Filed under: Comment
A couple of nights ago, I was putting the finishing touches to a pitch deck we were writing.
Around me were 3 of my planning colleagues, an account director and an account manager.
Having finally put it to bed – which is where we should all have been given it was 1:30am – we were going through it in its entirety.
Maybe it was because it was late …
Maybe it was because I/we had been too close to it for the past few weeks …
Maybe it was because I am a bit of a bastard …
… but I read it and pronounced,
“It bores me”.
Tom – one of my colleagues – asked me to repeat what I said.
“It bores me”, I replied … before adding, “I should be feeling excited – what we want to do is exciting – but I’m bored”.
There was obvious deflation in the room – mainly because of the time – but one by one, everyone acknowledged what we had written hadn’t captured either the heart of what we wanted to say, or the level of provocation we needed to convey.
I should point out this was not their fault – it was all mine.
I’d planned the deck.
I’d written the deck.
I’d reviewed the deck.
But here’s the thing, knowing when to call yourself out is important.
Sure, the deck had all the information in it we wanted to convey … sure, it clearly explained our point of view and the idea we were recommending … sure, it would still [probably] be better than a lot of other agencies proposals … sure, the client would probably love it … but that’s not the point, because it wasn’t good enough.
Please don’t think I am trying to big myself/ourselves up – far from it – however if you’re not excited by what you’ve put together, why the hell do you think a client will be?
Sure, that isn’t always the case – but if you can look in the mirror and think you did a good job, that’s a damn sight better than having that nagging feeling you didn’t present [or won’t present] your case as well as you could have, even if you end up being successful.
I should point out that what happened next made me feel very, very humble indeed.
Within a few minutes, we had pinpointed the issue and I said to the guys that we could finish it the next morning – but they said no.
They felt we had to nail it while it was still in our head … while our disappointment was still in the air … so we sat down and rewrote the thing.
The whole thing.
And you know what, it flowed.
It flowed but with bite.
And we still felt that way when we read it the next day … so all that leaves us to do is present the bugger and then hear from the client whether we’re been a bunch of delusional fools or a gang whose standards aren’t standard.
52 Comments so far
Leave a comment