Consistency is a key component to ad agency new business. Consistency is more important than perfection.
Your agency’s new business program must be sustainable at the times when your agency is at its busiest. Too often new business development is put on the back burner until existing business decreases and a downturn begins. That creates a roller coaster effect on your agency’s pipeline of prospects which impacts agency income and causes you to accept the wrong type of client, from the wrong pool of prospects which do not fit your agency’s strengths and core competencies.
To be consistent, any agency new business program must:
- Be realistically achievable within the culture and resources of the agency
- Have a new business director/manager who is held accountable for its execution. If “everyone” is responsible for your agency’s new business, in actuality no one is. But that doesn’t mean that others, particularly agency principals aren’t involved in the process.
- Look for ways to simplify your processes. From RFP responses, to new business reporting … always invoke the K.I.S.S. principle.
- It may also be wise to outsource some services when possible. For some agencies outsourcing certain aspects of their new business program to services such as Catapult New Business or RSW is the best option. I know of a large full service agency,with their own PR department, that chooses to outsource PR for the agency to keep it consistent.
- I say it often, you can’t improve it if you can’t measure it. Be sure to have measurements in place, but again, keep them simple.
- Create rituals for new business. If you are responsible for new business, you know how easy it is to get side-tracked within the agency environment. I would encourage you to simply set up a routine in the morning that you do as soon as you wake up. This works so well because what you do early in the day often sets the context for your day. A bad start usually leads to a bad day.
- Do the things that you dislike the most first and get them out-of-the-way. It provides me with an incentive to get to the tasks that I enjoy the most.
- Stay focused on the process. I’ve learned to maintain a consistency through the ups and downs by paying attention to the processes that I’ve created for new business. This makes me less prone to distractions and knee-jerk reactions. I know that if I consistently work the new business program that I have in place the results will come.
- Use simple reminders. I use reminders, either on a sticky-note, my computer DeskTop, pop-up alerts, to keep me on course throughout the day. I know what I want to achieve by the end of the day and I use a variety of tools to help keep me keep me on track.
- Celebrate successes. New business is tough. Especially in this economy. Life in the trenches for new business is nonstop hard work and often goes unnoticed. For the well-being of your new business team, it is important to stop, take the time to celebrate each new business victory.
One of the primary reasons that I’m such a huge advocate of social media is that it can help your agency to be more consistent with its new business program: “Social Media ‘Teaches’ Ad Agencies to Promote Themselves the Right Way.”
What is your best tip for being consistent?
Additional articles that may be of interest:
- 25 Ways to Be Found for Ad Agency New Business
- A 70 Point Checklist for Jump-Starting or Tuning-Up Your Blog for New Business
- 50 Blog Post Ideas to Fuel Your Ad Agency’s Blog
- 20 Top Inbound Marketing Resources for the Paradigm Shift in Ad Agency New Business