LinkedIn, PR and the good old Telephone reign for agency new business




The latest RSW New Business Report (our eleventh) tells us that clients rate LinkedIn as being the most effective outreach method employed by agencies, with PR coming in second and the good old telephone third. Click HERE to download of view the whole report.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

The Agency Football Team

My agency is like a football team.

The new business team are the strikers.

Account management are the midfielders.

Client services are the defence and keeper.

Every month is a new game against the opposition.

A new client won is a goal for us.

A client lost is a goal for the opposition.

The objective is to win each game.

But I’d rather we won 1-0 or 2-1 than 4-3 or 3-2.

Keeping a clean sheet is the most important aspect of our tactics, so let’s park the bus and counter-attack.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

The First 100 Days



According to research conducted by ICM on behalf of Oxford Strategic Marketing and Hunter Miller, where they interviewed 75 of the UK’s leading Marketing Directors, 70% either agreed or Strongly Agreed that they consider changing agencies to be one of the first things they do when taking up a new position.

Our anecdotal evidence over the last 20 odd years certainly verifies this, which is why getting this information is ESSENTIAL and not all of it is reported in the press of course, especially not new appointments in sensitive business sectors or some of the mid tier and challenger brands our clients are interested in.

To this end we have developed technology that enables us to find them before anyone else.

Download the full report HERE

Posted in News, Research | Tagged | Leave a comment

The best iPad Pitch

One of the best pitches I ever saw was done by a man who was great at speed drawing. He had a flipchart and a bunch of pens and off he went, drew the entire presentation as he was going along, adding in things he came up with on the spot and things that were suggested by those watching.

At then end he gave the marketing director the flipchart, great fun, very stimulating. But if you can’t do this or want something a bit more hi-tech, then take a look at this!

Posted in Just thoughts, News | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Conversion Rates – What to Expect from Agency New Business.

Like most new business agencies we are often asked about conversion rates; both our own and those of our clients. RSW has been in business since 1992 in the UK, 2005 in the US and has also just set up in Australia. We monitor both our own and our client’s success rates, taking standard deviations into consideration.

Conversion ratesWe divide new business into what we call the “Upstream” process and the “Downstream” process. The upstream is everything that happens prior to the first face-to-face interaction with the prospective client whilst the downstream is obviously therefore everything that happens post first meeting.

Both processes have three steps and they are as follows;


Step 1 – Make a contact attempt

Step 2 – Engage with the prospect

Step 3 – arrange a meeting


Step 1 – Meet the prospect

Step 2 – Submit a proposal / answer a brief

Step 3 – Win the business.

We know that for every 100 calls made, ten prospects will be spoken to and for every ten spoken to one will convert into a qualified meeting (see other post for definition of a ‘qualified meeting’).

For every four meetings our clients attend they should submit one proposal and for every three proposals submitted they win a new client.

We believe that our attention to delivering truly qualified meetings means that our (Upstream) conversion rates are not as great as those suggested by other new business agencies but feel this is justified by our clients’ superior (Downstream) conversion rates.

Posted in News, Research | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

RSW / Mirren Guide to New Business Tools

spaceOur colleagues over in the US recently undertook a survey with Mirren into the new business tools used by agencies.

While social media is an extremely popular tool for agency new business (used by 87% of agencies), only 18% think it’s effective. And can you guess what the most over-rated of all the social media tools used for new business is? If you guessed Facebook, you’re correct. It’s too personal and not useful for prospecting.

Any guess on the most over-rated CRM? Agencies tell us it’s Salesforce. They think it’s too complex, too expensive, and not designed for the agency world.

And the most over-rated presentation software? Prezi. Agencies complain of it crashing, it being too distracting, and too hard to edit.

With so many new business tools popping up every day, how does one know what’s best for their agency’s new business needs?



Posted in News, Research, Resources | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cake business matching merges with RSW to create RSW/AUS

An ex RSW new business development manager from a decade ago merges her boutique business matching consultancy with RSW. Cake business matching, established in 2005 is now operating with its new identity, RSW/AUS.


This merger is both an exciting and logical move forward following Sally Danbury’s emigration to South Australia in 2011.  RSW strengthens the existing offering, resource and reach of Cake business matching with its start up agency specialism.


Sally is ready to embrace the next level whilst continuing to support existing clients without disruption.


RSW/AUS, having the capability and expertise to strategically grow its clients’ businesses in the Australian marketing agency marketplace, manages agencies of all sizes and disciplines.


