My post last week titled “Words of wisdom from THE ad agency pitch consultants” generated both a high level of traffic and numerous requests from readers asking for more of them. Here they are:
First, I thought I would share with you a piece of editorial that you may find both interesting and surprising. In recent discussions many of the pitch consultants have shared the fact that they are getting increasingly involved in non-advertising related pitches. For many years these consultants have been primarily involved in the larger ad agency reviews with very few direct, promotional or interactive type assignments.
Well, the tide has turned. Many of them are now reporting that they are being more frequently retained to conduct both AOR searches, as well as agency searches, for large stand alone projects. (Across a wide range of categories) So while in the past their comments may have been more pertinent to the ad agency fraternity, today they are increasingly pertinent to a much broader group.
- When you read in Ad Age or any other trade journal that an account has gone into review, DO NOT send a “Pile of Stuff” to the pitch consultant handling the review. It just gets thrown in the corner and piles up with all the other unsolicited submissions.
If you are going to send something in, make it short, to the point and make sure that you demonstrate value. Keep in mind that by the time you read about it in the trades, you are probably too late. The review is most likely too far along already to include a new agency. (Leslie Winthrop, AAR Partners)
- The number one pitch killer is a CEO who talks too much and talks about irrelevant matters. Closely followed is a perceived lack of passion on the agencies behalf and the third is a disconnect between that strategy and the creative execution. (Hasan Ramusevic, Hasan & Co.)
- “We just received an RFP that seems promising, but we can’t ascertain what the potential revenue and scope is?” Ask the consultant or client to try to define it. If it is not forthcoming consider this a red flag. If you start out not knowing, you will probably have the same issue all the way through the relationship. (Ann Billock, Ark Advisors LLC.)
- “If the agency brief says that you should have your day to day team present in the pitch, what do you do?” If the team members concerned are proficient presenters, then you have no problem. If some are not, do not let them pitch. You will need to compromise as you should never take a weak presenter to a pitch. In this instance support those team members who are proficient presenters with some of your stars. Your objective is to win and sometimes in order to do that you have to break some rules. (David Beals, Jones, Lundin, Beals)
- NEVER go over your allotted time in a pitch. Not only is it bad manners and disrespectful, it shows that you have not rehearsed. Always rehearse and make everyone rehearse, even those who claim that they can “only be real on the day”. Insist they do it. In addition, whatever number of slides you have, cut them in half. Make every word count and make sure that you engage the clients. (Cleve Langton, New Business 3.0)