Everyone knows that in order to grow a successful marketing firm, hard work is the key ingredient.

too much stupid in work

Don’t let frustration get in the way of doing smart new business.

After all, it takes lots of elbow grease and burning the midnight oil to be successful — right? That’s what all the so-called experts say. Wrong!

Agencies that struggle to grow don’t understand new business. It’s not about how many hours you put in, although hard work never hurts. Many agency leaders feel that if only they spent more hours on new business they would grow. Only they’re spending more hours on perfecting the perfect website, more hours on creating the most outstanding capabilities presentation, more hours on the pitch, and on and on… All important. But not where leaders should be spending their time. New business is the classic example of where the old adage “don’t work harder, work smarter” is true.

To understand new business, you must understand that there are clients out there who need what you have. The real secret of new business is identifying your perfect client, finding them, and positioning yourself so they reach out when they have a need. This is exactly what the really outstanding, fast-growing, agencies do.

7 Ways To Stop Doing New Business The Stupid Way:

  1. Waiting for over-the-transom leads will get you nowhere. Relying on referrals will dry up sooner or later. And it’s increasingly difficult to stand out in our hyperactive, marketing-buzzing, everyone-screaming market. Good “creative” just won’t cut it anymore. So get proactive in your new business outreach.
  2. Accept the fact that a large swath of clients will never buy from you. And that’s okay. So find out exactly what sort of client will buy from you (study your current clients). Create a very specific client profile, and make sure every prospect that fits that profile in your market knows about your firm.
  3. 80 percent of new business success revolves around trust and credibility. Prospects are not willing to make a major change without trust. Prospects have one overriding concern: they don’t know if your agency can be trusted. A prospect will never come right out and ask “can I trust your agency?” It’s up to you to clearly lead the prospect down a path to understanding your capabilities, intent, and trustworthiness.
  4. New business takes a system. Put together a game plan that proactively builds awareness and establishes some sort of relationship with those prospects. Make your agency visible to them! Focus on creating the perception that you’re an expert, a thought leader, and very successful at solving their specific problems.
  5. Prospects will always tell you they don’t want to change agencies. That’s a given. Human nature tells us that when faced with a new opportunity, rather than grabbing it, we become more cautious, slow down, and often do nothing. It’s up to your agency to help prospects overcome this very human reaction. It’s up to you to help them understand dangers of doing nothing.
  6. Give prospects what they really need. Prospects have a select set of needs and challenges. They want insight, knowledge, strategy, marketing, and sales. They want solutions. But most of all they want someone who understands and who can help. And since you obviously cannot give ideas or creative for free, your agency must learn how to communicate to the prospect your understanding and convince them your help is needed. You have to make prospects feel the pain of inaction. This is what your agency must deliver versus capabilities presentations and traditional pitches. If done correctly, the prospect will ask to become your client.
  7. Try to grab everything and you get nothing. The classic agency new business approach is to ask for the entire account straight off. Agencies try to get everything right out of the gate. This is a major stumbling block and fails more often than not – unless it’s a formal review. Leaders end up asking prospects, with no experience with their agency, to take a leap of faith. This makes the risk/reward threshold too high. A major reason why many prospects never act. Why phones calls go unanswered. Give your prospects an easy first step. A low risk high reward activity so you can start working together.

Don’t be stupid. Work smart. It’s that simple. Attempting to go after anything and everything is hard work. It’s frustrating, and it fails most of the time. Think through these 7 facts, digest them, and figure out how you can get them to work for you.


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