Things you need before deploying New Business support (Pt1)

Many of the companies that enlist our help have either never done real cold-channel business before or think they have (but on closer inspection realise that there was always some old connection or ‘good reason’ for the contact lurking just beneath the slightly warm surface).

It’s not a criticism incidentally; understandably, everyone prefers developing existing leads and working old connections rather than cold-calling prospects off a huge wish list. What it does mean, however, is that most companies coming to us looking to gain more business from cold-channel prospecting aren’t entirely equipped to do so.

The 30-page presentation they’re used to nonchalantly auto-piloting through in front of semi-interested parties is no longer much use. Someone barely interested in switching agencies might swipe through nine tight and mobile-optimised pages on the tube home, but to expect them to care about the history of your building, your copyrighted methodology and the beauty of your carefully-waxed moustache is probably hoping for too much from a cold prospect.

So… imagine a key prospect was only going to look at the first three pages. What would you include? Still want a “hello” page? Still want a gallery of your staff’s mug shots? No, of course not. You want your best case studies that had the most impact. Ok – now imagine you have six pages, what more might you show? Perhaps all the companies that trusted you with their brands? Further case studies showing more disciplines you’re good at? Good – now you’re getting the idea.

Cold-channel prospecting is about respecting the time and (likely) attention of your prospect. If you come at them in a sensible way, they’ll give you the time of day (or at least 30 seconds of it).

NEXT TIME: More stuff. (Such a tease!)

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.