What the election cycle demonstrates in new business

So, this week has seen a bunch o’ political change! Don’t expect too much pontificatin’ and grandiose “what does it all mean talk” from yours truly. You can get that simply by turning on the TV or listening to the radio, or checking in with your Facebook friends. (By the way, become a Thunderclap Consulting Group fan!)

Today’s post will take election cycle observations and suggest a few hastily written reminders for us on how it might apply to new business:

Prospective clients, like the electorate, have little patience. In new business, this can mean minimizing talk of your capabilities. Focus on the “what’s in it for me” – how you can solve prospects’ problems.

Candidates win through a campaign. A series of events. We’re doing the same thing in new business: planning and executing multiple events/interactions that convince the prospect you are the agency for them. It’s more than just the RFP, the creds and then finals. There’s time between these events you can leverage to win!

“Friends of…” messages can have a huge impact. I saw a great tweet the other day that said the real winners in this cycle were the media. HUGE amounts of money were spent – and much of it not by the candidates themselves, but by PAC groups. (Don’t get me started how awful that is. I promised myself I wouldn’t get too political here. But…!) In new business, how often do you harness friend power to win business? I’m talking about things like client testimonials and friends’ rolodexes. Your agency friends and clients can help not only increase the number of pitches you get, but help close more of what you already have.

There are more, of course. And if you have any thoughts, I encourage you to share ’em.

Happy pitching!



  1. Good article! I was running an agency search for part of Toyota’s business, and your “harness friend power” reminded me of the most compelling thing I’ve ever seen in a pitch. The pitching agency went to their existing clients and did a professional video shoot of the CEOs of these clients talking directly to Toyota. E.g., one of the agency’s clients was in the ice business, so the CEO used a chainsaw to carve out Toyota’s logo in a big piece of ice, and then he told Toyota why they should hire this agency. It was very powerful.

  2. Steve Congdon says:

    David, great hearing from you. Ice sculpture? Wow. Very cool that an agency’s client would feel be willing to go that far to help.