Archive for the ‘general ramblings’ Category

Being at the hard face of winning new business can be very hard work. And it can be wonderful! And its these extremes of emotion that makes it an appealing career choice for me. That and my over-riding passion for effective communication and relationship building. I have decided to start to study psychology and counselling too, so that my innate abilities can be underpinned by qualifications, and I can help to legitimately resolve internal disputes and breakdowns in communication that all too often are the root cause of why a business is not as successful as it could be.

I came across David Hyner recently, an internationally renowned motivational speaker, and he has developed something called “the  massive goal principle”. I met with him to discuss his Sales and Marketing, so part of my “getting under the skin” of what he does, he gave me his CD.  I would urge anybody who needs a good old kick up the arse into action to buy this. Already it has changed Stefan and I – we are in the process of putting his philosophy into action and we are already more effective.  I have been putting off blogging for a while now due to our focus on delivering for our clients, and also our website has been “in development” for months while I “perfect” our proposition and content.  Well, I am pleased to say that both of these tasks are getting underway this week – thanks to David Hyner.

One of my first tasks was to write 2 blog posts this week, so I dug out an old post that I’d had in my drafts for quite some time… It was a response to a post by Carl Hopkins Agony Uncle at The Drum, talking about how agency business developers are shit. I wanted to post a link to this blog post but unfortunately Carl seems to have taken his blog down from The Drum website.

I have to say, I agree with a lot of what he says.. which may come a surprise as I am one of said Agency Business Developers.
There are so many bullshitters and sleazy salespeople out there that haven’t a clue about our industry or how to provide honest and effective support to the agencies they work in or with, or how to approach potential clients in the right way, that it gives the good ones a bad name.

I particularly agree with the following, “No one understands the capabilities of your business and its people better than you; no one knows the collective experience of your business better than you. No one can listen to a client’s issues and reply in a manner that is believable and deliverable better than, you”

I don’t want this to turn into a plug for my own business, but it’s because I believe in these sentiments that I set Acquire up – in order to help agency owners to create and deliver their Business Development strategy – affordably. I agree that to hire someone to do it for you and then leave them to it is mental. But it happens. And maybe because that person is shit, or more likely because they are not given any support, collateral or guidance, the new business doesn’t come in, and they get fired and then it’s on to the next costly BDM, or BDD or even worse, a telemarketing agency that (in order to meet the targets you set them) send you half way across the country to pointless meetings.

The following point I don’t fully agree with, “No one has more chances of getting to see a prospect or a client of a competitor than the owner of the agency, that’s you.” Some agency owners fear initiating the relationship with someone they really want to work with or simply don’t have the time to knock on doors, network and get out there and meet as many people as possible who will be able to help their business to grow. They may need someone to open the doors for them. Agreed that once a meeting has been set, that the agency owner or someone senior should definitely attend. Most people are comfortable with this aspect of New Business, but not the “approaching people they don’t know” bit.

Successful business development is a mixture of intelligent prospecting, a keen eye for opportunities and fantastic relationship building, in addition to excellent organisational skills, persistence, hard graft, good humour and resilience. I doubt that most agency MD’s or senior management teams have the time needed to dedicate to doing it properly and consistently once the daily pressures of simply running the business take hold.

My final point is in relation to the title of his post – we need to stop giving business developers a hard time – we’re not all lazy, money grabbing and untrustworthy. Most of us work bloody hard and are dedicated to getting results for our employers or our clients. More often than not, we’re not given the support we need. You only need to look at the amount of sales training and development given in any other industry. Compare this to our own and it’s not difficult to see why we have problems.  This is one of my missions – improving the support and development that business developers in our industry are given. But for now, I’m concentrating on one massive goal at a time…
As a parting comment, I highly recommend these blog posts (from Tom Knutson, founder of New Business Intel in Atlanta) to any agency owners who are embarking on a new business development drive:

Creating an ad agency new business plan step 1

Creating an ad agency new business plan step 2


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As part of my ongoing search for self awareness, I have been taking a few personlity type tests – and this site tells me I am a Spontaneous Idealist.  Which I love!  How exciting!  I then read the part about how SI types love and it fit me to a tee – but not great news if I want a committed long term relationship to have children in!  (but I knew that anyway..)

Take a look..

When you are in love, you easily outperform all other personality types in terms of enthusiasm and panache. Then your commitment knows no limits. You go out of your way in your eagerness to express your affection, and in your happiness, you are ready to embrace the entire world. When watching your attempts to flirt, one can’t help but think about a puppy dancing happily around its new playmate. Then for you simply nothing exists but your newfound love. „Hold your horses!“ – “Discretion is the better part of valor!” – “All that glitters is not gold!” – these worldly wisdoms are nothing but a waste of time.

