Archive for the ‘Skills’ Category

EP31: A client perspective | Julia Howe | 20th Century Fox

August 6th, 2019

With 30 episodes under our belt if feels like the right time to get another client perspective on all things new business and the client and agency relationship.

Our guest this month is Julia Howe. Julia has enjoyed a globetrotting career on both sides of the client and agency fence, and is currently EVP and Co-Head of Global Marketing at 20th Century Fox.

Julia joins us from LA to share her first-hand experience of how agencies really can make a difference when prospecting, pitching and nurturing their client relationships.

Let us not assume that the agencies who are pitching for, or working with behemoth global accounts such as Fox are getting everything right! If ever there was an episode of Small Spark Theory to truly highlight now paying attention to the small stuff and focussing on performance improvement really counts – this is it.

As always we’ll be giving away a copy of Julia’s recommended read: Deep Work by Cal Newport. Just listen in to find out how to win.

EP29: Fear | Hilary Gallo

June 2nd, 2019

This may not seem like the most obvious episode for what, to all intents and purposes is a podcast providing practical tips for making marginal gains in agency new business and marketing.

However, when we consider many of the activities involved in attracting and winning new clients – the outreach to new prospects, networking, hosting events, speaking engagements, let alone pitching and negotiating – so many, for many of us, induce fear.

And left unchecked, these fears can either disrupt our performance, or worse, stop us doing the things we need to do to keep our businesses thriving.

We first met  Hilary Gallo back in episode eleven when we discussed negotiation. Since then Hilary has been studying the subject of fear, and more importantly, how we can hack fear to our advantage.

Listen in to find out how to win a signed copy of Hilary’s latest book Fear Hack.

EP26: Client Development Part One | Iain Johnston | Hill Dickinson

March 4th, 2019

It’s easy to think that the secret to agency growth is cracking the holy grail of new business acquisition, but in most cases there are untapped opportunities for growth much closer to home, within our existing client relationships.

 

Over the years I have met many, many agency owners, who have a nagging suspicion that they could be doing more for their current clients, but feel unable to move the relationship from supplier, to trusted partner, and thereby unlocking not only greater revenue potential, but that magical fairy dust we know as referrals.

 

This is a big subject that I’m going to come back to over future podcast episodes, but to kick us off I wanted to track down the person who has been the most influential in helping me understand not only the skills required for client development, but how embedding process is the ultimate game-changer.

 

Iain Johnston has more than 25 years of experience in marketing services and business development, and has founded, developed and sold or floated several technology firms.

 

Iain spent 11 years running GB Group, was deputy chairman at Alterian, CEO of the Loewy Group and has spent 18 years as chairman of Event Marketing Solutions. Now COO of international law firm Hill Dickinson, I travelled to Liverpool to chat to Iain and find out more about his approach, and how everyone can harness marginal gains in client development.

 

EP24: The new business email | Kimi Gilbert | The Future Factory

January 7th, 2019

Dear prospect, my name is Lucy, I’m writing to introduce…….

 

And so it goes, the new business email, putting the fear into agency folk across the land.

 

It’s no surprise. For many people, selling isn’t something that comes naturally. And trying to sell yourself, or your agency, in a blank email window while the cursor blinks impatiently back at you, is no mean feat. In my experience, many best laid plans to contact a painstakingly researched list of prospects stall at this point, or we manage to email a few, wring our hands, get no response, swear a bit and then give up.

 

Sound familiar? Then this episode is for you. Kimi Gilbert is Director of Training & Development at new business agency The Future Factory and trains her team, and agencies of all disciplines, in the art of writing new business emails that work.

 

Kimi joins me to share her top tips for getting email cut-through, based on years of data and client feedback. If you’re looking for a way to make marginal gains into your new business performance then this is the perfect place to start.

 

As always we have a competition for you, we’ll be giving away a copy of Kimi’s recommended book: You Are a Message: Meditations for the Creative Entrepreneur by Guillaume Wolf  – simply listen in to find out how to win.

 

The next Winning New Business via Email course takes place in March, places are limited but you can find out more information or book tickets here.

 

EP21: The New Business Leader | Jemima Monies | adam&eveDDB

October 11th, 2018

Earlier this summer, Jemima Monies, Head of New Business & PR at adam&eveDDB wrote an article in Campaign about why new business leaders need to fight harder to be heard.

 

She closed the piece with a rallying cry to the industry to “value new business people’s opinions, invite them to speak out and elevate them within your agency management teams”.

 

Reading this, I realised that so far in the Small Spark Theory series, whilst we’ve been speaking to a range of industry experts about elements of new business process and agency growth challenges, we have yet to give a voice to any new business practitioners.

 

So I’m delighted that Jemima could spare the time between pitches to come and chat. In this episode we discuss the importance of new business culture, what makes a great new business person, the power of momentum and ice cream.

 

With an enviable new business record, adam&eveDDB has now clocked up four years as Campaign Agency of the Year. Since recording this episode, I visited my local cinema and between trailers, the agency’s John Lewis / Waitrose “Bohemian Rhapsody” ad  finished to spontaneous applause from the audience. By my reckoning they’ll be holding that top spot for a while yet.

 

As always you can join in the conversation on twitter @gunpowdertweets #smallsparktheory.

EP12: A client perspective | Katie Pattison | Hammerson plc

December 5th, 2017

In episode 10 we gained some fantastic insight into best pitch practice from Tony Spong at AAR. Tony’s intermediary experience – seeing the process from a client and agency perspective, got us thinking how useful it would be to involve some clients in our future episodes.

