Posts Tagged ‘cbc’

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Every advertising or marketing agency needs new business. There I’ve said it.

The problem is that getting that new business is never going to be easy. The chances you bump into the president of some big company that’s itching for a new marketing partner and offers you a huge retainer to take on their business is about the same as winning the lottery.

The only way you are going to get new business is the painful way. That’s right, new business development is a painful part of growing your agency. That’s why so many agencies I meet with tell me they don’t have time for new business or they are hoping their new white paper or redesigned website is their new business tool.

Let’s face it they hate new business because it’s so damn hard to do. There’s the detested cold call. Picking up the phone and trying to pitch someone you don’t really know. You expect rejection (ouch), you and secretly hope they won’t answer your call because it’s easier on your psyche to leave a recorded message than actually have to pitch someone. Then there’s the dreaded warm call. You know the person you met or someone has introduced you to. You know that calling them demeans you in some way. Are you begging? Are you lowering yourself by asking them to consider using your services? So distasteful, so off putting…why do any new business scouting now, I could be working on a new piece of creative or planning some media….anything will be more fun.

Sadly, in the past few years new business has become as popular as cancer. Making a cold call is like a colonoscopy, you’d love to put it off but in the back of your mind you know that postponing it will not help.

So here’s what I want you to do.

I want you to force yourself to actively find a new piece of business in the next 30 days. Put that goal on a piece of paper and stick it somewhere prominently in your office. Every time you look at it, make a call, send an email, write a letter (yes letter writing is back and blows through the clutter of day to day emails). Swallow that pride and beg, plead or cajole someone to give you their account. Offer them free creative for the first 6 months. Tell them you will review their existing media plan and make recommendations absolutely free. Provide them with some public relations ideas at no cost. Do what you have to do. But do something. One win, one glimmer of hope will be the only reward you should expect within that first 30 days. And here’s the good news. If nothing works and no business comes in, you get to do it again next month.

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I was happily driving in my car the other day listening to CBC as I often do. As the hour changed the CBC hourly break recording came on and the announcer said: “Canada lives here”. I thought for a moment as I pondered the fact that it had been almost a decade since I had written that line. It brought back thoughts of the day I presented the concept to the power’s that be at CBC. I had offered them a list of 5 or 6 lines and there was no question in my mind that “Canada lives here” was the way to go.

The meeting lasted about an hour and by the halfway point we had all agreed that my favorite was theirs as well. I remember how good I felt, sort of proud to have contributed such an important part of the history of Radio Canada.

As the days passed I heard nothing of my precious positioning line. Never a “hey nice work” nor a “way to go” not even a “thanks for your great idea”. I assumed that was just the CBC way.

Now these many years later and long since my freelance contract at CBC had expired, I still feel proud every time I hear that line. I also feel sort of ripped off, no thanks, no royalties, nothing.

In my eyes “thanklessness lives there”.th