If you did not start your 2010 new business preparation and prospecting activity back in at least September of this year, you have probably already missed your Q1 new business numbers for next year!
Back in July of this year I published a blog post entitled “Ad agencies…2009 is over. Focus now on 2010”. I know it seemed far too early to be thinking about next year, when most of you were still stuck in the trenches fighting to deliver on current year targets. The reality is however that it was not too early at all.
This time of the year is normally characterized by missed new business targets, disappointed management and the start of the usual end of year agency new business professional musical chairs.
If you are indeed just starting your 2010 new business planning and prospecting activity now, your efforts will probably have little to no impact on the first quarter of next year. The prospecting work undertaken during the last 3-6 months of this year will determine your success (or not) in the first part of the New Year.
If you find yourself in this position here are my suggestions as to what you might do:
- Do not delay any further, start your planning immediately.
- Communicate with your agency management team and let them know that you may well be behind the eight ball. (It’s better to be upfront than wait for the surprises and the resultant disappointments).
- Review your Q1 targets for 2010 against your current pipeline and activity. Be honest with yourself and realistic.
- If necessary adjust your Q1 targets accordingly. (DO NOT just push numbers around. That means don’t just move the dollars to later in the year, keeping the same overall target. You may just be arranging a stay of execution.
- Execute against your plan, track your progress and keep lines of communication with your management team open.