I was pleased to be a part of HubSpot’s latest Marketing Agency Growth Report 2018.

They asked me for thoughts on new business and what follows is my submission:

One of the questions asked was, “What Are Your Agency’s Biggest Pain Points?” and I wasn’t surprised at the top two answers: finding new clients (60%) and not enough free time to focus on new business investments (43%).

In working solely with agencies to drive new business, we also create a fair amount of new business content, and in one of our previous reports, 69% of agencies described their biggest challenge as being able to break through to prospects — in keeping with the findings in this report.

So why is it so difficult for agencies to find and break through to new clients?

Here are a few of the main reasons:

They don’t have a new business process to find new clients. Agencies often start out with the best of intentions, planning out the initial few weeks with some email blasts, buy into a CRM, purchase a list and write a blog post or two. And that’s about it. Rarely is there a value-based, repeatable process aimed at multiple touches through a variety of channels.

They don’t give the process a chance. You do have some agencies who actually follow a process, but who give up far too quickly when prospects aren’t breaking down the door. They won’t. It will take anywhere from 7 to 12 touches to break through on average, which leads to the third reason.

They don’t have solid positioning. It may seem very obvious to point out, but the majority of agencies have ineffective positioning. So even when they are targeting the right prospects, those prospects don’t see the value in what they’re offering, or even worse, don’t understand the agency is even a fit.

Agencies say it’s hard to find new clients, and they are absolutely correct, it is hard. There is no magic bullet to find them, although agencies often think there is. Unless you truly have an inside track to a prospect, no software or methodology will know the exact moment a prospect is looking for a new agency. Which is why agencies need to be on a prospect’s radar consistently, effectively, and with value.