We heard a lot of things this year at the Mirren New Business Conference. Aside from all of the excitement and thankful words about being at a conference in person, there were some very consistent (and important!) messages being sent from the myriad of expert speakers about new business strategies to grow your revenue this year.
Here were some of the key new business strategies we enjoyed this year:
Pacing outbound sales efforts
Outbound sales takes time. If you want to build a proactive pipeline of opportunities that you have the highest likelihood to win you’ll need to treat this like a marathon, not a sprint. If you are looking at new business in 3-month segments, you aren’t ready for a new business program. You should be viewing new business in 18-month plans. Agencies that have been really successful have built their process and plans around this 18-month timeframe. Remember, planting a garden on Monday doesn’t feed your family on Tuesday, so continue to tend your garden, expand it, and in time you will reap the rewards.
Recruiting top talent
New Business is key to retaining and recruiting talent. During the Great Resignation, what could be more important than finding great talent to work at your firm? Driving positive, exciting new business will not only help your revenue and bottom line, but it will help ensure that people actually want to build their careers with your team.
Diversifying your client base
Q1 and Q2 have been slower for many, and you are not alone in feeling like inbound pitches have slowed from what we all saw in 2021. While we have seen reports that brands continue to plan to spend more in the 2nd half of 2022, many have felt the crunch of stalled projects and reduced scopes. It’s time to further diversify your client base to protect against these forces.
Expanding work with your current client base
Organic growth can be proactive as well. You don’t have to wait until a client tells you they need more, you can help them find new solutions that expand on your scope of work. The agencies that really separate themselves from the pack are the ones that not only win a piece of business, but they consistently grow that piece of business throughout the years.
Staying in front of your prospects
“Brands are always looking, but you never know when they are actually looking”. A confusing sentence to be sure, but the point is, you always have to be there if you want a brand to find you. There are no days off when it comes to new business and keeping your agency in front of the brands that you most want to connect with.
Building your lead gen engine
There are a lot of channels for growth, outbound does not work alone. Inbound can define who you are because in order to have an effective inbound program you have to create specific, valuable, expert content that will attract the exact types of prospects that you want to work with.
Acing the discovery call
The objective of your new business call is not to sell your prospects, but simply to learn enough to get to the next meeting. People want to work with people they like, and what people like are people who listen to them and understand their problems. Two ears – one mouth…use that ratio when deciding whether you talk or listen at that first new business call.
Taking on project work
Be willing to earn the right to the retainer…many agencies want to jump right into the marriage, they want the Agency of Record (AOR) and retainer relationships, but there are many brands that just don’t have those needs immediately. Allow yourself to be open to projects that can organically grow into those retainers in the future.
These are just some of the highlights from Mirren Live in Kansas City this year. While Catapult has always been at the forefront of proactive new business strategies, it was exciting to hear agency experts of all sizes continue to reinforce the value that proactive sales can offer to agencies. Want to continue learning more about proactive new business development? Join Catapult’s email subscription Insights with Catapult to receive monthly content like this one.