You have a stable of clients, some you love, some, let’s face it-are a pain in the ass. (Gotta’ love them.)

Cumulatively they pay the bills, but you need bigger clients.

You need those two or three that will do more than just pay the bills.

Fast forward to 6 months later: you’ve been pursuing those “big fish” and frustration is setting in-you’re getting nowhere.

This is where we find agencies start to point fingers-at themselves, or more often than not, at their new business director.

“Obviously this isn’t working” you’re thinking.

To be fair, it may not be, for any number of reasons, but it very likely is because you need to tailor your expectations.

New Business

A few new business tips to remember:

1)      Everyone is going after the bigger fish.

It’s a fact you know of course, but agencies tend to forget this, living in the myopic world all of us tend to.

Does that mean you don’t go after them?  Hell no.

But you have to take the long view and you have to be smart about it. Which leads to. . .

2)      As in life, agency new business is about balance.

Agencies get a bit obsessive about the big dogs and forget about the entirely viable “low hanging fruit.”

To be fair, your competition is going after some of that “fruit” as well, but you’ve got to have somewhere around a 70/30 split of attainable/larger clients, or at least 50/50.

For the simple fact, it takes time to land those larger accounts: 8-12 months on average, depending on how big the company is.

A recent example for you: a 2+ year old RSW/US client is about to sign off on a sizable new piece of business, one of those big fish.

Happy to say this was not their first win, but the new business director on the account had been in contact with this prospect for a year and a half.

She had good conversations, many of them brief, stayed on their radar with any new agency work, news about the prospect, thought leadership, etc.

She didn’t drive them crazy with thoughtless check-ins, she did it the right way.

And two months ago, got that first “official” meeting with the agency.  Two months later and the contract is about to be signed (knock on wood.)

Imagine if our direction to the client had been to only go after those big fish.

Our client wouldn’t be too happy.

Happy to say it doesn’t typically take that long, and that’s because the prospect list is balanced with the right mix of prospects.

And finally. . .

New business

3. Make sure you new business “boat” is indeed, big enough

And to drive home my awesome metaphor, by “boat,” I mean using every channel at your disposal to break through to those bigger prospects.

Email, phone calls, social media, direct mail and content to distribute through them all-all viable channels and all especially potent when used in concert with one another.

And I’ll swim into previously visited territory and remind you, when it comes to content, all you need is one quality post a month, centered around your expertise and focused on helping prospects to get the job done.

Remember the rule of 5-always use content a minimum of 5 times.

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.