We got some great news from a client who’s been with us just over a year, that they won a sizable piece of business (900k+) from a door we opened for them and helped nurture.

It’s not the topic of my post-but a quick initial takeaway:

New business takes patience.

This may seem so obvious it shouldn’t be stated, but I would beg to differ.  It’s crazy to me how many agencies don’t realistically set expectations when it comes to their new business process.

But I digress.

Our client sent us notes post-win on something we don’t see a lot of, and while I can’t share the secret sauce, I can share the overall premise and a bit of the framework to help you apply it to your own new business efforts. What they did is something you and your team should always strive for:

Review Your Process Even When You Win The Business

First, to set the stage-when the converse happens and you don’t win the business, agencies will often do a post-mortem on the reasons for not getting the work.  (And if you typically don’t do this, you should.)

The first step in that process is typically trying to get feedback from the prospect as to why.  We all know how often you get that information: not very often.  And that’s frustrating.

But you can and should do your own internal review of the pros and cons of the overall effort, in order to implement any changes for the better, in those areas you have control over.

But back to our client who won the business.

They assembled their team to review why they did win the business.

They’re not the first ones to do this, but when’s the last time you won a piece of business and conducted a similar review?

Speaking specifically to their new business process and the steps they took, they reviewed from beginning to end and came away with notes on how to replicate the process.  Of course, this is only a framework, as each opportunity will vary and require levels of customization, but without giving away the inner workings, I wanted to give you their initial framework, distilled into “four Ps”.

 

Four Ps

Be persistent: It goes without saying that you must be, but certainly it’s tough to do when you wear a lot of hats.  I’m proud to say they included RSW in this first P, in terms of opening doors and nursing leads where necessary.

The important thing from our perspective, is not using the same medium/channel over and over (e.g. 4-5 calls a week) but instead to alternate those mediums so you’re not hitting your prospect the same way over and over. And be persistent, but add value.  That’s reflected in the second P.

Be Proactive: Part of their takeaway here is not just following up, but (in my words) giving the prospect a glimpse of what it will be like to work with your team.

This can get a little tricky, because I’m not advocating spec work, but by coming back with something as simple as a recent piece of industry news, a few findings you may have taken away from current work, or a piece of content you or someone on the team has created, you’ll show that prospect you want to work with them and you’re bringing value even before you work together.

Be Prepared: Do the homework, there’s no excuse not to.  You already know the industry (ideally), now take the time to do the research on the client.

I know, you have no time, but with the tools we have today, you really do. Google, LinkedIn and the prospect’s site are typically all you’ll need upfront.  But after the first or second meeting, you need to tie your expertise and services to the (potential) client’s ask.

Show Proof: Essentially what our client means here is, whenever you can, show the prospect that you can deliver on the promise you’ve laid out and the services/strategy you provide.  Whatever way you can bring it to life when given the opportunity, take advantage of the opportunity.

Take the time to review losses and wins, you’ll be better for it.

Lee McKnight Jr on EmailLee McKnight Jr on LinkedinLee McKnight Jr on TwitterLee McKnight Jr on Youtube
Lee McKnight Jr
VP of Sales at RSW/US
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.