This is my third blog in this series about How to Get More New Business in the coming year. Something I am sure that most agencies would love. My gut and the street tell me it is going to be a better year and I am closer to the street than most people.
I wrote the initial blog about the need to change to get New Business. Change is very difficult for many advertising, PR and digital firms. They readily advocate change for their clients but rarely practice it for themselves because real change is very hard. The most common change agent is the pain of lost accounts.
That blog was followed by How Agencies Can Get More New Business in 2012. You Need a Plan. Often Said Rarely Done. Few agencies I talk to have a New Business Plan. Sure they want more revenue but that isn’t really a plan.
Here are some thoughts on how Agency Principals can get more New Business in the coming year.
The first tip I can offer Agency Principals is leave your Embassy. I think that most Agency Principals are outside people. They are finders versus grinders. They are presenters versus listeners. Why do outside people let work turn them into inside people and weaken one of their core strengths; their external identity and awareness? Why do they get so immersed in the business versus working above the business? I know it is all about the money but I also believe that for many it is easier for them than leaving their compound.
By staying at home they lose something very important to their long term brand and that is their agency’s brand personification. If your name is one of the names on the agency door you are the brand. Yes you. You personify the agency. You are the face of the agency brand and if you are not seen you will soon be forgotten. “I haven’t seen them in a while” will be your descriptor.
I recently had lunch with the head of marketing for a well known company here in the OC. I asked them if they regularly receive packages from agencies. “Sure” they said like those mailings were akin to the regular trade publications or the junk mail they receive. “Do you ever read them?” I asked. “No.”
No is a dead end road with no U turns.
If you are an agency principal you stay inside your agency embassy sending boxes to strangers saying you would be perfect for them or you can leave the comfort of your embassy and leave the land of No. Which is a better use of you time?
Here is where I would start. First don’t just send the junior people from your agency to your local AAF, PRSA, IABC, or Digital Marketing Group. You should attend with them. Why would I do that you will ask? There is no New Business there. Yes you are right there is no New Business there but your reputation and your word of mouth is created there. You network for social currency as well as financial currency. You can underestimate its returns.
Clients with problems want to connect with Agency Principals who are leaders. Leaders have insights, smarts, compassion and reputation and these attributes are amplified outside of the walls of their embassy.
More to come.
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In the spirit of Christmas download my free audio CD called Hank Blank’s Guide to Holiday Networking. Adjust the volume up a bit. Hope you enjoy.