I have worked for many great agencies in my career. I have also conducted agency searches for clients like Jenny Craig, Raley’s Supermarkets, and Jacuzzi. I believe I have a perspective from both sides of the street.
Want more New Business in 2012 for your advertising, PR, Social Media or Digital Agency? Then make it easy for review consultants and clients to connect with the Principals of your agency.
When I conduct a review, it makes my job easier if the agency’s Partners are easy to connect with. I don’t have a list of preferred agencies because every review I have done is different. Each client’s need is unique to their particular pain points and the qualifications they are seeking.
Once I identify the agency I check out their Corporate Linkedin page and hope the President, Partner or New Business Person is there so I can connect with them. You see I know if I go to their website it is highly likely that the contact e-mail will be firstname.lastname@example.org which is pretty much useless to a search consultant. You see Mr or Ms Info can’t sign an NDA. I have never even met one.
Other agencies will want me to fill out a form which takes time. I don’t have a lot of time. Like 50% of cell phone users in the U.S. I have a Smart Phone which creates demands for immediate response and not filling out Stupid Forms. They are also hard to fill out on my Smart Phone or getting to on my iPad when your site is Flash based.
I also don’t want to call you because your agency probably has eliminated your receptionist and I started my day on another automated phone system which depleted my patience for today.
If you have a receptionist there is a 50/50 chance she won’t have a clue what an Agency Review Consultant is because she has never dated one. When I ask for you she will throw me into your assistant’s voice mail because I am not worthy to talk to you. I am starting to like your agency less and less.
That is why I like to use social media and particularly Linkedin to connect with you initially.
I see two worlds out there. The majority of agency Principals aren’t very robust on Linkedin. My bench mark is me. I am a consultant with limited infrastructure and my perspective is that if I can do it, so can you. Then I see a minority of agency principals and New Business people that rock on Linkedin. I click on their Twitter link and if they are more robust than me I am impressed and think this person is into walking the talk versus just talking. I want to connect with their energy and commitment. They look smart.
I always look for recommendations as well. If your clients really love you they would be more than happy to give you a Linkedin recommendation and they are just as powerful as canned references in my opinion because public exposure by them and their reputations are credible.
I also recently connected with an agency owner who had a picture of his yacht as their Linkedin photo. I just paddled the other way.
You can connect with Hank on Linkedin
Follow his updates on twitter @hankblank
Watch a video on What’s Wrong with the Agency RFP Process.