Does Your Advertising Agency Use Interpersonal Chemistry To Win New Business?

Interpersonal Chemistry Is A Critical Factor In Winning New Advertising Accounts

So, you want to win that new account for your advertising agency. A critical factor to get to GO is to build interpersonal chemistry between you and your prospective client. Here are some insights from my book on pitching and an interview with a leader in building relationships with the right people whether they are prospective new clients or your own colleagues (which is a good thing when you are pitching).

You Probably Look Like The Next Agency

Chances are good that you will be up against look-alike agencies. You all probably share similar attributes, skills, and histories. You might even be wearing the same Armani suit or Tory Burch shoes or, today, tee-shirt.

Because of this, the ultimate selection factor is often based on personal vibes. The client wants to feel comfortable with and inspired by the agency’s culture and people. They are looking for a dedicated partner who will care as much about their business as they do. They want a confident agency that looks, acts, and feels right.

I can’t stress the chemistry thing enough. Here is what Avidan Strategies’ 2012 survey of agency search consultants revealed:

“Practically every consultant, or 96% of the sample, pointed to “chemistry” as the key factor for winning. But what exactly is chemistry? Generally speaking, it is simpatico between the client and agency teams.”

 So while you are thinking about how to express your agency’s core skills and style, remember that how you express who you are could be the make or break part of your pitch. I’ll talk more about chemistry later. But it is imperative that you keep personal chemistry in mind as you start to think through what this client really wants.

Here’s an interview with a chemistry specialist. Debra Weekley knows her stuff having honed it at Nike, Wieden+Kennedy and Saatchi and Saatchi, where we worked together.

The Chemistry Interview:

Debra Weekley – Principle at Connectivenrgy, LLC

Debra Weekley’s career includes Fortune 500 account management at Wieden+Kennedy and Saatchi & Saatchi. After her agency career, she took that time-honored leap to the client side and served in marketing and human resources leadership positions at Nike.

Debra’s Connectivenergy helps creative and entrepreneurial companies better connect as a team, with their markets, and deliver their best work. A consistent thread throughout her work is insightful, thoughtful, and creative facilitation. Her focus is on personal, interpersonal, team, and leadership development. One of her passions is helping younger professionals navigate this very competitive marketplace, as they become managers and leaders.

Read on. Debra will help you win more new accounts. Read More »

Updated Big Advertising Resources List

Here’s An Updated Big Advertising Resources List

Hi, just wanted you to see that I added a few new links to my Big Advertising Resources List. You’ve used the list before, correcto?

The Updates

  • 13 Creative Ways To Find Blog Post Ideas. Super smart list from Authority Hacker. This will help you find new and exciting blog ideas. Frankly, it isn’t that easy to keep being super fresh, interesting and high value when you have zillions of earlier blog posts. Authority Hacker will help make that job a lot easier.
  • Canva. A free tool that makes it easy to create custom graphics to go with your social media posts. I love this.
  • Engagio. Want to grow your advertising agency? Engagio’s Account Based marketing will tell you how to do that. OK, here’s the drill. if you know what clients you want for your advertising agency then go get them. Engagio will tell you how to do that. I call it Super Smart Sales Pressure or SSSP.
  • An in-depth Entrepreneurship and Small Business Resource Guide from Job Hero. A BIG list.

Hope you enjoy the big list and get smarter, better, more good looking.


A Marketing Email Program With Personality

Yup, Your Email Program Can Have Personality

Boring is bad. Personality is good.

Me-Too is bad. Different is good.

Getting unsubscribed sucks.

How many marketing or information emails do you get? I get a lot. To be clear, I am talking about both direct marketing emails (the unsolicited kind) and email newsletters that I have subscribed to. In both cases, I am a hell of a lot more interested if the email has some personality. Most don’t. Which brings me to The Hustle.

Hustle On Brothers and Sisters

Below is the copy from a ‘Thank You For Subscribing” email that I got from the HUSTLE. As the Hustlers say:

Your smart, good looking friend that sends you an email each morning with all the tech and business news you need to know for the day.

I urge you to go through the entire sign up process (don’t worry, it is easy.)


Want More Of Not Boring?

the HUSTLE doesn’t stop at just sending you your daily email. They want you to refer friends.  Below, again, is what their website page looks like after you’ve subscribed. The copy is below the image.

A question, do you add a refer your friends to your agency emails? You should.

OK, before I leave you, my point is that even a simple email system can have personality.

Be not bland my friends.

The website referral page copy:

I used to read the news, but let’s be honest: that crap is dry and you only read it because you feel kinda like you should if you want to be a “good” adult. If you want a quick, blah-blah-blah sounding scoop on big world news today, your robot pal Alexa or the New York Times app can do that for you in a jiffy. But for a daily news email that’s funnier, punnier, less political, more relevant, and 200% guaranteed to make you sound more interesting at dinner parties and/or during Tinder dates, you HAVE to get on board with The Hustle. Like, now. Sign up today and tell me I’m right tomorrow.


How To Start, Grow and Sell An Advertising Agency

How To Start, Grow and Sell An Advertising Agency

I’ve been consulting with advertising agencies on how to grow their business for the past five years. It is rather fulfilling and fun. In fact, one of my agency clients just told me that they won a major piece of business from Google. I love hearing things like that. I love thinking that I might have played even a very minor role in the agency’s success. Who wouldn’t?

Back to “How To Start, Grow and Sell An Advertising Agency.” Having run my business development business for five years, I am beginning to see a cyclical pattern. My incoming (which for any of you considering consulting, is fairly steady due to my high-level position on Google and personal brand awareness that comes from sales of my book – buy it!) starts to slow down a bit for six to eight weeks around the beginning of November. I must assume that this is because of the impending holiday season – which is nuts because this is exactly the time to build that kick-ass sales program.

I’ll use some of my extra time to answer the three most important questions that agency managers ask me every week.

  1. What is the best way to grow my advertising agency?
  2. What is the best way to start an advertising agency?
  3. How can I sell my advertising agency?

First, a definition. While I work with digital, PR, hybrid, experiential and other forms of agencies, I use the generic term advertising agency because “advertising” is still the universal term for marketing communications agencies. It is also the term that clients, and other industry people, search. This is a look at a couple of marketing communications search terms from Google. They are ‘Advertising Agency, ‘Digital Agency’ and ‘PR Agency’.


OK, back to the three questions and what I’ll call topline answers.

What is the best way to grow my advertising agency?

Every advertising agency has to grow. That may sound like a ‘duh’ but, believe me, only 60% or so agencies run, I mean consistently, run a smart business development plan. I’ve written on this before. Here are my main points.

You will eventually lose most of your clients. You have to have more clients coming in the front door than going out the back.

Most agencies do not have a business plan. Simply put, these agencies have not done the hard work of thinking through what they are selling, to whom and how they should price their offer. I see this in action because many agencies will go after any client that raises their hand. Most agencies will pitch whatever comes over their transom. I’m sure you are saying, “Not us.” But, that is probably BS because I’ve seen both large and small agencies rationalize why they should waste their time pitching the wrong clients. A bet: show me the clients you’ve pitched in the past couple of years and I can probably show you that you wasted your time pitching one-third of them. Read More »

Crazy Data Or CRAZY Data

I’d Say CRAZY Data

This is what is going on in crazy data-land every minute on the Internet (well, much of it. Domo left out PornHub.)

This has many implications. One is that the clients your agency is trying to attract via social media and content are, um, distracted.