Pitching your agency as the perfect fit during a client presentation is daunting.
You have to remember product positioning, messaging, client goals, and most importantly, selling your service. Most of all, a client presentation must add value.
The aim is for clients to envision what it’ll look like if they work with you and how you’ll help them reach their goals. The failure of most client presentations is how they land.
Some are full of text-heavy slide decks.
Others are all about the agency – not the client and their specific goals.
Finding the sweet spot with a client presentation is possible if you stick to the basics and put the client first by answering their biggest needs, uncovering any issues, and confidently explaining why they're worse off without your services.
Let's dive in a little deeper and help you get ready for the big presentation:
6 steps to build the ultimate client presentation
Do your research and carefully plan your pitch
Take care of some housekeeping
Turn the presentation into a marketing funnel
Use visuals to tell and sell the story
Open the pitch up into a two-way conversation
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Step 1: Do your research and carefully plan your pitch
Any client presentation starts with a who: who is it for?
The answer is your client.
You should know everything about them before you step into the meeting with them. Go into the room with a good understanding of their business, their industry, and how your services fit into the picture.
Start by researching the basics:
What industry are they in?
How big is their company and how big is their team?
What are the main goals they want to hit?
What roadblocks are stopping them?
How can product/service help them?
Look at their website and LinkedIn pages to see what services or products they’re selling. If you’ve done work for similar clients in their industry, check back at past projects and pitches, and see the pain points were you spent the most time.
Then you need to understand the company’s size and more importantly, how they plan to grow and scale their business.
Your client should have plenty of information about them online and a simple about us – like our video below – can help direct your presentation topics and tone of voice.
Once you know a little bit about the company, focus on why your solution is right for them.
How you sell your why depends on who you are selling to. A CEO with 200 employees has different challenges to a scrappy startup owner with a couple of employees on the books. Either way, explain your why by:
Acknowledging their pain points. Talk about the client's problems and what they need to do to reach their goals. Show them that you understand their issues and build trust from the start of the presentation.
Asking questions. Presentations shouldn't be a one-sided affair. Asking the client questions makes them feel comfortable and helps you understand their needs.
Introducing your brand as the solution. Tie the client's problems to your product/service. If they need a new website, talk about how you can make that happen and what the process looks like. If they have hit a brick wall with their marketing, explain why they may be struggling and what they can do to change it.
Pro-tip: Researching potential clients can take a lot of energy. You need to ensure that they're a good fit before stepping into a presentation. Get a headstart with presentation research and start using detailed intake forms. Use a tool like Teamwork to build customized intake forms and get as much information as possible about a client before sitting down for a meeting.
Step 2: Take care of some housekeeping
Your clients are busy—that’s a given.
But so are you.
Make sure you set some ground rules before the presentation starts so that it runs smoothly. These can be basic rules like:
Always get to the meeting first. Whether the meeting is in the client's office or on Zoom – get there first and early. Give yourself enough time to organize your slide deck and get comfortable with the pitch before the client arrives (or logs in.)
Test your tech. Open your presentation, check that it's working, and test each slide. If you're using a laptop or projector, have it open to the first slide at the start of your presentation, ready for when the client arrives.
Practice your pitch. Is it just you presenting to the client? Do you have a team joining you? Don’t show up to the meeting without a game plan. Rehearse what you’re going to say and how you’ll answer client questions before the presentation.
Cut to the chase. Your client isn’t your friend. Don’t waste too much time with small talk. If the pitch goes well – they'll move forward – not always on your small talk skills.
These steps are so basic that it almost seems like they don't need to be mentioned. But walking into a presentation with a poorly prepared pitch or a slide deck that takes 15 minutes to fix is the fastest way for it to fall flat.
Step 3: Turn the presentation into a marketing funnel
Your presentation should have one goal—getting the client to agree to the next steps or sign a contract.
So, why not design your slide deck like a marketing funnel—with a beginning, middle, and end?
