch Competition" provides an opportunity to participate in or watch a random group of agency new business people
Case Study: Cinquino & Co.
published on May 05, 2010
Was your agency able to win new business from 71% of your first meetings in 2008? How about 60% in 2009? That's what one small agency in New Jersey accomplished after being on the brink of closing
published on April 27, 2010
We all know we should ask for referrals. But it's the rare new business or sales person - in any company or industry - who habitually does. Even rarer is finding a company that has
Only if you get paid?
published on April 22, 2010
Five year-old hot-shop Droga5 now only pitches new business if they get paid. Why? They know they win 60-70% of the time when they are, versus only 20% when they're not.
Other agencies pitch and
Latest information from research firm Mintel
published on April 21, 2010
Krista Faron, Lead Innovation Analyst at research firm Mintel, gave an inside look at the industry categories predicted to experience growth in the coming year during the recent 2010 New Business
How does it make you feel?
published on March 31, 2010
I received two thank you notes in the last month that were different from all others: neither was sent via email. One was an "old-fashioned", hand-written note from a friend. The other was from a
Interview with Victors and Spoils' John Winsor
published on March 25, 2010
Brent Hodgins of Mirren recently interviewed John Winsor of Victors and Spoils, which calls itself the "The world's first creative (ad) agency built on crowdsourcing principles." John is a serial
Interview with Mattel's ex-procurement chief
published on March 23, 2010
When you mention to a new business person that "procurement" is getting involved, the typical reaction is dread. You've built rapport with your prospect, established their need, demonstrated how
As easy as...Above and Beyond Client Service
published on March 18, 2010
True story from a week ago: Midwest branding and packaging agency seeks Midwest healthcare account. Agency gets to the top of the list of prospective partners - before even meeting with the
But, will 4G really be faster? And, if so, for how long?
published on March 17, 2010
Today's Wall Street Journal (March 17, 2010) reports that as 4G wireless technology becomes more widely available in the next year, download speeds may be 3-8 times faster than with current 3G
Predicted to be a game-changer
published on March 09, 2010
The editor of Wired magazine, last week at the 4As Transformation 2010 conference, predicted that tablet computers will replace laptops. He also predicted a new era for the print publishing
In the words of Rishad Tobaccowala
published on March 03, 2010
Marketing is understanding and meeting customer requirements. In order to survive, companies must meet their requirements; technology is going to allow agencies to understand customers'
The glue in the marketing organization
published on February 24, 2010
The marketing organization inside many of your larger prospects or clients is becoming increasingly fractured and siloed, creating a big opportunity for agencies to exercise leadership and vocally
Where and how to successfully prospect
published on February 18, 2010
There are only a few people in the U.S. who have a broad-based and in-depth view of the proactive new business market, and who can speak to all geographic regions, industry categories, and types
7 ways to make your committee more effective
published on February 09, 2010
Many smart ad agency Presidents create new business committees with the best of intentions: bring together the best and brightest in the agency who touch new business, give them a mission and
Objectives and Key Results
published on February 02, 2010
Two days ago I was introduced to a management technique that's widely used at Intel and Google, about which I was previously unaware. The idea is to get everyone in the company focused on the
Change can be just another thing that you do
published on January 29, 2010
In our company, we constantly push ourselves to figure out how to change and improve in order to grow. Part of the pushing comes from an external source (the executive coach I mention in a recent
How hard are you willing to work, and for how long?
published on January 22, 2010
Most ad agency new business people are competitive, and want to be the very best they can be. What separates the average from the great? The experts from the "wannabes"? I was struck by a section
Making sure you and your new business director are on the same page
published on January 19, 2010
Every now and then you learn a management technique that's so easy and powerful that you can't believe you didn't know about it before. I learned one of these tactics recently from an executive
Wall Street Journal article suggests it still works
published on January 14, 2010
It wasn't too many years ago that ad agencies used direct mail to generate new business leads. Then, it went out of fashion in favor of email. But, as spam laws and filters have made email less
Everyone likes the best of...
published on January 08, 2010
As a way to kick off the New Year, here are the ten most-read posts from 2009. Enjoy!
