The Mirren Post-Pitch Client Debriefing Guide: Part 1

October 11, 2018

[easy-tweet tweet=”Whether you’ve won or lost the pitch, getting practical feedback from the client is critical.” user=”@winmo” hashtags=”#winmo #mirren #postpitch #pitchstrategy”] Constructive insight about the agency, your team and your approach can help make or break future new business efforts. Your goal is to uncover the truth on how effectively your agency performed. This post-pitch client debriefing guide will allow you to do just that.

However, with this type of call, the goal of the client is to get off the phone as quickly as possible. If you lost the pitch, it’s a painful exercise – a break-up call. They want to get you off the phone so they can move on.

At best, you’ll typically get a superficial perspective and rarely anything critical. As with any break-up call, it’s difficult for the client to tell you the truth. In fact, the most common feedback is, “It was so close. You were a close second place. I wanted you to win, but it was someone else on the team. You guys were great.”

Many agency executives go their entire careers either winning or “coming in second.” Or so they’ve been told.

This Mirren guide provides a simple step-by-step approach to handle each feedback call. When handled methodically, you make it easier for the client to give you honest feedback, then helping you to effectively improve your new business approach. But then again, you were a very, very close second.

How to Uncover the Truth About How Well Your Agency Performed

You’ve done a tremendous amount of work for the pitch. Sometimes you’ve even completed months of work, all compressed down into two or three weeks. At the start of the pitch, the client promised they would provide feedback when everything concluded. And when you lose, you’re definitely looking for the client to make good on that promise.

Once you have the client on the phone, lead them through a brief post pitch analysis process. Having a well thought out approach (and set of questions) will help to uncover new insight about your team’s performance.

There are 7 key topics to focus on. The questions within each topic are meant to act as thought starters; you will need to customize the questions depending on the parameters of each respective pitch.

1. Team/Talent

Post Pitch Client Debriefing Guide

  • Who were the strongest team members?
  • Who were not as strong?
  • Any concerns about any team members?
  • Who were most qualified?
  • Who were least qualified?
  • Who should not have been in the room?

2. Chemistry

  • How well was our team gelled?
  • How well was our team rehearsed?
  • Did you find them to be a tight, aligned unit?
  • Did anyone not fit in with the team?
  • How well would we have fit with your team?

3. Strategy

  • How accurate was our strategy?
  • How effectively did it address the brief?
  • What would have improved it?
  • How effectively was it written & presented?

4. Creative Thinking

  • How innovative was our creative thinking?
  • Did you see any new & unexpected thinking?
  • How well did it tie back to our strategy?

5. Solution

  • How accurate was our solution?
  • How effectively did it address the brief?
  • What would have improved it?
  • How effectively was it written & presented?
  • How effectively was it tied to the strategy?

6. Effectiveness at Answering the Brief

  • Overall, how effectively did we address the brief?
  • Where did we fall short?
  • Did the brief change at all?

7. Overall Presentation Impact/Persuasiveness

  • Overall, how persuasive was the team?
  • If you were to have given our presentation, what 2 or 3 things would you change?
  • The Team? The Strategy? The Solution? Dive back into previous areas if you did not uncover the insight you were looking for.

Stay tuned, as we continue this post with additional topics you must address with the client. We’ll then review what you should – and shouldn’t –  implement, based on this critical client feedback.

Want to learn more about this, and other critical agency growth topics for agency chiefs, join us at The Mirren CEO Summit on November 6 – 7 in Chicago. In fact, our conference partner Winmo is providing a special $200 discount for a limited time with code Winmo@Mirren.


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