Flash Reports

Global (International) Hearing Aid Agency Review

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Flash Reports

CONTENTS:

  1. Global Hearing Aid Review
  2. The Old Cooks & Broth Story
  3. Alec Bradley Search
  4. Sunsof Search
  5. GuidedChoice Search
  6. Famous Smoke Shop Search
  7. Pheasants Forever Search
  8. In Memoriam

GLOBAL (INTERNATIONAL) HEARING AID AGENCY REVIEW

When first posted at our PitchCast it read: Top International powerhouse in the assisted hearing industry planning to find and hire an advertising partner. Headquartered in Europe but looking for a firm in Metro New York, the project will focus on delivering an impactful launch campaign for a new line of hearing aids. This global campaign must generate awareness with both end users and hearing aid professionals and traffic (leads) into hearing aid clinics. Client indicates a budget of $2,500,001 – $5,000,000 Covers: Advertising (fees, production & media).

We don’t normally “pre-announce” but this agency review is unusual and global. The client has narrowed it down to their finalists, and now they will be transported to the client’s European headquarters (at the client’s expense). I’d love to tell you all about these folks and how they do business and have been doing business, but that’s not our place to do so. I am however wishing success to all competitors! Results to come.

THE OLDE TOO MANY COOKS & BROTH STORY

You’ve heard that too many cooks spoil the broth, right? Well, on that topic many of you have asked my opinion on the ever-growing universe of “new business” provocateurs. Here’s where I come from … To function as a match-maker (other than list broker) I contend you must have walked in the shoes of an agency business development person or a marketing director on the client side. When I visit About Us on those recent interlopers, I see people with IT experience, but a distinct lack of the later. Assuming you’ve participated in at least one client’s review in your business life, you KNOW it’s much more than writing code or “connect-the-dots.”

Back some time ago there was a proliferation of “List” websites. Agencies spent valuable employee time and for some it was great summer intern project building profiles that were worthless from day one. For a short time folks even tried to keep those profiles updated but when reality set in, they stopped. If you’re looking at a new “Agency New Business” vendor website, study their people and their credentials before you spend your time – or your money.

HOW ABOUT SOME RECENT SEARCH RESULTS …

ALEC BRADLEY SEARCH Location: Ft. Lauderdale, FL Budget: $250,001 – $500,000 (fees, production & media) Client-Category: Tobacco products, Beer, wine, liquors, Luxury items Awarded to: PriceWeber, Location: Louisville, KY Contenders: One Eighteen, Los Angeles, CA, Current360, Louisville, KY,

SUNSOF SEARCH (Laura’s Empanadas) Location: Miami, FL Budget:  $100,001 – $350,000 (fees, production & media) Client-Category: Food, Food Service   Awarded to: evok advertising, Heathrow, FL  Contenders: LatinBrand, San Antonio, TX Stokes, McNutt & Partners, Auburn, AL

GUIDEDCHOICE SEARCH Location: San Diego, CA Budget: $100,001 – $250,000 (fees & production – no media) Client-Category: Financial Services  Awarded to:  Sagon-Sagon, Los Angeles, CA Contenders: Trone Brand Energy, High Point, NC Johnson Gray Advertising, Laguna Beach, CA One Eighteen, Los Angeles, CA

FAMOUS SMOKE SHOP SEARCH Location: Easton, PA Budget: TBA PR Fees  Category: Tobacco Products  Multiple Awards to: Amplify Relations, Reno Nevada; Barker, New York; PriceWeber, Louisville, KY;  SBC Advertising, Columbus, OH The assignment was expanded and subsequently awarded to more than one. Search timeline also extended to accommodate new FDA requirements, as would be the case at all tobacco-products companies.

PHEASANTS FOREVER SEARCH (on behalf of Honey Bee & Monarch Butterfly Partnership (HB&MBP)  Location: Elba, NE & others   Budget:  $100,001 – $250,000  fees, production & media  Category: Charities, Environmental (as in Green),  Fundraising, Non-profit  Awarded to: McDaniels Marketing Location: Pekin, IL Contenders: Crosby-Volmer, Washington DC,  Sagon-Phior, Los Angeles, The Monogram Group, Chicago

IN MEMORIAM

Michael Todd Roden

Manager, Information Technology

AgencyFinder.com

1959 – 2017

I regret to announce the recent passing of Michael “Mike” Todd Roden, our WebMaster here at AgencyFinder.com since our earliest days in 1999. Mike was the genius behind the complex algorithms that searchers used to find, examine, invite and meet some of the finest marketing firms in the world. Many of you had occasion to speak with him to resolve technical issues. Mike died unexpectedly while on a business trip. He will be missed and most difficult to replace. We extend our condolences to his family and many friends.

During the transition you may have noticed our website was down. It’s now back up operating as designed.

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Special Edition Flash Report – Telephone, the Failing New Business Tool

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Flash Reports

Prologue: The majority of agency new business authors are of the “How To” variety. They volunteer pleasant, positive but not necessarily tried & true, battle- proven kinda stuff, but makes sense, sounds good kinda stuff. Not here. We’re a, I’m an agency search consultant (match-maker) and get to hear from clients about all that How to stuff that didn’t work. And I’m here to report it to you now.

As a new business tool, the telephone is failing. Time was, when a courageous young man (in difference to women, back then it was men) saw his desk phone as his connection to agency prospects. Following a regimen that consisted of preparing compelling print collateral meant to be mailed to a prospect list of 500 carefully chosen prospects, then mailing them on a consistent schedule and then, with courage and commitment, that young man would follow by phone and ask – “Did you get the rubber chicken I sent?” (Yes, in those days he actually got through) Didn’t matter if he mentioned Rubber Chicken or industry study, the whole idea was to strike up a conversation that could lead to a relationship. And “yes Virginia” (see Wikipedia), agency success does depend on relationships.

