A major problem for advertising agencies has always been finding new business. That’s especially true in today’s marketplace where budgets are shrinking and competition is growing.
Every great salesperson knows the value of nurturing low-probability maybes into concrete actuals. And they’ve developed personal systems to track each one methodically until it bears fruit. So if you’re looking for new business, don’t overlook these mainstay practices:
- Collect leads. Leads are customers who haven’t bought yet but might. Whether it’s on a social site or at a networking meeting, always get their details and keep them on record.
- Review customers. Previous clients are your best bet for new business because they’ve already used your services. Go through your customer database. Call on dormant and active clients to find out how their business is developing. Those conversations could reveal new opportunities.
- Track opportunities. Start keeping track of opportunities that come your way. Even the ones that seem insignificant. Every opportunity can potentially grow into new business if nurtured correctly.
- Follow up. Some salespeople never throw a lead away, even after many years. Rather, they prioritize them by likelihood of winning new business. Then they keep following up.
- Ping regularly. Prospects who aren’t ready to buy won’t. But a “no” now doesn’t mean a no forever. Stay in touch, share interesting information, send a quick email to say hi. When they do need something, yours could be the first name that springs to mind.
- Manage your sales pipeline. How many leads did you identify this week or month? How many leads did you convert to opportunities? How many opportunities did you convert to solid RFQs? Keep track of your progress. If you know what your conversion rates are, you’ll be able to develop strategies for improving them.
- Review your data. Categorize leads by industry, location, problem area, number of employees, annual income or any other relevant information. When you review your pipeline by these segmentations, it could reveal details about where you’re most successful. Focusing on those growth areas can reveal even more opportunities.
However you go about it, finding new business is lots of hard work. Successful agencies have a system for getting that work done, because they know that’s where they’ll find future business. So, above all, learn from them and set yourself up for success.