For Ad Agency New Business Success, Focus on Just a Few Prospects

Here are 5 reasons why large agencies focus on fewer prospects:

  • Client “conflicts” limit the industries where they can pursue prospects.
  • Budget: they are looking for big game, big budgets, and often global scope.
  • Knowledge: big companies expect anyone calling them to be smart and have insights about their business before they’ll talk to them, so the new business team has to research and absorb a lot of information over time.
  • Competitive review: they watch what their competitors are doing (both their prospect’s competitors and their prospect’s agencies) and look for weakness and potential opportunities.
  • Knowing when to call: careful analysis and synthesis of information over time gives the new business team ideas about when and how to make their approach.

As an example, TBWA / Chiat Day identified Visa as a prospect many years before they won the business.

How can your agency benefit from this approach? I think it depends on your…

  • Brand – have you put your stake in the sand; do you have a niche where you thrive?
  • Persistence – do you have someone with proven sales ability who can nurture prospects over the long term?
  • Financial health – with fewer prospects in your pipeline you may have to wait before you win; how long can you last?

With these three you have a competitive advantage. To reach more about this kind of new business focus, I encourage you to read Tim Williams’ post on not making new business a numbers game.

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