Blog Posts

Dear Chuck, I made a terrible mistake and I need your advice…

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Blog Posts, Business Development

I’d been working as a radio sales rep for the last 2 years. I wanted a change so I went looking for a business development (Biz Dev) job at an agency. I saw a post for one here in XXXX and made application. Good news – they responded and scheduled a ZOOM interview. I thought it went well; plenty of back and forth, some serious topics and some light-hearted. Turns out my job was to be client appointment setting for some agency seniors.  And I was to be paired with one of those “Seniors.” I asked if they had a process and was told Yes. Was I to get an updated computer with all the bits – Yes. I asked if they had associated marketing materials and was told – Yes. I asked for training, they said – Yes. Bottom line – all sounded good and – the pay was 50% more than at the station. There was even a commission or bonus when I exceeded “quota.” And so it began…

Day one – they gave me an inside office with no window. I did get all the trappings like computer, dual screens, phone w/headset with dual lines, printer/scanner, plenty of yellow writing pads. Training was to be by an outside firm and they almost immediately shipped me off to Chicago for a 3-day seminar. Lots of great excited, enthusiastic men and women. It was soon apparent that many had some as “teams” – the BizDev was accompanied by their “Seniors.” I was alone. So be it. It seemed they covered everything, so let me tic them off. 1. Chemistry, its importance and how to measure. 2. Material outreach, email, social,  DM, USPS, events  3. Phone outreach, intros, scripts, 4. First meetings – and that’s just the top line. Great stuff and I couldn’t wait to get back and get started. I did ask how I needed to adjust since I came alone. My boss was told my Senior was meant to come too. So they suggested I sit-down with my boss and explain what my Senior was meant to be doing. Made sense and sounded reasonable.

The Meeting: It didn’t happen! I was told to just get started on outreach. With virtually no exposure to the agency itself, their mission, their specialties, didn’t even get introduced around. Are you starting to get the picture? No CRM, no prospect lists, no particular “send-me-something” materials – email or printed. What did I get myself in to? Yours Painfully, New Orleans Sucker!

Dear NOS,

You stepped in it! You were spirited off to the seminar so quickly there was no opportunity for “detection.” But let’s see what we can do. Your options

  1. Quit and find another (with lesson learned)
  2. Try to make the best of it and do it their way
  3. Get approval to share your training with participating agency operatives

You decide but personally I wouldn’t bother with 1 or 2. For Number 3, reach back to the seminar people and ask them to schedule an “all parties” ZOOM meeting.  Have them prep your boss on the minimums you need to succeed. After all, that’s why you were hired! Best case, see if your agency will send your “Senior” to the same seminar ASAP. And Yes, I do agree – you just inherited another “sales job” that wasn’t identified at the onset. Call me after all this for an update and we’ll take it from there.

Best, Chuck (You’ve got my ear)

Accountability can be taught, and it’s probably your responsibility

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Blog Posts, Marketing Consultancy

Guest Post by Drew McLellan of AMI

Every day one of you is telling me that you wished your employees cared about the business or the clients like you and some of your more seasoned employees do. You want them to have initiative, be self starters and go above and beyond.

I think sometimes we forget (or never realized) that we were taught to be like that. You had a mentor or a manager who helped you recognize the importance, to both the agency and your own career, of you showing up that way. Of you taking ownership. Of you going the extra mile for a client or co-worker.

Some of you may have naturally been wired that way. But for most of us, someone invested some time and energy into helping us develop your work ethic and sense of responsibility.

One of my earliest jobs was bagging groceries. I often worked with a store manager named Regis. Regis made it a point to show me how to do my job better. He also taught me to take pride in bagging the groceries in a way that protected the purchased items and make it easier for the customer when they got home. (Cold foods together, using the boxes corners to build structure, etc.) He was much more persnickety than any of the other managers. At the time, he seemed very uptight to me. Every detail mattered.

But then customers started to notice my efforts. They’d comment when they came back or they’d specifically choose the check out lane where I was bagging. It felt good to be recognized and appreciated. After that, I paid attention when Regis had me re-do something or caught me doing something right. I took pride in how I put groceries into a bag. If I can care about all of the bags being of equal weight and shape so they’re easier to carry into the house, we can help our employees care about their output too.

How do we do the same for our team members?

