First, I am lying. It’s the ad business. There are no sure fire tips for agencies to acquire New Business. Sorry. I know a lot about New Business, because I have hunted New Business for many agencies. Some successfully, and some unsuccessfully.
I’m generally most successful when I have something to sell of substance. This doesn’t mean a dream of wants, but a reality of something that they can deliver. All agencies are great at challenging their clients about investing more in marketing, but many remaining Cobbler’s children.
I also know a lot about New Business because I have conducted agency searches for a number of great brands. I see how clients react to the packages agencies send, the way their faces look when agencies present and the other little things that make the big differences and win over clients.
I have seen how agencies create excitement in the room. Like a beach ball bouncing in the air at a rock concert in the summer. If it is a great performance even shy clients will toss the ball in the air.
I recently wrote a blog about the three slide agency pitch. It was based on what an agency in Philly told me worked for them. It generated a comment from another agency in OC on how they won a QSR account with a one page pitch on a tray liner. I remember tray liners. McDonald’s was my first account in Canada. We don’t see them much in QSR restaurants these days but they can be an effective tool in New Business.
When I was conducting a search for a major national brand we walked into the conference room of a large multinational agency in San Francisco. There were the usual note pads, pens and coffee coasters around the table. On the client side of the table there were tray liners. On the tray liner there were pictures and bios of everyone who would be presenting. Pretty simple and smart I thought. Clients meet a lot of people if you see two or three agencies in the same day. I knew it was a great idea when I watched the client making notes on the tray liner during the presentation and then folding it up at the end and put it in his file folder.
I also know that clients like brand videos. The medium is the message. For certain brands they can visually capture a client’s brand essence. Why do clients like them? How many clients do you know can afford to run a 3 minute video on TV? YouTube maybe? A brand video is a great way for an agency to say this is how we see you or this is where we want to take you. They project a promise.
I love chalk. Yes chalk. Pretty simple. Pretty cheap. I think all clients want to know that there is a total agency commitment to wanting their business because after the pitch. They want to know the day to day involvement of the people that often aren’t in the pitch room.
During a recent search the agency directed us to a large chalk board mounted on a wall at the agency. Numerous employees had written a simple quick note saying we would love to have you, I love your products, I buy your products, and my Dad loves your products. You get the story. No chalk board at your agency? Do you have a sidewalk outside your door?
New business is about creativity and passion. These things often don’t cost money but they are sure fire if they reflect your agency’s heart and soul.
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