What are the top 3 skills needed for new business success?


As part of our latest survey report release (RSW/US 2017 Thought Leader Survey Report), we’re focusing in on specific thought leaders and the insights unearthed from the agencies who took our survey.

Michael Gass is the focus of this post. Michael was the first advertising agency consultant to embrace social media for business development.

He’s been an active participant and innovator since creating his blog, Fuel Lines, back in 2007. It has ranked among the top 100 global marketing blogs in the world according to Ad Age’s Power 150.

A few key takeaways from Michael’s section, via responses from the agencies who took our survey, starting with Michael’s first question:

What are the top 3 skills needed for new business success?

As you might imagine, the answers were varied and many, buy what popped up most often:

  • Understanding
  • Listening
  • Persistence
  • Consistency
  • Organization
  • Curiosity
  • Strategic

Our owner Mark, gave a key piece of advice on the topic:

As you hunt for your next hunter, don’t get enamored by the guy that only brings a ton of energy, or the person with medical device sales experience, because you want to build up your medical business, or the woman with the rolodex (that she’s probably used in her past 4 agencies). Dig deep, ask questions to help you see the real person. You as a principal know what it takes because more than likely, you’ve done it.

And when it comes to hiring, Michael gave this final piece of advice:

According to a press release by RSW/US, 85% of agencies continue to hire new business development personnel internally hoping that “this hire will be the right hire.” Yet, the vast majority of them fail.

Before hiring someone for your agency’s new business efforts, in addition to understanding their traditional new business expertise, you should also explore what they really know about:

  • How to build a community of online prospects.

  • How to use social media and inbound marketing to create a niche for new business and provide a direct connection to your agency’s brand leader.

Author: Lee McKnight Jr

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.