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What our clients say about New Business Methodology

Our clients

We have seen gross profit increase by an impressive 246%

Mark Alexander, Founder & CEO, Bamboo Marketing

A highly relevant, engaging, two-day New Business Masterclass that left our team motivated, inspired, and hungry.

Margaret Lawson, Managing Director, Cole Lawson Communications

A structured, measured approach that doesn’t rely on pitching… a first in my agency experience!

Charles Rallings, Chief Digital Officer, Creata

Julia’s remit was to do what I believe is one of the hardest things in business: drive early stage new business, from a standing start.

Marcos Kurowski, Founder & CEO, SapientNitro (sold to Publicis Media, now Publicis Sapient)

We got rid of some bad habits, we put process in where it was lacking and enjoyed each and every interaction we had with Julia.

Neil Burton, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Mash Australia

Previous to the Health Check, we were never going to achieve our targets. The action plans from the report cleared up many issues and removed the negativity.

Natasha Marsh, Digital Director, Creata

Smart, driven and flexible enough to work within your schedule. But not so flexible that Julia will let you be anything less than the best you can be.

Jeff Sanders, Managing Director, RAPP, DDB Group (now Track)

A tailored approach to new business dramatically improving performance

I was recommended to NBM by a number of ex-colleagues who had worked with Julia at various agencies and start-ups. Their recommendation was that Julia was a no nonsense New Yorker and new business guru who could come in and dramatically improve our new business and sales process. And they were 100% right!

I was most impressed with how quickly NBM understood our business and then how quickly she unpacked why new clients would want to talk to us. Julia helped us re-structure and write sales documents, better understand what clients want from new business meetings, who we should be talking to in organisations and create a process with timelines from first contact to conversion.

Julia helped myself and my colleagues tailor our individual approach to our new business objectives, each one of us now feel more in control and excited by our new business responsibilities.

The process challenged us as a business and as individuals. We got rid of some bad habits, we put process in where it was lacking and enjoyed each and every interaction we had with Julia. Like my colleagues before me, I can’t recommend Julia and her New Business Mastery Lite Program highly enough.

Neil Burton, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Mash Australia

Gross profit increase of 246% from a strong base

We started with New Business Methodology when we were a small marketing agency with some ambition to grow but without the understanding of how to approach growth. We had achieved enough but not really set a bold goal for us to reach for, nor indeed how on earth we could firmly anchor the business in an ownable space with a story that could attract good business. At the same time we had an enviable list of blue chip clients and were only just scraping the surface of those as an opportunity. I had assumed the responsibility for new business. I also didn’t have any formal training in sales.

Jules introduced me and my business to the science of new business with New Business Mastery. She showed me how to take a business and to shape and polish it into something that businesses can buy. The depth of the Health Check’s deep dive into the business was crucial. Interestingly the answers were already there, we just didn’t know it. Jules helped us uncover the brilliant gems just sitting there for all to enjoy.

We started slowly telling our tale and as business showed interest we grew in ourselves as business people. We learned how to target business. We learned how to talk to business and we learned how to ask for the business.

The business has grown exponentially in the last 18 months. We have seen gross profit increase by an impressive 246% off a relatively strong base.

At the same time we have seen the number of larger earning clients grow as we have expanded our footprint with each. The pipeline is impressive with more blue chip clients closer to being lucky enough to work with us in the future.

The business has grown in confidence. We are no longer apologetic about what we do. We have an elevator conversation piece. We have values and we believe in what we have to sell. We are proud of what we have created. We know that ‘no’ doesn’t mean ‘no’. It just means ‘not now’.

We also understand how important empathy is in our business. Appreciating that often our work is rarely important to our clients who often are sitting in a role that they don’t enjoy or want.

Jules is an amazing force. She has a clearly defined approach and can apply it to any organisation requiring sales. She is tenacious and believable. She seems to tackle the subject with so much enthusiasm that it can only rub off onto others to the benefit of the business. Her passion is enthusiastic and she pushes you to ride as high on the wave as you are potentially capable of….rather than as high as you think you can.

