The most game changing word in new business is one that advertising, digital and PR agencies rarely use. It is NO.
Yes. NO. Agencies need to say NO more often in New Business. I can’t do that you say. I am a yes person. It’s time to change. The industry has changed. Technology has changed. Marketing has changed. But many agencies haven’t changed.
I went to a very interesting New Business Conference recently sponsored by Think LA and Mirren. I wrote about some observations in an article called To Grow Agencies Need to Focus on Things that Clients Can’t Do.
So here are suggested ways to respond to the New Business inquiries your agency may receive from companies, start ups, etc.
We are looking for an agency that can invest with us.
We would love to meet with you guys and get some new ideas.
Will you pay us for our time? NO.
Then say NO.
Or you can also send them a ten page agreement with lots of legal terms saying a bunch of mumbo jumbo outlining you will own your creative and their children. They will go away. A proportion of clients save their careers by using agencies and have no idea how to conduct an agency search.
You may think that there is a ray of hope. It is a mirage if people that don’t value your time, your work and your product.
Our budget is small but we are looking for a partner to help grow our business and then we will invest more.
When the calls come ask them if they are doing this review because it is mandated? If they say YES. Then you say NO.
We are anxious to go to market. Our timeline is aggressive and our budget is small but we are looking to grow.
All misguided New Business efforts aren’t just stimulated by untrained clients. Most badly planned efforts at agencies start internally.
Here are some ways to respond to the internal amped up, often politically riddled New Business meetings you may have each Monday morning after the your status meeting.
This could lead to something.
Say NO. It will lead to nothing. It is a low probability opportunity and New Business isn’t about playing the Quarter slots.
We should just give it a shot.
Say NO. The person who said that had too many shots on the weekend.
Here are some things you can say YES to in New Business.
Say YES to growing your existing clients. It is easier to grow your existing clients than winning New Business.
Say YES in taking the time and money that you would invest in fruitless searches and apply it to marketing your own agency. The majority of you don’t do it very well. I have seen it countless times as a search consultant and new business development person.
Say YES to NO.
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