Put These On Your Agency New Business T-Shirt

I own far too many t-shirts. It’s true, and I accept it.

What does that have to do with anything?  Over the course of traveling and meeting/talking with agencies, I take notes on potential blog topics.

Going over those notes recently, I saw several key takeaways that really would make for excellent t-shirt slogans.

Granted, no one would wear these shirts, with the exception of a few hipsters who might wear them ironically.

But in all seriousness, pay attention to these 5 “slogans”, as each could, and probably will at some point, be its own blog post-important points to keep in mind.

Put These On Your Agency New Business T Shirt

1. Do Not Overthink It

This is number one for a reason. It’s a new business affliction.  We see this at every stage of new business and it’s a major cause of analysis paralysis for agencies.  I’ve seen agencies agonize over their prospect lists, positioning, and messaging, to the point that the actual content creation/positioning/prospecting never gets started.

All of the above are critically important, but you must move.  Stop getting bogged down in the minutia and start prospecting.

2. Be Real

I know this comes off as wishy-washy, but remember that you are reaching out to a human. Any time you leave a voicemail, send an email or create content, take a step back and think about your reaction to what you just wrote/said.

Is it robotic?  Overly salesy and filled with buzzwords?  Are you talking at the prospect, rather than to them?

Of course, you don’t want to be too informal, but you’re legitimately trying to find a fit with this prospect-think about how might you help them solve a business challenge as you’re reaching out and do that in plain language that cuts to the chase in a respectful way.

3. Don’t be afraid of automation

You really need to be careful here, but this goes hand-in-hand with #1 and overthinking.  I’ve seen individuals responsible for new business at firms that are hell-bent on hand-crafted, bespoke emails and reach-outs.

You absolutely should create that type of outreach with a warm or hot prospect, but early on, you don’t have time for that.

I would never encourage too many email blasts, but with a fresh group of prospects, or once a month to your prospect base, a well-written email blast is your friend.

4. Follow up-You MUST follow up

Not a lot to say here, because you already know it.  But wow, it’s amazing how many opportunities agencies miss for lack of follow up.

That leads to number five:

5. Follow Up Quickly

This one is tough, to be fair.  You have a life, and I’m not positing that you be married to your phone (although you probably already are), but, along with #4 above, it’s also amazing, in a bad way, how long it takes some agencies to follow up.

I’ve been guilty of this myself and typically it’s because you’re slammed. You had all the best intentions of following up right away and then that client called.

Having said that, it usually doesn’t take that long to craft a reply, and just that simple step will put you ahead of 80% of your competition.

Ideally these reminders are helpful and maybe you’ll see one on an actual t-shirt.  I can always use more!


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 lee@rswus.com. 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.