You must tread a fine line between a lecture and a negotiation with client presentations. If the slide deck is too information-heavy, clients can feel like you're speaking at them instead of talking to them.
And if you don't take charge of the meeting, it can go off track and makes it harder to get your client focused on the next steps.
Aim for somewhere in the middle and tell a story where your slides convince the client that your solution is a good fit. Your presentation deck should include these sections:
Beginning: Set the stage and tell the client what the presentation is about, why you’re there, and how you plan on working together.
Middle: The meat of the presentation. Don’t overload the slides with text. They should be a visual background to back up what you’re saying.
End: Use this as your call to action and outlines the next steps. Here, you give the client a reason to book another meeting or sign a contract with you.
Here’s a great example of LeadCrunch turning a presentation into a compelling story. The presentation kicks off by talking about common problems that B2B sales companies experience:
This helps hook the audience.
The presenter understands their frustrations with trying to get more leads. Next, LeadCrunch takes the three frustrations and turns them into opportunities for the client:
The text on the slide mirrors the issues in the industry so the client can connect the dots between the problems and LeadCrunch's solution.
Finally, the presentation winds up by using a pricing chart as its CTA. Don't overthink how you tie in your CTA to the client – you know your value and what you can bring to the table – so just clearly say it.
Step 4: Use visuals to tell and sell the story
Visuals are your friend during a client presentation.
They have obvious benefits—they grab your client’s attention, break up text-heavy slides and make complex data easier to digest.
But there are other reasons why adding visuals to your presentation is a good move.
The SEO software company SEMRush asked over 200 agency and brand reps what made their presentations successful and found 74% of brands said it was tailoring the proposal to the client. They recommended using images to help clients understand concepts that usually end up on a spreadsheet or hidden under a mountain of text. This is easy to do.
Don’t explain how your agency’s complex strategic marketing will work — show the client instead.
Step 5: Open the pitch up into a two-way conversation
Once the presentation is done, don’t just pack up and leave—start a conversation with the client instead.
Getting feedback as soon as the pitch is over is crucial. You need to know if your presentation resonated with them and iron out any concerns or questions they have.
Kickstart the feedback process by asking the client:
Did you have any questions about anything we mentioned in the presentation?
Do you see our solution solving your problems?
What can we do to move this forward and start working together?
Now, the client may give you some feedback you don’t like. Or ask more pressing questions around project cost estimations, deadline management, or how you handle scope creep.
Make your value clear. But also show how you'll promote a straight road to client collaboration, so you make their values your own. Want more insights into collaboration tips? Download our guide to creating a collaborative culture with your clients.
5 tips for fostering collaboration with your clients
Download our guide to get essential communication tips and insights into how to foster collaboration with your clients.
Step 6: Close strongly with clear next steps
Don’t leave the meeting in limbo.
Be clear about what you want to do next with the client moving forward. Don’t say that you’ll follow up in a couple of days—it’s too vague. Be more direct.
Make sure you and your client agree on a defined deadline for when the deal should move forward. If the follow-up call goes well and the client wants to go ahead, send a contract over to seal the deal.
Pro-tip: If you want to build a strong relationship with your client, be transparent from the beginning. Invite clients to the project to keep them updated on progress. Using a tool like Teamwork makes this part easy.
And they’ll get access to visual project timelines, Kanban board views, and Gantt charts as well as ways to simply reply to messages, so you can both speed up feedback loops.
If you're worried about the client getting too involved, there's a solution – and it's permissions. Simply add permissions to client accounts so they can only access the things that move projects forward – not backward.
Ready to deliver a pitch-perfect client presentation?
A pitch that wows your clients begins way before walking into the meeting room.
Successful presentations hinge on knowing your client's pain points. The more research you do, the more you'll be able to identify the barriers they face and how you can help.
From there, it’s just a matter of showing up, targeting your messaging to their problems, and starting a conversation.