Who should be driving agency new business efforts?

Looking for the silver bullet for agency new business efforts? I could sell a great new business person to agency owners all day long. They don't just want one -- they hunger for one. In fact, they're so hungry for that killer salesperson that they'll gladly pay a premium salary and perks to 8-10 losers before they find someone who can even cover their own salary. And that's just for the privilege of breaking even. Hardly a home run in the agency new business efforts World Series. In a recent new Agency-Marketer Business Report from RSW/US, 80 percent of agency respondents said the tenure of their new business director was two years or less. And (my editorial, not the study's) it was a very frustrating and expensive 2 years at that. Adweek covered the story and concurred with the study's findings. They had quotes from some of the bog box agencies and even a client or two who said agency new business people didn't get their business issues. I know it's a different world when you're JWT or Saatchi, but in the world of most privately owned agencies -- agency owners have two choices: You can gamble on finding/hiring someone who has incredible sales skills AND can talk marketing/business problems with prospects You can get over yourself and accept what you know but don't want to hear.  The best new business person in your agency is you. I can't tell you how many times I have been in a conversation with a new business agency owner who said "for XYZ reason, I had to step into the new business role and we are killing it! We've got 5 proposals out and we've already increased AGI 20% over last year." The reality [...]

The perfect new business specialist for your agency

I work with hundreds of agency owners a year.  We spend a lot of time talking about what's working and what's not working.  If there's one common frustration among agency owners it's the hunt for the perfect new business specialist for your agency. I hate to tell you but your hunt for the new business guy or business development guru is a little like chasing the Loch Ness Monster or Big Foot.  They don't exist.  In fairness, I will say that I know of one or two.  But that's it.  There are some exceptions to the rule but for the most part -- those hired specifically to sell an agency fall short and usually are fired (or leave for a better paying gig when your commission structure leaves them wanting) within 18 months. But have no fear -- there is the perfect new business specialist for your agency out there.  It's you. No one else can talk about your client's successes like you can.  No one else can ask the questions that get the prospect to say "hmm, no one has ever asked me that before."  No one else can look at their current marketing efforts and spot the places that need shoring up or could be so much better than it is now.  You can uncover their pain points because you've been in the trenches with your clients. Only a person who has grown up in the agency business and sweated it out with clients can have those kinds of conversations. This is why you - agency owner - are the perfect new business specialist for your agency. Can you arm a salesperson with a set of door opening questions?  Yes.  Can you teach [...]

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