Posts Tagged ‘agency new business’

Top 3 Things Limiting the Growth of Your Agency

One of the greatest challenges in the agency world is entering a growth phase…when you aren’t seeing much growth. In a perfect world, business growth would happen naturally in easy-to-predict stages, but that isn’t this world – chances are good that instead you need to grow, but aren’t seeing it happen. Here are the three top reasons it happens to agencies like yours, and what you need to make real growth happen.

1. Financial Management Issues

This sounds like a broad topic, because it really is – financial management stretches from day-to-day profits all the way to major capital and investment decisions. However, financial planning and consistent new business growth play integral roles when it comes to company growth.

This can take many forms. Perhaps poor cash flow management is holding your company back – you may struggle with accounting for where your cash comes from and where it goes at the proper time, a problem many new businesses encounter. As a result, agencies like yours quickly find themselves without cash on hand to cover supplies and overhead, and emergencies quickly dig into valuable reserves so there really isn’t much time to think about expansion at all.

Another common financial management deals with revenue and credit. If your credit policies and accounts receivable turnover are poor, you will probably never have enough capital to expand. Creating purchase strategies that get revenue into your hands in a timely manner can be a challenge for many companies. You want customers to have the ability to purchase your goods, but you can’t give them too much credit leeway or too many discounts, which will dig into your profits.

What do these problems add up to? A business without cash reserves that simply does not look very impressive on paper. And this is where we reach the investor problem: Business growth requires money, typically via business loans or perhaps a capital group. Banks and investors alike pay a lot of attention to financial statements, which means poor financial management – even in the small things – can keep you from getting the capital that you need.

2. Adaptation to Market Changes

This point is a bit more intangible, but still just as important when looking for reasons why your business isn’t seeing the growth you want: You aren’t watching the market closely enough, and you aren’t responding to it properly.

Part of this is an entrepreneurial issue: New business leaders tend to have a lot of energy and willpower focused in one direction, which means it can be difficult for these leaders to see related issues – and to change. Stubbornness has kept many a business from expanding properly.

Part of this problem is also simple business evolution: If your target demographic, preferred purchasing method, or the communication tools in your industry have changed, you absolutely have to change with them to find new growth.

3. Client Creep and Time Management

This is a subtler problem related to agencies that interact a lot with their customers and typically take on large client projects. Clients are your lifeblood…but they can also choke your own vision for your business. If you and your employees are spending too much time attending to client needs and tackling their complex projects, you may not have any time left to think about your own business and growth strategies. Pay attention to time management, and be sure to make time for nurturing and developing new business opportunities outside of your referral network.

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The 5 Biggest Mistakes Agencies Make When Pitching New Clients [And How to Avoid Them]

Your success or failure in closing a deal with a new client hinges on whether your sales pitch is a homerun or a flop. There are a number of common mistakes that agency folks just like you make everyday and should be avoided at all costs when pitching new business deals.

1. Beginning with an Apology

“I’m sorry I’m late.”
“Apologies that this presentation is a bit lengthy,”
“I’m sorry I didn’t have time to update some of the slides.”  

Opening with an apology of any kind sets a negative tone for the rest of your presentation before you’ve even finished the opening slide.  Not only that, you have also undermined your expertise and planted seeds of doubt with your audience.

2. Avoiding Eye Contact

Not making eye contact with your audience or reading directly off of your presentation will not only bore the audience, but also make you look unprepared. The audience wants to see that you have the confidence and knowledge to speak directly to their concerns and needs without constant reassurance from the slides in your sales deck.  If you avoid making eye contact with your audience — intentionally or unintentionally —  they may think you are being standoffish or that you don’t have the confidence in yourself or your product to effectively close the deal.

3. Dancing Around Tough Questions

If you can’t provide honest and accurate answers about your product, you probably don’t have sufficient information to be making the pitch on your own. Furthermore, how can you expect anyone else to trust you enough to buy what you’re selling if you don’t seem to believe in it? Believing in your product or service is integral to a successful pitch and new client acquisition.

4. Lack of Transparency on Cost & Pricing

This is one of those “tough questions” referenced above. Potential clients will grow suspicious if you dance around the question of cost or pricing. Although it is important to lead with the value of your solution, especially when it comes to that client’s specific needs, you should always be straightforward on the price tag.

Be honest and up front about how much your services are, and back it up with all of the reasons why you and your agency can offer the best solution for their company. Doing so will show them that you aren’t hiding anything when it comes to their investment.

5. Making Excuses

Your clients or potential clients aren’t concerned with why you look disheveled or why you can’t properly organize your thoughts. They also aren’t sitting in your presentation eager to hear all about you, they are there to hear what you can do for them.  Keep to the matter at hand, make your case and confidently answer any questions that your clients have for you.

Key Takeaways

The next time you pitch a prospective client, keep these tips in mind.  Also, don’t be afraid to get advice from other sales professionals who have built a successful new business machine. Do these things and you will be in a much better position to increase new business and drive revenue growth for your agency!

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5 Reasons Your Agency Fails to Generate New Business

Generally speaking, agencies fall woefully short when it comes to prospecting for new business.

And although there are always certain case-by-case factors at work, in our experience, agencies’ inadequacies with new business largely come down to two things: limited resources and ad hoc sales strategies.

Sound familiar? If so, we highly recommend reassessing your entire business development strategy. Also, if you are not already doing this, start supplementing reactive prospecting with proactive business development as soon as possible. Of course, this is always easier said than done, especially if you don’t have expert guidance on where to start.

