There is no secret manual providing clear direction on how to build and grow a successful marketing communications firm.
We feel agency leaders need to get their heads around the facts, look over their brand and their service promise and develop a new strategy but do not-not-not-not sit still to be plucked more. But for some reason there are many agencies that refuse to spend a little time and address growth.
We talk to agency leaders every day. We understand the issues, the challenges, and can offer some insight in how best to move forward.
Sadly, there are also many calls from agency staff who wish they could convince their boss to bring us in. If you’re wondering what some of your peers are saying, review the below.
Some of the more common excuses about the lack of new business we hear from bosses:
- We don’t have time: Most of the time the old “we don’t have time” translates as “I don’t care” or “I don’t have a clue how to do it.” The lack of time excuse is one of the most common excuses we hear. Rethinking new business, learning new approaches, and setting up a real growth system does take time. So what happens if you lose an important client? It’s too late to ramp up any new business program… If new business is important to your agency, make time. No excuses.
- We have enough new business: No you don’t. Not if your team is feeling edgy, uncertain about the future. Most agency leaders know they need to be doing more in new business. They just aren’t sure about how to proceed and don’t want to look like idiots in front of the team. Understandable. Just short-sighted. Given all the changes in the industry and all the upheaval in how marketing works, there is nothing wrong with admitting it’s time to learn some new skills.
- We’re too busy right now: You’re the leader and your job is to grow the agency. That means keeping your staff focused on what the agency views as important. If your staff doesn’t have time for new business then it’s not that important to you. But it should be. New business is the lifeblood of any agency, and if you aren’t trying to find better clients, you will soon have no clients. Think of new business training and development as a means to that end. If you believe it, they will embrace it and find the time. The tail doesn’t wag the dog.
- We’re already great at new business: Michael Jordan was the best basketball player in the world and he was always looking for better ways to learn, to practice, and to up his game. If the best basketball player in the world continued to find ways to perfect his craft, why is there only a small percentage of agencies who strive to improve their new business skills? Being great at advertising is not the same as being great in new business. Unless you spend all your time learning from the best in the world in new business, everyone in the agency should be working to improve their skills.
- We’ll focus on new business when we need it: Nothing like closing the barn door after the horse has left. There are real consequences to not having a strong new business system. The first, and most important, is it takes time to ramp up. Time you may not have if one of your largest accounts walks. It’s vital to your agency’s future to always have new business top-of-mind, to be developing new leads, and bringing in fresh accounts. It’s difficult to install an effective new business system on the fly, when you’re desperate.
- It’s too expensive: Frankly, this just doesn’t add up. The real return on investment from new business training is being able to solve problems much faster, cost and time improvements, and a greater chance to win the pitch. What would be the return on investment? There are many training options, and we work with agencies of all types in a wide range of fee structures. We can even break the cost into more affordable chunks. Invest in your agency. Trust your team. Win more new business.
If your agency team is excited and wants some new business tips, advice, insight, and training, why would you not agree? Perhaps it’s time to re-think how you approach new business?
At Sanders Consulting Group we help marketing communication companies achieve success in the current environment. Two ways we do this: What does it take to achieve success immediately? And how can we get you ready for what’s coming next? Give us a call at 412.897.9329