But within the industry, there’s been a change of heart. Not sure who or where it started, but the notion spread that proactive outreach and rubber chickens were no longer in vogue. The new mantra? Content. Yes content is now king. It’s the politically correct way to clap your hands, wave your arms, whistle, beat the conga drums and blow smoke in their direction. The idea is to make as much Internet social media noise as you legally can so you draw them magnetically to your agency website. That’s the good news. Here’s the bad news – it drew them to your website.

Agency websites; let me digress – I could write a book. Admittedly they’re getting better, but by example, when their agency prepared the “walk-about” home page video, they apparently missed their agency’s young couple in deep embrace in the back corner. Maybe it’s rehearsal for a client video; I would have cut it! Let’s move on to About Us. Do Not, I shout, write no-interest paragraphs about starting in your basement or how your un-named team has vast experience covering 89 years. And don’t fail to identify at least one person who works there, and that leads me to The Team tab.

Chemistry Wins New Business; Not Creative!  That’s what the Guru of Growth taught for years and its truer now than ever. That’s why your Team tab can make or break your firm with the visitor. Here’s where you can let the prospect see the people behind the curtain. The smiling faces and interesting beards (men only please); the interesting location and hobby shots. If you’re all “suits” as they say and pictured in suit and tie, that sends a nice business impression; yet if the prospect company is led by millennials, that buttoned-up look may cost you. On the other hand, if you’re a young agency with Millennial management, that might off-put some dinosaurs. You can’t win them all but this level of openness and honesty may prompt that desired call regardless.

Staff Characteurs?  So your Director of Business Development is a Pit Bull? Cute sketch. Good inside joke but not appreciated by the prospects you chase. What about those multi-frame serious-to-goofy shots? Some are really funny and clever. But their value is offset when others fall flat. Has anyone thought of blank squares with titles for everyone? Group shots show your camaraderie but when you don’t or can’t identify them, it loses value. (I often enjoy trying to identify the CEO in a group shot; only to be surprised by who really is). On posted CV’s, use caution. Some folks have such intimidating credentials that I suspect prospects could be reluctant to engage!

Back to the telephone. One quick thought just came to mind. If you want to make a call to a new prospect (as in one that is not yet a great friend) DO NOT CALL FROM YOUR CELLPHONE! Cellphone quality is erratic, inconsistent and picks up ambient sounds. Do not expect a first-time prospect to be patient with all that. Call from a land-line in your quiet office.

Now, after all the research, content and key words you’ve invested, let’s talk about the horrors experienced by prospects calling your agency. Having called thousands of agencies, I speak as an authority and say agency new business telephone protocol is atrocious! Beginning with the universal agency announcement – “Thanks for calling Blander Agency; if you know the extension of the party you’re trying to reach, enter that now. For the agency name directory press 2. For the Operator press O.” What should the first-time prospect do that was guided in by your content or Contact Us page? What name do they enter? In most cases, that name is nowhere on your Contact Us page; matter of fact, neither is your agency location. Why not another option – “To speak with us about handing your account, Press 1.  Move frequent callers to 2 or 3.

Now let’s talk about the Operator option.  It’s a joke!  You might get an announcement that the call is being transferred to the Operator (please wait), the eventual answer says “Hi, this is Janice. I’m away from my phone at the moment; please leave your name and message and I will call your shortly!” What is that job other than answering the phone? Such incompetent BS! I’ve even had the “being transferred” message just repeat and repeat; never offering a chance to leave your message!

Finally there’s the “I don’t care” mentality. I’ve had situations where, no matter how I tried or what tricks I employed, I COULD NOT raise a living soul at the agency. One such time I was calling an agency with world-wide offices. I couldn’t raise anyone or the Operator in their New York office, so I called Chicago, thinking if it was a weather issue they would know. I failed to raise a soul in Chicago so I called San Fran. Finally found someone but that party had no idea what was happening in Chicago or New York, and didn’t seem to be concerned or looking to report that which might be broken. Talk about dinosaurs.

In Closing: Dear New Business Professional. Whomever made the decision to register your firm did the right thing. But if your profile is incomplete, out-of-date or still at the free Iridium level, you ain’t going nowhere. Pre-AgencyFinder we taught agency new business, so we’re familiar with what you do and what you spend. For starters many have tried outsourcing “dialing-for-dollars” at $3,000 – $5,000 Per Month! Please don’t suggest we’re expensive.

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Digital – To Be or Not To Be?

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Flash Reports

CONTENTS:

  1. Digital – to be or not to be?
  2. Carfinder.com
  3. RSVP Ann Landers
  4. Agency Quiz # 2

DIGITAL – TO BE OR NOT TO BE?

Without studying any actual analytics, I’d speculate almost every agency that registers these days claims to be a “digital” firm. Yet when we look under “Services” we don’t see they’ve checked Digital Production or Social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.). For the sake of the question and then the answer, someone or some organization ought to take on the challenge of the “definition.” What is a Digital Agency?

CARFINDER.COM

We found ourselves looking for a new car a while ago. It’s been some time, but I dialed in at Ford.com, and found AgencyFinder’s long-lost sister, carfinder.com. Not necessarily in appearance, but darned near a spitting image as far as the process goes.

You find the site, choose your model, build your car, get MSRP, find a dealer, check dealer inventory, and get some quotes. Hit SUBMIT and the dealers came pouring out of the trenches! I’d forgotten the similarities. Back in 1998, we went looking to buy a Dodge Durango and had a similar experience. The e-mails promised we’d hear from each dealer within 24-hours. Even gave us the name of the manager who’d be calling.

