For the past 25 years, I have always studied, fixated and tried to better understand how to win more new business, win new clients, grow my business and improve my ‘batting average’ for pitching and winning every brand or new account that I pitch for whether in San Francisco, Sydney Australia or even Taipei Taiwan. Importantly, for the last quarter of a century – I have repeatedly tested my new business approach with:
- New OFFERS
- Different Media
- New targeted Lists
- Compelling Creative and Copy
- Seasonal Testing e.g. Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc.
- Different Social Media campaigns
BUT, overwhelmingly over 25 years – I have always found the best and consistently highest performing growth and new business tool by a long shot is building good old ‘CHEMISTRY’.
Yes – the most important part of new business is chemistry! If you build this before you pitch, and you are at least 80% of the way to a win!
So, what do I mean by chemistry?
I define chemistry as the context of relationships; chemistry is a simple ‘emotion’ that two people get when they share a special connection. (It is not necessarily sexual.) It is the impulse making one think “I need to see this [other] person again” – that feeling of ‘we click’. And, importantly have established a level of trust and respect.
We are on the same page and wavelength and I feel instant trust and connection!
In fact, by building a great rapport before even pitching or reaching out to offer a business relationship – makes the relationship even deeper and more meaningful in my experience too. I have even measured that when I have a deep connection or chemistry BEFORE I have been invited to pitch or attend a RFI or RFP – my odds have swelled significantly!
I also believe social media and social media profiles are an amazing tool for more information to gain even more insights on personal information, activities, and hot buttons. Always make sure you visit all prospects Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles early. After a decade of testing, I have found this a great source to find shared interests, discussion points, issues and importantly, will allow you to increase their trust levels with you instantly.
I even know that every senior Agency Search Consultant in the business today, will admit and agree it is the Chemistry that wins a pitch, not the great creative, ‘button-downed’ Account Management or the cool digital or mobile tactic’s. It’s the CHEMISTRY!
WHAT CHEMISTRY MEANS IN CLIENT RELATIONSHIPS
Having worked with thousands of clients and iconic global brands for my entire career, I also believe you feel comfortable being yourself. When you have a strong connection with someone, you feel even more comfortable being your real ‘authentic’ self. That doesn’t mean that you have to pour out all of your deepest, darkest feelings all at once, but it does mean that you aren’t constantly policing what you say and how you act.
Additionally, I also believe Chemistry relies heavily on shared values and culture too. By this I mean, building trust is particularly important in service pitches where the client will be committing to a personal relationship. Trust is more easily given between two similar groups; groups that have already established commonalities. You are like me, therefore I understand you better and can trust you more easily and faster.
Cultural alignment is also vital. Assuming that there isn’t a total disconnect between the client’s values and yours (this is something you should have figured out back at the RFI/RFP stage), cultural alignment can be managed. E.g. Large Multinationals generally prefer working with other large Multinational Ad Agencies e.g. McDonalds & DDB, Pepsi & BBDO for example
WHY CHEMISTRY IS IMPORTANT
I believe that if you can help any brand or client with the following areas even before pitching or being asked to join a RFP you will truly enhance your odds for success. Some of the things I have done to build a friendship, trust and chemistry include:
- Help them increase their revenue/sales
- Help educate them on selecting agencies and why
- Lighten their internal load with marketing, media plans or new business ideas
- Help them create better and more effective marketing and sales materials
- Supply them with Industry buzz with Social Media Marketing, Trade PR, etc.
WHY CHEMISTRY MATTERS
For decades I have witnessed, in many formal reviews, the belief is any one of the agencies the client has short-listed, can do the work – why else would you be in the pitch?
All else being equal, the prospect ends up choosing the agency they like or have the greatest connection with because they can see themselves working with, spending time with, the one they trust the most. End of story. at the low-end of my research after 25 years – I have seen this happen at least 50% -60% (maybe higher) of every pitch I have been involved with from the US, to Australia, England, New Zealand or even Hong Kong, Singapore or Taiwan!
FINDING TRUE CLIENT – AD AGENCY CHEMISTRY
When defining chemistry, allow me to use the analogy of a pair of dancers, one Ballet, and one Hip-hop.
Individually, both are great dancers, but together, they clash. They may find difficulty incorporating the other’s style into their own. The types of music they dance to are foreign to the other and even clash! In short, they both can dance and do amazing things, but they can’t dance together!
Therefore, many Multinational Companies look very closely when considering startups and small local ad agencies – I truly have learned over decades – decision makers value chemistry over demonstrated work, budgets, and the advice of colleagues.
Bottom-line: We all tend to like people better who best meet our expectations and have commonalities with. We understand them faster and easier. We don’t get surprised. In short, we want to work with them. Hence we hire them.
Chemistry wins new business. If you go into a new partnership – you must always go in with a WIN-WIN attitude from the start and always make sure you treat your clients as equal, and involve and engage them often and equally – go that extra mile! And, always make sure you consistently share your thoughts, feelings, needs and dreams and live with courage and the truth!
You can also view this article on New Business & Growth:
WINNING NEW BUSINESS IN 2018 : http://geoffdeweaver.com/winning-new-business-in-2018/
HOW TO PITCH AND WIN GLOBAL CLIENTS AND BRANDS: http://geoffdeweaver.com/how-to-pitch-and-win-global-clients-and-brands/
A SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY IS GREAT FOR NEW BUSINESS FOR ADVERTISING AGENCIES: http://geoffdeweaver.com/a-social-media-strategy-is-great-for-new-business-for-advertising-agencies/
THE ART & SCIENCE OF PERSUASIVE NEW BUSINESS PRESENTATIONS: http://geoffdeweaver.com/the-art-science-of-persuasive-new-business-presentations/
NEW BUSINESS PITCHES – NO PLACE FOR BEGINNERS: http://geoffdeweaver.com/new-business-pitches-no-place-for-beginners/
ABOUT GEOFF DE WEAVER:
Super Strategist for the Fortune 500 – Geoff is a leading international expert on new business development, brand marketing, innovation, and growth. He has also directly assisted hundreds of Fortune 500 brands and clients generate billions in new business revenue from North America to Asia to Europe, South America and Australia/Oceania.
Geoff has successfully built businesses, agencies, opened offices worldwide, saved companies and helped clients generate billions of dollars of revenue and growth with their brands.
Geoff is passionate about the art of influence, new business and presentation. His techniques can help you communicate and lead more effectively. As a global marketer, coach and workshop leader, Geoff makes mastering these advanced skills an enjoyable and achievable process. His sound business acumen and results driven approach have made him a trusted business advisor to many of the world’s leading organizations and their senior executives.
Geoff works with business leaders to ignite their courage and confidence so they can step up and step out in the way they engage people and communicate their leadership style. He is in high demand with CEO’s, CMO’s, directors, corporate executives and senior managers for his expert counsel and guidance in creating strategies for face-to-face communications and integrated global campaigns that are engaging and delivered with confidence and passion to key stakeholders.
Want to win more new business, grow faster and increase your revenue? Then get chemistry on your side. For more information, contact Geoff De Weaver at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM me on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/geoff_deweaver or call me at: +61 411 224 961