Two Advertising Agency Chemistry Strategies
I have been focused on the idea that interpersonal chemistry is one of the most important decision-making criteria that a client uses when selecting an advertising agency. I also
think KNOW that chemistry can be massaged and managed. In fact, if you want to win, you better work on releasing those special business pheromones.
I recently advised an advertising agency on their approach to a pitch that included how to run an interpersonal ‘chemistry’ new business meeting. The agency is one of seven agencies in a pitch for a very large east coast client.
The client asked for a ‘let’s get to know each other’ chemistry meeting because they know that by the time they had narrowed their list from the four thousand agencies out there (yikes) to seven, that much of their decision criteria on which agency to move forward with would come down to likeability and an understanding that the agency had the intelligence to help efficiently grow the client’s business.
The client needed this meeting because…
All Advertising Agencies Look The Same!
Ok, ok, all agencies are not the same. But, I can guarantee you that probably five of the seven agencies are so similar in approach, client base, case histories, skill sets, office furniture, etc. that the client realized that the interpersonal chemistry element was ultimately going to be a critical decision-making factor.
While my agency client and I discussed a range of pitch issues and opportunities, we settled on two must-have’s to make the meeting work in their favor.
Client Meeting Management
First, we discussed how to plan and manage the meeting. If an agency cannot run a smart meeting – especially the chemistry meeting, then the client will immediately begin to think that you cannot run a smart agency client relationship. I am a very strong proponent of the art of meeting management. I suggest that you read this post on how to manage a meeting. Your clients will love you for it. Hmmm, maybe even some of your future clients as well.
Deliver A Trial Run
Since this was a chemistry meeting – a ‘get to know each other’ meeting – I informed agency management that the best way for the agency to demonstrate that they were a good fit for the client was to… act like they already had the account.
In this case, we selected one of the client’s stated business opportunities and built a segment of the meeting that would demonstrate in real time that the agency had a strategic plan and process to solve the problem. We even decided to be transparent and tell the client that the agency was going to act like they were already selected because this would help the client truly understand how the agency thinks and acts. We believed that acting like the winner would help the client determine that the agency was up to the task.
If you need more proof that chemistry rules, please read my blog post “Chemistry Wins Ad Agency Pitches”.
And, while you are at it, buy my book on how to win more pitches. All you have to do is look to the top of this page and click.