There are several reasons agencies comes to us to handle their new business program: time/clients always coming first, can’t find a good salesperson internally who gets it and no new business structure or strategy-to name a few.
There’s another as well-that agency client who accounts for a large, sometimes very large, percentage of your overall work, and the understanding that one day, they may not be there.
We’ve all been there to some degree and many of you are there now.
I was talking to a prospect recently whose largest client, out of nowhere, went away.
The shock at one point was palpable in his voice as he described what happened.
As it turns out, they did nothing wrong-two companies merged, one important individual started playing politics, and the agency got thrown under the bus.
The week before, a director at this company told the prospect that a particular piece created for them was the best work they had ever seen in the field.
The next week they’re gone.
Perhaps a cold feeling running down your spine now? Well, this post isn’t meant to dwell on fear.
Sh*t happens, correct? In a case like this, apparently nothing could be done.
In many ways, that fact makes it harder to accept of course.
The dual feelings of helplessness and anger have to be forefront in this prospect’s thoughts for the foreseeable future.
I’m not going to get into a pep talk, although that was part of the conversation.
This is a strong agency that does good work and they’ll make it through.
It’s cold comfort, but the agency did some of its best work for this client and that does mean something.
You Will Come Back-Bigger and Badder
So while they may seem very obvious in this situation, a few observations to take away, and perhaps for one of you reading, it’s helpful, big picture, to your agency and your new business effort:
–Never stop your new business program: You simply can’t ever rest on your laurels. However you’re doing it, internally or externally. Find what works and keep it consistent.
–Don’t wear your emotions on your sleeve: Easy for me to say, but your entire team is watching you and/or your partners. You probably want to break something (perhaps many things) or worse, but as tough as it may be, set the example.
–Don’t burn bridges: In this situation anyway. Again, as easy as it is for me to say, you don’t know what may happen. In my specific example, the company replaced the prospect’s agency with two agencies.
Stick with them.
–Pick yourself up and move. Make that clear to the entire team. The client is gone and it sucks. And it will impact everyone, but you will keep moving forward and you will replace that client.
Never easy, but you’ve come this far. Don’t stop now.