Her approach guides you to target the decision makers so you will never fail to secure time and the headspace of whoever is chosen to target. She is a unique and exciting proposition for any business. I recommend her at the very highest level.

Mark Alexander, Founder & CEO, Bamboo Marketing

A powerful shift in thinking

Julia Vargiu identified our businesses uniqueness with an insight rarely seen.

She inspired a confidence, leading me to a shift in the way I saw and implemented my marketing strategy.

It was Julia who said “Shift your thinking when you sell yourself from what you need from your clients, to what you can give them”, Powerful stuff.

Julia shifted my whole psychological dynamic of ‘selling’.

A truly inspiring person to have on your team. Part of the new wave of business people following a value set that has been forgotten in big business for too long.

Christo Everingham, Managing Director, Christois (sold to Lepaar)

Embedding a methodology that aligned for ongoing success

I heard Julia speak at the PRIA’s RCG conference and her message about wasting time and money pitching needlessly instantly resonated with me.

My business has always achieved the most business development success with non-pitch clients, but we had not fully developed the thinking or processes to turn that into ongoing success. We needed a system to formalise what we knew was a better way.

Upon engaging Julia, she consulted with my team to find out our challenges and assess the gaps in our knowledge. She then turned that into a highly relevant, engaging, two-day New Business Masterclass that left our team motivated, inspired, and hungry.

One of the immediate outcomes of the New Business Masterclass was a restructure of the team’s new business roles so that each person now has a clearly defined new business role to play. We also reviewed our product and service offerings, messaging, business plan, and company vision. We discussed at length and defined the clients we wanted to work with and are in the process of developing a suite of new productised services.

About two weeks after the masterclass we coincidentally ran into the CEO of one of our “Top 100” prospective clients at an event. That chance meeting, and our new knowledge, led to a follow-up meeting with him, and we are now in contract negotiations.

Even more importantly, we now have a team that is on the same page about the direction for our business. We have a shared new business methodology and a team that is capable of recognising and capitalising on opportunities.

I feel like it hasn’t been nearly 2 months since Julia’s masterclass, because we talk about her almost every day in the office, in the context of, “remember what Julia said about X?”

Margaret Lawson, Managing Director, Cole Lawson Communications

Honing the new business approach to not rely on pitching

Late last year we embarked on a consolidated new business drive, however it was quickly apparent that as a group our skills were a little rusty, and as a company undergoing some change, we didn’t have a clear offering.

Having worked with NBM in my previous role as COO of DDB, I brought Julia in again to give us some direction. I quickly discovered NBM’s offering had developed significantly since we last worked together, with Health Check and Mastery sessions proving to be very effective for our group.

Kicking off with the ‘Health Check’ process, we surveyed 8 of our key executives on everything from our services, our clients, our profitability, our skills, over servicing, what makes us different, our expectations, how successful we want to be…and much, much more.

Delivered as a comprehensive report and action plan, it gave us clarity where there was consensus, and where there wasn’t, where we complimented each other, where we needed to improve or gain new skills, our place in the agency landscape, our current new business process, and most importantly how much existing new business efforts hand been costing us…OUCH indeed!

Now several months later, and having gone on to complete a series of ‘Mastery’ sessions, we’ve honed our new business approach with NBM guiding us to a place where we have a targeted prospect list of clients we’d like to work with, a better way to express our offering that’s more relevant to clients (and doesn’t sound like every other agency), a cohesive team all pulling in the same direction, and a structured, measured approach that doesn’t rely on pitching…a first in my agency experience!

Charles Rallings, Chief Digital Officer, Creata

The pipeline – or lifeline – that can make the connections and has the results to prove it.

In my experience, most agencies approach new business development like a game of chance – ‘maybe they’ll get lucky on the next roll of the dice’.

It’s rarely pro-active, or planned. It’s also usually random and spasmodic in its dedication. Everyone and no-one drives it.

So the end result is: you hope like hell you’re being noticed in the market, and wait for the phone to ring. Hardly a get-rich-quick model.

