Execute On Client Expectations To Consistently Create Ad Agency New Business

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.”

How you execute your business is critical to new business.

Think about it: How successful will your new business machine be if you have an account management team that continually fails to meet client expectations? If they’re missing deadlines, promising one thing and delivering another, dealing with situations poorly, or communicating ineffectively, you’re in trouble. I’m sure you’ve experienced all of these, and can add to the list of ways to cripple a client relationship.

Equally threatening – what if your creative work is weak, off-target, or doesn’t meet expectations? Let’s say you really need a win to avoid agency layoffs. So, your new business team dusts off work done by a prior creative director. It was award-winning work, “done by the agency”, so you’re okay with it. However, deep down, you know your creative team isn’t as strong as it was. The good news: you win the business. The bad news: you can’t deliver on the creative expectation you’ve set, so you lose the client in six months, trashing your reputation along the way.

In both scenarios, you failed to execute and consequently lost the opportunity to generate new business.

The opposite will be true if your agency is a “well-oiled machine”. This represents good execution.

  • Your new business efforts portray your agency as it really is.
  • Your account management team continually exceeds client expectations.
  • Your creative team regularly delivers work with “stopping power”.
  • Communication up and down the two organizations is consistent and effective.

What happens? Most likely, you’ll be rewarded with organic growth on existing accounts. That growth will create confidence – that “swagger in the step” that non-verbally communicates to prospects that you’re an agency to consider.

And they should, because you back it up with results. You execute your business well.


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