Does Cold Calling Work for Advertising Agencies?


I was having lunch with a client friend the other day.  He bought.  He works for a well-known National company.  The talk turned to advertising agencies as it often does.  He had been at his position for almost a year.  I played a small role in helping him get his current job. An introduction was all that it was and then his merits and experience landed him the gig.

Like most clients he is overtasked.  Lots to do with the often challenging resources of the New Normal.

He shared a story about all the people that called him when he got the job.  People that he never heard from when he was looking for a job.  He said he doesn’t even return their calls.  Yes insincerity is a thin veneer in the New Normal.

I’ve had many people think of me when they were looking for work because of my network.  Once they landed I went into the forgotten or too busy pile. No worries.  Those people come and go in life.

He asked me if every agency these days has a New Business person.  He said he was overwhelmed with calls from agencies constantly.  He message on his voice mail says that the best way to reach me is by e mail yet agencies left voice mails for him.  “I hate voice mails,” is what he said.

He shared that these cold calls and unsolicited e mails have become more creative and somewhat more desperate.  Click on this link and watch this video and we will tell you in 60 seconds why we would be perfect for you.

What some agencies don’t understand that clients today are trying to implement the highest return projects most efficiently. They don’t want to talk to agencies with solutions looking for problems that don’t align.  Like two ships passing through the night. Yet agencies call away.

Oh sure sometimes an agency will actually talk to a prospect and get some work.  Just like somebody will get a job off Monster or a job posted on a website but these are rare.  Most clients aren’t sitting around in offices with tidy desks with nothing to do that day but answer the phone.

I am helping an agency find some people to help grow.  They are successful.  They are expanding.  They don’t use New Business people.  No frisky puppies for them.  Instead they hire senior people in strategy, creative and account service and entrust them with agency growth.  You do that by knowing the business and talking client challenges and building relationships.  It is about alignment not misguided selling.

In the depths of the great recession and yes it was a deep crevice I wrote an article called why I Network with People in Transition.  It shared some stories on how I was able to develop business not by chasing people but by helping people.  How many agencies include helping marketing people in transition as part of their new business plan?  I wonder what would pay more dividends in the end.  Random phone calls or helping a person with a great track record that is bound to land?  You make the call.

You can connect with Hank on LinkedIn:

Follow his updates on twitter: @hankblank

Like Blank and Associates on Facebook

Watch a video on When Is It Time to Fire Your Agency

You may also enjoy these articles:

The Most Powerful Word in Agency New Business is NO.

Should Clients Conduct Their Own Agency Reviews?

It’s Time for Clients to Change the RFP Process.