But the phone didn’t ring! I needed to buy a car so IO ended up calling them and sure enough, they did have the inquiries but were working on some “other” issues. “Do you PAY for this service” I asked. “YES”, they answered, “about $3,000 per month.” I suggested they pay closer attention to the business it was trying to bring them and that they were paying for. Interestingly the one that was most responsive told me he was working “on-line” only and was almost too busy to keep up.  His other “grip & grin” buddies were starving.

Not much has changed, with cars or agencies – but I’m delighted at how close our client/agency matchmaking service parallels that of the auto giants.

RFP – ANN LANDERS

Dear Ann, (questions posed by small retailer not using AgencyFinder.com)

Are we old fashioned? My Marketing VP and I went to great lengths to ask around, then Google search, then examine, select and invite what we thought were some really fine agencies to take a look at our business as potential candidates to handle our account. We gave them a nice clear invitation, with facts, figures and a reasonable RFP. Maybe we expected too much. Maybe they didn’t realize we already knew who they were. But we did know them – even the name of the person who was supposed to handle their new business process.

Enough did call that we were able to go forward with those and found, then hired a great firm. But we can’t figure those that didn’t call. They just didn’t call – not us; not our consultant. Not even a polite decline. We talk about them and our experience with our industry friends, and they too are puzzled. Are we old fashioned?

Signed – Small fashion retailer with $250,000 budget (PR fees)

AGENCY QUIZ #2For New Business Pros Only

Long before AgencyFinder was born, we (as in Meyst et al) were agency new business consultants. That’s why we share new business tips you might find useful. This quiz, and others we’ll drop in from time to time, are for that reason.

THE QUIZ: You’re excited about making this next call. You finally learned the name of the influential VP of Marketing after chasing many dead-ends. You’ve got a compelling and well- rehearsed pitch that’s bound to make your point.

You dial the phone, and his assistant answers.

With articulate lips, precise diction and a bright, full smile she asks – “Will Mr. Tetras know what this call is about?”

You answer: (Your Options)

1. How would I know, is he some kind of telepathic mind reader?

2. Of course he won’t; not until I tell him!

3. He and I haven’t had a chance to discuss this, so the topic will be new.

4. I’m our agency’s president, so I’ll let him know when he comes to the line I’m taking my time to call…

If you picked “1, 2 or 4”, I hope new business isn’t your full-time job! In this group, “3” might get you past this gate keeper; maybe not! What you’re really being asked is “Does Mr. Tetras know you, and will he take your call?” But we’re continually amazed when we hear it.  And Yes Virginia, they still ask that!!!

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Breaking News! Clients Are Taking Longer to Select an Agency

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Flash Reports

CONTENTS:

1. Breaking News! Clients Are Taking Longer to Select an Agency
2. What’s the Prospect’s Experience When They Call Your Agency?
3. Thank Goodness, Everyone Has New Business Advice to Sell
4. The Client’s Search Steps Are More Involved – Here’s Why
5. No One Uses Fax Machines Anymore – Really?
6. Hard to Believe You Don’t Offer Social Media

BREAKING NEWS! CLIENTS ARE TAKING LONGER TO SELECT AN AGENCY

We’ve been massaging multiple client searches since early summer. They are wrapping up now, with a number of reasons for the extended timelines. It’s not because we haven’t encouraged dispatch. Our search procedure outline for the client mentions this for Search Duration: As a result of cost reductions and time saved by the AgencyFinder process, BPI clients have frequently conducted and concluded rigorous agency searches and reviews in 60 days or less once the agency invitations have been issued. If you anticipate a delay that would extend your search decision and notification beyond 60-days of invitation, please explain the circumstances and advise us in writing so we can arrange for an authorized extension.

These aren’t Fortune 500 clients and in some cases, significant corporate changes were occurring at the same time. We were accustomed to seeing those 60-day turnarounds and got spoiled. We’re starting to address some client issues up-front that hadn’t been topics for discussion before.

WHAT’S THE PROSPPECT’S EXPERIENCE WHEN THEY CALL YOUR AGENCY?

In the days of yore, agencies had operators who answered the phone and directed calls. Generally a kind, helpful individual. But today that’s only a memory. Now we have automated platforms. The caller (let’s assume someone looking to hire your firm) is expected to know your extension, though they don’t even know your name yet. The automated options are of little value other than potentially irritating the caller. The recorded announcement loops and loops if you keep trying. When that happens, some callers have learned to dial “O.” That invites real annoyance – a voice announces, “Hi this is NAME,” I can’t get to the phone right now, please leave a message.” Some callers even learned to start punching in random extensions, only to find no one is picking up their phones. Gives the impression that it’s a virtual agency! Black mark for new business.

Suggestion – Call your agency from afar to see what you (and potential clients) experience.

THANK GOODNESS. EVERYONE HAS NEW BUSINESS ADVICE TO SELL

Oh, do I feel for anyone at your agency charged with business development. Same might apply for the agency Owner.  Everyone (particularly those in India) has a lead development program guaranteed to connect you with “qualified prospects.” Or they’ve studied your agency website and took the liberty to share the weaknesses they spotted. They offer to provide SEO for you and its incredibly cheap – says the author who wrote you (as they did me) something like this – “Dear Team, I got to stumble your website “”. You have created a nice website which holds the vigor to drive lot of sales/leads. But are you getting enough sales? No???? Let’s help you out.” They promise their lists are “Opt In”, and to what and whom you should ask. With the complexities of email these days, I’d suggest getting some quality data from a reputable firm like www.Redbooks.com. Not for e-mails though, but for good old fashioned USPS addresses. And rather than address the person, address the title; your mail will get there. Some old-fashioned methods still deliver!

