An important review of many often-forgotten marketing firm new business basics.

New Business easy wins

Grab the low hanging “new business” fruit.

Plus some other reminders that every business owner and new business pro needs to know. Use this list of our Top 40+ to spark some of your own ideas about things you need to do to get more new business now.

Grab the Low Hanging Fruit:

NOTE: If you have any more please let me know and I’ll add them to the list!

1. Move into public relations

  • When the economy slows down and media spending falters.
  • Money spent by clients is usually all fee.
  • If you’re not into this, move that way now.
  • Expand that part of your operation.
  • Stress with all your clients. It’s a real money maker.
2. Dress the part
  • When business gets bad, this helps.
  • You’ll do better
  • When clients see you, they have more confidence in you.
  • Always dress one notch better than your prospects and clients.
3. Stimulate business signage
  • Walk in business can often be strong and highly profitable.
  • Many agencies in high traffic locations have reported surprising results by listing what they do: advertising, branding, digital, public relations.
  • Key what you want and refer the rest.
  • Walk in business is usually fee business which is good.
4. Get a strong/narrow focused point of view
  • Be clear about what you do.
  • Too many agencies hide the fact that they’re an agency.
  • Use a strong energy line as part of your corporate identity package.
5. Stress your benefits
  • You help businesses grow.
  • You move markets.
  • You generate results.
  • You return a lot for a little.
6. Get a new business lead going contest
  • Talk up new business with your staff.
  • Get them hunting for leads.
  • Ask everyone for three leads per month.
  • Everyone who does, goes to lunch with the boss.
7. Use your best new business assets better—your senior staff
  • Not always great at new business, but good to start building relationships
  • What you need are relationships and your senior staff are in the best position to get relationships started.
  • Senior staff are the ones who prospects want to see.
  • Get them “sharking” for you on major pieces of business whales
  • Get them a limited number of prospects to reach out to maybe 5.
  • You land one; the staff member gets a great reward.
8. Work one industry hard.
  • Agencies have conflicts. Consultants have areas of expertise.
  • Develop an area of expertise for your agency and work that vein hard.
  • Prospects respond well to category experts.
  • And industry experts can work ocean to ocean.
9. Work close to home
  • Most agencies drive by good accounts all day long.
  • Go “smoke stacking” for leads.
  • Look for successful businesses close at hand.
  • Remember the story of the prospector who was surrounded by acres of diamonds. But he stopped a foot too short.
10. Work your Direct Flight markets
  • Used flight schedules to target key cities
  • Follow one-flight rule
  • Helps speed up servicing distant accounts
  • A better story for prospects
11. Work your clubs and organizations
  • Relations are easy to make
  • Use as referral base
  • Don’t have to lead, just participate
  • Good source of leads
12. Get on a charity board
  • Charities attract big names from important brands
  • Charities are on the look out for business leaders with connections
  • Advertising agency leaders can be very important to charities
  • Most charities represent a target-rich environment
13.   Launch Social Media
  • Easy to start
  • Use social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In
  • Quickly makes the author an expert
  • Feedback is quick and simple
  • Video add personality
  • Helps if you offer value and have a point of view
14. Nudge prospects with white papers
  • Historically effective
  • Move to new medium on line
  • Add diagrams and examples
  • Distribute to leads as examples of our thinking
15. Make sure your office looks the part
  • Have an aspiration look
  • Your office is you
  • Most people believe a messy desk equals a cluttered mind
  • Win the perception battle
16. Check your brand
  • Look carefully at your corporate identity pieces
  • Do the business card check
  • Be sure and look the part from a design standpoint
  • Say what you do
17. Check your energy line
  • Make it clear
  • Make it distinctive
  • Try to make it memorable
  • Make it work for you
18. Check your curb appeal
  • Your front face
  • Little effort pays big dividends
  • Signage counts
19. Work referrals
  • There is an art and science of getting referrals
  • The importance of asking
  • The power of a call behind a referral
  • Write the referral letter yourself
20.   Exceed expectations
  • Check on your performance
  • Use agency report card after 90 days, 6 months and 12 months
  • Most upset clients will let you know if asked
  • Most upset clients wouldn’t let you know if not asked
21. Go after more organic growth
  • Work from existing clients is 7 times more profitable
  • Easier to win and easier to service
  • How easy is it to sell cross-services at your place
  • Many account managers refuse to let others in
22. Expand your services
  • When ad business slows down the PR business expands
  • Do you offer a full range of services your clients need
  • Can you cross brand some internal services and sell direct?
23. Move into consulting
  • Great source of highly profitable revenue
  • Difficult to sell to existing clients
  • Not difficult to sell to prospects
  • House in the same location, use same staff
24. Sell in branding work
