Winning new business is the life blood of advertising agencies. Whenever agencies, (be they full service, tradition media agencies or digital agencies) pitch for a new piece of business, they pull out their best people, their strongest case studies and prepare the presentation, tailoring it as best they can to what they believe the prospective client wants/needs.
I know. I’ve been in those meetings. IBM at Wells Rich Greene, Taco Bell at BBDO Atlanta, Financial clients in Canada. I have done many.
Savvy clients today use search consultants, ask very pointed questions like “Will the people in this presentation be working on our business?”
If I were on the client side of an agency search or helping an agency with a pitch, I would throw something else into the mix.
A bad case study. A failure.
Every agency has compelling success stories. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be in business. But every agency also has failures. I would present one if I was on the agency side and I would demand one if I was on the client side. Why? What’s the upside? Well, for openers you can be fairly certain your competitors won’t be doing that. It will certainly set you apart. Done intelligently, it could also capture the holy grail in business relationships: trustworthiness. Of course, the most important ‘leave behind’ with a failure case is what the agency learned and what it did to ensure it wouldn’t happen again. The most potent failure case would be one with a client the agency still has.
This is counter intuitive to conventional new business thinking. I am willing to bet it would work. What do you think?
Powered by Contact Wordpress