By Geoff De Weaver, CEO + Founder of Geoff De Weaver Inc. www.geoffdeweaver.com, Touchpoint Entertainment Inc. www.touchpoint.best , or connect with me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/geoff_deweaver



With January 2017 (Q1 2017), just around the corner, everyone involved in ‘New Business’ certainly knows if they are going to hit 2016 numbers or not. BUT, for those of you who are planning exceptional NEW BUSINESS RESULTS in 2017, I thought I would share my insights based on today’s global business landscape.

I’ve included data, information, opinions based on my two decades of global advertising, digital and direct marketing expertise. I certainly have seen some monumental directional changes that have been taken politically, economically and socially around the world in 2016. I also understand these changes will only accelerate in the coming years.

Importantly, anyone in involved in driving ‘New Business’ for their organizations MUST focus on the areas with the greatest potential to deliver winners. In other words, “Fish where the fish are”. This is still the fastest, most cost efficient and effective manner to grow and improve profitability.

From my own experience, I know that if you are the lead any new business team or agency, it is critical to include cross-selling and ‘upgrading’ for all existing clients too. It has long been proven that it is 5 to 9 times more expensive to win a “new client” than to cross sell and/ or upgrade existing clients. Therefore, I always propose to my clients, that they have Quarterly management brainstorming sessions to generate new ideas/concepts to assist existing clients to grow.

Chemistry also wins new business. It’s not always the creative or account management that wins, or strategic planning or even the great interactive tactics – it is the ‘chemistry’. So, talk, meet and spend as much time in face-to-face situations and ensure you deeply study all social media profiles before initially meeting.

DON’T be an ‘ambulance-chasing New Business Agency’. Don’t wait until you lose an account or brand before you search to find a replacement for the lost review. New Business activity IS 24/7/365 activity and must use a ‘Canal Boat System’ e.g. consistently pushing the business downstream daily!

How often do you wake up each day and wonder where your next client or brand is coming from? Is new business development a regular daily thought for you or your business? Where is your next client coming from, New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Dallas or Internationally? Do you know how to find the clues to who’s in the marketplace and whose looking at your services? Are you drowning in information, data and wasting your precious time?

If you answered YES, to any of these questions, I would love to share a few insights I have developed after more than two decades in New York City, San Francisco, Sydney/ Australia, Taipei/Taiwan, London and other key global markets. Although the starting place may vary it is where ever you are located, so here are some of the key areas I focus on to ensure success.

The Golden Rule of NEW Business:

 ‘Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do, or want to do, today’ ~ @geoff_deweaver

Securing New Business is also an ongoing process & knowledge will give you the winning edge. So don’t overlook the following:

  • InBound Pipeline – Most ‘creative’ and ‘brand’ agencies still have the belief that a great Agency Showreel, is the best tool for winning New Business today. This 1970’s attitude still seems to be commonplace and is why most of the major groups have been losing revenues and opportunities in this ‘Digital and Social Media Era’. The days of hoping clients will call you directly about needing Agency help are long gone! BUT, I am still stunned when I hear Agencies in New York City are still waiting around for their phones to ring! Seriously!!!
  • Outbound Pipeline – Social Media, PR and Technology are playing an ever-increasing role in sales and marketing outreach. These tools can point you in the right direction. But they don’t yet make purchasing decisions, or sign-off budgets. BUT, if you don’t start moving down this path today, you will miss the opportunities on the horizon.
  • Targeting Decision-makers with the biggest marketing/sales budgets (locally, nationally and internationally)
  • It’s no longer about paying excessive amounts to well connected people or retaining/attracting key staff


  • Building the right, highly focused campaign/procedures and software is critical in 2016. Especially, if you want to impact the ‘hottest’ prospects and leads
  • Start with strategic planning before implementing, e.g. select lists/database, offer, creative and timings
  • Always develop and present the complete customer/brand journey BEFORE commencing your new business strategies
  • Constantly monitor all company Mergers, Takeovers, major new appointments, company restructures, supplier reviews, IPO’s, International Expansions, all financial news and more
  • Value-Added remuneration programs will become the hot item demanded by all smart clients in 2017.
  • Over the past decade especially, I have seen most multinational Advertising Agencies loss an immense presence at the clients Boardroom tables and top tier sessions. I think, most agencies have been backed into the corner where they see themselves as a cost to clients rather than an investment in a client’s brand, product or service. Unfortunately, they simply these agencies don’t deliver the extra value such as top tier consulting companies, e.g. McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, Bain, Deloitte Consulting, Booz & Company,
  • Major PR companies are even pushing the old school Multinational Ad Agencies out of the client doors because the use social media marketing, video, and database marketing is much more effective than what the “Brand Agencies’ have to offer. Some of the new PR new business ‘powerhouses’ include the likes of: Edelman, Ketchum, Porter Novelli, Weber Shandwick and MSLGroup for example. (Specialist Digital Agencies are also muscling in too)
  • Successful new business companies in 2017 will have all incorporate HR, Finance, New Business, IT and Marketing into the New Business Development platform. They will also be precisely and accurately integrated as all play part of a winning approach in 2017 and beyond. (Not, just a ‘new business person’ in isolation like many Agencies still do!)


  • A winning approach to new business in 2017 is more than just a list, using LinkedIn or Salesforce.com – It’s hard to understand how often I am still seeing this approach in 2016 as it is a recipe for disaster.
  • To ensure 2017 is a hugely successful new business year, you need to have a mantra that is ‘Systematic and Disciplined’ . According to multiple C-level Leaders nationally, these are the two most requested elements for success, business results and leadership. Make sure you use this mantra in 2017. 
  • Always target the ‘low hanging fruit’g. cross-sell and upgrading clients brand, cross-selling office network, reach out to ex-clients and reconnect, ask senior staff and ex clients for recommendations/introductions, etc.
  • I am a huge believer of building deep and meaningful relationships with top tier Management Consultants like: Select Resources International, Pile and Company, AAR Partners, The Bedford Group, Ark Advisors, Hasan + Co. and others. Most of these mentioned are very good and have a deep understanding of the ‘players’ in the market and all, have a deep understanding of Agency Search, Agency Performance Evaluation, Agency Compensation, Organizational Consulting, Executive Search and more

Finally, in closing Part 1 of this article, I would like to highlight the critical importance of building and consolidating on every piece of business you currently have and hold. Nothing is more important than loving them tightly and immensely – just like going on your first date or when you first get married. You must never become a ‘Revolving –Door Agency or Partner’. This has been the single biggest sin for many major Multinational Agencies in the last decade. Importantly, it’s seven times more profitable to keep clients than to win clients!

Lastly, I personally always counsel my clients to do these three things ASAP (before the end of Q4/2016):

  • Build a ‘client retention’ culture.
  • Make sure the management team knows how to maintain a strong bond with clients and work on it daily’
  • Upgrade account teams and help them manage the relationship with clients, not try to control clients. Adding Value is of huge importance daily.


I hope Part 1 of this article, helps serve you with some new ideas that will accelerate your success and high performance in 2017. If you have any questions or would like to potentially meet or discuss your needs or requirements, please email me directly at: geoff@geoffdeweaver.com.


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