Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Academic Thoughts Pitching

Interesting piece on the 4A's website that I was pointed towards today. Written by Jodi Lisa Smith, Ph.D at the University of Texas, Austin it makes three recommendations for agencies that could help agencies when pitching.

1. Build a Cohesive Agency Team - make sure everyone on the pitch team has time to bond and they like each other. Clients can spot people who've never worked together or who don't like each other.

2. Avoid Spec Work Like the Plague - don't give away your ideas for free. Trouble with this, is that all agencies have got to agree to do this at the same time. There will always be someone willing to give it away in the hope of winning the business.

3. Insist on Collaboration Meetings - completely agree. The best experience and then client relationships start out with collaboration between both parties.

Not sure that it needed to have much research but it's a useful reminder. And I agree completely that New Business is all about control. So in order to maintain control, a few points that can come in handy.

1. You have to invest in your own success. Be it time, research, whatever.
2. Use qualitative research creatively.
3. Meet - spend time with the prospect, and stay a meeting ahead of the competition.
4. Make sure your presentation room is right for you to be successful. How is it dressed? How can you work it?
5. Make sure your presentation is designed to win.
6. You've got to present winning strategy and creative (kind of obvious I know)
7. Practice. Then again. Then again.
8. Don't leave logistics to chance - have them perfectly planned.
9. Manage who sits where and present with a variety of media
10. Finish on a high note. Don’t just stop.

I'm sure there are plenty of others as well that would help.

1 comment:

t. said...

How about these?

Instead of focusing on specific executions,consider the length of the contract and show your potential client how your going to be an excellent partner over that period of time.

Don't be a slave to the client brief. Especially if you don't agree with the strategy. Be brave enough to represent the convictions that come from your own research and understanding.

Keep the politics out of the pitch. Too often many of the people who wind up doing the presentation have had little or nothing to do with making the work being presented. Too often these people are there because their delicate little feelings will be hurt if they're not. What if the people who worked on the pitch were people who would actually work on the account if/when it comes in? What if you could say to the client, "This is your team." ? What if you only sent one senior manager to the pitch? What do clients really think when they're introduced to 7 people with huge titles?

What if you had a team or two dedicated to working on new business? Wouldn't that make the process easier and wouldn't that team become really good at pitching? Like any team that plays together consistently?