PITCHING (and we ain't talking baseball)

What does it take to win new business these days?

As outsiders (sorta) to the process now – though we participated in the thick of agency and consulting presentations for years – we wonder:  Has it gotten any better?  Any smarter?  Any more rewarding?

Talk to a new biz person about what it takes today and they’ll say:  Relationships.  Knowing the industry – and the client.  Smart differentiation.

Hmmm:  That’s the same old, same old.  With social media and big data and ROI top of mind, are the pitches any different?

We asked a few clients, since we’re impartial observers.  It’s “no difference” in no uncertain terms. 

“It’s all about them, not us.”

“The descriptions are interminable.”

“It’s words, words, words and no dreams.”

There’s more, but we’ll stop.  What’s missing, IOHO, is an emphasis on talent – and fit.  How will the agency or consultancy pick the right talent to fuel the business?  [Note we didn’t say ‘staff’ or make any promises.  We’ve all been in the room when profiles are submitted – and those individuals have one foot outta the agency.]  What’s the management philosophy for working together:  building teams, ensuring straight talk and appropriate accountabilities, driving results as a concerted whole?  Is there a process for ironing out issues and conflicts and challenges?

One rather savvy pro suggested, a few weeks ago, that HR could add a lot to the chase.  We’d second that and say:  So can communications and design.