Don’t take no for an answer – a case study in the right approach, busting a gut, tenacity and great results!

by jim-piper

We all know new business is tough, yet it remains essential to the survival and growth of any successful agency. There are various ways of going out and getting it, but (among other things) Alchemis are experts in the targeted cold calling channel to find and create genuinely new opportunities. We’ll put you in front of the right people with the right budgets – it is then over to you.

Good new business development opportunities are hard to find. One thing is for certain though – if you think going on meetings and then sitting back and waiting for those briefs to come in is what happens, then you will be disappointed. All meetings should be followed up with a good contact strategy, which is stuck to. A proportion of meetings our clients go on will result in immediate opportunities, but by their very nature, if briefs are on the table, they are likely to be competitive.

How many times have you heard “we have an agency in place”? Rather than look on this as a negative, any company with an agency in place should be viewed as an opportunity – they have work and they have a confirmed budget. The next challenge is how to ensure you get a piece of their marketing pie.

You really need to maximise any new business opportunity you get to ensure you give the process every chance of being successful. We give realistic expectations that any return on investment is likely to take as long as six to twelve months or potentially longer, depending on your discipline and offer.

However, that does not have to be the case if you are prepared to take a few risks. We have recently started working with a creative agency. In reality, they don’t have a real USP. There is just great work, strong case studies and a really positive outlook (that description fits the vast majority of our client base). We are only three months into the campaign but only last week we received confirmation that the first meeting has converted into business.

This is rare, but the story behind this win is fantastic in illustrating what can be achieved. The prospect had agencies in place. However, the client in question really used that initial meeting to dig into the prospect’s problems, ambitions and requirements. Using that understanding, they pressed the prospect to allow them to present some ideas relating to their next project (despite being told that this was tied up with the current agency). They bit the bullet and invested time (and money) in photo shoots and creative work, whilst continually speaking to the prospect. The end result was the work they produced wowed the client and they are now undertaking the project in full (and being paid).

In reality, this is not always going to be the case and we certainly wouldn’t advocate this sort of effort in every instance. We know you have active, paying clients to service. However, where the prospect potential is right, the chemistry is right and you know you could do a better job than the existing agency, it is well worth thinking about what you could do to force their hand and get a foot in the door. In a number of cases, it will be a risk worth taking.