The World’s Most Famous New Business Cure for an Ailing Agency of PR Firm

Written by AdminKW on . Posted in Blog Posts

Allow me to modestly declare that I hold a field-accredited PhD in business development and cut my teeth in agency new business from 1990 – 1994 working from Richmond, Virginia but teaching agencies and pr firms throughout the US.

Much after-the-fact and years later, I learned that we were plugging away in the midst of a recessionary period ourselves, but since the media had not yet pronounced it so, we were essentially oblivious to the fact. I do know (and we taught it as well) that you had to make your own new business, and that was true then and it’s still true now.

We practiced what we preached – we armed ourselves with computers, a database of agency prospects (eventually about 7,000), contact management software (ACT), “send-me-something” mailers, a headset and a whoopee cushion.

Then we started dialing for dollars … Nothing scripted, but I can assure you, the first few sentences were ingrained after a few calls. We were looking for agencies that needed new clients, wanted new clients, were prepared to work to earn new clients, and were willing (even in those times) to investment-spend in themselves.

Some calls were painful. And some agency receptionists were their own worst enemies. Then again, some were absolute delights. Funny, but we could never predict who was coming next, but I can say that if we stopped because we were told no, or someone hung up on us, that was it for the day! So we learned to press on.

We conducted some research back then, and learned that at any given time, about 35% of the client (as in “advertiser” universe) was willing to talk to a new agency about a possible relationship. We assumed those figures applied to agencies as well (as clients), so we knew to press on. We also operated on the ten percent premise; that being that one out of ten in the database would find our offers interesting. So here’s the world’s best, most famous new business “cure” and probably no secret to you; you just wanted to be reminded. Do some mailing (E or other-wise), pick up the phone and call prospects. Many will say no, but if you do the numbers, somewhere between one and three may say yes. Remember, if you’ve had nine “No’s”, your next one is a Yes! Press On! Take control in this economy when and where you can!

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