THE CLIENT’S SEARCH STEPS ARE MORE INVOLVED – HERE’S WHY

We have little to contribute other than to suggest your read Lindsey Slaby’s fine report/article “A tough time for ad agency positioning.”

http://www.linkedin.com/pulse/tough-time-ad-agency-positioning-lindsey-slaby

NO ONE USES FAX MACHINES ANYMORE – REALLY?

For years we’ve been sending our registered agencies client invitations in three (3) ways:

1. First an email advisory to Primary and Alternate NB to let them know they have been selected; including a thumbnail to identify the client.
2. A multi-page (5-7) fax with the RFD, instructions and invoice (if appropriate) (to Primary only)
3. An actual phone call to confirm receipt & answer questions (to Primary or Alternate)

Some agencies tell us no one uses faxes anymore (they themselves don’t have one) – Really? Visit websites of the “Greats” and then some – at Contact Us you will see their fax number along with primary phone, NB contact and email.

We did learn recently that financial information (as in Banks, Brokerage Firms, etc.) can’t be sent by email. For them fax is mandatory. So if your agency is large enough (as in Gross Receipts) your CFO may confirm this or at least be aware. And here’s our bottom line – we want you to receive, read and respond to the client’s invitation. And since you registered here for new business, you should too.

You can purchase a current state-of-the-art combo fax/printer/scanner for less than $200. You don’t need a separate line; you can camp on an existing. You can also install one of the e-fax options. If you’re full-service, include fax service!

HARD TO BELIEVE YOU DON’T OFFER SOCIAL MEDIA

First glance at many agency profiles, there’s no “tic” at social media. As in: Social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) How can that be? Because the agency hasn’t been in to update in some time, that’s why. Same for Digital production & Experiential. If you don’t have them checked (if you can), please do so. You could see an invitation soon.

How to Take a Summer Vacation from Agency New Business

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Flash Reports

CONTENTS:

1. How to Take a Summer Vacation from Agency New Business
2. Your Confidential Client List – It Can Get You Invited or Get You Tossed
3. The New Business Provocateurs – Your Head Must be Spinning
4.  Are You Being Deluged with E-mails from Uninvited Senders?

HOW TO TAKE A SUMMER VACATION FROM AGENCY NEW BUSINESS

Is it enough to say you’re earned it? The constant, continuing pressure to connect, to tell the agency story, to request an initial meeting and then-some. It’s a never-relenting series of organizations, prospect lists, calling, talking, cajoling, fake and real smiling and being sincere that sometimes leads to a face-to-face meeting. Some of you (making the calls) may be following the original “Spark/Torch” procedure where the Spark (caller) and Torch (Sr. AE) were meant to go together on that first meeting. Too often, the agency bastardized that model and only the Torch made the meeting. So the client’s first question was – “Where’s Sharon (Spark)? Torch says – She’s back at the agency – Prospect says – what is this, bait & switch? The lesson here – don’t play tricky games.

So how about enough already … Stop the grind and let me get off! If you’re a commission-only employee (I hope not) then vacation pay isn’t part of the deal. If you get it, thank God. But regardless, the grind will get the best of you down. It’s summer and clients too are looking for a break. Since there is no really good time, check with your family and plan a vacation. Try 2 weeks but one week at a time. That way you won’t likely miss anything. If you bring your cellphone, emergencies only and don’t check e-mail. Your office should be instructed to call if something is critical.

Have fun and write me – when you get back!

YOUR CONFIDENTIAL CLIENT LIST – IT CAN GET YOU INVITED OR GET YOU TOSSED

Have you given any thought to how we or clients use your confidential client list? For starters, clients never see it; it’s strictly for our use. Stay with me and you’ll learn why it’s not optional that you keep that list complete and up-to-date.

Clients make the first pass on a Search. After they register and select their desired agency attributes, we see their results and call to interview them by phone. We’ll make adjustments to what they did based on what they tell us. That generally surfaces additional candidates with some better matches. We take control of their search and continue to fine-tune until we narrow to a manageable collection of 30 or so. In most cases, that still is too many. To cut that group to something we can invite, we now check to confirm you and the other agencies have worked with clients in the vertical markets you’ve claimed in the upper section (Fields Served). By exaggerated example, let’s say you checked Industrial Equipment – light. Now we spend time on your website. We’ll check your client list there and may find nothing but fashion accounts. But before that turns the tide, we look to your confidential client list with us. If that too is nothing but fashion, we drop your firm from consideration and contention. End of story!

Moral of the story – keep your client list current, complete and up-to-date.

THE NEW BUSINESS PROVOCATEURS – YOUR HEAD MUST BE SPINNING

In the good old days (not sure when that was) there weren’t many “new business services” agencies could use to help them at new business prospecting or business development. Just now I Googled “tools for agency business development” and found more than a few:

11 Must Have Ad Agency Business Development Tools 
Top 5 Free Marketing Tools for Growing Agency New Business
2016 trends for advertising agency business development
The Guide to New Business Tools for Agencies
New Research Reveals the Top New Business Development Tools
Study: 12 Tools That Most Ad Agencies Use for New Business 
Top 50 Tools to Run and Scale Your Ad Agency
5 Prospecting Tools Your Ad Agency Needs Now
Business Development Best Practice 
Agency New Business Tools Archives
Agency Business Development Websites

In many respects, it could take months to decipher the offerings, then to examine, test, try, install and debug your choice. I’m forever grateful we’re now on the end of delivering high-quality, pre-qualified prospects to some of our perfect-fit agencies. Be sure to get your share.

ARE YOU BEING DELUGED WITH E-MAILS FROM UNINVITED SENDERS?