  • Talk about accountability and why it matters to both the agency and each team member’s professional growth
  • Build in accountability check points into your processes
  • Publicly reward people who showing up the way you hope they would (taking ownership and showing initiative)
  • Make it a topic in your one on one conversations, reviews, and a criteria for raises and bonuses
  • Assign specific projects and tasks (beyond their day job) and be very clear that you’re giving them ownership and expect them to solve the challenge/own the success.

If you want them to show up and be committed and that’s super important to you, then invest the time and effort to create both the behavior and the understanding of why that behavior matters.

I think you’ll be surprised how contagious it is.

Flash Report @ AgencyFinder V27.5 August 23, 2022

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Blog Posts, Flash Reports

It’s summer thru September 22, 2022. I say to you, my great agency friends, this economy hasn’t gotten any better. And if you’ve noticed as I have, some of the big employers are now starting to reduce their payrolls. So compared to “up”, this is still a “Down” economy. My gift to you is below – tools for your business development toolchest. 

CONTENTS:  

  1. They Ask – What Should My Agency Do Now? 
  2. Agency and Client Advice From a Walmart Employee
  3. I’ve Got a Friend, Really I do! She Will Explain
  4. Going Out For Business! As Long as Supplies Last!
  5. When Searching and Selecting an Agency, Site Visit Isn’t Optional
  6. Still Doing Hacks? Here Are Two For Telephone Outreach
  7. Would it make sense to get together and ZOOM?
  8. Special Note – Actionable Payment Options Below

THEY ASK – WHAT SHOULD MY AGENCY DO NOW? 

Where will our fickle economy head next? Although many may choose to bury their heads in the sand, there will always be our forward thinker agencies who will push on. Now is the time to practice what selective prospecting is all about. You probably already have a list of potential candidates (if not, now is the time) but now classify them according to: 1. Critical 2. Essential 3. Optional 4. No! In other words, pursue those that will be critical, then essential during a down economy. Companies with frivolous products and services are less likely to survive. Don’t let those mess up your agency’s future. Stay in the trenches and stay focused.

AGENCY AND CLIENT ADVICE FROM A WALMART EMPLOYEE

I went “black mulch” shopping Saturday at a local Walmart. In the Gardening Center the lone on duty employee was an exit guard. I asked where I could find mulch; he suggested I travel to the other end of the building to look in the outside lot. By the way, he remarked, best you drive your car. I did, parked the car and went in. Found the same gent guarding a second exit door. Again he directed me outside. Once I load the car, I asked, what do I do?  Come back in and check out with Dave. I drove to the unsupervised lot, loaded my car and drove back to the entrance. The guard and I had now become fast friends. He led the way to find Dave. Those Gardening Center exit registers were absolutely unmanned. Cont.

I’VE GOT A FRIEND, REALLY I DO! LET HER EXPLAIN

I’ve got a friend who works for the publisher of a “small city” magazine group. There’s an interesting, learning situation in what she does along the lines of what most ad agencies (marketing firms) are also trying to do these days. As a sales rep selling space in these small “local” community magazines (containing local ads and local editorial) you’d think her job would be simple. Explain to prospects why local residents and business people would want to find and do business with local companies and local service providers. Particularly when so many economic factors encourage people to stay close to home. Hard to argue against that. So why isn’t she today’s Sales Hero? Cont.

GOING OUT FOR BUSINESS! FOR AS LONG AS SUPPLIES LAST!

That’s right, in this declared/non-declared recession/non-recession and for as long as our energies last, we’re offering agency search services to advertisers at absolutely no cost, as in “free.”

For Advertisers, you know the adage about advertising in a downturn, so if you’re looking to maintain or add to your existing customer base… use our tools and agency search service to explore the world of great agencies. Stateside and worldwide and as you need them. : https://lnkd.in/eW7-QVS

For Agencies, if you’re looking to connect with our advertisers to add and serve new clients in your roster… enroll now and build a magnetic profile. More than 500 data fields at your command. Select from three affordable plans! : https://lnkd.in/dhK3ksf8

The Internet’s Pioneer in Client/Agency Match-Making. AgencyFinder! (we’re not going anywhere)

WHEN SEARCHING AND SELECTING A NEW AGENCY, SITE VISIT NOT AN OPTION

“Dear Chuck, (she wrote) So glad you gave us process, tools and guidance to conduct our review. What an eye-opener! I came to you looking for someone to help us publicize our new software, a legal guide to living together. The basic premise offers self-help documents, akin to “wills” allowing the equivalency during serious illness or death. In particular, these documents are meant to serve the gay community. Starting with a broad brush, we worked through more than a few preliminary search engine selections; cont.

