Chemistry is one of the most important factors in winning a piece of business and one of the most elusive.
It is never included in the RFP as an ask.
Nonetheless when I have done reviews, I often hear clients say after the agency leaves. “I liked their team.” “I could work with them.” “They seem easy to work with.” “I really liked her or him.” “I felt good chemistry.” Where did that come from?
During the reviews I conducted during Covid building chemistry was a challenge for sure. How do you build chemistry on a Zoom call? You background was one way but not the same as an in-person dynamic.
How do you build chemistry on a call when many of the clients during parts of the presentation turn their camera off? I personal found this pretty rude but it was tough for me to call them out. Presenting to a circle with an initial in it is not the ideal way to build chemistry. I would rather that the client throw up an emoji.
So how do you build chemistry during a pitch? First lose you posse. Your agency team. You agency buddies. You do not need the entire agency team to be focused on setting up the AV. Leave that to one person and have the rest of your team engage with the client.
The crutch for many agencies in a pitch is the screen. It is like a magnet for agencies. The gather around it. Why? It is just a comfort zone.
Agency teams generally sit close to the screen all in a pod when the client is at the other end of the table.
Lose that and get as many of your agency team members sitting as close to the client as possible. Yes, sit right next to them,
Leave one to two folks to work with the AV. A client will probably drift over and try to help them especially if the meeting is at the client’s office.
Engage in conversation with the client. Have nothing to say? Then you did not check out their LinkedIn profiles. You did not do your homework. You will know what languages they speak, where the went to school, and where they worked before. You may also share connections with one of your friends and associates. That certainly give you a starting point for dialogue and a chemistry build.
Think of the conference table not as a meeting table but a dining room with guests. Stage yourself appropriately. Be prepared to ask engagement questions before the meeting starts and you will build a Beacon Jar of Chemistry.