Pitching for new business is a complex process that can involve hundreds of working hours and stretch the resources of even the largest advertising agencies – all without the guarantee of winning the account in the end.
While Peter Levitan doesn’t promise that you will win every new pitch after reading his new book, he does give some very useful advice on how to increase your chances of success by providing a succinct (and at times humorous) overview of how to optimize your preparation process.
On the surface, much of the advice the author gives you is little more than common sense, including such gems as: understand the needs of your client and focus on their business needs rather than telling them how great you are; rehearse properly for your presentation and make sure it doesn’t overrun; differentiate yourself from your competitors; and find out who you will be presenting to and research their backgrounds so that you can understand better how to build better chemistry with them. But as he illustrates with numerous examples, even the world’s most successful agencies often fail to observe such basic rules in the race to get the account.
Even though I don’t work in the ad business, I found the book very useful as a primer on how to prepare and present any kind of business proposal. I also found the interviews that the author conducted with various industry experts very illuminating, particularly the perspectives they offered on the new challenges that all marketers are facing as a result of the onward march of digitization.
If you’re looking to get your business brain back into gear after the excesses of the holiday, this book is a great place to start. You can learn more about it at the author’s blog here: http://peterlevitan.com/