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

  • Internet of Things: A Generation's Lightbulb Moment

    Join us as we delve into the smart world being built around us, as we ponder the pressing ...

    23/02/2016 | Amaze Manchester, 1 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester.

    Join us as we delve into the smart world being built around us, as we ponder the pressing questions as we step across the threshold into our smart homes.

  • Leadership & Management 1-Day Workshop

    This 1-Day course will help participants develop their core management skills in terms of ...

    24/02/2016 | Workplace in Manchester, United Kingdom

    This 1-Day course will help participants develop their core management skills in terms of leading their teams and growing their digital business.

  • Camp Digital 2016

    It’s our 5th birthday, and we’re lining up our biggest and best event yet. Over two days you’ll ...

    17/03/2016 | Manchester Town Hall

    It’s our 5th birthday, and we’re lining up our biggest and best event yet. Over two days you’ll see some inspirational speakers, attend practical, hands-on workshops and network with peers from one of the UK’s most vibrant ...

look at all events Go to our calendarlink

Things we tweet about

  • orchard_helen - 10 minutes ago

    Jesus.... 😳 https://t.co/7jg4t37Kp4

  • orchardjobs - 2 hours ago

    Creative Graphic Designer in #Manchester, up to £26k. - @Orchard_Tommy #designjobs https://t.co/Lt8700jZVM

  • orchardtweets - 1 day ago

    RT @uncoatedmanc: Note To Self - A Tale Of Resilience https://t.co/NKojB1Vqz5 @Orchardtweets @NoteToSelf_____

  • orchard_davidh - 1 day ago

    @BehrouzIX thanks Behrouz. Great to meet you too!

  • orchard_andy - 1 day ago

    https://t.co/hKlPyCyipQ

  • orchard_lucy - 1 day ago

    RT @Orchardtweets: Great evening last night which @Orchard_Andy has recapped. @Texturemcr @chrisgaffey @lordwhitney @claudiaklat @uncoatedm…

  • orchard_laura - 1 day ago

    RT @Orchardtweets: Great evening last night which @Orchard_Andy has recapped. @Texturemcr @chrisgaffey @lordwhitney @claudiaklat @uncoatedm…

  • orchard_chris - 1 day ago

    JOB: Freelance Brand Strategist. If you're experienced in int/ext stakeholder interviews, focus groups, positioning workshops, get in touch!

  • orchard_rick - 1 day ago

    It feels like the last time I had a meeting with a client where they didn't complain about sky pinching their staff was in 2006.

  • orchard_mike - 3 days ago

    @ermlikeyeah excellent I actually meant my boys Simon but of course girls will love it to!

  • orchard_daniel - 4 days ago

    Thoroughly enjoyed #PNLive today, great event with some really inspirational keynote speakers!!

  • orchard_aj - 4 days ago

    Creative Manager role, North Manchester. £25,000 - £30,000. In-House company...get in touch for further details. https://t.co/nWKJXLF0dM

  • orchard_davido - 5 days ago

    Another quality standard free delivery from @amazon, arrived within a day and a half again!!

  • orchard_luke - 8 days ago

    "Did the recession kill creative marketing? " on @LinkedIn https://t.co/ub4TYPDxpk

  • orchard_tommy - 9 days ago

    @Mcr_FRED Looking forward to tonights talks :D See you guys there...

  • orchard_sarahc - 11 days ago

    RT @alexcannon247: Just spent at least 2 minutes trying to find an emoji to best describe Stephanie. These were the contenders... 👎🏼😷🐀🐖🐶🐍🚲🔫…

  • orchard_rich - 28 days ago

    RT @Darth_Vivid: Streamsports seem a little confused as to who Man Utd are playing today…. #mufc #sufc #swfc https://t.co/y6earf8BGE

  • orchard_charley - 50 days ago

    RT @Orchard_Laura: Orchard girlies! Xmas do! @Orchard_Helen @Orchard_Lucy @orchard_sarahc @Orchard_Charley https://t.co/fsQ40r2tQl