With the entire spontaneity of your personality type, you instinctively immerse yourself in your emotions because you are sure that this time you have found the perfect partner. And you want everything here and now. You can probably go through as many divorces and separations as you want, but you are never going to learn from experience and at the age of 70 – and with shining eyes – you are still ready to walk down the aisle. Your friends may sometimes have a problem watching this, but they can only shake their heads in exasperation, and hope and pray, because in those moments you won’t accept advice from anyone. Then it would be easier to get in the way of a Tsunami.

In a long-term partnership you are a charming, affectionate, and unconventional partner, always good for a surprise, always there if you are needed, always ready for a loving compliment. As generous as you are with your feelings, so do you love to spend money and lavish your partner with gifts – sometimes even causing the very security minded and conservative types in the relationship to get a little weak in the knees. Should they now be happy that you abducted them to a luxury hotel for a romantic weekend, or should they be concerned whether there will be a problem when the next rent payment becomes due? Everyday things only interest you peripherally anyway; sometimes you walk with a downright childish confidence through life believing that the universe, fate or some other supreme powers are going to make sure that at the end everything will work out. So, why worry and save? It is interesting that this sometimes even works!

Therapy is getting to a stage now where all of my instincts are being addressed and challenged – and I have been told I need to “get real” but I like living life with renewed vigour and positivity! And I do believe that everything will work out well in the end.  I suppose I could do with being a little more grounded, and push myself to see things through, even when the initial excitement has waned.

Lots of thinking to do at the moment  – I lost my job in January, and am considering a move.. I think I need to start afresh, leave all the mess of the last 6 months behind me and do what’s right for me..  whatever that is..  I do have an opportunity in the pipeline – so watch this space… exciting times ahead.

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Dog shoots man in freak accident

A hunter was shot in the bottom by his dog when it jumped into his boat and landed on his gun’s trigger.

Matthew Marcum was preparing to set out on an expedition in Portland, Oregan, when the accident happened.

Recovering after hospital treatment Mr Marcum said he held no grudge against three-year-old Labrador, Drake, who he described as “a good dog”.

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It’s my last day at my current job on Friday – to be honest, I haven’t been there long, but I’ll still be sad to leave certain people behind. It’s all a bit surreal – doesn’t really feel like I am leaving yet – sure it will when I pack up my desk..

Starting at a great agency in July as their New Business Director – can’t wait. In the meantime I have a few weeks off and have planned a last minute holiday which leaves on Monday to Turkey!! Going with my folks so it’ll be nice and relaxing and hopefully I’ll come back nice and brown.

I know its been ages since I have written anything – I will get back up to speed after I have recharged my batteries.

Speak soon 🙂

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Scary stuff.. I was out last night for a New Business debate at the Circle and was really scared walking to and from my car – never seen or heard anything like it..

Here is an extract from an email I just received from a friend of mine who works in Manchester

Oh my dear god..  who knows what will happen AFTER the match!To give you an idea of what town is like today – see the attached!

Its insane – I work x10 steps away from St Peters Square and its just as
mad, if not worse (the little streets around it are rammed too)!!!

The streets between exchange square, st peters sq and picadilly gardens
are filled with VERY drunkered rangers fans…its a sea of blue fans,
broken glass, vodka bottles and beer cans!

I was v late this morning simply because there was a swarm of thousands
of plastered fans staggering the streets!

I’m actually scared to leave my building…when I popped out for lunch,
I struggled to get back and I couldn’t get through the barrier (the area
is sectioned off just by my works door) – saw blokes weeing everywhere,
fans passed out, had to step over cans and bottles in my new shoeshies &
thought I was going to get trampled on! “

Update – they are now turning the streets of Manchester into rivers of piss..turning the streets of Manchester into one big urinal

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Blue loo roll?

Is it just me, but the idea of using blue loo roll just seems plain wrong… As found in the office loos today..

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I just had to post to vent my utter bewildering excitement about the fact that its precisely 13 days until we head off to snowy Canada to Whistler for our annual snowboarding trip! I am sooo excited! Bought my first board – after two seasons of rentals, and its amazing, a Bataleon Violenza – the triple base technology makes turning so much easier and I don’t catch an edge as much – in fact – I managed to land a small jump, twice!! : )

Then to top it all off – it snowed yesterday here too!! Counting the days….

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