We tell this to clients all the time—Ditch The Pitch.

Here are 5 essential ad agency new business strategies on how to fill the gap when it’s time to go without the pre-prepared script:

1. Think Input before Output

Listen and let prospect’s words and actions reveal what they care about.

This can be the guide to creating a spontaneous conversation that really matters.

The best salespeople are the best listeners.

Evaluate the information available to you before you determine your response and use it help you have a fresh persuasive conversation.

2. Size Up the Scene

Understand the context of the situation.

Who is participating in the scene and try and uncover motivations.

Are the decision-makers in the room?

This will help you determine the significance of the project or campaign.

3. Create a Series of Yeses

Persuasion depends on how well you and your prospect are in sync.

Each time someone says “no,” the conversation loses momentum.

Don’t prescribe a solution too early.

Your primary role in a persuasive conversation is not to advise, but to move the relationship forward.

Phrase your questions, when possible as a choice between “yeses”, i.e., “Which sounds better—A or B.”

Ad Agency New Business

4. Explore and Heighten

Creativity and idea generation are iterative processes where you can improve an idea each time you play with it.

Explore ideas with prospects, collaborative idea generation gets better each time you do it and brings everyone closer and engaged in the process.

Focus on the prospect who cares more about his story than yours.

5. Don’t rush the story

No matter how compelling your story may be, you need the patience to wait to communicate certain ideas to prospects.

They won’t hear them and they won’t make an impact until they’re ready to hear them.

Above all, remember that you are there to help solve their problem – so you have to give them room to describe it fully.

I'm the VP of Sales at RSW/US. We specialize in working with services firms to help drive and close new business-if you need help with that, email me at lee@rswus.com. What I actually do: drive sales efforts to bring ad agencies and services firms on board with RSW, create content around successful new business tactics and help drive RSW/US marketing objectives, including social media channels, blog content, webinars, video and speaking engagements. Dig it.