Agency New Business

This is Part 8 of a 17 chapter eBook, “Agency New Business: Put On That Damn Sales Hat,” which you can download at no cost here.

The eBook covers everything from pre-prospecting preparation to working opportunities to close. 

The majority of the eBook focuses on elements that agencies either often overlook, are too busy to consider, or are simply too lazy to pursue.

The agency landscape is changing rapidly and daily, not only for agencies, but for clients: doing things the same way won’t cut it.

We released “Put On That Damn Sales Hat” as an overall agency new business primer for marketing services firms, so they can put on their sales hat with purpose and confidence.

That Damn Sales Hat

Chapter 8: The Prospecting Fine Line

You weren’t built to be a sales person (of the used car variety)…and you shouldn’t be.

And you’ll get nowhere if you’re simply too nice and too passive and remain afraid that if you step over “the line” you’ll blow it.

This is most often the case with our RSW/US agency clients when they first come on board.

What they think is too much, often isn’t enough.

We had a client in Louisville whose principal was so nice that he felt like he needed to include a big cross functional team in each and every decision related to new business.

He wanted to make everyone feel like they were a part of the new business team.

Great in theory…bad in practice.

It’s bad enough when you put non-agency sales people into agencies to run new business…try putting someone who has no experience running new business.

It results in decisions that simply don’t make sense.

Extra Extra Large!

The counsel we often give is “2x” your effort and you’ll be OK.

Here’s a hypothetical…

You’ve put a couple of calls and emails into your prospect’s world following a proposal submission.

No response.

You feel like you want to give up.  You lose hope.

Agency New Business

NEVER give up!

Marketers tell us in our surveys year in and year out that Agencies are neither too aggressive or too passive when they follow-up…so the door is open to be a bit more aggressive in your follow-up.

What you think is too much, likely isn’t.

If you’re not busting through, use different platforms.

Try LinkedIn.

Try Twitter.

Try calling at different times of the day.

Comment on a post of theirs or a tweet of theirs or a comment in a LinkedIn group.

If calling once a week isn’t cutting it, double it up.

You are NOT their priority UNLESS it is a priority.

The only way you’re going to win is to get creative!

The bottom line is:  Be prepared to cross the fine line.

Think like a sales guy…not like an ad guy and put on that Damn Sales Hat!!

Mark is a 30-year veteran of the consumer packaged goods, advertising, and marketing service industry. Mark started his career at DDB Needham in Chicago prior to earning his MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Business School at Northwestern where he majored in Marketing and Economics. Prior to starting RSW/US in 2005, 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 domestically and internationally including the 4A’s, Magnet, NAMA, TAAN, and MCAN. Sneider has been featured in prominent industry publications including Adweek, Media Post, e-Marketer, and Forbes. When not working (which often seems like not often), Mark likes to run miles, go to church, and just chill with a hard copy issue of Fast Company.