How Can Marketing Agencies Deliver A Winning Pitch?
You did it. You’ve followed up a great lead and organised your first meeting to pitch for a business that could really take your agency to another level. This could be big. It’s time to prepare that winning pitch that gets their business over the line.
So, how should you approach the pitch? Should you bring examples of the work you’ve delivered for other clients? Is it a good idea to lead with information about your team and all their expertise?
It’s not always easy to develop a quality pitch, because every client is different, and no two businesses have identical needs. But your starting point should always be the same, no matter which client you pitch for or the services you’re looking to offer them.
To make sure every lead and every opportunity counts, you need to do things differently and leave tradition in the past. To deliver a winning pitch, your priority should be to present yourself and your marketing agency with humility and humanity.
Let’s Face The Facts About Marketing Agencies
Unfortunately, the reality of marketing is that most businesses don’t necessarily want to work with an “agency”. They’d probably like to do their own marketing in-house but simply don’t have the time, expertise or resources. That’s why they dedicate a portion of their budget to finding and working with a team of marketing experts.
Fundamentally, these budgets are viewed as investments into personalised strategies that deliver real results. The trouble is, no matter how much expertise a company director or digital marketer has, they don’t have a crystal ball.
There are no guarantees, and businesses know this. That’s why they’re looking for the next best thing. And that’s a team of honest, hard-working people that they can trust and that they know will deliver quality work on time.
How Can You Be That Team?
The key to making sure your prospective client recognises the quality of your agency is simply being easy to talk to. It sounds menial, but it’s true. Typically, agencies do understand this, and they aim to make their pitches as personable as possible while sticking to something of a loose script.
However, this traditional method of pitching is an inherently flawed way for businesses to select an agency. It doesn’t at all simulate a real-life interaction that the relationship would create, and generally, you’ll be looking to present a perfect picture to the client.
So, what should your agency do to deliver a winning pitch?
Understand Your Client’s Real Needs
Opening with information about how prestigious your agency is and the world-class experience of your directors and associates doesn’t tend to relate very well to prospective clients. Remember, many companies looking for marketing agencies aren’t global giants themselves. They probably lack the resources required to employ a dedicated marketing team, and they need to find an external party that they can trust.
And more often than not, the client across the other side of the desk is also an honest, hard-working professional trying to forge or maintain a successful career. They’re mothers, fathers, sons and daughters that go home to their families and look forward to the weekend.
Just like you.
They’re going to be in constant contact with their chosen agency, and they don’t want to dedicate more time, money and resources to find another provider later on if things don’t work out.
Make Sure You’re Interested In The Client
Leads aren’t always easy to come by, and it’s common for agencies to do everything possible to ensure they gain value from every inquiry. But that’s not always the best approach. Every meeting requires preparation, and every client-agency relationship requires trust, investment and a great deal of time, effort and motivation from both parties.
Make sure you’re ready to invest this into the client. Consider whether you can really deliver what they’re looking for, and think about how lucrative the relationship could be in the long run. And be honest with the client, too. If they’re expressing interest in a service that you don’t think fits their needs, tell them.
It might mean you don’t secure their business today, but they may require your services later on. Or, they may be in contact with a company that requires services that you can deliver. And honesty doesn’t go unnoticed, especially in 2023’s hugely competitive marketing landscape.
Show Who Your Agency Really Is
Presenting a quality sales pitch is the typical thing to do. It might even be seen as the “tried and tested” method. But it’s just not the right way to do it anymore. Your clients need to know who you are, what you stand for, and whether your team are as motivated as they’d hope.
Intimate and informal conversations are the key to this. Don’t just boast about your expertise. Sure, it’s good to explain some of the work you’ve delivered, the clients you’ve assisted and the way you handle challenges. But it needs to be more than this.
You need to create chemistry with the client. They need to know who you really are. They’re interested in whether your team will put in the hard yards when things don’t go to plan. They need to be reassured that you’ll take their criticism on board, and they need a reliable team that delivers the work they need on time, every time.
Don’t be afraid to let them know about your ambitions, and tell them what gets you up in the morning. You can’t simply ask for a client’s trust. You need to earn it.
Deliver Your Winning Pitch With Humanity & Humility
When you next secure a meeting with a prospective client, do things differently. Relate to them, remember that everyone in the room is human, and make sure you connect with them as people first. You’ll be surprised by how effective and refreshing this approach is in an increasingly impersonal world.