Relationships: the currency in ad agency new business

Hello there, liker of ad agency new business! Yours truly was chatting with someone the other day about new business. And we stumbled onto a terrific phrase easily worth a few hundred words that can help grow your agency.

Get your brain thinking around this simple question: what are you doing to nurture and then harvest the power of your relationships? How are you leveraging this currency?

Now, when you read “currency,” you might be thinking of your relationships like a bank. You can do things to strengthen or weaken them. While that’s true and worth a few hundred words by itself, you can get that down the street. Today, I want to suggest there may be other ways currency relates to your relationships. And your ad agency new business plan.

Per Merriam-Webster, here are a couple of other definitions for the word, followed up with potential new business implications for your agency…

Currency: circulation as a medium of exchange. Take a look at your clients. Yes, they pay you for thinking and work. But how can you use the relationship to get referrals?

Currency: general use, acceptance or prevalence. The mere fact that you have a relationship can help. Here’s a related thought on how to get three more meetings this quarter.

Currency: a medium of verbal or intellectual expression. Hmmm. Is there an agency positioning here? Are you one of those rare agencies that keeps clients much longer than average? You don’t see many or maybe, ANY agency that leads with this.

Two agency models immediately come to mind that are leveraging their relationship currency pretty damn well in terms of cross-selling. Leo Burnett – Arc (I wonder how many brands are shared between the two agencies) and Epsilon – Hyper Marketing. Hyper is an agency roll-up that includes Ryan Partnership, Solution Set and others. Epsilon is one of the Big Data companies.

What’s that? You say you’re an proud, independent agency without those kinds of relationships. It just means you have to work a little harder, that’s all. Or hire someone like Thunderclap to help you figure it out. But I digress.

For now, think a bit more about the relationship currency you enjoy (both inside and outside your agency.)

You might also find it helpful to look at a couple of other posts related to this theme:

Tap into your service providers for more ad agency new business

Open up your rolodex for more new business

Being a nice neighbor in new business