How to bring new business prospects in from the cold

The best new business opportunities are undoubtedly those that arise from your network and referrals. But this inevitably needs  supplementing with proactive prospecting. So, how do you start a dialogue with someone who hasn’t ever heard of your or your agency? This month’s guest blogger Alex Sibille from The Future Factory shares her top tips for getting in front of cold prospects.

  • Purchase a database of relevant contact details. Or if you’d rather not spend out, LinkedIn and corporate websites should serve you quite well.


  • Find someone within your team, or an external specialist, with time to dedicate to prospecting, networking, researching, cold calling, schmoozing and marketing your agency to these target brands.


  • Expect approx 10-15 hours focused work to deliver one new business meeting – once you have started to create a pipeline of dialogues and opportunities.


  • The first month or so you will be honing your pitch, starting to raise awareness of your agency, as well as researching and building relationships with the decision makers in your target companies.


  • Splitting your time roughly 50/50 between calls and emails is a good guide.


  • Telephone calls give faster returns, and allow you to probe for more information, but some people are more easily accessible via email.


  • All approaches should be backed by a reason to get in touch. Developing this and the background research into your targets should take place over the first month, and then ongoing as you add new targets to your list.


  • On the phone, before you launch into a pitch, the first step should be to qualify that the person you are talking to does indeed look after the area you think they do.


  • In emails, short and personable usually does well.


  • Now and again you’ll be asked to send creds to a cold prospect you’re trying to impress. Ideally these should just be a page or two highlighting your most noteworthy achievements. If someone wants more detail they can investigate your website, or discuss further with you in person. Here is a brilliant example. A video showreel is another great way to convey your agency’s ethos.


For more advice on lead generation contact Alex Sibille