Secret chemistry of pitch process

I was interested to read the “Pitch craft” piece (MW April 6) as two things remained unsaid.

Firstly, many clients choose a number of agencies to pitch – sometimes too many – partly because they are not sufficiently aware of the differences between agencies to know what each brand stands for. If agencies had stronger equities, clients would find it easier to choose a manageable number to pitch.

We know this because clients repeatedly tell us so when we go to see them on behalf of unsuccessful pitching agencies.

Secondly, a large part of a decision to appoint an agency comes from the client’s perspective that one agency will be easier to work with than another. In other words, chemistry is important, and sometimes it’s difficult to say so when the basis of appointment is emotionally driven.

It’s a lot easier to tell an agency that “it came a close second” than to tell it the client didn’t like the cut of their jib.

As we are an independent third party, clients tell us things which they find hard to tell an agency face to face and which a questionnaire would not pick up.

It was far easier, for example, to tell a managing director his agency hadn’t got the business because the other agency’s work was spot-on, than to cope with the offer of said managing director “to remain close to the business” when he had the most acute case of halitosis known to man.

Breaking that news was left to us.

Carey Evans

Managing partner

Relationship Audits & Management

London W1

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