Tues 23 Jul 2024 11:00am UK time

“There’s nothing more demoralising than working on something that’s never going to make it into the world. You’ve got all these people in your agency working stupidly late nights, all for the glory of the pitch which they still don’t win.”

It’s no secret that pitching is a headache for most, if not all, agencies. But what if there was a way to circumvent the entire process altogether? 

That’s what Aaron Hutchinson did. 

In 2017, Aaron discovered Win Without Pitching. Originally a book written by Blair Enns, the WWP is now a fully-fledged sales training company for creative firms – designed to shift the power dynamic between agencies and their clients.

Its key principles are:

  • Positioning. Focus on specialising in a particular market or service area, rather than trying to be a generalist.
  • Lead with expertise. Instead of competing on price or through traditional pitches, focus on demonstrating expertise rather than just providing a service.
  • Diagnose before prescribing. Engage in deep conversations with potential clients to understand their problems thoroughly before offering solutions, rather than pitching generic services.
  • Price on value, not time. Shift from time and materials to value-based pricing.
  • Saying no to the wrong clients. Don’t be yes people. Be selective about clients, turning down work that doesn’t fit your expertise or business goals.
  • All in all, it gives agencies a lot more control when it comes to winning work. 

“We were really extreme; we said we were never going to pitch again,” says Aaron, the former global managing director of Across The Pond.

“You still engage in conversation with clients, but through your thought-leadership and demonstration of your expertise, it’s possible to win work without having to pitch and give away all of your value for free.”

You wouldn’t ask someone who builds houses to build three before you agree to go hire them, so why should this be any different?

But it’s not just about empowering the team. Through adopting the framework, Aaron’s agency chose to specialise in AI and cutting-edge tech, meaning they could often bypass the traditional pitching process and still attract dream clients. 

Combined with a value-based pricing approach, this helped them achieve some impressive growth: “In the first year we started the WWP framework, I think we calculated around $750k of extra revenue, just from pricing differently.”

Due to popular demand, for one time only, Aaron will be repeating his talk from Agency Growth Summit and will share his journey with ‘Win Without Pitching’. He’ll discuss how it helped his agency grow, lifted team morale, and how it could do the same for you too.