The pitch is where business is won, or lost. For some it’s the most gruelling, stressful and rewarding part of the job.
According to a recent survey conducted by UTalkMarketing, marketers value the work presented in the pitch as the most important factor in the entire decision making process.
Of course there are a lot of other factors to take into consideration, which is why we’ve developed this five-step guide to help you through the entire pitch process.
1. Marketing your agency
It’s ironic that agencies are notoriously bad at marketing themselves and the work they produce. Why is that the case? Because generally agencies are too busy working on pitches to even think about it. Sound familiar?
Through our own research we discovered that second to recommendation and word of mouth, the next biggest influencer for marketers to include your agency on their long list was seeing examples of your previous work.
It’s crucial to have these examples on your own website, but just as important is having your work featured on websites like UTalkMarketing. We allow you to post creative work and case studies, which are invaluable to keeping your agency top-of-mind when targeting marketers. This is especially important when considering that our users are actively searching for their next agency.
No one likes a cold call. Sales houses and speculative enquiries are way down on the list of how marketers like to be contacted. Generally you will come up against a PA or assistant unwilling to put your call through.
Your new business director should have a good idea of which accounts are being out for tender so sales calls should be unnecessary, but it doesn’t always work like that.
The job of putting together a long-list of potential agencies is the job of the researchers, which can be anyone from marketing assistants to office managers. So again, keep your agency top-of-mind with an entire marketing team by maximising your exposure through good marketing and PR (see point 1). Don’t just hit the phones.
3. Prepare, prepare, prepare
Remember the most important question a client will ask is ‘What can you/your agency do for us?’
To answer this question effectively you must understand your client, their brand, their services, their product and their customers. Immerse yourself in their offerings and become their customer (watch ‘What women want’).
Understanding your client is the key to answering the brief and by becoming their customer you’ll be able to empathise with your client.
4. Keep the presentation focused
Make sure you respond to the brief you’re presented with, not the one you wished you’d had. This may seem common sense but so often agencies get it wrong.
Don’t be afraid to recap on the briefs main elements point-by-point in the presentation. This will help you deliver a structured pitch and show you have been listening carefully in pre-pitch conversations.
5. Ask for feedback
To progress and improve your pitch skills feedback is crucial.
Ask you client for their thoughts and if it went well, it’s a boost of moral for your team. Welcome any criticism or complaints and use this to fine-tune your future pitches and increase your chances of winning new business in the future.