We know firsthand how overwhelming this process can be for agencies. For that reason, we’ve provided a list of strategic elements our own business development advisors and agency clients have used with great success.

Make sure your agency has clearly defined and compelling positioning

Many prospects and clients operate under the perception that all agencies are alike; the only real difference being the people they will work with.

Because of this, it’s important for you to communicate differentiated value in order to position your agency as the stand out candidate in the minds of prospective customers. Also, make sure that your “elevator speech” clearly speaks to the agency’s core competencies in a few simple sentences.

Develop a consistent, ongoing prospect outreach program and stick to it

If you do this right the first time, this strategy will be a sustainable and scalable framework for proactive business development in the long-term. Many agencies don’t have anything like this, choosing instead to be reactive and wait for new business opportunities to come knocking on their door.

An effective prospect outreach program should be consistent and involve multiple strategies and a variety of touch points – i.e. e-mail marketing, event marketing, telemarketing, attending conferences and events, etc.

Only present relevant case studies to prospects

Want to know the quickest way to undermine or discount your agency’s results? Send a random case study that is completely irrelevant to a prospective client’s industry or business objectives.

Be sure that every case study presented in a sales pitch or RFP response showcases results that are relevant to that prospect’s industry, pain points and marketing goals. This will enhance your ability to engage the prospect.

Use the sales funnel as a road map for your prospecting strategy

In order to build an effective new business pipeline you have to reach out to enough prospects on the front end to give you the best chance to “win” on the back end. That way, as you nurture leads down the funnel you have a solid base of prospects to pull from at all times.

Your outreach strategy should be targeted to top prospects in priority vertical categories. Remember, only a small percentage of the prospects you reach out to will turn into meetings and clients.

Befriend the Admin!

Administrative assistants can be your best friends. If you cannot reach the top decision maker in your outreach efforts, make it a priority to reach out to the admin to develop a relationship and ask for their help in scheduling a call or meeting. Befriending the admin can lead to enhanced new business success!

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How to Win New Business for Your Agency

Winning new business boils down to the chemistry and trust between the agency and the prospect.

According to agency search consultants surveyed on agency new business, chemistry is very important, and for many of them, it’s a top priority.

Differentiate your agency by finding your niche

Many agencies think that being everything to everyone will allow them to bring in all sorts of new business, but more often than not the opposite is true.

The truth is that the more you tailor your service offerings, the more valuable you are to prospects. The more specific you are about how and why your agency is the best solution, the stronger your value proposition will be. When creating a differentiated agency brand, make sure it is relevant and compelling to companies in your target markets.

Do your research

This might seem obvious to some, but the best way to show a client that you are serious about their business is by knowing just as much about that client as they know about themselves.

Know their competitors, use examples from their company and know their team. This way, you and your client can see eye-to-eye when discussing potential business ideas.

Be outcome focused

This is important because it allows your client to see the bigger picture and to focus on the end result, which is ultimately what they want. Do your research and pitch clients on the results you will drive and how you plan to grow their business.

Be honest about the challenges ahead, and have solutions for those challenges already prepared. This gives prospects a clear picture of what to expect when they work with your agency. 

Of course, there are many more ways to win new business for your agency and a great deal goes into growing a pipeline of prospects.

At Catapult, our mission is to help you identify and win more new business for your agency. Click here to learn more about the services we can offer your agency. 

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Key Takeaways from Mary Meeker’s 2015 Internet Report

Now in its 20th year, Mary Meeker’s Internet Report continues to be a virtual gold mine of actionable intelligence for digital marketers.

As a VC and former Wall Street analyst, Meeker has become a leading authority on consumer research and global economic patterns. Her yearly report offers the kind of insight that makes global campaigns successful, and puts ad agencies in the position to generate new business opportunities with multi-national corporations.

With that, here are the key takeaways for digital marketers from Mary Meeker’s 2015 Internet Report.

There are currently 2.8B internet users around the world, accounting for 39% of the population. 

Untitled Infographic (5)Takeaway: If you work with any globally relevant companies, especially those with key demographics in Asia, be sure that you are reaching high-usage audiences with digital marketing efforts. It’s an added bonus if you build an effective campaign that drives results and use it as sales collateral to bring in leads from other global brands. 

Internet users have more control over content – and content discovery channels – than ever before. 


Takeaway: To really move the needle with content marketing, your content promotion and social media strategies have to be on point if you are going to attract and engage different audience segments. Also, don’t be afraid to continuously showcase high performing evergreen content.

Advertising dollars are being used to create interactive experiences on social media and messaging apps like WhatsApp, LINE and Snapchat.  

 messaging apps -1

Takeaway: Marketers who capitalize on this now will have an advantage in the U.S. market. This kind of forward-thinking strategy is beneficial for client retention, pitching new clients and attracting new business. We recommend focusing on messaging apps since six of the top 10 most used apps fell in this category. 

User-generated content and content aggregation platforms continue to grow in popularity. 

quoteTakeaway: Strategies that consistently focus on user-generated content through reviews and social media channels will increase the effectiveness of brand awareness efforts and build authority/trust with target audiences.

Visual content is the most effective way to reach millennials, especially when it is optimized for mobile usage.    

visual content

Takeaway: As millennials continue to shape new advertising trends, effective marketing strategies will be defined by their adaptability and agility.   

If your agency can successfully integrate even just one of the strategies mentioned above, it will serve you well. Your clients will see dramatic results. And better yet, you will have a guaranteed value proposition with supporting material to use for pitching, prospecting and lead generation.

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