Poor new business staff hinder pushy companies

Are British design companies too pushy and aggressive in the way they conduct new business (News, DW 19 February)?

For the most part yes. But in addition, many are also poor at targeting clients, have little understanding of how to market themselves beyond their new business approaches, suffer from poor presentation, and have a lack of differentiation from peers.

This can be mostly put down to bad advice from new business “experts” either on the team or externally appointed.

The UK has few good new business directors and often groups get the wrong help. Two examples spring to mind, both working for mid-table players, one paid

50 000, the other 90 000. Are these people worth their salt? Neither has significantly grown the business for which they work. Both are aggressive on the phone and the buzz in the client bazaar is “don’t take that call”.

So why do design consultancies sometimes employ the wrong people? Like all businesses they need to grow and this can lead to desperation. New business will soon lead to no business unless design consultancies make every effort to invest time and money in their business and build a reputation that is not just based on turning out good creative work.

Just look at the players which are at the top of the tree, such as Enterprise IG, or which are climbing fast – Design Bridge, The Attik or The Identica Partnership. They are highly proactive, writing features and comment pieces and originating research.

John Pummell


The New Business Consultancy

London WC1

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