I’ve been to countless new business pitches in my lifetime and I have to say I’ve seen a pattern on the types of potential clients you’ll be presenting to during a new business pitch. Here are my five faves:
1) The Skeptic — This dude usually has a solid marketing background, but is only somewhat familiar with PR. He thinks PR is an expense not an investment and can’t justify spending on programs that will gain attention within the communities they serve resulting in earned media coverage. It’s a tough sell to this dude, but open to being persuaded so make sure you have a PR101 slide and case studies of top-tier media coverage that had an impact on the bottom line.
2) Tradzilla — This dude basically hates anything new. New ideas, new technologies, new electronics, new jersey…Content with buying radio, cable, print ads, FSI’s and the dreaded direct mail. It will take a ton of convincing to get this guy on board so you may want to convince everyone else around him in the room. He’s the type to succumb to peer pressure. There must be someone in the room who believes in PR since you are in there presenting.
3) The Accountant — This dude lives for numbers. He sleeps, eats and drinks figures and I’m not talking about the ones you find at Hooters. Make sure all your media coverage examples cite the ad equivalency. I know it’s so 1980′s to correlate media placements with advertising dollars, but this is the only language this dude will understand. Besides, the 80′s are making comeback so be retro.
4) The Marketer Who Thinks He’s A PR Dude — This dude loves publicity and somewhat gets PR, but thinks every little thing that his company rolls out is newsworthy. The type to expect a ton of media coverage for launching version 3.0 of an obscure iPhone app or cutting 25% off on regular prices during Black Friday. He loves to debate the merits of issuing a news release for every action his company takes. A great dude to be on your side during a new biz pitch, but be wary when you win the biz because he expects media coverage every day. Manage expectations swiftly.
5) The American Idol Fan — This dude is a big fan of PR. I love this dude on a new biz pitch because no matter what you say he supports. He’s likely had experience in PR or have seen firsthand the value that PR brings to a business. Like a loyal American Idol fan, he’ll be calling you at least 3x a day giving you a vote of confidence that you’re doing an awesome job. Keep this dude happy and make sure he becomes a friend. He’s they dude who’ll provide you new business references in the future.
I’m sure there are more out there that you can share so please feel free to send me your thoughts. Life snowflakes, no client or potential client are alike. Happy Turkey Day Everyone!