Problem is, most of us are ‘too busy flying the plane, to fix it’. So just as you buy expertise to do the work, why wouldn’t you buy expertise to ensure the pipeline of work is always full? Julia Vargiu’s New Business Mastery Program is the pipeline – or lifeline – that can make the connections and has the results to prove it.

So if you want more ‘hit’ than ‘miss’, suggest you give NBM a call…

Christine Gartner, Managing Partner, M&C Saatchi

A masterclass in leading the new business charge that left a legacy

Julia came highly recommended to us as a new business guru with a fresh and results driven approach, different to all the rest and certainly one that would deliver on outcomes.

As such, “New Business Mastery” introduced myself, and key senior client service team members in my business during her time with us, how to take a lead, make contact and get the appointment; a genuine appointment with the right decision maker to present our story that lead to receiving many a brief over the time she consulted to us.

Over the 2 years Julia taught us how to lead our new business charge. We saw some amazing results, results driven by brief after brief coming in, sign off of briefs delivering revenue to a bottom line. And to date some of these same new business clients are still regular clients today, still driving revenue as a result of the approach and methodology that Julia used with us a few years ago.

The only reason our time together came to an end was our pipeline was full and as such any new business would have been a stretch for us to deliver on. She has certainly left a legacy in the way we approach new business now with ongoing success certainly attributed to Julia’s unique and results driven approach.

She is a master; Julia knows her stuff and certainly delivers on results. She gets to know her clients inside and out. It is this key element of her time with us that enabled Julia to help us sell our story so skilfully & passionately to new and prospective clients.

Edward Kaleel, Founder & CEO, The Marc Edward Agency (MEA)

The blueprint for business evolution and sustainable growth

We started the Health Check Audit and New Business Mastery program at a time when we needed a fresh approach to attract new business. We had always conducted new business ourselves, never with a consultant, and we felt it was time to shake things up.

The Health Check revealed the good and the not-so-good about our business. On one hand, it reaffirmed where we were doing well, and where, as a management team, we were well aligned. On the other hand, it exposed some areas of the business where we weren’t aligned, and some areas where we didn’t even recognise there was an issue.

We were able to refocus on the challenges rather than stepping around them, thanks to Julia’s counsel. Her objectivity and independent view of our business helped us to focus on those challenges. It’s easy to concentrate on what you already do best, but without engaging a consultant we would not have even looked for the gaps and opportunities that we have identified. The Health Check was instrumental in helping us identify the gaps and opportunities, it’s a valuable analytical tool.

The Health Check also allowed us to focus on the areas of our business that needed refreshing, including our positioning and offering to market – it was no surprise that our financial statistics were not where they should be. We knew we had to undergo an evolution of our business model to adapt to the rapidly changing market if we were going to sustain growth through new business.

We have now launched our rebrand and a new website, and are continuing with that process. Julia is full of useful tips that she has developed over her 20 years experience, that make adopting her new business process much easier. I picked up a lot of little things that were more than the sum of the parts, and I like to think that I now do new business “Julia’s way”.

New Business Mastery has given me a blueprint to work from, that I am evolving to suit my personal style. Although I had been running new business according to common sense, I had never thought about it like that.

Her undeniable passion and enthusiasm provided us with the energy we needed to surround us, to embark on a new business program.

The decision to engage a consultant really comes down to the resources you have and your focus on new business to date. Even if you are doing well at bringing in new business, you may benefit from Julia tweaking a few things. If you are struggling or want to increase your new business, you’d definitely get some value.

For any agency looking to refresh their new business approach, engaging help from the outside can add a different perspective. For us, it was the perfect time.

Simon Skidmore, Co-founder & Partner, OnePartners

Prior to NBM consulting to Match we had a lot of wishes and thoughts, but no solid approach to new business.

By applying New Business Mastery we established a focused approach to our new business strategy. With new business we realised it needs to be constantly fed and constantly nurtured. After some initial ground work Julia helped us learn to open doors to clients we never thought we would meet. High profile, blue chip clients, frankly we were pinching ourselves about the meetings we had.

