What Makes a Great Agency New Business Person?


New business is a game of rejection and persistence.

It is a low probability game.

If there are four agencies in the pitch your chances are one in four.

The fact that your agency really wants the account doesn’t improve your odds unless you convert that passion into energy on the pitch.

There is only one winner and coming in second doesn’t get a Silver medal.

New Business calls for a person with great resilience.

A great New Business person stays in a tight zone. A great New Business Person doesn’t go over the top when they win.

A great New Business Person doesn’t go into a funk when they lose.

New Business is more suited to a marathoner than a sprinter because it is arduous task.

The first half of a marathon is 20 miles.  The second half is the 6 miles and 385 yards.

A New Business pitch can be like that. You think that things are done and then everyone enters the fray before the pitch.  Things change when people coalesce at the 11th hour. That is when the second half of the New Business race begins.

A great New Business person has a very inquisitive mind.

They are broadly read and connected.  They are networked vertically and horizontally.  Certainly having access to senior level people is very important.

It is not how deep their data base is but how broad and diverse it is.  They are connected to numerous possible resources and can easily connect them with a variety of alliance partners such as iPad and Mobile App developers, research gurus, event marketers,  and other resources that can strengthen a pitch for a particular client.

Their wiring and knowledge provides many touch points that can turn introductory small talk into connection points and chemistry that is vital to diffuse the potential skepticism of some attendees of the initial capabilities presentation. Let’s face it.  Ever body has been oversold.  A great New Business person doesn’t sell, they share.

A great New Business person can talk the talk and connect with everyone in a room including finance, IT, Marketing, Principal, CEO, or CMO.  They are genuine.  The best hunters are humble and disarming.  Their job in a New Business meeting is to make everyone look smart on both sides of the table.

A great New Business Person doesn’t talk in the client’s elevator after the meeting because you never know who is listening. A great New Business Person knows that it is important to never give up the opportunity to keep their mouth shut.

A great New Business person is hard to find.

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Here is one on the Power of Networking. Enjoy.



4 thoughts on “What Makes a Great Agency New Business Person?

  1. Scott

    Hank –

    Nice piece – thanks for the reminder. I especially like the point on sharing vs. selling.

    I’d add that a great new business person understands that the pitch process is often nearly 180 degrees from what a successful agency/client work process is. The former often relies on little client input and is, therefore, based on – well – little. A good agency/client relationship works when the agency has a depth of understanding that brings great strategic thought and business-building work. (The client owns part of that.)

    A great new business person also understands that a “win” without a review is an even better outcome. Leveraging the skills you list against a result that comes without the cost of a review (for both agency and client) and, importantly, leads immediately to the depth of understanding referenced above is the bigger get.

    Scott Bucher
    Traction Factory

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