Inside My Book On Advertising Agency Pitching

What’s Inside My Book On Pitching?

As some of you know, I am speaking at HubSpot’s Inbound 2014 conference. I am talking about how to write a B2B book in less than 6 months.

Since I am not actually talking about the art of pitching for advertising agency new business that is the subject of The Levitan Pitch. Buy This Book. Win More Pitches. (which I wrote in 5 months), I thought that I should share what’s inside the 251 page book. I find that people dig the title but still wonder what they are actually going to get. How will this book actually help them win more advertising pitches? Can’t blame them. There are a few books on pitching out there and while I know that I’ve designed my book to be insightful and easy to read, how can anyone other than a reader know this without picking up a copy. So, here you go… (from the book’s introduction)…

Chapter One

In Chapter One of this book, I discuss the very high cost of failing to run well-crafted, efficient pitches. The costs of failure include poor agency staff morale, individual employee burnout, and the financial cost to an agency’s bottom-line that comes from the cost of participating in four-month agency searches and funding an agency’s annual business development plan. There can also be significant costs to career advancement, as you will see from my personal experience in my Saatchi & Saatchi story about “The Worst Advertising Pitch Ever”.

Chapter Two

Chapter Two offers an escape hatch. You should not pitch every account that comes knocking. I give you a handy tool to gauge both the value of the prospective client and your agency’s chances of winning. This is a rather good exercise to do before you embark on the path of winding up the agency to build your finalist pitch.

Chapter Three

Chapter Three begins to help you position the pitch for success. We look at the essential facts of the pitch and dig into understanding the client’s mindset by understanding the type of assignment, type of relationship they are looking for, and what type of agency will fulfill their needs.

Chapter Four

Chapter Four delivers my list of “The 12 Deadliest Presentation Mistakes”. These are identified pitch killers that come from my personal experience and the experiences of agency CEO’s, clients, and search consultants. The accompanying cartoons wouldn’t be as funny if these mistakes were not being made over and over, even by the most sophisticated agencies.

Chapter Five

In Chapter Five I lay out thirty short but very sweet suggestions for how to build a brilliant presentation that I know will greatly increase your odds of winning. These ideas cover three core elements of a successful pitch: process management, content development, and how to deliver a standout presentation. Each rule is supported by a tip or insight that offers a fast way to achieve your objectives. One of my favorite insights is how to use LinkedIn recommendations to understand the personalities and interests of the clients that will be in the presentation. This insight isn’t what you think.

Chapter Six

Chapter Six is all about don’t take my word for it. This chapter brings in valuable learning via fourteen interviews with a range of communications industry experts. It is informative and often mind-blowing to hear the pitch related experiences and advice of agency search consultants, compensation experts, an ex P&G procurement executive, a negotiation trainer, the 4A’s, the Association of National Advertisers, a silicon valley presentation guru, a leading agency strategist, an ex-Nike and W+K executive on building chemistry, an IP lawyer on who actually owns your pitch ideas, the CEO of a London advertising agency, and the CEO of an independent agency network who has been on both sides of the table.

Chapter Seven

Finally, I’ve included insights about all too common agency pitch mistakes from 16 of the world’s leading search consultants.

That’s it. Hope this sounds like a book that you’ll want to read. My goal is to help you win more pitches. I can almost guarantee that if you pay attention to the book’s advice — you will win more. By the way, take a look inside the book on Amazon. 

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