You might make one call but the real delivery comes through persistence and follow up. You need someone to coach you to work on who you want to approach, how to have the thick skin to get the calls done, set the meetings up and dedicate time to focus on what to say.

John Preston, Founder & CEO (now Chairman Public Media), Match Media (sold to Publicis Media, became Blue 449)

Driving early-stage new business from a standing start

Julia joined us as a new business coach and consultant over 4 years ago in what today seems like a different era. We were very early in our metamorphosis, with no market presence, no brand in the market and a confused identity. Julia’s remit was to do what I believe is one of the hardest things in business: drive early-stage new business, from a standing start.

With relentless drive and optimism Julia helped us form some early point-of-view materials; advised us on how to secure dozens upon dozens of meetings with key Australian business execs; and launched and branded our future focused breakfast series of events. All of these seeds, planted over the course of 4 years, continue to this day to grow into new client relationships.

New business is a game that plays out over years, not days. Today, our new financial service client relationship was born out of a joint partner marketing event held in 2013, organised by Julia; as are the meetings with a leading travel company and health insurance company I am attending later this week for that matter!

More recently as our demand pipeline has firmed up Julia has been supporting us on the Marketing front, working with our APAC head of marketing to ensure our name gets out there in places like Mumbrella360 where our national strategy director is speaking next week, AdNews, and other trade publications. One of our leading young gun’s presence in B&T’s “30-under-30” shortlist was also sponsored by Julia.

Julia constantly inspires with her entrepreneurial tendencies and her passion for new business, and I can only thank Julia for 4 years of blood, sweat, tears and laughs. She leaves this place much better than she found it!

Marcos Kurowski, Founder & CEO, SapientNitro (sold to Publicis Media, now Publicis Sapient)

A fresh approach to new business leveraging collective strengths and a long term plan for growth

The standard agency new business approach goes like this: Find a few clients, tell the world you’ve found them, then do some awesome work and tell the world about that. Wait till other clients come running.

After a year in business, working on long term, confidential clients, we realised that plan would never work for us. We needed a new plan.

After looking for an alternative, we started working with Julia and New Business Methodology late last year, and she quickly pointed out that the standard approach actually doesn’t work for anyone – well not particularly well, not anymore.

The three managing partners of our agency would rather work on our existing clients than constantly “sell” our services to new clients.

NBM’s New Business Health Check for Agencies quickly allowed us to get a view on how, together, we could grow the business without resorting to “selling”. Leveraging our collective strengths to build a long-term plan to position ourselves in the market and attract the right new clients to our business.

Which was nice to know, but harder to do. In fact it’s still a challenge, which is why we continue to value her counsel and coaching through the New Business Mastery program. There are no quick fixes – only long-term plans that have already begun to yield fruit. Working with Julia has created a neutral space for us to really think about who we are as a business, how we can help our clients, and how we can grow our business.

Which was nice to know, but harder to do. In fact it’s still a challenge, which is why we continue to value her counsel and coaching through the New Business Mastery program. There are no quick fixes – only long-term plans that have already begun to yield fruit. Working with Julia has created a neutral space for us to really think about who we are as a business, how we can help our clients, and how we can grow our business.

We like results. We don’t like conventional. That’s why we like Julia.

When we established our company, we were fortunate to win some business early on, but we recognised two areas of potential danger: firstly, that we would end up being defined by our clients rather than our own internal vision, and secondly, that our discomfort with the sales process, our feelings of disingenuousness, would inhibit us from winning more business from the clients we really wanted – not just those who might offer us some projects.

Our decision to work with Julia on the New Business Mastery Program and Health Check Audit, was to overcome that small business cliché of finding time to work on our business, not just in it. While we are passionate practitioners, we needed to make the time to grow our business and ensure we were directing our energies together in the right direction. Julia guided us to use our time to focus on our value proposition and articulate it much more clearly to ensure we were differentiated from all other players.

