Ad Agencies : Biz Dev + Pitching

Download our guide packed with tips on how to run an effective sales process & pitch to win

Every agency right now is on the hunt for big juicy client relationships that help shape the type of work they want to be known for. Not many have been able to make that “dream work yet,” because we’re in a period of rapid technological change coupled with shifting agency models.

As you look for that work, the most important thing to think about is how you are set up to understand how these relationships come together and what a sales process typically entails.

At Sunday Dinner, not a day goes by without an e-mail or text from a friend at an agency asking for tips & pointers on how to target the right clients, what to say to them, how to present, and how to structure the relationship.

Our answers are often the same — so we thought, why not publish those insights for all to use?

This document shares tips we’ve developed alongside ad industry agency business development pros. There are tons of great written articles online, but many of them don’t sink in. This document is designed to actively teach your team and think through some of the key thoughts it poses. 
Reach out with any questions!

Note : Although a sales process is not cookie cutter, much of the flow & tips along the way are similar for today’s agencies.

> Download our Agency Sales Guide

We hope to answer all of these questions. Here is what you will find in the download.

Pipeline : Planning, Prospecting and Screening

New clients and projects are the lifeblood of any agency. Too little work and you starve, too much work from one client and you’re vulnerable. To grow a sustainable business you must develop and manage a pipeline of new business. Where do you begin ?

  • Creating an industry and category based target list
  • Leveraging your current network and contact databases
  • Creating outreach materials ( Read our article about 10 slide perfect capabilities deck )
  • Generate template for communication outreach ( e-mails )
  • Creating a system(CRM) for lead tracking and follow up
  • Qualifying. The first calls. How to screen

Proposal and Pitch Development

You’ve got a project brief or RFP. You’re interested. They’re interested. Great. Where to start? And how will it all get done in addition to the work you’ve got for existing (paying!) clients?

  • Getting organized
  • Asking smart questions
  • Optimizing client time and access
  • “Solving” the brief vs Selling the Solution
  • A pitch to win strategy
  • Proposal & Pitch Deck development and refinement

Delivering: Presenting work in the best light

You’ve have likely spent hours (working for FREE) on nights and weekends in recent weeks answering the brief and developing gorgeous, impactful work that is sure to win on sheer brilliance alone, right?

Wrong. The sharpest end of the business development process is the ~60 minutes face to face with the client to share your work, but it is the thing most agencies at best leave last to prepare, and at worst, it’s left completely to chance. Winging it is not a strategy for long-term success.

  • Knowing your audience and a sense of how they process information
  • Understanding the selection criteria
  • Pitch outline and winning strategy
  • Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse
  • Controlling the environment (as much as possible)
  • Addressing client questions
  • Follow up

> Download our Agency Sales Guide

Sunday Dinner has numerous tools, templates, and examples of best practices to help your team deliver across all moments of the sales process.

The guide posted focuses solely on the sales cycle but leaves out components around positioning and managing longer term relationships. If you are interested in going through an entire growth process workshop, reach out & let us know — we’d be happy to arrange a process that could work for your team.


Lindsey lives & works in Dumbo, Brooklyn. She runs Sunday Dinner. A company that exists to help brand marketers & independent agencies uncover new ways to work together for today’s modern business. For brands engagements often come together in the form of an agency tour, workshop or project assignment. For agencies, Sunday Dinner runs an agency growth bootcamp that gets creative teams in gear to be their most successful self.

And yes, there are dinners. Check them out here.

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