If there’s one driver common among all agencies, it’s the desire to keep winning new business. But it’s also a difficult balancing act. How do you keep your existing accounts happy, but at the same time, re-assign resources to write a presentation that – in the end – might not win the business?
I worked with a woman in Chicago who I still think was the master of new business development, and she had three basic questions to follow. I’ve added and adapted them slightly over the years, but Madalyn’s original questions are tough to improve.
1. Is it real?
- Can you identify a real business need, the specific goal or objectives, and the essential problem?
- Do you have access to the key decision makers?
- Can you estimate a reasonable budget and time frame?
2. Is it winnable?
- Do you have relevant expertise, contacts or experience?
- Have you received ‘sound’ information from the client?
- Do you have intelligence that the pitch it’s “wired”? (That is, another agency has already been chosen.)
3. Is it worth it?
- Is there opportunity for true growth?
- Is there long-term relationship potential?
- Is it an interesting new category?
- Does it fit the agenda’s strategy?
- Is there “marquee value” that would or might translate into attracting other suitable clients?
- Is there reasonable pay-off of time and energy?