Have the fundamentals of New Business fundamentally changed?

Published: Monday 18th March 2013

Has New Business changed over the years, or are the fundamentals still the same?

Are the techniques we apply to marketing communication agencies unique to our sector, or is there
a set way to do it that works for all businesses?



To win new business the fundamentals are the same for all and haven’t really changed.

You need energy, tenacity, resilience, insight and empathy! We should teach children that to
succeed in life you need two things: A strong work ethic and empathy for others.

You need to listen, and genuinely care about the individuals you are trying to win business from and
care about their business challenges.

Of course you need a pipeline of new opportunities, you need to convert, you need to retain and you
need to grow existing clients.

To succeed at that, you need to establish good working relationships with your clients. And for
relationships to genuinely flourish, we would argue that the need to listen, care and understand is
greater than ever.

So, the foundations for New Business are arguably still the same. However, it is the adaptation for
different companies, and the adaptation to different market conditions that make a difference….


It’s a more competitive market. There are some 7,300 marketing communication agencies in the
UK. There are a growing number of intermediaries and consultants, so briefs are more thinly spread
around an increasing number of agencies. Moreover, the advertising industry faces new challenges
and changing market conditions from the rising importance of procurement, social media, and
permission-based marketing (prospective clients expecting value-add rather than cold calling and
untailored mailing campaigns).

We know this but what can and should we do about it?

There may be many agencies, but the good news is that many are still stuck in the old ways of cold-
calling, sending out mailers that are not customised to their targets and expecting New Business
people to have a “black book” of contacts. Get a jump on these agencies by applying some of the
principles mentioned above – listening and empathy!

Although there are more of them, you still should pick and choose relationships with intermediaries
and consultants carefully. Spend time thinking about those that could have the right briefs for you,
and then you can dedicate your time to building relationships with them.

Do you really give as much attention to procurement specialists as you do to Marketing Directors? If
not, why not? They are human too and relationships need to be fostered.

Lastly, are you still sending out newsletters about yourselves, or are you adding value by sharing well
thought out content. Remember, value is more expensive than price!

Our New Business Skills Course will give you the structure and foundation on which to build a
successful New Business & Marketing Programme. But it is the hidden extras that will make all the
difference – how to engage with procurement & intermediaries, current market place statistics, the
latest in digital marketing, and how to unlock the value of all in your agency to help you achieve this.

You can see the details of our latest course here.

Or get in touch with one of the team for more information