Win Without Pitching®: Thinking

Agency Business

Play the Game of Constraints

I’ve been using constraint-driven exercises for years to think creatively about my own business and to help our clients free themselves from the mental models in which many have become trapped. Try these six constraint-driven exercises.

Four Regrets You’re About to Have

Postmortems are great tools for steady improvement. At the end of any project or new initiative you simply revisit the objective and discuss what went well and what you would do differently next time. A similar idea is the premortem. Project yourself into the future, past the project you are about to undertake, and imagine

You Don’t Really Partner With Your Clients

Many agencies like to boast on their websites and in their pitch decks that they “partner” with their clients. It’s bullshit of course. What they mean is they aspire to have their clients treat them like partners instead of vendors. I get it. It’s good to have a goal. But putting it on the website

Is It Ethical to Sell in These Times?

We in the creative professions often recoil from the function of selling because we are scarred by the bad buying experiences involving the first salesperson who, for reasons of ideology, training or incentives, saw selling as the requirement to convince.

Collecting, Communicating and Closing in a Time of Crisis

In last week’s post Three Steps to Surviving and Thriving in a Crisis I said step one is to survive the crisis and economic gridlock that will be with us for a few weeks. In part one of two in my survival series, I’ll share some specifics of how you can shore up revenue now.

Recurring Revenue: Holy Grail or False Promise?

I see many agency principals pursuing recurring revenue as though it is the answer to all of their problems. I’m not going to say that recurring revenue models are bad or wrong—they are neither—but like everything in life they come with tradeoffs, and I think most marketing firms pursuing these models are unaware of the tradeoffs until they are deep into business model changes.

Three Steps to Surviving and Thriving in a Crisis

I’ve lived through two previous recessions as an entrepreneur and what we are experiencing right now is not a recession — it is an economic crisis. The recession is what comes next after things stabilize.

Letter to a Drowning Agency Principal

I know everything looks bleak. You feel like things are so far gone that you wonder if the only avenue left to you is to shut it down. It’s difficult in times like this to have clarity on your situation and know what to do next, but if you still have the fight in you and want to make this business work, I can help by telling you what you need to do. Then it’s up to you to do it.

Google’s Impact on Business Development

In his 2006 book The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More, Wired magazine editor Chris Anderson explores how technology has enabled many businesses to exploit tiny, previously unviable niche markets rather than chase the lowest common denominator mass markets. One set of such enabling technologies is what he calls

The Impact of Creative Quality on Business Development Success

Imagine that you’ve won a full-page ad in The New York Times for the use of promoting your firm. What would you say in that ad? If yours is a specialist firm, the answer is easy. In one variation or another you would stake a claim to your expertise as the leading provider of X

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