New (and Old) Tips on Pitching

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It’s an odd marketplace for agency services right now. The marketing services industry that was hit so very hard by the pandemic came roaring back to life with record hiring and wild staffing shortages. Clients are still often working remotely and disruptions to routines (children and teachers getting COVID, work from home, etc.) continue. And […]

The Prospect-Centric RFI

Last week we discussed how important it is to write a fantastic RFI if you want to successfully move through a competitive review. We discussed how most clients read the RFI responses and the RFI responses help determine which agencies advance to the coveted finalist list. Despite the importance of having a well-crafted and compelling […]

Why Joining the Pro-Voting Movement is Good for Your Business


Voter turnout in the 2018 midterm elections was the highest of any midterm election in the last century. One of the contributing factors? Vast numbers of companies encouraged both their employees and consumers to show up and vote. Fast-forward to the strange times we are living in, and a much larger election: how is your […]

7 Qualities of Every Successful Client-Agency Partnership

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Written by Lindsay O’Neil & Stephen Boehler There is much riding on the relationship between a company and their agency. The best work will come when the relationship is positive and respectful. Therefore, the client/agency relationship, when at its best, is a partnership like a good marriage. Both sides must be willing to work hard […]

A Prospect-Centric Approach to Pitch Prep That Wins

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At Mercer Island Group, we have had the privilege to sit in on hundreds of agency pitches. We’ve seen first-hand what works and what doesn’t, and how clients evaluate and select agencies. So often, the agencies lose the clients less than ten minutes into a pitch. Why? The focus is on the agency and not on the […]

A Winning Written Proposal

Written proposals. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: if only prospective clients knew how much time and effort agencies put into these babies. The sad truth; they have no idea. And, honestly, many clients don’t read them all the way through. At the same time, however, a written proposal or written RFI response […]

The Five Slides Every Agency Needs

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Written by Robin Boehler & Lindsay O’Neil Yes, you need to sell your agency, but not nearly as much as you are probably doing.  You also shouldn’t talk about yourself first. It’s important to engage the potential client by showcasing how much you understand about their company and their objectives. There’s a time to remind […]

Win It with Your Cover Letter

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Written proposals. If only prospective clients knew how much time and effort agencies put into these babies. The sad truth; they have no idea. In fact, and it pains me to share this, in our experience many clients don’t even read them all the way through. As someone who consults on the client side during […]

Qualifying Inbound Opportunities

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Hooray! You’ve received an invitation to pitch new business. The client came to you directly. That alone can feel like a win. Before you get ahead of yourself and let the excitement get the better of you, remember that smart agencies qualify all inbound opportunities before they say yes.   Where to Begin With every invitation […]

The Prospect Business Profile: Better Questions, More Wins

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Incoming! You’ve received an invitation from a prospective client. Whether it’s a request for a meeting, a proposal, a video conference chat or a formal pitch every invitation should start at the same place; it all begins with questions. Questions are a fundamental tool of business development. They keep you from diving right into “what […]