I think I have a unique perspective on New Business Development as I have been a new business hunter and have conducted agency searches for companies such as Jenny Craig, Raley’s Supermarkets and recently Jacuzzi North America. I have shared many blogs on how any advertising, digital or public relations agency can get more business.
The first and often most important way to get New Business in the coming year is to change. One simple word but one difficult road for many agency principals.
Some agencies may come across this blog because it may offer the hope of quick and simple ways to generate new business in the coming year. They don’t understand that hope is not a plan. New business is not a serendipitous act. It is a blocking and tackling type of grind. It takes a lot of work and that’s a drag. It is easier to Google for quick solutions.
All agencies have a choice. They can change or they can remain the same. Most agencies are poor at making changes to their New Business process. It is easier to profess they are Cobbler’s Children, a comfortable excuse but not an enlightened business decision. How would your employees react if you announced at the end of the year that there were no bonuses or raises because the leadership team of the agency would rather be Cobbler’s Children than aggressively promoting themselves? How come what is clearly intolerable for some becomes acceptable to others?
Although most agencies are great change agents for their clients, they are often slow to change for themselves and even slower to invest in the process. Advertising cynics always used to ask why agencies never advertised if they were such strong proponents of advertising. There are new ways to advertise your firm today. If you don’t own the entire first page on Google when people search for your firm you are failing a key test.
Many agencies only change their new business strategy when there is pain and then it is often too late. They are motivated by pain when they should be acting on a plan.
A couple of years ago I was telling my coach who is basically my accountability partner that things were a little slow. When you own your own business there are times of being in an oasis and time of being in the desert eating sand.
She asked me what I was working on to promote myself. I told her that I didn’t have any time to work on promoting Hank Blank because I was trying to get more New Business. She looked at me as if I were on the moon. I changed my thinking and more importantly my behavior. Many agencies are quick to realize the rationale for change but slow to act on it.
I saw Tony Hsieh, from Zappos at an event in Orange County a couple of years ago. He said something that changed me. “Don’t chase the money. Chase the vision and the money will come.” Easy to think about, tough to do.
To get more New Business in the coming year you need to chase your vision and not the money.
Can you change?
More to come.
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