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Wednesday February 20, 2019 at 10:12am

In this regular item we catch up with one of our partners...

Mark Clark, CEO of jfdi in London tells us what they’ve been up to over the past few months, their thoughts on filling pipelines, pitching & growing clients, and what he’d say to a senior new business target if he had 30 seconds with them in a lift.  

IPM: Hi Mark, thanks for talking to us. How are things going at jfdi at the moment? 
 We’ve just published our New Business Barometer and are talking to more agencies than ever about new business. It’s always priority No.1 or 2 in every agency, whatever size or life-stage. But out of the gates, since the first week of January, and every week thereafter, we have added c. 10-20 new conversations with both existing and new agencies. And it’s not desperation or uncertainty. Its more that, as the agency landscape continues to re- configure and reform, more agencies see that the assemblance of a new order is presenting an unprecedented opportunity.

For us, 2019 is already shaping up to be an exciting time to be in the agency business.

IPM: How is your business developing and evolving – any interesting plans for 2019 you can share with us?! 
 Our open Skills courses and training Academies continue to be a core part of our offer but the growth for us, over the last 3 years has come through the development of our consultancy offer jfdi Inside. It covers every aspect of new business from an agency perspective – proposition, filling pipelines, agency marketing, winning pitches and growing clients but it involves the assignment of a jfdi new business director, pitch doctor or client growth director, who works in-agency, as a dedicated expert resource, alongside their new business and senior management teams.

Another specific part of our consultancy offer that we are currently launching is jfdi Onside – based on an annual membership model where new business and senior agency leaders have access to our insights, tools and events across the year. We plan to limit membership initially but thereafter we believe it will quickly expand into a new way for us to work with agencies in the future.

IPM: You find yourself in a lift with a new business target, you've got 30 seconds to make an impression on behalf of jfdi - what would you say and do?
MC: That depends. If we have to initiate the conversation… “What’s the most interesting project you are involved with at (client business) at the moment?”

If asked ‘what we do?’… “We work with a lot of agencies – all different sizes and disciplines - and at the heart of what we do is the answer to a simple question – ‘If you could change one thing in your agency to significantly improve your chances of achieving your most ambitious new business plans, what would you change?”

IPM: What would your answer be?  
MC: To begin with, I’d stay silent – their silence is them thinking…do not let your social impatience steal a valuable insight! (They answer – listen – really listen).

Pause (…they may have more to say…and you’re now thinking which implies you were listening – really listening). “Specifically, what would that involve?” Or “What would need to happen for that to become a reality?” The ideal outcome would be that we’ve started a mutually valuable conversation which plays to mine and jfdi’s strengths. An approach known as consultative selling.

IPM: Thanks so much for your time Mark – have a great day! 
MC: Keep winning!

If you’d like to take advantage of the IPM’s exclusive 15% discount on a range of jfdi workshops, visit our site here.

The next session is ‘Feeding the New Business Pipeline’ on Thursday 7th March.

» Categories: General, Opinion