- 7 Voicemail Messages for Successful Ad Agency New Business Development.
- The Other Reason Why Your Clients
Know your type
published on December 18, 2009
This is a guest post from Craig Kavicky, Vice President at Big Red Rooster, an independent research, strategy, and design company in Columbus, Ohio.
In recent posts, Todd has referenced the
The good news is that everything is measurable
published on December 15, 2009
A reader recently wrote me, saying that he's a new ad agency CEO, but has never managed a new business department. What objectives should I set, he asked? What should I measure? As many agency
"Jarring" is not the reaction you want
published on December 11, 2009
A few weeks ago I wrote about how not to self-destruct during your first meeting. Unfortunately, in this true story the agency became the talk of the prospect's office. Here's the back-story.
Wonderfactory prototype is an exciting development
published on December 03, 2009
The Wonderfactory, in collaboration with Time, Inc., helped design the prototype of what Sports Illustrated magazine might look like on a tablet computer.
Revealed on December 2nd, this innovation
Reveal the answer to close more new business
published on December 02, 2009
Before a prospect can become a client, they have to clearly understand the value of working with your ad agency or marketing services firm.
Does your current new business process demonstrate what
Help them create a new future
published on November 23, 2009
The common approach to selling marketing services is, "Find their pain, and then show how you can solve it." But, if you only focus on your prospect's pain, you're leaving half the potential new
Introducing Leap Media
published on November 19, 2009
Small and mid-size advertising agencies can now offer their clients Digital TV services. A low-cost, turn-key solution, which you can offer as your own, is available to drive new business.
People do business with people they like
published on November 13, 2009
85% of buyers of marketing services state they're more likely to purchase from a provider with whom they've established some kind of personal chemistry. This was cited in a white paper I read
Stay true to yourself
published on November 09, 2009
To many marketing services providers, sales is the equivalent of checking your values at the door and becoming a slimy salesman. Your mental image is along the lines of getting a prospect to part
Good chemistry means learning how to have difficult conversations to maintain harmony
published on November 04, 2009
You've seen it happen: two members of your team aren't getting along. You've tried to repair the damage, but everyone knows it's there. While everyone tries to cover it up in the pitch, it still
How one agency is turning an opportunity to win into a likely loss
published on November 02, 2009
Agencies will do almost anything to get a first meeting with an ideal new business prospect. But once the meeting is secured, optimism often turns to disappointment, and too often it's because the
The issue is timeless
published on October 30, 2009
Knowing what your services are worth and being able to articulate and sell the value to a prospect is a critical new business skill.
I was recently emailed the following story, which was delivered
published on October 27, 2009
Janet Northen is Partner and EVP Director of Agency Communications at McKinney. She's been in agency PR for many years, including significant stints and Fallon and The Martin Agency. When I think
The answer depends...
published on October 22, 2009
This is the last in our three-part Q&A from our reader in Finland, who posed an often-debated question: "Should I thoroughly research my prospects and make fewer calls, or research less and make
Question and answer from a reader (#2)
published on October 20, 2009
Recall that I promised to answer three questions from a reader in Finland. His second question is, "What's the best strategy for a first meeting?"
I've written in the past about the importance of
Answers to a reader's new business question
published on October 16, 2009
A reader from Finland recently emailed a few questions, which I'll answer over the next few days. The first is, "When you're selling something as intangible as advertising, how can you close at
Don't manage your career, Exceed Expectations
published on October 14, 2009
Come year-end, we'll see ad agency new business people engage in the annual ritual of getting fired and finding new jobs at different firms.
This game of musical chairs creates turmoil within
How Justin is turning around an almost-lost client
published on October 08, 2009
Customer retention, let alone organic growth, usually comes down to people delivering on promises. Missed deadlines, less than acceptable quality, and poor communication all naturally lead to
Cultivate your network with relevant information
published on October 07, 2009
It wasn't that many years ago that you'd send snail mail that included an article with a note attached that read something like this,
Saw this and thought you'd enjoy it.
