Pitching can often seem very intimidating and highly time consuming all for a job you may not even win. This often leads people to question if its all worth if and if there is a better way of doing things, however before we can question if there’s a better way we must first understand the elements of a pitch inside and out.
A client may decide to leave their current agency and seek out a new one for a number of reasons such as: Poor performance, Change in personnel, International alignment, Statutory review, Successful Networking, Bad luck, Lack of skill/specialist/expertise, Fomo, lack of financial transparency, pace of tech. From there your agency may be asked to pitch, this is where the journey begins.
Once you’ve The first part of the journey to the inevitable pitch is the flirting stage. Much like flirting in real life it’s possible you may not be the only agency being asked to pitch, This is where the chase starts, you’ll have some introductory meetings, possibly be sent a request for proposal (RFP), shortlisted and then able to pitch.
However much like a relationship there is a lot of behind the scenes things to consider to even make it that far, such as:
- Your team: If your team and the potential clients team don’t mesh well that isn’t exactly a good start to a healthy relationship now is it? In order to make sure things run smooth you want to do your research on the potential clients team and make sure you choose the right people for the job.
- Pitch strategy: How are you gonna win the potential client over? Much like when trying to woo a potential partner its important to have a game plan. In order to look organised and qualified and not make a fool of yourselves you need to have a strategy.
- Pitch theater: Make sure to make it interesting, put on a show. Nothing to extreme, we don’t want to scare them off, but just enough to make sure they remember you.
- Costs: Much like you would buy someone you have only know for 3 days a $4300 ring, you should keep in mind how much your spending on the pitch, after all the you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket.
- Contracts: Much like any healthy relationship you will want to set some guidelines, unlike any healthy relationships these will be written, signed and legally binding.
- Failure: Just like that one time when you were 17 you may be rejected. It’s going to hurt after all the effort and time put into this pitch but much like when you were 17 your going to grow from it.
- Saying No: Much like you don’t need to go on a date with everyone who’s interested you also don’t need to say yes to every pitch, sometimes it’s better to just say no.
Once all that has been considered and you have decided your happy to pitch you need to really consider some things:
- Who will make up your pitch team: these people need to be compatible with the potential clients team, this team will also need to bring expertise to the table that are relevant and necessary to the pitch.
- How much time and effort can you put into this pitch? Your team needs to figure out home much time they have, how much time they can spare, and how much time they are willing to put into this. If your team can’t make the time for it or isn’t willing to, maybe it’s time to reconsider whether to pitch or not.
- Impact on your agency if you win: If you win your agency is going to have a whole lot more work, your agency needs to decide if they are ready and have to capabilities to take on this extra work.
- Control of intellectual property: Once you pitch your ideas will be out in the open, if you win the pitch it’s also important to consider any work you do for them thwy will have final say and control over.
Now your 110% sure you want to pitch and your big day to pitch is approaching last thing to consider is the five p’s of pitching:
- Preparation: This one’s pretty self explanatory, being unprepared is never a good look and it never goes down well.
- Passion: being passionate about your ideas shows puts confidence in both you and the client and makes the pitch more interesting.
- Professionalism: A client isn’t going to want to invest their money into an agency they don’t thing is professional enough to handle it.
- Performance: Make it memorable, the client is most likely going to multiple pitches today make yours stand out.
- Persuasion: If you can’t make a client believe in your pitch then there is no hope.
Once you considered everything, put your pitch together and then pitched it to the potential client, it’s now the proposal stage. It’s probably been a few hard and long weeks for your agency and in just a few days you’ll find out if its all worth it. If the client says yes, then congrats you did it, you’ve reached marriage lets just pray it doesn’t end in a messy divorce! However if you don’t win the pitch, your team is probably feeling pretty bad, often resulting in agencies asking “ is there a better way?” short answer no. Much like courtship pitching is all about risk versus reward and it’s up to your agency to make that call. Much like courtship it’s important for agencies to not hinder on a failure but to instead grow from it and keep trying. As if we all let the fear of rejection prevent us from opportunity there would be no advertising industry to begin with.