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 them your case studies? You bet. But once that door is cracked open — they can only have a surface conversation. They aren’t capable of digging in and showing a prospect how your agency thinks and uncovers new angles and options. That first impression is a lost opportunity if you don’t lead with your best. And you, agency owner — are the best.
One of the advantages of hiring a mid-sized (250 or less) agency is how personal the relationship is. You aren’t just their agency — you’re their expanded marketing department. You become part of their team and if they end of being a long-term client, a close friend. (Which is why we don’t chase RFPs, right?)
I can hear you now — you don’t have time to do new business. I’m guessing that’s because you are too busy doing stuff an agency owner shouldn’t be doing — like working on day to day client business. If you want your agency to grow — you need to clear your plate of the work that your staff should be doing. Running and growing an agency is a full time job.
And it’s your job. Because you are the perfect new business specialist for your agency.