STILL DOING HACKS? HERE ARE TWO FOR TELEPHONE OUTREACH

New Business – if you expect to make any progress, you Must Connect!  In trying to reach a pivotal player such as the CMO, you sent an email to warm things up. But was it delivered? Was it read? Now you’re dialing the phone you found in the data file. Is that the direct land line, cell phone or company cover phone? Does it ring to voicemail? One trick there is to ask for “Agent.” That’s code for Operator. Your question now is – I’m trying to reach he/she. Do you know if he/she is in today? If you hear “out, vacation, ill, family emergency” lay off for a while.

However, after three or four futile attempts it’s time to sleuth! Make note of the extension dialing codes (i.e. 2, 3, 4-digits) and punch in random extensions. When someone finally answers, ask for that CMO by name, as if you were expecting them to be the answering party. The party should say ‘this isn’t so and so,’ then ask to be transferred. If the internal phone system uses Caller ID, that call will show as an inside or “allowed” call.  Bingo CMO!

WOULD IT MAKE SENSE TO GET TOGETHER AND ZOOM?

I confess, it’s just like we taught the agencies attending our new business seminars. If you want to get down to business, you need to get face-to-face with your prospects. In today’s world, that also includes ZOOM. So, this long newsletter may have exhausted you, so how about we take a break and get together face-to-face on ZOOM. If your profile needs finishing or if you need to select a paid plan, let’s talk it over. Call me at 804-346-1978, email or text me at 804-370-1747.

SPECIAL NOTE – ACTIONABLE PAYMENT OPTIONS BELOW

Details at 2021-2022 Agency Plans and Prices

Being Fee-Paid just makes sense. (all annual programs)

  1. Iridium – Free
  2. Active Plan – $295
  3. Manager Plan – $500
  4. Director Plan – $2,000 – $5,000
  5. EVP Business Plan – $2,995

    Click Me!

Thanks for taking time to look this over; as we have since 1997, we look forward to getting you face- to-face with a great prospect.

Then & Now – We built it for you!

Advice for Advertisers & Agencies from a Walmart Employee

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Blog Posts, Business Development

I went “black mulch” shopping Saturday at a local Walmart. In the Gardening Center the lone on duty employee was an exit guard. I asked where I could find mulch; he suggested I travel to the other end of the building to look in the outside lot. By the way, he remarked, best you drive your car. I did, parked the car and went in. Found the same gent guarding a second exit door. Again he directed me outside. Once I load the car, I asked, what do I do?  Come back in and check out with Dave. I drove to the unsupervised lot, loaded my car and drove back to the entrance. The guard and I had now become fast friends. He led the way to find Dave.

An Empty Check-out Those Gardening Center exit registers were absolutely unmanned. I could-of, maybe should-of just left but I didn’t. My guard friend paged Dave. Forever later Dave was seen strolling down an isle from the far front of the store. After much ado, Dave rang up my 5 bags @ $2.80; grand total $14.00. Now Dave and I too were building a friendship. I mentioned reading on-line that Walmart was cutting staff to adjust for decreased public spending. To Dave that made no sense. By example he said, COVID or not, that store was running about 500 shoppers per day. Dave’s point – COVID, recession, whatever, the volume of shoppers stays about the same. Shoppers it seems will always shop; just adjust their spending. But to give shoppers the service and inventory they expect, it will take the same, even more than the current staff to get it right. In our industry, Dave would be an advocate for “advertising in a down economy.”

If you’re interested in protecting your flanks, let us help. Advertisers here: https://www.agencyfinder.com/define-your-ideal-agency-for-us/  Agencies here: https://www.agencyfinder.com/agencies-lead-generator/agency-enrollment/

I’ve Got a Friend, Really I do!

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Blog Posts, Business Development

I’ve got a friend who works for the publisher of a “small city” magazine group. There’s an interesting, learning situation in what she does along the lines of what most ad agencies (marketing firms) are also trying to do these days. As a sales rep selling space in these small “local” community magazines (containing local ads and local editorial) you’d think her job would be simple. Explain to prospects why local residents and business people would want to find and do business with local companies and local service providers. Particularly when so many economic factors encourage people to stay close to home. Hard to argue against that.

