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

  • Equal Experts - Scaling Agile and Managing Work in Progress

    Equal Experts’ agile practitioners combine technical excellence and business pragmatism to ...

    25/05/2016 | 36-40 Edge Street

    Equal Experts’ agile practitioners combine technical excellence and business pragmatism to deliver simple bespoke software solutions to big business problems.

  • Leeds Web Development

    This is a group intended for web developers in Leeds, sharing development ideas, tools, frameworks ...

    25/05/2016 | 11A The Light, The Headrow

    This is a group intended for web developers in Leeds, sharing development ideas, tools, frameworks and anything else that would help developers. It doesn't matter if you're a hired gun or freelancer all are welcome.

  • McrFRED

    #McrFRED is a monthly meetup for Front-End Developers. Organised by @s10wen

    26/05/2016 | Spaceport X, Manchester, 26 Lever Street.

    #McrFRED is a monthly meetup for Front-End Developers. Organised by @s10wen

  • Barclays Tech Challenge

    Barclays Command Centre is looking to work with those who can build game changing solutions ...

    26/05/2016 | Launch 22

    Barclays Command Centre is looking to work with those who can build game changing solutions to help shape the future of financial services. They have identified their top four interesting topic areas and want to work with ...

look at all events Go to our calendarlink

Things we tweet about

  • orchardtweets - 24 minutes ago

    RT @orchard_AJ: @orchard_AJ full job spec and apply here - https://t.co/jR0wyZqW8U

  • orchard_aj - 44 minutes ago

    @orchard_AJ full job spec and apply here - https://t.co/jR0wyZqW8U

  • orchard_rick - 1 hour ago

    @lauren_in_nyc 💃

  • orchardjobs - 1 hour ago

    Digital Account / Project Manager in #Leeds, up to £27k. - @Orchard_Rick #digitaljobs https://t.co/8PjlIaQfDF

  • orchard_helen - 17 hours ago

    RT @Logo_Geek: Loving this new logo & identity for Paris Convention & Visitors Bureau https://t.co/k7BHRbWu4W via @ucllc #branding https://…

  • orchard_rebecca - 23 hours ago

    Digital Marketing Manager in #westyorkshire required. £24-34k. Impressive progression rates and creative environment https://t.co/SG2eDH2GwM

  • orchard_rich - 1 day ago

    @nlaycock luckily I did get a ticket. Sorry u didn't. See attached if u r happy sitting with Hull supporters UTO https://t.co/2fnHNaQSC5

  • orchard_chris - 1 day ago

    😢 #HoldTheDoor

  • orchard_davidh - 1 day ago

    @orchard_AJ @Orchard_Cain can't wait for him to poke David Platt in the eye next season in the derby 😂

  • orchard_mike - 6 days ago

    Looking forward to the #teamorchard trip tomorrow. Time to release my inner child

  • orchard_andy - 6 days ago

    Metrolink tram disruption throughout summer for Eccles and Media City #Manchester https://t.co/Gytln6lFxY #tram

  • orchard_lucy - 6 days ago

    @McHaleTomj @adeleweaver1 it has already been partly created so they need to continue in PowerPoint for this one.

  • orchard_davido - 6 days ago

    RT @Orchard_Lucy: Please RT: Currently on the lookout for an experienced #freelance #powerpoint specialist for a 2 week booking in #cheshir…

  • orchard_tommy - 11 days ago

    :: NEW JOB :: Graphic Designer // National retail brand // Dynamic creative team - Apply with you CV & Portfolio :) https://t.co/casb3uKYWx