Are you experiencing what we are?  An onslaught of new uninvited e-mail “senders” – businesses who apparently think we would be interested in new services and new products far from our realm of interest. I particularly hate the chatty first-person intros – “Hi Chuck, since you are doing this and we are selling that, let’s get together!” I’ve taken to devoting Friday afternoon to conducting a “remove” campaign on all those – hoping that at least some will never return.

P.S. – How about a little entertainment?  Visit us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AgencyFinder

We Can Audit Your Profile & See Who it Attracts. It Won’t Cost You; Shall We?

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Flash Reports

CONTENTS:

  1. We Can Audit Your Profile & See Who it Attracts.  It Won’t Cost You; Shall We?
  2. Want to Discover Which Clients Have Already Checked You Out? 
  3. The Most Important New Business Person at Your Agency
  4. GIGO – Garbage In; Garbage Out – It’s Still an Issue
  5. Turn Up the Volume

WE CAN AUDIT YOUR PROFILE & SEE WHO IT ATTRACTS. IT WON’T COST YOU; SHALL WE?

When agencies registered in the past, they understandably wanted some idea of what search traffic they might expect. The best we could do at that time was look at their completed profile and take an educated guess based on what was there. Then our webmaster proposed an ingenious solution – we run the content of your profile against all searches during the previous 12-months and generate a report, and we’ll share that with you. This offer is for those with a completed and approved profile with a Power Index greater than 85. Drop me an e-mail to say yes.

WANT TO DISCOVER WHICH CLIENTS HAVE ALREADY CHECKED YOU OUT?

It’s happening right under your nose! It doesn’t sound a ringer or blow a horn, but our system does note and document when any client search brought your firm to the surface. I can’t offer a clickable link, but it’s easy to get there.

Login to your account as you would always do. You land on Registered Agency – Record Maintenance. Click at #15 – Agency Search Activity Detail and there you are. That report shows date, budget, Fields served, and client location.

That’s the traffic your profile is generating.

THE MOST IMPORTANT NEW BUSINESS PERSON AT YOUR AGENCY

Put to an open vote, I can already hear the scramble at your agency. I certainly expect your Director of Business Development to rush to the front to make a claim (unless he/she is already on the phone); if your firm is on the small-size your agency president might lay claim. But I say NO to those and many others. I assume you have a glorious website, you’ve optimized and rationalized, and your PPC is spending as intended. Bottom line (and supported by analytics) is you have satisfying inbound traffic.

Now it’s either a Homerun or a Zip-Zero.  Your most important new business person at the agency? Your telephone system! The prospect decides to call your agency. In the majority of cases, they reach the infamous “Voice mail Announcement.” Most commonly they hear “Thanks for calling X Agency. If you know the extension of the party you’re trying to reach, enter that now.” What they don’t often hear is “If you’re interested in exploring a working relationship with us, enter extension 101. If they do happen to know the New Biz extension or that of the CEO, if those parties aren’t able to pick up, they may be offered this option for an emergency – “here’s my cell phone number, give me a call.” They follow instructions only to hear – “Sorry I can’t get to the phone; please leave a message.” I often wonder just how much client business is lost when you allow it to drop into the hands of “The most important new business person at your agency.”

GIGO – GARBAGE IN/GARBAGE OUT – IT’S STILL AN ISUE

Modestly speaking, AgencyFinder.com is the most powerful, precise 24/7 New Business Service (i.e. – On-line Search Consultant) on the Internet. When you built your profile we gave you more than 500 data fields to select from, to advertise and broadcast the breadth and depth of your agency attributes; then 7 – 500 word essays, a Case History and a private client list.

Because that’s the case, we can match clients to appropriate agency candidates to the nth degree – but to do so we need your help and consideration. Please keep your profiles current, up-to-date and accurate. If you click and claim it, you can be found and matched for it. If things have changed, go in and de-select some items. We don’t want to take your valuable time to manage a miss-match, but when it happens, we’re also taking the client’s time and ours as well.

TURN UP THE VOLUME

Would you like to see more activity? Agencies paid at the Manager Plan Level take precedent over those that aren’t. Paid agencies can also benefit from AgencyFinder.com counsel. If you’d like to turn up the volume, upgrade to Manager Plan level and do so here: UPGRADE TO MANAGER PLAN: http://www.agencyfinder.com/agencies/plans-and-prices/

 

Leads for Sale, Great Leads for Sale, Get Them While They’re Hot!

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Flash Reports

CONTENTS:

1. Leads for Sale, Great Leads for Sale, Get Them While They’re Hot!
2. Who is Going to Answer That Phone?
3. Wild & Crazy Websites
4. Search Announcements & Stuff

LEADS FOR SALE, GREAT LEADS FOR SALE, GET THEM WHILE THEY’RE HOT!

Ridiculous you say? I would agree but when you take a close look at many agency new business services, they’re not far from suggesting that. On local radio, I hear ads for web services suggesting that all a business need do is let them know how many “leads” they want per week and they will deliver. Can you imagine!  Now let’s define a lead. Their lead is NOT someone ready to hire YOUR firm now; their lead is NOT prequalified and their lead is NOT someone who has even talked with this lead provider. Here’s what I call a lead …

My friend Russell went to lunch yesterday at McDonalds. Sitting quietly by himself, he couldn’t help but hear what’s being said at a nearby table for 4. They’re not too happy with their agency; they talk about looking around. He listens to hear who they work for; when he learns he writes it down. Then he called the President of a local agency he knows and told him the story. That’s what I call a lead.

Here at AgencyFinder, our registered agencies have been getting invitations to speak with vetted and qualified advertisers for years. Those advertisers were ready to hire an agency and they had a pretty good idea what the agency should look like. Agency invitations go to those where their profile meet the client specs. Our agencies get “invitations” or as the dictionary says – a situation or action that tempts someone to do something or makes a particular outcome likely. Don’t find yourself doing business with a lead machine.

