“Does one need targets to achieve results?” is a question I was asked a few days back and one the answer to which I thought deserved to be shared because it is one I have come across many times.
I have been managing agency new business people since 1988 and have calculated that I have been personally responsible for more than one million new business lead generation man hours. I have managed more than 300 new business people in this time.
I was reminded recently of the “Canal Barge” theory for agency new business. It was first told me many moons ago by, if I remember correctly, Graeme Green from LGM (that’s showing how long I’ve been in this business!). It goes like this.
Imagine the marketing director is the pilot of an old fashioned canal barge (the brand) being pulled along by a dray horse (incumbent agency). He has a pretty solitary existence and is always looking out for something to amuse him or help him perform his role more effectively – a good pilot never leaves school!
I was dropping my son off at school this morning as he was off on a bushcraft course – three days camping by the sea in Dorset, canoeing, rock climbing, survival etc. Sounds great fun! I got talking to the headmaster about the company that was running the course and how he had found them.
He told me that several years ago they had written to him; a hand written, two page letter, describing what they did and how they thought they’d be the perfect fit for the school. They had done their research and knew the ethos of the school. They referred to this and how they could fit in because of their own ethos.
In this business of new business of which I have been involved since (gasp!) 1988 (eek!) there has been an elephant in the room that has been ignored for years and it trumpets every so often with the refrain …
“Can you guarantee results?”
… at the first mention of which every single new business agency trots out the same old reply;
If you take The Times then the back page of the The Game section today (19th October 2015) provides a fascinating insight into the world of the football manager or rather, the world of those who appoint them. He discusses what on Merseyside the call the Messiah Complex – no never ending search for “the one” who will lead them to greatness once more. And it is not just Liverpool of course, turn the page back and you can see a great graphic that illustrates the point perfectly. Arsene Wenger has been at Arsenal 19 years and 7 days whilst the COMBINED tenure of all other Premier League managers is 17 years and 106 days.
When it comes to sales, whether through direct conversation, PowerPoint-led presentations or the trusty old phone call, one thing is certain – you’ll need to win your prospective client’s buy-in. Central to this process is your ability to effectively tailor your approach to the client and throughout this blog we explore just how you can develop a more bespoke approach to winning business and how this will contribute to a more successful sales attempts.
Exploring and defining your potential client’s needs before even beginning the sales process, is critical to a smooth and efficient on-going relationship management. Moreover, it becomes invaluable once the deal has been made and it’s time to deliver on both party’s terms and conditions.
In this blog, we touch upon the main areas that you should pay attention to when beginning to explore the client’s needs. […]
As a business predicated on developing and maintaining relationships with other businesses, we have been exposed to many value propositions. A constant theme we have found is that often there is a lot of confusion as to what actually constitutes a value proposition in the first, let alone what it takes in order to develop an excellent one. […]
When was the last time you updated or adjusted your business proposition? A considerable amount of companies create their propositions in the very early days of the business lifecycle, and then, if they seem to be working, they leave them and don’t update them despite the changes in the macro and micro economic environment. […]
Think of your agency as an upmarket restaurant.
The creative department are the chefs.
Client service are the waiters who deliver the product to the customer.
The customer of course, is your client.