Her Health Check tools combined with her extensive experience in business development with agencies of all types, helped us to draw the distinction between what is unique to our business compared to the stuff that prospective clients have heard a million times before. Julia was quickly and clearly able to tell us what was fresh thinking in an often repetitive market.

From working with Julia, we have now developed a strong prospect list, and we understand the methodology and process around how to optimise it. While we are still building business from our existing networks and referral base, we are also evolving our new business prospecting program into something unique and special.

As a new business consultant, Julia is personal, insightful and tough when required. Her guidance has meant we stayed true to the course, and she has positioned us well for the growth we are now experiencing. Julia’s coaching has increased our confidence in what we are selling, but most importantly, she has helped us reframe the selling process into a desire to help our clients, which is true to our values.

Colin Jowell, Partner, Strategy, UDKU (sold to KPMG, now KPMG UDKU)

Upping the pitch conversion rate to 50%

We’re a fast moving business that sees all three managing partners involved in managing the day-today business and current clients. In order to take our business to the next level we needed to make new business a focus. We needed help in creating some procedures and systems around our approach. Enter Julia Vargiu!

Julia’s New Business Mastery provides a wealth of knowledge in this space and quickly whipped us into line. Julia coached us to create systems and an overall push towards new business.

Since working with NBM we’ve developed some brilliant habits and converted more than 50% of what we’ve pitched. The results speak for themselves. We still work with Julia on a casual coaching basis and consider here an honorary agency member.

Jonathan Pease, Executive Ideas Director & Managing Partner, Tongue (now AKQA)

Closing the right meetings with New Business Mastery

In a nutshell, the New Business Mastery Program gets you the meeting you want. Not only that, it gets you the right meeting. With the right people.

And it makes sure that when you get to the right meeting in front of the right people, you are prepared.

Prepared to talk informatively and insightfully about their business. Not just waffling on about yours.

And that is the key to every new business conversation. It makes sure you ‘close’.
And that’s the meeting you really want.

Julia has been a business partner of RAPP and the DDB Group for several years now and is an integral part of our new business efforts. And anyone in our business knows that new business is the lifeblood of any agencies’ ongoing success.

She’s smart, driven and flexible enough to work within your schedule. But not so flexible that she’ll let you be anything less than the best you can be. Because, frankly, your success is her success.

Jeff Sanders, Managing Director, RAPP, DDB Group (now Track)

Immediate pipeline impact

We were in the situation which many agencies will find all too familiar. Talking about new business, but not actually doing much about it. All the intentions are there, but everyone already has a job to do, so week in, week out, nothing actually gets done. Soon after we progressed through Julia’s New Business Mastery Program we had about six meetings in the diary. All with clients we would have been dreaming to see only months before.

How did she do it?

Three things. Firstly getting us to understand things from the target audience’s perspective (sound familiar?), rather than from ours. Secondly by asking us to hone in on the categories we really wanted to work in, so that the passion was already there when we went to see them. Thirdly by making it happen by working to an ‘end date’ of our first meeting. Nothing concentrates a new business team more than the realisation that you are fronting up to a CEO or Marketing Director in 6 weeks’ time when all you have to currently present is a black sheet of paper and good intentions. Julia does her thing with no fear nor favour re internal politics. As a result things get done remarkably quickly and she helps you to stay on track.

Julia had an impact on the agency way beyond new business. She helped us understand who we were and most importantly, who we should be and why. Her fresh approach and constant catch-cry of ‘what’s in it for the client?’ really helped us to focus on their business issues, not our desire to do ‘great work’.

One word of caution. She guides you to set up the right meetings with the right people, but it’s up to you to win the new business. She helps to sow the seeds, but you have to do the watering and have the patience. She won’t win new business for you, but she will give you every opportunity you could possibly wish for. So in 12 months’ time your results will simply be a reflection on how good you are at watering, not how good Julia is at helping you sow seeds.

We all know that she is the Yates of the new business world. Soon you will, too.

Jonathan Samengo, Head of Strategic Services, DraftFCB (Foote, Cone & Belding)