Why Doesn’t My Agency New Business Activity Work?
Many agency folks we meet have tales of woe about how their agency new business activity is ineffective or stop start. As a a result growth is unpredictable, or any growth that occurs is organic – people call them, old clients come back, clients move and get their trusted old mates in.
This means growth for most agencies is reactive and largely beyond their control.
Cracking a repeatable cold new business acquisition model, is a bit of a holy grail for most agencies – one which few achieve. Yet, look outside marketing services (our clients come from further afield these days) and you see a different model. One of completely predictable revenue. Professional demand generation.
Why is it then that tech and business services, and hosts of other industries have more success than agencies? Let’s explore a few reasons:
Most agencies invest small amounts of money in growth. In most industries a 5:1 return from sales & marketing activity is considered good, while 10:1 is reserved for high growth markets.
Apply this to most agencies. If you want to create a million pounds of revenue and you’re offering a service which is more established (advertising, design, PR, etc.) then you need to invest £200,000 in marketing and sales. If you are in the hot end of digital then £100,000 should do it, as you should get more inbound enquiries providing you spend your money in the right place and on the right things.
Spend for most agencies, if you take out pitch spend and people, is way below this threshold.
Reliance on only outbound methods for your agency new business activity…
The world has changed, people self educate and want potential agency partners to educate them and add value, yet they don’t want to be sold to or even liaise with a potential agency until midway or further through a selection process. This leaves production of great content delivered across social media, your website and events as the only option to do this really.
As a super bright agency pro you know the point before and you are trying to do something about it plus you don’t need to spend a 6 figure sum because you have internal resource – designers, planners, writers all with brains the size of Ayres Rock who can create magic, yes?
This is an all too familiar situation and on 95% of occasions this superstar resource works on client gigs. You churn out a single white paper a year, your website has been in development since flash went out of fashion and you blog once a quarter, which isn’t enough I’m afraid.
Just get me in the room
Can’t I just call people up and get a meeting? Because once I’m in the room, marketing magnetism takes over and the client cheque book opens. This may be the experience, you may win 60% or even 70% of the business you go for, but this belief comes from experience selling to leads brought in by referral and recommendation. The client has a brief, you have some trust already, so close rates are much higher. With a colder start it will be lower but it doesn’t mean somehow creating new relationships from a standing start is wrong.
Remember the cold new business of today are your referrals and recommendations of the future.
We can help advise you on how you should approach your agency new business, how you can build a repeatable process to bring in new clients for your agency.
Contact us to arrange a chat.
Originally published at incitenewbusiness.co.uk on September 12, 2016.