According to a report from Agility PR Solutions, all year round, 11% of advertising agencies pitch weekly, and some do it ten times yearly. The report also stated that pitching contributes to 28% of their stress levels. With those in mind, you can see the importance of pitching to prospective clients. So, in your advertising agency, you should make it a part of its operations. Pitching can enable your agency to expand its clientele exponentially.
However, it won’t be easy, and it doesn’t guarantee instant success. Those are two of the multiple reasons why some ad agencies say pitching increased their stress by 28%, as mentioned earlier. Fortunately, there’s a structured step-by-step guideline to win at pitching, and we’re going to walk you through it. So, without further delays, here are the steps in making an advertising pitch.
Gather and Study Client Information
Making an advertising pitch is similar to creating an advertising agency business plan in some ways. In creating a business plan, you need to write a section analyzing your target clients, mostly detailing their needs, requirements, and preferences. In making an advertising pitch, that is the first step.
You can’t pitch to a client successfully without knowing their business goals. That only leads to nothing but a dead end. So, make sure to learn about your clients first. Gather information about their business—particularly those that concern their products and services. And also, familiarize yourself with their target consumers and primary competitors.
Study everything about a client’s profile and use it as your basis in formulating a compelling pitch.
Make an Interesting Story
In pitching, you shouldn’t talk about business aspects right away. Instead, make an interesting story that engagingly sells your advertising ideas. In making a story, you can refer to movies, books, history, or business success testimonials. It’s human nature to be enchanted by stories, both fiction and non-fiction, and especially if they reflect present real-life situations. That said, telling a story that’s engaging and relatable will certainly hook a client right from the start.
Present a Problem
The story you’ll create must have a conflict or something that gives suspense to its plot. That conflict or suspenseful element should be a representation of the client’s business problem. If you can relay that effectively through your story, the client will see that you’re going somewhere significant. Hence, he or she will definitely hear you out more.
In presenting a problem, you can use some sort of metaphor, or you can show it as the client’s real problem. This step is the main reason why gathering and studying client information is very important. You’ll never know what issues clients are facing without acquainting yourself to them. Thus, you won’t be able to present a relevant problem.
Be the Hero
Stories typically have heroes who’ll save the day. In your pitch’s story, that hero is you and your ad agency. How to be the hero, you ask? The answer’s simple. Be the hero by presenting solutions to the story’s problem, or shall we say the client’s problem. This is the part where you’ll imply your agency’s role.
You can say that this is the most vital step, and no one will disagree. After all, the main objective of an advertising pitch is to convince clients that you can help in promoting their business. So, use your advertising expertise to propose the best checklist of solutions to the client. These solutions could be advanced marketing strategies, advertising fundamentals, planning and management tactics, and many more.
Back Your Pitch with Research
If the client likes your proposition through your story, that means you got his or her full attention. By then, your conversation will become more serious. The two of you will begin talking about his or her business. Most notably, the client will ask questions regarding your services and how they can complement his or her brand. Plus, he or she might also inquire about your price quotation or fees.
In this scenario, what you must look out for is when the client questions the effectiveness of your proposed solutions. The client is within his or her right to do that because what’s at stake will be his or her business. Due to that, it’s crucial to back your pitch with credible research.
For that matter, you can show the client some advertising statistics that support your solutions. They could be from surveys or research papers by advertising experts. You could even use your agency’s excellent track record to add to its selling points. Take note that backing your pitch with research will strengthen its persuasive power.
Do Some Rehearsals
Once you’ve completed your pitch’s outline, don’t rush to schedule a meeting with the client. Take some time to rehearse it first. Try to practice your tone, speech, and articulation. Keep in mind that verbal skill is a key component in pitching. You can rehearse in your office, your bedroom, or anywhere private.
Moreover, rehearsing your pitch or proposal isn’t just about honing your verbal delivery of it. It’s also about mastering its topic. So, make sure to study your proposition further. By rehearsing well, you’ll be more than ready during the actual pitch.
Don’t Overdo Things
One of the rules in pitching is not to overdo things. Just keep things simple, especially the story you’re going to make. Everything should be explainable and understandable for the client’s convenience. And don’t make your pitch too long. For sure, the client has other things to attend to. So be considerate by keeping your pitch as concise as possible.
Don’t Be Too Formal During the Pitch
Some representatives and entrepreneurs make the mistake of being too formal in meeting prospective clients. Yes, being formal is necessary for such occasions, but it makes the meeting less engaging and human. So during the pitch, see to it to display your personality as well on top of being formal.
Keep in Touch
After your pitch, two things are likely to happen. One, the client will agree to do business with your agency; two, the client will say he or she will consider your offer and decide at a later time. If it’s the former that’ll occur, then congrats in advance. But if it’s the latter, make sure to keep in touch with the client.
Clients that are saying they’ll consider it’s not always a subtle way of implying that they refuse. It could be that other agencies pitched at them, and they haven’t decided which one to pick. If that’s the case, then you’re still in the game. That’s why you have to keep in touch with the client.
To keep in touch, you can leave him or her a soft copy of your pitch. The client might want to review it later for consideration. And also, give him or her your email or contact number. That’s in case the client will send you a memo saying he or she accepts your offer.
In running an ad agency, not every opportunity will present itself on a silver platter. Sometimes, or most of the time, you must chase opportunities head-on. And one way of doing that is by making an advertising pitch. By applying these nine steps, your agency will win the favor of many prospective clients.