Saleas LadySo why isn’t she today’s Sales Hero? Because no one answers their phone. She tells me it isn’t unusual for a phone to ring ten-to-twelve times before, and if, an answering service or answering feature picks up. Try it yourself. Try to find a business phone that isn’t answered by a human, and see if you’re not getting antsy at 4-5 rings. For the sake of “business development people everywhere,” can we not issue a national edict or FCC ruling that all business phones must be answered in some way, shape or form by 5 rings or less? And do so for the sake of efficiency and commerce?

The bottom line (and a great opportunity for an entrepreneur) – can someone develop a method to place a relevant commercial message in front of a “perfect-match” prospect at the exact moment that prospect is aware of and needing that advertised product or service? (I’m happy to partner-up, reach me at https://www.agencyfinder.com/contact/) What’s your experience? What’s your solution?

Going Out for Business! For as Long as Supplies Last!

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Agency Search Tips, Blog Posts

Boss Man That’s right, in this declared/non-declared recession/non-recession and for as long as our energies last, we’re offering agency search services to advertisers at absolutely no cost, as in “free.”

For Advertisers, you know the adage about advertising in a downturn, so if you’re looking to maintain or add to your existing customer base… use our tools and agency search service to explore the world of agencies. Stateside and worldwide and as you need them. : https://lnkd.in/eW7-QVS

For Agencies, if you’re looking to connect with our advertisers to add and serve new clients in your roster… enroll now and build a magnetic profile. More than 500 data fields at your command. Select from three affordable plans! : https://lnkd.in/dhK3ksf8

The Internet’s Pioneer in Client/Agency Match Making. AgencyFinder! (we’re not going anywhere)

Searching and Selecting a New Marketing Firm? Site Visit Not Optional!

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Agency Search Tips, Blog Posts

Dear Chuck,

So glad you gave us process, tools and guidance to conduct our review. What an eye-opener! I came to you looking for someone to help us publicize our new software, a legal guide to living together. The basic premise offers self-help documents, akin to “wills” allowing the equivalency during serious illness or death. In particular, these documents are meant to serve the gay community.

Starting with a broad brush, we worked through more than a few preliminary search engine selections; then studied each agency profile and website. Next we made a heavy cut, working down to a short list of 3 prominent PR firms in Chicago (wanted to visit one of those); and another “integrated marketing communications firm” in Milwaukee. Our physical visit to the Chicago firm was best described as a disaster, even better as an insult. There was no indication they were expecting us, no welcome mat, no greeter board, just a sullen receptionist. We were ushered into a large conference room adjacent to the lobby (easy-in, easy-out) to meet four stone-faced suited gentlemen. There was little informal warm-up, just a quick unemotional debriefing. Maybe we were too small; maybe our target was off-putting. Regardless we were politely shown the door.

Now to the contrary. In Milwaukee there was a greeter board in the parking lot.  A guide-rope up the sidewalk, another greeter board in the lobby. And a smiling female greeter. We were offered coffee and donuts, shortly after, a warm handshake was offered by a rather business-casual dressed young man.  Welcome to Milwaukee and welcome to our firm! They covered everything; first a thorough de-briefing, then expectations, then an office tour to see and meet the staff, finally a meeting with the principals. An enthusiastic wrap-up, a “we want your business” with a promise of a detailed proposal. No mystery who won our account! Things are going great; so is business. So pleased we found AgencyFinder. https://www.agencyfinder.com/

Need to Hire? Here’s One Reason Why You’re Having Difficulty Getting Applicants

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Blog Posts, Business Development

Companies complain they can’t hire; no one wants to work. Might this be one reason? Here’s a real advertised job “opportunity” for Business Development Specialist; small virtual agency less than 10, start-up this year. When finished reading, share your thoughts.

Responsibilities

  • Pitch, define, negotiate and close deals on our services and platform.
  • Bring in new business through prospecting efforts. Ability to interact with a broad set of businesses and present over the phone, video, or in-person.
  • Creating demand by uncovering business initiatives and pain points and matching them to our solution and platform.
  • Create a strategy, including but not limited to cold outreach, events, referral, and content production (e.g., blog)
  • Experience being proactive, making constructive suggestions, and coming up with innovative ways to scale initiatives.
  • Develop process and system improvements to continually raise the bar of execution for managed accounts

Qualifications

  • A hunter to seek, develop and drive new business development for the business
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, strong attention to detail, and good follow-through
  • Strong organizational and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to be creative and think outside of the box

Preferred Qualifications

  • Worked in a startup environment with an entrepreneurial spirit
  • Demonstrating strong research, investigative, and problem-solving skills with the ability to exercise judgment to resolve issues
  • Proven abilities to attract passive candidates and build a diverse pipeline

Pay? Listed as Unsalaried – meaning straight commission? Or piece of the action?  Or Partner?

