How to Qualify Leads for Ad Agency New Business

qualify leads ad agency new business

To begin a successful agency new business program one of the first steps is to identify and qualify your best prospects.


A business development person without leads is like a fish out of water. Neither can survive very long. Yet …

Only 30% of B2B marketers know the names of decision makers in the companies they are targeting. The RAIN Group

It is imperative that you know who your prospects are or you are wasting time, energy and valuable agency resources. Here are a few things you should know:

  • Your agency’s best target market (industry, geography, size, etc.).
  • Specific names of companies that are the best targets for your agency.
  • Titles of decision makers in your target industries.
  • The names of specific decision makers among your target companies along with their basic contact information and any social media accounts they use.

To be successful in new business development you must first name  your prospects. Then its important to qualify them. Unqualified prospective client meetings are as bad as no meetings at all. It is a waste of agency time and resources.

There are 3 steps in qualifying a lead or prospect:

  1. Find the companies that need your agency’s service.
  2. Establishing that the prospect has a large enough budget to pay for your agency’s services.
  3. Make sure that the company contact person has the authority to select an agency partner.

It also isn’t a bad idea to check out a prospective client’s credit rating and overall reputation.

An important lesson that I’ve learned in qualifying prospects is that people will tell you anything you want to know. Most people love to talk about their company and are willing to share information about their current situation, their challenges or problems. They just need prompting by being asked the right questions.

Ad agency new business directors spend lots of time locating and pre-qualify prospective clients for their agency. There are a lot of companies available to help with the qualifying data and contact information. Here’s a list of some of the most popular:

  • Access Confidential: Putting Science Behind The Art Of New Business.
  • Hoovers: Hoover’s provides the comprehensive information and powerful tools you need to gain new customers and penetrate new markets-directly from your workflow.
  • Redbooks (LexisNexis): Advertising delivers the quality and depth of information necessary for in-depth research on agencies and advertisers worldwide.
  • The List: My personal recommendation, The List Online, the largest relational database of marketing and advertising decision makers in North America.

From most of these services you will find useful detail information such as direct dial numbers, email addresses, titles, personal notes, company news, company financial information, etc.

photo credit: Sum_of_Marc via photo pin cc

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.

%d bloggers like this: