How agencies can pitch clients and win business

The process of pitching clients can be daunting and a real pain in the ass as you have to win over a lot of skeptics. There are ways, however, that agencies can win over skeptical clients and win new business but to do so they need to change how they introduce themselves and do less talking about their past successes.

When I pitch clients I keep in mind that they know more about their business than I do. I never try to tell them what they should or must do, rather I listen more than talk and ask pointed in-depth questions. Here are what agencies should be doing to win new business.

1ne: Announce up-front that you don’t know their business as well as they do

It would be best if you communicated that before you make any recommendations you need to understand who their current customers are beyond demographics. Where do they go for product information? What about competitors? Is your website even a factor in choosing their product? When you have this information you can do more extensive research on what these people are doing online and what ads get them to notice their product.

2wo: Talk about the importance of metrics that matter.

If their website is getting a lot of traffic but the bounce rate is high and time on site is short then something is wrong. Agencies need to focus on metrics that matter to their clients, not vanity metrics.

3hree: Never ask, in the initial meeting, about budgets.

When agencies do this it makes them seem like they are only interested in money.

4our: Discuss integration with the band team and identify key contacts while you do the work.

Your key contact can make or break your agency’s relationship with the client. I once had a client who quit their job and had to start from scratch to bring her replacement up to speed. I also usually ask small questions via CHAT and email rather than taking up time with phone calls.

5ive: Once you’re onboard you should analyze their current spending.

Spending $200,000 a month on Google paid search doesn’t make sense if the metrics don’t support that level of spend. I analyzed a client’s online spending and they were spending over $200 for every visitor from page search.

6ix: You can use previous work but show how you solved problems successfully.

Business and branding are built around internal relationships. It would be best if you communicated how you overcame internal and external issues and successfully exceeded the client’s expectations.

7even: Never allow any of your people to use their phones during a client meeting.

Having agency people use their phones and answer emails during a pitch communicates that you “don’t care about their business”.

8ight: Set up a brand-agency intranet to share market research information.

There should always be a way to share information between agencies other than email. When I worked on a one billion dollar brand launch I set up an intranet for our PR, ad, and digital agencies to share information.

9ine: Even if you don’t get the business stay in touch with key company influencers

I made a detailed pitch to a pharma client and didn’t get the business but I kept sending information on their target market and eventually won back some of their digital marketing.

10en: Never be afraid to push back on something wrong.

A client wanted to do an unbranded site to reach a specific, and small market. I put together a presentation to show how would be a waste of money and was able to change their mind.

If you want the business don’t go in with a canned presentation and make your agency a superstar. Go in and listen more than you talk, ask a lot of questions, and understand what they are looking for,

About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

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