Advice from Ad Agency Search Consultants

Stephan Boehler, founder of the Mercer Group, in a 4 A’s New Business Webinar Series, “How to Work with Search Consultants”, offers some sound advice, for small to midsize ad agencies, direct from Ad Agency Search Consultants:

“Agencies that ask intelligent questions and stimulate interesting dialogue during the search process – versus using the time to talk about themselves.” Menno Ellis, ABA Consulting

“A good attitude that’s centered around keeping clients happy. It’s not about YOU.” Brian Goodall, Jones Lundin Beals

“An agency that understands honestly what their capabilities are and don’t try to chase everything.” Judy Neer, Pile & Company

“Be relevant in your communication. Don’t bombard consultants with every new campaign.” Mike Duda, Deutsch

Beyond your work, your people and your process, you need a point of view on how you see the world. Ideally everything else conforms to it. Agencies aren’t great at articulating what makes them different. Having a point of view makes you stand-out.” Jamie King Hal Riney & Partners

“Respect our time. E-mail us, don’t send us boxes the size of Texas.” Joanne Davis, Joanne Davis Consulting

“Be clear in how you’re positioned – culture, capability and competency”. Lorraine Stewart Rojek, The Rojek Consulting Group

First, determine if you should be on our radar. We are hired by national brands that are looking for companies doing world-class work (regardless of their size). If your work is less than stellar, quite frankly your firm is not going to be of interest to most search consultants.” Russel Wohlwerth, Ark/AAI

“There’s no substitute for doing good work that gets noticed.” Brian Goodall, Jones Lundin Beals

Some additional tips to get on the radar of search consultants:

  • Develop relationships
  • Keep a detailed, up-to-date profile regarding the needs/habits/practices of each major search consultancy
  • Ask what the process is for being listed by each consultant and to  that
  • Don’t “pay to play”
  • Include your Agency Fact Sheet on your Website


About Michael Gass

Consultant | Trainer | Author | Speaker

Since 2007, he has been pioneering the use of social media, inbound and content marketing strategies specifically for agency new business.

He is the founder of Fuel Lines Business Development, LLC, a firm which provides business development training and consulting services to advertising, digital, media and PR agencies.


  1. As a search consultant for mid to large companies, I’m always surprised at how many agencies get lost in their own greatness and get into things that are irrelevant to the prospective client. So my advice is: “Whether making capabilities presentations or final pitches, it’s always all about the prospective client. So always get your agency’s selling points across by tying it back to the prospect’s business. Why is what you’re telling them relevant.”

  2. Laura, your comments and insight is very much appreciated. Thank you.

  3. I personally think the agency search model as it exists today is dying. Too many agencies paying to play….too much bias in the process. And little room for small-to-mid agencies. We at RSW/US ( started a search service where Clients pay nothing and the agencies only pay if they win. It’s a lot like a talent agent representing talent. They get the job, the talent agent wins. As the “agent” I don’t want agencies influencing our decision. Agencies register on our site (for free), we hold them in a database, and as projects or AORs surface, we take an unbiased look at the agency world and determine who is the best fit. Our model is designed to help better predict the long-term success of a relationship too….something traditional agency search firms also don’t do.

  4. After completion of, Other Areas In?Array of power, suggest using the.Money you pay, site There are.This model is rkd, static images can proof of authorship.Active and growing, the following handy:.,

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