In a recent conversation with an agency principal, she was discussing the difficulty in finding better new business techniques to break through to prospects, which undoubtedly, is a large part of the new business challenge.
Part of our service at RSW/US is doing just that, but if you’re handling agency new business in-house,
A simple new business technique you may not have considered:Talk to your current clients.
Always interesting how many agencies don’t think of this option.
Who else can best encapsulate what’s unique and valuable about your agency, yet agencies rarely consider this option.
Granted, some clients are going to be better than others in this exercise, some won’t be very effusive, others won’t stop talking (bless them).
The key is keeping your questions as specific as possible, so your client doesn’t speak in generalities or use the same language you hear about every agency (“you’re strategic, creative etc.”).
Obviously this is a client, and each is different from a personality perspective, so adjust accordingly when talking with them, but ask questions like:
-Can you pinpoint initially, the reasons you decided to work with us? (You may have to dig a bit for the answers, but do your best not to lead with what you think, or know, your best traits were initially.)
-We know you had other agency choices at the time, why did you choose us?
-Now that you’ve worked with us for X amount of time, what about the agency stands out as our strongest traits? (Excluding specific services at this point.)
-Which of our services is strongest in your opinion?
Ideally, you’re able to be even more specific, depending on your relationship wit that client, but I strongly urge you to give this a try.
It’s only one possible solution, but you may be surprised at the answers you receive and how helpful they are.
As Director of Business Development at RSW/US, Lee brings new agency clients on board and handles marketing and social media for RSW/US. You can find him on Google+ (https://plus.google.com/+LeeMcKnightJr/) or Twitter (@leemcknightjr).