1. Tis the Season for Agency New Business 2013
2. History Lesson – Who was the first search consultant?
3 AgencyFinder Client Terms; Read what they agree to
4. Maybe You Can Tell Us – Why the Indian & Mid-Eastern Registrations?
5. Cold Calling – Is It The Death Rattle? (New Business Hunters – 24 comments)
6. Agency New Business Pros say the Darndest Things
7. Need Some Introductions? Being Fee Paid Might Help
TIS THE SEASON FOR AGENCY NEW BUSINESS 2013
After 16 years and counting, you might say we can manage an agency review with our eyes closed. In some respects, that’s about what it’s like trying to find a new marketing partner using an on-line directory. This is just my way of making the point that nothing short of a broad, deep, detailed current database coupled with experienced “human” consultants offering guidance and clarification is the proper way for a client to manage a successful agency review – regardless of the budget.
Now to the point of seasonality … if you’re a “new business kinda person” you too should already know there are certain times of year when hunting is good and other times when it’s not worth the effort. To summarize:
Not worth it: August; November thru December; January thru February
Better: March thru June; September;
Best: July; October and anytime you choose to chase (meaning keep you new business
motor running at all times …)
Clients tend to increase their search activity in those same months, but they will also look anytime the need dictates, so if you haven’t recently, jump in and update your profile with us. Login then enter your User Name and Password (both are case sensitive) Remember – there is no cost to update …
HISTORY LESSON – WHO WAS THE FIRST AGENCY SEARCH CONSULTANT?
For years I’ve been trying to discover … who was that clever person or persons who managed to convince a client (as in advertiser, etc.) to hire and PAY THEM to find vendors (agencies) that were already spending small fortunes and human effort in new business activities to link up with clients who needed to hire someone? The following analogy is more than silly, but imagine some consultant starting a service called “Auto Parts Finder” and charging Joe Home Mechanic a fee to introduce them or point them at Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone, NAPA, etc …
On the other hand, I do know that those auto parts vendors spend more than a small fortune in advertising and website construction so Joe Home Mechanic can find them for free. Matter of fact, the entire Advance Auto Parts IT department is right down the hall from us here in our building. And to the point, AutoZone registered with us for help on one of their searches.
So, do you know who was Number One? Please share …
AGENCYFINDER CLIENT TERMS; READ WHAT THEY AGREE TO …
We’ve been asked often enough that I know many of you have never found your way to the Advertiser Terms & Conditions page that defines what an advertiser or selector consultant agrees to in order to use our services (at no cost). Take some time to see what’s expected of them. https://www.agencyfinder.com/define-your-ideal-agency-for-us/advertiser-terms-and-conditions/
MAYBE YOU CAN TELL US – WHY THE INDIAN AND MID-EASTERN AGENCY REGISTRATIONS?
Sure as the sun rises and sets, we’ll see agency registrations for firms in India or countries in the mid-east. There they are, day after day, with attractive websites and impressive client lists, yet the majority of the visual work features what look to be American or European models. In all the time we’ve been getting their registrations (which incidentally few get around to finishing) we have yet to see a registration from a client (advertiser) in their part of the world. Go figure …
COLD CALLING – IS IT THE DEATH RATTLE? (NEW BUSINESS HUNTERS – 24 COMMENTS)
I’m not sure when it was launched, but the group I like on LinkedIn is New Business Hunters. From what I’ve seen so far, the followers and contributors appear to be experienced and sensible; not beginners who should have registered elsewhere!
Not certain about the date on this posting other than 23 days ago, but Mike Lee, Managing Director, Headway Business Development posted what turned out to be a debatable topic, and that was questioning the value of “cold calling.” I’ve been both an advocate and practitioner of “outreach marketing” and when it’s done properly by a seasoned individual, it’s far from “cold” calling. Go to LinkedIn and read for yourself. Feel free to contribute as well.
AGENCY NEW BUSINESS PROS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS …
With each new agency review, from the invited agencies we’re destined to hear: “We don’t do spec creative; We don’t pay for leads; How many agencies have been invited? How much of the budget is for agency fees? How many invitations can we anticipate in the next 12 months? I don’t mind paying if we win and when we get paid; The majority of our business comes from referrals; This isn’t a good fit (someone before me created our profile); Is this contact the decision-maker? Is this client serious or is this just an exercise? There are better agency candidates right in their backyard; We have yet to win one of these; Do you realize if we were to compete for this, we’d end up spending $75,000 or more!”
As you might imagine, we’ve heard all these and then some. When someone is inquisitive and wants to know, we’ll invest whatever time it takes to explain. All I ask is the opportunity to engage in a discussion that weighs ALL the alternatives. Since we’re not a flat-file database or do-it-yourself-yellow-pages, we devote as much energy assisting our searching clients as traditional search consultants do. But once we’ve helped the client identify well-qualified agency candidates; once we reach out to our registered agencies using our proprietary documents and introductory invitations, that’s where we differ from conventional search consultants.
We insist and want you talking directly to the client; you don’t need to talk to or though us. We’re not a filter nor are we an arbitrator. Clients do keep us posted on progress; they tell us who called, who sent relevant samples and agency materials, who they visited and who did and said what. That’s when we hear (here’s an actual client comment) – “Unfortunately they didn’t submit their RFD soon enough. And when we visited their agency, we could tell they weren’t familiar with our products, services or target market – in other words, they made virtually no investment to win our business!”
I’m proud when we can invite and introduce a “fat double-handful” of our registered agencies to talk with and compete for the business of that client that selected us to help them manage their review. Having done this since 1997, and with that number of search engagements beyond 10,000, I know invited agencies generally have little idea how much has gone on between us and that client since they registered and outlined their agency “wish-list.” I’m not suggesting a “pity-party,” but it is worth knowing that we’ve had numerous telephone discussions; that they’ve let their hair down to tell us precisely how it is, and we’ve supplied them with search process suggestions, evaluation tools and guidelines for alternative final presentation concepts.
So when you’re in the thick of one of our client reviews, I invite you to talk to us straight, share your concerns and tell me what you need to make an affirmative decision to contend. After all, we’re all walking in similar “new business” moccasins!
NEED SOME INTRODUCTIONS? BEING FEE-PAID MIGHT MAKE SENSE IF YOU’RE NOT
Technically our AgencyFinder new business service is a membership situation. Pay up-front and you’re fee-paid for 12-months. That means all the client invitations you can handle for no additional charge. Our service isn’t free to agencies and it never was, but it is offered to searchers (clients/advertisers) at no cost. In a way it’s the e-Harmony or Match.com of the advertising industry, at least from the standpoint that our fees, like theirs, pay for “opportunity introductions.” Like theirs, our fees aren’t a function of victory nor are their’s based on a kiss or physical embrace. That’s a different profession with much higher rates. Our dainty $500 Registration Fee is meant to be paid in order to activate your profile, to let you be found in a search, to be invited and introduced to a client and hold your “due-diligence” phone interview. All that for just $500!
Some ask us – “What happens if we aren’t paid?” We answer – “You’ll see it happening all around you, but you’ll be outside looking in!”
This e-mail isn’t to say you’re NOT fee-paid, but I am inviting you to become fee-paid if you’re not. Not certain? Reply to this e-mail and ask.