Question everything.

The crucial moment in a pitch begins when its almost finished:  the Q & A at the end.  So you hope for the best, right?  Wrong.  Assign someone on your team to compile a list of questions the clients might pose, then rehearse how the team will answer them.  Pick the person most qualified to provide each answer and stick to the script.  Two people never answer a question unless someone needs help.  Double answers waste time and are confusing.  Also, never step on your fellow players when they’re trying to provide an answer.  It looks rude.  And always know the client’s stock price.  It’s the oldest trick in the book.  You’ve spent an hour telling them how much you love them, and how well you know their business.  Then comes the killer moment:  “And what’s our stock price today?”

Oh, shit.  You are now toast, and rightly so.


David Fowler created long-running advertising campaigns for Motel 6 ("We'll leave the light on for you"), BP ("Beyond Petroleum"), Fanta ("Wanta Fanta"), Claritin ("Claritin Clear") and many others. His forty-year creative career included twenty years at Ogilvy & Mather in New York, as well as stints at Goodby, Silverstein in San Francisco, Ammirati & Puris in New York and The Richards Group in Dallas.

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