Agency Business Development Checklist

Looking at the three stages of business development for agencies (Planning, Prospecting and Pitching), below is a checklist of activities and considerations to help you maximize the effectiveness of your program. As you review the list (and add your own considerations) grade yourself on the status of each activity in your current program. If you are dissatisfied with a significant number of considerations, perhaps you should retain and independent consultant. DFP specializes in business development optimization.

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Planning
What’s working/not working now
ID Agency core competency
Nail your positioning
Understand your reputation
Understand your competitive set
Have a clear point of difference (USP)
Evaluate press and public relations
Understand what clients want (ANA/4As)
Understand why clients switch
Understand Best Practices
ID Categories of interest and fit
ID Prospects of interest and fit
Background on categories and prospects
ID People at prospects and characteristics
ID the “decider” and motivations
Set measurable goals
Prospecting
Where is the market going
Develop “Live List of Prospects”
Prospect sectors – clients, consultants
Homework on the list talking points
Foreplay contact before the call
Cold calling connections
30-second elevator sell
Other elements of the call
Send something after the call
Other follow-up
Pitching
Your mantra
Handling the RFP
Handling Proposals
Setting up war room
Selection of Pitch leaders
Selection of supporting team
Tailored credentials pitch
Relevant case histories
Expression of range of services
Interesting/dramatic “stories”
Marketable agency “process”
Final presentation process
Planned chemistry
Process to align goals
WOW factor and mind-stickers
Demonstrate scope of benefits
Value and accountability insurance
Accountability frameworks
Compensation plans and norms
Industry comp benchmarks
Follow-up activity
Closing the deal