Gift giving and an ad agency prospecting idea

As Freddie “Boom Boom” Washington would say, “hi there.”

Hope everyone has their Christmas shopping done. Yours truly did quite a bit of damage this past weekend. Included, though, was the chance to open up a really nice gift The Missus gave me: some Bose noise-cancelling headphones. Very sweet. I have secretly coveted these for years. And always envy fellow airplane passengers when they go through the ritual that lets them relax and enjoy a tune or two. Now, I’ll be that guy. (And I won’t be able to hear your muttering how pretentious I am!)

In the case were a handful of business card sized pass-arounds that potentially has some new business prospecting implications. Here’s what the card says:

“Customers tell us they’re often asked about their Bose QuiteComfort 15 headphones. For your convenience, this courtesy card is yours to pass along. Learn more at”

Isn’t that interesting? Bose now has me selling for them.

Could something like this work at your agency?

Yes, the idea as it stands does imply that it would work best when your work for an existing client is capable of soliciting interest from a client’s professional peers, friends and network. But here are a few potential changes and questions that could make the idea work a bit harder for you:

  • Could you add an incentive to the existing client? Some appropriate token or offer to do work should your phone ring? Could your agency make a charitable contribution? When would the client reward kick in – a call, a meeting, or some business?
  • Could you package up the idea in a mailer of some sort, complete with fun instructions on how to use it, and mailed to your existing clients?
  • Should a client balk at handing out cards, could you instead ask them for the emails of like-minded individuals (prospects) for your mailing list? What’s an email like that worth to you? How might you show your gratitude to the client? How could you treat these relationships differently than other prospects?
  • Could the program be put online instead? A custom microsite? This would certainly make it easy for the client to participate. Should you go the charitable route, could the site emphasize the potential impact of the reward?
  • Is this idea just for the holidays? Could it be wrapped around Valentines Day? Labor Day? Uh… the Summer Solstice?!

Anywho, hope this post makes you think a bit more about creative ways to prospect and build relationships for your agency. I’ve never heard of the idea executed quite the way you’re reading about here. If you have, and feel comfortable sharing, please do.