Solving the new business problem no one likes to talk about

Hi. Many, many agencies suggest they’re great in new business. If they only had more pitches! Loyal Thunderclappers will have seen a few interesting ideas on this ad agency new business blog that will help increase the number of opportunities they have.

But what about the problem no one wants to admit they have? The one that people deny all the time.

I’m talking about losing. You earn the pitch… move through the RFP phase and credentials… get more excited as each round goes by and you face fewer competitors… only to lose at finals.

What happened?! Ya got me. I wasn’t there. But here’s a list of common culprits:

  • Failure to market the agency throughout the process
  • Non alignment around the presentation
  • Lack of key inside insights and intel around decision-makers and/or company
  • Incomplete brief to team (beyond the client’s challenges, what are the messages we need to communicate that convince them we’re better than our competitors?)
  • Poor presentation construction
  • Inability to make the human connection (“chemistry”)
  • Entering finals as an also-ran (not a true competitor)
  • An inefficient method for pulling together pitch content and context
  • Failure to connect the work to the needed client impact
  • Ensuring all have a shared new business skill set
  • Poor search consultant management

So, there are lots of reasons why your agency lost. And the thing of it is that your mileage could vary on each and every trip. Er, pitch.

And while it might be easy for you to read that your solution to solving the kinds of challenges listed above by hiring your friendly ad agency new business consultant, let’s be a little less self serving.

So, one solution that can help with many of the above challenges?

Build and follow a process
This concept can take many forms. It could be a brief, that addresses the prospect’s marketing problem AND details intel around the decision-makers. Or maybe it’s a roadmap that lays out the deliverables over time and how you can marshal the team to win each deliverable and leverage the time in between. Whatever it is, the process could build in the energy for you to focus on a particular challenge your agency has around winning. So you can avoid easily made mistakes.

Very easy to get carried away with something like this, though. Complications can just as easily muck things up. There is an art to it, though, which yours truly just realized will make for a nice little post sometime. So, c’mon back when you can.