Perfect your pitch to land new clients
April 2, 2019
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Trade shows and other networking events are excellent occasions to meet potential new clients. Unfortunately, it’s quite likely that yours won’t be the only marketing agency participating, which means that you’ll have to stand out from a very competitive crowd.
Pitching your agency to land new clients is a specific form of marketing in itself. In general, the pitch should always include the following elements:
- Your products and services;
- Your typical customers;
- What differentiates your agency from others;
- Proof of your claims.
However, listing all this information is far from enough. The best pitches are always personalized to the occasion, the general mood in the room, and most importantly: the audience.
Here are 5 tricks that can help you make the most of your pitches.
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1. Grab their attention
Start your pitch with a concrete fact or figure. “We make amazing digital content for our clients” doesn’t sound as compelling as “Our blog posts and graphics help our clients increase their reach by 39%.”
Offering concrete figures will help prove your claims and establish your image in the eyes of your audience. However, don’t turn your pitch into a statistics class. Mention the one or two most impressive figures and move on.
2. Focus on the client
Since the pitch is mostly about the agency, many marketers fall into the trap of talking too much about themselves.
But guess what? However amazing your agency is, prospective clients usually care more about their own businesses. While mentioning your accomplishments is important, don’t forget that the main focus of your pitch should be how you could help the client.
Before pitching, find out as much about the prospective client as possible. Addressing their specific pain points and offering a solution will wake their interest right away. In addition, being knowledgeable will help reinforce your image as a professional marketer.
3. Unique selling proposition
Marketing is a highly competitive industry. Highlighting what makes you special is key to landing and keeping new clients.
Do you offer a specific bundle of services that no other agency does? Did your agency design a campaign well-known to the public? Did you win an acclaimed industry award? Do you have illustrious and respected clients?
Anything can be your unique selling proposition (USP) as long as it’s positive, accurate, and valuable to potential clients. In fact, your USP may change depending on the actual client you’re approaching.
For example, a tech startup would be glad to know you’re working with the latest software tools. On the other hand, a slower, more traditional company with less high-tech knowledge would want to know about your hands-on client relations. An environmentally conscious business may appreciate that your agency prides itself on working paper-free.
Again, prior research is crucial. Otherwise, how could you know which USP would be most appealing to a prospective client?
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4. Speak plain English
No, we didn’t think you’d launch into a speech in blank verse a la Shakespeare. But peppering your pitch with marketing lingo may be just as bad when it comes to landing new clients.
Remember that you’re pitching to non-marketing professionals. However amazing they are in their own field, you can’t expect them to understand what USP, SEO, CRO, or any other specific marketing term means. At least not at first.
Your initial pitch highlights your knowledge, but it also shows how approachable and client-friendly you are. If you start off by throwing marketing lingo around, you may impress people with your knowledge of cool abbreviations, but you risk alienating them in the process.
If you absolutely have to use a technical term, make sure you explain it. For example, if you want to mention click-through rate (CTR) and how your agency can increase it, briefly explain what it is and emphasize why it’s important.
In addition, using analogies can help illustrate a difficult concept for non-marketing people. To echo the previous example of CTR, you can compare it to a meter fastened to your clients’ door that counts the number of customers entering their business.
Don’t be afraid to use simple terms. Your job is not to promote marketing lingo, but to communicate the concepts that will lead to your clients’ success.
5. Keep the conversation going
Nothing is more awkward than finishing a pitch and waiting for the prospective client to say something. Luckily, there’s a small trick you can use to bridge that silence and get your audience to respond immediately.
Ask them a question.
But not just any question. Inquiring how your audience liked your pitch wouldn’t help your case, and neither would overconfident, witty remarks like “do you want to know where to sign?”
Instead, ask an insightful question that shows how interested you are in your prospective client’s business. Like, “What are your sales goals?” or “Do you use social media as a marketing tool?”
Getting the client to talk about their business is the perfect way to ensure their engagement with your pitch. Keep the conversation going for as long as is viable.
Of course, trade shows are usually not the best venue for long and meaningful conversations. But if you engage the client in an insightful interaction, they’ll be happy to share their contact info so you can continue the conversation later.
Pitching your marketing agency is a difficult task. You have to navigate the fine line between bragging and professional confidence, or in other words, pushiness and enthusiasm.
Besides a killer pitch, you’ll need a lot of soft skills like reading your audience’s mood and knowing when to approach someone. Before the networking event, make sure you do your research about the participants and practice your pitch with people who will give you honest, constructive feedback.
Don’t despair if a pitch doesn’t go as well as you hoped. Nobody’s perfect. With practice, you’ll gain new skills and confidence that will help you make your next pitch even better.