Now is the time to get your game-face on – kick off a new business action plan.
Even if you’re exhausted from the holidays, in the hunt for new business it’s never a good idea to relax. Think of this as your reminder, your wake-up call, time to redouble your efforts.
Act now and start the year strong.
Use this time to review all the tools at your disposal and help your agency be successful. Get creative. Go beyond just picking up the phone. Use LinkedIn and search engines to discover new prospects. Work your list. Send relevant information. Stop focusing on the old “me-me” message and stress your problem-solving chops.
Review your leads, current outreach efforts, inbound results and all new business activities. There is a lot of new business out there. If you don’t have any leads, or just a few dusty ones, it’s time to crank up the machine and work until you do. Don’t be fooled into chasing lost leads, the ones that you know will never lead to any business. Make sure your agency is set up for success.
That’s easy to say, but what can you do if you’re not getting any new business? No leads? No hope? Not growing? Here are 10 quick action steps you can take to get some fast results.
10 Step New Business Action Plan:
- Start with developing a strong point of view about something! Anything! A new tool, insight, anything related to our changing world. For example, check out some marketing automation software and use that as a device for a hook. Perhaps offer the concept, point of view, something challenging like digital “kills” brands faster. Suggest that social is only a rainbow, where brands are always chasing and never finding the pot of gold. Something, anything, provocative. Stand out and provoke a response.
- Revamp your website, fast. Update the home page to stress your new point of view. Set up a landing page. Have a sign-up requesting more information. Do a simple video listing out the key benefits of your point of view and make your pitch. And finally, create an ebook, pdf, something for people to download to learn more.
- Send a simple mailer. It’s shocking how effective Inform prospects about your new point of view. See if there is any interest. Again, be provocative so you stand out. Illicit a response. For example you can hit them with the old “stop wasting money on marketing until you get this fixed!” Be sure to call behind, and have a tight script. Pound the point. Drive folks to the landing page.
- Push out emails, Facebook and LinkedIn posts. Stress your strong message to drive traffic to a landing page. Again, call behind and simply ask the question on the voice mail – “checking to see if you got our email on how perhaps half your budget is wasted? I thought I would reach out and see if you were interested in learning more. Sorry to have missed you.” Never ask for a call back. That’s just irritating and often drives prospects away. If they want to call, they know how to find you.
- Call your local paper and offer to write an article. Use your provocative point of view as a hook. If they agree, send a copy of the article out to everyone you know with a short, handwritten note. Call behind making sure they got it. Any of the small, local papers will work just to get something published. And sending a hard copy is more effective than any digital format. A handwritten note can be a powerful door-opener.
- Create something to send. If you can’t get an article published, mock one up and send that. Strong headline, tight text, not just about you. Offer a strong point of view on something, focus on how so many brands are making a mistake with budgets, automation, social, etc. Call behind, ask if they would like to learn more, and keep driving prospects to the landing page.
- Get an intern to call prospects for a “university” project. Come up with some basic marketing transformation type question. Be sure to ask about how they are transforming their budgets. And include a question about if they would be interested in learning more about how to “better allocate” spending or get some “business building ideas.” Something so you can see if there is a need. Be sure to follow up with them with the results from the study. And of course, call behind it.
- Network to everyone you can. Reach out to every old client and prospect and ask about how things are going. Helps if you have a point of view or new tool to discuss. Don’t be too proud to ask for referrals, leads, word on the street type stuff. Ask for their help. Know what you’re asking for, exactly what type of clients you’re looking for.
- As a last resort, pound the phone. It’s much better if you call behind a letter, mailer, something, but picking up the phone can help. It really helps if you have something for them to react to. For example you can check and see if they would like to learn more about a study showing how much money is being squandered in marketing. Or how much time is being wasted, or opportunity lost, or a new tool you can introduce.
- Learn how to fast close. Stop wasting time on sending useless proposals. You have 48 hours from when a prospect informs you about a need to when you must get back in front of them with an action plan. Don’t waste this opportunity doing the same-ol’ same-ol’ proposal. Break out and try something new.
- Lastly, a plus one item. Just as I recommend going the extra mile, here is one bonus point. Bring me in for a DayOne. I can almost guarantee that some new business will come in shortly after. I call it the Zen of New Business. Something about putting forth a little effort, trying something new, it seems to generate new business leads. Call it karma. And I see it more often than not.
There you have it. A 10+1 quick action plan to get your new business ramped up.
Like most of you in marketing for a long time, I’ve heard a lot of excuses. But the leaders who succeed, overcome the normal desire to sit back and relax. Work to start this year strong!