This post is based on learnings from the immortal book Ogilvy on Advertising. It’s a must-read for anyone working in marketing and advertising. I highly recommend you give it a read.
Don’t sit your team on one side of the table and the prospective clients on another. The opposition can create a feeling of adversaries.
Mix everybody up.
Prepare and rehearse before the meeting, but don’t speak from prepared text (in today’s term — slides). It can lock you to a position that could become irrelevant in the meeting.
Get clients to talk and you listen. Ogilvy’s reasoning is so that he can know if he really wants to take the account as a client.
Even if you might not have the luxury to choose a client, getting more information out of the clients can put you in a better position always.
Be Vulnerable to Be Credible
Tell your prospects your weakness before they notice themselves. This will make you appear much more credible when you showcase your strength.
Be Data-Driven, Just Not Too Much
Too many data points and case studies put prospects to sleep. After all, no one cares about how you increase the sales number of another company if you cannot do the same for them.
Follow-up Pitch in the Inbox
The day after the presentation, send prospects a written summary* on why they should pick you. This will help prospects make decisions and make their case for you easier.
I’m quite surprised I’ve seen only a few vendors do this when I was on the prospect clients' side.
*Ogilvy suggests 3 pages but I don’t think people today have the attention span to read through that. Keep it succinct and on point!
Mentioned in this post:
- Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy ( I recommend getting a print version to see the ad images better).