Welcome to The Drum Network’s new business bites series, which aims to divulge bite sized pieces of wisdom for agencies in gaining new business. New business is always at the top of the agenda for most of the 30,000 agencies in the UK, but is there enough new business for all of them? New Business Bites is here for small to medium sized agencies to gain some tips in winning new clients and building their pipeline. Bites are provided by new business connoisseurs each week.
This week we have James Brooke, Managing Director of Rooster PR, who has given us some dos and don’ts in the pitching process. Pitching is a connundrum that every businessperson will face in their career. James has provided some general guidelines to follow when approaching the all important P-day.
Don’t pretend to know more than you do – You might be an expert in your field, but never assume you know everything about your potential client’s business. Be honest with both your attributes and drawbacks and you’ll find people are more open to a collaborative work relationship.
Leave the jargon at the door – Every sector has its particular phases and terminology, but when you’re pitching to someone outside the sector, don’t drag them down with a jargon-laden pitch. You’ll only come across as poor communicators and tie your potential client in knots.
Show your enthusiasm - Obviously you shouldn’t pitch for a company if your heart is not in it, but you should ensure that you make an extra effort to display your passion during the pitch. If you’re not excited before the work has even begun, then how do you expect anyone to let you loose on their brand?
First impressions count - By the time you’ve got to the pitch it’s likely the company you’re in discussions with will have a pretty good impression of your business. From your website to the initial phone calls, make sure you have everything geared towards impressing new clients like it is part of the final pitch.
Relationships are key – At the end of the day, the personal relationships between you and your client are the most important thing. We’ve had pitches that went perfectly but didn’t result in new business, while other clients I’ve met initially at the bar and have had fruitful relationships ever since.