The Best Pitching Guide Book for Agency New Business

1 levitan pitch

The Levitan Pitch. Buy This Book. Win More Pitches. is the most comprehensive guide for developing a winning pitch management system that I have ever read. 

Pitching for new business is costly. A lot of time, money and morale are lost because of poor decisions, bad planning and a lack of adequately managing the pitch process.

“Approximately half (47% of respondents) of advertising professionals surveyed, by Provoke Insights, say they are dissatisfied with the current internal approach to pitching.”

Pitching doesn’t have to be a crapshoot. If your agency is losing more pitches than it’s winning, it’s time to change your pitch process.

I possibly have read every book about agency pitches and none come close to the rich, detailed information and guidance that you will find in this book, The Levitan Pitch. Buy This Book. Win More Pitches, written by Peter Levitan. The book lives up to its title. I highly recommend that every advertising, digital, media and PR agency principal read it.

Peter Levitan is a former agency owner. He ran business development for Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising in New York and London. He currently runs Peter Levitan & Co., an international advertising agency new business consultancy.

When I purchased the book, I didn’t think I would be providing you with such a glowing review. Especially after reading some of the promotional copy from the author, such as:

“I am about to publish the smartest ‘how-to’ book on pitching ever written.”

Confidence is an admirable trait but, Peter tends to comes across as arrogant. Nevertheless, I have to admit, IT IS the most complete ‘how-to-book’ on ad agency pitches I’ve ever read. If there was a class on how to pitch the right way, this should be the required text book.

Here’s what you will find inside:

  • 7 Chapters, 252 pages
  • 30 of the latest tips on processes, content and presentation preparation
  • 14 interviews with well-known business and presentation experts
  • 16 “how-to’s’ from agency search consultants
  • The 12 pitch killing mistakes illustrated by 12 humorous cartoons
  • 7 Important pitch related subjects:
    1. Understanding the client mindset
    2. The role of the agency search consultant
    3. Working with procurement
    4. The art of negotiation
    5. Agency compensation
    6. Managing legal and intellectual property issues
    7. Strategy development
  • The Levitan Pitch System:
    1. Process
    2. Content
    3. Presentation Prep
    4. The Delivery
  • An added online resource to the book is the Levitan Pitch Playbook that provides helpful pitch management tools such as the Pitch Checklist.

Here are some of the highlights I gathered from reading the book:

  • Agency staff recognize the personal cost of pitching and not winning.
  • “Boy, we made a lot of bad decisions in this office.”
  • “Peter, you’ve won the business as long as you don’t f__k up the pitch.”
  • Never lose control of the process, which should include a timetable and budget.
  • Know which clients are going to be in the room, their backgrounds and their motivations.
  • Consider starting with a story. The right story.
  • Don’t give the creative team too much rope.
  • Passionless pitches don’t win.
  • Build a competitive perspective for your agency. That’s your job.
  • The competitor list will help you begin to understand how you will need to create a distinctive story and how to frame your agency’s credentials.
  • Some agencies view pitching as a numbers game. Swing at more pitches, and you’ll get hits.
  • Create an agency presentation development checklist right now.
  • The “War Room.” The best agencies use a conference room or office that is dedicated to the pitch.
  • If you don’t give yourself time to get it right, you probably won’t get it right.
  • “Life is to short to work with assholes.”
  • Fewer than 10% of incumbent agencies are estimated to hang on to an account at the conclusion of a review process.
  • 75% of searches involve procurement.
  • The typical agency search takes about 12 weeks.
  • Practically every consultant, or 96% of the sample, pointed to “chemistry” as the key factor for winning.
  • What makes a great leave behind? Clarity, relevance and interest.
  • My advice to all agencies is “pitch less and win more.”
  • Procurement: We’re about value, Not Price.
  • Negotiation – Agencies have a lot of power and a lot at stake, but incorrectly think they are impotent.
  • Are agencies good negotiators? In 95% of the cases, agencies are babes being led to the slaughter. Terrible. Naive. Wishful. They get creamed.
  • Clients are much better negotiators than agency managers.
  • Do you know the clients compensation plan before you begin to pitch for their business?
  • Chutzpah and BHAGS win pitches.

As Peter states, “The Levitan Pitch is designed to deliver one master benefit: You will win more new clients.” I have no doubt this book will become an indespensible resource as your develop a dedicated pitch management system that will greatly improve your chances of winning more new business.

This is the kind of book that should be priced at $100 or more. It is a bargain at $11.75 on Amazon or you can steal the Kindle version for $3.99:

I’ve purchased at least 10 of the Kindle version as gifts for clients. I hope you’ll read it and return to share your thoughts in the comment section below.


Connect with Peter online:

In addition to the “The Levitan Pitch”, Peter wrote another book entitle, Boomercide: From Woodstock To Suicide, which he says, “offers unique financial planning advice for agency owners after they sell their agency.”

About Michael Gass

Consultant | Trainer | Author | Speaker

Since 2007, he has been pioneering the use of social media, inbound and content marketing strategies specifically for agency new business.

He is the founder of Fuel Lines Business Development, LLC, a firm which provides business development training and consulting services to advertising, digital, media and PR agencies.

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