The Agency Post, an interactive publication for ad, PR and marketing professionals, was kind enough to post my thoughts on new business here. A short snippet:

At its heart, new business is not hard. As one old agency wag used to tell me, “This is an easy business kid — find the damn client, keep the damn client.” The rules for winning more new business are not difficult to understand. If your new business program isn’t producing, chances are someone is making it more complicated than it needs to be. Or, maybe your new business effort is focused on the wrong thing.

The whole idea I outline is that firms often focus on the wrong areas when chasing new business. Please head over and read the whole thing, as there are some simple rules for how to build relationships as well!

Additional Thoughts On Prospect Relationship Building:

waiting for a spark

There is plenty of new business out there – all you need is a spark!

Clients are being contacted daily by sales people from within our industry who attempt to pitch without permission. The fact of the matter is that most new business people lack the skills of adding value and relationship building these days. The problem is they don’t know any better. They’ve been instructed by the agency presidents to speak to anyone who has a pulse. Something to think about – would you get involved in a multi-million dollar deal without knowing someone from the agency with whom you are dealing with?

I’m sure that you know the answer to that question!

We teach agencies how to Spark – The Worlds Most Powerful New Business System. A critical fundamental skill of the spark system is the process of building relationships. Clients must never know you are selling. Clients must never feel they are being solicited. You have to take the long view and look towards building trust over time.

Help Your New Business Build Relationships:

  1. Focus: Develop an expertise on a narrow subject. As an expert any comment and or advice brings more value. Show how your expertise can benefit the prospect. Experts in any field and are heavy relied on as a trusted resource.
  2. Network: We all know that people do business with people whom they like and trust. Choose to make a new friend over just creating a new business transaction. This will pay off in the long run.
  3. Nudge: Establish yourself with your prospects by creating a dialog on things that you have in common. You must be able to establish rapport. Be a steady source of ideas, tips, and advice.
  4. Add Value: Become a teacher to your target market, and educate people on best practices – draw information from any and all sources. You don’t have to create them all. Link, summarize, send.
  5. Close: Seek constantly for an opportunity to visit the prospect when there is a need. Then follow set rules to enhance trust, discover needs, when to leave them wanting more, and how to close.

The agency world has changed a lot, but two things remain the same: The necessity to win new accounts and the need to keep what you win. Becoming better at building and keeping relationships will help with both.

If you are interested in learning more, bring us in for a training session with key staff on how to set up an agency relationship building program. And then sit back and watch your agency grow. 412.897.9329 or [email protected]


Photo by *chris-stahl