If we can sing our own praises very briefly, we’ve had some strong client wins lately and one in particular that was a reminder of what you should, or really must do, before you go into that first ad agency pitch meeting.
This particular RSW/US client is a B2B communications firm and their prospective client was a major player in the printing/machinery industry.
They won the business within the last month and had their first official sit down recently.
At the end of the meeting, they were wrapping everything up, and the VP of Marketing looked at our client and said, “Do you want to know why you got the business?”
Of course, our client replied, “Yes, we would.”
And they said, “We gave it you because you showed a genuine interest in how we work and our challenges and you had obviously done your homework. You didn’t just show up and pitch. It made a real impact on us and our decision.”
So, what did our client do?
1) They spoke with us about next steps, what initial recommendations we might make.*
2) They did the requisite homework: researched the client’s competition, their market situation, whatever helped to understand their need states.
3) They stayed with the prospective client, respectfully but persistently. Our client made it down to the final cut and was one of five agencies to pitch, including a local favorite. Unfortunately they were second to pitch, and would have about three weeks until a decision would be made. Our client gathered a list of questions to help them prepare for the pitch and then asked those questions over the course of the three week period in brief, personable emails. Note-these were legitimate questions, not just ways to stay in front of the prospect.
4) Finally, our client purchased one of the company’s signature products to familiarize themselves, noting the positive features, as well as potential areas of improvement.
Along with their expertise, their efforts prior to the pitch helped push them over the top.
This process undoubtedly took effort and time, which can be very hard to come by for agencies (and for anyone, really).
Understandably, you may not always be able to purchase a company product either, but everything else mentioned above-there’s no excuse not to carry out these steps.
In the long run, whatever time you take carrying out these types of activities will be worth it.
As our client pointed out after winning the business, “I felt great after that comment especially, and was very thankful for the agencies that just showed up to pitch.”
Don’t be one of those agencies.