1. Cold Calling Works! Tell the Experts! But Ice Cold Calling Doesn’t!
2. They Called Your Agency to Handle Their Account; You Didn’t Answer. What Happens Next?
3. Have You Checked Our Recent Search Announcement Posts? What About PitchCast Activity?
4. What’s an Agency Cattle Call and Should You Participate?
5. When Did You Last Update Your Profile?
COLD CALLING WORKS! TELL THE EXPERTS! BUT ICE COLD CALLING DOESN’T!
There’s been a significant sea-change to acknowledge and accept what works in pro-active new business development. In speaking with those charged with fishing for new business, we see things have been changing over the years. It wasn’t long ago (pre 911) that hundreds if not thousands of “Rainmakers” (how many recall that expression?) were busy sending clever dimensional direct mail packages. The content of those mailers posed a relevant question on a related topic with mention that the sender would call the week following. Those adept callers were gifted in the art of extemporaneous conversation and able to carry on to a follow-up conversation and ultimately to the powerful closing line – “Would it make sense for us to get together and meet?” In our book and as we taught it to agencies from Seattle to New York to London, that’s a COLD CALL and it works!
Cold Calls work, day in and day out. Problem is, most agency folks either haven’t been trained properly or don’t have the personality to pull it off. Solution? Train people with the right personality …
In contrast, try pulling up your prospect list and dial the phone. Called party answers and you struggle to get started. THAT’S an ICE-COLD CALL – and few if any can pull that off. But those who suggest Cold Calling doesn’t work probably want to make calls for you (big bucks at that), of they have some fancy e-mail program to sell. If you need help and some suggestions on that topic, let me know.
THEY CALLED YOUR AGENCY ABOUT HANDLING THEIR ACCOUNT; YOU DIDN’T ANSWER. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
They tell us they got your agency name from a colleague so they dialed you up. They wanted to talk about your firm handling their account. One recent caller had a budget of $2.5MM. They said the phone rang and rang so they hung up. They dialed again. This time they got the recording carousel and selected #102 for “business development.” That one rang almost forever but was saved by the bell with a delicate British female voice declaring – “If you’d like to speak with us about handling your account, please leave your name and number. Also describe your needs. Thank You!” I’ll take your money for new business consulting. Pay me and I’ll suggest you answer the phone.
Seems to me if you went to the trouble to install a “new business Interest” extension, you ought to have someone manning that all day each weekday. Voicemail is OK after hours and on weekends. And if your agency doesn’t have a dedicated extension for new business, shame on you.
HAVE YOU CHECKED OUR RECENT SEARCH ANNOUNCEMENT POSTS? WHAT ABOUT PITCHCASE ACTIVITY?
Whether you are a long-standing agency with us or a newcomer, from time to time we post recent Search Announcements and do that here: In those posts, we identify the client, client location, budget, the first few vertical markets where they want the agency to have experience, then the winning agency and contenders (if more than one). Should your agency have been posted here?
When’s the last time you checked the PitchCast postings? If you see something there that might make a good fit, it we haven’t already contacted you or if you don’t see this client outline in your Agency Search Activity Detail (Report #15), drop me an e-mail.
WHAT’S AN AGENCY CATTLE CALL AND SHOULD YOU PARTICIPATE?
Whoever first started using that expression certainly wasn’t a farmer! Today’s definition reads “a theatrical audition that is open to everyone, especially to those who do not belong to a theatrical union.” As I see it, that might only apply today to a website-posted RFP. Or to some hanger-on website services that allow clients to post their desires; then member agencies pay a modest fee to make a proposal and bid. Those are generally minuscule budget logo or stationary exercises. Don’t know any consultants who do that. As for cattle, they seldom come when called; they have to be herded (as in – poked, prodded, rounded-up, shouted at or threatened.
Here’s another definition: It’s a cattle call when they herd half a dozen of you into a hotel room and interview you all at once. And another: An audition which is open to the public and thus draws a large number of applicants, many of whom are inexperienced. To the point, cattle calls or anything like that aren’t taking place in the agency world or at least in ours.
Now should you participate? Follow this. Regardless of how their search is handled, most clients with meaningful budgets want to have 3 agencies (finalists) competing for their business. So how do they get to three? By starting with more than three. How about six? OK, let’s say you have a budget of $500,000 and you’re in New York. You’re in women’s fashion. Google New York agencies women’s fashion – shows 51,900,000 results. Whoops! That pulls up “modeling agencies.” Try again – advertising agencies – shows 55,300,000. You tell me – how are you planning to cut to six?
Here’s our solution to that dilemma: We challenge our internal search engine to find 15 or more qualified candidates in our AgencyFinder database and we invite them. At that, 3-4 bail immediately for conflict, workload or budget. Next step in our process is the agency due-diligence telephone interview. At that stage, client or agency decisions eliminate 3-4 more. That means 7-8 elect to send agency brochures, relevant samples and a pitch letter. So far, no “face-time,” no travel expense, no spec anything. Clients that follow our advice now select agencies to meet. Where and how many? About 5-6 and at each agency, not the client’s HQ. That visit consists of an agency tour, their “dog & pony” presentation and a wrap-up Q&A. Plenty of time for conversation, case-studies, chemistry checks and that important question of identifying “who will handle our account?” Following site visits, the 3 finalists tend to reveal themselves. They proceed to final presentations (no spec creative) and that’s how it’s been working for us for years! Have a better idea?
WHEN DID YOU LAST UPDATE YOUR PROFILE?
Here’s what our records show: LASTUPDATE If that’s been more than 6 months, Login and make your updates and corrections. If you’d like our input, drop us an e-mail or telephone.
If you’re new at “new business”, I always enjoy talking with anyone new to that assignment. Call me Toll Free – 1-877-XFINDER
ACTIVATE YOUR PROFILE OR UPGRADE IT HERE