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Author: Stephen Fair
Having languished in retail for too many years, I joined a large new business agency in 2001. I spent a couple of years there, largely learning how not to be a new business consultant, I risked the sack, testing some new business disciplines and methods. They worked, so I quit in a blaze of glory (my wife remembers it as fits of terror, but she is mistaken) and created Sponge New Business.
In the course of my career, I've sold shoes, computer games, hi-fi equipment, jeans, membership of the IoD and, while living in Tenerife, simply the joy of entering the Lazy Fox pub. Not one of these things prepared me to drive new business for agencies - they all did.
In 2004 I created Sponge New Business. We're a small new business agency. We find new clients for marketing agencies.
Right now, for example, you can buy a $25 Amex gift card for $15 by Tweeting #BuyAmexGiftCard25. Then you check your Twitter mentions until you receive one from @AmexSync containing a confirmation hashtag.
Tweet this hashtag within 15 minutes to complete the purchase. They’ll now ship the item to your billing address free.
It’s just my opinion, but Amex needs to look up the definition of “seamless”.
Decision-makers at companies you covet aren’t interested in dancing around the matter in hand. If you want a brief, ask for it. If you want to meet them to show them what you’ll do, ask for that.
Selling is about questions, not statements. It’s about being interested, not just interesting.
Okay, agency credentials aren't all terrible, but I’ll stick my neck out: most of them are pretty bad. Worse than that, they look just like the other set of bad credentials that your prospect received.
Fix one of those and you can stand out. Fix both and you’ll get a higher response rate from your new business endeavours very quickly.