Job experience – 1-5 years.

My Comments: Reminds me of one of our earlier blog posts – “The Powerless Rainmaker – Responsibility without Authority.” Unfortunately sounds like an under-capitalized start-up with people who have little understanding or appreciation for what it takes to be a Rainmaker. As it stands, I’d be surprised if they fill the position. What do you think?

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What if Your Agency Really Practiced Branding?

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Blog Posts, Business Development

Real branding (let me repeat – Real Branding) may be a partial answer to what ails some agencies. Specifically, the downfall and demise of agencies like D’Arcy, Bates, Earle Palmer Brown, Hample/Stefanides, HDC, BaylessCronin and some other twenty-two more U.S. ad agencies begs the question – how can agencies with great client rosters simply slip away, or be disassembled and distributed as piece-parts? How can their peers or an admiring public let that happen?

But what even suggests that peers or the public have any idea who does what and when? If the public did know, might it be less likely that a great Brand (agency) could simply be put to rest without cries of complaint and alarm? We kicked this topic around before -based on feedback since, we’ve had conversations with agencies AND clients – to ask what might happen if agencies really did brand themselves.

Imagine if your agency were to “sign & brand” every ad you produced. Translated – a small but visible agency mark, logo and credit line (or voiceover), similar to a photographer’s or illustrator’s credit line that states “Proudly produced by X Agency, Chicago, IL”. As best we’ve come to know, it’s not being done by anyone.

Agencies generally remark – “clients wouldn’t allow it”, or “clients wouldn’t pick up the tab”. Yet photographers and illustrators have been doing it for years, and not because they work without payment. Publishers pay and allow it; why can’t clients? Is it just a question of asking permission? On the pay-for-it issue, if there’s value, an agency should be happy to pay for their pro-rata portion, or reduce production costs accordingly. After all, that’s positive exposure and an investment in new business development.

When we discussed this with clients, they weren’t put off as agencies thought they might be. Some were quick to see the merits. This could be a quid-pro-quo thing. Many consumers (and industry peers) are passionate about who does what work (for example, stay behind in the theatre to witness those who remain to study credits).

Consider an extreme analogy – imagine if an agency of some renown (a you-know-who) that wouldn’t normally, did work for a regional men’s fashion chain and marked or branded that work. What might “those in the know” think about the connection or the implied endorsement? If the consumer didn’t recognize the agency brand (regardless of size), a quick Internet search would be educational. And that grand agency brand might have complimented the client. Likewise, a great client brand could compliment an agency.

When chatting this around, the topic of copyright also comes up. But we’ve touched on enough for now – it’s time to move on. However, your thoughts are welcome, AND, if you already do this, are you willing to tell us (and others) about it?

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Advertisers – Do You Really Want to Hire a Digital Agency?

Written by ChuckMeyst2015 on . Posted in Agency Search Tips, Blog Posts

It begs the question – what is a digital agency? A reasonable definition says a digital agency focuses primarily on marketing your business, products and services in the digital world. This is done through website design and development, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), content marketing, paid online advertising, social media, email marketing and other digital services.

Note the absence of television, radio, magazine, newspaper, Out-of-home, and direct mail. If you search for a “digital agency” you may well find candidates as first described. But if you want to explore any of the media alternatives starting with television, a truly “digital agency” is not for you. However, the more established traditional agencies that were quick to gravitate to the inclusion of digital technologies didn’t abandon their more fundamental tried and true counterparts. Those firms can be found using terms like integrated marketing communications firms, marketing firms, or just plain old ad agencies. Here at AgencyFinder, we offer advertising, branding & design, digital & interactive, direct marketing, integrated marketing communications, media planning & buying, public relations and sales promotion. But likewise, when you speak with those, be sure to check to make sure they can include the latest in digital technologies. Overall, when speaking to candidate agencies, be sure to learn if their menu will include all the options you want to consider. Search here if you like: https://www.agencyfinder.com/define-your-ideal-agency-for-us/

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