I know and meet with lot of agency people in a variety of spaces including advertising, the digital world, and public relations. Some are small and smart, some fall in the middle and some are large.
I have been a New Business hunter for years and I have conducted agency searches for companies like Jenny Craig, Jacuzzi and Toyo Tires, I sit in rooms with clients without agencies and listen to what clients say, and watch the way the react. I read their body language and their facial reactions. I know what works.
I am grateful that agencies generally like to work with me because I have been on the agency side and know what agencies have to go through to find the time to do the extra work. I see my role as one of guiding clients to ask the right questions and evaluate the right things in looking for their next partner. Shining a spot light on the agencies capabilities if you will. The fact that I have walked on both sides of the road certainly helps me in my process.
Agencies fall into two camps when I meet with them and start talking about New Business. One group has total clarity and the other group has no achievable focus. There are the ones that are loose and relaxed and on top of the game. How do you get New Business I ask and they all say the same thing. “Referrals.” It is as simple as that. They planted their seeds long ago and are reaping the rewards. They also never stopped planting seeds. Sure in tough times like many recent years it is not always easy.
Just like in real estate where location, location and location is the key, in New Business Referral, Referral, and Referral is key. You don’t buy a new home on line and you don’t choose an agency online. Referrals come from knowing people personally. Face time and not Facebook leads to relationships.
Then I meet with other agency people who have shorter runways often. They should be trying to hit singles but many are always looking for the grand slams and pursue a low opportunity approach. I have written before that New Business isn’t about playing the Quarter Slots yet many agencies persist.
Often they want to work with Fortune 500 companies who would never hire them based their experience. They quickly transfer and usurp the success of other firms that are small and work with such companies as proof it can happen to them. Possible? Yes. Probable? No. Unachievable goals are futility. You don’t get off the couch and start running marathons.
Persistence is key in New Business but it only works if you have achievable visions. Focus is the key. Focus comes from simplicity. Some agencies simply need to quiet their minds.
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