Making a start: What you need to know about employing a new business agency.

Employing and deploying a new business agency is no small investment. It’s obviously a commitment financially, but it’s also a big commitment of time: both in what you must give to the process for it to succeed and how patient you need to be for the process to yield results (it’s widely acknowledged that - barring the odd splendid fluke - any new business efforts require many months of ‘faith’ before any wins hove into view). If someone tells you otherwise, they really want you to sign a contract (and probably one with a six-month notice period).

The two questions we get asked the most from potential clients are: how long does it take to get started, and what do we need to do to prepare? Brilliantly, the answer to the first question is entirely reliant upon the client’s reaction to the second.

House in order
Probably the hardest part of the kick-off process for a new client is the culling of much-loved creds. This deck will probably have evolved over months and years to include:

  • Photos of each and every staff member past and present (probably against the backdrop of a brick wall – am I right?).

  • At least ten case studies (each a multiple page entry with some serious narrative – but not always any kind of commercial outcomes or results).

  • Plenty of self-serving pages about when the company was formed, why it was formed, where it was formed, how it was formed, and the history of the fireplace (basically stuff that no one ever used to pick an agency).

  • Welcome pages, goodbye pages, a page before the case studies saying CASE STUDIES (you know, just in case no one can follow your ground-breaking presentation style).

Anyway, you get the point: creds are pretty much always too long, too long-winded, and exactly the kind of size that leaves email systems chewing on them like a cow with a pack of wine gums. Some clients welcome a ruddy good creds beating, others will cling on to every one of the 26 pages clogging up their chances of success.

So… once we’ve established that your cold channel creds need to be slim and impactful… what’s next?

Target acquired
So, you’ve done the smart thing and bought yourselves a shiny new business cannon (if I do say so myself) so where do you want to point us? You might be surprised to learn that some entirely amazing agencies have got to this part of the process only to say: “Oh gosh… we don’t really know; some big brands… or something… maybe?”

Please know what you want – you’re now paying us so make it worth your while by knowing what it is that we’re going after for you. Please don’t say “something like Nike or Apple” (unless you really think it’s a realistic target) and please don’t say “more FMCG”. Understand your own successes, understand what you did so well, and now let’s find some more excellent (specific) targets for you to unleash us upon.

Release the hounds
Ok, so we now know what we’re saying about your company (by mirroring the language of the now-excellent creds) we have creds (result-oriented and tight as a squirrel’s headband) ready and able to email, and we also know where our efforts are to be focused. Thank you. We’ll be back to you shortly with the first of your well-qualified, super-focused new leads. You’re welcome.