Category Archives: Advertising and Media

Say it in 7: Develop the Game Plan

The Say it in 7 approach to structuring your pitch, story or proposal starts with the client/customer’s pressing challenge and ends on actionSay it in 7 is the methodology to create a pitch/proposal/idea and present it in 7 slides.

In 7 slides we can communicate ‘why our solution’ and back it with evidence that is appropriate to the people who will make the decision.

With fewer slides, each slide has to work harder.

With fewer slides, there is more opportunity for the customer to fill in the blanks with Q&A

Next Steps: The last slide (slide 7) asks for action. We want to get a ‘yes’ rather than a ‘maybe’.


FOOTNOTE : Great to be working with Talking Rugby Union the place for all the latest rugby news, photo, videos The Rugby Championship, 7s and Leagues from around the world. In the run up to Rio Rugby 7s A series of articles shows how the world of sport and business are in sync when running a pitch or running on to one!

Consistency in New Business

One of the publishing delights this year was Pensieri by Nicholas Bate As with all his books I devour the contents and see the thinking in the context of new business. This page about being consistent struck home especially because people who win a lot of new business are totally consistent.

Scan 55

Nicholas’ books are on Amazon and there is a lot of inspiratioScan 54nal pieces free on his website.



You aren’t using enough rituals.

A great piece via and by Eric Barker at TIME   This excellent article prompts thoughts about using rituals to win new business! © 2015 Time Inc. All rights reserved.

So, below are ideas for NB ritual questions/notes to self

BEFORE your meeting Objectives clearly established? Clear understanding of the Client’s agenda? Anticipation of likely push back from Client’s end?

DURING your meeting  Is the idea, proposal and conversation really tailored to the Client’s agenda? Was the story clear? Was the story persuasive? Were the questions well handled? Did the meeting finish with clear actions and next steps?

Another good ritual? Read all about emerging technologies sensibly applied at  Once a week the hereforth newsletter appears and is quite brilliant

What does the client expect?

How many times do we phone ahead of the meeting and speak to our contact to get a clear view of their expectations? This is something we should do more. This call provides an opportunity to unpack a little of our thinking and make sure we are going to surprise people on the day and not shock them.


What ARE their expectations?


Style? Will you use PowerPoint or one visual of your proposal, or are you going to create your idea/proposal on the client’s office whiteboard.

I was once with some colleagues pitching a proposal and walking the senior client through some slides. It was going well, but then the client leant across the desk and asked, ‘Yes, but how does it work?’ That was the next but one slide; however, my colleague got to his feet and with the client’s permission spent 10 minutes showing her how the product worked by drawing on her whiteboard. Some months later the client told us that that had been what had won us the business.

Phone or email ahead and check out the client’s expectations for the presentation. Don’t assume anything; make sure you’re on the right track.


Catching up with my back issues of Campaign I saw an interesting piece on the Client community’s reluctance to engage with big debates (at the Ad Week Europe Conference a week or two back).

Lack of time to come to these events was the reason citied by Clients and their Agencies; the marketing director has too much on his or her plate. Why should we know this?

Because it is a timely reminder to ensure that our communication is short and sharp

That our pitches are free of gobbledy gook

And that anybody only does anything for five reasons:

To save time, save money, make money, look good and feel good.

CMO’s have no time   article from Campaign Magazine © Campaign Magazine April 2015



A colleague of mine who heads up a large sales team once told me how he watches for the tell-tale signs of his team not listening. One indicator, for him, is when he asks a member of his team how they got on in a meeting with a client and the sales person says, ‘Yes, great meeting, they told me what they wanted, but I know what they really need.’ My colleague knows that, at that precise point in that meeting, the sales person had stopped listening and gone straight to formulating a solution based on their own ideas rather than the client’s. Instead, think along these lines:

  • We win business by giving people what they want.
  • We keep business by giving people what they need.


A client might not have really known what they needed at the outset of their ‘journey’ with us. However, little by little, through delivering what they wanted, building trust and getting results, we move them into a position (or rather move ourselves into the position) of broaching, tackling and delivering their needs.


In what ways can we best come across as a team?  There are two aspects to this question.

The first is preparation. Preparation for the meeting or presentation is essential. Assign a leader, book a room and run through the material you are going to use. Pull a colleague into this session and ask for an unbiased opinion on your approach.

In addition, determine, if you are able, what questions will arise and how you will answer them.

The second aspect concerns the meeting itself. Ensure that everybody has enough time to deliver their material and speaks slowly enough to create gaps to allow a colleague to ‘come in’ with an additional point or answer questions you did not plan for.

Very often, it’s about where your attention is when it’s not ‘your turn’; looking interested and reassuring (mentally being on your toes) is another good way to show you are playing as a team.


. . .looking interested



A BIG THANK YOU to contributors Anita Payne, David Harris, gi-solutions group, Jack Manzoor, James Deveraux, Jason Dawes, Karl Knights, Katy Garner Foy, Marc Bresseel, Marc Cox, Martin Cowgill, Martin Hummel, Neil Robinson, Pete Hanford, Peter Farfaras, Raconteur Media, Simon Marquis, Tim Greatrex, Tom Bowman and Tom George.                                             PITCH TIPS 2014 Index   pdf

The home of 40 exciting ideas about winning business

The home of 40 exciting ideas about winning business


Jason Dawes, Managing Partner, BWM+Naked, Dubai, UAE offers this counsel on straying from the script.

Domestic pitches and International pitches are greatly differing beasts. I’ve seen many International pitches where certain members of the team have, often through nerves, wandered off on a locally interesting and potentially amusing direction, the result being a complete disaster, with fellow pitchers getting irate and client audiences progressively confused as to where this local nugget of wisdom or folklore may have come from.

Try and stick to the (hopefully rehearsed) script

Jason: Try and stick to the (hopefully rehearsed) script

The learning being that what may seem locally insightful and relevant can in many cases be internationally bizarre and irrelevant.

Try and stick to the (hopefully rehearsed) script if you can in these situations.”

More on Jason


Surfacing from a round of end-to-end trips I was delighted to catch up with colleague MARC BRESSEEL’s exciting news, his becoming part of Duval Union.

Duval is new marketing collective that works in a collaborative network model and operates as a cooperative enterprise.  Marc is one of three founders who together pack 75 years of experience in sales, marketing and technology; in dealing with brands, clients, CMOs in Belgium, EMEA, US and globally.    More on

Andre Klaus Marc

Andre, Klaus and Marc! Duval Union

Now, lay  Marc’s news alongside a recent piece in the Guardian by Tom Goodwin @tomfgoodwin and you can see that Marc, Duval Union and the Brands they work have exciting times ahead!    Marc – Bon Chance!

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