Hank Blank - How Much is An Agency New Business Person Worth in the New Normal?





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Published on Mar 15, 2013

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I have been a New Business hunter most of my marketing life. I have also witnessed a lot of good and bad hunting when I have conducted agency reviews.

So how much is an agency New Business person worth these days?

A good friend of mine shared a job spec the other day for a New Business person. The agency was looking for that key individual who would play a crucial role in shaping the agency's future and bringing it to market. This person would have a seat at the table and be the guiding light.

This person had to have a great rolodex for sure. They would need to have a proven track record of winning projects valued at $100,000 to $1,000,000 in revenue and a myriad of other mumble jumbo adrenaline building qualities.

Compensation? Can I have a drum roll please? 100% Commission.

Why would somebody with all those attributes and qualities work for free in the New Normal? A 100% commission structure might work when you have something to sell that everybody wants and no competitor has. The pickings are easy. But when you are selling digital or advertising solutions offered by too many 100% commission isn't much of a draw.

I don't hear people telling me that New Business is like shooting fish in a barrel too many times these days.

You see the irony of the New Normal is that we live in a world that moves too quickly but where closing New Business moves in slow motion. Deals are harder to close these days. More people are involved, more people want their say, and more people are needed to be included so the risk can be shared.

In my past experience as a hunter I had a track record of knowing that if I had four leads in the hopper I would land one of them. A 25% success rate because they leads were based on a personal relationship. They called me at night at home and said you are going to get the business. I then would call my boss at home and repeat the same. A virtual love feast. A night of a job well done.

Today online leads can have less value because there is no face time. If I listen to a free webinar I get a call. If I download a white paper I get a call. I am a consultant. A business of one. I am not going to buy their stuff.

A really good New Business person with relationships knows how to have those personal relationships that doesn't need to play that game.

If you want commitment you need to have skin in the game. Agency New Business people should have a competitive base salary. The old model of paying them a little and then a bigger incentive to motivate them is a flaw. They aren't slackers.

The comp gives your New Business people more runway and the time to develop and nurture the relationships that provide a future funnel of success.

So how much is a New Business person with a great network worth today?

They are absolutely priceless.

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