Growing Your Existing Clients for Sustained Growth, with Drew McLellan

Episode 62:

For 30+ years, Drew McLellan has been in the advertising industry. He started his career at Y&R, worked in boutique-sized agencies, and then started his own (which he still owns and runs) agency in 1995. Additionally, Drew owns and leads the Agency Management Institute, which advises hundreds of small to mid-sized agencies on how to grow their agency and its profitability through agency owner peer groups, consulting, coaching, workshops, and more.

In this week’s episode, Drew gets right down to business with me to discuss the hardships agencies faced in 2023 and how the ones that still came out on top overcame such a challenging year. During our conversation, he shared some interesting findings from his agency’s 2023 Agency Edge Research study, including the #1 reason a client fires an agency and why agencies that focus on growing their existing book of business consistently outperform agencies that don’t.

We’ll also get into the weeds about training AEs to grow existing clients as part of their jobs, knowing when it’s time to reduce staff, and how to let clients know you’re open to connecting with them.

Those who know Drew know he’s a fountain of helpful information for agency owners, so don’t miss out on this illuminating conversation.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • The key difference in agencies that won last year vs. those that lost
  • Why agencies must be pitching new ideas to clients in order to grow
  • The #1 reason a client fires an agency
  • Retraining AEs to focus on growing the agency’s existing book of business
  • Helping clients solve their problems before someone else does
  • Setting up client growth and retention programs in 2024
  • Making staffing decisions by the numbers, not by your gut