WHO IS GOING TO ANSWER THAT PHONE?

I know of agencies paying $4,000 to $5,000 monthly to have third-parties working elsewhere make outreach calls trying to find someone, almost anyone who will agree to a meeting with the agency brass. On a score from 1 to 10, I rate those meetings at a 2. But who knows, once in a while it’s possible to strike Gold, so if the numbers work, why not? Now let’s take a look at that practice.  Contractors make the outreach call. That’s an expensive call, and I’m not talking about toll cost. Let’s assume the caller connects and has a good chat and asks for a call-back. Contractor has a process. Having implied he/she works for and at the agency, the number that was left goes to voicemail only, answered only in the contractor’s name and voice. That’s another story.

Now let’s say the prospect is in a hurry, so rather than waiting for a return call, they find and call the main number on the agency website. Now it begins – the looping “Who is going to answer that phone!”  Agencies nowadays have voicemail to cover the desk, so we get the – “Thanks for calling AgencyOne. If you know the extension of the party you’re calling, enter it now. For an agency directory, press 1. For this and that, press this or that. For New Business Press 4.” You’re routed to the Marketing Department. “No one can take your call. Please leave a message.”

I can be impatient, so I have learned to punch O for Operator. If a human is hovering somewhere nearby, that generally gets them. But as it stands, the O request too often loops you back to a voicemail announcement. At some smaller agencies, I have literally tried every extension they offer, yet that fails to surface a human. For that and any of the other important incoming calls, imagine the consequence of such treatment. Don’t let this silent killer cost you business. I suggest the “O” option should ring at 4-5 desks with Hell-to-pay when a phone goes unanswered by a human. One final note: please see that whomever answers NEVER asks the bane of anyone charged with agency new business – “will they know what this call is about?”

WILD & CRAZY WEBSITES

You should see them! Each and every day new agency registrations flow across the transom. A full registration will take an agency a day or two to finish (not all at once but a bit here and there). In the meantime we always check out their websites. We “land” at each with the eyes of a client, hoping our experience is positive. And these days it is! What an incredible array of graphic and executable genius! Gone are the days of horizontally-centered tiny-type mono-tone pages, now replaced with full-width, full-color, animated or video sequences with an indescribable variety that is unrelenting and entertaining. I pity the poor client that has to choose these days. But remember, your agency profile (as in data elements) is what will make your first connection; your website makes the second, and your due-diligence interview makes the third. From that point on, their site visit, your guided agency tour and your team chemistry help seal the deal. Here’s to a great presentation!

SEARCH ANNOUNCEMENTS & STUFF

Periodically and as they occur, we post news of concluded client searches we’ve managed.  Most go to conclusion but some stall out, get rescheduled for a later time, or client gets cold feet and cancels. We’re seldom happy with the latter. You might want to take a look at our terms they’ve agreed to – as you know, free is never free without conditions.

Client: Calmer Corn Heads, Inc. Location: Alpha, IL Budget: $250K – $500K assorted services Client-Category: Agricultural Equipment & Supplies Awarded to: Charleston Orwig, Hartland, WI Contenders: Davis, Harrison Dion, Chicago, IL, Morgan&Myers, Waukesha, WI, Trilix Marketing Group, Des Moines, IA
Client: HireRight Location: Irvine, CA Budget: TBA Client-Category: Business services, computer software Awarded to: One-Eighteen Location: Los Angeles, CA Contenders: Sagon-Phior, Los Angeles, Fraser Communications, Los Angeles
Client: SMR Solutions for Vendor Control Service Location: Concord, MA Budget: <$100,000 fees public relations Client-Category: Aerospace Defense Awarded to: Grove, Concord, MA Contenders: BCB Group, Wallingford, CT P&M Advertising, Agawam, MA
Client: Strativity Group Location: Hackensack, NJ Budget: TBD Media relations Client-Category: Business services, professional services Awarded to: Client decided not to hire an agency
Client: Ukies Location: Atlanta, GA Budget: <$100,000 public relations Client-Category: Fashion, women’s, Shoes & Footwear Awarded to: suspended for shoe production revisions
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MAKE YOUR PAYMENT, UPGRADE TO MANAGER PLAN: http://www.agencyfinder.com/agencies/plans-and-prices/  

Go Easy Into 2016; Plan and Execute Carefully

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Flash Reports

CONTENTS:

1. Go Easy Into 2016; Plan and Execute Carefully
2. The Latest PitchCast Postings; Anything there for you?
3. If Your Website has a Team Tab, You Should Be There Too
4. At Services Offered, Have You Claimed All You Can?
5. Attention – New Business Is for Those With Active Profiles; Is Yours?
6. A New Business History Lesson; But You Won’t Be Tested

GO EASY INTO 2016; PLAN AND EXECUTE CAREFULLY

If our experience over the years is any indication, clients (as in those you want to hire you) do the same thing we suggest you do – take the month of January to plan your strategy and execution. There may be an argument to play the early-bird thing, but in most cases, unless their worm has surfaced, your bird will just eat dirt!

THE LATEST PITCHCAST POSTINGS; ANYTHING THERE FOR YOU?

Take a look at what came across our transom the last part of the year. Some are already history, but you will never know unless you ask!

