Currently, I’m working with several potential vendors who are looking to partner with my agency.
I work for an ad agency, and while we are as full-service an agency as I’ve ever seen, we don’t do EVERYTHING. As such, we rely on strategic partners, especially in niche areas, to help out.
In my mind, partner companies make us stronger, since we can then become a true one-stop resource. And I like to keep working with companies that do good work with us.
Getting that first project can be tricky.
So if you are trying to pitch any business to any agency, don’t make this mistake.
The #1 mistake made in pitching new business is NOT solving your potential client’s problems.
Our “problem” is that we need expertise and service in Industry X. So if you are in Industry X and can help, HELP!
I’ve dealt with many companies that ask ME what they can do for us.
Do you see the issue here?
I don’t know you or your company very well. I have no idea how you can help. I don’t know your world, although I may know enough keywords and concepts to ask general questions.
If you want me to hire your company, here is what I’m looking for:
1. Sales Process. Educate us about your company, but more than 50% of the process needs to be you figuring out what our needs are.
2. Written Proposal. Tell me how you think your services can be combined to solve whatever problems we have or needs we are facing. Put it in writing. My memory isn’t that good and I want something pretty to show my team.
3. Short and Long. Let’s start small. Modest budget, defined scope of work, reasonable length of time. And then reevaluate. If your company makes a true difference, then maybe we can talk about a higher-tier of service. Solve Problem #1 before trying to sell me on Solution #10
The bottom line is that companies need each other to thrive, but the pitching process is what makes long-term relationships. Solve my problems, make my work better, allow my clients to be happier…and you’ve got my business for a long, long time.