Most marketing agencies focus almost exclusively on developing the perfect content, which is the least important part of any presentation and the most easily forgotten part.

bad presenting skills

You’re doing it wrong.

Prospects will remember long after the presentation how you looked, what you wore, how charming your presenters were to one another, how well prepared the entire show was, and whether or not you entertained them. Your perfect line, your break-through strategy recommendation, or the neat way you executed an interactive plan is usually forgotten within an hour.

Really Doing It Wrong!

Several years ago an agency president called and wanted us to help his firm win a nice piece of telecommunications business. This was a major opportunity! The president shared over the phone with us that his firm wasn’t very good at pitching because they had lost the last 22 pitches in a row. That certainly qualifies you as not being good at pitching. We asked why he hadn’t called after five losses, or ten losses, or fifteen losses in a row, why wait for 22? The president answered so honestly, “I thought we were getting better each time.” Obviously not.

We told him we could help him. Really, how could we have hurt him? I’m happy to say we won the next pitch with him. A great win that changed the agency forever.

Doing It Right!

One time we helped an agency win a $100 million account in pharmaceutical business, and the new business manager who had an override on wins was thrilled. Four weeks later, he brought us back to help him win another $100 million account in banking. He earned more money that year than the president of the firm: on his overrides. The agency was thrilled to pay it because they were now dominate players in two new categories they had no previous experience in. All in four weeks.

Win Your Next Pitch!

At Sanders Consulting Group, we have helped agencies win new business presentations around the world. Sometimes acting as presentation advisers or strategy sounding boards, often as producers, directors, and even script writers. We understand how important the show is to prospects, and how a great strategy poorly presented will lose every time to a weak strategy presented in a highly professional manner. Our help often includes but not exclusive to:

  • Uncovering the prospect’s expectations, hidden and otherwise
  • Identifying the true selection process
  • Assessing the potential for winning
  • Reviewing the best presenting technique
  • Determining what subject matter should be included to help win
  • Selecting materials that should be included in the leave behind
  • Identifying the overall pitch strategy
  • Creating the presentation nuggets
  • Setting up key members of the prospect review panel
  • Tantalizing the prospect after the presentation

During the length of the engagement we act as a facilitator and trainer to help the agency develop a winning presentation. The skills developed during this pitch will last a lifetime for all the members of the pitch team.

If your presentations aren’t clicking and your new business pitching score is suffering, consider using us as advisors on your next pitch. A high-impact alternative is to schedule a one-day, on-site strategy meeting using our learning program called Presenting to Win. It’s jam-packed with new ways to present better, and it gets your whole management team committed to what it takes to win.

For more information on getting your next presentation on the same page as your prospects, give Sanders Consulting Group a call at 412.897.9329.


Wonderful photo by PaLiAnCHo