A recent HubSpot article described an agency survey that revealed few agency employees stood up to accept responsibility for the development of new business for the agency.
No surprise there, it’s a function of the age-old agency mantra – New business is everybody’s business! Or, as you so clearly identified – new business is nobody’s business! Dating back to 1990 when we were conducting agency new business seminars stateside and in the UK, it was just the same. Agencies have managed to avoid the obvious for at least 26 years! Why? Because none of those in advertising ever had a class in what it takes to grow an agency business. It is almost a criminal oversight in the University community. And to suggest that agency “types” stoop to the lows of salesmanship, we’re not having any of that!
I don’t have the statistics at my fingertips, but as I recall, Gallup for years has ranked advertising folks depending, above or below “used car salesmen.” So what’s the shame in shame! As of now, I have yet to learn of any University or College that offers anything more than a cursory pass at “business development.” So is it any wonder that those at an agency that are brave enough to at least try their hand at focused new business development, bail (unless they aren’t already terminated) after 6-12 months. They weren’t prepared or trained for the pressure that prevails.
I suspect little will change unless and until the industry accepts the fact that education and training are mandatory. BTW, all the recently surfaced “lead generation” software vendors will do little if anything the change that.