Since most of our clients have been with my agency since we were on Madison Avenue in New York City… I was thinking I was a bit “rusty” in presenting to them.
I always do a lot of research first.
So, I went into massive “preparation mode”, and did my homework on the bank…even went into three different branches. I was being a “mystery shopper”, though I already had accounts there.
I looked at their collateral materials and their mail campaigns and their social media programs. Their website really needed help. It was not memorable, or user-friendly. It also didn’t even mention business accounts, though the clients all said that was their major objective for this year.
Reviewed their competitors materials and checked out their social media programs.
Then I met with my creative brain trust.
We have a Creative Strategy Man here who always comes up with big ideas. He did in this case, as he had for three other banks we’d worked for in New York. It is a breakthrough idea and all of a sudden everyone in my office was getting excited.
My art director was drawing ideas, my account person was figuring out how it would work…and Voila! We had three great concepts.
We knew we’d “wow” them.
We went into the presentation with adrenalin pumping! We were so excited about the possibilities of our breakthrough approach. We even worked out a pro forma projection on the response we’d be getting, and then how they might re-invest the money in future programs.
Then we got the sad call.
The Marketing Director called me back last Wednesday, and said that they thought our program was great, but too complicated for him to understand. He’d decided to go with a graphic arts studio that would use one particular color throughout the campaign.
Somehow, a tag-line popped into my head, as I hung up the phone. It was for Syms Clothing, and it was “an educated consumer is our best customer”. We didn’t get that bank and maybe thankfully so. The next one may understand marketing better, and be results-oriented. I can’t wait to meet that group!
In the meantime, here are the lessons I learned:
1.Listen hard to what the client wants, not what you think will bring the best results.
2. Discuss the ideas along the way with the client, prior to the presentation.
3. Have another program in mind for an easy way for you to begin working together. It can be as simple as some creative changes to their current programs.
Let me know about your most effective presentations for new business. Please post some comments.