Pitching 101

On today’s Word on the Street episode, Katie speaks to Nancy Duncan, freelance pitch specialist and creative and strategic consultant, with over 15 years of international experience producing and winning a wide range of pitches.

Nancy has led a range of international pitches & projects including interactive experiences, digital installations, streaming channels, product launches, brand experiences, and large-scale public events. She has delivered over 100 creative pitches for agencies with an 80%-win ratio. Her services include Pitch Power Hours, Pitch Director, Pitch Consultancy, and Business planning.
Her diverse experience includes strategic problem solving, business planning, brand marketing, creative strategy, ideation & development, and stakeholder management. She’s passionate and fascinated by innovation, trends, technology, philosophy, culture, and storytelling.

In this episode you will hear:

  • What makes a good pitch process
  • Winning pitches
  • Competitive advantages
  • Relationships with prospects

There were so many amazing takeaways from today’s episode, and these were just a few of our favourites.

What makes a good pitch process

It’s all about the process! You need to have a process in place that is really instilled in everyone in the agency who is involved with the pitch. Rebelling against the process, however, is ok but you do need to have the process there in the first place. The process starts from the moment you get the pitch and everyone who plans to work on the pitch needs to be involved in this process in order to win it. The team should sit down together to organise and understand who will be doing what for the pitch in order to be successful with it. Do you know the client and have a relationship with them? How much should you be nurturing that relationship? Having a dedicated team working on the pitch, and having a relationship with the client before going in to pitch to them will give you an advantage.

Competitive advantages

Building relationships is a huge competitive advantage. Going out of your way as part of your pitching process to build relationships by picking up the phone, booking in time to ask questions, going to see them in person to ask questions and have some face time with them is something a lot of people forget to do but is so important. We are selling services (not products) delivered by people, for people. Always think about what extra things you can be doing, are you doing deep and insightful research that shows you care and understand their audience? Are you showing up in a way that is stand out? Show up in a memorable way by doing things slightly differently during your pitch like running a workshop with outputs from the session, rather than just showing up to deliver the pitch like every other agency. How can you be extra at every stage of the pitching process? There is so much more that we can be doing, go the extra mile and think of ways you can stand out and make an unforgettable impact!

Winning pitches

There are lots of really important ingredients that go into creating and delivering winning pitches. One of the most important parts of a pitch is your process – if you put a really good pitch process in place and make sure you’ve met every requirement and not missed anything out, then your conversion rate will be higher. Another important element of pitching is the research side of things – who’s your audience? Spend time working out who that is and then go and talk to them to find out some first hand experiences, what do that audience really want? Strategy is also very important, getting strategic insights, brain storming ideas with everyone – even the less creative people. Another important step in the process is client tissue meetings – if the client doesn’t want to make time for a tissue meeting then that can be a bit of a red flag! Tissue meetings are a great opportunity to find out more about the brief and build relationships. How are you going to deliver your pitch? This is something you need to work out. You can do things to shake up your pitch and stand out from the other agencies pitching, do something quirky or different like taking them into virtual reality, sending them a coffee or pastry to enjoy whilst you are pitching, etc. Sell your story whilst you pitch and think of ways to stand out!

Links & references

Katie Street:

Nancy Duncan:

Pitch power hour:

Our Sponsor

Series 6 of Word on the Street is sponsored by Tanba, The Agency New Business Academy, is a brand-new initiative aimed at equipping agencies of all sizes with the knowledge, content, partnerships, and opportunities needed to accelerate agency growth by optimising their new business ‘engine’. Tanba is an on-demand and affordable solution for agencies looking to upskill their team via training courses, content and insights delivered by our panel of industry experts, leaders, and partners.

The academy is all about empowering agency teams to get noticed, attract opportunities, increase conversion rates, and reduce the costs associated with the sales process. Visit to find out more and start empowering your agency.