Mark Clark: Perfect pitches are those you win!
We prescribe the winning strategies, and help pitch teams become the best versions of themselves to become pitch-fit
Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Kristina Gotovac, Komunikacisjki laboratorij
Mark Clark is one of the most sought-after speakers and consultants on the topic of winning pitches across the globe. The reason why everyone wants him is evident – he has helped more than 400 agencies win pitches with a combined worth of over £100m. Nestle, Coca-Cola and Durex, are just some of the world-renowned brands that Clark advised. Clark is also a partner in the JFDI, a consultancy specializing in marketing and communications with the aim of assisting agencies in acquiring new clients and boosting business.
He will explain how to achieve the best results at the third workshop of the HOWtoWOW Academy, titled How to Win a Pitch?, which will be held tomorrow, December 6th.
Your carrier is quite impressive – you’ve managed brands of the likes of Coca-Cola and Nestlé, and have helped create many successful pitches in more than 400 agencies. In the advertising industry you are known as the “Pitch Doctor”; how and why did you get such a prestigious title?
Mark Clark: I’ve spent the first 25 years of my career working in agencies. As I progressed to senior positions, I realized that my success as a leader was closely related to the new business success of the agency. Armed with this knowledge, and knowing this could be applied to any leader, in any agency, I spent the next 15 years investing in and developing new business skills at JFDI. Pitching is the most visible part of the new business, and as I developed expertise and gained experience, it inevitably become a significant part of what I do. The “Doctor” title unifies everything we do in the pitches – we prescribe the winning strategies and help pitch teams become the best version of themselves to become pitch-fit.
What would be a perfect pitch?
Mark Clark: Perfect pitches are the ones you win! Pitch is a means to an end, and the most important thing is to win the pitch, and be ready to do everything to win. The key ingredient for success is common focus on victory.
What services do you offer your clients?
Mark Clark: We help agencies win new business by working on three things:
- Realizing opportunities – creating and confirming new business opportunities
- Winning pitches
- Growth and development of existing clients
We do this in a range of ways – through educational process we hone skills, agency development programs, and through consultations with higher management teams. You can find out more at http://www.jfdi.uk.com
Given what you said, it could be concluded that more and more companies today need outside help. What is the difference between a pitch created internally, and the one that you assisted?
Mark Clark: Each agency should be able to respond to client’s RFP with a winning solution. Keep in mind that only a small percentage of the content of the proposed solutions ever comes to fruition. So, it’s more about winning the pitch itself than in creating the best solution for the given RFP. Our external assistance focuses on everything else that wins the pitch – “how” rather than “what” is what you present.
After the presentation of a concept, you highlight how important it is to invest in the feedback. How do you see the post-pitch mechanism of feedback?
Mark Clark: Post-pitch feedback is what the client sends after the decision has already been made. By the end of the pitch, a lot of time and resources have been invested in the presentation of the solution itself, so you owe it to your team and the company – to get the best possible feedback on how you delivered the task. Regardless of whether you won or lost, with feedback you learn and gain insight into what will win future pitches.
We are not talking here about a phone call in which clients confirms whether you “won” or “lost” the pitch. Post-pitch feedback is a structured survey conducted after each bidding, conducted by an agency employee who was not directly part of the pitching team.
It is our advice to draft your own list of questions you will always ask the clients to identify themes and gain insight into different pitches.
We have a list of questions that can serve you as a template if you choose to start. If you want your own copy, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.