• The Pitch and Beyond

– How to leave the client wanting more


The End of the Beginning

It's the day of the final presentation.

For several weeks, and maybe even for several months, the agency has been working toward this day. By 5 P.M. it will be over and the presenters and all those who have assisted in the preparation of the pitch will be in the bar. Or, as often seems to happen to me, all those who have helped with the presentation and many more who haven't will be in the bar around the corner from our office, while I and the other weary presenters sit in an airport departure lounge, waiting for the long flight home.

It's almost over. Or is it?

It's very rare in the advertising business—and I suspect in other businesses too—for a client to award the business on the spot after even a spectacularly good presentation. I have never experienced what David Magliano and his London 2012 Olympic bid team did in July of 2005 when, just a few hours after the end of their presentation, they learned that London had been awarded the 2012 Games. Generally such decisions take time, and sometimes extended periods of complex negotiation. Politics may play a part, as might issues of remuneration. Because the politics will vary so much from case to case, it's hard for me to talk with any confidence about how to deal with them. All I will say is that if an agency has correctly identified ...

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