On Tuesday evening a group of us from Adam attended a networking event ‘The Art of New Business’ which as they say in the event brief: – is a collaborative network of like – minded individuals .. (with a focus) .. on finding new ways of winning business, and giving support and advice to each other.
Was it any good? Well in actual fact, yes it was and we took away some key messages we’re sure will help grow our digital business. And getting into the spirit of supporting each other, we’re happy to share those key messages with you!
At the event, 4 key players in the North West digital agency market presented on what they see as the key factors they attribute to their ability to beat the competition and win new business. Blue Leaf MD Adrian Lomas, Melbourne Server Hostings Head of all things nobody else will do Chris Marsh, Studio Norths BD Director Simon Caulderbank and Business Consultant + Former CEO of McCann Erikson Brian Child all presented.
Whilst there was some element of ‘look how good we are’, they didn’t dwell too much and delivered some worthwhile advice.
So what were the key take aways?
- You’ll lose every account – The businesses you deal with change and unfortunately even disappear. Accept it and understand the importance continually developing new business. Without new business, you will not grow!
- Have a vision – Understand what you want to achieve and only work with those who have similarities or buy into your vision.
- Be nice – People connect and buy from people. Those lower in the food chain also have insight and can add value to your information gathering. They also move up the chain before too long!
- Qualify out – Ask questions of the client and understand where they are in their buying process. If they don’t play ball and share information, then leave it and move on.Information is key!
- Make your clients your ‘cheerleaders’ -You’ve done the hard bit and won the business. So now you’ve done a good job ask your clients to refer you to someone else.
- Be different -There are LOTS of agencies out there and they all go about BD in a very ‘samey’ way. Stand out from the crowd and approach things in a different way.
As well as the speakers, on the night they invited some end clients to form a panel in order to give an insight as to how they think BD’s should operate. This was interesting and the key message was that of ‘be different’. Key clients (Matt Walmsley, Commercial Manager, BOC, Mat Finch, Head of Sales and Commercial Bourne Leisure (ex. Dell, Google), David Buchanan, ex. Marketing Manager The Sutton Group (Wynsors World of Shoes) andTony Spong, AAR)told tales of the huge amounts of calls and speculative emails they receive on a daily basis. Some indeed had two phone numbers or e-mail accounts, one for those they like and another for everyone else!
This said the funny side was the answers they gave when asked how they came to deal with their current agencies? Despite the above, there were cases of ‘they just called at the right time’ or ‘the information they sent through was just well timed’. Despite the annoyance they get from calls and mass mailers, they obviously do still work. However, there are clearly better and more effective ways to win business!
In summary it was a good event and we did get something from it! We’re looking forward to the next one already, so keep any eye out or by all means get in touch with us if you want further info from us.
If you want help to recruit the best talent to ensure your organisation grows in a busy market where there is a skills shortage then get in touch with Adam. We concentrate our efforts on candidate attraction to ensure when you come to us we have some of the best candidates to fulfil your needs!