66% Of Advertising Agencies Report That They Do Not Have a Business Development Plan. This Is Lunacy!

How About Your Agency? 

coaching-820x426-1-150x150I talk with your small to medium sized competition every day. Most tell me that referrals are the bedrock of their business development programs. Why? Because while we all love referrals… referrals have become the default** for the 66% of agencies that do not have active, well-positioned daily digital lead generation programs. yes, 66% according to RSW/US.

**The Default = “We do not have a proactive sales program so most of our incoming is from referrals.”

Let’s Get Past The 66%.

Take me up on my Corleone Offer and you’ll see how I can help you create smart and effective agency new business programs that will deliver leads from the clients on your short list.


I’ve built winning sales (yes, its sales) programs as Business Development Director at Saatchi & Saatchi; at my own fast-growing Portland agency and as the CEO of two internet startups Microsoft bought one.) I’ve also bought and sold three agencies.

Waiting For The Phone To Ring Is Bad Business.

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 9.22.06 AMSitting like an ingenue waiting by the phone for a date is not a great way to run an agency. Just like Audrey Hepburn, your phone will eventually ring. But, will it be from one of those beautiful clients you have on your ‘must-have’ list? Chances of that wonderful event happening are slim. It’s way too passive.

Stuck in the world of referrals is very bad in a fast-paced industry like marketing communications where falling even a few months behind on your business development program and sales pipeline will put you way behind your competition.

What YourActive Business Development Plan Should Look Like:

  • You have an active business development plan and system.
  • Management has made business development a priority.
  • You have a distinctive advertising agency brand position and know what clients you want
  • You have strategic inbound and outbound business development programs that work 24/7.
  • You have a sales-oriented website that generates high-quality leads.
  • You are in weekly conversations with potential clients.
  • Active means not waiting till you lose that large client to get your new business program in gear.

There is more, but for the sake of sanity, I’ll stop here.

I’ll Get You Growing.

345810aIt does not have to be this way. I can help.

I have helped agencies around the world build growth plans based on the latest sales techniques. I owned my own advertising agency (that won clients like Nike, Legalzoom and the Montana Lottery); I ran business development at Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising Worldwide in New York and London and I was founder and CEO of two Internet companies – Microsoft bought one.

I’ve marketed, pitched and won new multi-national, large regional accounts and sweet locals from Portland, Oregon to New York to London to Korea to Kuwait to Boise.

And… I wrote the how-to book on pitching and presenting.

Let’s Go:

  • We’ll Clarify Your Business Objectives and Figure Out Just What The Heck You Should Be Selling. We’ll work together to determine what services you should be selling and what categories you should be targeting. Focus is a good thing. I will take a fresh look at your agency, client work, current marketing, competition and business growth opportunities to find the market gaps you should be exploiting.
  • Position your agency for growth. If you have a powerful agency positioning, we’ll look at how to craft a messaging program to get the word out and make your agency ‘famous’. If you are not positioned for success, we’ll look at how to build a brand positioning that gets you attention and client interest.  Read about my advertising agency positioning ideas here. It is my second most read blog post – it’s been read by over 3,500 marketers.
  • Use my experience to build a kick-ass, action-oriented new business marketing plan that combines savvy inbound (I have been using social media since the mid-1990’s) and outbound programs (some developed at Saatchi & Saatchi and many at my own agency). You need to use both strategies. Good news for you, most advertising agencies do not have a business development plan.
  • Win more pitches. Buy my book and win more pitches.  You can buy it on Amazon.

An Offer You Should Not Refuse: Let’s Talk. Today.

corleone-sq-150x150If you want to grow your client list faster, I urge you to take me up on my Corleone Offer. Let’s meet for fifteen minutes—just 0.25 on the timesheet— to discuss how I could help you plan for growth.

I guarantee that you will come away with at least one super smart insight that you can use immediately.

Don’t take my word for it. Yes, a kudo.

Here is an email I recently received from Sam Yadegar of L.A.’s HawkSEM. I helped him reposition his digital agency to break out from the pack and then build out high ROI marketing strategies that are yielding incoming calls from brand new high-profit clients.


Pretty crazy stuff has been going on in new business… Crazy good stuff.

I started sending paid traffic to this new landing page concept (there are 50+ each with different headlines).

It’s less than a month old, but so far we’ve won 3 new clients. The crazy part, they call in, talk to us for 10 minutes, and then say the magical words , “what are the next steps to get started“ and some of the clients are pretty legit (Insert name of very famous client company here.)

There’s a lot more to do, working on more ideas to add stuff, but I think since the “about us” video you suggested, things are a little easier.

All the new stuff I want to add has the core idea of… Every single lead that contacts me is ready/excited to work with us, not someone that needs to be warmed up and “sold”. So far so good.

But for real, and an extremely huge thank you to you; you helped me tons. The business has a new timeline, BP and AP (before Peter… After Peter) everything (including financial numbers) are stronger AP. I’ll report them to you when the year ends.

Again, thank you so much for all of the smart advice!

Best Regards, Sam

 Still with me but need even more third-party reassurance?

“Rarely have I seen a more creative advertising agency strategist or manager.”

Lance Mald, Executive Creative Director North America at Avon

“I have worked with Peter many times in varied projects over the past 25 years. Peter is one of the very few strategists that can think both analytically and creatively. All his recommendations were intelligent, appropriate, creative and ultimately, very effective.”

Beau Fraser, President, The Gate Worldwide, New York

“Peter is one of a kind. I have rarely seen anyone who could cut through the clutter to deliver rational, sound business-building insights any better.”

Steve Van Tassel, CEO, Weetabix North America

Thanks for stopping by. But… don’t be shy. Let’s get down to growing your agency.

2015 is a good time to start.

2016 isn’t.