Are Agencies Arrogant?


I had lunch the other day with a new client friend. Somebody who worked for a company whose logo would appear in every agency’s New Business deck or lobby wall if they had their business.

Look who we work for it would imply. We must be smart because successful companies work with us.

But sometimes agencies miss the chance to add those logos and show their smarts.

I was giving my client friend some advice on an agency search that she was conducting internally.

I would have loved to help her but that is how it goes some time.

She shared that she found some agencies very arrogant during her outreach to them. Continue reading


What I Have Learned By Talking to Clients.


I talk to a fair amount of clients. It’s fun. I have a large network and get connected to them when they have needs and pain points. I also connect with them when they are out of a job or when they have friends who are out of jobs.

When I conduct agency reviews we often share a car, a shuttle, an airport, a plane with them for over 12 hours a day for days and a fair amount of time on the phone. We arrive at the end in some central parking lot and I sometimes see the light on their cell phone brighten with a text from their boss.

“Will you bring any new ideas to the meeting at 8 in the morning?”  I feel their pain. Continue reading

How Agencies Can Get More New Business in the New Normal


I could have called this article Does Your Agency Have Vision or Passion or Leadership?  What most agencies think is vision is a positioning line. Vision isn’t copy.  Vision is a belief that translates into action.   It is an ethic that fosters a culture and an aggressive approach to New Business.

I had lunch the other day with a Chief Technology person for a bicoastal agency.

I had never met her before and was chasing her for something else. Continue reading

Who is The Smartest New Business Person At Your Agency?


I received an e mail from a young man the other day. I am very easy to find and connect with because I market myself.  He had read my blogs and watched some of my videos on New Business Development.

He was new to the agency world but he was in charge of his agency’s New Business program.  He characterized himself as a new biz kid.

He was reaching out because he hadn’t received any training at the agency on how to pursue New Business.  It was learn as you go.  The training program of the New Normal. Continue reading

Why Finding An Advertising Agency is Not an Easy Task


This is a blog I recently wrote for Marketing Executives Networking Group.

Now I imagine that if you were an agency owner reading this you could be a touch frustrated. You might respond, “Look I am right here. I am easy to find.” But that is not always the case.

I look for agencies all the time when I am conducting an agency search and it’s not an easy undertaking in the New Normal. Sure you can find the usual suspects but I want to go deeper than that and find emerging talent. Then again many established agencies are invisible. Continue reading

Why Agencies Shouldn’t Respond to Client RFP’s.


A friend of mine shared an agency RFP with me today. It’s been circulating around the town although the client thinks it is a secret.  He got it from a client who was excited to include them as part of their search.  He had a conflict so he wasn’t going to participate and was not as excited as the client was.  Obviously the client didn’t do much research on which agencies had conflicts. The RFP did say that the RFP only went to a pre-selected list of agencies.

When clients have no skin in the game so why do they care who gets the RFP.  They aren’t going to be working overtime filling out the request but your agency will if you answer the bell.

My friend who sent me the RFP called me and said the Cattle Call is about to begin and he was right. I was outside a pet store.  I thought it might be a good time to detour and drive down the road and up pick up a bale of hay and a cow bell at my local feed store in San Juan Capistrano.  We have a lot of horses nearby. And I did just receive a great opportunity to ride into the sunset.

The RFP came from somebody with a title that didn’t reflect their level of experience. Nice person just doing their job. Delegate it down.  We are just dealing with agencies. A client’s agency selection and future marketing destiny for a well know brand entrusted to a marketing coordinator.  They did copy the VP of Marketing who probably didn’t know that their career could be tied up in this enterprise.

The email did thank the recipients for their time. The RFP said the client hoped that the agency would be excited about the opportunity. In the New Normal that is just like saying I hope you are going to be excited about wasting your time.  Thanks and excitement doesn’t cover payroll in the New Normal.

You know in the past I might have been excited to get an unsolicited RFP through a networking connection.  In today’s world it doesn’t have much value. I know that in the New Normal the best way to generate New Business is by developing relationships years ago that will pay off today and tomorrow.  Helping prospects is a better way to get New Business than jumping through hoops.

The RFP had gone to the legal department for sure because it said that no warranties were made within the completeness or accuracy of the information contained within the RFP. We also had an execution in counterparts’ provision.  That’s perfectly clear.  I am sure that it will lead to the type of advertising we all see and shake our heads and wonder what was that all about?  Did they pay money to put that on the air?

One of the skills the RFP was looking for was graphic design. Is that like a color separation or a Keyline?  It certainly doesn’t sound like a digital or customer engagement strategy or an app or automated marketing or conversion optimization but then again this brand has seen its day and what better way to add a few months to your career than by doing a free agency review. Everybody can talk in the lunch room about how things are going to change when they are not.

The RFP also stated that only agencies that met the criteria to move forward in the RFP process will be contacted.  Agencies that have not been selected will not be contacted. The hours of completing an RFP are not worth a one minute email.  But please like us on Facebook today and you may win a coupon.

It’s time for agencies to stop mooing.  It’s time for agencies to stop dropping their pants.  It’s time for agencies to stop chasing rejection and the RFP of the day and focus on developing a vibrant network of prospects and alliance partners.

It is time for all agencies to just say NO. NO. NO.

Can a drummer out there hit a symbol for me please?

You can connect with Hank on LinkedIn:

Follow his updates on twitter: @hankblank

Like Blank and Associates on Facebook

Watch a video called Why Agency Principals Need to Get Out of the Game.

You may also enjoy these articles:

Creating an Agency Culture in the New Normal.

What Kind of Client are You?

The Most Powerful Word in Agency New Business is NO.

Surefire Advertising Agency New Business Tips.


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. Continue reading