Recently we were hired to assist a small regional agency with a tough formal presentation challenge – a new business pitch. A defining moment. A must win.
The account in review was an economic development council; in other words a government driven, business supported, lots of chiefs with no leadership monster account with procurement driving the process to boot. To make matters worse, they were the last agency going in, the smallest, and considered by everyone to be the long shot. As in not a chance in hell of winning. Out of desperation the agency president called us… frankly he needed a win and didn’t know what else to do.
After three days of working with us they went in with something completely different then what they were originally thinking. They zigged when everyone else zagged. Based on findings from our proprietary brand research protocol, our little agency went in with the bold statement that the problem wasn’t marketing, the problem was branding – and until they got the branding figured out the council shouldn’t waste any time on marketing. With sweeping recommendations to the leadership to rename the council, change key identity brand elements, adopt a new advertising theme, and switch to a totally different PR strategy. In the end all recommendations were adopted without any changes even though the process was highly charged with put-us-first agendas.
We call this a win.
The agency called it the most incredible experience in their history.
So when are you going to call?
How We Can Help
Our advice to agencies generally covers the following items. If you need help in any one area or several, give us a call. Sometimes we can do it by phone. Other times we need to be on-site at your agency. Let’s discuss it first before you start making decisions that could harm your chances of winning.
|Issue||Description and Action|
|How to win||Judging what it will take to win and should the agency go|
|Presentation strategy||Setting the basic strategy needed to win|
|Setup||What to do before the presentation to tantalize|
|Presentation production||Who is going to do what and when|
|Presentation order||Determining how to use the time the best way|
|Profiling assistance||Which presentation tactic to follow|
|How to win||Determining the agency selection process|
|Casting||Who should present and why|
|Research to prepare||Developing a basic situation analysis|
|Script outlines||Generally what to say|
|Scripts||Exactly what to say|
|Setting the time||How much to devote to each section|
|Big idea||How to “wow” them|
|Rehearsing||Individual coaching to improve delivery|
|Closing techniques||How to win and what to say to get a decision|
|Staging||Owning the room|
|Chemistry||Building rapport with the audience|
|After action action||What to do after the presentation is complete|
Some FAQs on Pitch Training
1. Question: What type of pitch training does Sanders Consulting Group offer?
Sanders: We have a day-long program that helps agencies design successful presentations. It’s called Presenting To Win and one of our senior consultants comes to the agency to present it. The focus is on helping the total agency win, not just help one or two people at the agency present better. Over time our clients have overwhelmingly preferred this approach.
2. Question: What’s covered in training?
Sanders: We start with an evaluation of the agency’s recent pitch successes and failures. We try to determine where the problems are. Is it a lack of knowledge or skills or procedures or techniques? Then we show the agency the proper way to design a successful presentation and encourage the agency to adopt these procedures. When they do, the wins really go up.
3. Question: Do you get into pitch structure, the so-called organization of the pitch?
Sanders: Yes. In fact you touched on one of the most important parts to winning and a part of custom pitches that’s rarely understood. In the training we show the agency how to set up the “chunks” of the presentation, meaning its structure. This should be done promptly, even on the day the decision is made to compete. That seems impossible to those agencies that rush to put on pitches without a clear pattern of presenting but this way of organizing the chunks in the very beginning is much better and increases the wins.
4. Question: What else goes into the pitch structure? [Read more...]