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7 tips for agencies to pitch and win new business

Upselling and cross-selling to existing clients, as well as pitching for new accounts is integral to the future of your agency.

While it might be second nature to roll out the standard pitch deck every single time and have the same people in the room, this approach will likely quickly become stale and uninspiring. In truth, it will do little for the ultimate goal to win new business or renew existing accounts.

Here are seven tips to rejuvenate and update your approach to pitching for that all important client.

1. Show your credentials in the digital space

Global advertising spend in the digital space is set to hit over $300billion in 2019, meaning your credentials in digital are extremely important to your new client. You may be pitching for pure digital work or for an account that touches on both digital and traditional channels.

Either way your ability to implement cross-channel digital strategies will be crucial to your clients.

Don’t just limit your creds to the clients that you currently work for.  Your potential new client will want to see recent campaigns you’ve run, the results you achieved and how this has impacted those businesses. Most-importantly they’ll want to see digital innovation from you to ensure they are choosing the right partner to move forward with.

2. Give the meeting everything

At bigger agencies there is a disconnect between the new business arm and the product teams. Often this results in the product team being unsure as to why they’re pitching for the client. In some instances there may be a client conflict with an existing account.

Either way, if you have a team in the room presenting to the client, you simply have to give the meeting everything. Things change and this meeting could end up being a vital client to your business. A team that isn’t 100% driven to win the business is likely to appear disinterested. It’s also likely that the team will be unprepared.

That’s not a formula for success.

The first step is to make sure you know who is attending from the client’s side and delegate a role to your individual team members in that meeting. This ensures your team are on board and know how to provide a valuable and worthwhile experience for your client. Next, take the time to get under the skin of the client’s business, their market and their consumer. This will help you build out a bespoke pitch in line with the challenges they face.

3. Fully research the business

This flows on from giving it everything. You need to go into the meeting showing the potential client that you are fully aware of their business. You will also want to demonstrate an understanding of the challenges currently being faced in that specific market. If you prepare by reading industry research make sure you are able to cite and quote it confidently, illustrating how it can be applied to and backs up the solution you are proposing.

The client will live and breathe their business and will be looking to partner with an agency that understands that and is able to provide strategic direction based on detailed insight. Stats and data cited with confidence in an initial pitch will breed confidence client side and will leave a lasting impression.

4. Tailor your solution to the needs of the client

The laziest approach from agencies pitching for new business is to simply propose the services that they offer. However, with many brands looking to move marketing in-house, they’ll only want to work with an agency that offers strategic support with solutions that are tailored to the individual needs of their business.

A run of the mill pitch that you bring out every time simply won’t cut it.

Fully read the information that the client has already provided. Briefs take time to put together so showing you have reviewed the details with your full attention is important. Equally, if the brief isn’t detailed enough and you have other questions, reach out to them in advance, this already shows a commitment from your agency in trying and wanting to understand their requirements.

Once you have a clear understanding of the challenges they face you can pitch the right solution, whether Geotargeting to engage with users on a local level, Dynamic creative to get the right message served  at the right time, or In-feed ads to combat the problem of an ever-changing inventory.

A pitch that is personal to that brand will grab the immediate attention of whoever’s in the room.

5. Illustrate what campaign creative will look like

When you’re suggesting digital display activation and you’re also pitching to create your client’s ads to provide a cost-effective, efficient and high-performing end-to-end solution, show them exactly what those ads will look like when live.

Showcase how well they will represent their brand and illustrate the importance of multi-shape and multi-click ads to engage with your audience on the devices they’re using and the websites they’re visiting as well as to enhance the customer experience. Forget relying on your team to describe it, having creative right in front of the clients’ eyes is a much more powerful proposition.

What happens when anyone sees a first draft of creative or copy?

It goes through the revision rounds, if you show your client something in the meeting that doesn’t resonate with them you have the opportunity to pick up tweaks and enhancements. Either way if you’re discussing tweaks to creative it might mean your client has subconsciously committed to working and progressing with your agency which is a huge buying signal.

6. Show your team

It’s too tempting to just roll out the big guns when it comes to your pitch. Yes your potential client will want to know about the knowledge and experience at the top of the agency, but they’ll also want to see the exact people that will be working on their account.

As is the case with step 2 above the client will see through a pitch team that is underprepared or just rolling out the same approach as they do every time.

The temptation is to exclude junior members or to have them there as a silent presence. An energetic, lively and knowledgeable junior team member is actually much more likely to make a good impression on a prospective client than an older head that’s simply going through the motions.

7. Consider your physical set up and how you present

Dim lights, poor seating arrangements and too high or low temperature can all serve to create an unengaged audience. Think about the brightness of the room and how you set up the seating. Remember as a business owner your office and employees is a reflection of you, so making  sure you are happy with what both employees and the office do convey about you is crucial.

A long table with the client at one end and the agency at the other isn’t the way to initiate a collaborative approach, this positioning entices an us and them mentality.

The little things make all the difference when it comes to a competitive pitch process.

It’s also too tempting to go overboard with slides and create a long deck that always follows the same format. Consider keeping the deck minimal and starting strongly by engaging the client immediately as opposed to simply kicking off by running through your client credentials.

Again, by taking your time to consider these changes in approach, you’ll begin to build a structure and format that meets the needs and requirements of the client.

Fluid Ads works with a range of media agencies to ensure they can provide products and services to their clients that will always make a difference to their individual businesses and help grow new business. Get in touch today to take the first step to becoming a digital partner for your clients.

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