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Small Spark Theory: a marginal gains approach to new business and marketing

New business is one of those subjects guaranteed to get a reaction from agency owners everywhere. Many will have a nagging feeling they should be doing a bit more, wonder how other agencies manage to land the accounts they covet, have moments of wild inspiration and energy then falter because the day job just, well gets in the way.
Gunpowder’s Lucy Mann has worked in agency new business for over 25 years and has witnessed these scenarios, and many more like them, as an outsourced new business telemarketer, a new business recruitment consultant, in house new business developer, in house head of marketing, and new business mentor across multiple disciplines and agency shapes and sizes.
Regardless of size and discipline, many agencies encounter the same new business challenges, and more and more, the solution is not necessarily an ambitious marketing plan, or expensive sales resource, but instead a forensic application of process and a marginal gains approach to performance improvement.
Gunpowder’s podcast, Small Spark Theory® explores the small changes we can make to our sales and marketing process to achieve better new business results. With contributions from a range of experts, each episode will examine a single element of the process in detail, providing manageable tips for improvement.

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Music from Jukedeck - create your own at
Host - Lucy Mann
Producer - Isabelle Jarvis

Sep 30, 2022

It’s been a while since we talked about new business talent on this podcast. But after a bumpy couple of years, it seems like the right time to shine a spotlight on the superstars in our industry who willingly show up every day to seek out new clients for their agencies.

I wrote about the challenges for new business practitioners for Mental Health Awareness week highlighting the importance of getting the right support in place to retain our industry talent. So I was delighted to chat to Adam Graham about his new business community, BD Matters.

Together we discuss the highs and lows of marketing and prospecting, managing expectations, the power of community and share some top tips for agency owners looking to support their new business folk.

Adam’s recommended read is a Small Spark Theory favourite, To Sell Is Human by Daniel Pink. Join in the conversation on Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram using #smallsparktheory for your chance to win a copy.

You can find out more about BD Matters here.

To chat in confidence about Lucy’s mentoring, feel free to book in a time here.