For an ad agency, no other activity can match the reassurance that winning new business can provide.

new business failure

Understanding why you failed is the first step in turning new business around.

Not keeping clients. Not winning awards. Not making more money. New business wins are what most agencies value above every other reward.

If you want to buck up an agency, win some new business. If you want to see an agency in the doldrums go a few months, or worst, years, without a win. Or even a pitch. If this describes your marketing firm then perhaps you have a new business problem.

Here are seven off-the-cuff thoughts about why your new business effort may not be working and what you can do about it.

7 Ideas On Why Your New Business Program Is Failing:

1) You haven’t done anything!

This is the best place to start in a list like this…A lot of people have slapped some promotional materials together, started a blog, and rely on word of mouth. New business comes from leads. And leads only come from people that know of your firm [awareness] or know you [relationships]. If you don’t have a system for creating awareness and building relationships you need to get one fast! That is if you want to grow.

2) You have a confusing brand!

Way too many firms have too many options, services, samples. The more I work with marketing communication firms the more I learn that simplicity is the key. We often try to make it too difficult for ourselves and our prospects. You will be better off if you try to focus only on one or two specialties and then use your other options for back-ends into the client.

3) You don’t have focus!

Being a Jack Of All Trades [JOAT] can present some great opportunities…but I would not recommend it for your primary marketing focus if possible. You need to develop your own niche. Then, use all the JOAT skills as affiliate services. What do you enjoy doing? What are you good at? What would you like to spend even more time studying? Start working on a simple service in that area. You could be the prime-source for that peculiar niche.

4) You don’t have a prospect list!

The number one priority for any firm is to have a large pool of prospects. I’m talking about a database with several hundred people who can use your services. This is the list you need to be working and finding ways to establish a connection. Many leaders are too busy to do this vital outreach, and many consultants tell firms that you may be too small to hire someone. This is the best way to stay small. We call working the list sparking. Sparking creates awareness.

5) You don’t follow-up with your prospects!

The secret in new business is in the follow-up. If you don’t follow-up with your prospects, you could be missing out on the majority of your sales. Do you even try to get the personality type of your prospects? Somebody at your firm [if you are too busy yourself] should automatically follow-up and stay in touch with each prospect. Don’t pester them, just find something of interest and send it out to them, bring their attention to you by being the one who is always thinking and pointing out good ideas. Make it personal. We call this nudging. Nudging creates relationships. Relationships creates leads. Leads turn into new business.

6) You don’t give prospects any reason to come back!

Is your new business effort just one big sales presentation? Do you include information on how you work – process – and how you can solve the problem? You can pretty much guarantee that if all you do is a capabilities presentation your new business effort will not make it very far. You have to give them a reason to come back… because most of the time your pitch will not resonate with the prospect. You need to have a Fast-Close process. Ways to quickly take the prospect problem, place it into context, and show how you can solve it.

7) You aren’t constantly seeking out new information!

Every one of the successful people who are growing their firms are what I call “information gluttons!” They spend hours reading everything. They are always looking for new information, new ways of looking at things. They never stop learning. Start a reading list! Reach out to experts and ask questions! Never stop learning.

Sanders Consulting Group has designed a straightforward series of new business consulting modules that produces results for firms that want to grow. Sanders offers owners a simple step-by-step procedure that gives them control over their costs and process. If you’re not sure how to get started give us a call or shoot us an email to [email protected] 


Photo by SHA-1 and used under creative commons.