manifest meaning

What’s In a Name?

When deciding upon a new name for our new business agency, we started with a question – ‘What is it that we do?’ The answer, of course, is that we are chosen by our clients to represent them to the prospects with a view to arranging for them to meet and pitch their agency with a view to winning new business.

But is it JUST about fixing up a meeting then? No. For a meeting to be valuable, it must be with the MAN. Means, Authority and Need.


agency new business targets

Does One Need Sales Targets to Achieve Results?

“Does one need sales targets to achieve results?” is a question I was asked a few days back and one the answer to which I thought deserved to be shared because it is one I have come across many times.

I have been managing agency new business people since 1988 and have calculated that I have been personally responsible for more than one million new business lead generation man hours. I have managed more than 300 new business people in this time.



The Canal Barge Analogy for Agency New Business

I was reminded recently of the Canal Barge analogy for agency new business. It was first told me many moons ago by, if I remember correctly, Graeme Green from LGM (that’s showing how long I’ve been in this business!). It goes like this.

Imagine the marketing director is the pilot of an old fashioned canal barge (the brand) being pulled along by a dray horse (incumbent agency). He has a pretty solitary existence and is always looking out for something to amuse him or help him perform his role more effectively – a good pilot never leaves school!


A Well Written Letter

A Well Written Letter

I was dropping my son off at school this morning as he was off on a bushcraft course – three days camping by the sea in Dorset, canoeing, rock climbing, survival etc. Sounds great fun! I got talking to the headmaster about the company that was running the course and how he had found them.

He told me that several years ago they had written to him; a hand written, two page letter, describing what they did and how they thought they’d be the perfect fit for the school.


temporary king

The Temporary King

If you read The Times then the back page of the The Game section recently provided a fascinating insight into the world of the football manager or rather, the world of those who appoint them.

They discuss what on Merseyside they call the Messiah Complex – the never ending search for “the one” who will lead them to greatness once more. And it is not just Liverpool of course, turn the page back and you saw a great graphic that illustrated the point perfectly.



Means Authority Need for Agency New Business

Who’s the MAN! for agency new business (Means Authority Need). Back to basics – SALES. It’s what we do – call it what you want, but that’s it. Many years ago I was making a speech at an Omnicom conference (DAS to be precise) and I was talking about sales and an MD of an agency at the end said that it was all well and good, but that he wasn’t in ‘sales’ he was in ‘advertising’.

My response was that his CEO would probably say that he was in the business of selling the services of an advertising agency, not ‘in’ advertising per se.



Engagement; Engagement, Enthusiasm and Engagement.

Engagement; Engagement, Enthusiasm and Engagement. This, the AABA pattern, also known as a diacope, is a very common rhetorical device you are probably very familiar with.

“Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo”; “my horse, my horse, my kingdom for a horse”; “alone, alone, all alone”; “You villain, villain, you damned, smiling villain.” And my personal favourite from Carry On Cleo, “Infamy, Infamy, they’ve all got it Infamy”.


Conversion rates for agency new business

Conversion Rates – What to Expect from Agency New Business.

Like most new business agencies we are often asked about conversion rates; both our own and those of our clients. Manifest has been in business since 1992 in the UK, 2005 in the US and has also just set up in Australia. We monitor both our own and our client’s success rates, taking standard deviations into consideration.