7 More Ridiculous Ad Agency Presentation and Pitch Mistakes

7 More Ad Agency Search Consultants On “The Single Worst Presentation Mistakes”

mistakes 12 cartoons #2Here is Part Two of a list of ad agency sales presentation and pitch mistakes from some of the most experienced people ever to sit on the buyer’s side of a B2B sales presentation table. This list, and the next three parts are from my book, “The Levitan Pitch. Buy This Book. Win More Pitches.” The poster on the left has all of my top 12 agency presentation mistake cartoons. These are all in the book.

Don’t miss Part One of the series and its first 6 mistakes… it is right here.

Mind Blowing.

As you will see from this series on agency presentation and pitch fails, most agencies make these mistakes. Yes, it is hard to step up and say that you and your team also make these kinds of mistakes. But, according to my agency search consultant friends, and their zillions of hours sitting across the table from you, you are in fact making these mistakes.

Pete Bogda: ABA Consulting, Inc., Texas

The common/worst mistakes that agencies make is not starting with the folks who will be on the client team, but load the room with agency top brass and/or stars. When we come back and see the B,C or D team assigned to present the Speculative Assignment, the client becomes confused/upset that they changed so dramatically from the initial pitch.

Lisa Colantuono: Co-President, AAR Partners, New York

Top pitching tip: Agencies need to prove to their prospects that they believe in their mission, vision, and beliefs, not just in the product they’re selling. How? By LISTENING! Listening is a lost art. Agencies need to listen twice as much as they speak and understand the prospective client’s deepest concerns (especially those that can’t be verbalized). When you listen you remove yourself from the issue and hear the other party’s strength. Their strength plus agencies’ innovations will yield powerful business solutions… which begins with listening carefully!

FYI: You can see an interview that i did with Lisa on how your agency can predict agency reviews right here.

Peter Cowie: Founding Partner, Oystercatchers, UK

“Don’t take too many drugs.”

Angus Crowther: Partner, Oystercatchers, UK

The single biggest mistake that agencies make is that they are still desperate to talk about themselves, but the best ones talk about the client from the off.

Joanne Davis: President,
Joanne Davis Consulting, Inc., New York

Single biggest mistake is forgetting the client’s brief. So often client (or consultant) sends agencies a brief. Agencies re-write it and build their presentation around the agency’s re-written brief. And they forget to go back to read the client’s brief.

Mike Drexler: Co-Founder and Managing Director, Drexler/Fajen Partners, New York

In my opinion, the worst mistake agencies make when presenting is concen- trating the pitch on their overall capabilities and not enough on the client’s specific business goals and objectives.

Jerry Gibbons: Principle, A-Team Advisors, California

I am not going to give you an exact answer to your question. But I am going to give you one mistake that agencies make that is very common, and while it may not be the “killer” error, it is one that does a great deal in failing to communicate that the agency is a well oiled team that has respect for each other, likes each other, finds their team members interesting and believes that they are lucky to be part of that team.

That mistake is the failure of the pitch team members to really listen to their team members talk and react to what they are saying – nodding, laughing, giving “yeahs” and generally paying attention and responding as if it was the first time they heard it. When the agency’s pitch team is listening and responding to what their colleagues are saying, it encourages the client to do the same, and it makes the client want to be part of the interesting dialogue that is going on and to be part of that team.

There you go. More mistakes, um, ‘learning opportunities’ are coming soon. Sign up below to make sure you see them when they hit.

One Comment

  1. I agree with Lisa. Most salespeople speak 70% of the time, it should be less than 30%.

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