This is Part 15 of a 17 chapter eBook, “Agency New Business: Put On That Damn Sales Hat,” which you can download at no cost here.

The eBook covers everything from pre-prospecting preparation to working opportunities to close. 

The majority of the eBook focuses on elements that agencies either often overlook, are too busy to consider, or are simply too lazy to pursue.

The agency landscape is changing rapidly and daily, not only for agencies, but for clients: doing things the same way won’t cut it.

We released “Put On That Damn Sales Hat” as an overall agency new business primer for marketing services firms, so they can put on their sales hat with purpose and confidence.

That Damn Sales Hat

Chapter 15: How Deep Is Your Bench?

Last chapter we talked about the need to share enthusiasm and passion with your prospective client – whether it’s in a Q&A Chemistry Call, first meeting, or a final pitch presentation.

In addition to the passion and enthusiasm, you also want to present a truly unified face to the client during the pitch.

If you bring a group of people to an agency new business meeting (or you have them on a call or at a final presentation), and only one of them presents…what sort of message does this send to the client?

Does it suggest you’re a well-oiled machine or a one-man show that’s hard to scale up to meet the client’s needs?

A hypothetical and some thoughts:

You’ve been asked to pitch and you don’t want to control the entire presentation.

You’ve also been asked to bring the team who’s going to work on the client’s business.

Your conundrum: certain members of the team do great work but aren’t particularly dynamic in pitches.

So how do you present a unified front while also avoiding putting the client to sleep?

Try a different approach.

Instead of the team “presenting,” have them talk about working for the agency and what makes them passionate about working for this particular client.

Or have them talk about why they love their specialty and why they bring value to the agency and their other clients’ businesses.

Keep them off the note cards and the slides and have them talk from the heart.

Agency New Business

And for God’s sake…practice! 

At least the general framework and order of the pitch, so you’re all really on the same page.

You want to seem well orchestrated and very prepared.

What you do and how you act in a presentation, from the time you arrive (on time!) to how you finish up, is a reflection of how you might ultimately work with the client.

I was in a presentation recently where one of the agencies showed up 5 minutes before the presentation was supposed to start.

Client was getting nervous and as the search consultant, I was getting uncomfortable.

And while they were able to pull it off without a technical glitch, it just sent the wrong initial message to the client.

I’m a big believer in “what you see, is what you’ll ultimately get”.

So remember, show them the bench is strong.

Be prepared and organized.

It’s not a one-man show.

The client is buying an agency, not one person.

The deeper the bench, the more confidence your prospective client is going to have and the more likely you’re going to take home the work.

Mark is a 30-year veteran of the consumer packaged goods, advertising, and marketing service industry. Mark started his career at DDB Needham in Chicago prior to earning his MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Business School at Northwestern where he majored in Marketing and Economics. Prior to starting RSW/US in 2005, Mark was General Manager for AcuPOLL, a global research consultancy. Sneider worked in Marketing for S.C. Johnson and KAO Brands. Sneider has been invited to speak at numerous Agency events and network conferences domestically and internationally including the 4A’s, Magnet, NAMA, TAAN, and MCAN. Sneider has been featured in prominent industry publications including Adweek, Media Post, e-Marketer, and Forbes. When not working (which often seems like not often), Mark likes to run miles, go to church, and just chill with a hard copy issue of Fast Company.