Every twelve or fifteen months, your agency will be face-to-face with a “defining moment.” 

stop using slides to pitch for new business

Most ad agencies haven’t changed the way they present for new business in years.

A new business opportunity that, if won, has the power to redefine who your agency is because of the account’s size, scope, industry, or reputation. When this happens, call Sanders Consulting for immediate help and assistance to increase your agency’s chances of success.

Advertising and new business are very different. And if you are thinking that good advertising will be enough to win the account, then you need to reconsider. Good advertising helps but most new business decisions are made on the basis of best presentation and best chemistry.

You need to understand how to organize the new business presentation and pitch strategy to maximize your chances for new business success. Casting, staging, topic outline, order of presentation, content, leave-behinds, speaker support devices, and presentation format need to be quickly decided! In most cases agencies find it very helpful to have rehearsals arranged and directed by us. The wins increase. And the anxiety lowers. Your ad agency presentation skill will grow.

Michael Weiss, managing director of figure18, has some great insight into pitches here and his thoughts can be summarized into a few key points:

  1. Stop relying on PowerPoint to do the talking! PowerPoint is a support tool. It is not the focal point of the pitch. If it were, then why would you even need to show up.
  2. A pitch is not a meeting; it’s a performance! You have 60 minutes to wow them; to make them put down their iPhones and take notice.
  3. It’s not you; it’s me! Where most agencies fail in the pitch is with their content: They go into the pitch and all they do is talk about themselves.
  4. Kibitz and nosh! Don’t be so formal and “wait” for the scheduled time to begin the pitch. Get there early, set up, walk around the room, and kibitz with the clients as they file in.
  5. Don’t focus on the win! Place your center of attention on creating an inspiring, educational, and engaging experience that will convince the client that you are the agency they want to work with.

While we may not agree with everything Michael offers overall it’s great advice, and we offer some more here:

And we offer two training programs; Presenting To Win that is optimized to achieve the greatest success for your firm, and Account In Review where we act as behind-the-scenes coaches in many significant agency wins each year.

Before you let your “defining moment” drift away, call Sanders Consulting Group at 412.897.9329 or drop a line to [email protected] for quotes and availability. Your call is free, but after you win, you’ll consider the advice priceless.


Photo by PAlisauskas