  • The most powerful line in new business – I recommend you stop advertising until…
  • Reorients the review
  • Solve the brand problem before solving the advertising problem
25. Make everything integrated
  • Never again let a single source solution leave your building
  • If it’s not integrated, you can’t take it to a client
  • Easy to so
  • Don’t try to sell with an empty wagon
26. Reactivate old clients
  • Clients love it
  • I was thinking about you this morning and had an idea you might be able to use
  • I sure miss working with you
  • Reach out
27. Work government accounts
  • They have the money
  • A specialized client
  • Make a start
  • Become an expert
28. Develop a specialty
  • Clients want to hire experts
  • What are you expert in?
  • Build a specialty
29. Work the trade shows
  • Easy to find prospects
  • Time to talk
  • Surprisingly little competition
  • Don’t go to close. Go to meet. Build relationships.
30. Expand your reading
  • Read professionally
  • Match one for one
  • Keep a list of books you like
  • The joy of being well-read
31. Remember cross-town mergers
  • Efficient to do
  • Lots to leverage
  • Easy to make one plus one equal three
  • Have someone else do the search
32. Do 10 a week outreach letters a week
  • Great habit to get into
  • Call behind each one
  • The power of leaving voice mail
  • Big shots read their mail
33. Use more business cards
  • More American and Japanese than European
  • Best reminder
  • Personal way to say I’m interested in you
  • Sets up the call back
34. Join lead generating network
  • Big source of leads and referrals
  • The bigger the group the better
  • Love having ad agencies join up
  • Keeps you looking
35. Work your marketing and advertising associations
  • Go where the clients are
  • Often find little competition
  • Make relationships
36. Look for prospects in trouble.
  • Companies in trouble are most open to new ideas
  • Old agency/client relationships may not be able to stand the stress
  • Fishermen know the value of casting where the water’s rough
37. Look for clients going through rapid expansion
  • Many agencies don’t know how to keep up
  • Any big client using distant agencies need local help
  • Reach out larger accounts and position yourself as being able to work well with the lead agency
  • You want to become Profitable #2
38. Generate leads for your firm with a supplier open house
  • Media and free-lancers know which agencies are in trouble first
  • Reach out to them with an annual open house at your firm
  • The best source of leads year after year come from the trade
  • A thank you and a reminder that our clients are your clients and maybe some of your clients should be our clients
  • Watering the grape vine.
39. Build a free offer into your new business planning
  • Free one-day planning session
  • Call it the DayOne
  • Senior management attends
  • Full discussion on opportunities and trends
40. Take advantage of distribution knowledge
  • Channel management is very valuable
  • Teach clients how to compete
  • Make a living off of Wal-Mart tactics
41. Crash a review
  • Send a crowbar with a note.
  • Pardon us for prying into your review, but …
  • Search consultants hate it but clients like your taking the initiative
  • Point out how your obvious expertise must have been overlooked
42.   Sign up for Referral Services
  • Alert you to upcoming and just issued RFPs
  • Give you time to partner up if need be
  • Need to make sure you can win the RFP battle
  • Most agencies aren’t aware of the upscale look of many submissions
43. Advertise on Google/Bing
  • Promote your specialized services and knowledge base
  • Do a key word campaign
  • Low cost and surprisingly efficient
  • Clients are not put off by it
44. Make sure you focus on clients that have agencies
  • Don’t pioneer
  • Go after clients who are using good agencies
  • Pioneers are usually found dead along the trail
  • Trying to pitch a client with an in-house agency is most often a lost cause
45. Revisit your prospect list
  • If you don’t have one, get one.
  • Goes out of date at a rate of 75% per year some change
  • Keep it current weeding your crops
  • Don’t mail without calling behind the mail
46. Call clients you formerly worked for.
  • You are already up to speed
  • Use your expertise
  • Don’t be afraid to try
47. Get a new business contest going.
  • Pay for referrals that lead to a visit
  • Make it fun
  • You’ll be surprised at what your staff can find
48. Offer a big idea to a client
  • Brainstorm some solutions
  • Do this after you have the appointment
  • If you can’t find a big idea, do a Ben Duffy
49. Work your old pitch list
  • Maintain contact with the ones you lost
  • Remember the 6 letters
  • Start nudging them
  • Find a project/opportunity to be of help
50. Add your ideas here…
  • Conduct a new business brainstorming session
  • If you still need more ideas – CALL US!

World Leaders In Helping Marketing Firms Grow:

“There are many steps that you can take to increase your new business activity. Many agency professionals insist traditional new business methods are dead. They’re not. In fact, many are more effective than ever!”

Bob Sanders President Sanders Consulting Group

Some of the top agency leaders and new business pros around the world call us to help them grow their agencies. We understand how to best run a new business program and what’s likely to change in the next few years. If you are not sure where to start we strongly suggest you start with a DayOne. Your best option to growing your agency is starts with contacting us!
Beautiful Forbidden Fruit photo by SteOS