I got an e mail from a new friend in NYC the other day. He shared some of his recent agency experiences as a New Business person.
“Over the course of the past two years I met with a number of agencies who were looking for New Business leads. What they are really looking for are miracle workers with magic Rolodexes of prospects just wanting to hand out work. I wonder where these agency folks came from that think that’s a realistic expectation in this day and age.”
Although I love my agency brethren, many don’t get the New Business game in the New Normal.
I always receive requests for New Business people with magical Rolodexes.
I also hear from other misguided agency souls. They think that New Business people should reap what they sow and they should accept low salaries because if they were any good they would make a lot of money bringing in work to that agency because of their magical Rolodexes.
Here’s what some agency folks don’t understand. There are numerous agencies that all do the same thing. They are across town from you or down the street or in the same building. There are few New Business people with powerful relationships today. Why would they want to work for an agency that had no skin in the game and wants to put the entire onus on them?
These are agencies that promote performance based compensation for their New Business people but would have a hernia is their agency compensation was based on client sales performance. We can’t control that they say.
New Business is a tough game. A game of rejection. A game where there are more losses than wins.
But then again most agencies aren’t that good at New Business. That is because effective New Business takes time and money and most agencies aren’t willing to invest in either. If you did you would see an agency Principal at a networking event from time to time.
Investment is what agencies tell their clients to do.
They are too eager to accept the old adage of we are all Cobbler’s Children. They keep the bar low.
Rarely do agencies invest in PR for their agency or New Business Consulting or a PPC campaign.
Google Digital or Advertising agencies or whatever you do in your own town and see what comes up. There is a good chance that it won’t be your agency or you.
Few agencies market themselves with the same intensity the market their clients. Such an irony.
Do the metrics for your agency. How much financial investment did you make in marketing your agency in the last year? Out of pocket expenditures not having your people work longer and harder. It is about spending your money on yourself.
Although we are now years into the New Normal most agencies still want to believe in magic and magicians with rolodexes.
I do believe in Magic. When I was a puppy I worked at JWT somebody at the agency much higher up the food chain came into my office and gave me a ceramic coaster with the symbol of JWT on it. I think I still have it today. They explained that the symbol was comprised of an owl and a lamp.
The lamp is for magic they said because great advertising can be true alchemy. The owl they told me was for wisdom. That’s pretty powerful I thought at that time and I still do so today.
I remember really appreciating the person opposite my desk that shared that insight that day. I was really surprised that he was there. His time was very valuable and he only interacted with levels of clients that as a young person I thought lived in rarified air.
There is no wisdom thinking that other people are going to give you their magic for free if you don’t invest in them and your agency.
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