You just finished a new business pitch you spent weeks preparing for. It features your most impressive team and work, the budget has been massaged to perfection, and you think it’s the perfect package that your client wants. On all accounts, you think you made a good impression. You also really want the business. But, after scanning the room and hoping for feedback from your prospects, you’re not getting a sense of which direction they might be leaning. Maybe they need time to think it through. You thank them for their time and wait to hear.

Now what? It’s time to start planning your follow-up. You don’t want to appear too pushy or desperate. The way you choose to communicate with your prospects afterward will give them an idea of what it would be like working with you and your agency.

Be patient, but proactive and prompt. Allow time for the prospect to respond, but stay on top of it. Each time you reach out, be sure to provide value (get familiar with their industry, likes/dislikes and include some of that information in your follow-up). No matter which follow-up strategy you decide to go with, remember it’s always good to recap the most important points that were discussed (keep it short!). Below are a few ideas you and your team and kick around to find out the best way to follow up post-pitch.

1. Standard

There’s always the standard email follow up a few days after you pitched the business. The email needs to include a recap of the presentation, show your excitement for the potential to work together, and include next steps. Sometimes it takes months for a company to make a decision. I’ve had brands go silent on me for 2-3 months, then respond with the green light to get started. You never really know what discussions are going on behind the scenes so remember to be respectful of the prospect’s time.

2. Content

Send the prospect a new or recent piece of content or article that pertains to their brand and your pitch. For example, if you’re a content-focused agency, send them updated statistics on how important content marketing is. Or send them a case study that either your business or a larger brand developed that proves the importance of signing on the strategy you pitched. Providing content examples is a way to show how important your marketing agency is to the customer’s success through published data, versus your agency just telling them that. Although you may be right, people are more likely to believe data.

3. ROI

All companies value ROI because it speaks to their business balance sheet. For marketers and agencies, it can sometimes be hard to measure the success of your marketing initiatives, especially if it’s brand awareness. But, it’s important to understand where to highlight the ROI you’ve produced for your previous or current clients. Send your new prospective client ROI results from your agency from a similar campaign or initiative. I’ve used pitch follow-up emails to say, “If you’re having trouble contemplating the spend on content marketing, I want to send over some results I’ve achieved with another brand I’ve worked for to help you digest the initial investment.” This will show them that their dollars will prove beneficial, making their investments worthwhile.

4. Social media

Don’t knock these channels! Try an @ message on Twitter, or a private message on LinkedIn or Facebook. Obviously, this would apply to specific prospects that would appreciate a follow-up on these channels — perhaps a very active social user. Or a company that is looking to hire your agency to produce great social media campaigns and communities. If your prospect seems more traditional in a business-sense, focus on the first three options, as they may view this route less professional.

5. Invite

Take a little pressure away from the pitch by inviting them to coffee or the next industry-related networking event (bonus points if the event is at your office!). It’s a great opportunity to reconnect and form more of a relationship. If your agency is large and successful, having a reoccurring party to schmooze with your current and prospective clients is a smart approach. In my past career in San Francisco, I was invited to a monthly party that an agency threw in their swanky pitch room. It included a bar and outdoor space with a live band. This party was a way to create community and “cool factor” with their clients, prospective clients and even recruitment. I was sold.

6. Stop by

Let the prospect know you’ll be in the area and would like to stop by. Bring something of value, for example, company swag, coffees, donuts, etc. Say the world’s quickest hello, and head on out. Although you aren’t discussing business, it keeps you top of mind. Plus, it’s a great personal approach to building a relationship with your potential new client. And, everyone loves swag or goodies now and then!

Hopefully, these six tactics will win your pitch, and you’ll be celebrating all the way to the bank. But, if not a great piece of advice that I received when I lost my first couple pitches — don’t burn bridges. You never know if the work will come back around again. Maybe the winning agency isn’t delivering on their promises, or the prospective clients have connections and are willing to pass your information along. Ask why you didn’t get the business, hold on to that information for the future or improvements, and accept the fact gracefully.


Jeanna Barrett is the Founder & Chief Strategist of First Page, an award-winning online marketer and an expat entrepreneur. Through content, social media and SEO, Jeanna uses the power of words and data to drive growth in brand awareness, organic traffic, leads, revenue and customer loyalty. She has a combined 12 years of inbound marketing experience at venture-backed startups, digital agencies and Fortune 500 companies, with an expertise focus on small business and technology. She’s been named ‘Top 40 Under 40’ of brand marketers and ‘Best in the West’ for financial technology marketing. In 2016, Jeanna left the U.S. to lay roots and build her business in Belize.