A wag once said, “Accounts are like girlfriends. Once you have them you quickly get bored and want to move on to the next one.”
Sadly, the behavior of most Agencies would seem to indicate that this is true. Once a piece of business is in the house and “running smoothly”, management attention turns to new business. Contact with existing Clients is reduced to “checking in” once in a while and showing up at major presentations.
From a new business perspective this is a huge mistake.
An existing account offers advantages which don’t exist with prospects:
Here are a few:
- Since there is an existing relationship, Agency Management has constant access to top Client Management, and the opportunity to develop credibility with insightful points of view on key Brand issues.
- When working on your Acount, being aggressive to the point of pushy is a good thing. After all, this is your Brand you are worried about, not someone else’s.
- You are constantly being compared on a side by side basis with the work done by other Agencies on other Client Brands. Standing out here can only help when time comes to assign new products.
- Finally, new business from existing Clients is much more profitable. You normally don’t have to make huge additions to headcount and the learning curve on the business is much shorter.
When thinking about new business, get it from existing Clients. Develop formal new business plans for existing accounts.
And here is an added bonus-you will never be accused of distracting resources that are being funded by an existing Client in order to chase new business, even if you are chasing it!