An Ad Agency New Business Secret-3 Guidelines You Can Actually Use

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We talk a lot about consistency of outreach on this blog and in this post, I’ll give you an ad agency new business secret-3 guidelines you can actually use.

We were speaking with a potential client recently about our services and specifically the need to reach out with value.

He wondered aloud what that “something of value” was; that magical thing we often talk about as being key to the outreach effort. “What do you use and how often are you staying in front of them when prospecting?” he asked. A good question and one we’ve been asked before. The answers, in order, are whatever adds value and it depends.

Okay, those really are the answers but I’ll give you something you can actually use.

Here are three guidelines:

1) Show your understanding of the category
2) Show your empathy in understanding the prospect’s challenges
3) Provide some type of information they can use or at the very least appreciate in their daily work lives.

And now here’s the new business secret:

As long as it does the three things above and it’s done consistently, it doesn’t really matter what (physically or digitally) you put in front of them.

(Because if what you send them hits on all three of the points above, it will by definition provide value to your prospect.)


New Business Secret

This is where we find agencies get hung up in their internal new business efforts.

They put in the sweat equity to begin their new business process, and then when it comes time to follow up with those cold or warm prospects, they don’t know what to do next.

So typically what happens-they send an email asking for the business and hope for the best and then wait 3 weeks and send the same email again (literally).

What you send doesn’t have to be solid gold every time you reach out.

New business is hard work and you don’t have time to come up with something mind-blowing with every single reach out, but if you’ve targeted your prospects smartly within a category of your expertise, or related expertise, you already know what the prospect’s challenges are generally.

You can then pick something to put in front of them that shows you really do understand their challenges.

Ideally it’s something from inside the agency: a blog post, white paper, recent speaking engagement, new work you can share, etc, or at the very least, a relevant industry-specific article.

That’s what I mean when I say it doesn’t matter what you send, the prospect will appreciate and remember the consistent effort. (If it really does add value.)

Keep the accompanying messaging respectful as well, don’t shove the agency or firm down their throat. And in regards to how often, it really does depend on the situation, but a good rule of thumb if you haven’t made initial contact with the prospect is every 2 to 3 weeks minimally.

This is a process, no two ways about it, but if you can keep it consistent and value-added, your pipeline will stay full and you will win more new business.

I'm the VP of Sales at RSW/US. We specialize in working with services firms to help drive and close new business-if you need help with that, email me at What I actually do: drive sales efforts to bring ad agencies and services firms on board with RSW, create content around successful new business tactics and help drive RSW/US marketing objectives, including social media channels, blog content, webinars, video and speaking engagements. Dig it.