What you can get from Sponge NB

Everything we do is done to find you new clients. We do the obvious things (I’ll list some of them below) and we do some less obvious things (I’ll list some of them below). We cost the same as hiring a full-timer and you get a fully-functioning business development department.

THINGS WE'LL DO

-    Research your prospects properly before contacting them.
-    Research you properly before contacting anyone for you.
-    Make really smart, non-salesy calls. Ask questions on those calls. Listen a lot on those calls. Not make too many of those calls.
-    Write readable, snappy, professional emails. Individual ones. Not some bulk-mailer “look, we’ve discovered Mailchimp” email/newsletter that any prospect deletes immediately. 
-    Consult properly for you. We have a vastly experienced project manager and sales trainer to make things work well. We have an ex-Global Marketing Director and Copywriter here, so your written communications are remarkable. We're not bashing out calls here.
-    Build sensible, well-managed databases. Refresh them often. Update them constantly.
-    Report honestly and usefully. 
-    Never enshroud our efforts in meaningless stats, graphs and numbers designed to provide false reassurance and keep the project running, even if it really needs reviewing/improving/sacking off. If it needs fixing, we’ll say so. Loudly.
-    Make sure you never think “I wonder what Sponge are up to?”. Speak to you regularly, but concisely. You don’t have time for fluff. You do have time to know what’s working and what’s not.
-    Conduct a really enjoyable and informative briefing day. We don’t need to learn “what you do”. If that’s not clear on your web site, we’ll be helping to make sure it becomes clear. We want to know your people, culture, language, highs/lows, hobbies, least favourite client. The stuff we’d know if we worked there.
-    Offer the benefit of our owner Steve’s experience – 15+ years of agency business development.
-    Find opportunities worth having. If it’s a meeting, one with an agenda, where we’ve asked about budgets. We average a couple of those a month for clients (that’s a historic number, so it might not be what you get. Some very large clients have seen fewer, some clients have seen far more).
-    Help you follow up those opportunities. Not pester, just keep up to date with.
-    Offer training if you want it. You might not need it but we can help polish even a decent business developer’s approach.
-    Give you a chunk of code for your web site so we (and you) know which companies have been on your web site. 
-    Think of smart things to make things happen for you. For example, we found a way to increase the number of senior marketers at larger companies with whom we could secure conversations. It takes an hour or two and you can then use it every day forever. 
-    Sell you actual things we’ll really do - however fuzzy - rather than impossible promises. Whatever you think of our web site, our size, our clunky logo, our address or our team photos, give us a call and you’ll only ever be sold the things we do every day. No inflated outcomes, no crazy KPIs . Honesty. 
-    Celebrate the wins we find for you and genuinely beat ourselves up when we don’t win. Our culture is to give a hoot. 

If you’re doing well in your business development endeavours, call us. Don’t’ wait until things are going badly. We can’t wave a magic wand, nor will we be likely to find really quick wins. If things are going badly, we can help you plan the right next steps. When things are comfortably plateauing, or growing nicely, we’re in a great position to help grow your company using a sensible, sustained approach.
 

3 interesting ways to find new business leads.

1)      The competitors of those in the trade press

The news you read about a company wanting to appoint an agency is toxic to your new business endeavours. Firstly, if it’s in the trade press, it’s old. The best case scenario is that every agency on the planet has contacted the prospect. Most commonly though, the lead is now cold. Leave them alone and focus on the competitors of the company in question. If one company in a sector is used to outsourcing, then many of its competitors will be too. They’ll also be aware of the review and might be considering their own marketing support.

 
2)      The brands your team would like to work on

When we conduct our briefing days with new clients, one of the things we do is talk to the team at the agency and talk about dream clients. Once we’ve got Apple, Innocent, Audi and Nike out of the way, some really interesting ideas often emerge. It stands to reason that brands that your team feel enthusiastic about are the ones they could help write an amazing pitch for. And if you win the business, they’ll love working on it. No downside.

 
3)      The Top 10 of everything

Walk around your office and list everything (and I mean everything). For example:

-         Phone
-         Desk
-         Radiator
-         Blinds
-         Light switches
-         Fluorescent tubes
-         Doors
-         Door furniture
-         Squash racquet (hardly used)
-         Carpets
-         Copper pipes
-         Sink
-         Bin

All of these have manufacturers. Most of them are in sectors rarely approached by agencies. Find the top 10 of each (I’m not telling you how – you’re supposed to hire us) and then consider whether they’re marketed effectively. It’s a little trivial, but it’ll get you away from having new business planning sessions where you decide that FMCG, lifestyle and food and drink are the best sectors to target because they're famous.