PR Agencies: Growing Wallet Share with Clients - New CommPRO Article

How do you grow your agency? The business world offers one strategy - win more wallet share from existing clients. 

Growing existing client wallet share is a potential source of opportunity – but as I outline in a new CommPRO article, Agency New Business: Increasing Wallet Share with Clients, conversations with clients about new business must reflect the client’s needs and your performance. 


How to increase PR agency wallet share


It’s is easy to be a bull in a china shop when you are chasing additional revenue. To avoid that, in the article I highlight four things that are important to success:    

The Financial Capacity of Clients and ROI  

Just because you have been delivering knock-out results from your standpoint, if the pitch for new business is not matched by a client’s financial capacity to increase budgets, conversations won’t get very far. It’s really important to have a discussion with a client that is consistent with their financial reality and budgets. I note it’s important to go one step further and dig into the perception of the value you provide as you engage with them around new business – “If budgets are tight, can money be found? Potentially… if the business case is compelling.”

It's tempting to oversell – don’t

All too often when money is at stake, the temptation to oversell kicks into gear. It needs to be resisted. Agencies and consultants can find themselves promising the world in an effort to win business, without recognizing that “promises…a client believes are unlikely to be met, are a major red flag.”

Success will come from consistently delivering against stretch goals – not from the failure to deliver against promises that you don’t have the expertise to keep.    

Focus on your expertise

It’s really important to focus on areas where you truly are an expert. Time and again, I have seen PR agencies and consultants claim SEO, digital marketing or other capabilities – where they have only cursory expertise. It’s important to evaluate your skillsets realistically in the context of a marketplace where there are highly-specialized professionals. Honesty and directness with clients about what you are really good at is the foundation for trust.      

In the CommPRO article, I share a mantra that serves as a valuable guide: “Pitch for what you are qualified, or qualify yourself for what you pitch.”

Look at opportunities through your client’s eyes  

If you look at the world through your new business lens, perspective is easily skewed to the point where you can lose sight of the client’s goals and challenges. Evaluating opportunities through the clients eyes makes it easier to get to the heart of what’s important to them and to focus your ideas in ways that are mostly likely to resonate and drive revenue growth.


The path to increasing wallet share is lined with behavioral traps that lead us, as professionals, to focus on what we are looking to achieve, rather than what the client needs or wants. Several years ago, I wrote an article which details this behavior – Tunnels & Funnels: Why We Make Bad Decisions & How We Can Make Better Ones. It’s still relevant.

As I note in CommPRO, “as humans our behavior is rarely perfectly aligned with what we know we should be doing.” There are significant opportunities to grow wallet share. The key is nuanced conversations that reflect not only self-awareness of capabilities and expertise, but how the client sees the value of work you are doing, and the opportunity, from their perspective, to generate greater ROI by doing more.   


Simon Erskine Locke is founder & CEO of communications agency and professional search and services platform, CommunicationsMatch™, and a regular contributor to CommunicationsMatch’s technology helps clients search, shortlist and hire agencies and professionals by industry and communications expertise, location, size, diversity and designations. CommunicationsMatch powers PRSA’s Find a Firm search tools, and developed the industry’s first integrated agency search and RFP tools,, with RFP Associates. 



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