The approach was simple
Helping your network with no expectation of ROI
published on October 05, 2009
One definition of karma is "actions that bring bring upon oneself inevitable results". I was intrigued by a recent conversation with Jane, a new business person, who claimed that this was the key
Signs of a turnaround
published on October 01, 2009
Dave Currie, President of Catapult New Business sits in a fairly unique seat. Catapult gets meetings with corporate marketers for its agency clients. While Dave speaks with dozens of agencies a
It's a bit like cutting off your nose to spite your face
published on September 30, 2009
It's my birthday (it's not divisible by five, just another on the short march towards the big five-oh), and I've given myself permission to rant after hearing this comment one too many times from
Just because you have a database doesn't mean it's accurate
published on September 28, 2009
Most agencies have a new business database. Twelve years ago, while working at another company, I would've agreed with the majority of agency principals who believe that their database resembles
Study reveals execs prefer face-to-face
published on September 23, 2009
According to a recent Forbes Insights study, business executives prefer face-to-face meetings and conferences over virtual meetings, and overwhelmingly agree that they're necessary to build
The lifeblood of most agencies
published on September 21, 2009
When you analyze the cost of acquiring a new client, generating new business from referrals is usually the least expensive. Realizing this, the natural question to ask is, "How do I get more?"
Add value so you don't kill your prospects
published on September 17, 2009
- The act of killing prospects.
What a great word! I came across it in an article by Paul McCord. He raises valuable issues and recommendations that
Real change requires real effort
published on September 16, 2009
A recent Harvard Business School article addressed why it's so hard to change, which is a good follow up to my last post on the need for constant change and improvement in ad agency new business.
A call to action
published on September 14, 2009
You've probably heard the expression, "Change or Die". Winston Churchill had another take on it that, to me, is even more powerful:
To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.
And it needs to be a sound business decision
published on September 10, 2009
A few years ago I was faced with a decision about whether or not to file a lawsuit. As I considered my options, an old friend related to me what his even wiser lawyer once counseled him about
($ Canadian, that is.)
published on September 09, 2009
How many of us are willing to offer $40,000 off agency fees to bring in a client? Well that's what The BrainStorm Group did at the end of May. And it worked.
Ron Telpner, chairman and CEO of the
published on September 04, 2009
What are the best questions to get corporate marketers talking?
We all have our favorites, so why not combine our knowledge and put together a list of the best? Below is a form to enter your
"Busy-ness" abounds in good times and bad...
published on September 02, 2009
Not long ago I had to let someone go who was always the first to arrive and last to leave. She willingly put in time on the weekends without complaint. And when she was at work, she worked; it
What's the right mix?
published on August 31, 2009
Ad agency clients regularly ask us this question, "What's the best mix of retainer vs. project work?" I think the answer can determine how successful you are at creating a sustainable new business
You are judged on first impressions
published on August 27, 2009
A recent survey reveals that only one in three agency receptionists meet the characteristics of a Director of First Impressions. Staffed well and you'll have another new business weapon in your
One benefit is time to think and plan
published on August 26, 2009
In a recent post I wrote about the importance of getting away from ad agency new business to get refreshed and re-energized. But there's more to it: it's taking a long-term view of the work you
Resist pressure to reduce your fees
published on August 24, 2009
A recession is a scary time for the person trying to maintain the financial health of the agency.
I got into a conversation with a fellow CEO the other day about the pressure agencies are under to
Listening = Winning
published on August 20, 2009
We've all heard the expression, "People love to hear themselves talk." When it comes to new business, your success is often determined by how well you get your prospects to do the talking.
One of the old rules may need to be rewritten
published on August 19, 2009
It wasn't long ago that calling a marketer on their cell phone was considered "too personal".
However, as cell phones are becoming mobile computers, and the lines between work-time and
Growth is within your control
published on August 17, 2009
CEO beliefs and behaviors either contribute to revenue growth or work against it. The questions is, are you helping or hindering your agency generate new business?
Here's an article by Michael
The skills of your hunters and farmers are critcial to landing and retaining clients
published on August 14, 2009
Tight client budgets, hungry competitors, and aggressive new business hunters make for a tricky new business environment. That's what we're all experiencing now, and probably will for some time -