Every agency operates in a hyper-competitive environment where clients are increasingly fickle, demanding and confused.

grow or die

In the agency world, you grow or you fade away to nothing.

This fractured and evolving environment makes growing an agency tougher than ever. As a consultant to the marketing industry it’s a challenge we face every day. If there is one big leadership mistake that I see most of the time, it’s a failure to properly challenge the agency. I believe every agency should develop a plan built around growing 30% or more each year. Challenge yourself, your staff, and your agency with significant growth – reach for the stars. If you don’t plan for significant growth you will not put in the effort it takes for sustainable growth.

Plan Now to Grow Your Agency

To be effective, your new business effort must clearly state exactly what benefits you provide to clients and what they can expect from your agency. Focus on identifying what sets you apart from all the other agencies out there. Clearly communicate your unique capabilities, area of focus, and expected deliverables. And if you have a clear industry or market specialty, make that very clear. And never forget the all important chemistry side where you show that you have real humans doing great work for clients.

When you break new business down to the fundamentals, it really only takes two steps:

Step 1: Establish a system to get good meetings with prospects:

  • Focus your new business efforts on getting first meetings with qualified prospects.
  • Turn good leads into invitations for first meetings, the key to growth.
  • Don’t waste time going to see prospects who aren’t interested in changing agencies, design firms, PR companies or marketing communication suppliers.
  • Stop wasting time with cold calls on good prospects.

Step 2: Learn how to win because you make the prospect like you more:

  • The biggest obstacle to growth is poor chemistry with prospects.
  • Chemistry is more important than industry-specific capabilities.
  • Position your agency as the type of firm your prospect wants to deal with.
  • Decide whether to emphasize results, process, relationship, or inspiration before you pitch a prospect.

First, if you want substantial growth for your agency, focus on lead generation. Set up a proper new business system at your agency that will result in a steady stream of leads from qualified prospects. Your goal should be to visit one or two good prospects a week. If you can achieve that, you will grow at 30%.

Second, the biggest secret in new business is chemistry. It’s the least understood of all agency new business skills. And it’s the one skill that counts the most. More accounts are won every month because of good chemistry between an agency and a prospect than any other reason. And more accounts are lost every month because of poor chemistry between an agency and a client. If you learn how to control the chemistry between prospects and your agency you will find it much easier to win their hearts and minds. And 30% growth will be easy.

I believe new business is an agency process you can learn. It’s not personal charm you are born with. But to prove it, you need to give me a chance.

Remember, an agency manager takes the agency where it wants to go. An agency leader takes the agency where it must go – and that takes significant growth. Invest today in your agency new business and reap the rewards of growth.

After working with us I promise you’ll never look at new business the same way again. The reason is you will know finally understand how to really grow your agency. Grow or die.


Photo by Hans Van Den Berg and used under creative commons.