Tue 19 Mar 2024 11:00am UK time

Pitching is still a huge headache for agencies. Too often, you put so much time, effort, creativity and resources into a pitch for your client – and then you end up talking to black screens. 

“We struggle to get 100% attention during virtual pitches,” shared one agency leader. “Sometimes they just won’t do in-person and you can tell they’re looking at emails or juggling childcare.”

Worse even, it seems client decision-making is slower than ever, with some not getting back to you at all! It’s forcing some agencies to act desperately…

“A lot of people are thinking, ‘We just need the work, so let’s be ‘yes people’,” says Rachel Raphael, co-founder of outskirt collective.

 “But you’re setting yourself up for failure. You’re setting the tone that it’s a master-servant relationship – and if they feel that’s the case, they’re not going to value what you do.”

According to Rachel, other common hurdles for agencies include:

Distilling the brief – “Sometimes, the actual pitch briefs are a shocker. So, it’s about knowing the right questions to ask to distil the brief – because often there’s a brief behind a brief. You need to be clear on what’s important to them, and what’s going to win it for you.” 

Unclear expectations – “You should insist on a tissue session where  you go in, and you say, ‘Based on your brief, this is what we believe the strategy is – is that correct?’ It maximises your time and makes the pitch process a lot more effective – especially if the pitch brief itself is crap.”

Not having a formulated pitch response – “Teams often fall at the first hurdle because normally, everyone’s so busy, so the response is, ‘Right! Let’s get going!’ When actually, you haven’t formulated a plan. And then the wheels fall off very quickly.”

So how can you create a bulletproof pitch process that is guaranteed to convert?

In this month’s Marketing & New Biz mastermind, Rachel Raphael and Caroline Sparkes will delve into how you can refine your pitch process and avoid being ghosted by clients.

If pitching is something you know you need to work on, then come along to pose your questions to the experts.