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Throughout my agency career, in my various roles as a Business Development Director, I often used December as an opportunity to take stock of the year gone by. I would analyse what had worked and what hadn’t, with the view of tweaking and reinvigorating our agency new business strategy for the year ahead.

Below I have shared a few tips about how to launch or relaunch your new business strategy to get 2020 off to the best possible start.


1. Unveiling the strategy

In order for each person within your agency to understand that a mentality change is taking place, I’d recommend that the New Business Strategy is creatively launched and communicated internally to the entire agency.

Avoid positioning this as something that only affects certain people or the senior team, instead speak passionately about the very real and tangible possibilities the success of this strategy can have on the collective group and all the individuals who buy into it and contribute.


2. Positioning the strategy at the centre of the agency

Once the strategy has been launched internally it is key to implement obvious, visible and creative day-to-day changes into the agency that will keep the activity at the front of the consciousness and build momentum. To quote Henry Ford:

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

Put in place communication channels that make it easy for people to be kept up to date with all new business activity, to pass on leads and to utilise the skills they use in their day job to positively influence new business activity.

Your employees will buy into the strategy much more if they are part of the journey and not just regularly reminded about the end ambition.


3. Training agency ambassadors

There is no one better to sell your agency, grow your reputation, build awareness and to develop new business opportunities and leads, than the people who work in the agency every day of the week.

By training your staff to be able to passionately, concisely and eloquently speak about your services, specialisms and USPs you will give them the confidence and the tools to be ambassadors for you when the time is right.


4. Incentivising & encouraging healthy competition 

The majority of people who need to be, are motivated by financial incentives or experience incentives. Don’t be ashamed to lean on this.

Turn the challenge of generating leads and briefs internally into a game. Place 3 envelopes or boxes in a prime spot in the office. Broadcast to your employees that the first person to bring in a lead or positively affect the new business strategy can open one of the envelopes.

Make sure that the prizes in the envelopes are exciting enough to encourage people to be hugely motivated to open the next one but also that they align financially to the value of the opportunity brought in.


5. Bring creativity to new business

The majority of the people got into this industry because they want to express their creativity. Sales is seen as anything but!

However, in the creative sector you will often be successful in winning new clients if you can prove your creativity and cut through the huge amount of competition.

Encourage people to think creatively about how your agency can create that cut through and set you apart. Your customers are buying your creativity so if you can prove it before you’ve even met, it’s a great start.


6. Financial goals and steeling for setbacks

It is important that you set and communicate the annual financial targets and the revenue you expect to come from new clients wins. Communicate progress regularly and remind people of what you are aiming for.

A thriving new business culture is not built in 1, 3 or even 6 months, therefore it is key that the leaders in your agency share when pitches are lost or when you are behind target and at the same time demonstrate your faith in the strategy.


7. Celebrate success

When a new client is won it is vital for momentum and morale that it is celebrated, and people get to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Communicate what the project involves and the effect it will have on the agency’s growth.

By doing this and then re-setting new goals it will encourage people to work towards the next big win.