Marijane Funess July 26, 2012 | 01:52:16

Universal Truths About Pitching PR Clients

Right now, we’re waiting to hear whether we have won some new clients pitched in competitive presentations over the last 90 days. Granted, we may not win them all, but whatever the outcome, I am proud of our efforts and have decided to dissect the reasons why I feel so confident. These are my personal “universal truths” about client pitching and acquisition in the agency world. Hope it is helpful to all of you in your own “biz dev” cycle.

If you’re pitching, you should be writing. Or at least reading and contributing to the proposal during the process.  Ideally each member of the pitch team should have a hand in researching, writing and editing the proposal – the more familiar a presenter is, the stronger they will be in selling your agency’s plan.

Tweak and tweak more. Keep honing and refining till you get it right. Particularly if you are presenting in PowerPoint, you have the ability to tweak up until the last minute to take advantage of sudden brilliance or breaking news in the prospect’s company or industry.

Get the scoop on the group. Learn as much as you can about those you are presenting to, the room set-up, the time, and the expectations for the meeting (discussion or formal presentation, etc.) Advance knowledge is often key to getting the best read and adjusting your recommendations accordingly.

Over-rehearse. No, really, do that! Remember, it’s almost always more intimidating to present in front of just your team than it is to present IRL.

Politely pester. If you don’t hear from the prospect within a reasonable amount of time, drop ‘em a line! Send a great placement; a news item pertaining to their business or something you know interests them personally. And if you still don’t hear from them, do it on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. A potential client recently said that he had found it effective to hear from our office during their decision-making process.

Now if they’d just make a decision!

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