Another dilemma from a yet another entrepreneur. - how to pitch for new clients? Through mail? Through calls? Through visits? How?

As an advertising agency, we were lucky to start with a good reputed client who believed in a young bunch of nailbiters. It was hard to pick from there. We even compromised with our ambitions and started behaving like copy partners for other media agencies. It picked up. With a strong hold on concept creation and copywriting, our mettle in these areas got proved. Trust started building up. 

We got referred. We begged for design work. We ended up with digital. Even as a learner, we had great time delivering some really clutter-breaking ideas to our SMM clients.

Finally, we also got design work. We had a blast. Our ideas started getting inked in mass media. 

We are happy. But not content.

We do have a dearth of clients who can assess our designing and copy services. We recently won a pitch with extremely good response for inhouse branding of a large hospital.

It means, we are good.

We made our portfolio. We made our profile presentation. We drafted good pitch mails. We made emailers to make things interesting. 

No response yet. Most of the emails bounces back. Calls are not taken seriously. The only response we get is in the form of "automated replies" in return to our pitch mails.

We are thinking of getting a CD done and sending it to the addresses of various prospective clients. 

The challenges are - 

- We don't know who actually need us?

- We feel like a sales person while making unproductive calls. We are an agency and we are here to sell not products but ideas. 

The help which I need - 

- What exactly should we talk about in a pitch presentation or mail? Is there any proven formula? (web is full of articles, which i can't relate to). Kindly give some real-time suggestions which you have tried yourself and were lucky enough!

- kindly mention any directory, site which is productive in getting you across some meaningful clients.

-  We have heard of HR connections which are required to break the ice? what is the process?

- We even aren't sure of what questions to ask. So you can suggest from your end which could help us solve our issue.

"We are a bunch of enthusiastic young heads. Advertising is what we started out to make our ideas reach out to millions via brand communication."

Thanks for your time. Do take time.

Tags: calls, clients, mails, pitch, presentations, prospective

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IMHO no matter how good or great your pitch is, if you are sending mass emails sector-wise, expect maximum 5% response. I am sure you guys are pitching yourself and in different ways, but every recipient in your email is not a prospective client for you. So conversion will work that way only.

Also instead of asking people to request for portfolio, why not give a link and let them watch it on Slide share or somewhere?

But yes you should trying different types of contents like including success stories, offers, offering free advise etc and then measuring them should be the ideal way.

thanks

Hi, once you are done with the 'inhouse branding of the large hospital' email me your work and we may just work together. I am setting up a chain of clinics in India.

www.welling.co.in

Hi Anamika,

Everyone has covered the major aspects so there is no need to repeat those points. I will just add one thought process...

 - Nothing works for me better than seeing how it will ACTUALLY work for me. So if I were you, I would identify a target client and take one of its marketing material. Completely redesign it, applying my creativity. Then, I would design a questionnaire which has questions comparing the specific aspects of the marketing material, before and after. I will then send the old material, redesigned material and the questionnaire to the client, asking them to give the questionnaire to their employees. You can claim that if the difference in ratings of old and new is more than some number, then only you would ask for business. It does following...

1. Shows the client how sincere you are for their business

2. Shows the confidence that you have in your work.

3. Most importantly, contrasts between the current and future for the client. 

It is a very effort intensive experiment, so dependent upon your bandwidth.

Regards

Rituraj

bang on rituraj! i was just waiting for someone to say this!!! 

anamika.... this exercise works wonders. and this potential client will yell & tell the whole world what you did for them. nothing is more flattering to a client than seeing an agency look at them with fresh, passionate, sincere eyes :)

all the best. you've dug quite a goldmine :)

cheers!

yup Asha! :-D

Hey Rituraj!

You are back and again with a piece of gold!

Have done the former part (redesigning the existing material), but sent through mail ... so no actual visualization was possible for the client. And as it was just a mail from yet another agency, may be he/she had the option to ignore it straightaway.

I did this exercise for few real estate clients as I saw great potential in this sector for advertising. It was also one sector which could result in initial revenue generation for my agency.

But the 'questionnaire' thing, that's a great great way!

Thanks for coming out with it!

Kudos Ritu!

happy to be of any help

:-) 

Although, there can not be a hit-formula or general strategy for business development in your case.

You mentioned that you were lucky to start with good reputed clients. Well, that's wonderful. Call the respective people from these organization. Ask them to refer to their contacts. At best, ask if they know some-one who is seeking similar services. Referrals works best in service businesses.

Making sales calls, sending portfolio CDs to hundreds of companies is a good strategy as well. But returns are very low.

Best way is to utilize network of your existing clients.

Call ( not just email - call them personally ) all your friends and tell them what you doing. Ask them to refer if they see any leads nearby.

Hi Amit

Just few days back we started calling up our existing clients and asking them for references. We were surprised to see the response as all were willing to give readily. 

It has indeed added to our confidence in our services. But we are still on with our mass calling and mailing procedure as it would give us the opportunity to approach the kind of clients we would love to work with in terms of industry preference.

thanks for your time and suggestion..Really appreciate!!!

Nice.

A better idea would be fix a one-on-one meeting with your target clients. Explaining them your proposition personally is I think better than sending mass emails/callings.

Great post indeed. 

I'm keenly waiting for any reply/solution from experts and entrepreneurs.

Regards,

Dilip

Great post indeed. 

I'm keenly waiting for any reply/solution from experts and entrepreneurs.

Regards,

Dilip

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