By Tim Williams

By Tim Williams

Does this look like a familiar list of criteria for new business prospects?

Do we see good revenue potential?
Do they have a history of being a good client?
Do we feel passionate about this brand or category?
Do we think we can do good work for this client?
Do we think we would enjoy working on this business?

Chances are you know these conditions pretty well, because they represent the factors a majority of agencies use when deciding to pitch new business. If it feels like every agency is going after the same clients, this is part of the reason why.

Unfortunately, these criteria are pretty useless when it comes to identifying your best target prospects, because it’s virtually impossible to prospect using only subjective criteria. Instead, agencies first need to have a set of objective criteria they can use to find prospective clients that match the agency’s skill set.

Three essential questions can help pinpoint an idea client:

WHAT  Is this client a good match for what we do?
WHO     Is this client a good match for the categories or audiences we know?
HOW     Is this client a good match for the way we work?

Marketers that are a match in all three areas are A prospects. Those that match at least two areas are B prospects. And those that match in only one area are C prospects.  No match in any area is classified as D, which means they should not be considered a prospect at all.

Prospecting for business is difficult enough if you still consider every marketer a possible client. Target those that match your expertise and you’ll not only have a more effective prospecting program, you’ll also win a lot more pitches.  That’s because you’ll be playing to your strengths.  In fact, the most focused and disciplined agencies often don’t have to pitch at all.  A and B prospects are able to discern for themselves that they’ve found an ideal match.