Tue 9 Jan 2024 2:00pm UK time

“It’s very common for those in agency land to love the thrill of the chase. But if you’ve got a churn rate of 30% and you want to grow your agency by 20% a year, you’ve got to get 50% new clients every year. It’s simple maths,” says Jonathan Leafe.

“You’ve absolutely got to hang on to what you’ve got. Once you’ve expended all your energy and resources on getting those new clients in, you should damn well hang on to them.”

When it comes to client work, Jonathan is a big advocate of an ‘active farming’ approach.

Jonathan will be joining us in this month’s client services mastermind to go through the pros of this active farming approach, including:

  • Why going out to win new biz isn’t the be-all and end-all.
  • How he went five years without pitching for new biz, thanks to this approach.
  • How and why you should identify clients that are naturally on the up – and how you can join them on their journey too.

“I was reading an article by an agency coach who said he wanted agencies to be more hunters, and less farmers. The point he made was valid – making out that we get comfortable; we just look after clients, and that’s all we do.”

“But for me, that is absolutely the wrong way to approach it.”

What’s more important, and the key to success according to Jonathan, is making the most of the client relationships you’ve already got.

“If you had to go and find a new client from scratch, do cold calls, you’re going to spend a lot of time and energy before you even get to the start line – if you ever get there,” he says. “Most agencies will have the taps turned on full, with the plughole out. Clients get disillusioned, and suddenly, they’re leaving through the back door…”

“Whereas with an existing client, if you come up with a good idea for them, you can pick up the phone and set up a meeting – it’s that easy.”

“For active farming to work, you’ve got to have a really good offering and take new things to clients. You’ve got to be enlightening them with new possibilities they haven’t seen,” says Jonathan.

“It’s almost like putting pressure on yourself to find something the client needs – but they just don’t know they need it yet.”

Come along to hear more about this approach to nurturing client relationships, and how it could help you move away from a sole new biz approach.