1. People Love the Taste of Chicken – Can you Help This Producer Sell More
2. Calling all Farmers, Need Help Selling Corn Heads; Yes Corn Heads!
3. The Folks Who Perform Thorough Background Checks Need to Hire an Agency – Southern CA
4. B2B Management Software Company Seeks AOR
5. Growing Toy & Game Manufacturer Looking for an Agency that’s a “Kid at Heart

IF YOUR WEBSITE HAS A TEAM TAB, YOU SHOULD BE THERE TOO

Most agency websites, in recognition of the fact that chemistry is a critical element in agency selection, see the wisdom in an agency “Team” tab.  There you’ll find the smiling faces (photo or illustration) of the key players – at least that’s how they are presented. For a first-time visitor, they may care about your management, but if they want to reach out to hire an agency, they want the new business contact. If that’s you and you aren’t posted yet, show this to your boss and ask it be done. It needs your photo and a pleasing bio!

AT SERVICES OFFERED, HAVE YOU CLAIMED ALL YOU CAN?

Who knows what the client will want? But the more the merrier (as in quantity of vertical markets or services you’ve laid claim to).  We use our Histogram to see what our agencies have claimed and how many. Here are some with low counts; if you can claim them it’s to your advantage; please do!

Services: (120+ choices)

Beta testing:
Business development training
Business plan development
Custom publishing
Digital production
Environmental/ecology marketing
Experiential marketing
Gaming
Geodemographic mapping
Green initiatives
Initial public Offerings (IPO’s)
Labor Relations
Lobbying
Logistics
OOH (Out of Home)
POP (Point-of-Purchase)
Political campaign management
POS (Point-of-Sale)
Pre/Post IPO marketing
Shopper marketing
Telemarketing (inbound call center)
Telemarketing (outbound)
Word-of-mouth marketing
Youth marketing

Same is true for Vertical Marketing Experience:

Fields Served: (180+ choices)

Agrichemical
Auctions
Building materials
Chemicals
Cloud service vendors
Cruise lines
Dry cleaning
Fabrics, Yarns, Sewing notions
Floor coverings
Flour & Cereals
Funeral industry
Horse Racing
Infant/adolescent items
Licensor, Licensing
Logistics
Lotteries
Medical & physicians groups
Medical (In-home care)
Metals
Mining
Oil & Gas
Plumbing
Religious organizations
Relocation services
Rental (equipment)
Rental (vehicles)
Research Organizations:
Shipping
Solar goods & services
Veterinary products & services
Waste & water treatment

ATTENTION: NEW BUSINESS IS FOR THOSE WITH ACTIVE PROFILES; IS YOURS?

Some agencies quit our registration process prematurely and don’t realize they did so. When you begin, you are walked through 2 or 3 pages. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. A complete profile contains more than 500 data fields you select from and claim; then 7 short essays you are meant to write, same for case histories and confidential client list. When that’s finished, you click at Item #13 – Set Your Record Active. When you log back in here you’re greeted with “Welcome Back Agency Name.” If you didn’t get that far and you still need to finish, you’re greeted with just “Welcome to agencyfinder.com.” We assume every agency registers because they want new clients. Please finish things up so we can do that for you!

A NEW BUSINESS HISTORY LESSON; BUT YOU WON’T BE TESTED

If you expect an agency new business service to bring you new clients, I would suggest they know something about how agencies go about getting new clients; as in the do’s and the don’ts. And that service needs to be much more than a simple directory or database; it needs the inclusion and management by experienced new business veterans. To my point, I officially entered the “agency new business arena” upon joining Sanders Consulting in 1990. At the time, Sanders were THE unchallenged agency new business experts in the US and would eventually branch out to add England to the mix. Stuart and his gang tackled educating agencies at new business from the largest (like McCann) to small regional specialists. We produced seminars on diverse topics including the then revolutionary “Re-Engineering.” But we did more than teach; they taught us. The combination was powerful and memorable and to this day many remember their “Spark & Torch” training and they clearly remember Stuart.

In 1994 I left Sanders to launch Sales Marketing Institute; still consulting in agency new business but from a different angle. My team and I tackled the small-to-medium agencies promoting one-on-one training and consulting. There were exceptions, namely multiple sessions at Campbell-Ewald in Detroit. Two years in on a return trip from there, teaching new recruits hired to replace two we trained a few years prior that it hit me – there weren’t enough hours, days or consultants to cover all the agencies that needed help. Flying home I was reading a book on entrepreneurship and one paragraph struck me. It suggested, “An entrepreneur isn’t someone who invents something new, but rather takes things that exist, combines elements with one from another and introduces a fresh new solution.” I took some of the concepts I discovered at iMarket (a D&B and Lotus Notes product), built a re-configured version for client & agency match-making and voila – 11 months later in 1997, AgencyFinder.com emerged fresh and new, ready to make marriages. To my knowledge, AgencyFinder was then and still is the first Internet ad industry client/agency match-making service that functions as an agency search consultant. And to those with historical recall and to his credit, registrant number one was the agency search consultant Skip Pile.

Now it’s 2016. 19 years later and we’re the oldest, established and maybe most unconventional agency search consultant around. At a time when the Internet was evolving, to the delight of advertisers looking to hire an agency, we introduced our “Free Search” model. Ironically even after all these years, agencies occasionally question why they need to pay our annual fees. They don’t realize clients search for free and always have, so agency annual fees power our service.  If anyone working at business development spends a few minutes with us on the phone, they invariably come away as a firm believer. I note with pride that our payment model is now the standard for the likes of many like e-Harmony, Match.com, HomeAdvisor.com and a new player – A Place for Mom.

Our staff of experienced consultants, aided by our powerful onboard proprietary search engine gets the job done.  That’s true more than 10,000 times since 1997. But we’re only as good as our content, as in “your finished profiles.” So set aside some time during these first weeks of 2016 to finish up.  Login here to begin:  http://www.agencyfinder.com/agencies/agency-login/

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FOR MORE ACTIVITY, UPGRADE YOUR PROFILE: http://www.agencyfinder.com/agencies/plans-and-prices/  Get a leg-up with Manager Plan.

