I Bet You’d Dig A Sweet Jaguar Request For Advertising Proposal
Imagine getting a request for a proposal from Jaguar. The car manufacturer. You’d feel mighty fine, right? Below is a segment from Mad Men in which Rodger Sterling gives pitching advice to his British partner Layne Price. Give it a look. First, here are a couple of my takeaways.
Look at the office. I started in offices like that. First I was in an AAE Qube (with walls, what a good idea), then I got my AE window office, then an Account Supervisor window office with a couch, and then the big Management Director office where we could also hold meetings at a table. Imagine that. NOTE: It was all way better than today’s (or yesterday’s) people sitting at long tables plus headphones.
Rodger talks about how to do a ‘chemistry’ meeting. Use your time together to get to learn about your prospect. Pay attention. “Smile, sit there, and let him talk.” “Don’t let him near the check” and “Find out everything about him before you get there.” Allow me to parse this out. Be friendly, listen, learn all about him (her) before you get there. In my parlance – there is no blind date in 2021.
A couple of stories. How to get or not to get a request for advertising proposal.
I once ran the $60 million Northwest Airlines account at Saatchi & Saatchi. When we lost that (we were fired by the new CMO at an award dinner while winning a Gold EFFIE). If you think you’ve met a bigger asshole, let me know. A couple of years later I was running global biz dev and had a get-to-know-you dinner in D.C. with the President of US Air and the New York Saatchi Chairman and President. My NYC guys talked about their golf game for two hours. Non-stop. I never had a chance to talk about airline industry issues. After yawing, the client guy left. Never heard from him again.
Early in my career, I got some advice from a smart Minneapolis agency leader. He would travel out of town to meet a business prospect. Invited him to dinner. Before they met, my guy would head to the restaurant, hand over his AMEX card and put down a 20% tip, told the restaurant to just charge the account… not to bring the bill over (made the guest go, “WTF” with a smile). Serve my guy a watered drink (see the video). Also when they walked into the restaurant to call my guy by his name and say “nice to see you again Mr. XXX.” Ok, yup, kinda corny. But for me a learning experience about managing an experience. Especially the part about the bill.
Need more info on how to win an account? Buy me dinner sometime. Or just… Buy my book.
Mad Men’ Rodger Sterling On: Request For Proposal From Jaguar