In the U.S. it’s called Spark™
The concept is simple. Your firm hires an account handler, called the Agency Spark, whose responsibilities are to build awareness and create relationships over the phone with good prospects.
The Spark’s objective is to win opportunities for first visits including inclusion into RFP/RFI processes, invitations into formal searches just beginning, requests by prospects to come in for an agency visit, and incoming calls for capability presentations.
Most importantly, Sparks are seeking invitations from prospects for agency personnel to come over for a quiet chat where the prospect’s needs and concerns can be discussed. And the best thing is no one else knows the prospect is even looking around.
Steady Stream of Leads
The main advantage of bringing a Spark onboard is a steady steam of leads running at one-to-two good leads per week. Other advantages include a chance to outflank a formal review process by getting there first, the increased agency awareness built by the steady outreach that goes on daily by the Spark, and the great ROI the Spark achieves.
Not the New Business Director
At this stage, it should be pointed out that the Spark isn’t the new business director. Many new business directors have Sparks working for them. The Spark’s primary function is lead generation. Handling RFP/RFIs, producing promotion materials, setting up the website, arranging presentations, and maintaining relationships with the prospect after the first visit are left to others within the firm. The Spark does outreach.
Sanders Consulting Group pioneered the Spark program in the US. We regularly train agencies on how to set the program up, how to recruit and manage Sparks, how to support the outreach program with materials that tantalize prospects and many more critical insights and training to make sure the Spark program runs successfully.
Overseas the Spark program has been running for many years since the concept was first introduced by Saatchi & Saatchi in the late 60s under the name Canal Boat System. Stuart Sanders had already introduced the Spark program successfully in the US when he discovered this earlier European version. The two systems are the same. And overseas, it’s still referred to as the World’s Most Powerful New Business System.
European Way of Doing New Business
The Spark program is a distinctive European way of doing new business. Agencies overseas typically put more effort into building relationships as a proper way into the account, rather than ambulance-chasing that typifies much American new business activities.
Need More Leads?
If you know your firm would grow faster with more leads, then the best choice is the Spark System which focuses on building leads by winning the first opportunity. For more information on the many advantages of growing your firm with a Spark, contact Sanders Consulting Group at 412.897.9329.