Alex Bogusky offers great insights into their (CP+B) new business process:
1. Tell other people your dreams.
People would laugh and they would point and they would say “There go those guys that wanted to be great!” FAIL! But to succeed you have to risk failure. So eventually decided to tell the whole agency what we wanted to become. Our mission statement. We had a friend who was at Fallon in the early days and he had been a part of creating there’s and I don’t know if I remember it exactly but it was very simple and basically said that they wanted to be, “The most awarded agency in America.” We thought about what we liked about the ad biz and it wasn’t awards it was the culture jamming. So our mission became, “To create the most talked about and written about advertising in the world.” Within weeks the stalemate between the status quo and something new had been broken and the agency began to clearly move toward this new shared goal. Out of the thousands of little decisions that shaped our future you could feel that more than half were suddenly talking us someplace we wanted to go. I wish we had had the courage to do it sooner.
2. The clients you currently have are your true new business machine.
I see so many people overlook this. “If I only had a client like this or a client like that.” It’s key to have a clear idea in your head of the new ground you hope to break and the new case history you hope to prove with each new client before you start work. What is going to be different about the agency six months after the arrival of your new account? How is this new revenue and this new campaign going to make your agency smarter and more capable than it was prior?
3. Find some real passion in the building for the business or take a pass on it.
We have a rule that says we can’t pitch a piece of business unless at least one of the partners is passionate about that business. In the end you will be defined by your clients. There are no two ways about that. Such is the lot of the parasites of the business world. Agencies.
4. Don’t model yourself after other agencies.Great points, all of them. My favorite is the importance of a mission that' s easy to embraced by people.
That makes the whole difference between being successful and not. Knowing who you are and what you want, and being able to communicate that.
PS: I also agree with the title of his post: if-you-have-to-be-afraid-of-something-then-fear mediocrity