The search for an effective new business director is one tough position to fill at marketing services firms.
(No Sh*t Lee.)
Yes, it’s hard because finding an individual who can sell agency services well is simply a difficult task.
(It’s also hard to keep them: What’s the Most Dangerous Job at an Agency?)
But what makes it that much harder are the unrealistic expectations agency principals often place on the position.
Two examples to underlie this:
1) They hire a hunter.
The hunter mentality is, of course, a desired skill set for a new business person, but it can’t be the only skill set IF you also task that individual with finding leads, prospecting, content creation, pitching, RFP responses and account management.
And far too often the agency new business director is expected to do all these things.
You hire a hunter and that’s what they’ll do, but the rest of his/her duties will most likely suffer.
2) They expect one person to do it all.
I know there are exceptions out there, but almost always, one person CANNOT do it all.
Take the example above-there’s a good reason 80 percent of agencies say the tenure of their new business director was just two years or less.
If they don’t get burnt out, they get fired.
It’s why we have a team in every RSW program that supports the new business director.
You’ve got to give a new business director the support they need and if it’s not there when you make the hire, you’ll be looking for another in about two year’s time.
Does that mean excellent new business directors don’t exist, of course not, but they’re elusive-like Bigfoot or The Frogman of Loveland.