 

So, we finish the year with the first of our client perspective episodes. Katie Pattison has been managing marketing budgets at FTSE100 businesses for 25 years, during which time she has hired agencies of all shapes, sizes, and disciplines.

 

In this interview, Katie shares her experience of agency new business approaches, lasting agency relationships, and her top tips or gaining and retaining clients.

 

As always, we’ll be giving away a copy of Katie’s recommended read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Listen in to find out how to win.

 

We’ve loved producing Small Spark Theory this year and have been overwhelmed by your feedback. We’ll be back in the New Year, chatting with more clients and experts and will be unveiling details of a very special Small Spark Theory event. For more details, sign up for our newsletter here or for more information on improving your agency new businesses effectiveness, please get in touch here.

 

Have a wonderful festive break and see you in 2018.

 

EP11: Negotiation | Hilary Gallo

November 6th, 2017

Whether going into battle with procurement to defend agency day rates, or agreeing the scope of a project for the available client budget – our ability to confidently and effectively negotiate can make a tangible difference to our bottom line.

 

In this episode of Small Spark Theory, I’m joined by ex-corporate lawyer, author and negotiation expert Hilary Gallo. Hilary and I met earlier this year at a Business for Bohemians workshop run by the brilliant team at the Idler.  I realised that his approach, honed over 25 years of solving complex, multi-million pound corporate deals and explored in his book; The Power of Soft, was ideal for the many agency teams I have worked with who continually struggle when faced with the negotiating might of larger client organisations.

 

Luckily, I managed to negotiate my way into Hilary’s busy schedule to find out his top tips. So grab a cuppa and tune in – it’s easier than you think!

 

As always, we’ve got a competition for you and will be giving a lucky listener a copy of The Power of Soft. Listen in to find out how to win.

 

Follow us on Twitter @gunpowdertweets and join the conversation at #smallsparktheory

 

For more information on improving your agency new businesses effectiveness, please get in touch.

 

EP10: The pitch | Tony Spong | AAR

October 7th, 2017

Losing a pitch is just bad news all round. It costs an agency big; in time, money, resource, morale and confidence. So as new business performance improvement goes, there is surely no better place to make tangible impact than in the pitch itself.

 

The good news is that the opportunities for making marginal gains in the way we approach, plan and conduct our pitch activity are not only plentiful but often relatively simple.

 

In this episode of Small Spark Theory I chat to Tony Spong, Managing Partner at the original client-agency intermediary, AAR. Tony’s career has spanned both client and agency roles before settling squarely in the middle, where he has led hundreds of agency pitches. Who better to provide a unique insight on what works, what doesn’t and why?

 

As always, we’ve got a competition for you and will be giving away a copy of Tony’s recommended read ‘The Shallows: How the internet is changing the way we think, read and remember’ by Nicholas Carr.  So listen in to find out how to win.

 

Follow us on Twitter @gunpowdertweets and join the conversation at #smallsparktheory

 

For more information on improving your agency new businesses effectiveness, please get in touch.

 

EP9: Culture | Katz Kiely

September 6th, 2017

 

The people part of our business can so often get overlooked in our efforts to generate new business. Yes, we might think about chemistry once we are faced with a pitch opportunity but beyond that, our thinking tends to get muddled when we consider the power of our people to drive referrals and introductions. There might be an expectation that this will happen, or an unspoken, mild resentment when it doesn’t, but the reality is that only a fully engaged, motivated and inspired workforce will act as true ambassadors for your agency.

 

Your culture is more than the Friday beer trolley, jolly Facebook page or annual karaoke / bowling / pizza night. It’s the glue that binds your people together with guiding principles, a way of working and a desire to succeed for the greater good of the business.

 

It’s the bit that truly makes your agency bigger than the sum of the parts. And for those agencies that really get it right, it’s the bit that will turbo charge new business.

 

In this episode of Small Spark Theory I chat to Katz Kiely. Serial entrepreneur, technologist and organisational change ninja, Katz shares her experience of culture and the way people work together, from agencies to start-ups and the UN.

 

This is one episode you will not want to miss!

 

As always, we’ve got a competition for you and will be giving away a copy of Katz’s recommended book ‘Predictably Irrational’ by Dan Ariely. So listen in to find out how to win.

 

 

Follow us on Twitter @gunpowdertweets and join the conversation at #smallsparktheory

 

This episode was recorded at Cameo Productions.

 

For more information on improving your agency new businesses effectiveness, get in touch with Lucy Mann.

 

EP3: Communication and Presentation Skills | Catherine Allison | Master The Art

March 6th, 2017

Sound the new business klaxon! You’ve got an opportunity to meet the prospect of your dreams.

 

That first meeting, the pitch, the first strategy or creative presentation with any new prospect or client is a huge opportunity to dazzle, yet this last precarious mile of securing the business can so often be derailed by nerves, lack of preparation or simply lack of experience.

 

How do you become an engaging presenter? How can you get rid of pre-pitch nerves? How can you make the very best first impression?

 

In this month’s podcast I’ll be exploring how we can make marginal gains with our communication and presentation skills with new business supremo and former actress Catherine Allison, founder of Master the Art.

 

You can also be in with a chance to win a copy of Catherine’s recommended book: Gravitas: Communicate with Confidence, Influence and Authority by Caroline Goyder

 

You can find out more about Master the Art via the below links:

 

www.mastertheart.co.uk @mastertheartltd

 


 

Follow us on Twitter @gunpowdertweets and join the conversation at #smallsparktheory