If you’ve ever been involved in your PR firm’s new business process, you know it’s easy to feel attacked and defeated when you lose out on a bid for a new account. But if there’s anything I’ve learned in the 2.5 years that I’ve been running House of Success, it’s that you have to learn not to take everything so personal.
It’s always good to reflect on your experience pitching a prospective client so that you can see if there are any things you could have done differently. But, you’ll find that there are usually up to five reasons why a prospective client isn’t likely to hire your firm and not one of them has to do with you or what your firm can bring to the table.
I first learned about these five obstacles from reading about Zig Ziglar’s selling tactics and thought that they could easily be applied to the PR world.
So the next time you’re bidding on a new account, look for one or all of these red flags. If you spot any, it may be a sign that you need to move on to the next project.
1. No Need
If a prospective client doesn’t believe that they are in crisis mode or that they need PR, nothing you say or do will be able to convince them otherwise.
2. No Money
If a prospective client wants to nickel and dime you or just doesn’t have the budget to afford your services, move on.
If they’re trying to get you to work for free or below what you’re worth, it’s because they don’t understand the value of PR and what it can do for their business. If you’re unable to explain it to them in a way that leads them to an ‘aha moment,’ then it’s a sure sign that this isn’t the type of client you’d want on your roster anyway.
3. No Hurry
If a prospective client has no sense of urgency, they will probably delay not only the pitch process but the actual project after you’re hired. You can usually spot this person from a mile away and if you do…run!
4. No Desire
If a prospective client just doesn’t seem interested, if they’re playing on their cell phone while you’re presenting or if they can never seem to set aside time for a meeting, keep it moving.
5. No Trust
If a prospective client doesn’t trust you or believes that hiring your firm is risky, they will not value your work or take your counsel seriously which is always a recipe for disaster because they’ll end up unintentionally sabotaging the entire project.
What other red flags have you experienced during the new business process? Let’s discuss it in the comments!