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.


big shooting star

The Solar System of Agency Clients

Running a marketing firm of any size is a juggling act. Not only are you working on several different client/agency initiatives at any given time, but you’ve got projects from several different clients as well so it is important to prioritise clients and new business prospects. Often competing client conflicts will drive staff and leadership[…]


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”.



Columbo Moment in Agency New Business

I just finished a training session about the Columbo moment. Firstly, understand this. When speaking to a prospect and trying to get them to agree to meet with you, there is a battle of wills going on. In my opinion, if the person is the decision maker and they already use an agency like yours – they are worth meeting.

They, conversely, are busy and may not necessarily be reviewing so are wary of committing time.


think like a marketing director

Think Like a Marketing Director

So, you’ve got a new business meeting lined up with a marketing director, manager or whoever is the decision maker for your service. How are you going to think like a marketing director? You’ve done your preparation, but remember, so has your prospect. Typically they’re pretty busy people and believe it or not they don’t spend all day thinking about agencies, dealing with agencies is typically about 10% of what they do or would LIKE to do!


paradigm shift

Agency New Business, a Paradigm Shift

Whilst on holiday I read Malcolm Gladwell’s new book, “What the Dog Saw”, a collection of his writing from The Spectator and it made my think about agency new business. One of the many insightful essays was on the vagaries of the stock market and hedge funds and how too much information can be a bad thing. His hypothesis was that in the pre internet age, trying to anticipate market movements was a puzzle.


four cornerstones

Four Cornerstones of Sales

In agency new business, like any sales operation, we need to effectively measure the performance of our teams . To do this effectively, it is always worth remembering the four cornerstones of sales upon which effective performance is built. They are, of course:

1) ABILITY – The person undertaking the activity must have the raw ability to perform the task. Some people are inherently timid when it comes to picking up the telephone and cold calling a senior decision maker. They feel inferior or maybe a little ashamed. […]

Marketing Corporate Hierarchy

Agency New Business Strategy

The agency new business strategy is essential to get right from the start. Who is the best person to approach first within a prospect company? CEO? MD? Marketing Director? Comms Director? Marketing Manager?

Now, you may THINK you know the answer to this one. Most agency heads are of the opinion that it is best to go in at the top; the Top Down strategy. Get in to see the Marketing Director and she will take you on, if she likes you, and all the brand managers will happily fall into line and start using you, right?



Demand Better Briefs From Your Clients

Because If You Wait Around for Them They Might Never Come

By: Matt McDermott at Ad Age

The best advice I ever got about advertising wasn’t about advertising. During a company paintball outing, the referee offered this: “Don’t hide behind a rock and wait for someone to stumble into your sights. While you’re doing that, they’ll sneak up behind and shoot you in the ass. Go find them. Shoot them first.”

It reminded me of Casey Jones’ take on marketers who fail to provide their agencies with competent briefs, which generated a wealth of discussion earlier this week on Ad Age.