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Meet The Marketing Machine

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I once worked in an agency that did good work, had smart people, and yet grew relatively slowly. Even though I was on the creative side of the business, I was an avid proponent of growth because I knew how much better and how much more fun a growing agency could be.

I did a little informal listening tour around the agency.  

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Senior managers expressed their doubts about whether we had the right people in new business and confusion about what they were “doing in there.”

Mid-level people in other departments were willing to confide to me – also in the mid-level at that stage of my career – that the folks in New Business were feeling lost and disaffected. They felt they didn’t know what the mission was anymore, that they were under appreciated and overworked, and that management was setting them up for failure.

I went to visit the new business manager – not at all a bad guy – and asked him if he kept any stats on daily or weekly progress.

“Yes,” he said. “We used to have a weekly report, but I don’t know if we’re still producing it. Why do you want to know?”

“I’m curious,” I said. “And I have a theory that there’s a lot more going on in here than people out there know.”

“Good theory,” he said, and agreed to share the report with me going forward. He did. For a couple of weeks I watched the report, which included statistics on all the various actions the new business team was taking each week.

X number of emails, Y number of calls, Z number of blog posts, etc.

I went around the new business area and congratulated a few of the people on the numbers. Afterwards, I started hearing better things about their morale, and I also noticed that the “first meetings booked” number had climbed more than 100% over its baseline for two weeks in a row. The team had never managed to book more than a meeting a day, but this week’s number was eleven meetings booked.

I had a bell on my desk that I had taken home from a TV commercial shoot. I picked it up and walked over to the New Business Department area, and put it quietly down on the table that was visible from most of the offices and cubicles there.

I taped an eight and a half by eleven sheet of copy paper on the wall, wrote the number “11” on it with a fat Sharpie, and announced, “This isn’t my bell anymore. This is now the New Business Meetings Bell. You guys are doing an amazing job of booking meetings with the clients we want, but people don’t know that. Now they will – every single time!”

That bell got a lot of action from that day one, and the team continued to beat its previous records. Whenever the weekly total broke a new record, the CEO did something for the team. Sometimes he gave them cash, other times a team dinner or bar tab.

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A healthy rivalry broke out among the three top new business people, with each adopting a distinctly colored marker, so that the simple piece of paper on the wall also told who was booking the most meetings each week.

Over the next two years, we doubled the size of that agency, from about 125 to nearly 300. I personally hired over fifty of those people.

The Difference Between Data And Inspiring Data.

Think about this: there’s data, and then there’s presenting data in a way that inspires action. Every marketing and sales team does a lot. A lot. And many have entire dashboards of data.

But, what’s the most important number for inspiring action? And what’s the most inspiring way to present it?

My Eureka moment back then was realizing that the key number was first meetings. You don’t get to work on the accounts of people you haven’t met. Between a lead and a juicy creative opportunity, there is always a meeting.

That’s why, at DiMassimo Goldstein, we have our First Meetings Bell. And we have our Meeting Tally right up there where everyone can see it too.

While there may be friendly rivalry among the members of the new business team over who books the most meetings, the team gets all of the credit. That credit applies even if I book a first meeting, because the job of the new business team is to get all of us working for them in booking new meetings.

But, if you haven’t, let’s try to set up a brief get-to-know-each-other session. I’m no different than anyone else here – I really want to ring that bell!This team produces so many quality meetings with prospects that fit our rather tight criteria, that there’s a good chance that if you’re in our target, you’ve already met us face-to-face.

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