Having a Good Pitch
I love a good pitch - but then who doesn't? I would guess that incumbent suppliers for a start must dread re-pitching for business. It's always difficult to put forward new ways of doing things without inviting the question of ' why haven't you been proactive and suggested this before?'. This is why I think pitches as a whole can sometimes be healthy for agency/client relationships since it can refocus both parties on strategic aims and working practices.
It's been noted in other forums that in terms of effort and resource, pitching for business can cost an agency up to £50k not to mention the additional stress and alcoholism it must cause. Sometimes, we on the client side of marketing, often don't appreciate the effort and work that goes into a pitch presentation. I for one, however, get excited about the process and the hope of finding a gem of new insight or innovation along the way.
The process can often be long and there are certainly key areas where points can be scored:
Chemistry is key - we all want to work with people we get along with and who push and challenge us to achieve greater things.
Show an interest - once the brief has been received, maintain communication - we clients want to feel loved and want to see that you're interested in the company and hungry for the business.
Answer the brief - silly as it sounds, sometimes pitch responses miss the objective of the brief, and there's nothing worse than getting an answer to a question you didn't ask.
Practice your presentation - all the information may be in your pack, but if you run out of time and don't present it, it may not necessarily come to life as much as you'd like - and you are relying on the diligence of the pitch panel to read your materials thoroughly.
Don't be afraid to challenge - contrary to belief, most clients like being challenged and given options - show something new and take your audience in a new direction.
Provide great snacks - if it comes to a close call, nice sandwiches or cakes could swing the balance. I of course jest - but I am anyones' for a good Victoria Sponge.
And after all the pain you either have the joy of rebuilding your relationship on a new basis or you have a new partner to contend with - but we all know that honeymoons only last so long.