We had the good fortune of connecting with Christian Banach and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christian, how does your business help the community?
Our firm feels an obligation to not only help our clients but positively impact the well-being of our community.
As a business development and growth consulting firm, we have the unique ability to drive awareness and build relationships with senior decision-makers at enterprise companies. While we typically do this for advertising and marketing agencies, we recognize that the problem we solve for our clients is the same many non-profits experience.
Non-profits are notoriously understaffed and struggle to get noticed. Their top concerns are generating revenue, gaining more donors, and fundraising more effectively. Although they have a passion for their cause, their team often does not have sales and marketing training or expertise.
Thus, rather than make a financial donation, we saw an opportunity to provide our consulting services pro-bono.
Every year, we “adopt a non-profit” and teach them the knowledge and train them on the skills to build relationships and create partnership opportunities with large companies. This consultative approach makes a much more significant impact on the organization in the long term. As the proverb goes, “Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man To Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime.”
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Our company is a business development and growth consultancy that helps advertising agencies and marketing companies land 6- and 7-figure opportunities predictably. But I didn’t take the traditional path of most in advertising/marketing. There was a long journey with many ups and downs.
It started in high school when I started a concert promotions business. It grew rapidly, and we worked with Grammy award winners like Lady Gaga and Pitbull. Not long after, we launched an experiential marketing agency division and activated programs for Disney and Toyota.
The business was booming, but the 2008 Great Recession happened. Things screeched to a halt. Like many agencies, I had grown through worth-of-mouth and referrals. To rebound, I hired a consultant who taught me the fundamentals of business development.
I felt reinvigorated. I closed my firm, took what I learned from the consultant, and pivoted to a career in agency business development. Over the next decade, I worked at several different agencies and honed my craft.
I discovered that my superpower was hunting and generating top-of-the-funnel opportunities. I was involved in millions of dollars of wins with companies like Kohls and Constellation Brands.
However, I still felt that entrepreneurial itch, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. Then the pandemic started, and agencies were losing clients, and some closed their doors. It reminded me of my agency during the Great Recession 10+ years earlier.
But this time, I had the expertise to help as that consultant did for me. I left my high-paying agency job and took a chance to launch this consultancy to help agencies grow. I am excited to bring what I learned over the last 20+ years to help clients reach their goals.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If a friend were visiting me in Chicago, I’d plan out a full-day itinerary of activities that make the most of what the city offers.
The trip would start with a daytime Cubs game in the bleachers. One cannot be a sports fan and visit Chicago without experiencing Wrigleyville.
After the game, we’d freshen up before heading to a rooftop lounge at sunset for dinner and drinks. Nobu, Cabra, and London House are among my favorites.
For a nightcap, we’d explore Chicago’s art galleries (I love contemporary and street art) or take in live music at one of the city’s bustlin’ nightclubs.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Growing up, I often felt like an outsider and unnoticed in social settings. But in the classroom and on the sports field, it was different. I was smart and a great athlete. My brains and athleticism got me noticed and attracted friends.
Outside of these environments, I often struggled to fit in. I thought I must present myself as “perfect.” I hid flaws and weaknesses, conformed to societal norms, and passed on opportunities where I might fail. But inauthenticity made it harder to form genuine connections, and I lost out on chances. While I was aware, I wasn’t sure what to do.
That started to change after I joined the public speaking club, Toastmasters. After a few subpar speeches, I let my guard down. I gave a raw, honest, and emotional speech. The audience reaction was overwhelming, and I felt liberated. With every speech, I began opening up more. Inspired, I translated this to social, family, and work settings. Social connections developed easier, family bonds formed stronger, and new business opportunities became more abundant.
Toastmasters pushed me outside of my comfort zone. Participating in the group taught me how to communicate better, showed me I could be a public speaker, and made me a better leader. I now see that perfection isn’t relatable, achievable, or real. But vulnerability is magnetic and beautiful.