At the Small Agency Conference held in Boston couple of weeks back a panel of industry veterans discussed the best
ways of navigating new business today.Lisa Colantuono partner and co-president at Search consultancy AAR and 72andSunny Business Development Head Rebekah Jefferis, Work & Co Partner/Product Management Gene Liebel and new business consultancy RSW/US Owner and President Mark Sneider shared their experiences gathered while starting up on the do’s and don’ts of pitch process and how to turn an outrageous fail into a winning move at your first client meeting.
DON’T TRY TO SCORE ON THE FIRST DATE:
“People try to win the account from day one,”.The most important thing to think
about is getting invited to the next meeting,” not the end game. Lisa Colantuono said Don’t talk about yourself. Mr Sneider said “Do talk about the client,””We have 50 clients
across the U.S. and often, we see agencies defaulting to what’s comfortable, talking about
themselves, which can sound generic. It’s better to come in with smart questions and begin creating a bridge.”
Show face.Lead with your talent,” said Mr. Liebel. “Clients are getting
smarter and smarter and want to know who they’re working with. Make sure at least one of the people who will be hands on in their business is there” during the pitch.Be yourself; you need to be yourself from the start to finish rather than worry about what you think the client is going to see,” said Ms. Jefferis. Mr. Liebel said its not about the presentation he started by
sharing a story on his agency in which
a final pitch for a “giant” media
company almost went wrong. This giant company had two offices but on that day while liebel was waiting at the first office the entire pitch
team went to the wrong office. “I had 30 minutes before my partners would get there and i had no
computer with me. After ten minutes, I just forgot the whole presentation and started asking questions about what they said in the RFP and it ended up
being a really healthy meeting. What I learned is that its may not always be about the presentation you don’t need 100 slides to tell your story.
We won the account.”
MIND YOUR MANNERS:
“I’ve seen when an agency
won the account because of a thank you note” Ms Colantuono said.The client was completely torn between two agencies, and it was the one
who thought to send a handwritten “thank you”note overnight that won.
“I’ve seen the other way,” she said. “The client said ‘Thank you, give us a day or two to sleep on everything.’ One agency should have won it, but they didn’t listen to the ask of ‘let us be.’ I got a call from the CEO saying, ‘What can we do?’ He didn’t listen, he
sent something over to the clients, pushed a little more –and all because of that, they lost the account. It goes both ways — final pitch is a
selection process, not an elimination process.”
DON’T TIPTOE AROUND BUDGET:
This should have been number one to me.”If you’re going to do work for free, or tiptoe around money, walk
away,”. Don’t commoditize
the business-it is already commoditized Ms Colantuono said. We have to get paid for our IP that’s why we’re
here.” Budget is so important to the creatives’ work process we end up doing. It shouldn’t be awkward to ask it should be a direct question. If client doesn’t want to talk about
budget, it’s not going to be a palatable endeavour. I always have a really direct conversation about that,even if it’s non-profit.” said Ms Jefferis of 72and sunny.
BE PROUD OF SMALL:
Never consider yourself a small agency, rather consider yourself a little giant with agility.
Large clients’ aren’t scared of smaller agencies.Marketers want flexibility and they want to be close
to the senior staff and the creative team because when they are the output. It’s worthy of note that marketers feel they’re charged for every single cup of
coffee when it comes to creative advertising.
Credits: Lisa Colantuono
via: Ad age.
Compiled, edited & posted by: @djshyluckjimmy