Win Without Pitching®: Thinking

Agency Business

Business Development Compensation

How and how much should a marketing communication firm pay its business development personnel? While there is no easy answer, following these five steps should help lead to a compensation (pay) plan that works for employee and employer. This article builds on last month’s Win Without Pitching Newsletter issue, Business Development Planning, which discussed setting

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

In 2020 You Were Spectacular

What a year. Our Win Without Pitching annual planning meeting is tomorrow and I can’t help but think back to the plans we made a year ago for 2020. The phrase “We plan, God laughs” comes to mind. Who planned for this? Putting aside the human tragedy of more than 70 million infected, 1.5 million

Strategy Traps

Agencies all over the world today are trying to get ‘more strategic’: to position themselves as strategic partners to their clients, to sell higher margin strategy over increasingly commoditized implementation – all in a bid to profit proportionally from the greater value being delivered. Most are failing in this bid, suffering from the same four mistakes that are easily avoided once they are recognized.

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