As we approach the half way point in my FREE series of 21 #AgencyGrowthTips I am preparing to give away some of main tips for winning pitches. I maintained a career pitch winning ratio of 80%. I had a six year run of winning every pitch that the team and I went for.
I have a formula. Maybe – more of an approach. But, it works.
An aside: Why am I sharing this? Who am I? See article 1/21. I don’t want anyone to register, give me there email address, buy a book, do a course or turn up to an event. I want people to know the things I wish I had known.
This isn’t my IP. It’s the basics. Not all of them. By a million miles.
But some of them. Important ones to help you grow sustainably. The final article in this series will probably be the most important. But they all add up to a rounded approach to doing good business and becoming an even better business.
Today, was going to be my main pitching, article. But there will in fact, be two.
An aside: I am not debating the whys and wherefores of whether you should pitch. And is pitching a bad thing for the industry.
This tip is so bloody simple, I could have easily included it in the main Winning Pitches article, coming tomorrow. And some of it will shock you, whether you do pitch, or you choose not too.
But. This point alone, is one of the most critical parts of pitching.
Follow this… and you can be half way won before you even enter the room. Seriously, I mean this, half way won.
And conversely, if you don’t, you can be half way lost too.
Surely, that deserves a stand alone article. This is the the first part of my pitch winning formula.
This isn’t the sexiest of tips. Told to me by an industry giant. If you choose to ignore it, I wish you the best of luck pitching… because that’s what you need.
Here it is. I hope it’s useful.
Agency Growth Tip 10/21: Winning pitches #1: Speed is a Weapon.
The phone rings.
“Hi. I’d like to speak to someone about pitching for our business.” smiles the caller.
It’s probably the best call a Marketing Director gets to make to an agency. Apart from appointing a pitch winner at the end of the process.
Stand in their shoes for a just a moment. What do they want… enthusiasm. Someone to be just as excited as them about this rare opportunity to work with them and the brand they are guardian of.
Wow. What a moment.
Imagine this… they chose instead to send an email to your super cool and alternative generic email address on your website ‘[email protected]‘, ‘[email protected]‘, ‘[email protected]‘ ‘[email protected]‘ – how cool they think.
They make there call or send the email to four agencies.
One gets back to them pretty much immediately. Not because their desperate or have nothing to do. Don’t believe your own bullshit. Because they’re the hungriest. The most grateful. The ones that care about how the client feels… not just how they feel.
They’re winning the pitch so far.
Ding ding (love a boxing analogy), round two.
All the agencies are sent the brief. And offered dates.
Two agencies arrange a call to discuss the brief and ask questions. That hungry agency goes to see the client and discuss the brief and ask questions face-to-face.
Round two to them. The agency that didn’t ask questions. You pretty much just lost the pitch. And you’re not even in the room yet. Being too busy is not an excuse. You can’t be arsed to find the time. Because you can always find time.
Three agencies select their time slots for the pitch. One waits. And waits. And waits. They don’t want the only time slot that’s left… and try to arrange another time.
They’re on the losers bench too.
An aside: Don’t bother for a second on worrying whether you should pitch first, in the middle or last. It doesn’t matter. At all. Just be brilliant. More on that tomorrow.
One agency is half way won. One agency still in the hot seat. Two seem like they don’t care. That’s a tough place to come back from.
You see what I am talking about is not a pitch process. It’s about a customer experience. The thing we bang on about to our clients… and all so often ignore as agencies.
These people are a customer. Want to be valued at the top of the funnel. All the way through to becoming a customer, then an advocate in a virtuous circle of being grateful, humble, attentive and professional.
That is, as my dad would have said, treating things like they matter.
If you’re the fastest, most visible, most enthusiastic agency before you even get into the room to show your thinking you’re half way won.
It’s easy. If you’re going to do something, do it like you mean it.
Speed is one the greatest weapons you’ll ever have. And, it costs nothing.
Whereas slow, may cost you everything.