New Business Director

Brent Hodgins gave an insight-filled presentation at the Mirren Conference this week titled Getting the Most Out of Your New Business Director.

Of the myriad takeaways was a focus on setting expectations for your new business director, as well as setting expectations for yourself, around your new business director.

In particular, Brent pointed out the scenario many agencies play out-treating the newly-hired new business director (NBD) as the savior of the agency.

Your New Business Director is not your agency savior

Agencies hire a new business director and then have instant visions of  large revenue increases in the coming year.

Of course you should expect results, but your prospects and clients tend to think very linearly in terms of agencies and how they fit into their marketing world, you shouldn’t think that way when it comes to your NBD.

Take your New Business Director blinders off

While we’ve beaten it into the ground in previous posts (and will continue to) there is no silver bullet, overnight sensation or new business messiah.

Agency new business is an ongoing concern.

And the first step is making sure you set expectations, for example we typically see work close between months 6 and 12.

There are always outliers, and your agency sales cycle may skew shorter or longer, but that’s a good place to start.

Next is making sure your new business director isn’t hamstrung right out of the gate.

New Business Director

4 things Brent mentioned I’ll leave you with, which agencies often do, but must be avoided:

1)      Your NBD needs to be focused on new business and not managing accounts as well.

2)      If your NBD is answering RFP’s even 50% of the day, that’s too much, inbound and outbound efforts will suffer.  You have to give them help if that’s part of your strategy.

3)      Give them positioning they can actually sell, or help them create positioning they can sell. Think distinctive (verus different) and use prospect/marketer speak, not agency speak.

4)      Often, creative directors (no offense creatives) don’t play well with NBD’s, so the leadership has to protect them, in getting them what they need and/or making sure they’re supported.

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 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.