Friday, December 4, 2009

Part 4: 2010 Success -- New Business

In parts one, two, and three, we stressed the importance of taking a critical assessment of 2009, revisiting or creating your vision for the firm you want to become, and evaluating and maximizing your client relationships.

These are all critical components of becoming more successful in 2010. But, as we all know new business is the lifeblood of all successful firms. So here are some ways to make your 2010 new business effort more effective.

1. Assess what’s working and what hasn’t worked. Take a critical look back at the plan you developed and create a simple list of those tactics that were successful. Commit to doing more of that in 2010.

2. Review what you learned from your new business wins and losses during the year. Are you building relationships with the prospects? Have you really made the effort to be smart about the prospect’s business and communication need? Are you delivering “cookie-cutter presentations and proposals? Have there been “chemistry” problems?

3. Have an “outsider” review your agency’s capabilities presentation. Is it dull? Are you using latest presentation techniques? Are you committed to “creative theater” – making your presentations fun and demonstrating your creativity as an agency?

4. Evaluate your marketing efforts. Do you have a formal plan? Do you have an adequate budget? Whom are you reaching? How are they responding? What do you need to be doing differently in 2010?

5. Identify new potential targets, including your “dream” clients – clients you would “die” to have on your client list. Create an action plan for each one – a simple series of actions designed to get an introduction, a referral or ideally a meeting. Remember “six degrees of separation”. Who do you know that knows someone (who may know someone) at the prospect organization”? I guarantee you will be able to make a connection to your ideal clients.

Many agencies have hired business development specialists either on a full or part-time basis to lead their new business efforts. Consider whether this is a smart strategy for your firm.

What other ideas do you have for new business success in 2010?