I wrote the initial blog in this series on How to Get More New Business in 2012 around the need to change which is difficult for many advertising, PR and digital firms.
Well the second step in order to Get More New Business in 2012 is to have a plan. This is very different than a wish. It is not “We need to get three large clients in the coming year.” How many times have I heard that? I wish my kids would return all the money I had lent them on the promise that they would repay me. When I heard these statements at work and at home I knew immediately that neither would happen.
It is important to build it on a financial goal of a certain amount in revenue but that’s just one piece of the plan. A plan needs structure, persistence and follow up. The same discipline that most agencies provide for their clients. It needs specific action steps not nebulous wishes in a new business planning session ridden with bravado that vanish with the next client panic.
Action steps with accountability.
First you have to identify what sets you apart. During my agency searches I see a lot of non differentiated positioning statements. ‘We focus on your ROI.” “We drive sales.” “We provide results.” “We help companies become successful.” “We provide large agency expertise with small agency responsiveness.” These aren’t positioning statements from a decade ago but from today. It is time for something new isn’t it?
To Get More New Business in 2012 you have to focus on who you want to chase and date. New Business is similar to romance. When you are tired and are ready to go home what client prospect makes you want to do that little bit extra, that added effort, that additional outreach?
You have to be realistic. Who are you suited for? Who would love you?
I have been in too many meetings when people said “We need bigger and well known clients” and then they throw out the name of a giant they couldn’t possibly land and everybody gets the rah rah rah. I am not saying aim low but I don’t think that Ford is going to work with you just because you all love cars and your first car was a Mustang. There is passion and then there is futility. They are often tough to recognize.
The written New Business Plan part is rather easy. After all it is all words.
The hardest part is developing the agency marketing materials because that takes resources that are scarce in these times. “We will schedule it in” could be added to the three biggest lies in the world joke. Getting things done on time often leaves the most creative agencies with two left thumbs.
The answer is simple. Invest and hire the best freelancers or firms to produce your marketing materials, get your agency exposure and pay them well. That is what you tell your clients. Do it for yourself. The New Year is coming.
More to come.
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