Bending The Rules In A New Business Pitch Without Being Disqualified (Part II)

This is the second in a series of key takeaways for you to consider when involved in a new business pitch.

As I discussed earlier, there is a delicate balance between playing by the rules and bending them because the last thing you want is to be disqualified for not adhering to the process.

That said there are ways to push the boundaries without stepping over them and get points for being assertive in the process. Along those lines, here is some additional food for thought:

Match The Client Up With Your Best Account Lead

Let’s face it, clients want to meet the team and understand who the client lead will be. But most agencies don’t have talent just sitting around. This is one of the toughest challenges agencies face in a review, especially with larger accounts. The last thing you want to do is serve up someone who ultimately won’t have the bandwidth to service the business. You never want to bait and switch. So be transparent. It’s okay to admit you don’t have a client lead in place should you win the account. In this case, discuss your best practice hiring process and how you will commit to finding the perfect client lead. Clients will appreciate the transparency and you can even make them part of the selection process.



Customize Case Studies

When I read RFI submissions along with the clients, I find that many case studies drone on and on and it’s hard to get to the point. Most case study examples do a great job of setting up the challenge, what the agency did to address it and what the outcome was. But my advice is to get to the point quickly. Perhaps open with a paragraph that states why this case study is relevant to the prospect because they may not read further. In addition, while KPIs and sales results are everything, they are typically presented in a vacuum. You need to state that the results exceeded the client goals otherwise, it's hard to tell how compelling the case really is. One way to bend the rule is to present video vs. written case studies as they can be more impactful.

Offer Up A Way To Present Your Fee Proposal In Person

Submitting fee proposals in writing is so challenging as you don’t have the ability to truly explain your personalized approach and why it’s worth the cost. Be sure you develop a proposal that you feel is commensurate with the scope and never negotiate against yourself.

You can tell the client that you are open and receptive to their feedback and that you’re happy to adjust accordingly. Try and ask for a separate face to face meeting to present your fee proposal rather than having to submit it in writing. This way, you can present your recommendation along with rationale and then start a two-way dialogue to better understand the true scope and its impact.

I can’t reiterate enough that you must lean into a review and dial up your engagement by asking questions and requesting additional touch points, all in a constructive way. As a result, you will come across as more passionate than the other agencies. Finding ways to do things a bit differently will set you apart from the competition.

And again, it is perfectly acceptable to maintain a close dialogue with the search consultant. Engage them with these kinds of ideas for their feedback and endorsement. They will also provide the insight needed to allow you to bend the rules without recourse.

Agency reviews are so difficult and time consuming. The stakes are high, and you want to have the best possible shot at the business. So, you must always uncover ways to tactfully bend the rules to ensure your agency will be successful.

Next story loading loading..