Persistence Determines Successful Ad Agency New Business Development

CMO friends consistently tell me that new business people give up too early
by Todd Knutson

Here are the unofficial statistics they cite about agencies' proactive business development people:

  • 50% never follow up on the email or material they send
  • 25% follow up only once or twice by phone
  • 10% call 3-5 times
  • 5% call more than 5 times

This does not mean that CMOs want you to call more. However, they do understand the sales process, and recognize "good sales" when they experience it.

If you see yourself in the above statistics, you might think about it this way – you're giving up before you've really begun the sales process. As one CMO said to me, "I won't ever take someone's call unless they've called me at least 5 times." When I asked why, she responded by saying. "I want to know that they really want to work with my company, and that they're not just looking for low-hanging fruit...I am NOT low hanging fruit!"

I recommend you consider doing the following 3 things to quickly improve your persistence:

  • Follow up at least seven times: remember the marketing adage that it takes 5-7 impressions to make a first impression.
  • Do what you say you're going to do; or, Set and fulfill expectations: if you say you're going to call on the 23rd, call on the 23rd.
  • Use a CRM system (for example Act! or Salesforce) to record your notes and set next actions.

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