There is a reason why we both fear and respect the shark.

ad agency new business system

Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Sharks are the ultimate predator, firmly sitting at the top of the ocean food chain. Just the mention of “shark” and our primeval monkey brain tingles. See a shark near the beach, many panic, and everyone runs out of the water. But as much as we fear the shark, we must respect their efficiency as predators. After all, sharks are one of the oldest, most well adapted, perfect carnivore life forms on this planet.

In our changing, dynamic, over-stimulated industry, traditional ad agencies must train their staff to become new business sharks. What does a new business shark look like?

Perfect Ad Agency New Business Machine:

  • Design: So efficient it’s remained unchanged for millions of years. New business sharks are trained to work in any environment. This means in good times, and in bad, they’re always finding new business.
  • Survivor: Survives in all the waters of the world, both salt water and fresh, including the Arctic Circle and the Mississippi River. Winning agencies understand that it takes everyone to be involved in the hunt for new business. Use your best people assets in a way so you can grow new business without impacting your current business.
  • Aware: Lateral line sensory cells pick up movements miles away. Shark agencies encourage everyone on staff to hunt all the time. Well trained staff become your key sensor in discovering what clients are thinking about changing or which accounts are in trouble.
  • Efficient: Able to smell a drop of blood in an ocean of water. Staff trained in sharking are always alert for an account on the loose. They know how to move in on the attack on their own initiative, often closing the business within 48 hours and bypassing fancy proposal writing and RFPs.
  • Perceptive: Eyes that can see well in the murkiest conditions. New Business sharks know how to profile prospects, enabling them to select the best new business tactics to win the business quickly.
  • Receptive: Internal ears that sense the smallest sound vibrations made on the horizon. Agency sharks target new business opportunities from very important prospects, creating more RFPs, more invitations for first visits and more chances to present for large accounts.
  • Responsive: Sensors along the snout pick up electrical discharges from a heart beating hundreds of yards away. Your new business sharks learn how to tune your brand and create powerful elevator stories for use in any environment. Your top managers see that they swim in an ocean filled with opportunities for new business growth.
  • Tough: Strength to stay in constant motion with no need for rest. Agencies trained to be sharks are always on, always running. Your top talent makes new business a key part of their weekly activities.
  • Potent: Body built to deliver maximum thrust with minimum drag. Shark agencies don’t keep talent away from their important day-to-day business activities. They know how to do sharking a few hours per week.
  • Resourceful: Moves from ocean to ocean, easily traveling 10,000 miles in a few months. Agency sharks reach out to good prospects across the country, using their current expertise to become a destination option that good prospects want to know more about.

Building a Perfect New Business Machine:

  1. Focus your leadership. Senior managers help you target your best prospects. Your top managers must stay in touch with those key accounts to encourage those all-important first meetings. Most importantly, your senior team learns how to do these important new business activities without giving up their normal responsibilities or avoiding their important duties that keep the lights on.
  2. Lose the fat. This may be the one common characteristic of shark agencies. Do an ABC exercise with your staff: List out all your employees and rank them A, B, or C players. Work hard to move the C players to B players. If after a year nothing has changed, lose them. Tough to do, but nothing is more important.
  3. Tune up the staff – everyone contributes. Train your team on how to do new business. It’s important that everyone contributes to the overall goal of growth. If we accept that the world has changed, we must build a true selling organization. Some have great functional skills (client service, creative, project management, etc.) but lack the basics of selling. That has to change.

Your top talent should help you take a big bite out of new business. And they will if you train and motivate them the right way. The Sharking System, created by Sanders Consulting Group, does all that. It’s a senior level program made up of one part on-site training, one part senior level follow up and support, all mixed with motivation and sprinkled with incentives. With Sharking, your top talent will take an active part in growing the firm, making the calls, and reaching out to your best prospects.

To learn more about Sharking and how it might help your firm grow faster by teaching your senior team how to fish for new business, call Sanders Consulting Group at 412.897.9329. And we will have you unleashing a pack of well trained sharks on your best prospects before you know it.


Photo by SufferingxArtist