RSW is a long established and highly respected lead generation agency for the marketing communications industry.  Its head office is situated in London, UK and has a strong presence in US, via its Cincinnati office.


Sally Danbury and Adam Whittaker look forward to RSW/AUS future success, in the provision of a seamless service to its Australian clients.


Are you are an agency owner requiring an ongoing business development programme? If you would like to understand more about our process, successes and how we can help you specifically, please get in touch

Posted in News | Leave a comment

How Peculiar …

I am NOT suggesting that anyone does this.

I sent an email out yesterday and totally screwed up. We have a new system and I forgot to 1) upload our unsubscribe list and 2) filter out existing clients. So all my clients got an email asking them if they’d be interested in working with us! Luckily they’re all marcoms agencies and saw the funny side of it (we’ve probably ALL done something like that at one point or another in our careers!).

The interesting thing though was that 50% of the positive enquiries I got back (asking for a meeting so I can prepare a proposal) were from people who had previously unsubscribed!

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Merger of Cake New Business into RSW

Cake New Business has now merged with RSW to become RSW/AUS. Sally Danbury will remain in her position.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Retention: How to Prioritize Clients

Running a marketing firm of any size is a juggling act. Not only are you working on several different client/agency initiatives at any given time, but you’ve got projects from several different clients as well.

This post was originally published by Sanders Consulting and can be seen in its original location HERE. We love it so much we asked for and were granted permission to re-post it.

Often competing client conflicts will drive staff and leadership crazy. Starting a new project vs. finishing another, what comes first? The clients all the while breathing down your neck claiming “I need it yesterday!” All this and more adds to the already chaotic work environment and makes organizational planning a difficult task.

Prioritizing your clients may help you and your team to keep focused on the most important work at hand; keeping the clients you truly need happy and growing the ones that you can.


sunDefinition: Sun clients are essential to the agency. Without these clients, the agency might cease to exist. Sun clients provide warmth, nourishment and energy to the agency. Sun clients allow the agency to do good work and take chances. Organic growth opportunities exist, staff relationships are good, and projects more often end up on time and on budget. Sun clients are to be retained and protected.


planetDefinition: Planet clients should be very profitable to the agency. These clients should operate with very little support from agency senior management and should sustain life pretty much on their own. Planet clients should be protected but may not be essential to the agency’s existence. Planets by definition have little opportunity for real growth and cannot ever be Suns in the opinion of agency management. Planet clients should be worked with minimal agency investment in resources and must have limited impact on senior management time.

Black Holes

black holeDefinition: Black Hole clients suck up a lot of agency energy and give little in return. These types of clients often overuse creative services and account management time without fair compensation. Management often thinks they help cover operational cost, keeping the lights on so to speak. They miss the impact on staff morale. Black Hole clients should be dropped by the agency at the first opportunity. Black Hole clients often represent lost causes. Their impact on the agency should be minimized.

Shooting Stars

shooting starDefinition: Shooting Stars are unknowns to the agency. Their path is not clear. Shooting Star clients could be Suns, Planets or Black Holes. It is the responsibility of the agency to ensure a Shooting Star client is transformed into either a Planet or a Sun. If this client cannot be transformed into a Sun or Planet, then that client is a Black Hole the agency should plan to eventually drop. Shooting Stars are most often new clients moving through the agency. Their long-term trajectory has not been established. Shooting Stars need more management time and require more agency resources if they are going to become Suns and Planets. Shooting Stars take up a lot of agency effort and must be watched closely.

Prioritizing Leads To Organic Growth

What clients want from agencies are ideas to make their businesses grow. What agencies want from clients are opportunities to do great work and be fairly paid for their contribution to clients’ businesses.

It is impossible for either of these to happen without “chemistry” among both parties. In order to obtain chemistry, an environment must be created that will breed success. It is the responsibility of agencies to create this environment.

Great chemistry helps make things happen and will create a more positive reaction to your ideas. A well trained account service person should always be prepared with relevant topics, points of view and issues that flatter the client and demonstrate interest and imagination. In advance prepare some BBIs, VABs, or VASs. Get ready to introduce these to stimulate the conversation. Organic growth works best when relevant to their consumers, their industry or their operations, not just selling in more of your services.

The purpose of our High Gear Training is to help agencies create this environment to keep clients and do great work.

Posted in News, Resources | Leave a comment