Are you wasting time on new business?

If you or your team aren’t getting the results you need from your new business activity then take a closer look at where you are spending your time. Are you doing enough of the right things or wasting time on the wrong things. Have a look at my list below to check you are on the right track.

 

Contacting new prospects every day

You need to always be building your pipeline and this means approaching new people every day. It doesn’t have to be a large number. If you are responsible for the running of your agency and new business is part of that then you won’t have time to contact lots of people. After all your approaches will be very tailored and personalized. Set yourself a goal – perhaps 2 or 3 new people each day.

 

Following up with people

The fortune is in the follow-up. Make sure you have an effective system in place to remind you when you need to follow up. I always recommend using a cloud-based CRM program such as Highrise, Hubspot or Capsule to keep track of all your new business activity and follow ups. You can get daily reminders of who you need to follow up with each day.

 

Writing proposals/pitch documents

If you are spending time writing proposals then you are definitely one step closer to winning new business. Pitching and proposal writing can take up a lot of time though if you aren’t careful. Create a basic template that you can use each time but make sure that you do spend time adding value in your proposal/pitch document. Don’t rush your pitch document, make sure you are adding value in each section, make it as much about them as possible.

 

Researching new prospects

To create more tailored and targeting communication pieces to your target audience, you need to understand their business, their challenges, their likes, and dislikes. Build up a profile of your prospect by looking at their social media feeds, research their company news and spend a bit of time understand the challenges facing their sector or category.

 

Creating mailing campaigns

This is key to building your agency brand, spend time creating your mailing campaigns, be proud of what you are producing and sending out and if you can get some dedicated creative resource each month to help you. Don’t just send out “agency newsletters” updating prospects on client work – make it more about them, have some opinion, offer some insight, or share what inspires you and your team. 

 

Developing relationships with intermediaries

If intermediaries forms part of your strategy and budget, then take time each month to touch base with them, update them on new work, invite them to your events, have full debriefs following pitches and make sure your agency profile is up to date. Don’t just register, pay your fee and wait for the briefs to come in.

 

 

Database management

This is important but you need to get an effective and efficient system in place so that it doesn’t take a lot of time. If you need data then think about buying in data or getting a cheaper resource to qualify your data rather than spend your own time on it or letting an expensive new business developer working on data.

 

Networking

Getting out there and networking is important but what’s more important is making sure you or your team are attending the right networking events. You need to make sure your target audience is there. Are there opportunities to properly meet people and build relationships? Review each networking event you attend comparing cost, time to prepare, time out of the office and number of people and good contacts you have actually established.

 

Naval gazing

It’s easy to spend too much time planning, working on your strategy, having meetings about what you should be doing. Don’t get stuck in this stage, create a plan and work it.

 

Report writing

Get a system in place so that your weekly or monthly new business reports to the board take as little time as possible. Many CRM systems have an automated reporting function, or if not just use a Google Spreadsheet with a top line summary of key prospects that you can update as you go along.

 

Social media

Social media is vital, don’t get me wrong but again a lot of time can be wasted here. Ensure that systems are in place so that you can forward schedule your content and then set a daily time limit for interacting with people on social media otherwise before you know it, your morning will be gone with little to show for it. There are so many free tools you can use to plan and automate your social media content so make use of them. Also, think about where your target audience are actually spending time online.

 

I will soon be launching the “Agency Growth Academy” where you can get 121 coaching and support from me, new business training sessions, weekly team office hours calls, guest interviews with agency heads, access to a private Slack group and peer support from other new business people. If you would like to get on the waiting list, then click here to register your details.

About The Author

Lucy Snell

A new business consultant helping creative agencies build their brand, tell their story and win more business.

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