As we limber up for what promises to be another challenging 12 months, our thoughts undoubtedly stray to this year’s new business target.
Many of you will have returned to your desks last week, armed with a robust and well resourced plan, a handful of prospect meetings in the diary and a pitch or two underway. Well done, keep up the good work. But for anyone feeling a slight flutter of panic at the new business shaped hole in your revenue forecast, read on, help is at hand.
First of all it is worth remembering that there is no magic bullet. New business success comes from consistent and focussed activity based on a considered and robust plan. If you don’t have a plan, or have a plan that doesn’t work or isn’t being implemented – see me. Meanwhile there are some non-negotiable basics that you need to address to if you are to get in shape. Ask yourself these questions:
1. Your website. Can Google see it? Would someone who doesn’t know your agency be able to clearly grasp what you do within 3 clicks? Is there a blog? When was it last updated?
2. Social media. Twitter is great, but don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t cracked it yet, we’ll be talking about that in a later post, but Linked In cannot and should not be ignored. Is your personal profile up to date? What about your company page? And what about everyone else in the agency? Do you and and your team routinely connect with contacts as you meet them?
3. Case studies. Are they up to date? Does each one tell a story? Can it tell more than one story? Do you demonstrate results?
4. Phone and email. An unsolicited approach from a prospective client is a beautiful thing. However as Recommended Agency Register Director Diane Young observed in the Drum last year, a surprising number of agencies fall at this very basic first hurdle. Does everyone in the agency who could possibly answer the phone know how to to handle incoming calls and take messages? Does the email address or phone number on the website go to a human being. Fundamentally, will any new business prospect be able to have a meaningful conversation with someone at your agency within 24hrs of their enquiry?
If any of the points above leave you with more questions than answers, then do get in touch. There is no doubt that 2013 is going to challenge us all, but there is still business out there to win. You just need to stack the odds in your favour where you can.