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10 Tips for Planning Your 2018 and 2019 Agency New Business Activities

A finely tuned agency new business plan requires preparation and planning. Here are ten tips for planning a better, more successful agency new business effort: 1. Distinctly position your agency Some agencies try to be everything to everyone, or so their positioning would have us believe. As a service provider, that’s an understandable position to take, but it dilutes your offering when a prospective client comes along with specific needs (which is, really, all of them). The ability of an agency to differentiate itself begins with a compelling agency positioning. You don’t have to be so hyper-specialized as to become irrelevant for most AOR searches, but small tweaks in the way you talk about your agency can make a big difference in how you’re perceived. A great historic example was Kaplan Thaler Group’s “We make unknown brands famous. Make famous brands icons. And create ideas that become part of our culture.” Start with a philosophy that’s true to your work and style, and infuse that into everything else: work processes, interaction processes, and ultimately a positioning statement. 2. Focus on business issues This one is so obvious, yet so often forgotten in the rush to talk up your agency. Business issues should be an undercurrent to, if not the outright focus of, any conversation with a prospective client. Even if the client’s not willing to share all issues outright, there are ways to make the conversation more about them than you, and better yet, to show how you’re the solution they need. The successful matchup of client needs and agency offerings begins with an agency’s ability to draw explicit connections between the two. 3. Highlight service The importance of outstanding service delivery can’t be overlooked. [...]

By |October 23rd, 2018|

Do You Know Your Prospect’s Secret Process for Choosing an Agency?

All prospects have a unique approach when selecting an agency -- a “secret sauce” he or she uses to evaluate potential partners. Surprised by this? So were we. We just completed a study in which we talked to 500 CMOs and business owners about their decision-making processes when hiring and firing agencies. Not only did we learn more about what a secret sauce for agency selection is, but we also learned the personal recipes of 92% of respondents. And what we learned will dramatically change the way your agency pitches new clients. Why You Need to Know the Secret Sauce If you don’t know your prospect’s secret sauce, you put yourself at a disadvantage from the start. You don’t know what’s important to your prospect or what the client's hot buttons are, so you never know which wrong step will set off a land mine. Why invest time and effort into a pitch you have no chance of winning? It’s better to know a prospect’s secret sauce and decline the interview than to not know, spend weeks perfecting a pitch, and find out that you wasted valuable business hours. Knowing your prospect’s secret sauce allows you to tailor your message to her needs and avoid the strategies or subjects that will strike you off the list. You’re competing with several other agencies that can provide similar services, and to your prospect, you all look more or less the same. Understanding the secret sauce helps you differentiate your business through a deeper connection with your prospect and, in some cases, through preparation for an unusual vetting process. Discovering the Recipe Some prospects scour LinkedIn and other social networks for agency employees and examine their behavior. Some hunt down former clients [...]

By |July 10th, 2017|
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