The pitch is when the relationship between agency and client starts to get serious. Ideally, you’ll have been building up to this moment over time, nurturing the relationship with conversations and contact.
But the pitch takes things up to a new level. Other parties become interested and involved, perhaps people you’ve not yet met. Money and risk show up at the table. These can lead people to behave in unusual ways. On both agency and client side.
Here are some things to reflect on and build into your pitch process:
Reflect on the terms of the pitch: When you have the terms of the pitch, step back and Spend a moment or two, take a step back and look at: what they are asking you to do and by when. And then ask: what does this tell me about this client? What does it say about their view of what they’re asking you to do.
Clarify your pitch terms: How do you respond to pitches? What are your criteria for what would make a good process for your client to use? And for you?
Mind the gap: What is the difference between your pitch terms and the pitch terms you’re being offered. How big is the gap?
Manage the difference: Have the conversation. This is the challenging part. Invite your client to a conversation about their process. How (and whether even) you have this conversation will reveal quite a lot about you both and your potential to be successful together.
It’s a conversation between equals: You’re both bringing something to the table. Creative agencies sometimes underestimate their influence because they tend to be small businesses compared to their clients. Create your mindset so that you value not just what you can produce but also the way you support your client to make a good decision.
What other thoughts do you have when it comes to pitching? Do get in touch, I’d be pleased to hear from you.