Guest blog by Andrew Thomas: Is there a difference between – winning and not losing a pitch?


Yes it’s a rhetorical question. I don’t expect an answer. You may think I don’t deserve one because both options are the same outcome, just expressed differently.

But are they?

I would argue that they are not when it comes to winning new business. Why? Let’s look at a sporting analogy. I know it’s early to be thinking about Wimbledon but consider this. What does Andy Murray have to do to win the championship? Obvious isn’t it – not lose in the first six rounds. So to win, you have to avoid losing first.

And this is equally true when we think about winning new business. It’s a truism to think that winning fixates us all and finding out what that “formula” will guarantee our success. The reality is there is no formula. Every pitch is different and the issue each client faces unique to them. Get close to the prospective client and you may get to understand it – if they reveal it as part of the briefing process – and might resolve it better than any of the other competing agencies.

Notice I used the words “may” and “might”. No guarantees then.

I would argue there is only one way to guarantee winning pitches and that’s by making sure you don’t lose. By that I mean snatching defeat from the jaws of victory or chucking it all away with moments to go. This is very easily done and I keep seeing agencies doing time and again. Great ideas coming from a sound logical argument based on real customer insight. A well-rehearsed presentation delivered impeccably. Then the wheels come off.

Sloppy brand representation, getting the client's name spelt incorrectly – Sara not Sarah, or Steven not Stephen – or referring to the Marketing Director as the Marketing Manager. All can turn a client off in an instant.

The truth is you cannot win a pitch until you make sure you have eliminated everything that could lose it for you. So impeccable attention to detail is critical. Will that mean you will win? Not necessarily but it will mean you get to the final and have the chance of winning. Then it’s up to you and the relationship you can forge with the prospect. How you set about developing better rapport and chemistry with the client team.

But that’s another story for another day…

Andrew Thomas

@thegreenfield


What experiences do you have of being involved in pitches, from either side of the fence, that lost out due to lack of the basics, such as attention to detail? It would be great to hear your stories.





Comments...

Add a comment


Name:   
Comment:   
 

Jobs we know about

Things we know are happening

  • Digital Revolution 2016

    With a focus on development and support of the digital industry across the North West, Digital ...

    06/05/2016 | Comedy Store

    With a focus on development and support of the digital industry across the North West, Digital Revolution offers a snapshot of the businesses that are thriving here.

  • Leeds Indie Filmmakers - WorkShed #6: Editing for Film

    Number 6 of our WorkShed series. This time our focus is on Post-Production, specifically editing ...

    07/05/2016 | Macaulay Street

    Number 6 of our WorkShed series. This time our focus is on Post-Production, specifically editing for film.

  • 3D Printer UserGroup

    3DPUG is a club for owners and operators of hobbyist 3D printers to help and advise each other ...

    09/05/2016 | Pollard Street East, Manchester

    3DPUG is a club for owners and operators of hobbyist 3D printers to help and advise each other about all aspects of building, using, and maintaining a 3D printer.

  • Start Up Stories - Perfecting your pitch

    We'll be giving tips and helpful advice to the audience about how best to present yourself ...

    13/05/2016 | Rise, 231 Deansgate, M3 4EN

    We'll be giving tips and helpful advice to the audience about how best to present yourself as a company; both in pitches to potential investors and to your audience / customer base.

look at all events Go to our calendarlink

Things we tweet about

  • orchard_helen - 31 minutes ago

    England's version of summer... ☀️ 6•c 🌧 21•c

  • orchardjobs - 31 minutes ago

    Digital Designer in #West Yorkshire, up to £23k. - @Orchard_Rick #digitaljobs https://t.co/Q7yxwpFQPz

  • orchard_mike - 14 hours ago

    @wongster0 @dancook2 @metoffice Celery and baby oil? Warning was snow in London & hurricane in the North?!Answers on a twitter card please

  • orchardtweets - 15 hours ago

    Account Manager in #Manchester, up to £35k. - @Orchard_Chris #agencyjobs https://t.co/8TXryMC8nZ

  • orchard_andy - 16 hours ago

    Social Media Manager https://t.co/nUxbxF2bDw

  • orchard_davidh - 17 hours ago

    And of course, thank you to all of the @Orchardtweets team. Legends.

  • orchard_aj - 17 hours ago

    Just received a BD email from a company via applying for one of my vacancies advertised, offering 'to do the job' smart? stupid? annoying?

  • orchard_chris - 19 hours ago

    Brand new Marketing and Communications executive role for one of the leading not-for-profit sports brands in the UK.…https://t.co/Pr76D7l7Kx

  • orchard_rick - 1 day ago

    Brands still using "Star Wars Day" as a thing. Stop it. Stop it now. https://t.co/fQY9s2s7BO

  • orchard_rebecca - 7 days ago

    Best of luck to @irishalan tonight at the #prolificnorthawards #PNA16 https://t.co/kN4kA9Y9qm

  • orchard_davido - 8 days ago

    Looking for a Unity 3D Developer available for freelance work for a Manchester based Agency to start ASAP! Contact Dave on 0161 455 0055

  • orchard_rich - 13 days ago

    RT @AlanBiggs1: If the authorities can't face up to & reply to injustice on that magnitude it is scandalous. #swfc #PGMOL https://t.co/f5Q…

  • orchard_daniel - 14 days ago

    'Brand personality is simply applying human characteristics to brands' #CIMNorthernConf

  • orchard_tommy - 15 days ago

    :: New Role :: Creative packaging #Designer in #Manchester city centre - £25k+ Please DM me your CV & work :) #job https://t.co/YG0pMs5JDF

  • orchard_lucy - 27 days ago

    Looking for a #Freelance #Magento developer for a project based in #Lancashire next week. Please get in touch for details