When I started RSW/US, I believed that in order for us to succeed long-term in the world of agency new business, we needed to base our existence on the principles of Leo Burnett – and always recognize that we needed to continuously think about how to add value beyond the reason clients bring us on board.
As Leo said, we can’t just offer apples in our reception area (“apples can’t just be apples for eating”), the apples had to be a symbol of who we are – a symbol of the value we bring to our clients.
Every now and then I need to push out gentle reminders to our team relative to these principles.
Here is a shortened version of a recent message I shared with our team that I thought might prove of help/value to your own new business team inside your own agency:
Added value is more than just a value-added email. It’s about arming your prospects with insights, becoming their trusted advisor, it’s about going that extra mile to make sure that the best effort is put forward in trying to win over the prospective client;
Stay on top of past meetings. Just because your prospect says they’re “good”, this shouldn’t give you permission to forget about that prospect. Always check in and make sure they never forget about you. Be proactive relative to your prospecting efforts;
Push for good qualification. You need to make sure that you are digging for opportunities and insights so that you can talk about the opportunities and nuggets of pain during meetings with prospects. You never want to just talk about yourself/your agency.
So bottom line is…it’s not an easy task winning new business and winning over prospective clients. You need to push it – add value on all levels – and never stop. Agency new business isn’t an overnight sensation. It can take months – sometimes years to make it work. Stick with it, don’t just eat the apples, make them part of who you are and how you operate every single day!
Mark Sneider is a 25 year veteran of the CPG, advertising and marketing service industry. Mark earned his MBA from Northwestern's Kellogg School where he majored in Marketing and Economics. Sneider started his career at DDB Needham, but prior to starting RSW/US, Mark was General Manager for AcuPOLL, a global research consultancy. Sneider worked in Marketing for S.C. Johnson and KAO brands. Sneider has been invited to speak at numerous Agency events and network conferences including the 4A's, Mirren, TAAN, Hubspot, and MCAN. Sneider has been featured in prominent industry publications including Adweek, Media Post, e-Marketer, and Forbes.