An interesting post from Bob Hoffman at his blog The Ad Contrarian, focused on brand preoccupation with data.
At one point, Bob lays these three points out:
On the other hand, big picture marketers know a few big things:
People are more likely to buy brands they’re familiar with.
People are more likely to buy brands that sound interesting.
People are more likely to buy brands they like.
Bob was obviously speaking within the context of his post on data, and these points have been around in some form for a while, but I’m going a different way, yes, how these points relate to Agency New Business.
Let’s look at #1, in Lee’s altered form:
Prospects are more likely to meet with agencies they’re familiar with.
Hence the reason referrals are all kinds of awesome, but you can’t rely solely on referrals.
You really can’t.
And so you have to stay in front of your prospects ongoing. And the biggest mistake I see agencies make is thinking of new business as something they’ll try out.
Doesn’t work that way.
So whether you’re hiring someone internally, doing it yourself or hiring someone like RSW/US (shameless plug), you simply can’t have it in your mind that we’ll give it 3 months, or six months, etc. We know, from experience, that timing truly is everything.
You have to stick with it, to the point that your prospects see the value and are familiar with you.
Prospects are more likely to meet with agencies that sound interesting.
This is true, although I would also add that speak the prospects language.
If you’re sending the same stale emails that hold no value, you’re doing it wrong.
You’re also doing it wrong if your emails or conversations read/sound like a brochure and not a human being.
Cut out the agency speak, the fluff and the abundance of adjectives.
Be direct and immediately explain why your prospect should care in the least about you.
Prospects are more likely to meet with agencies they like.
This one should be last, because, let’s face it, it would be nice if you and your prospect hit it off, but more importantly, you need to get the business. You don’t have to love each other.
However, in that first meeting, it is important you not jump down the prospect’s throat or bring far too many people to that first meeting.
Take a breath and act like you’ve been here before.