Our important Question – How Do You Want Your Invitation?

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Flash Reports

HOW DO YOU WANT YOUR INVITATION?  That’s our important New Business question.

The proposition – You’re one of our special registrants looking for new business. Regardless of type, you built a profile here at AgencyFinder.com so you can be found and invited to speak and ultimately pitch a new client.

Now the good news – your firm surfaced as a candidate in this client’s search. All we need now is to send your invitation so you can schedule your initial client interview.

But there’s a problem. Increasingly our invitations haven’t been getting where they’re meant to go. In your profile you’ve given us your office landline, your fax and your e-mail. Here’s what we do and what’s been happening.

1. We send you an e-mail alert identifying the client, budget and client URL. We mention the full invitation will follow as fax.

a. e-mail gets to you; you do/don’t read it

b. e-mail goes to your Spam folder and is not read. Dead end.

2. We send you a fax

a. Fax gets to you and you read it

b. Fax gets there but someone picks it up and throws it away (thinking it’s an island travel offer in 48-Pt headline)

c. You no longer have a fax – obsolete technology you explain – ask that we scan and send as e-mail attachment

d. Scanning 6 pages – extra steps for us – that too goes to your spam folder

3. We phone to follow-up

a. We have to leave a voicemail (sometimes mailbox is full)

b. Someone offers to take a message; don’t know your schedule

c. You say or they say – never received the fax

d. New fax number and sent again

Consequence?  You’re either a “no-show” or significantly late. And that’s why we ask – HOW DO YOU WANT YOUR INVITATION?

We’re open to suggestions and we figure you’re the one with the answer!

 

How Have Clients Been Finding Your Agency? What’s Been Connecting You With Prospects?

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Flash Reports

CONTENTS: 

  1. How Have Clients Been Finding Your Agency? What’s Been Connecting You With Prospects?
  2. Some Simple But Critical Agency New Business Quick Fixes
  3. Special Two-For-One Offer Expires Friday July 31, 2015
  4. The Joy Of The Summer Intern – What To Assign?
  5. When Did You Last Update Your Profile?

HOW HAVE CLIENTS BEEN FINDING YOUR AGENCY? WHAT HAS BEEN CONNECTING YOUR WITH PROSPECTS?

I’ve got a question so stay tuned. The set-up: Each day we’re bombarded with e-mail offers of “lead generation.” More than enough to make your head spin and question what you do already. They all use some combination of social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter) or offer to automate something on your behalf. One or some of those must work, right? I’m wanting to know.

Just remember that a lead in their world is a company that meets whatever criteria you gave them for what constitutes a “perfect” client. But also remember this is a one-sided proposition. The lead didn’t pick you yet, you haven’t been screened by them against their criteria, and so in the ever-evolving world of misleading expressions, their lead is a prospect, nothing more.

Here’s my point: Everyone wants more “opportunities” but something must be working for you. That’s my question (for an upcoming article). How have clients been finding your agency? Drop me an e-mail to identify what works.  i.e. – organic, referrals, blogs, Google, Yahoo & Bing, mailing & calling, bulk e-mails, Redbooks, The List, Ad Forum plus any of the agency new business services. I won’t identify your agency – just need your input.

SOME SIMPLE BUT CRITICAL AGENCY NEW BUSINESS QUICK FIXES

As we telephone and speak with our registered agencies, we experience areas where a quick-fix would make all the difference. Consider the following and implement as you see fit!

a. Your Contact Us Page – beyond your fill-in-the-blank templates, be sure to show your firm’s physical information.  Name, address, phone, fax, e-mail. No prospect wants to provide information to an agency that could be thousands of miles away, or in a location they deem unacceptable.

b. You need a Team, Staff, Leadership or Founders Tab with data. Best to have photos of everyone (unless you’re McCann, etc.) with name and title (don’t make them click to find out) and if you see fit, a clickable link to a short bio.

c. If you use an automated phone-answering system, make the first choice – “If you’d like to speak with us about handling your account, press #1” Then proceed with the others. If the caller can’t reach their intended party, if you offer the “Operator” option, be sure that extension is always covered with a real person. Rotate through more than one if necessary. Nothing presents disorganization better than voicemail on the Operator extension!

SPECIAL TWO-FOR-ONE OFFER ON MANAGER PLAN AND EVP BUSINESS PLAN EXPIRES FRIDAY JULY 31, 2015

In case you missed it or put it aside to do later, later has come. We’re offering a two-for-one deal on the Manager Plan ($500 gets you two years) and the EVP Plan (Same $2,995 two-for-one deal) Go here for details. If you have some discretionary funds for new business, the EVP Business Plan is the best we’ve ever offered.  Questions?  Please call.

THE JOY OF THE SUMMER INTERN – WHAT TO ASSIGN?

Summer is great time to bring in talented, motivated and industry-educated Millennials to do what you couldn’t get done otherwise. But caution, not a great idea to put them in “live stream” contact with prospects. A prospect is a treasure, worth their weight in gold, and so easy to bungle! The old expression “you never get a second chance to make a good first impression” applies here. Let them do research, help compile lists, but “no touch” on prospect (probably even clients.)

Interns are often told – get us listed at every new business site you can find! (Wrong!!!)  Garbage in/Garbage out applies here. You don’t want someone with no intimate knowledge of your firm creating a profile that the world can later see.  New business websites need legitimate data from someone with authority and someone who knows.

WHEN DID YOU LAST UPDATE YOUR PROFILE?

Here’s what our records show:  $LASTUPDATE   If that’s been more than 6 months, login http://www.agencyfinder.com/agencies/agency-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 OR UPGRADE YOUR PROFILE: http://www.agencyfinder.com/agencies/agency-login/

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